Manyu Military Operation: There could be a problem from within which may see General Elokobi at the International Criminal Court
The confusion recorded deep within the central command of the French Cameroun political and military establishments over the Manyu operation is an indication that the mission is destined to fail. Nothing can best represent a victory for Southern Cameroonians in this struggle than the Manyu SDO and South West governor accusations and counter accusations over the controversial press release. However, having a toxic commander-in-chief results in decrease in work effort and decrease in work quality.
Ever since the French Cameroun dictator, Paul Biya declared war against the Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko in a foreign country, many in Yaoundé started talking about toxic leadership in the Francophone dominated army. That was not the only time that military analyst had questioned the role of the Cameroonian army. They did so during the Bakassi conflict and the failure of leadership led to the creation of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR.
The declaration of war against the people of Southern Cameroons by the toxic leader, Paul Biya and the ranting of the French Cameroun Minister for Defense, Joseph Beti Assomo including the appointment of General Elokobi Daniel Njock to head the Manyu expedition has resulted in stories that are like worms crawling out of a bucket. To be sure, the stories of the way some of our Anglophone servicemen and women are treated by their Francophone superiors in the so-called Armee Camerounaise.
It is the General Elokobi appointment that has pushed Cameroon Intelligence Report to comment on toxic leadership and to speak about the heretofore taboo topic throughout the Cameroon army in the 35 years of the Biya’s administration.
A toxic commander-in-chief of the armed forces most would agree displays two characteristics: an apparent lack of concern for the well-being of others, as perceived by those they supervise; and, an interpersonal style that negatively impacts organizational climate.
Not every Southern Cameroonian who works for a toxic leader like Paul Biya will decrease productivity. But for many, who work for a bad boss, morale declines, communication degrades and stress levels go way up. Interestingly, Beti Ewondo soldiers who only yesterday refused being deployed to the Far North region to combat Boko Haram are now willing to go the extra mile to work for a toxic leader in Southern Cameroons territory. This is troubling even to General Elokobi Daniel Njock who as a gendarmerie officer is now forced to head an army operation.
To combat the Biya toxic leadership, Elokobi needs to first come to terms with the realities of the Manyu people that Manyus do not know kings but servants and that there could be a problem from within which may see him at the International Criminal Court. Discussions by everyone in the military hierarchy in Yaoundé need to take place.
French Cameroun military performance system and those of the gendarmerie and police organisations doesn’t distinguish sufficiently between a good leader and a toxic leader. Biya is a political disaster that has commanded the Armee Camerounaise for 35 years and like himself he has allowed a lot of toxics to rise to extraordinary levels of responsibility. Some are so bad that they not only do not add value to the army, they’re also an impediment to nation building.
By Sama Ernest