The government of Cameroon will soon be dealing with massive post-election demonstrations. The demonstrations are being planned for Sunday, October 22 and will last for weeks and months as an inside government source has informed Cameroon Concord News Group that the election results have already been approved by the Constitutional Council and all the drama in the name of hearings is just designed to calm down tempers and deceive the international community.
The source adds that Mr. Biya will be declared a winner on Sunday and there are plans to deploy troops and police in major cities across the country. He stressed that a dusk to dawn curfew could be declared in many cities, including Yaounde where it is held that the opposition has a huge following.
As a prelude to what will happen, the government has been deploying troops at strategic locations in Yaounde and Douala, especially in neighborhoods that are mostly inhabited by Bamilekes and Anglophones. This action has been followed by random arrests to frighten any young men who have plans to take to the streets in the coming days.
The beleaguered government has also trained many spies who are serving as its eyes and ears among the population and these agents are spreading word that ordinary citizens should not express their views as they could be arrested.
“The government has created social media loops, another name for word of mouth transmission of information that discourages citizens from expressing themselves freely,” the source said.
In recent days, many government agents have been trying to dissuade young Bamileke businessmen from supporting the massive strikes and demonstrations that are in the offing on the grounds that they would be the losers as they own lots of business ventures across the country.
But their stories to dissuade the population are clearly falling on deaf ears. Cameroonians want real democracy in their country and they know that Mr. Biya is not the winner of the poll and that he is using fake institutions to extend his stay in power.
They want to get him out so that their country can make huge strides forward. Since taking over power in 1982, Mr. Biya has not posted any impressive economic and political results and has rigged every election to stay in power. The people are tired and they want to stage a revolution that will root him and his cohort of embezzlers out of power so as to give the country a new lease on life.
Meanwhile, the hearings at the Constitutional Council have continued today. The Constitutional Council president confirmed that unsigned results reports for 32 polling stations would not be cancelled and that these reports would hand Mr. Biya 1.3 million votes and certainly the victory he is looking for.
Over the last two weeks, the nation’s focus has been on Yaoundé following the holding of presidential elections wherein the incumbent, Paul Biya, is being suspected to have lost woefully. The suspected winner, Prof. Maurice Kamto, had declared that he had won; a day after polling and his announcement has sparked not just hope among his supporters, but fear within the ruling party.
Over the last two days, there have been hearings on post-election fraud, with the ruling party being the prime suspect. The hearings have attracted national and international attention, as Prof. Kamto’s legal team exposes the ruling party’s rigging strategy and tactics.
The rigging involved the Far North, Northwest, Southwest and South regions where opposition returning officers were chased away by ruling party officials. In some ridings, ruling party officials signed on behalf of the opposition officials and in some cases the figures simply did not add up.
In the northwest and southwest regions where a violent and vicious war has been going on, soldiers had to vote as many times as they wanted on behalf of the ruling party as the violence had driven the population out of the regions. But from every indication, things seem to be looking up after two weeks of massive killings in the two English-speaking regions.
This has made many analysts to think that the situation might be improving, especially as many internally displaced people who had fled to East Cameroon are now returning to the English-speaking regions, as many of them suspect that if the elections are released in favor of the incumbent, there could be violence or even a civil war in East Cameroon. Over the last two days, two caches of weapons have been found in Foumban and Bangante, two major cities in Prof. Kamto’s region of origin.
The fear of a civil war is all the more real as Prof. Kamto yesterday reiterated before the Constitutional Council that he was the winner of the October 7 poll and that the Constitutional Council should do the right thing to ensure the people’s will was respected to ensure the country is spared the type of Chaos that has been playing out in Southern Cameroons.
But the situation in Yaounde does not seem to be of any concern or interest to Southern Cameroonian fighters who hold that the elections are simply a distraction. They also hold that once the situation deteriorates, they will step up attacks against the forces of occupation and they will do everything to protect their territory by securing Southern Cameroonian borders.
According to an audio message sent to the Cameroon Concord News Group, Southern Cameroonian fighters are simply working hard to make their impact felt during this period of confusion in the country.
“We have seen that some forces of occupation are being withdrawn from our territory to help keep peace in their own country. We are aware that trouble is brewing in the neighboring country. We will not let that distract us,” the audio message said.
The speaker in the tape further adds that “we will do everything in our power to remain focused. We would not allow the enemy to drag us into his problems. We will be watching the enemy from a distance, as he proves to the world that he is incapable of ensuring peace in his country.”
“We are using this opportunity to urge our citizens to return home and to support the fighters to flush out the forces of occupation. We still have unfinished business and we have to turn the heat on the enemy,” the message underscores.
“We are happy to see them fight each other as this will weaken their grip on our territory. We are urging our citizens to steer clear of the situation in East Cameroon as it does not concern them,” the message concludes. Prof. Kamto has reassured Southern Cameroonians the once declared the winner of the presidential poll, he will engage in sincere and inclusive dialogue.
But his message does not seem to be music to many Southern Cameroonian ears, as many citizens from this region have made up their minds to walk a different path, though they support him in his fight to bring genuine democracy to his country.
Cameroon is certain to face some chaotic situations in the days ahead. The international community should help Cameroonians to bring genuine democracy to their country. Now is the time. If this does not happen the instability in Cameroon might destabilize the entire region.
By Kingsley Betek and Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from Sama Ernest