Fellow Southern Cameroonians, fellow Ambazonians:
Accept warm greetings from the Governing Council. This journey to the restoration of the independence of our nation is in full gear and we want to thank you all for your messages from all corners of the world. We have heard your voices from Australia, China, Europe, Americas and Africa. We are very encouraged by the enormous show of support and solidarity from our people back home. We want you all to be reassured that we are in this journey together until we get to Buea, in a country that we will call our own.
Let me start by addressing the three categories of Southern Cameroonians / Ambazonians in the face of what has become known as the Anglophone problem. There are three categories :- Unionist, Federalist and my camp the Nationalist.
The Unionists (Status quo in Government)
Political groups part of the System: No allegiance to their people, No concern for the future.
Civil Servants income from government Contractor and agents of these system: Their financial security is threatened; main income is grossly from their government jobs.
No interest but migrated simply by fear: Mothers with children who have mastered Francophone.
They may be motivated by other motives but some are afraid of a war and the massacre of SCians
The landscape here shows people for the most part of an older generation.
The Nationalists – Restoration of our glory land
The future of SC does not lie in the hands of the older generation.
They deserve to know a commitment that the younger generations have demonstrated in obtaining their freedom. This particular group of SC are clamouring for the restoration and they believe that the job must be completed
No matter your group
You have the right to belong to your group and nobody should force you to belong to our group. The fight for freedom must be desired from within and cannot be imposed by everyone else. Consequently, if people want to give in the status quo, God bless them, they have the right to stay where they are. You make your choices and your choices will eventually make you.
Free to make their choice
What benefit have you derived in this union for the past 56 years?
Have you not been told to speak in French
Have you not been considered as Second-class citizen when you interact with people of LRC??
Have your children not been passed over or discriminated in admission into National Institutions, jobs, pay, promotions.
Is that what you want to continue to live under?
What exactly do you benefit from the system other than your daily bread and something to cater for your children?
Do you believe this system would ever change and if it does, will it not change for the worse?
Why do you now believe that this bond and will is going to cure they terminal illness that the regime has inflicted for all these 56 years?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Our people should not be lured into insanity and our youths are clearly aware of that. It should be known that we are tired and we have to set ourselves free.
FEDERALISM: Who believes and advocate that we can gain the restoration of our independence only through war- by implication, what groups are actually selling is that the Biya regime will continue to carry out the brutal restoration of our people who are claiming independence. If they are right and God forbid, what then does it say of a system that would exterminate people without arms because they are fighting for their rights? How can anyone believe that they can remain in such an oppressive system and enjoy their God-given right of freedom and Liberty?
On the other hand, others have said that we cannot achieve restoration of our independence by making our case to the outside world. These groups of SC elites believe that since they tried earlier and failed, we should fold our hands and not try again. It is surprising and shocking that these are the same people advocating dialogue with LRC as if there have not been dialogue in the past 56 years. What makes them believe therefore that another round of dialogue this time will yield any fruit, when the actors with whom you have to dialogue have been in power for over 35 years? If these SCian elites believe that they can dialogue with this regime that has subjugated us for this long with that principal leader who has been in power for 35 years and counting, they are free to go ahead.
Why do they not believe that another try at the UN, AU, ICC, and ICJ could achieve results? The passage of time, the evolution of the world’s human right election and influence, and the fire in our youths of today give me the confidence to say that this is the time for action.
The idea of Federalism, no matter the form it takes, will result in a centralized government that will continue to oppress the inalienable rights of the minority people of SC.
Now, let me talk about the case for the restoration and our independence. This Struggle:
Our dreams of independence come with UN resolution 1608. At that point, we were independent. Let me take that again; after the passage of UN article 1608 our nation of British Southern Cameroons was independent. Later in 1961, we were given two options to complete our sovereignty by joining with another independent country (either Nigeria or the Republic of Cameroun). The third option which would have saved us the servitude of the last 56 years:- that of forming our nation on our own, building on the institutions that were already in the works from 1954, was selfishly ignored.
Our fore fathers believed in the sincerity of the leaders of LRC and therefore believed that the union, which was based on two separate independent States, would be a stronger national union, a win-win for both nations. We have come to see that the course of events has proven them wrong. Different dates, promises and bad faith have been the order of business from the two successive governments of LRC.
Given that all of these things never materialized what non-revocable guarantees can this government give you to ensure that your children and your children’s children will be given their full rights as human beings?
Now please indulge me to address President Paul Biya at this point.
Mr. President, notwithstanding the above mentioned failures of your stewardship on the notion of the people of SC; you are once again given an opportunity to show your leadership as a father. This occurred when lawyers and teachers expressed their rights to be granted. This requests were made because of the way and inefficient government that you have led over all these years. You failed to listen to the cries of the people. 8 months have passed and the situation festered and has degenerated to where we are today. Instead of attending to the demands of the civil society groups, your government banned them, incarcerated their leaders, jailed other advocates, imprisoned other people, raped our daughters and militarized our towns and village. Your government’s lack of response led to the manifestations on the streets. Mr. President, it is only when there was successful ghost town on Monday 9th January 2017 that your government agreed to dialogue. This has been and continues to be the people’s protest. The people of SC are speaking clearly and loudly by their actions. You better listen to them. No one can lead a people without their consent. The people of SC are making their voices heard by their actions (actions speaks louder than words).
Mr. President, I almost certain that had you shown a depth of leadership at the start of this disruption in Oct/Nov2016 by coming out and addressing the people of SC with respect and genuine concern, you may have pulled off some groundwork from these people. However, you ignored them with disdain and sent your troops to betroth them, killing, torturing, raping, arresting leaders, abducting people to be tried in military courts. Abducting a justice of the Supreme Court.
If a justice of the supreme court can be treated like Justice Ayah Paul Abine has been treated, if a lawyer like Barrister Nkongho Agbor Balla has been treated, if a renown academic can be treated like Dr. Fontem Niba has been treated, if a journalist and a popular talk-show host can be treated like Mancho Bibixy has been treated, what treatment should we expect for the ordinary man/woman in SC?
A people whose backs have been pushed against the wall, have no other option than to push back with the last energy in their body and when they fight back, they will not be fighting to stay in the Satus quo, they will fight to go to a new place, saying that any place is better than here. Therefore Mr. President, you and your government have forced the people of SC to leave and go for good.
Mr. President, we are aware of all the manipulative plans that your government has been taking to manipulate and deceive and appease the people of SC. We know that there is currently a plan in the works by the French government to the LRC to invest $35 Billion in the NW region, in addition to the 18 km of tarred roads in the city of Bamenda, as well as the ridiculous re-opening of the Bamenda airport. We are also aware of discussions in the pipeline for large investments in the SW region. Allow me to say, Mr. President that these ridiculous investments, coming at this time, are a disdain to our people. These investments, if they become real, are a right and should have come many years ago.
Mr. President, you can kill every SCian who wants to be free but you cannot kill the spirit of freedom in the Southern Cameroonian. In addition to all the intrigues, your government has repeatedly tried to divide the people of SC with the usual NW/SW slogans. People have been offered bribes, positions and large amounts of money. This time however, due to the spirit of Southern Cameroons that is sweeping our territory, your offer was turned down. You have failed to recognize a basic lesson of life; that no one can trade their freedom for 30 pieces of silver.
Now, let me address my people, People of SC, As I said earlier, our struggle for the restoration of the independence of SC is not imposed on anyone but derived from the determined spirit of each and every SCian who desires to be free.
What does it mean to be free? The people of Southern Cameroons / Ambazonia want to be free to:-
send their children to schools where they are taught in English, except when they are studying another language.
Go to the courts and practice the Common Law to common law magistrates and counsel.
Go to hospitals and be consulted by physicians who do not need interpreters.
Go to the police and speak to their commissioners in English
Talk to their administrators in English
Know the allocation of resources to their respective Counties
Hold their leaders accountable
Elect their Governors and State legislators
Given the choices that I have outlined for the unionist, federalism and the nationalist (freedom fighter), it is important for all SCians to know that there is no need for infighting amongst our people in spite of their different opinions. It is equally important to know that there are traitors and spies among you, who come with the sole goal to disrupt and weaken our resolve. Do not be deceived by such infiltrators. However, we must fight our enemies of this struggle. They will use all kind of means and force of argument to splinter our freedom movement. Some of them would seek to discredit your leaders at every opportunity, to source for financial assistance and impose their leadership. Many things are happening that you may not be aware of. We have to be very watchful as we carry out our mission for our enemies will spend all the resources at their disposal, to sabotage our efforts. Therefore, we shall keep our plans confidential until we find the moment appropriate for us to do so. We are fortunate that our heavy contributors are the silent majority.
The sacrifices of our people back home are too enormous to count. To our mothers and fathers back in our homeland, to our brother and sister, to our children: – we owe you a great deal of gratitude for the effort you are making to keep the struggle alive. The Lord will reward you not only with a new nation that you can call your own, your children’s children will live free to realise their true potential in this land.
Some people are asking us, where we get the courage and energy to lead this struggle. We are strengthened by the echo of late Chief Ayamba, the clarity of delivery of Mola Njoh Litumbe, the tone of appreciation of Fon Gorgi Dinka, the dedication and commitment of our people back home and the army of youths on Social Media who have realized that they want their freedom and the time for that freedom is now.
I am further reenergised by news from back home like that of the grandmother in Bamenda who with her friends were going to pray at 5:30am. When she looked back and noticed her friend further back, she called out loudly “… waka quick, come make we go pray for Sisiku”. Grandma and friends, thank you for your prayers – please know that I will never let you down. The Governing Council will not let you down. This new generation of Southern Cameroonians will not let you down. We may not all get there, but be rest assured that the question of going to Buea is a question of When and not if. When will we get to Buea? We are working very hard to make sure that this happens as soon as possible, so that we will sing songs of victory and carry our grandmother and grandfathers on our shoulders as we enter Buea in triumph.
Let me now address the pressing issue that confronts us today: – that of school assumption in SC. Permit me to first express my dissatisfaction with those who have treated our clergy and the proprietors of private school with disrespect and disregard. The dilemma that our clergy and proprietors find themselves today, in the face of a lawless system of government whereby anyone’s security is at risk, is something that we should all appreciate. The episcopal letter, by the Bishops of the Bamenda episcopal diocese, to the government of LRC remains one of the best written documents that addresses the Anglophone problem in our two nations. It still holds true today as it did when it was written. We must continue to show gratitude for all that our clergy have done so far. The decision-making process of these leaders in the current circumstances can be compared to walking on a mine-field. They must tread very cautiously. We might not agree with some utterances that they are making now but we remain respectful of the church in the hope that throughout history, the church and people of good conscience have always stood for the presumption of human right and the protection of the weak.
Let me also address the students, teachers and parents.
Dear Students, losing a year or two or even more in anyone’s life is like asking the person to start the race all over, when others are ahead and finishing. Throughout this struggle, you have been the most resilient, because you know what we adults do not know; that you are fighting to have a better future for yourself. And just like anywhere in the world, where freedom has been gained, such freedom has been led by the young and the fearless. Your destiny is in your hands. We ask you to stay focus and never to lose sight of your goal.
Dear Teachers, like lawyers, you bare the brunt of the current struggle. Some of you have flown into neighbouring lands as refugees, some of you have become farmers, some of you are doing other jobs to put food on the tables in your families. We owe you a huge debt that will be repaid. The future of our children is at stake. It is this stake that made you to go out on the streets in November 2016. Anytime you feel tired, ask yourself if anything has changed in the schools that you deserted 8 months ago. If not, why should you go back there now?
Dear Parents, the final decision on school resumption might rest in your hands. You made the wise decision in November 2016 to withdraw your children from the third-class education that they were receiving. Your hope is that in the 21st century, your children should receive education that makes them globally competitive. This was not the case in November 2016 and it is still not the case today.
Some might ask if anything has changed since November 2016, in the education sector in Southern Cameroons. Naively, many would say that nothing has changed. The same French-speaking teacher is still due to teach Geography in our land. On the contrary, I can tell you that so much has changed since then: – Dear parents, since you withdrew your children from school, their sisters have been raped, many have been beaten, tortured and jailed, our leaders have been locked up and remain in Kondengui, our Chief justice of the supreme court, Justice Ayah Paul Abine, is languishing at the Gendarmerie cell in Yaoundé, and many have died. Would you resume school, knowing that these people paid these prices for your child to have a better education, while some have death penalties hanging over their heads? If your child goes to school, what happens to the child of your neighbour who is in prison because he/she was fighting this course?
Fellow Southern Cameroonians:
Few have borne a heavier sacrifice than teachers without pay, lawyers without court appearances, traders whose shops are locked, mothers whose children have become prays to people without conscience. Some have been put in different terrible conditions that we deploy. We denounce any crimes committed by people who take advantage of young people.
To conclude on this issue, there will be no school resumption in September 2017. On the fist day of school resumption in LRC in September 2017, all our people will have white handkerchiefs tied on young tree branches. This will be a sign of the Passover of the moribund education that we will never again be our portion. Please tie the handkerchiefs and tree branches around your houses, on doors, gates and fences. This is a sign of your support to our struggle. We will observe ghost town on that day from dawn to 5:00pm. At the end of the ghost town, people should pour out into the streets with whistles blowing in the air, singing songs of praise to God in celebration to show the world that they have refused to be enslave again. That we will set the agenda for the education of our children. Our children will remain at home until October 1st, the day of our lost independence. On or before Oct 1st we will make a further announcement on the way forward. Be rest assured that our team is working tirelessly on an education platform that will transform the sector and prepare our children for the 21st century workplace.
To the Southern Cameroonian in the Diaspora. You have been the engine of this struggle. Your moral and financial support has been very complementary to keeping this struggle alive. The urgency of the moment calls on each person to double our efforts. One of the big mistakes of Mr Biya’s government is in undermining our resolve to participate in the change that will bring us all back to the place of our birth. Almost all of us will rather be back home than wherever we find ourselves today. If the Divinity of our birth cannot be questioned, then our true legacy must be to the people of our land. You may own an American passport. Some may call you British, German, Canadian, Nigerian or South African but the location of your origin is Divine. You cannot and should not forget this.
Our nation will be rebuilt by experts who are originally Southern Cameroonians / Ambazonians. The curse of the last 56 years that has seen us thrown into all countries on the planet will become a blessing when we bring back our experiences, expertise, skills and money to rebuild our true home. We were scattered as seeds across other lands. Through hard work and commitment, we are now mature trees ready to recapture the forest. I urge you all to contribute to this struggle, financially and otherwise. Wait not for the struggle to be over then you join the bandwagon to Buea. Ask yourself, what can you do to move us one giant step closer to Buea? I encourage you to start preparing to come back home, come back to Buea to celebrate the restoration of our nation but importantly start planning to come and resettle in Southern Cameroons. Of course your dual-citizenship will be assured in Southern Cameroons / Ambazonia. Come and rebuild your nation. Think of the great opportunity that has been bestowed on your generation to rebuild your nation from scratch. With time, effort and imagination, we would make our new nation, an investor’s paradise. With transparency, accountability and high performance governance, we will invite people to come and see what a good thing the Lord has done for us. In the days ahead, the Secretary General of the Governing council will present a blue print of the nation we dream.
Some are asking if the Governing Council is ready for dialogue with Mr Paul Biya’s government. While the chances him initiating this dialogue look slim by each passing day, we are ready and open for frank dialogue in a neutral country, mediated by representatives from the UN, AU, ECOWAS, France, England and Nigeria.
To conclude, a few may doubt the chances of our success but I have no doubt in my mind that our freedom and the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons / Ambazonia is sacrosanct. We must achieve it now or forever regret. Our forefathers that we now blame for yesterdays errors were younger, less educated and less travelled when they made the costly decision in 1961. We will have no excusable reason to justify our children, if we let the opportunity of the moment slip pass without tangible positive results. I know that we will succeed because we are matching forward together.
God bless Southern Cameroons / Ambazonia.
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe
Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Governing Council