After more than four years of lockdown, one would think that those who pass up as leaders of this revolution would understand that the economic sabotage is hurting the ordinary man more than the Yaounde government that is still drinking tons of champagne and looking the other way as Ambazonian fighters intimidate and rob the people they claim to protect of their economic life and happiness.
The devastating impact of the crisis is all over the place and residents of the country’s two speaking countries are already showing some signs of fatigue and frustration with the unplanned and disorganized mess that has created massive uncertain in that part of the country.
One would think that the various factions involved in this conflict would coordinate their activities so as to agree on certain things with a view to allay the fears of the population and to diminish the impact of the economic crisis on the struggling businesses.
But all indicators point to well-organized chaos that is sowing more doubts in the mind of the weary and desperate population.
While the Yerima-led Interim Government does not see any wisdom behind the zealous announcement by the defunct Sako-led Interim Government, the lockdowm seems to be effective in many parts of Southern Cameroons, more out of morbid fear than out of a sound economic or well-thought-out political strategy.
Sako and his religious followers are rejoicing that things have gone according to their plan, but the euphoria is very likely to be ephemeral as the current situation has only brought the chronic differences between the factions on the ground to the surface.
Dr. Cho Ayaba, for his part, had thrown his weight behind the Yerima-led Interim government’s decision to question the rationale behind the lockdowm which will only make the people’s economic pain worse and will fragilize the organization of the upcoming Ambazonian Independence Day which many on ground zero are looking forward to with enthusiasm and joy.
Ayaba may not be agreeing with Yerima on many issues, but he seems to be reading from the same script as Yerima on this occasion.
The lockdown will not only further stifle the economy that is in the doldrums, it will also strike fear in the minds of those rural kids who thought they could go back to school this year.
Already, there are pictures of intimidated school kids emerging, with some seriously wounded by trigger-happy young men who have been shouting their support for their demi-god, Sako Ikome from rooftops.
While Sako might be enjoying some popularity on ground zero, he should also understand that international organizations and the global community have begun seeing him as a terrorist who is intent on robbing children of their right to education.
If the global community has to change its view on him, he has to start cutting a different image and that image should demonstrate that he really wants the children on ground zero to receive the education he received in Tiko, South West Region, many years ago.
There is no rationale behind denying generations of children their right to a sound education.
Suffocating the economy and intimidating the kids out of school only cast those who have ordered this latest lockdown in very bad light.
Of course, the enemy will be affected. Yes, cities like Douala, Nkongsamba, Melong, Manjo, Bafoussam and others which are on the border with Southern Cameroons will be hurt in a way, but the primary victims will, for sure, be the very people who have been taking the brunt of the government’s frustration. These people have shown great resistance and resilience over the last four years, but they are clearly showing signs of fatigue. They need some respite. They deserve some rest and peace!
Sako and his people might have wanted to flex their muscles and show their teeth to the government to prove that they are still a force to reckon with but this recent victory, if it can be seen as such, is pyrrhic and will not go down well with other groups operating in the two English-speaking regions of the country.
This is, indeed, a recipe for more violent clashes and this could spell death and destruction to the local population.
The Sako Group should reach out to other groups to assure them that his latest order was not designed to hurt them. Such an assurance can reduce animosity and bring the other factions to the table where they can find a common ground.
The people on the ground need a consensus. They need agreements. They want unified actions so as to rid their minds of any doubts or fear. Going it alone on this occasion is at best reckless. Sako must stop acting as a lone wolf.
By Dr Joachim Arrey in Paris Charles de Gaulle