Southern Cameroons Crisis: Writer urges Senators and MPs to play their roles
Southern Cameroonian writer and peace advocate, Dr. Joachim Arrey, has called on CPDM Anglophone senators and parliamentarians to use their influence to bring about an end to the carnage that is playing out in Southern Cameroons.
In a letter to the senators and parliamentarians, Dr. Arrey urged the people’s representatives to play their roles, adding that belonging to the ruling party did not imply that they could not discuss an issue facing their constituents.
See full letter below
I have been very reluctant to write to you, hoping that somewhere your consciences will kick in to remind you of your political responsibilities towards your constituents.
But for two years now, ever since the crisis started, none of you, not even old and experienced senators like Chief Victor Mukete and Achidi Achu whose time here on earth is almost over, have been able to express regrets for what is happening in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
Many around the world have been wondering if the numerous lives, that are being cut short, right in front of you, do not bring any feelings of regrets. Like you, I am not for a secession, but this does not imply that you cannot use your influence to call the government to order. Are you that too hungry and blind not to see the destruction of human life that is taking place in your constituencies?
How do you then consider yourselves as representatives of this people who are being mowed down indiscriminately by government forces? Does it imply that politics has robbed you of human feelings just because you need to earn a salary?
How heartless can you be when your own grandchildren are being mowed down by army soldiers who have been sent on a special mission to kill young, able-bodied Cameroonians who are your constituents?
The country is currently in campaign mode as the date for presidential elections approaches. As usual, you are expected to go and campaign for your candidate in your constituencies. What messages will you be carrying to these people whose loved ones have been murdered and their houses burnt?
Are you going to tell them that their misfortune is an act of God and that they should accept it without question? I thought as the people’s representatives, you would intercede between them and the government. You are supposed to negotiate when there are conflicts. But for two years, you have been silent and your silence, in this case, has been interpreted as an endorsement of the killing that has left the people of Southern Cameroons in a permanent state of bereavement.
The senate and parliament are supposed to be the ultimate places where political issues are supposed to be debated with a view to seeking long-lasting solutions. While a few opposition members of parliament have sought to table this issue, you of the ruling party have been working hard to scuttle any effort aimed at seeking a peaceful and constitutional solution to an issue that has been around for decades and which is threatening our country’s territorial integrity.
How can you be comfortable in your mansions when your people are dying in their numbers? How can you be so silent when our young soldiers are being killed on a daily basis by angry fighters? Your silence is tantamount to complicity and history will be very harsh on you. You have accepted responsibilities you cannot handle and today you have exposed your constituents to the wolves.
I am writing as a concerned citizen and I accept any consequences that might come as a result of this letter. You have decided to be on the wrong side of history and you should be prepared to face the consequences. You have allowed our country to go down the drain. Your silence over this carnage is testimony to the fact that you were never really voted by this people whose only crime has been complaining about a system that is hurting them.
You had all the time to meet with your constituents when the crisis started in order to defuse the situation, but you decided to barricade yourselves in your ivory towers. You are supposed to be the medium through which the people’s complaints can reach the executive branch of government. But from every indication, you have sold your souls to the devil for miserable pieces of silver. You even celebrate when your own constituents are being gunned down. How inhuman could you be?
How many more people have to die for you to know that you have a role to play in this? In two years, we have lost some 4,000 Cameroonians, including young innocent soldiers who are simply following orders. Did we really have to go through this to keep Cameroon one and indivisible? What happened to the negotiating table that is believed to hold many solutions to any conflict? Why have you not pushed for the inclusive dialogue that the world has been calling for? Why have you failed to learn from the errors of other countries?
Though many lives have been lost, you can still make amends for your errors. The upcoming presidential election is a golden opportunity which you can seize to bring about peace in our troubled country. Your party’s presidential candidate is still seeking your votes. Why don’t you tell him that for those votes to come, the killing must stop? Can angry and grieving constituents actually give you their votes when the blood is still flowing? The answer is yours. You owe your people a duty. You are supposed to protect your people’s interest. Your failure to put their interest above yours will haunt you forever. Use this election to right some of your wrongs.
Dr. Joachim Arrey
About the Author: The author of this letter has served as a translator, technical writer, journalist and editor for several international organizations and corporations across the globe. He studied communication at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and technical writing in George Brown College, Toronto, Canada. He also studied translation at the Advanced School of translators and Interpreters (ASTI) in Buea, as well as Languages and Linguistics at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D.