The leaders of the Ambazonia nation, President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and the Southern Cameroons Interim Government have opined that the people of British Southern Cameroons have no reason to be optimistic about the future of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia in La Republique du Cameroun.
From the vicious marginalisation and political victimisation to the systemic disenfranchisement of Southern Cameroons citizens inside the so-called one and indivisible Cameroon including the constant French Cameroun military atrocities in the Northern and Southern Zones of Southern Cameroons, from the daily killings and oppression of those living in Ground Zero to the routine humiliation of those living under its French Cameroun apartheid laws — not to mention the hundreds in French Cameroun detention centres and prisons in Mbouda, Buea, Douala and Yaounde— President Biya and his French Cameroun political elites continue to brazenly deny the people of Southern Cameroons their basic rights.
From February the 7th to the 12th, Southern Cameroonians with slavish minds including Ministers Paul Atanga Nji, Paul Che Elung, Paul Tasong, Victor Mengot and a certain Lady Nalova will go to the polls in a French Cameroun teleguided elections, we of the Cameroon Concord News and the Cameroon Intelligence Report will be joining Vice President Dabney Yerima, the Ambazonia Interim Government and millions of Southern Cameroons citizens both in Ground Zero and in the diaspora in boycotting the French Cameroun contest — refusing to participate in our own marginalization and declining to serve as a pawn for a state that exists for and of the French Cameroun people only.
In the French capital Paris last year, the French Cameroun head of state, Paul Biya told an audience during a Mo Ibrahim Show that La Republique du Cameroun is not a state for all its citizens: According to the ailing leader who will be 87 this February, La Republique du Cameroun is the nation-state of the Francophone people, and French speaking people only. Biya reiterated his message, telling the world that the French government and the UN gave French speaking Cameroonians a mission to assimilate British Southern Cameroonians.
Biya wasn’t wrong as notorious French Cameroun political elites such the current Minister of Higher Education, Fame Ndongo, Minister Issa Tchiroma, television host Ernest Obama, Dr. Owona Nguini and Justice Minister Laurent Esso have officially designated Southern Cameroonians — more than 20 percent of the country’s population — second-class citizens. So, La Republique du Cameroun is a nation only for its French speaking citizens.
Biya and his political allies have had no worries blasting anti Anglophone and anti Southern Cameroons messages from the rooftops of the state owned radio and television. Biya’s inflammatory rhetoric and a sea of other anti Southern Cameroons declarations have been constant on air ever since the Southern Cameroons crisis took a dramatic u-turn.
The recent massive deployment of Francophone soldiers and elements of the French Cameroun gendarmerie force was pushed by Beti Ewondo political elites advocating that the Francophone dominated regime in Yaoundé should be forcibly moving Southern Cameroonians to neighbouring Nigeria. In a final bid to gin up support, the Biya Francophone government over the weekend dished out huge sums of money to all political parties taking part in the elections.
Biya detest the very idea of universal suffrage and has governed for over 37 years as a Monarch. But how can this be surprising? For more than two decades, Biya and his French Cameroun acolytes have supported the settlement of thousands of French Cameroun citizens on towns and cities populated by Ambazonians — who, unlike the native Southern Cameroonians, enjoy government protection from French Cameroun civil administrators, French Cameroun police commissioners, French Cameroun gendarmerie bosses, French Cameroun judges and of course French Cameroun army soldiers.
Southern Cameroonians living in French Cameroun have hardly fared any better. Since the so-called reunification, senior French Cameroun politicians have portrayed Southern Cameroons-Ambazonia citizens as enemies from within, a demographic time bomb, and a fifth-column population.
The late mayor and government delegate to the Yaoundé City Council, Ema Basile even developed a diabolic harsh ploy that prevented Southern Cameroonians from acquiring land in the Center Region and in the nation’s capital. Those who succeeded in the purchase of land in Yaoundé passed the CPDM imposed loyalty test of speaking the French language fluently.
Senior French Cameroun political elites have in many occasions challenged Southern Cameroons pro Yaoundé leaders to go and live under Nigerian rule, citing their lack of loyalty to Biya and the French Cameroun discriminatory state institutions.
Let it be told that for 58 years, Southern Cameroonians in La Republique du Cameroun have been living under what can best be described as Ahidjo-Biya Military Government which with the backing of successive French governments has slowly but surely suspended most of Southern Cameroons’ civil rights and legal protections.
Is it any wonder that many Southern Cameroonians continue to view their La Republique du Cameroun citizenship as a mere political fiction?
Unfortunately, it hardly matters which political party prevails in the February 7-12 elections. None of the parties and their candidates including those of the ruling CPDM crime syndicate has a program for peace in Southern Cameroons. None seeks to end the marginalisation and military occupation and atrocities, let alone the killings and burning of Southern Cameroons towns and villages. All the political parties have received money from Biya and his gang and all have committed to the silly idea of a military solution to the crisis in Southern Cameroons. And all see Southern Cameroonians including Prime Minister Dion Ngute as second class citizens. Why should Southern Cameroonians lend their imprimatur to a twin poll that will only elevate those who would exclude them from political power?
Whether or not Biya and his consortium of crime syndicates win in February, French Cameroun’s trajectory is clear: continue with the extermination campaign in Southern Cameroons, force Southern Cameroonians to flee to Nigeria, recruit fewer Southern Cameroonians as civil servants in the one and indivisible Cameroon and continued demonization of Southern Cameroonians everywhere.
Biya and French Cameroun political elites have publicly proclaimed La Republique du Cameroun as the only functional democracy in the Central African Sub region. But in the end, elections in a country where candidates go for campaigns in armored vehicles surrendered by heavily armed French Cameroun soldiers and that only one group of people (French speaking Camerounians) enjoy full rights as citizens are nothing but a fig leaf for apartheid.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai