EXPECTATIONS FOR 2021
Accept Calvary greetings and my best of regards to you and your family as you step into 2021.
Mr. president, before I delve into the crux of the matter, I must admit that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. I recognize it is not an easy thing leading a nation especially one like ours with a multitude of diverse cultures and linguistic backgrounds.
However, Mr. President, it is in the face of such a challenge that we judge leadership and statesmanship in a man called to lead.
Five years running now sir, the people of the former British Southern Cameroons have been ravaged by a war that many today believe could have been avoided, had the right considerations and consultations be taken and or made from the onset.
Must I start by recalling sir, that we are talking here of a people who for past 55 years tabled their grievances to the state of Cameroon in all legitimacy an in the ambits of the law in the hope that their cries and worries could be heeded to and handled accordingly but this was never the case.
Mr. Presedent, in 2016, they once again tabled their worries, took to the streets in nonviolent demonstrations to publicly stage their frustration once again; that of not being recognized and treated as the citizens that they ought to be, that of being assimilated like you confirmed yourself in France sir, that the initial plan was to assimilate them into the francophone majority but it failed.
Your excellency, they complained and reminded you, the father of the nation of the injustices they were undergoing, of the fact that all their institutions were either being shutdown of francophonised. Let me spare you the litany and simply refer you to the resolutions of the AAC 1 and 2 of the 90s which were duly transmitted to you.
Today, this 3rd day of January in the year of our Lord 2021, I write to you in pains not only as a citizen but also as a person whose umbilical cord was buried in that part of the country, to find out where my people ever went wrong in this union that many today justly or unjustly term an ungodly one.
I write to find out from you why in four years of blood bath, maiming, raping, kidnappings for ransoms and other very degrading inhumane and unjust treatment of the people of West Cameroon, you have opted to maintain the military option to this crisis as the only way forward, in spite of advice from those very people you call friendly and partner countries on the need for a more genuine and inclusive dialogue on a neutral ground?
Your excellency, shall I join the band of the dishonest Cameroonians who chant your praises on platforms claiming you are not given the right information. Shall I go by such a rhetoric to give them reason thus implying that you are not the man in control?
When we are the head, we accept the praises when it is good but should also shoulder the blames when the going gets tough.
Sir, I believe you are better informed on this Anglophone issue more than anyone else way back when you were Prime Minister and you know the right thing to be done.
Give dialogue, genuine dialogue a second chance. In case you may not know with whom to dialogue as some of your defenders claim sir, at least you have Sisiku AyukTabe in your keeping. Use him sir, to get to those with whom you can dialogue.
Meet friendly countries like the USA, Canada, use the UNO and for sure, they will be able to help you locate the persons with whom to dialogue.
Intellectual dishonesty sir is the original sin that has led us to where we find ourselves today. People who think they can distort history and wipe it out with just a stroke like some chalk writing on a blackboard.
This carnage may last a thousand years, it shall all end round the table with people talking. So, why not spare the deaths now and go for dialogue? Humility is a quality in leadership and not a vice. Retracting from the previous path taken and that has not done this country and the suffering masses any honour will be a salutary move.
If truly you have been misled all this while, if truly the lives of the West Cameroonians matter to you, if truly you are that leader mandated to rule with the interest of all the masses at heart, then I urge you this day to step out of your comfort zone Mr. president, take a stroll in the streets of Bamenda, Buea, Kumba or say Kumbo just to name but these and get the temperature on the ground.
I feel obliged to remind you, that the measures taken so far by your government have been largely misplaced in terms of priorities and objectivity as far as containing the crisis is concerned. That like many have described them, they have been more of conspicuous measures and window dressings that did or do not in anyway answer to the concerns and aspirations of the of the people.
How many more souls shall have to let flow blood before we understand that the methods used till date have not yielded any fruit? How many more young Cameroonians will have to be jailed arbitrarily or die innocently before we sit up for meaningful and consequential actions for change?
Sir, I appeal to your innermost person, that as the leader that you are, you should this year consider the pains that our mothers and fathers have and continue to endure for five years now.
Release the arrested persons, create room for another dialogue for the first did not yield results.
You will bear me witness, that like you clearly stated in your end of year speech, that the separatists have “…maintained an atmosphere of terror and insecurity” and this cannot permit your government to implement the resolutions of the initial dialogue.
Moreover, we must not fool ourselves sir, elections, decentralization or the regional presidents are not the solution to the current crisis we are facing. On the contrary, in an attempt to impose such on the people without taking a keen look on their initial demands, in an attempt to wave away their worries under the carpet, am afraid your government is only paving a way for prolonged suffering on the masses who today have been trapped between two guns, between the harmer and the anvil.
Sir, reconsider your strategies, listen to people out of your sphere and following and work towards bringing on board, all voices that matter both at home and abroad in solving the crisis.
Once again, I wish you a happy new year, abundance of health and trust you will grant this epistle a second thought and act accordingly. God Bless Cameroon.
NJINE ELVIS BANEH
National Communication Sectary
Popular Action Party