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To cause the euphoric CPDM barons to descend from their imaginary horses of pride, I gave them the following caution when they were making noises around 6th November 2010: “As CPDM militants celebrate 6th November, they should keep in mind that the people have changed a lot over 28 years. The media revolution has broadened and deepened the people’s thinking, and reinforced their insistence on taking control of their destiny. The people have learned a lot from some of the powerful symbols and symbolic acts about change communicated to them from all corners of the globe during the better part of 28 years, right in their bedrooms. 2011 will neither be like 2004, 1997, nor 1992!”
By the time of this caution, the Sidi Bouzid Intifadah or what the western media have dubbed the Jasmin Revolution had not yet taken place in Tunisia, nor had Egypt’s own that followed closely on its heels. At that time, the only signposts were February 2008 in Cameroon, the “People Power” revolution of Corazon Aquino, and the colour revolutions that followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall, especially in Eastern European countries.
Few politicians can decipher their weaknesses from a position of ‘strength’, least of all CPDM militants! Politicians in a position of strength hardly ever think about the inevitability of defeat, or the inevitability of change. They hardly ever embrace reform in a more orderly manner, to pre-empt a more violent alternative.
Politicians are usually prone to choosing easy options. In creating ELECAM, Paul Biya sought to make it ‘his thing’, and appointed a coterie into the electoral board to act as a decoy for the totally submissive cronies he put as Manager and Assistant Manager of the electoral body. In doing this, he opted for an easy victory, stage-managed by these cronies, rather than a hard-fought, well-deserved one dependent on the will of the people.
In reaction to these antics, and the ineptitude of his cronies, Cameroonians have abandoned the whole thing to him, waiting patiently to teach him a lesson about their sovereignty, and their supremacy over him.
In politics like in football, an invisible hand – the ‘hand of God’ as Maradonna would describe it – can score critical goals. Some political heroes of the past may start claiming that they have been calling for ‘boycott’ of electoral registers to prepare the ground for an appropriate reaction. Interestingly, the ‘hand of God’ seems to have pushed out of the boat for change, those who would have barricaded themselves in their native provinces and issued appeals for “calm” in a sea of trouble.
There will be many grievances that will trigger the revolution being engineered by ELECAM in broad daylight, like the longevity of one man at the helm of the state, the insistence to use old registers doctored in the past by MINAT/D, the obscurantist approach of shunning new technologies, the glaring partisan control of the electoral process and the resultant loss of interest by the people, and the emptiness of majorities – like those of Ben Ali and Mubarak – gained by long reigning dictators in the ballot box.
There is also the possibility that one of these days the redoubtable WikiLeaks may compound the people’s bitterness by publishing the details of billions of tax-payers’ money stashed in foreign bank accounts by each of our long reigning dictators and their cronies!
Tanks, blank and life bullets, truncheons, water cannons, military boots, infested prison cells, and all the brute force that has been used to keep the people in check in the past will be at the rendezvous. But Corazon Aquino had since taught us, and Tunisians and Egyptians have just confirmed, that these weapons of oppression and repression are helpless in the face of masses of a determined people.
Although our own ‘leaders’ do not seem to be behaving like they know it, such masses of determined people are usually got through organisation and strategising; they are usually the outcome of grand coalitions of ‘opposition forces,’ not isolated calls for the people to ‘rise like one man’.
Of course, such grand coalitions need ‘leaders’ that do not have fixations about elections, since the futility of ballot boxes has since been shown even within their political parties. The emptiness of all-powerful ruling parties that derived their ‘power’ from ‘ballot boxes’ and the confiscation of state authority in Tunisia and Egypt is there for all to see!
Some of the leaders are swearing that they can only join the other ‘leaders’ to organise the people if it is to “fight for free and fair elections”, as if following the agenda set by the regime is the only avenue through which the people can reclaim their sovereignty. The people need to be organised in preparation for the impending ELECAM revolution. Those who are against coalitions are for the antics of the regime in place!
In any case, the media revolution has rendered distance education very effective. The people have learned the use of their power by watching other peoples use their own power. In the process, they have become aware of the advantages of mass action! Whether our ‘small’ and ‘big’ leaders like it or not, the people are poised to roar!
As usual, some people will tell us they do not want ‘war’, as if ‘war’ only represents the act of the people wrestling back their confiscated sovereignty. Keeping the people in check with repressive forces while usurpers mess around with the sovereignty of the people is not ‘war’, until the people react to the effrontery. Such idle talk about ‘war’ only gives the impression that those who fight around the world for their freedom and the sovereignty of the people do so because they like ‘war’…
Burkinabe National plus..French-IMF-Western Stooge, Quattara soon to be rammed down the throats of Ivorians as president so that the West, especially France… can grab the land+the cocoa+the coffee+the oil…
For the first time ever, the people of Buea, the historic capital of the British Southern Cameroons, have stood up like one man and in one determined voice, called on the chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Alapine-Gansou to inform he African Union that the Southern Cameroons quest for total independence has gone past the powers of the African Commission as well as the African Union.
The people made this declaration during a demonstration staged at the offices of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms in Buea last Saturday, February 5, 2011.
The events had stared earlier that morning with Southern Cameroonians trooping from different points of Buea and converging at the Human Rights offices at the Soppo neighbourhoods. Information had been gotten that the African Commission delegation had suddenly cancelled a program to honour Southern Cameroonian activists, led by Senior Citizen Mola Njoh Litumbe, by having lunch at the elder man’s residence. Word soon spread the Yaoundé regime had decided to sponsor its own lunch at the residence of one of the delegation’s members, Chief Justice Asuagbor Lucie, who was recently proposed by the Yaoundé Government and confirmed as the Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders in Africa at the Commission. Was this a design to keep the delegation’s leader and Chair of the Commission from having direct contacts with the Southern Cameroon’s activists ? Then they must have miscalculated…as usual and ailed woefully, for the events of the afternoon were to take an unprecedented turn, that will never be manipulated, not even by the ACHPR itself!
The Pro-Independence Demonstrations:
It was getting dark, and by 17:15, the African Commission envoy emerged from the walls of the Buea Maximum Production Prisons where it had decided to check out on the conditions of the prisoners and their welfare therein. The convoy took less than five minutes to drive up to Soppo’s Human Rights office, and lo and behold!, the shock the beheld was total! The entire yard was filled with chanting and placard- carrying demonstrators and protesters, many dressed in Southern Cameroons T-shirts, while others carried Southern Cameroons flags.
The convoy had to stop at the entrance of the yard, letting only the car carrying the Commission’s chair and her Cameroonian counterpart to get in. Yet, they remained blockaded in their car, either caught up in fear of the unknown confused or simply concerting and making inquiries. In the meantime, agents of the Governor’s office, security operatives in uniform and mufti could be espied running up and down, in and out of the office, making frantic calls and even taking down notes from the placards. At this time, the leadership of the Southern Cameroons was seated inside, relaxed. This included Chief Ayamba, Mola Njoh Litumbe, Nfor N. Nfor, Vincent Feko, Mola Mafoke, Prince Humphrey Mbinglo, Pa Sabum, I.N. Sona, Mr. Fomussoh from Washington DC, Chief Taku etc etc. Note that there were other Civil Society Organisation leaders in the hall from all over the South West…but, he Southern Cameroons issue suddenly became their issue as evidenced in their support in various ways…side comments, facial pleasures etc.
Ahead of a so-called facts-finding visit by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, ACHPR, to the Cameroons, the Biya regime today deployed regiments of its elite troops to Buea, the second town in the disputed Southern Cameroons.
The troops were mainly from the BIR or Brigade d’Intervention Rapide, a heavily equipped unit.
The troop deployment is amidst fears that Southern Cameroons
independentists would use Februaru 11, 2011, the former Empire Day, to declare the actualization of the independence and sovereignty of the Southern Cameroons as the Republique of Ambazonia.
The African Commission is visiting the Southern Cameroons post the June 2009 milestone ruling of the ACHPR, which ruling recognised Southern Cameroonians as a people with inalienable rights, one of those rights being self-determination.
The Biya regime has today annexted the UN Trust territory of the
Southern Cameroons and considers it part of its territory.
In 2009, the ACHPR gave the Biya regime 180 days to commence
“Constructive Dialogue” with the leaders of the Southern Cameroons.
After accepting the idea of “Constructive Dialogue” and even writing to the ACHPR to request a further 180 days to prepare for the ‘Constructive Dialogue” the Biya regime then reneged on its
commitment. It instead deployed troops to all towns and villages of the Southern Cameroons.