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La Republique had thought that a severe crack down on Southern Cameroonians will cow them and bring them to submission. Unfortunately for them, the exact opposite is happening.
Because of the heartless killings, brutality, wanton arrests, many of the timid and peace loving Southern Cameroonians have become so angry that they have become fearless and bold to confront their captors.

Many Cameroonians who hitherto believed in a united Cameroon at least through a federation and were seriously advocating for it saw the heartless brutality, blatant lies, intrigues and wanton arrests, they thought to themselves “Are these the people we want to federate with? What did the first federation produce anyway?” They changed their minds and many now are ardent believers in restoration. They do not even want to hear about federation again whether it is two state or ten state federation.

If you have been observant, you would have noticed that the more the violence, the more brutality, the more resilient the people have become.

Reading the Cameroon Journal, you get reports of what hitherto very peaceful South Westerners have suddenly become. Youths have risen to demand things from their leaders which have never been done before. It has led to a mayor being on the run from his own constituency. Cameroon Journal reports that in Eyumojock Subdivision in Manyu, for example, irate youths have seized the Council building and declared themselves in charge of affairs in the municipality. The situation escalated after the youths used the opportunity of the ongoing Anglophone uprising to ask their Mayor, Nkom Julius, for their own share of timber royalties. The Mayor promised to address the situation. But later, when the youths showed up at the Council Chambers on Thursday, March 9, hoping to get their share of the money, the Mayor was nowhere to be found and he wasn’t answering his calls either.

After waiting to no avail, the youths, under the banner of Ejagham Njemaya Youth Movement for Positive Change took the Council premises hostage, sent all its workers parking and instructed them never to return until the matter is fully addressed.

Can you imagine that even the brutal forces of law and order are also beginning to learn that violence and force will not always frighten people? The Cameroon Journal report that “when asked about the reaction of the DO and security officers, an informant on the spot told The Cameroon Journal that the administrative authorities in the area have themselves lost control over the community. He said, security officers came to the scene of the event but were asked to stay clear, and they respected.”

As if that is not enough, the Cameroon Journal reports that over in Tombel, Kupe Muanenguba division, villagers also matched to the DO’s office to confront him after learning that he paid women to match on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8. The irritated villagers had first set ablaze the ceremonial ground that hosted the event before moving to the DO’s office where they met an empty seat. As we report the whereabouts of the DO is not known.

Still from the Cameroon Journal, they report that in Dikome Balue, a subdivision of Ndian, villagers staged a protest last Friday blocking the Member of Parliament MP, for the area from entering the village to install some CPDM Officials. The infuriated villagers demanded to know the whereabouts of their sons who have since been arrested and taken to unknown detention centers around the country. “We cannot be talking of CPDM now when our children can’t go to school and our sons are being arrested to unknown destinations.” One of the villagers stated.Several timber trucks have been burnt down in Mamfe and Kumba by people who were hitherto very peaceful.

As if that was not enough, in the midst of the heavy militarisation, schools have been burnt down, principal’s cars have been burnt down and a lot of other infrastructure.
This raises questions: Are these schools and other infrastructure burnt down by the radical Southern Cameroonians? If so, where is the police, the gendarmes and all the BIRs who are said to be keeping peace in the towns? People are encouraged to send their children to school that there is security. How can the people believe them for the security claims to send their children to school?Because of this mix-up, the consortium in their recent communique blamed the burning of the food market in Bamenda on the regime because they want to give a dog a bad name and hang it.

If it is actually done by the radical Southern Cameroonians, then it still spells out something – people have gone beyond their realm of fear, they can carry out acts in the presence of the heavy militarised towns. This is telling. It means the brutality, the killings and the wanton arrests are only backfiring as people are becoming fearless of the arrests and killings. A couple of weeks ago, after the arrest of some lawyers, other lawyers actually presented themselves to the governor of the north west and volunteered to be arrested and carried to Yaounde as they have done with their colleagues.

Can you imagine that in the midst of the heavy militarisation people can still step out and stand up and resist what they consider occupation of their land? Can you imagine Tombel people who do not want trouble at all, these are the people who have risen up to send an ‘almighty’ DO to run for his dear life? If you have not been provoked to a certain extent, you may not know that you can fight. Southern Cameroonians have suddenly realised that they are warriors but they did not know because conditions favourable to bring out their warring nature was not yet created. Crisis they say have a positive side. It reveals to you what you are capable of.

It has led to the governor of North West to ask for vigilante groups, Lele Lafrique made the appeal while he chaired a security meeting of the region yesterday, Wednesday, March 22. The visibly frustrated Governor expressed concerns that despite the heavy militarization of major towns and villages of the North West, unidentified individuals may still go around burning down public institutions without being arrested. To him the only way curb the problem would be the creation of vigilante groups in neighborhoods.
They have thought that the military can solve every equation, last week in Oku, Danpullo has been doing all kinds of mess destroying people’s crops with his cows but this time the irate people reacted by killing 35 cows, seizing guns from the forces of law and other.
This situation has been calling for attention now for five decades, many Southern Cameroonians and other international bodies have warned both the Ahidjo and Biya regimes of the time bomb they are preparing in Southern Cameroons, they kept thinking everything will always be ‘business as usual’, not knowing a people can only take pains, maltreatment, marginalisation for a limited period. It can never be indefinite. Today, we have shit in our hands as a nation. Two small regions have become so ungovernable because of the insensitivity of the regimes in power to the plight of their citizens of minority. Hon. Wirba says “The two cubes of sugar that refused to melt.”

The crackdown both in South West and North West has for the first time brought more unity between the two regions that ever before. Many sell-outs have been disgraced, some Southern Cameroonians who said there is no problem have been sampled and they are now very silent. You don’t hear their voices again. Selfish ministers who only cared for their bellies and their families have lost respect among the people of Southern Cameroons.

When even a peace loving person is pushed to the wall and there is no more space to go backward, he has only one direction left for him – he must bounce back.La Republique should know that further killing will not stop the people of Southern Cameroons, further arrests will not stop them, and further brutality will not stop them. The people have embarked on the journey of freedom and they must reach their promised land. God is with the people of Southern Cameroons and they will make it.

This should, however, teach the regime that when a child cries and says “Daddy, my hand is paining,” instead of saying “You are lying, everybody’s hand pains”, it pays to pick up the child in your hand and ask “Where is it paining my son?” You rub it a bit and say, “It is ok eh, I will buy you medicine, it will be well eh!” This is how problems are solved in the home rather than refusing their existence.
May God help us.

Tem Martin

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