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Of Balla’s Sacking And Personal Non Grata- A Mark Bareta Statement

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Mark Bareta Statement: The Dismissal of Felix Nkongho Balla as Consortium President.

Good day Fellow Southern Cameroonians

As a former Consortium Interim Leader and an activist in his own right with major stakes in the Southern Cameroons struggle, permit me comment on the sacking of Barrister Balla, Consortium President by members of the Consortium board.

Recalled that the Consortium is made up of civil societies, other actors which came together. Till date the consortium remained banned in the Cameroons. However, the banning of the Consortium does not stop it from operating. In fact, we as a people never recognised such a ban from La Republique. That is why the consortium had been operating since 17 January 2017 when it was banned.

Aware of the creation of the Consortium, it’s inception and how it functions till date, it is necessary to mention that the Consortium had moved on to restoration from federation while its two leaders were still in jail. We all recalled how interim consortium leaders resisted and fought this move but again people’s majority prevailed. In fact, it was a consortium board decision as power does not rest only on two individuals.

The consortium as a major stakeholders had joined the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front (Scacuf). This front though with its own issues brought together major liberation movements. The consortium sustained SCACUF because the structure SCACUF at some point long ago became a movement on its own rights and NOT a united front as only the SCNC and Consortium were virtually real members.

However, the joining of the consortium to SCACUF never dissolved the Consortium. The Consortium only sat quiet as it had nothing really to do as SCACUF took the front sit knowing very well that its leader Tassang is a major stakeholder in SCACUF. Even at that, Consortium had released communiques when necessary during SCACUF active days. It never sat quiet. Take note that just like any other movements who still operates in their name, Consortium operates still in its name.

The dissolution of SCACUF by the last conclave gave the consortium more liberty now to operate in its name knowing fully well that there is an interim government which takes now state matters which cannot be the jurisdiction of any other liberation groups.

The 3rd November 2017 decision of Consortium members sacking its leader has sent both shock and jubilant waves across the board with Southern Cameroonians talking. I must also state that majority of Southern Cameroonians have welcomed such a decision.

Sacked Consortium President

As a former Consortium interim leader who happens to have been appointed by Consortium then to lead, permit me say this.

1. The decision of the consortium to sack their leader is theirs. As a Southern Cameroonian who received the decision just like any other on social media , it is my view that sacking of Consortium President might have come after several thoughts from Consortium members after weighing how such a decision will affect the struggle before doing it. I cannot at this moment question the decision to sack their leader if found wanting. None of us are members of the consortium. In the type of Southern Cameroons we want to build, the rule of law must prevail. It will only take another consortium member to challenge such a decision if it goes against the spirit and letter of their consortium rules. Those of us out here are only concern how it morphed the struggle ahead.

2. The sacking of the consortium president came in the same way as that of interim consortium leaders Mark Bareta and Tapang Ivo. The only difference is that those who stood in a video sacking the interim consortium leaders this time around decided to pen their decision in an open written communique. This only makes me to understand that if we could not fight interim leaders sacking then, I guess we cannot fight this as the consortium members may have taken both decisions in good faith. The struggle is bigger than any of us.

3. One cannot continue without questioning the signatories of those who signed the letter sacking Barrister Balla. One could see some strange signatures which does not appear on the 6th December 2016 signature document announcing the creation of the Consortium. This gives room for Barrister Balla’s team to question such a document sacking him if it is not a political manipulations. In fact, it can be challenged. Recalled that Consortium is officially registered in USA with a known website, bank accounts etc. Mark Bareta will allow that to Barrister Balla team to take on it or not. Or whether the Consortium will also move to challenge the registration of that in USA with its trade mark etc.

4. I also took note of the absence of Barrister Eyambe and Barrister Bobga Harmony signatures on the dismissal letter. These gentlemen signatures appeared on the consortium document during its creation as well as both of them being pioneer Consortium steering committee members. What happened that they failed to sign?Are they in accord of the decision or left a way? Will they challenge the decision thereby bringing another rift? What of Dr. Fontem and Dr. Abangma as well as Mr. Abia David all consortium steering committee members?were they informed or saw the decision like any of us?

5. While I respect the Consortium decision to sack its leader, I take grave exception to the fact that Barrister Balla was declared a personal non grata. I find this language harsh on a person who in his own ways have contributed to this struggle. Make no mistake, I support the fact that Southern Cameroonians deserved the right to be angry with Barrister Balla for moves and statements made by him knowingly or unknowingly. But sending a dismissal letter with a harsh language as that of declaring him a personal non grata, I consider it wrong and as anti-democratic. Consortium should have just make their points and dismiss its leader without such a hard language. It was and is not necessary.

Mark Bareta, Ambazonia Activist

5. I personally think that the seperation between Barrister Balla and the Consortium even delayed. It is my personal opinion that the Consortium should have from day one since Barrister Balla left the jail be briefed officially with a detail letter indicating the change of vision from Federation to restoration. Yes, he knew but briefing him officially was needed for administrative and archives sake. Consortium should have gone ahead after that letter addressed to him to immediately and cordially server ties with him immediately after his first post jail outing preaching federation. This is just logical because a body cannot be preaching restoration and its leader is preaching federation. This could have happened long ago not as any sign of problems but only as a sign of difference in ideologies as the consortium had morphed. This could have happened in all serenity. I guess Barrister Balla could have created a Federation movement which sells his agenda better than consortium as it has now morphed.

On this note, I am officially calling on the Consortium Board to officially server ties with any other consortium member especially those home who still believes in Federation before some day they also get out there preaching what Consortium does not like. Here I am referring to Dr. Fontem, Dr. Abangma, Mualimu George Ngwane etc. Consortium should reach out to them officually to understand that the movement has morphed, if they have no problem then they can be maintained in the body considering that they cannot voice out the position of independence on ground zero. This is understood. This way their outings and pronouncements does not contradicts the position of the Consortium. If they out rightly reject, then ties with them must be servered cordially and amicably. This is just logical.

I have made this statement in good faith hoping that every party might just move on and focus on the bigger picture which is hurting the occupier so that we can finally restore every component of our statehood. No one is a monopoly of knowledge. Everyone has the right to own an idea, join or create an association. At the end of the day only what the sovereign people of Southern Cameroons want matters. Personal views and opinions should not be taken as that of what the people want. Leaders should express their positions while taking into consideration what the people actually want. At best, a referendum should be pushed. This is the only way the sovereign people voice can be heard if any doubts.

We continue to call for the release of all abducted unconditionally.

Long live the Federal Republic of Ambazonia
Long Live Ambazonians

The struggle continues

Mark Bareta

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