Down to the Wire; Why 2019 Must be Different
By John Mbah Akuroh
My dear people of Southern Cameroons- Ambazonia, valiant soldiers of our struggle; I bring to you revolutionary greetings and my best wishes for the New Year 2019 to all wherever you are and whatever you are doing. I like to take this opportunity to salute the memories of all those who gave their blood and lives in the course of the past year for the sake of a better tomorrow for future generations of Ambazonians /Southern Cameroonians; among these were brave soldiers like General Ivo, General Amigo, General Bierbier, Commandant Tiger, General Beltus, Godfather and many more whose names we are yet to know and document. Besides these self-defense heroes, were thousands of civilians who also paid the price for remaining resilient and committed to our quest for freedom. Although they are now physically departed from our midst, their spirits continue to dwell with us, to push us across the finish lines despite the numerous obstacles we still must surmount.
This is also the time to hail the bravery of the leaders of this revolution and thousands of other freedom fighters and activists being held in detention centres all over neighbouring La République du Cameroun. By stating before the judges of the military tribunal in Yaounde that they were not Cameroonians, Sisiku AyukTabe and his cabinet members sent a clear signal to us all that this struggle is bigger than each and everyone of us, that this struggle is more important than our personal feelings, likes and dislikes, and that our focus must be on the general good of our people.
The year 2018 just ended was a very eventful year for our suffering people of Southern Cameroons; we were able to break through iron-knit doors to get some of the most hesitant instances in the world to not only take note of our plight, but to, for the first time recognize that we are a people with legitimate claims that deserve greater attention than has been the case in the recent past. We have seen representatives of the people in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in the United States of America and in some African countries rise to the rostrums to say enough is enough. Some even went as far as demonstrating that the plebiscite that brought the two Cameroons together in 1961 was illegal and should be regarded as non-binding. Of course, the United Nations Security Council finally discussed our struggle; but we are expecting that instance to do more than just talking about the crisis in the Cameroons. We are looking forward to that instance moving from mere speeches of condemnation and caution to resolutions and action.
Thanks to the determination of our young boys and girls who have voluntarily decided to sacrifice their lives by taking up self-defense activities against the oppressor on our territory, our quest for total self-determination has scored remarkable points. A poorly trained and ill-equipped lot, with only the pursuit of freedom as their driving force, is giving a well-trained army blessed with modern up-to-date war weaponry a thorough run for their billing. By their fearless resistance, the Amba Boys have shown the world that even President Paul Biya can no longer circulate freely on our territory. They made it impossible for imposter so-called elite to ferry hired voters to their various villages as had been the practice in the past. Of course, they brought the Confederation of African Football, CAF to understand that there can be no celebrations on our land while our people are being slaughtered. I wish to heartily congratulate these flagbearers of the aspirations of our people; posterity will never forget you!
In the same vein, I like to hail and encourage our business community, both on ground zero and abroad. The countless sacrifices they are making by respecting ghost towns and their decision not to send containers in huge numbers as before through the colonial Douala seaport, have invaluable consequences on the economy of the occupier. The losses they are incurring will be transformed into gains when we shall take back our territory, when we shall rescue our collective destiny from a system only interested in the wealth we come along with. These sacrifices are not different from those being made by the hundreds of thousands of our internally displaced persons in bushes and the thousands of others living as refugees in squalors in various countries. Let me be in a hurry to say despite these difficulties, the future is not only bright, it is indeed full of pleasant promises.
And now onto the revolution proper, I have listened to the hate speeches, read the conspiracy theories and absorbed the threats, but one thing I take home is that beyond my person, our revolution needs self-healing. We must dissolve the barrier that creates on the one hand, Puritans and on the other, sinners deserving to be stoned in the public space. We are all Southern Cameroonians / Ambazonians and our little knowledge, strength and determination at all levels is indispensable to the attainment of our goal. It was with this in mind, that Martin Luther King Jnr said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. We are one people, bound to live and work together to secure a common and better destiny, not just for ourselves, but for generations of our people who shall come after us.
On the 30th of December 2018, I followed a recording that was more or less a check being cut out to the enemy to take to any quarter in the world to secure assistance to destroy this struggle. The recording was a direct indictment of some key actors of our revolution, attributing to them some acts we clearly know were committed by the enemy, just because it would help project one group against the others. And then on the 31st of the same December, 2018, I watched another recording, from the same camp, in which the orator condemned a law suit brought against about the same actors indicted earlier, pointing out that an attack against anyone involved in our quest for freedom, is an attack on the entire revolution, requiring that we all stand together in defense of what we believe in.
This discrepancy exposes, without any doubt, the hypocrisy that has characterized our speeches and actions for almost a year today, causing untold delays in our collective march to freedom. We have been pushed to a point where lies-telling, fabrication, manipulation, and yes, blackmail are almost becoming acceptable norms in our community. Curiously enough, these are all vices we are revolting against; they are at the very root of our struggle. The promotion and toleration of these ills has created untold hatred, built unacceptable suspicions and poisoned the atmosphere to a level where no one feels safe by the other.
From this perspective, the collaboration or cooperation a lot of those who have risen to the status of bullies in this revolution are seeking is rather submission. That is why we are dancing on the same spot. In every come together from a pluralistic setup, where we wish to see the emergence of a single unit, there must be a give and take. Anything short of this, leaves you in the same posture as Mr. Paul Biya who says we either drop our arms or he will crush us. That is a victor’s peace offer; exactly what we cannot swallow from Mr. Paul Biya, who only promises us more war.
We cannot officialize lies-telling, manipulation and all other attendant ills as a way of life, lest our children grow up with the wrong notion of what our forefathers bequeathed to us. Southern Cameroons /Ambazonia was the first ever thriving democracy in Africa, even prior to independence. Freedom of thought and of opinion was sacrosanct amongst our people; Endeley and Foncha are on record to have campaigned on the same soapbox, before the same crowd and with total courtesy, but with opposing views on how the country should be run without any animosity. In the end, they shook hands, embraced each other and left, breeding a heathy atmosphere for growth and prosperity. Today we are calling on people with opinions different from ours to be thrown out of social media forums, to be ostracized and turned into enemies, just because we want to build a community of gullible dullards who will believe in the fallacy of our infallibility. Pope Pius IX, the father of the doctrine of infallibility failed even before he died, no one should dream of success with such a doctrine in an android age, worse still, in a “never again” era.
We are fighting against darkness, against hatred, against socio-political exclusion, against divide-and-rule and against inertia, yet we appear to be employing the same approaches hoping to achieve different results. That shall not work. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that, hatred cannot chase away hatred, only love will do that, improvisation cannot guarantee victory, only careful planning will do that. This is why Martin Luther King Jnr said; “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too heavy a burden to bear”.
The Consortium was built on a foundation of brotherhood, love and care for one another; it is hinged on the principles of openness, collaboration, sensitization and collective forgiveness for freedom in all spheres of national life among the suffering masses of Southern Cameroons/ Ambazonia. That is why today some vile minds even have the audacity to misconstrue our openness for weakness, gullibility and even complaisance. We will continue to be that organization that works with whoever is truly seeking the freedom of Southern Cameroonians/ Ambazonians without pre-conditions. We at The Consortium agree with Martin Luther King Jnr that; “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now”. We must stick together, we must work together, because we can only win together.
One important thing I wish to talk about now, is the LGA-BY-LGA approach being sold out as the best method to prosecute our struggle. Before I go deeper, let me recall this lesson I learned in physics in secondary school; that when you lie with your back on a field of nails with the sharp edges pointed upwards, they will not dig into you, but if you did on just one nail, it will tear through your body. Building our defense system in a fragmented manner will not denote strength, we will be playing to the strong point of our enemy. Paul Biya is still president for 37 years because of divide-and-rule; reason he told France that “Does not stay long in power who wants but stays long who can”.
This brings me to the topic about the Ambazonia Military Force, the AMF. I have heard all nature of messages describing the syndicate as the bad boys. At the same time, I have heard conversations of those condemning wooing the same soldiers and sending them money to get out of the coordinating body and work with them. This leads me to asking the question; is it the name that is guilty of kidnapping for ransoms, extortions, acts of banditry and human rights violations, or it is those who belong that commit those crimes? We must get out of this mentality of personal insecurity to one of trust. Our boys on the ground know what they are facing than we who are out of the country do. We make them vulnerable because they depend on financing from us, yet when they are killed due to our errors all we have do is regret and move on, sometimes without even paying deserving respect. Yet, these are family heads that volunteer to die so that we can free our territory and boast of a country tomorrow, throwing their wives and children to the dictates of nature.
Let us dare to support our self-defense forces in their quest for better coordination; we should not rather be fighting against their attempts to come together. If coming together keeps them safe, bolters their actions and guarantees greater results, then let us all support the AMF initiative. We have learned that they are seeking to operate in an apolitical manner, paying allegiance only to the blue and white flag and not to any single individual. This is the fundamental of a republican army; an army that works in the interest of the people and does not take instructions from some dictator to terrorize the very people that necessitate its existence.
Going forward, we shall work to secure the recognition of our country as a sovereign state in the concert of nations. So much has been done already in this direction, but we will not relent until we achieve the dream of our people to self-determination. We must push the international community, particularly the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Southern Cameroons/ Ambazonia, a job it abandoned midway. This will be done through diplomatic endeavors we long engaged in tandem with other stakeholders in our revolution.
Over and above all, I want to insist, that inasmuch as there is some noise about the way forward and the need for a government or not, we recognize that the leadership of Sisiku AyukTabe was and remains uncontested. He is the only other leader, besides Deacon Wilfred Tassang who was elected at supra level. At the second Conclave, Deacon Tassang was elected as Secretary General of the Southern Cameroons, Ambazonia Consortium United Front, SCACUF, while at the third Conclave, Sisiku AyukTabe was elected Chairman of the Governing Council. The election of Sisiku AyukTabe, in absentia demonstrates just how much esteem delegates held him in.
During the collaborative conference that was held in Washington DC in August of 2018, the leaders of the front line organizations in their private meeting, in the majority, noted that the drawback to unity was with the manner of the creation of the interim government, and not with the leadership of Sisiku AyukTabe, meaning in the event of any mutations to put in place a more acceptable coordination structure, Sisiku AyukTabe definitely remains our uncontestable leader.
As we embrace the new year 2019, let us remember that we cannot make recourse to falsehood to fight a just cause. We must do all we can to re-introduce truth in our revolution. We must fully agree with Rita Mae Brown that; “The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you, but yourself”. I am convinced that the way forward would be to drive the threshold beyond the comfort zones of socio-political conformity to assert the fundamental principle that where the foundation is falsehood, there shall be no progress.
And before I go, let me send this message to our self-defense forces on ground zero. Fellow volunteers of our freedom cause, we shall forever remain indebted to you. However, I like you always to ask yourselves why you decided to pick up arms. If par adventure your answer is that it was to defend the interest of some group or individuals, then go ahead and be killing yourselves. But if the response is that you took up arms in desperation to protect the vulnerable people of Southern Cameroons, that you picked up arms to fight for freedom, that you picked up arms to secure a future for our children and our children’s children and generations of Ambazonians yet to be born, then you have only one enemy; La République du Cameroun. Anytime anyone asks you to turn your gun against your fellow soldier, ask them to come from the Diaspora and do the dirty job.
I still believe, and strongly so that God is and remains the commander-in-chief of this revolution. That is perhaps why we still look at the future with courage, despite fighting very hard to secure defeat from the jaws of victory by our divisive fight for supremacy. Some people have been feeling discouraged with what they are seeing, especially with the banning of the last few days. If that is how you feel or have felt, my take home message to you is that; “Sometime when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place”.
I hereby invite all Ambazonians all over the world to go out in huge numbers to grace the efforts of Mrs. AyukTabe and the spouses of other members of the Nera ten, on the 5th of January to call on the entire world community to ask for their immediate and unconditional freedom. Their abduction on the 5th of January 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria was in total violation of international law, particularly the well-known principle of non-refoulement. Let group loyalties give way to greater solidarity and collaboration.
Long live the Republic of Ambazonia,
Short live the revolution,
God is with us!