The Ambazonian Revolution and the Leadership Conundrum: Why Ambazonians Must Defend the Interim Government as an Institution.
As the Ambazonian independence revolution enters a new phase, one thing the leaders of the Interim Government (IG) of Ambazonia and the nationalist organizations must have in their minds is the fact that; this revolution is where it is today not because of the personal will or revolutionary prowess of any leader but because of the determination and commitment of the Ambazonian people to be free from La Republique’s slavery. If it were by the revolutionary know how or personal will of leaders, Ambazonia should have been free in the era of the; Dinkas, Ebongs Ayambas among many others.
It is a fact that the so much internal noise being generated on the social media space within the revolution is all centered around leadership and the quest for power. It is all about who is in charge, who controls the people or who has the best leadership strategy and nothing else. But how can people be scheming to project themselves as leaders or as having the best strategies, when they have no knowledge on the leadership needs of the majority they seek to lead? Do these so-called leaders understand that they are dealing with a people who are running away from a brutal monopolistic ruler in French Cameroun, and so are very sensitive to individuals who may want to lead them with such leadership traits?
Leadership, at the commencement of this revolution, was never a problem. It was aptly provided by three cool headed gentlemen under a strong and assertive people-approved institution, known as the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium CACSC) – though with a Federalist oriented agenda. Unfortunately, after the arrest of these leaders – Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba and the Self-exile of Mr Tassang Wilfred and others, the revolutionary leadership since then developed k-legs. It has become a political scheming contest where different strong men and women have been jostling to impose themselves as leaders of the people based on their own personal wills and not the collective will of the Ambazonian majority.
Some Ambazonia diaspora, who by virtue of their longevity in the Southern Cameroons revolutionary activism did not see why they should not emerge as the natural leaders of the revolution at that juncture. On the other hand, there were also ambitious Southern Cameroonians, some-how pretty new in revolutionary activism, who were willing to provide leadership. And so, revolutionary politics and a political scheming contest between a group of seeming revolutionary veterans and the new commers – mockingly referred to as “Johnnies Just Come (JJCs) had started.
The JJCs, appearing to have a larger following of Southern Cameroonians, and in alignment with some veterans in the movement, outsmarted the “strong men” in the scheming for the revolutionary leadership. Of course, this saw the emergence of a University Don and Computer Engineer, Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe as the accepted leader of the people’s revolution, under the much-clamored institution –the Interim Government of Ambazonia. The rest is history.
Do you want to ask how this writer is able to conclude that Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe is the people’s generally accepted leader? His ability to galvanize and win the approval of the Ambazonian people across the world in terms of fundraising and the organization of the September 22 and October 1st 2017 peaceful protests is a testament to the fact that he has the overwhelming support of the Ambazonian majority. All Sisiku’s attempts to form a united and inclusive Ambazonian leadership under the institution of IG, and the continuous resistance and political bickering put forth by the strong men and women on different political grounds are well noted by every rational thinking Ambazonian.
Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe may be in prison but the people’s institution he incarnates – the Interim Government of Ambazonia remains. Dr. Samuel Sako Ikome, is just a caretaker head of that institution. Ambazonians are also aware of all the attempts he (Dr. Sako) and his team have made to unite all fronts under this institution and the resistant reactions that have often come from some of these “strong men and women”.
If these so-called strong men and women so much believe in their personal abilities to lead; have they also considered is they have the approval of Ambazonians? If they cannot support the IG – an institution which majority of the people both home and abroad clamored for its emergence and are still clamoring for it to be strengthened (even with your resistance), how do you expect to win the people’s support to be the revolutionary leader they so much desire? If they scheme to lead a people without their approval, what makes them different from the Paul Biya the people are running away from?
Leadership is not all about; having the will and charisma to lead. It is most importantly about having the overwhelming support or approval of the people you are leading or want to lead, which gives you legitimacy and leverage to function smoothly as their leader. Scheming or trying to imposed yourselves on an already oppressed people running away from a French-trained dictator is like trying to boil dried corn on a kerosene stove. It cannot work.
Ambazonians, must start learning how to not only clamour for and create strong institutions but must be able to defend these institutions while still in this revolution. Most post-revolutionary states in Africa are the way they are because the ignorant people believed in their strong men to free them and not in the collective will of the people under strong institutions. If patriotic Ambazonian don’t cage the power schemers parading as leaders at this stage of the revolution, they shall all be taken hostage by a few warlords and individual organizations, deciding what happens in the nation at any time and doing and undoing state institutions at their whims and caprices.
The Ambazonian people clamoured for an IG. Revolutionary politicians came into play from different directions. While some emerged victorious, those who emerged defeated have refused to recognize the institution and are bent of truncating the wheels of the institution. These disgruntled individuals now want to treat the people’s government like just another group in the revolution. They now question the processes under which the president emerged and not whether he has the capacity to lead and is accepted by the people.
If we are truly in a revolution, then it doesn’t matter how Sisiku emerged as President of the Interim Government. What matters is whether he has been accepted by the majority of Ambazonians to lead them. If they must question the legitimacy of the process that brought Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe, then you should have started the questioning from the Consortium – the legitimacy of the process that brought Barister Agbor Balla and co. The so-called leaders of nationalist organizations should know by now that leadership in this revolution is driven by the Situational Leadership Model. If they can’t adjust themselves to what majority of the Ambazonian people want at a particular time, then they are on their own.
At this stage of the revolution, the majority of the Ambazonian people support the IG under the leadership of Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe and the acting leadership of Dr. Sako Samuel Ikome. It is high time the nationalist leaders abandoned the partisan politics, recognize and accept to work for a stronger people oriented IG or they just be in control of their small groups and stop trying to downplay the efforts of the government. Innocent people are dying at home and Ambazonians are not interested in party politics at this stage of the revolution.
If these so-called frontline leaders cannot have pity on the dying masses and work to strengthened and support the IG as a State institution generally accepted by the people but are rather scheming to dissolve or overthrow its leadership in favour of a new one; whose support do they expect to gain after doing that? That of the same PEOPLE they seek to lead or THEMSELVES?
BaretaNews Political Analyst