Senior citizen and veteran Southern Cameroons activist, Mola Njoh Litumbe started the whole process by indicating that the United Nations (UN) needs two million signatures from Southern Cameroonians to begin the Southern Cameroons independence process. In this light, forms have been distributed across Southern Cameroons and other parts of the world for Southern Cameroonians to sign.
The Southern Cameroons National Council in their executive board meeting on Saturday, September 24, 2016, through Sunday, September 25, heavily attended by 95 delegates endorsed the idea of the referendum and pushed forward the process to every county in the Southern Cameroons. The meeting was opened with a devotional service by Rev. Jonah Ndi Jato. The Southern Cameroons National Council dedicated the grand launching of the British Southern Cameroons Sovereign Independence Referendum as a historic occasion and mission.
Within the course of this process, many Southern Cameroonians have been arrested and intimidated.
We earlier reported that last month, Chia Samuel Awoh, an ELECAM official in Fundong and Mart Ankiambom were arrested and taken to the Fundong Brigade for reportedly collecting signatures from Southern Cameroonians who want to see an independent Southern Cameroons. They reportedly paid 60.000 CFA to the unscrupulous police before they were released.
Also, on Friday, October 7, 2016, in Ndu. Mr. Konglim Samuel, a motor mechanic technician in Ndu town was suddenly surrounded by the police and whisked off to the Ndu Police Charge Office. He was charged with circulating and facilitating the signing of an SCNC form titled “DO YOU WISH TO PEACEFULLY SEPARATE FROM REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN AND ACHIEVE SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENCE?? And a Card with the inscriptions BSC SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM, with a serial number and map of Southern Cameroons on the flip side. He accepts the charge and wonders what constitutes a crime in it.
Mayor Nformi Lucas Docta in Ndu who handed the forms to him was instantly summoned and incarcerated as well. The Mayor took the time to give them a free lecture, reminding the police that it was President Biya himself who boasted to foreign media that he is ready to organise a referendum in the British Southern Cameroons to prove that it is just a handful of frustrated persons agitating. It was at that moment that the First Deputy Mayor for Ndu LGA, Martin Fon Yembe drove up with the 2nd Deputy Mayor, Mayor Tanko George Shifu and indicated that they too were circulating the referendum forms. Both were released after paying some bail money.
It is evident that from these examples, we can see the excitement in Southern Cameroons not only from SCNC members but also from ELECAM officials, Mayors, Youths, Chiefs etc. This is the spirit Southern Cameroonians need. We have recently seen the Common Law Lawyers protesting at government neglect-they too have threatened to break away from Cameroon Bar Council should the government continue to ignore them.
The Guardian Post Newspaper in the Cameroons in their Friday 14th edition are announcing that the SCNC has announced a major success with the signature referendum despite Government interference.
It should be recalled that Southern Cameroons was the southern part of the British Mandate territory of Cameroons in West Africa. Since 1961 it has been part of the Republic of Cameroon, where it makes up the Northwest Region and Southwest Region. Since 1994, pressure groups in the territory have sought independence from the Republic of Cameroon, and the Republic of Ambazonia was declared by the Southern Cameroons Peoples Organization (SCAPO) on 31 August 2006. Since then till now, many Southern Cameroons activists have been arrested and molested, others are still in detention while some are in for self-exile.
What happens next after securing the 2M signatures? The people are watching.
God is still saying something.