Denizens from different villages of Lebialem County, have told the colonial Senior Divisional Officer (SDO), Ungitoh Zachary, to advice his colonial regime in Yaounde to release all Southern Cameroonians detained, before they can chart a peace and serene road-map. From Fontem, through Lewoh, to Alou, the villagers remained resolute in telling the colonial administrator, Lebialem will continue to be unstable, until all arrested by the colonial forces are released. They were speaking recently while the colonial SDO took a meet-the-people peace and reconciliation tour.
In Fontem the SDO rallied the population at Fon Fontem Asabaton Njifua’s palace in Azih, Lebang Fondom. There, the SDO faced his first obstacles as denizens initially refused to talk with any colonial administrator. After several pleas from the Fon and different chiefs, the meeting eventually took place, but only for 45 minutes. The villagers were resolute on their stances; they want all those arrested, be released before any discussion can hold.
“We can not pretend to be making peace and reconciliation here, when many of our brothers and sisters are languishing in your prisons in Yaounde and other places. I advise you and your entourage to tell Yaounde to release our people before we can discuss about peace and reconciliation,” a chief under Lebang Fondom said.
That thought was held tightly by all other person present in the hall, making the SDO to suspend his message and instead adjourned the sitting.
In Lewoh, the majority of the villagers boycotted the meeting. The over 15 persons who attended the SDO’s call at the Fon’s palace, resonated the same message echoed in Lebang. That angered the colonial SDO who said the people are bent on seeing Lebialem in disorder. He threatened the people of Lewoh, to deploy elements of colonial forces (BIR) to the area, should they continue to be ‘wayward’. Unfortunately for him, that instead added more confusion as the people agitated and walked out of the SDO.
In Alou, the SDO managed to pass across his peace and reconciliation message. Meeting in Wabane, the SDO begged the over 30 persons who showed to send their children back to school come January 2018. He indicated government has planned to tar all the roads of Lebialem, with Alou being at the forefront.
However, his message was faced with huge criticism from the people. Besides asking the SDO to first release all those arrested before discussions can effectively hold, the denizens questioned the SDO whether he was a politician.
“We have been hearing of tarring the Lebialem roads for ages. Politicians come and go, with the same message. Yet, nothing is done. Now, you have come acting like one of them. We are confused whether you are coming to campaign for the politicians or you are actually coming here with an appeasement message,” Elder Lekunze Abuenzo said.
Though the SDO managed to talk through to the people of Lebialem, the denizens there were indifferent from the stance made in Alou and Fontem.
By Lucas Muma,
Managing Editor – BaretaNews