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They Took Us Off-guard, We Are Astonished By The Huge Mobilisation – SW Colonial Governor

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The massive demonstration across all the counties of Southern Cameroons will remain in the minds of international observers for a long time. But for La Republic du Cameroun (LRC), the piercings perforating their thin-skins will continue to pain them, as they wonder how the people of Southern Cameroons could be that resolute and organised to stage demonstrations across all counties.

Ambazonians on action in Menji, Lebialem

One of those who for sure was hit-hard by the unprecedented restoration revolution is, Bernard Okalia Bilai, colonial governor of the Southern zone. In an exclusive interview with Okalia, this reporter was made to understand that Southwest administration never saw the rally coming. They took everything for some social media propaganda that will bear no fruits on the ground. Perhaps, because La repubique has been able to bribe and corrupt many a few in Southern Cameroons, hence, creating divide and rule among them.

According to Bernard Okalia Bilai, he was shocked to receive distress calls from Menji in Lebialem County as early as 8am, Friday September 22 2017. The call indicated, more than 5,000 Ambazonians were demonstrating in front of the colonial administrator’s office.

“While I was preparing to attend a ceremony to hand over gifts to some widows of war victims, I was called by my collaborator in Menji to say the people are ganging against the authority. Before I could even attend to the security needs of that area, calls started coming from all over; Meme, Manyu, Kupe Muanenguba, Ndian, and even Fako. All of those happened without us having a clue even at the 11th hour. We had got some hint from social media that some secessionists were planning demonstrations in the Northwest and Southwest (counties), but little did we know it will be this effective,” lamented Bernard Okalia.

The colonial governor went ahead to indicate that the presence of people from all work of life, further compounded the situation.

Bernard Okalia, colonial governor

“We were taking aback by the mobilisation. Women old and young, children as young as 5 years, abled men and what have you, were present in the demonstration. I wonder why people will leave their daily activities that will bring them income, to come participate in this kind of thing. Little children who were supposed to be in school studying, where instead the ones championing the demonstration from in front,’’ Benard Okalia moaned.

Quizzed on why the colonial security forces did not implore their usual tactics of extreme force, Bernard Okalia, indicated he had been instructed from hierarchy not to command any violence amid the protest demonstration.

“My hierarchy had instructed that we shouldn’t use violence on the people. Rather, we should accompany them as they demonstrate so nobody goes into extreme. Unfortunately, some of them went into extremes, destroying premises and even provoking the forces of law and order. It’s unfortunate that some people are reported dead in Limbe, Buea and even Mamfe, but that was not our initial plan. Mine you that I got information from Mamfe that some people used guns to fight the forces of law and order,”Okalia Bilai said.

It should be noted that Paul Biya recently stationed two generals in the Northern and Southern zones. These generals have been monitoring security activities, sending classified information on the security situation of the two zones. This perhaps, must have played on the reasons, the colonial forces did not immediately apply repressive measures to prevent the people of Southern Cameroons from demonstrating.

By Lucas Muma

Managing Editor,
BaretaNews

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