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Until Yaounde Humbles, Peace And Stability is Wishful Thinking-Elie Smith

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Now that they’re in Yaounde

I can now with all humility apologise to all who listened to me declare with conviction and faith, that, given the barbaric and inhumane way that Cameroon has treated Anglophones, since this crisis began, Nigeria will never surrender the faces of the uprising to Yaounde.

I even extolled the independence of the Nigerian judiciary, its strong civil society organizations and strong independent press. All of which are absent in Cameroon. Today,I must confess that, I am a kind of disoriented even though with a linings of hope that, for all the bravado inherent from Yaounde, they now know Anglophones meant business and worse, it is not over. The boxer is on the canvas, but will rise to keep fighting.

I held Abuja in high esteem, but I forgot three things: the extraordinarily intricate bond that both countries have forged, especially in the fight against Boko Haram, that Mohamadou Buhari, even though he has put on the clothes of a liberal Democrat, at the core,he is a dictator, who considers Southern Cameroonian nationalists as nuisance at par with the Biafran nationalists and finally, the venal nature of some officials of the so-called giant of Africa,was forgotten in my enthusiasm.

Am disappointed, but on the other hand, the less triumphant nature of Yaounde is equally intriguing. Why was the usually loquacious Communications minister so civil? Did they take some advice from Paris and Washington or even from Abuja with her “No Victor No vanquish” policy, enunciated by Yakubu Gowon after the Nigerian civil war? Only time will tell, but if the statement from the Nigerian playwright, Wole Soyinka, is any guide, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

One thing is clear, until Yaounde is humble enough to seek for a lasting solution to the Anglophone crisis, peace unity and stability Cameroon will remain a wishful thinking. The uprising which is entering its second year, is not an ordinary political affairs. It has to do with the future of a people who consider themselves as hoodwinked by those they thought were their brothers and sisters.

To a majority, there’s no turning back. It’s time to correct a historic wrong. Extradition and certainly eventual prosecution of Anglophone leaders won’t put an end to the problem, they are mainly cosmetic measures with no long term goals. This means that, it is bound to unravel into a major escalation.

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