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Editorial: Meme SDO attempts to walk where Yaoundé and Ekema slipped

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Kumba Senior Divisional officer Chamberlain Ntou Ndong this weekend attempted to do what his hierarchies have failed to do for the past three years-end Ambazonian imposed Monday ghost towns in the two English speaking regions of the country.

The chief administrative officer for Meme had taken advantage of the grieving motorbike riders who were protesting among other things the killing of one of theirs and constant harassment to score what would have been a massive political and administrative win in his career.

The SDO told them to shun ghost towns and all their problems will be solved, prosing them 5 litters of petrol each and 3000 frs for a start in an attempt to kill a day many of the fighters and sympathizers of the course see as a symbolic victory of their revolution.

The senior administrative officers knew he had pulled his joker, giving the town has about 15000 motorbike riders, sending them on the streets on Mondays will all but guarantee the end of the ghost town and be seen as a big win for his political aspirations.

His strategy was seen as dead on arrival by political analysts in the region and separatists brandished it a no-show and given his division is one of the hot spots in the Amazonian war of independence, it is hard to imagine how his call could not have been seen as a lame duck attempt to demonstrate some administrative relevance in a division many believe is out of government’s control in many aspects

Mr. Chamberlain’s promise was rather seen as red meat for armed civilian fighters’ fighting for the restoration of the statehood of Ambazonian

What followed Monday, July 15 were well-organized and coordinated offensives in different areas of the town, with deafening gun sounds between armed separatist fighters and the country’s army lasting for hours and sending a clear and unequivocal message.

Even the meager 5 bike riders who had managed to braced the ghost town to reach the SDO’s office for their fuel and 3000 frs struggled to hide as it became apparent that the ghost town was non-negotiable

A failed experiment in the past

The SDO’s move is seen as another failed and incoherent strategy from a central government who has been fighting the malice for over two years now and has since abandoned the fight to local authorities

Regional and local authorities have exhausted all possible options to end the punitive ghost towns which usually paralyzes every aspect of society from transport to offices and even markets and hospitals in the two crisis regions of North West and South West of the country

The country’s most famous award winning mayor of Buea, the regional capital of South West region had implored similar tactics before, impounding taxis in the town and releasing them on Mondays with 5 liters of fuel per taxi in his own efforts to end the ghost town.

He had sealed over 800 shops in his municipality and threatened to seize business premises from those respecting ghost towns.

Even though the man fondly referred to as the political Maradona of Buea succeeded to weed off the civil disobedience in some small portions of the town, Buea and the rest of his musicality has largely remained loyal to the tradition of weekly ghost towns even as the Buea landlord continues to fight.

Why it’s so hard to end ghost town

Apart from Limbe in the South West and Nkambe in the North West region of the country all other towns and villages and cities in the affected regions respect ghost towns religiously

The idea was first introduced by the outlawed consortium of teachers and lawyers led by Barrister  Bala three years ago when negotiations between the leaders and government failed

It was used to show the peoples support to the striking teachers and lawyers, and ever since the day has been seen as a symbol of the revolution and a message to Yaoundé that the Anglophone problem is the peoples call

The government has repeatedly criticized the ghost town but falls short to admit that it is powerless to end it, blaming armed fighters for causing fear and panic amongst the population

But amidst armed fighters and their backers say it’s a reflection of the support they enjoy from the majority of the population, touting its successes as an embrace of their revolution coordinated from abroad

The two regions respect every Monday as ghost town where all citizens remain indoors and all activities grounded. The day is usually characterized by gunshots in different areas as armed groups battle with military in their efforts to impose the law in areas where they believe the people are not complying

The regions are also obliged to remain home and observe another ghost town each time Sissikou and co are taken to courts and during the celebrations of major public holidays in the country like national day and youth day

 

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Editorial

National Dialogue: Biya puts Dion Ngute at the crossroads of Cameroon’s history

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Many have dubbed him the country’s “luckiest” prime minister as Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute is tasked with the responsibility to find lasting solutions to the Anglophone crisis-a historical problem which now threatens to return the country to pre-independence border.

Brought in during the latest cabinet shakeup earlier this year, the former minister was considered a surprise pick for the job. The South West born premier has been tasked with arguably the toughest and indeed exciting job in history.

Dion Ngute’s fate certainly rests with the success or failure of the planned dialogue but at the same time provides the seasoned diplomat the unique opportunity to create some of the best chapters in the country’s political history.

Prime Minister Dion Ngute has been busy ever since President Biya undercut his ministers and announced a surprise national dialogue. The move has been welcomed by the International community and different political actors at home

In a race against time, the premier who is tasked with chairing the dialogue has been holding different level consultations with opposition leaders, activists and different stakeholder within the contest of preparing the framework of the much-anticipated dialogue

Dialogue like no other

But Dion Ngute will be chairing a dialogue which centers on the survival of the country he now oversees its operations—at least on paper.

The Anglophone crisis which has gone violent for three years now has been a historical problem of the country ever since independence.

 The Anglophones have systematically complained of marginalization and discrimination in the dominant French-speaking union. Independence fathers west of the Mungo have tried and failed in the past.

This is not the first time the country will be converging under the umbrella of the Anglophone problem to chart a common course.

But previous meetings by Fonchas, Munas, and others have failed to resonate within political elites of the country at that time  had to prioritize national unity over bi-cultural values of the two people who agreed to reunite in 1961.

But despite the warning shots from independence fighters about the cracks emerging from our unity, the government has failed to implement most of the measures many believed would have gone a long way to avert the crisis.

But a three years crisis which has drawn the attention of the International community killed thousands displaced hundreds of thousands and seen many villages razed has forced the government to reconsider its position as the pressure keeps mounting at home and abroad.

Dion Ngute will be chairing a meeting, many say should be the bedrock of the future of one and unified Cameroon, strengthened by its diversity and people.

Dion Ngute has been given one of the most difficult job description ever handed to any of his predecessors in recent memory, it is left the “nyanga boy” as he is fondly called to decide how he would love to be remembered by history.

 

 

 

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Editorial

Editorial: Biya flashes Amba light…..at last.

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In a highly awaited speech announced for September 10th 2019, the President of the republic Paul Biya has shocked many.

In one of his longest speeches as president since he took over office more than 36 years ago, the 86 years old focused on the Anglophone crisis ravaging the North West and South West regions

In his introductory note, the president regrets the killing by armed separatists, kidnaps and torture in the three years crisis.

For the first time since the crisis started, the commander in chief also gave his heart felt condolences to all the families affected during the crisis which he said has forced “thousands of our population to live in other regions and neighboring countries”

The President who has been blamed for the poor handling of the crisis moved to familiar territory, enumerating numerous measures he believes his government has taken to resolve the crisis which began as strike led by teachers and lawyers in 2016

In his long list of measures reminiscent to a campaign speech, he mentioned the discontinuance of judicial proceedings to over 200 persons, his offer for armed groups to lay down arms and the creation of national disarmament  and rehabilitation committee among other achievements.

“We will continue to make the necessary efforts to fully materialize these efforts” he adds

But in a speech were many where pregnant with expectations of a big announcement, the president in all honesty failed to deliver once again on the national stage

Opposition leader Maurice kamto and all political prisoners arrested and incarcerated were ignored entirely in the speech

President Biya refutes any claims of marginalization within his government, touting the appointment of prime ministers from Anglophone regions for close to a generation now

Grand dialogue announced

In what could have been a glimmer of hope for the long night, the president announced a massive dialogue which has been describe as panacea to finding lasting solutions to the crisis.

President Biya says all sons and daughters of the republic will be called upon to participate in the dialogue to find lasting solutions in the country. The dialogue according to him will be chaired by the prime minister, rallying lawmakers, business leaders, security forces, armed groups and victims of the crisis among others.

Why the dialogue will be seen as a welcome move by many back in the Anglophone regions who have long clamored for any dialogue of this kind, the terms of the dialogue will certainly fail to please hardliners who say any such dialogue must take place out of the borders of the country and chaired by a third party.

Long speech, nothing new

In all, the president said nothing new in the highly awaited speech, touting regular phrases and achievements many believed was meant for International audience and CPDM supporters.

President Biya also failed to grant the much clamored amnesty to prisoners involved in the crisis, and rather intensifies his advocacy for a one and indivisible Cameroon, a statement critics perceives as a provocation to the separatists

For those who were expecting general amnesty, the President was clear, no one should be deceived that criminal acts would be pardon just to advance dialogue, he said, and made it sufficiently clear that perpetrators of violence abroad will face justice in no time as he slaps the wrong people and embrace the right ones

He however says that after the grand dialogue, a presidential pardon might be rollout to those incarcerated on certain conditions, while insisting that any such dialogue must take place within the constitution of the republic and the country.

National Reaction

Speaking to CRTV after the speech, the revered Catholic cardinal, Christian Cardinal Tumi who has been a vocal critic of the regime says he is positive with the announced dialogue, urging the prime minister to take all measures to ensure it’s a success

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Editorial

The nation holds its breath as Biya announces an unusual address.

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 Monday, September 9th, 2019. More than 20 million Cameroonians are on the edge as the minister, Director of civil cabinet of the Presidency announced in a press release an unusual address to the nation by the president of the republic.

Very few saw this coming and for a leader who has characteristically confined himself to his traditional addresses of the nation for the past 36 years, the nation cannot wait for the next 24 hours.

“Info Martin” and other French papers had carried botched plans to address the nation on Saturday 7th September 2019 and even though no reason was given for the 11th-hour cancelation, the reverberations for a planned unusual address were felt across the national triangle for those who believed

Many were those who saw the news as fake news, believing that the commander in chief cannot and will never go out of his usual routine to address the nation even as the state of our nation looks very in tatters

For any other country facing a major crisis in 7 out of its ten regions punctuated with the fact that its main opposition leader and more than 200 of his supporters have been arrested and incarcerated for refusing to accept Presidential elections addressing the nation could have been no news.

But the news here is that Cameroon is no another nation, and things happening in Yaoundé remains and happens only in Yaoundé

As news spread on social media about the planned addressed to an expectant nation yearning for a message of any kind from an increasingly distant government, the main question which comes to mind is the content of his address.

We look at five possible declarations in the historic address on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Amnesty for all political prisoners

The national triangle is practically in flames with Boko Haram in the Far North and Anglophone crisis in the South West and North West being the most preoccupying. There has been pressure at home and abroad for the government to find long-lasting solution to the multiple crises in the country for the past three years now

But the incarceration of Maurice kamto and his supporters have caused the government more pain than the losses on the battlefield, unleashing a usual army of the disgruntled diaspora who have vowed to make life uncomfortable for the aging leader each time he comes to Europe

The life sentencing of Sissikou Ayuk Tabe and Co. have worsened the situation in the restive Anglophone regions, sparking two weeks of lockdown and plunging the regions into anarchy in the wake of back to school as local authorities scramble to contain the situation with disgraceful measures.

There have been  widespread call for the Ambazonian leaders, political leaders and all those arrested to be granted an Amnesty from the President of the republic as a sign of goodwill.

Planed inclusive dialogue

It has been the cry of the people and the hope of the compromised International community as Biya and his government has rubbished calls for meaningful dialogue to resolve the Anglophone crisis and insist on military strategy

The military solution they opted has failed and brought more chaos and disfranchisement amongst the Anglophones and friends of Yaoundé are fast running out of patience with the regime as many continue to die.

It is highly believed that there might be plans for immediate and urgent inclusive dialogue as called for by US, France, UN and other members of the International community to solve the crisis

10 state federation

Many are predicting the imminent announcement of a 10 state federation by the president of the republic, but coming at a time when a ministry of decentralization was recently created and plans to announce regional elections this 2019, many believe this would be one of the least tools in his hugely revered political toolbox meant to be used for tomorrow’s political offensive

Retirement

Can the president retire from office? There have been reports of some health issues with the country’s commander in chief in the past even though TeboPost cannot independently confirm.

But at 86, he is frail and weak and naturally must have some health complications. Images of the head of state shaking and seemingly confused during the post-national day celebrations party at the Unity Palace on May 20thhad led to speculations that the President was in dire need of rest. But his recent outings have shown a man strong and fit to lead, making this option quite confusing to guess.

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