An unknown quantity, Biya, is leading you to an unknown place called “Grand Ambitions”? And another unknown quantity called Fru Ndi is pretending to lead you to a promised land that he has not seen? And you are trundling behind him like a goat to the market? God forbid!
In an interesting and controversial (some would say inflammatory) interview granted to the Chronicle newspaper, Ntemfac Ofege, the veteran Cameroonian journalist and famous “Prison Graduate” of the fiery 1990s, talks frankly about the just concluded elections in Cameroon; the widespread fraud, the leading actors, and what the future holds for Cameroon. Absolutely no one on the Cameroonian political landscape comes out unscathed from this no-holds-barred interview. Excerpts:
On the CPDM Fraud Machinery
Once again, Mr. Biya’s government and party used all election-fraud strategies known to man to give themselves another moonslide victory… There was one which was most devilish. The CPDM gave its militants CPDM ballot papers three days ahead of the election. All CPDM militants had to do was walk into the polling stations with hundreds of ballot papers into their pockets to stuff the envelopes and then the ballot box. Who knows, Mr. Biya probably had some ballot papers hidden away in his coat pocket under his bulletproof vest. This poses a new problem for the future independent election commission. Like they search for “cartouches” in the University of Yaounde, ELECAM would have to search handbags, pockets and private parts of voters for ballot papers in every election...
On What the Opposition SDF Should Do Next
There is no point giving any advice to people who are very hard of hearing. Or rather people who are blinded by the vast sums the have been collecting from the regime for themselves. I told you that Mr. Fru Ndi is now the CPDM sub-section president of Ntarikon. The SDF that he runs is no longer the SDF that children died for and that people gave their sweat, time and energy for. The good people have since left the SDF because the principles are no longer there… Mr. Fru Ndi never had any vision for a political party, let alone a vision to be president. The only conviction Fru Ndi now has, like the Baforchu businessman he is, is how to use this position to make money and wheel and deal. This man is the victim of circumstances – opportunity miss road…
In 1997, I painstakingly explained that reality to Fru Ndi and his NEC members. That was when they had 43 parliamentarians and were excited about going to parliament to “change Cameroon.” The SDF trump card is that it is an Anglophone party. On the day, the SDF had to decide whether to go to parliament or not, I told Fru Ndi to take that NEC meeting to Buea and hold it there. The argument was that it sent the right signal to Biya. The man said something about not wanting to bring bloodshed to Cameroon. Rubbish. He held the meeting at his Tower Restaurant in Bamenda. Biya sent helicopters and Alpha jets to fly over the building to intimidate Mr. John. The Francophone spies in the meeting came in with warlike–talkies to report to proceedings to their paymasters. The long and short of it was that Pa John panicked as sent unprincipled characters like Mbah Ndam, Yoyo and Akonteh to parliament.
On what Anglophone Cameroonians Should Do Next
The question warms my heart. When he visited Cameroon in 1996, the then Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan said.
“I leave Cameroon with the impression that there is only one Cameroon, multilingual and multi-ethnic. I encourage dialogue of these stakeholders. In every country, there are problems of marginalisation. The way it has to be solved is by dialogue and not by walking away.”
Mr. Biya is not interested in dialogue. I mean the kind of normal, consensual dialogue is normal in a consociational, fragmented and multi-national (multicultural and multiethnic) state. In such a contraption, all parties agree on an innovative power-sharing mechanism to suit their situation. Mr. Biya is not interested in that. You see, Mr. Motomu, elections are by nature divisive, especially in a fragmented state. Rigged elections are even more divisive. In the absence of a genuine power-sharing mechanism and in the absence o dialogue to establish one, the time had come to walk away. Walking away is an imperative. It is a must. It is a matter of survival. It is a matter of fleeing ethnic and economic genocide and cleansing. It is a matter of fleeing the deaf, dumb and blind subjugation of Anglophones.
On the Representativity of Anglophones Militating in the CPDM
Ntumfor Nico Halle, ONEL representative for the North West province, repeated this statement again and again during the campaigns for the just ended elections for the benefit of Mr. Biya and his ilk. “When you rig elections everything else is rigged; appointments are rigged, contract-awards are rigged, etc.” Would you want to be represented by a fraud? A man who rigs elections or who benefits from rigged elections is worst than a thief. So goes a leader who rigs elections so goes the entire administration.
Should anyone be surprised that corruption reeks at all levels of this Francophone-invented and led system? A leader can only move a people from where they are to where he has been. Mr. Biya condones, he lives in and he thrives in corruption and election fraud. He can only lead people into corruption. Does Inoni Ephraim represent you? Is he speaking or you? Does he know you problem? Can he address you r problem. The CPDM was maybe born in Bamenda but it is a foreign party. The CPDM can and will never speak for you and me.
On Why Francophones Support the Biya Regime
It is their system. They created it. They support it; they glorify it; they thrive in it and they live in it. A frog can only live in the swamps, the mud and the muck. Frogs can only croak (die) in the swamps, the mud and the muck. Remove a frog from its natural habitat and it will no longer croak. French-speaking Cameroonians, (East Cameroonians) may disagree strenuously with the severity of one, or all, of the items that symbolize their side of the symbolic boundary, but facts are facts and truths are truths. Francophones dare not quarrel with this depiction after all the socio-political system in Cameroon is created and sustained by the majority... The best case scenario is that Francophones support their corrupt system because they have never known better. They are also afraid of the unknown.
On the Role of the Anglophone SW Province in Shoring up the Biya Regime
Do not be deceived. Politicization of ethnicity (Divide and Rule) a strategy for every manipulator. Mr. Biya is a manipulator. Mr. Biya operates by divide and rule or politicized ethnicity. He gets the elites in the South Westerner to believe that a good score will eternalize the post of prime minister. Then he gets the North westerner to believe the same thing. These poor devils go about outsmarting each other in rigging. The elites of the South West are so desperate to be in the good books of the regime that they get the SDOs and DOs to disenfranchise North Westerners or SDFers (Cam-no-go) from the voters register. The orders even from the office of the prime minister.
It is a pity how low the Anglophone elites and the intelligentsia would stoop to collect crumbs from the slave master’s table. The DOs, SDOs, directors, ministers and prime ministers rigging elections are fathers and grandfathers who are supposed to be role models. Now they have transformed into petty thieves. Some years ago, Mr. Inoni was chased by a mob in Victoria. He was ferry a ballot box... The regime may disenfranchise the voters but it does not mean the mumbers are not there. Add the 55-60% Northwesterners born in SW to the die-hard independentists, SCNC militants, like those in Meme, Ndian, Lebialem, Manyu and you get the picture.
Shared values, the values that are shares by Anglophones go deeper than politicized ethnicity. Those who think the post of prime minister could mean anything to them are just a misguided handful of tribesmen and elite and even then. Even then…
On What the Future Holds
The first thing is to accept is that Fru Ndi should just shut up and keep quiet for now. Or else we string him up. He should enjoy the money he has gotten out of Biya and get the hell out of the way. He has failed. Woefully. The SDF is not Fru Ndi. Vice versa. We all created the SDF. By the way, Mr. Fru Ndi and his generation are on their way out. Our generation must take over. The time is now. We have a better plan. Not the Muna plan though (laughs). We have the trump card. The time has come for our creation to work for us. What do we have in hand? What is the rod of Moses? We have a very good starting point. We now have Biya and Fru Ndi just where we want them – by their arrangements. Now we squeeze tight. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The rest of the strategies are unprintable. Our generation, my generation, must now deal with the problem directly. There will not be another chance.
To read, print or download Ntemfac's complete interview, go to the Postwatch website.