I am not in Canada and I’m not taking part in the retreat. I must not be part of it. In the last three years, I have advocated that SCians sit together at the table of brotherhood and collectively chart the way forward. To achieve this, we MUST put aside our differences. To me, as Fontem Neba, anyone who will facilitate such a meeting is welcome. But as I said, I must not be everywhere. I’m a better backstage organizer because I like to look at developments from the grand stand, it gives me a panoramic view and as such, my suggestions are more strategic. It has always been my strategy in all my student and workers’ union fights, and you witnessed it during the evolution of the struggle from February 2016 till when I was arrested.
For your information, (and I think John will attest to this), when the Swiss came on board, I asked them to put SCian factions together first. An expert was called in to advise us on best practices to avoid manipulation and the stupidity be we exhibited.
I stuck to the principles and refused to put my personal interest over the interest of people of the former Southern Cameroons. If the meeting in Canada can build a united front and weld it together around principles of good conduct that will serve us, I will embrace it with hands and feet.
Until the retreat is over, I continue to pray for wisdom and Divine guidance so that our brothers will be guided by truth.
Here is a truth we must confront. Many people from former Souther Cameroons are political elites in Cameroon. They do not want to change the status quo. Many more of our people are Federalists. Some for 10 state federation, others for 4 state federation and others for 2 state federation. The separatist factions are further divided. All the intricate diversity, fragmentation and division within us, have to be addressed before we we can take a step outside. How can we claim to want ambazonia without dialogue with our brothers who are Federalists or unionists?
Let me tell you, and I want you to take it seriously. Some people have been spoiling for a fight with me ever since I fled into exile. I have chosen not to dignify them by rolling in the mud with them. Ask my friends and colleagues if you know any. So those who fear that I might pick a slice of their cheese should rest assured that I’m in no contest.
When we brought SCians together in 2019 to the All Southern Cameroons People’s Conference and the liberation council was formed, I was never part of it. I only played an advisory role, (and John will tell you again), that I made a scathing analyses of some individuals and their obsession for money and power. The hope was for those who claim leadership to have a common coordination post where they could consult each other and carryout collective action, thereby making our liberation less noisy or quarrelsome.
We failed, and look at the mess we are in. Social media squabbling like little children.
Prior to that, every office I had entered, I was told that our loud public quarrels and infighting were diminishing public sympathy for our cause. But out of sheer greed, incompetence and selfishness, a good initiative was scuttled and destroyed I observed that although they had pretended to invite other leaders of political organizations to join the Council, through their boisterous and quite garrulous behavior, they intentionally kept them away because to them, the council was a way of wielding power.
When the Swiss came, they disregarded all the expert advise we had been given and disgraced our people. A swiss official is said to have quipped: If this is the best of Ambazonia, then Cameroun has no match. Can you imagine the disgrace? From 1957 till today, SCians keep demonstrating political immaturity, as a people unfit to govern themselves.
Right now, the CDN initiative is the best attempt at bringing sound minds. Everybody must not be part of it; but those who have refused to go should not try to sabotage it. I have heard audios riddled with lies and all sorts of conspiracies. It is so shameful especially when you look at those making the audios. They have been wailing as if at a funeral and making a lot of unproven suppositions.
One even alleged that I was a speaker at the retreat. In seeking truth, we must not tell lies or try to justify untruths. Unfortunately, like water and oil, some specific individuals have regularly mixed both all through the course of this struggle. That’s usually the danger when a liberation struggle becomes a paid job. People tend to protect the job instead of the liberation process.
On the basis of the foregoing,
- I will wait patiently for the outcome of the retreat hoping that,
a) It will create a framework for ALL SCians to cooperate, collaborate and efficiently coordinate the different aspects of this derailed struggle so as to hasten the conclusion. An end to disruptive competition and infighting among political organizations will be a welcome development.
b) A definite framework will be established to help designate or identify potential negotiators to represent SC in the event of third-party mediated negotiations. Political leaders cannot be negotiators. Theoretically, it is not advisable. Besides, the Swiss initiative has highlighted the danger of putting politicians at the forefront.
c) A framework that will allow the people of Former Southern Cameroons to determine their future free from external influences. These people include federalists, who’s attendance is critical.
- Hope that discussions and resolutions will reaffirm participants’ commitment to the cause of ensuring that the voices of ALL people from Former Southern Cameroons is heard, and not just that of one faction.
- I will not allow myself to go down a rabbit hole with attention-seeking individuals whose actions have only exacerbated our people’s pains. They know the truth, but lie unbelievably. At times, I am ashamed.
I did not come to America through a DV lottery like others; I am on exile, and will want a satisfactory resolution of this conflict so that I can return home some day in the near future. In the same vein, I don’t live on the proceeds of the struggle. In spite of the sacrifice made so far, I still contribute monthly to humanitarian causes.
I know that even in a federal Cameroon, I will not be safe because of the vindictiveness of LRC. But we cannot hope to get 1 inch of independence without at least dialogue and acknowledging our brothers who are federalists and unionists.
So, those forwarding messages to you with the intention of taunting me into a muddle have no place on my scale of priorities.
Fontem Neba, PhD
October 30, 2021