By Sah Terence Animbom and Moma Sandrine
Meeting in Bamenda on Saturday January 12, 2018, conveners of the Anglophone General Conference, AGC after a preparatory meeting for their upcoming convention on a date yet to be announced, told the press that they are embarking on a broad based consultative tour to meet key opinion holders and genuine representatives of the people to get from them the peoples’ genuine needs so as to ensure true representation during the conference.
It is worth mentioning that Ambazonian leadership in the Diaspora has vowed to frustrate all attempts of the Tumi-led delegation to seek a way out of the current socio-political brouhaha that reigns in Cameroon with calls for deadly ghost towns on the days or weeks scheduled for the conference in the past.
According to the religious leaders headed by Christian Cardinal Tumi, all stakeholders and people of good will will be engaged in meaningful dialogue at the conference. This includes Cameroonians in the Diaspora. Consultative missions have been assigned all over Cameroon and other parts of the world to give every Cameroonian of good will a voice in the upcoming conference.
The religious leaders who have as aim restoring peace to the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon think that the issue of laying down arms should not be a one sided kind of affair. According to them, the demilitarization of these two regions should also be looked at, as they believe you cannot disarm people while pointing smoking guns at them.
The issue of gender imbalance amongst conveners of the conference was raised and they said that the only reason why women were not part of the leaders was because no woman is a religious head in Cameroon. They however said women will be brought in, in the latter stages of the conference.
Speaking at the meeting, the Imam of Buea, El Hadj Mohammed Aboubakar talked of the need to get everyone’s voice heard at the upcoming conference. According to him, the Anglophone problem doesn’t involve Anglophones alone. “Don’t think that this problem is only for Anglophones. It has affected the whole country”.
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba reiterated in very concrete terms that they are not politicians and do not need the support of anybody to do what they are doing.
“We are doing what we believe is our duty to do and anyone who thinks otherwise should back out. When we conceived the idea of the AGC, we did not think of the international bodies but mind you the international bodies have so much interest in the conference and support the motion,” he said.
As the conveners agreed on getting all Cameroonian stakeholders involved in the upcoming conference they hope that the dialogue amongst all these parties will bring about a lasting solution to the Anglophone crisis. The AGC had twice been postponed in 2018, to an indefinite date.
After granting the press conference, the conveners drove to the residence of the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF party to discuss with him and also engage him in the consultative talks.
Ni John Fru Ndi was met taking care of his brother and sister who were abducted by alleged Ambazonian fighters to their camps and well lashed. To Fru Ndi this is an attempt to make him talk ill of the “Ambazonian struggle” but he challenges the activists by quizzing who else in Cameroon attacks President Biya and government on issues disturbing the Anglophones as he does.
To him the AGC is a great idea and deserves the support of every Anglophone Cameroonian as he believes it is the only way through which the voice of every Anglophone can be heard. He notes that Anglophones in Cameroon do not have the same immunity as those in the diaspora and so must take things the best way possible so as to bring about peace and a lasting solution.
The Rev. Ncham Godwill of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC, justifies the reason for the visit to the SDF National Chairman saying “we have resolved to consult every shade of opinion in our country as far as this crisis is concerned so that tomorrow, no one will rise to say my opinion wasn’t sought so I am backing out.”