Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute has rounded off a four-day trip to Bamenda for what he termed a peace mission. He said the move was ordered by President Paul Biya, who himself has not been to the troubled Southern Cameroons since the outbreak of the conflict in 2016.
Chief Ngute held both private and public sessions with some key stakeholders he considered important in charting a way forward for the return of peace in the restive region. According to a list of persons and groups the Prime Minister received, it emerged that once more the Yaounde government was talking to itself because the ruling party elites the Premier talked to, were the same who sat through the generally rejected major national dialogue that has so far not resolved the problem.
The high point of Chief Ngute’s visit was the press briefing he held with over 40 Journalists. The Prime Minister made some pronouncements which were later referred to by some of his close aides as ‘unintentional’. In parts, he said, “…it is time for us to reclaim our independence, our sovereignty, and our dignity…” This was immediately picked up by the people to mean that the Prime Minister, who himself is a Southern Cameroonian, was transmitting a veiled message to his people, as being his real stance on the issues at stake.
However, pundits have seized on the statement, which has become controversial in government circles with claims that it has been taken out of context and named it, a Freudian slip that reveals a subconscious feeling of a situation.
According to Dugar Charles, a retired Pedagogue, and writer, human nature often creates a disconnect between what is conceived and what is executed. This is what is severally referred to as, Intuition, or Reflex Actions because it is a phenomenon that man has no control over, as it were.
He focused on virtue which according to him is simply the “Power in Man which brings out the True and Honest side of him…Truth, I mean Gospel truth or undiluted truth has a healing effect, especially in conflict management. Whether you agree with me or not, that’s my personal perception,” Mr. Dugar says.
At a Mo Ibrahim-sponsored leadership and peace forum held in 2019 and attended by President Paul Biya and other distinguished African leaders, the ailing Cameroon Head of State made some statements which Mr. Dugar seizes upon and says are key to the ongoing genocide in the Southern Cameroons.
Amongst other things, Mr. Biya said, “We have tried all this while to assimilate the Small 20% Anglophone Community into the 80% bigger francophone society, but due to differences of identity and culture inherited at independence, we failed in the experiment (interpretative translation from French).”
“This is gospel truth from the horse’s own mouth, he finally confessed after nearly six decades of subjugation of the people of Southern Cameroons. He shocked the World and indeed, embarrassed his colonial master, Emmanuel Macron for letting out France’s most kept and most treasured Secret,” Mr. Dugar emphasizes.
History, pundits say, always repeats itself at different times and places. From the Prime Minister’s address at Ayaba Hotel on Wednesday, October 6, Mr. Dugar says he was amused at seeing history repeating itself when he said, “It is time we regain our independence and sovereignty with dignity.”
A CPDM Party stalwart who requested to speak anonymously so he could express himself freely told Timescape Magazine that “In other words, there’s freedom after a confession, I believe that the PM should necessarily have and indeed, been enjoying internal Peace, yet unknown. We have been manipulated for a long time by these leaders we looked up to, and today it is clear that we must begin thinking differently. The truth had not been with us all this while.”
Enter Ni John Fru Ndi
The Chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF that was boasted of a huge following in the Southern Cameroons, making it the second-most populous political force in the country, was dragged from his sickbed abroad to go join the Prime Minister in his trip to Bamenda. At the grandstand where he was sandwiched between Minister-Delegate Felix Mbayu and Senate Vice President Vanigansen Mochiggle, sat absent-mindedly not seeming to know what was really happening.
Fru Ndi came across as a retired lion that had lost its claws. In his heydays, Fru Ndi would have stolen the show with some challenging pointers to the Yaounde regime, but he was so sober and mute. He did not address the few people who turned out to listen to the Prime Minister. Critics say that apart from regime barons, civil servants, mayors, and traditional rulers who filled the grandstand, the few persons standing with placards and banners opposite were reportedly hired, same as some women who posed for mothers for peace.