Cameroon: Gov’t Party Stalwart Says President Biya Mismanaged Conflict in Southern Cameroons
A business magnet and politician in Bamenda, one of the main cities in the once Independent State of Southern Cameroons, Peter Ngufor, has blamed the woes that have befallen President Paul Biya during his almost 40-year-rule on late President Amadou Ahidjo. He was speaking to the press at his Mile 3 office recently within the framework of ongoing overtures between government and pro-independence leaders regarding the need for a ceasefire in armed conflict in the once Independent State of Southern Cameroons.
According to the Business mogul, who is also Member of the Central Committee of the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) Party, Mr. Biya was an innocent man brought from nowhere to paddle a ship that was already gliding towards the rocks.
He said the seeds of the ongoing armed conflict between the Cameroons were sowed right from the outset of the actualization of the reunification under late President Ahidjo, noting that Mr. Biya only inherited the already existing problems that continued to be exacerbated by the implementation of policies designed way back in the 1960s.
Mr. Ngufor lamented that late President Ahidjo failed to exploit a unique opportunity of Cameroon being the only bilingual country in Africa. He said Cameroon would have been exporting expertise to other countries if the government had made good use of its uniqueness for the development of the country.
Commenting on the management of the conflict, Mr. Ngufor lauded the Presidential plan to reconstruct the war-torn English-Speaking regions, but also pointed out that it would be better if there was a formal ceasefire from the Yaounde administration for peace to return first. He noted that such a move would ensure that structures being reconstructed would not be destroyed anew.
To him, a war was declared and so it warrants that a formal ceasefire be declared. He pushed further to say the reconstruction plan might be an apology from President Biya to Southern Cameroonians, which could translate into an acknowledgment of the wrong done to the English-Speaking people.
"…By ordering the reconstruction of the North West and South West, Mr. Biya was indirectly apologizing to Anglophones..." he said.
Not long ago, Mr. Ngufor faulted the government for using the military, rather than the Police to fight unarmed citizens who were agitating against marginalization. He had also called on Mr. Biya to present a public apology to Southern Cameroonians who he said had not only been marginalized but had been hurt so deeply.
He urged the members of the Reconstruction Commission to begin with reconstructing the minds that had been chattered by the ongoing war, a war he described as senseless, saying it could have been avoided by the powers that be. He outlined that reconstruction was not only about structures and houses, insisting there was need to first and foremost reconstruct the mindset.
Revisiting the Ngarbuh massacre which resulted to the brutal murder of pregnant women and children in cold blood, Mr. Ngufor intimated that those were some of the consequences of using the military to handle civilian matters and said such errors could land the Head of State in trouble.
In a second call to the President, Mr. Ngufor reiterated that he should look for an acceptable solution to the current imbroglio which has affected the whole country either directly or indirectly.
The Business promoter saluted the recent move by the government to open discussions with pro-independence leaders saying it was a giant step towards finding a lasting solution to the armed conflict. He held that the Coronavirus pandemic was making things more difficult for the people than the war. Ngufor concluded that Covid-19 had completely changed the old order of the world and people now must adapt to the new order.