Biya Employs Divide and Rule as Solution to Anglophone Crisis


The North West Region appears to be paying the “scapegoat price” as the current Anglophone stalemate in the country persists, losing some key positions in government following recent appointments by the Head of State. In a typical “divide and rule” solution to the crisis, the government of Paul Biya has resorted to appointing more Anglophones from the Southwest as opposed to the Northwest probably as a means to create discord in the ranks of the disgruntled Anglophone community.

The President appointed the former Prime Minister and Senator, Peter Mafany Musonge who hails from the South West Region to head the recently created National Commission For the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (NCPBM). Before his appointment, Senator Mafany held the position of CPDM Senatorial group leader. He is also Grand Chancellor of National Orders.  After his appointment, Mr. Biya handed over his position as CPDM Group Leader in the Senate to a fellow south westerner, Senator Chief Nfor Tabetando.

This same Sen. Chief Tabetando was quoted by the Post Newspaper of May 29, 2015 to “have called on the people of the Southwest Region to "stand firm against what he referred to as any acts of manipulation by whosoever, stating that ‘Cameroon remains a one and indivisible state’” during a ceremony on May 26, as Spokesperson of a delegation of all Southwest Senators who were in Limbe to hand over some equipment to the seven Councils in Fako Division. He is even purported to have been one of the brain behind the disconnection of internet in the Northwest and South West regions alongside his predecessor in Senate.

The general consensus amongst Anglophones was that with Sen. Mafany as head of NCPBM, another Anglophone needed to replace him as CPDM group leader in the Senate and it was just right for such a position to move to the North West, but it never did.

Another case to buttress this, is the recent appointment at the helm of ELECAM. This has merely cemented thoughts amongst many in both Anglophone regions that the North West is paying the price for the current stalemate.  After exhausting his time as President of the Electoral board, Dr Samuel Fonkam Azu’u was replaced by Enow Abrams Egbe, a seasoned administrator from the Southwest region instead of maintaining that position in the Northwest as was the case with the senate CPDM group leadership. Retired SDO, Mbuh Peter now represents the North West in the electoral board as an ordinary member. The region loses again! in a publication of April 26, 2017 in French writes “Election 2018: voici les hommes de confiance de Paul Biya” loosely translated into English as “Election 2018: Here are the men Paul Biya Puts his trust in” referring to the list of those recently appointed to oversee the reelection of Biya in 2018. Retired Governor Enow Abrams Egbe is now in charge of that process.

This may not come as a surprise that it’s the Northwest feeling the heat. The first drum beats of the teachers strike were sounded in Bamenda on October 5th 2016 by the various trade unions that coincidentally are headquartered in Bamenda and with almost all its leaders from the Northwest. As the strike action progressed, the leadership of the Anglophone course was eventually handed over to the South West. Under Bar. Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla as president of the All Anglophone Civil Society Consortium the first ghost town that is now a tradition in the North West and South West was called. This is an indication that this fight is a common one for all Anglophones whether from the Southwest or Northwest regions.

These current appointments have been seen as a way to frustrate the Anglophone struggle by glorifying South Westerners and make its elites comfortable so that the North West will have nothing more than to call off the current civil disobedience when its elites will be crisscrossing the region to cry for them to call off the strike for their sake.

But from every indication, the situation now has gone pass political and religious affiliation to a struggle by an entire people aimed at restoring their lost dignity.  These peanut positions that have not impacted positively on the lives of Anglophones are not what the people are fighting for. Despite this tactics of divide and rule method desperately employed by the Yaoundé regime, both regions have remained resolute on staying together and achieving their goal as a common entity. 

By Ndi Tsembom Elvis



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