(This article was initially published on the 2nd of June 2018)
“Any person from La Republique du Cameroun or from any other movement or organization with a goal, vision or mission that is contrary to what SCCOP stands for but who aspires to become a member of SCCOP shall be subject to rigorous vetting by an ad-hoc committee established for that purpose” Section 5 a).
The above is quoted verbatim from SCCOP By-Laws: Internal Rules and Regulations, as published in March 2018. SCCOP which is an acronym for ‘Southern Cameroons Congress of the People’ is a new political outfit initiated from South Africa. (NB: It is likely that the group might have amended this section of their by-laws, immediately after this article was first published in June).
In a normal context, an initiative to form political groups (which are different from other advocacy groups) will not attract the scrutiny that has befallen the proponents of this new group. Southern Cameroonians (Ambazonians) are in a revolution, fighting to unclamp themselves from the servitude subjected to them 57 years ago by La Republique du Cameroun’s annexation of our territory.
It is outrageously ironic that at this time in this revolution, when a genocide is systematically being executed in Ambazonia by dictator Biya and his brutal forces, an outfit like SCCOP is giving a 'blank cheque' to “any person of La Republique du Cameroun” who may NOT even believe in its goal, vision or mission, to join the group.
The jarring question is: if SCCOP’s ‘goal, vision and mission’ are in sync with the struggle for the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons( Ambazonia), why are they willing to open their doors to anyone ( especially from La Republique du Cameroun) with contrary objectives? How do they even go ahead to vet someone or entity whose ‘goal, vision and mission’ clash with that of their ‘movement’ at this time of the revolution?
The above questions cast doubts on the purpose and intentions of SCCOP in the minds of many Ambazonians, and the main reason why the recent hype about its launching has bred disunity amongst them. They see it as politicking during a revolution when a genocide is ongoing.
Furthermore, the timing of its creation exposes an inarticulate motive that is contrary to the much needed ‘unity of purpose’ most Ambazonians yearn for. This has further exacerbated the disconnect between the budding political group and the grassroots.
Another look at the initiators of SCCOP exposes ‘a man fighting with his image in a mirror’. How can the Ambazonian people come to terms with the fact that the same people who advocated for a united platform under the umbrella organization SCACUF that led to the formation of this Interim Government (IG), are today on the other side of the divide, promoting a splinter political group?
The recent breach of confidence and collaborative allegiance between the current Acting President of the IG and some of his close collaborators is exposing the rift that this new political outfit is creating. SCCOP implicitly questions the legitimacy of the IG by claiming that one of its roles is to legitimize it. Most Ambazonians followed the process that led to the mandate bestowed on the present IG and therefore, any insinuation to undermine its legitimacy is met with resistance by the people.
Moreover, the skewed selling points that ‘governments’ are formed only in freed territories and that international stakeholders do not work with ‘governments’ are limiting! A counterexample is the Tibetan government in exile based in India, which enjoys support from major powers like the United States.
SCCOP proponents have used the historical precedent that revolutions have been fought from different fronts, justifying the formation of their group; but what they fail to add to their argument is the number
of decades those revolutions took to achieve their goals of freedom. The relevant questions here are: should we be stuck with historical precedent or improve on it? Are we prepared to take decades prosecuting this revolution from different fronts, when we have the option to forge a united platform, so we can reach Buea on record time? Even historical movements like the African National Congress(ANC) was formed because of the need to unite South Africans under one national organization. Groups that came after, like the Inkatha Freedom Party slowed down the surge for the fight against apartheid.
In this information age- with the power of instant communication, twentieth-century methods of ‘political education’ might be outdated. Our people, especially those in ground zero have had enough ‘education’ to sustain their resolve in sacrificing to free homeland. These compatriots form the main component of the ‘grassroots’, and what they need now are the necessary logistics and support to defend themselves and the homeland. These brave compatriots, some sleeping in the bushes, do not have the luxury of reading manifestos and constitutions of splinter groups, especially in the heart of a genocide. They have decried the divisive antics of some compatriots in the diaspora and SCCOP falls in that category.
There is no doubt that these compatriots on ground zero look up to the present leadership structure of this revolution- the Interim Government(IG), whose departments are open to all who have any meaningful contributions towards our revolutionary journey to Buea. So why form other political groups at this point in time? Why are some redefining the role of the ‘government’ to suit their narrative? If we called our ‘government’ a ‘revolutionary command’, could this have altered the present narrative?’.
As our abducted leader H.E. Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe always said, ‘this revolution is bigger than any individual’. The Ambazonian people as I know them, are foremost respecters of ideas, before individuals. They never put the cart before the horse. If in the long run, SCCOP turns out to be a ‘club’ instead of a ‘movement’, Ambazonians will look back at this group as a disruptive venture that aimed at slowing down this revolution.