Cameroon post reports that Senator Nfor Tabetando, February 2, in Buea, declared, before elite of the Southwest Region, that he and Senator Peter Mafany Musonge, are at the root cause of the internet shutdown in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. The declaration provoked disproval from the hundreds of the sons and daughters of the Southwest that attended a conference convened by Sen Mafany Musonge, former Prime Minister.
Moderating deliberations, Chief Barrister Tabetando, in his comments said after he read some ignominious things about him on the social media in relation to the crisis of the Anglophone Problem, he met Senator Musonge and they asked the Government to shutdown internet in the two regions so as to frustrate the Anglophone activists from communicating the goings on to the outside world. Grumbling of disapproval rumbled through the crowd and diatribes were hurled at the Tabentando and Musonge as voices were heard accusing them of shutting down communication between 6 million people in their selfish interest. Some people asserted that if Anglophones fail in their current bid to regain their freedom, the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of Tabetando and Musonge and other servants of the ruling CPDM party and the Biya regime.
They also accused Chief Atem Ebako, who gave a discourse in which he attempted to turn Southwesterners against Northwesterners. According to them, Chief Atem Ebako was fostering the Biya regime’s divide and rule tactics. The shutting down of the internet since January 17, in the two Anglophone Regions, has brought untold hardship to citizens. Businesses have had to endure loses in billions of FCFA due to the shutdown of the internet, which is the medium through which almost every business transaction is carried out. Financial institutions, companies, NGOS, cyber cafes, they observed, are employing thousands of young Cameroonians who all depend on the internet.
They further observed that Tabetando and Musonge who chanted President Biya’s mantra of Cameroon being one and indivisible, were the ones who divided the country aggravating the plight of Anglophones who are wallowing in marginalization. Tabetando, Musonge, Atem and some members of Government were in Buea to crusade for parents in Anglophone Cameroon to send their children back to school. Parents asserted that Tabetando and Musonge were of the typewriter age and could not have known that the internet, which they asked the Government to shut down, remains one of the most vital tools for education today.
That internet is used as a vehicle for distant learning; it is a virtual classroom in many countries today; it is the world’s biggest research laboratory and a library for both students and teachers. Meantime, Senator Mbella Moki Charles, who also attended the conference, castigated Chief Atem Ebako for his xenophobic pronouncements. “If you claim to support President Biya, you must walk in his step,” Mbella Moki asserted.
Most of the people who attended the conference described Chief Atem Ebako’s pronouncements as hate speech. Chief Njie Mandenge asserted: “It appears some of these people have not heard or read about what happened in Rwanda. This is the kind of language that brought about the Rwanda genocide. You can quote me anywhere,” he stated.