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Health / Medical

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Urgent Action Under Way
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Controversial
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Scientific breakthrough
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Editorial:The Anglophone Problem & "Graffi Supremacists"


In response to Ambe Emmanuel's "Bamenda drinks of its blood but Buea gets drunk….Bamenda burns but Buea gets the benefits."

I read with lavish amusement, the ranting of Mr. Ambe Emmanuel and his misguided effort to fan the embers of the graffi-coastal problem, aka the NW-SW divide. Let me begin with one caveat and one explanation. First, the explanation: the unsuspecting reader of this rejoinder might be surprised to learn that after the release of Agbor Balla and co, Mr. Ambe went to town with his conspiracy theory of how: “When it came to the release of detainees which was called for by Bamenda, Buea was favored while Bamenda was left to lick its sores.” When his attention was drawn to the fact that Fontem Neba was not a SWesterner, he rationalized his baseless allegation by arguing that Fontem Neba was based in the SW, where he is a lecturer in UB. The caveat I wish to make is that although I am not holding brief for any SWesterner, I am a bona fide SWesterner; and I have neither regrets nor apologies to detractors of the SW. This is as it should be!

I am compelled to respond for two reasons. One, Mr. Ambe mentioned my name in his Fb write-up; but most importantly, to present the facts, lest the public be misled into believing the errant lies, half-truths, jingoistic and provincialist verbiage he has been propagating. It is obvious Mr. Ambe is paranoid about anything SW, evidence by the confusion and incoherence in his hallucinating tantrums. With a distinguished pedigree as a NW provincialist, Mr. Ambe has launched a barrage of churlish invectives and malicious attacks against SWesterners with the intention of blackmailing and questioning their commitment to the Anglophone struggle, as evidence by this question: “How many Facebook leaders are from the South West? A certain WALTERS KIMAH, EKINNEH AGBOR, AKOSON PAULINE DIALE, the rest are from the North West as the Anglophone problem has become a Graffi struggle. The majority from the south west are against the struggle.”

Such baseless allegations like much of what Mr. Ambe said, is no more than gross misrepresentation, and a campaign of calumny by someone suffering from delusions of grandeur. The halting grammar and rambling syntax is ornamented with banal aspersions and vituperative grandiloquence presenting Swesterners as lazy and indolent. This is an affront on the collective sensibilities of SWesterners and all level-headed Anglophones ought to develop a sense of outrage. Mr. Ambe has exposed himself as a fifth columnist fanning the embers of Anglophone disunity, while pretending to do otherwise.

I would relish engaging Mr. Ambe in an honest debate on the NW/SW divide, free of all his garrulous anti-SW banter. But the illogical absurdities in his knowledge of Cameroon history, betrays a lamentable ignorance, which I find truly remarkable. Hear Mr. Ambe: “On 26th may 1990 the SDF was launched and LRC sent death squads to shoot and kill at will as les biafrens were about to divide the country. 6 died in process and many were maimed and handicapped for life as we already know. While the Ntarikon youths were catching live grenades with their bare hands, our brothers in the south west were singing DIMABOLA at Bongo Square and BENJAMIN ITOE mounted the podium in pink CPDM regalia and challenged anyone who wanted democracy to come out. Though ALBERT MUKONG created the SDF to defend the interests of the Anglophones, spin doctors from the South West like AGBOR TABI were dispatched to quickly distort and divide popular opinion in saying that the SDF was a [Graffi thing] and that the South West should not adhere to it. Even though the people heeded to their plea, they ended up voting the UNDP which was the lesser devil between the unpopular CPDM on the one hand and the graffi SDF on the other hand. That is how the UNDP swept almost all Parliamentary seats in south west, for a party that was far removed in interests and in leadership from the Anglophones. Divide and rule made the south west to choose a distant francophone party over their Graffi brothers. If the Ntarikon youths did not defy their fears and come out en mass to catch live grenades, Cameroon would not have had the more than 300 political parties we have today including the UNDP that was highly favored at the time. MUSONGE took the relay from AGBOR TABI and as Prime Minister and political godfather of the region, he heightened tribalism in outlandish proportions.”

To begin with, the ridiculous assertion that Albert Mukong founded the SDF to defend Anglophone interests; and Ntarikon youths catching live grenades while the Southwest counterparts were singing Dimabola in Buea, is laughable and should attract no further comment. It stretches disbelief and reading the excerpt above, would cause laughter were it not absurdly and hypocritically tragic. As an eye-witness to history, I don’t remember Mukong being an accused in the Yondo Black trial. Besides, your thoughts are so convoluted about events that you are ignorant of basic facts. It was not “divide-and-rule” that “made the south west to choose a distant francophone party (UNDP) over their Graffi brothers.” It was the ill-advised SDF decision to boycott the March 1992 legislative elections.

You berated Swesterners for voting the UNDP in the 1992 legislative elections, but saw nothing wrong with NWesterners overwhelmingly voting for the CPDM in that same election. Unlike the NW whose 20 seats were all “won” by the CPDM, the UNDP won the SW, (but contrary to what you stated) the UNDP only won Fako with a relative majority and obtained two of the four seats - Mme Mokeba and Litumbe (UNDP); Ray Ikundi (CPDM) and Omer Betow (UPC) were the other Fako MPs. Mr. Ambe, I must remind you that while Swesterners like DO Beteck refused to rig the elections in Meme and was sacked; NWesterners stood by and cheered as then NW Governor, John Ebong Ngole (SW) stole the election from the UNDP led by Ngohbessing Suh Romanus and gave it to his CPC Bali classmate, Achidi Achu (NW); who was subsequently appointed PM based on the CPDM victory in the NW. Before you talk about tribalism, please check the ratio of NW/SW staff at the Star Building while Achidi Achu was PM and spare us the noise. Besides, in the October 11, 1992 presidential election, the SW overwhelmingly voted for Fru Ndi, the Union for Change candidate. And in the January 1996 Municipal elections, all major councils in the SW were won by the SDF; so your claim about Swesterners not supporting the SDF because it is a “graffi thing” is baseless and entirely without merit.

Maybe I am missing something here, but I still cannot fathom why anyone can afford to employ such sophistry to rationalize his disdain for Swesterners as Mr. Ambe stated below: “When workers were sought to till the soils for the implementation of the CDC, the colonizer was met with resistance, apathy and untold indifference from the SAWA indigenous people. The Sawa man with his immaculate white shirt, 3 fardon sanja and British hat could not imagine himself folding his long sleeves to till the soil nor could he bear the inconvenience of getting up at the 4 am cold to catch the plantation truck to ferry him to work that earned him peanuts at the end of the day. The SAWA man preferred to get up at 9 am, spend an hour ironing his white shirt, sipping some red wine on the balcony of his hut over a game of draft or fishing out the news from the latest publication. When the colonizer got in touch with workers from the North West extraction, they were surprised at the level alacrity to do hard work, dedication and seriousness they got in exchange; as a consequence, the North Westerners were preferentially sought over the indigenous Sawa people to toil in the CDC farms. The North Westerners were also appalled by the highly fertile nature of the Sawa soils which required little or no tiling, little or no fertilizers or watering and maize could be planted around the year with reasonable productivity as opposed to their native Graffi lands where maize could only grow between May and September. While the Sawa man saw dirt in the black volcanic loam soils, the Graffi man saw a golden opportunity to farm the lands to the fullest around the year and get enough harvest for fufu corn and nyusi-ji or kati-kati if you like. It is through these that the Graffi man went home and called his brothers to join him till both the CDC farms and other farms in order to make a living.”

Just for the records; these apposite remarks, acerbic as they are, points to a cantankerous mind, and gives fodder to SW provincialists who pander to the trite narrative of the Nwesterner as bogeyman for all the problems in the SW. I consider such feeble-minded resort to blackmail condescending. I find the animus put forth by Mr. Ambe against Swesterners astounding and I am disappointed that someone who claims to be championing the Anglophone cause would be undermining the struggle with patronizing and condescending comments that will only alienate Swesterners. This is indeed pathetic, and an unbelievable shame! Is Mr. Ambe saying PM Philemon Yang, Atanga Nji, Achidi Achu, Vincent Ndumu and other NW CPDM elite who oppose the Anglophone struggle are SWesterners?

While I concede Mr. Ambe’s right to free speech, I don’t understand why he is flogging this NW/SW dead horse, with such condescending display of empty grand-standing. His lack of civility, matched by a penchant for name-calling, seems to be animated by a primitive vendetta of self-abnegation and a certain blind, narrow-minded hate, borne of an unseemly disposition and prejudice against Swesterners, which transcends the realm of free speech into hate speech. I don’t know on what authority he claims that Chief Mukete killed Lawyer Eseme, but such unguarded remarks have no redeeming value to the present struggle and strip his message of its significance. These double-standards wherein NWesterners attack SWesterners have been used by SW CPDM elite to stoke fears of a hidden NW agenda which is counter-productive to our collective aspirations. Therefore, anyone pandering to this narrative should rightly be considered as an enemy of the Anglophone nation.

Mr. Ambe, in conclusion, your circumlocutious bloviating is spurious and your warrantless attack on Swesterners betrays an angry and cantankerous man with a high nuisance value, seeking to be noticed. As much as I tried to rationalize the motivation in your diatribe, permit me say at this time and point, Anglophones cannot afford to be distracted by people who speak the language of yesterday with such profound recklessness; without any due consideration of the consequences of projecting such a narrow provincialist agenda. That someone of your age and standing would join this category of ego-offensive sycophants to champion hypocrisy and double-speak at such a critical time in the Anglophone struggle is clearly beyond commonsense. Mr. Ambe, you must grow out of this impertinent self-flagellation if you want to be relevant to this struggle.

Cheers and good luck
Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai
Public Intellectual

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