Douala(National Times)-Despite its growing popularity, the Anglophone General Conference (AGC) convened by Cardinal Christian Tumi is already receiving criticisms from people across the globe for declaring that it wants to gather, harness and transmit the real situation on the ground to Paul Biya as well as recommendations to end the war and manage the conflict.
Declaration by AGC Spokespersons and General Coordinator
In a recent declaration on his twitter account, the AGC Spokesperson and General Coordinator, Elie Smith quoted Cardinal Tumi in saying that the movement is not a dialogue platform for the conflict but wants to gather grass root demands and transmit to Paul Biya as well as informing him of the real situation on the ground.
Like regime stalwarts, he said Cameroonians should be left to manage their problems without any Western interference.
“Our aim is to inform Paul Biya of the true reality of what is happening in Anglophone Cameroon and also what the grassroots think about the state of the Union. Cameroonians must be allowed to solve their problems without Western interferences,” Cardinal Tumi said, as quoted by Elie Smith.
Prior to this outing, Elie Smith granted an interview over Equinoxe television where he stressed on the fact that Paul Biya is the only harbinger of a solution to the current problem. While quoting the cases of DR Congo and Libya, Elie Smith said Western countries only interfere to protect their interest and in many cases instead plunged these African countries into more chaos. However, Smith’s public declaration has instead casted more doubts on the validity of AGC and its capacity to be a veritable dynamo in resolving the Anglophone question once and for all.
Reactions from the public
Reactions have been coming from diverse actors, including activist, regular citizens, foreigners etc with most of them not favourable to AGC.
A leading Ambazonia activist, John Mbah Akuro argued that Paul Biya knows the problem very well and he is regularly informed of ground actions. “Hi big brother, I think Biya knows exactly the problems in West Cameroon. More than anyone, he is informed of what actually happens on GZ. Trying to inform him is delay tactics. Let’s do what must be done,” Mbah Akuro said. While an unidentified activist questioned; “what new information does he need?” Other respondent reminded Elie Smith of the fact that Paul Biya was part of the commission created by former President Ahmadou Ahidjo to study the Anglophone problem. According to this school of thought, Paul Biya has a mastery of the problem but lacks good faith to see its genuine end.
Others also lashed out at Smith for criticizing Western interference into African affairs as well as Cameroonian. To Mesape Sube, Western countries are already interfering in Cameroon especially through loans and debt cancellation – “when Cameroon needs money, they beg from Western donors. You think the Westerners would not like to see how and where their money is being invested.” To Agbortem, only pressure from Western countries and institution can cause the Biya regime to seek a nonviolent solution to the conflict. “There can’t be solution to the Anglophone crisis without western interference. Let’s stop fooling ourselves and face the reality…The Biya regime does not listen to anyone even the church authorities,” he argued. According to John Peter “international mediation is good but Southern Cameroonians have to elect those who will mediate on their behalf. Until the people are given the chance to choose their representatives any mediation is a waste of time.”
Another respondent warned the organizers of AGC not to make the same mistake as those of the All Anglophone Conference I and II where resolutions sent to Paul Biya never received even an acknowledgement letter.
“How can Paul Biya possibly not know what has transpired in Anglophone Cameroon since November 2016. He has a plethora of advisors, has received written statements from international community and more. Please explain,” Elizabeth Geitz, award winning author asked.
This is the first time the AGC is receiving a mammoth criticism. Many had thought that the movement would either serve as a mediation channel between the Biya regime and Ambazonia activists or unite the various Anglophone/Ambazonia factions under a single umbrella, to present a common front to the regime as well as a pressure group to gather support nationally and internationally to force the regime to talks with its interlocutors.