The Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, Saturday, August 25, 2018, stunned Ministers, Senators, Parliamentarians Traditional and Administrative authorities, Ministers and other living forces of the South West Region that had grouped under the umbrella of the South West Forum at the Buea Mountain Hotel.
Mounting the rostrum to deliver his welcome address, Mayor Ekema thanked the conveners of the South West Forum, but chided the elites for hiding in Yaoundé while the on-going Anglophone Crisis is ravaging the population of the Region.
“I must be frank to say here that the lacklustre and irresponsible manner in which our most formerly revered associations like SWELA and SWECC have been egocentrically involved in the management of the socio-political affairs within our Region, lack the moral responsibility to bring people together. I should be emphatic here that the silence of our elites in the heart of the current terrorist actions in our Region cannot be taken for granted and overlooked,” the Mayor stated.
Mayor Ekema Patrick added that the enemies sponsoring the on-going Crisis are within. “Our enemies are not all that far, we have some seated among us.”
Meanwhile, addressing the over 300 delegates drawn from the six Divisions of the Region, who had converged on the Mountain Hotel, the Chairman of the South West Forum, Peter Mafany Musonge, bemoaned the untold economic hardship, which he said, has engulfed the Region and its people.
“We note with disquiet the imposition of ghost towns, the crippling of the activities of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) and of PAMOL as well as small holder schemes and most especially the great loss of human lives.”
According to him, the conference was aimed at proposing solution to the on-going Crisis in the Region. In this regards, participants at the Forum were divided into four different workshops with four subthemes to brainstorm and come out with possible solutions to the on-going Crisis in the Region.
The subthemes were: the social and economic impact of the on-going Crisis on the South West, political choices of the South West Region, youth and women empowerment and cultural awakening and preservation of the South West Region.
After the deliberations, the following declarations known as the South West Declaration were made:
The delegates unanimously reject secession and a two State Federation; Reject the hosting of AAC III in Buea and South West at large, Seek Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Adhere to a one, indivisible but decentralised Cameroon, Request for more troops’ deployment in the Region and Call for inclusive dialogue.
Talking to the press, Senator Mbella Moki Charles expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Forum and urged the Government to put into practice the declaration of the forum.
“Though we had our diverse opinions, but we are all united and supported the final outcome which reflected the views of the majority of the participants. I think the best way forward is an inclusive dialogue, various stakeholders must be brought together,” Senator Mbella Moki added.
In his concluding remarks, the Chairman of the Forum, Peter Mafany Musonge urged all the men and women in the bushes to come out of “their dangerous camps and hiding places and join others to fix what needs to be fixed.”
The forum, which lasted for seven hours, was attended by Government Ministers, Senators, Parliamentarians, Traditional Rulers and top Government officials including the Governor of the South West Region and the local population. The Forum held under the theme: “South West Forum: Facing our Challenges together”.