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SW Mega Forum: Was the Buea Declaration prepared in Yaoundé?

Some of the participants, who partook in the just ended South West Mega Forum, have cast out doubts on the authenticity of the just ended Buea Declaration.

Some are of them are of the opinion that the declaration of the South West Forum on Saturday, August 25, 2018, was pre-prepared in Yaoundé days before the Forum was staged in Buea and only read to delegates during the conference.


Their arguments is further buttress by the fact that the outcome of the subthemes deliberated and presented by rapporteur on the four different workshops did not reflect the final declaration.

Proponents of this view hold that since the start of the Anglophone Crisis, most decisions are taken in Yaoundé and only forced down the throats of participants for implementation. This point could be seen in the Adhoc Committee meeting headed by Professor Paul Ghogomo where decisions were taken in Yaoundé and the aggrieved teachers were told to sign.

Chief Norbert Mbile reading the Buea Declaration

Or better still, members of the Adhoc Committee came with pre-prepared resolutions and deliberations were tailored to suit the already adopted resolutions.

As the South West Forum unfolded, issues raised made many to think that the final declaration was prepared before the Forum. A case in point is when the final declaration was to be read by Chief Norbert Mbile.

In reading the final declaration, Chief Norbert Mbile said, declaration done in Buea today August 5, 2018, and later said today September 25, 2018.

He was later corrected by the participants who reacted by murmuring. Listens to the reaction of the participants…….

Another evidence to support the views of the proponents, was the fact that only few of the points raised by members who worked in the subthemes were seen in the final declaration. Majority of the points listed on the final declaration were not the ones members in the different workshops arrived at.

One of the delegates from Meme Division, who is also a Chief, objected in fury when the final points adopted by his committee were being read. He revealed that most of the points listed on the final declaration were not the outcome of the recommendations arrived at during the workshop where participants actively.

“I want to be frank with you, I think this South West Forum was already held in Yaoundé and decisions taken. The conveners called for this Forum to read out what had been decided”, the Chief, who requested for anonymity told reporters.

It is not gainsaying that after every forum or conference, Journalists are always served with the hard copy of resolution(s) or declaration(s) or outcome(s) of such a forum or conference. But in the just ended South West Forum, the press was never served with a copy of the declaration, despite persistent request made by Journalists. Press men and women rushed behind the organisers of the Forum for a copy of the final declaration, but were denied.

This denial by the convenors to give out hard copies of the declaration to Journalists has raised many unanswered questions such as, why was the press denied hard copies of the final declaration?, Were the organisers scared that the press may see the date the final declaration was made?

With the above evidence, it would be an overstatement to conclude that the South West Declaration was the outcome of subthemes discussed during the workshop by participants.

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