Participants at the August 26 ‘South West Elite Forum’ held in Buea at the behest of former Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musonge, have continued to peep into the ‘hidden’ motive of the gathering.
Some partakers at the meeting, which saw the presence of the movers and shakers of the Region, left the venue casting doubts on the announced intention of the meeting. Organisers had maintained that the meeting was going to be apolitical and meant to seek solutions to the socio-political Crisis that has paralysed the mainstay of the South West Region.
H.E. PAUL BIYA
One of the accomplices of the conclave whom The National Times interviewed faulted the subthemes discussed at the meeting.
The gathering had as subthemes; 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 the preservation committee.
A majority of the over 200 participants at the Buea gathering were members of the ruling CPDM party of President Paul Biya. Biya is seeking re-election for the 7th time as President of the Republic. Musonge is head of the CPDM in the South West Region.
A source hinted that, resource persons who dwelled on the political choices of the Region spent time regurgitating the achievements of Biya in his 36 years rule of Cameroon. Almost all the resource persons in this Committee, we are told, were members of the CPDM.
They include, former Minister Benjamin Itoe from Meme Division, Senator George Tabe Tando Ndiepnso. TabeTando is Chief of Batchu Ntai in Manyu Division. He is one of the Vice Presidents of the Senate.
There was Chief Ateme Ebako of Talangai, Kupe-Muanenguba Division. He surfaced at the meeting as Interim President of the South West Chiefs Conference (SWECC). Atem is a Board Member of the State broadcaster (CRTV). The same Committee had Chief Nasako Fitzgerald of Ndian Extraction. Nasako occupies a strategic position at the Ministry of Public Contracts. Another member was erstwhile Government Delegate to the defunct Kumba Urban Council, Caven Nnoko Mbele. All these are staunch militants of the CPDM with some still hunting for appointments into the Biya Government.
Observers see the composition of the Committee as being unrepresentative of the political coloration of the Region. They say it has no link with worries raised by the Anglophones.
A member of the Committee told The National Times that “discussions at the meeting had absolutely nothing to do with the on-going Crisis. It portrayed the CPDM party as the best choice for the 2018 Presidential election to the population of the Region.
The question many asked is; what was the real motive of the Forum? Was it to look for a lasting solution to the Anglophone Crisis or a forum to lobby support for Paul Biya as their candidate in the upcoming Presidential election come October 7”.
The National Times bumped into another participant who claimed some of the subthemes at the conference were misleading.
“The second subtheme is not only manipulative but misleading. It is manipulative in that during the Forum, the resource persons presented the developmental projects carried out by the Head of State and how the President of the Republic has maintained peace and unity in Cameroon for over 30years.No other party was mentioned during the deliberation by the resource persons, as such, the CPDM party to them is the best party for the population of the South West Region,” the participant, who also pleaded for anonymity, declared.
Patrick Ekema Esunge, Mayor of Buea during the conference lambasted the organisers. He accused the South West Elites of instigating the Anglophone Crisis. Esunge’s absence from deliberations at the meeting many say is a sign that the whole idea of the Forum had some unclear motives.