Schools To Re-Open Or Not To RE-Open? 'Why Only Children Should Bear The Brunt Of The Struggle' Tassang Wilfred Writes

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Dear People of Ambaland,
Dear Southern Cameroonians,

In the name of our beloved country, the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia, I write to you.
I have heard many people asking the question why only our children should bear the brunt of our struggle. Why civil servants and all other groups are not also being asked not to go to work? Added to these questions is the enemy’s endless intimidation and brainwashing of our people.

We understand and appreciate the enormous sacrifices that the parents, teachers, lawyers and school children are making. Moreover, owners of private schools, mission schools and many others whose incomes are heavily dependent on school reopening will also suffer. We cannot and do not overlook them. The questions some of you are asking are important and we would like to put your mind to rest about them.

If we look at all human struggles, especially the struggle to free a people from slavery, colonisation, apartheid or imposed wars by foreign countries, the first thing we can see is that the sacrifices paid by different sectors of the public, by different individuals and by different families is never equal and can never be equal. 
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Depending on their strategic importance there are always people and groups that bear a heavier burden than others. In our struggle, we can see that the lawyers, teachers and our school children are already bearing a heavier burden. But even more than them, there are families that have already lost their own children in the struggle; there are husbands that have been killed by the enemy; wives and girls that have been raped or killed; others shut, kidnapped, abducted and tortured and even more are still in foreign jails in La Republique du Cameroon, paying a heavier price than others, for our liberation. 

Can we therefore insist that all of us must pay the same price? Are you going to give up your lives as those who have given up their own for our freedom? What would you say to those families that have already lost their own children that could go to school? What would you say to those who are in jail? What would you say to those teachers that are languishing in the enemy’s dungeons?.

Dear countrymen, this is not the time for us to start counting the sacrifices, or demanding that we all make equal sacrifices. It has never been so in any struggle; this is just the history of humanity. We totally agree that all of us need to make more sacrifices for our freedom, and we are calling on all to do so. And do not make any mistake: more sacrifices will be asked of us as circumstances demand. 

And let me ask you: if our schools were closed by the enemy, if it is La Republique du Cameroun that declares that our schools would close what would you do? I guess many of us would simply say “the government” has said schools should not open, and stop there! What we are facing here is not about how much we will lose in terms of money or how much investment we have made. We are facing the survival of a people; we are facing 56 years of slavery, and many more decades if we do not stand up now.

Our determination and resolve not to send our children to school this September will provide some consolation to those who have already paid the ultimate price. There is some consolation to those whose families have lost their own children; to those students, teachers, lawyers and all others who are still languishing in the jails of the enemy. That consolation is that we hold firm to the struggle until victory. 

We cannot hold firm if we surrender too soon to the schemes of the enemy by reopening our schools, by letting our children go back to school.. Let us remember that whether it is for the interest of our children or not, by reopening schools, we are reversing our struggle for freedom; we are helping the enemy to continue dominating and colonising our country; we are stabbing ourselves in the heart. If we surrender now, the sacrifices that we have made and that we are still making would all go in vain. Is that what we, the proud and resolute people of Ambazonia, want?
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I guess we all celebrate Mandela and Martin Luther King. Mandela accepted imprisonment for 27 years and Martin Luther King lost his life in the struggle for the freedom of Black Americans. Nagasaki and Hiroshima bore the heaviest price of the atomic bomb for Japan to surrender in WWII. Can we argue that everyone needs to pay the same price for freedom? Let each of us, let each Ambazonian family, let every school child call themselves a Mandela in this struggle. Let us remember that one or two seasons of school closure is not equal to fifty six years in which we have suffered slavery.

And remember my Dear People, the freedom we want to gain by sacrificing our lives, our schools for a few seasons, by doing whatever we must do to be free is freedom for eternity! Yes, perhaps we are not comparing our sacrifice to what we want to achieve. The freedom we will gain is not for 50, 100, or 1000 years: it is forever!! 

What are two seasons of school closure compared to eternity of freedom in which our children will not be trained as Republique’s slaves but as free people? What are two seasons of school closure compared to the survival of our people? 
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Look at the cultural genocide we are suffering in the hands of the foreign country of Republique: we have no space we can call our own; our children are being taught in French; our courts are ruled by them; our roads are full of their sign boards; we cannot celebrate our identity and national day, they lord over us in our own land as their slaves, and so on! Some of our people are in their fifties, yet they have never known the true history of our country, the Southern Cameroons. Why? Because of the fraudulent school curriculum and the false history Republique is teaching our children. Is this the education we are fighting to keep alive? 

All of these crimes will end only through the sacrifices we are willing to make. And our interim government has given us assurances that it is working overtime to design a new school curriculum for our children. Let us give it a chance to come out with that new school curriculum.
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Further, the real issue is not whether schools should reopen or not. When schools were shut down in 2016, the story of the illegal occupation of our country, which La Republique had successfully hidden from the world for 56 years suddenly came to light, and the longer the schools were shut down, the more the world focused on the crimes of Republique: UNESCO, international human rights bodies, main organs of the UN and other countries got involved. 

Republique struggled frantically to reopen schools and to ensure the GCE was written. Do you think it was doing all of that because of the love it has for our children? Absolutely no. Those were simply attempts to take the problem from the attention of the world, to hide it again. 

The struggle over control of our schools in the Southern Cameroons became a big issue in La Republique du Cameroun’s illegal occupation of our country! La Republique du Cameroun does not love our children more than we do! It is struggling to reopen our schools only to prove to the world that it still has control over the southern Cameroons and its people; only to continue hiding its colonial and illegal occupation of Ambazonia; only for fear that the people of the Southern Cameroons would regain control of their schools and therefore their destiny. 
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Do our parents and school children not understand this? Behind the question of school reopening hides these questions: who controls the Southern Cameroons, is it its people or the colonial regime of Republique du Cameroun? Shall we surrender to the enemy now after sacrificing so much and coming so close to gaining control of our territory and our lives? If it is by keeping our schools closed that we shall free our people and our country from fifty six years of brutal occupation and slavery, why should we not pay that price? 

If it is by keeping our schools closed that we shall refocus the attention of the international community on the Southern Cameroons problem for its eventual solution, why should we not pay the price? If it is by keeping our schools closed that we will show the world and ourselves that we are resolved to be free from colonisation and fraud, why not pay that price?
Look at other examples of countries that have shut down their schools for years to make things right: Ghana, Nigeria and many others. When shall we accept to pay the price it takes to free ourselves once and for all from Republique du Cameroun’s illegal occupation of our land? When?

If we go to school, we are doing so only to support La Republique in its colonial occupation of our territory; in its cultural genocide. Republique wants the schools to start not because it loves us, or that it is concerned about the education of our children. Republique wants our schools to reopen only to prove to the world that it controls us! If schools don’t open, attention will refocus on the Southern Cameroons problem. And that is what Republique does not want! So do we want to support Republique du Cameroun in its colonial occupation of our territory or we want to be free? What is the price we are willing to pay to be free forever, forever? 

Dear People of Ambazonia, 
In the struggle for the survival of a nation; in the struggle for the survival of our people, we shall be called upon to make even greater sacrifices than simply shutting down our schools! Make no mistake about that! We only need to look at human history to know what peoples and nations have sacrificed to free themselves from foreign occupation. They accept to sacrifice their lives and even to turn their children into soldiers. 
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We must burn it firmly into our beings that our own shall not be different! We are not asking our children to sacrifice their lives; we are not asking them to go into the streets; we are not asking them to go to jail; we are not asking them to stop school forever; we are asking them to stay home only for a short season. Let us accept it whole-heartedly for the goal we want to achieve, which is our everlasting freedom from slavery. 

This is not the time for us to lose sight of our goal; this is not the time for us to waver; this is not the time for us to play into the hands of the enemy, no matter its quibbling; this is not the time for us to surrender by reopening our schools. This is the time for all of us and our children to consider ourselves as Mandelas for the freedom of our beloved father land. 

This is the time to hold on firm until independence, until we reach Buea. This is the time to show the enemy that we control our schools and our territory, and that the enemy shall never control them again. Yes, the sacrifices are painful, but worth their weight in the lives we have already lost, in the eternal freedom we shall gain; in the future freedom and sound education our children will enjoy. 

All of these sacrifices are for our children and the generations unborn. Hold firm and we shall soon be in Buea, the capital of our free and proud country.
I thank you.

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