The Barristers Agbor Balla/Akere Muna's Click On Federation, The Sure Way Out Of The Anglophone Struggle

Recently we've been hearing of Federation being the possible Win-Win solution between the government and the anglophone people to end  the ongoing anglophone crisis.

A-list religious, political and civil society leaders like Barrister Agbor, Barister Akere Muna, Edith Kah Wallah, Ni John Fru Ndi, Justice Ayah Paul Abine, Cardinal Christian Tumi. Hon. Joseph Wirba and a host of others have been preaching this form of State, which Minister Tchiroma once themed: 'Tabou'.

The struggle of the people in the two English speaking regions in the country that is now known as the 'Anglophone Crisis' started in Oct. 2016, with lawyers taking to the streets, demanding a reformation of the judicial system in Cameroon to suit the people of the English speaking regions, who till date are still under the grip of the French law. 

Teachers of the regions also suspended classes in a sit at home strike following some long unattended grievances in their profession by government. Then the November 28, 2016 unfortunate University of Buea incident where the then Vice Chancellor Dr. Nalova Lyonga called thugs on campus to brutalize students, during a peaceful in-campus protest by the students.

All these strike actions gave birth to the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, with Agbor Balla as President, Dr. Fontem as Secretary General, Barrister Eyambe Elias as Deputy SGTassang Wilfred as Program Coordinator, plus five others including Prof. James Abangma as Advisers.

The people gave a vote of confidence to the consortium, who became the commanding body of the anglophone people. In their numerous conclaves with government officials who came in the name of dialogue, the Consortium stood their grounds that the demands of the teachers and lawyers be addressed, including the demand for Federation, which angered the government officials, resulting to deadlocks in all dialogue attempts during that time.

Balla and Co had been preaching Federalism. Everyone was speaking the same Federalism language, until  on Jan 17., 2017, when CRTV  announced during the 5 p.m news  that the Consortium has been banned, together with the Southern Cameroons National Council. 

While the news of the ban was making rounds, Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem and some others were abducted and ferried to SED Yaounde. Tassang Wilfred ran for his life and went on self exile till date,  and Justice Ayah Paul too was abducted from his residence on Sat. Oct, 21st.

All these illegal arrests created a blend of fear and anger, which coagulated in the hearts of the anglophone people, to form a stone of resistance and deafness against all peace calls from the government.

The internet in Southern Cameroon went off that same day, and the outage lasted for more than three months. Balla who had predicted his arrest was smart, and handed over the affairs of the consortium to Mark Bareta and Tapang Ivo all in the diaspora. Support came from left and right to assist these duo managed the crisis. 

Schools in the regions shut their doors, lawyers deserted court rooms, ghost town implemented at their request as more people got arrested along the line including the Coffin Revolutions Mancho Bibixy, who till date is still in jail.

Agbor Balla while in jail continued to to benefit from the physical, spiritual and moral support of the people, still with his Federation ideology undiluted.

Then all of a sudden other branches and associations for the struggle in the diaspora were born, including SCACUF. People switched from the demands of Federalism to Independence, and an interim government was created benching Barrister Balla and Dr. Fontem, probably because of they were in jail, and no one knew how long they were to be there.

During their stay in the Kondengui prison, Barrister Balla and the rest had their heads only on Federalism, because according to them Independence can never be granted, in the present state of things,  but Independence can be gotten inside Federalism.

The Miracle Presidential order of August 30th, releasing Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem, Justice Ayah Paull and 52 other anglophones arrested and locked up at the Kondengui and SED prisons, brought a new twist in the struggle. With Mancho Bibxy, Senator Penn and many others still behind bars, Southern Cameroonians expected Balla's release to be an easy bridge to free the others.

They expected Balla to be on media platforms to throw stones at the government, but he was silent, and his silence brought speculations that while in jail, he was bought over by the government. Some called him traitor, while others said he was still traumatised by his jail experience.

His first major move after jail, was to visit Papy Ayah Paul in his Yaounde residence. He later visited Bibixy and others in jail. He travelled to his village Bakwelle in the Manyu Division, to pay hommage to his father who was buried while he was in jail, not knowing a heroic welcome awaited his arrival. He was crowned with the highest title of 'Sisikou' which means 'King of the Land.' 

He travelled back to his Buea based resident , where he visited the Buea central prison to meet those arrested in connection with the strike. He met senior administrators of the region, to discuss about the poor detention condition of the prisoners in the Buea prison.

Despite all these moves, Balla refused to make any official statement about the crisis, until during his thanksgiving service with a handful of others, when he slightly spoke about the crisis in his 'Thank you' speech.

He multiplied his actions, by speaking to local and international media, visiting victims and relatives of victims of the crisis, criticizing violence perpetrated by the military in the two anglophone regions. 

He was criticized for putting up a one man show, but others applauded his courage and determination. 

Balla has recently been travelling to African and European countries, where he boldly speaks about the crisis the way it is, and what he thinks is the possible way out of the crisis, to the satisfaction of his audience, though some say he is a black leg.

Without paying attention to who is saying what about him, Balla  recently voiced out his aged long viewpoint on the form of state, and called for school resumption. All hell break loose on him. Social media has declared him wanted dead or alive. His own peers calls him Judas Iscariot, enemies say he is a traitor, who has been paid by government to sabotage the struggle, but great minds with visions of a great tomorrow applauded his declarations and courage, as they feel he is working with reality.

Balla has always stood  for Federalism, and he like any other person has a right to his opinion.

Balla once told this reporter that " Federation will be a win-win for those demanding independence, and those fighting for a unitary state". According to him, Independence will be easily gotten in Federation.

Barrister Akere Muna too, in one of his recent press outings said a decentralized system will no longer work for Cameroon, and that the best bet for now is a Federal form of government.

Looking at their ideologies and that of Cardinal Tumi, who too has been in support of the return of a Federal Cameroon, and other great minds, it is very possible to conclude that with the state of things, when dialogue is finally engaged, and all are seated round the table, Federation MIGHT be the only validation, that the anglophone people will happily take home.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. They do not constitute our legal or professional advice. Readers are advised not to act on the basis of the information contained herein alone. Every situation depends on its own facts and circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage of whatsoever nature which may arise from reliance on any of the information published herein without consulting a professional legal practitioner.

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