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Hon. Mbile Denies Insulting Northwest Brothers At Elite Forum 

By Francis Tim Mbom

Hon. Norbert Mbile has expressed his surprise at what he described as a misunderstanding of what he said about Northwesterners during a meeting of Buea elite on February 2.

“The Northwesterner is more resilient, hardworking and more in number than their Southwest brothers and sisters,” said Mbile, member of the National Anti-Corruption watchdog, CONAC.

He stated that this was the same view he expressed during the Buea Elite Forum more in praise of the positive attributes of the Northwesterners but was surprised that after the forum he received negative reactions from some of the Northwesterners.

At a press conference on Friday, February 17 in Limbe, Mbile said he was very surprised after the Buea meeting when reactions that followed what he said during the meeting in favour of his Northwest brothers was instead interpreted by some persons as being insults.

According to Mbile, people did not quite get him right.

He said he had argued that the Southwesterners, in line with the 1996 Constitution are advocating a ten-state federation whereby each region, even those in the French-speaking parts of Cameroon, will gain some autonomy and be quasi-self governing as every other region.

But, he said, they have realised that the position of the Northwesterners for a two-state federation might be difficult for the French part of the country to accept a governance system where the resources have to be shared in a 50-50 percentage arrangement, between the French and the English-speaking regions.

Mbile said this was his argument in Buea but it seems his arguments were misconstrued as insulting to the Northwest.

“I couldn’t have been insulting the Northwesterners because I have farms which are managed by Northwesterners. I have tried my Southwest brothers and they have failed me. There are Northwesterners who are even more of my brothers than Southwesterners. So I see that the Southwestners and Northwesterners are one and indivisible in a one and indivisible Cameroon,” Mbile asserted.


The Buea Elite meeting was seen by many Northwesterners as one organised to vilify them in the current struggle aimed at causing the Government to accord Anglophones certain rights which they feel they have been deprived of.

Some of the elite had made statements which bordered on xenophobia and prejudice.

But Hon. Mbile, who is also the Chief of the Batanga in Ndian Division, said he didn’t think the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea, Dr. Nalova Lyonga and Chief Dr. Atem Ebako of Talangaye village were xenophobic in their statements during the Buea gathering.

Talking about the ongoing strike, Hon. Mbile said he thinks it has already achieved its purpose by letting the Government know the Anglophone problems as tabled by the teachers and the lawyers.

“I recognise the merits of the strike which for the first time have exposed the marginalisation the Northwest and Southwest have been undergoing in this country. The strike addresses for the first time questions as to why the bi-jural and the bi-cultural status of Cameroon has not been addressed up till now,” Hon. Mbile noted.

He, however, stated that “there is no strike without an end”, adding that if the strike is to continue, the consequences, especially as schools have been shut down in the Northwest and Southwest,, will be just too enormous to bear.

Mbile said the long stay of children out of school will cause many to drift off to some other unproductive ends, many of the girl-children might become pregnant and parents will lose millions paid already as school fees and so on.

He recommended that the strike should be called off, children sent back to school and the Government given the chance to start implementing the plans as agreed during the negotiations.

Trade Off

As to his reactions to the call for the release of all those detained following this unrest by former Prime Minister, Simon Achidi Achu and other CPDM MPs of the Northwest, Mbile said he was convinced that if the strike was to be dropped and children let back to school, the Government would have compassion and reciprocate by either releasing those detained or doing something to solve the problems at hand.

Mbile also said that he believes that letting children back to school was key to causing Government to start responding to some or all of the demands made.

He called on parents to allow their children get back to school while citing the Registrar of the GCE Board, Humphrey Monono, whom he said has announced that the GCE Board has begun the process of setting the exams for the 2016/2017 academic year.