Dear Ngwa,

How is it up country? I heard your name among those assigned by the Head Boy with instructions from the School Master to meet the people – the same people who had vomited you guys.

Are they going to listen to you now, Ngwa, when their loved ones have been arrested, detained and tortured, some maimed, some missing, some killed? I hear you are disposing of the corpses; the ones shot on October 1, by burying many of them in a grave.

Are you going to refund the high ransom in hundreds of thousands that the people have been paying to your security forces to buy the freedom of their love ones and are now starving? Are you going to repair the houses broken into and children seized and ferried into detention for their parents to come and pay?

How can you be sent to meet the people when your forces have scared all their children and they are now living in the bushes? And while you are planning to meet the people, helicopters are clattering at midnight over roofs of people in Mile 14 and Dibanda? How can you ask to meet people when your comrades are sending thugs to kill their presumed enemies or people who cannot do as they say? Well, the hunter seemed to have become the hunted.

To tell you the truth, you guys have only further radicalised our people. They never had that kind of treatment even under very foreigners like the British, but they are having it now under people they termed their brothers in 1961. Ever since we said in Foumban in 1961: “How nice is it for us to meet our brothers again,” it has never been nice.

By the way, what are you guys up to with this gathering of information and taking it to the big man? You mean he does not know what the matter is?

Let me help you guys. To solve a problem, scientifically or socially, it behoves on the seeker(s) of the solution to define the problem, define the agents, the form the format used to seek the problem in order to get an effective and efficient solution. If the problem and the elements used for its solution are not clear, the solution will be porous.

Now, you send people called elite. Whose elite? CPDM elite? I am asking this because they had all been rejected by the people. They can either be termed CPDM elite or, better still, President Biya’s envoys.

The logic here is that if they were the people’s elite, representatives, leaders or call them by any other name, there wouldn’t be coming to meet the people – they should rather be articulating the grievances of the people to the powers-that-be.

Secondly, is the exercise in itself the beginning of the dialogue that the national and international community has advised? Or are the envoys coming to ask the people what the problem is or to collect information which can be used to identify the problem so that it can be defined and dialogue begins?
If yes, then, your Government has goofed again.

The envoys are the same persons the people have refused to listen to and may not talk to. And the envoys know it, but since they must come either for the allowances or to protect their jobs, the must.

Therefore, the results will be informed by the justification of the allowances and the protection of jobs. So, the exercise is dead at birth.

If yes, then, the exercise is just a waste of resources, because, there are copious documents which have been sent and resent to the Government on the issue at stake.

If it is cumbersome to revisit these documents in their hardcopies, the State pays civil servants as investigators who can go online and retrieve enough material.

I am saying this because I see the exercise as playing for time and things are getting worse. Remember, in this particular problem, time has not been favourable to the regime. The longer – the harder.

But if you want the people to even start listening to you, release all those who were arrested since the escalation of the Anglophone Problem, grant amnesty to all those in exile and so on.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.