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There Is No Leadership Problem In The S.C.N.C. – S.C.N.C. Secretary Meme 

In reaction to a caption, “S.C.N.C. picks Ayah Paul to Succeed Chief Ayamba?”, which featured in The Median no. 0120 of Monday, June 30, 2014, I wish to state here categorically that there is no leadership vacuum in the S.C.N.C.  Chief Ayamba upon his death was no longer the Chairman of the S.C.N.C. It is no secret that the former National Chairman of the S.C.N.C. Chief Ayamba Ette Otun is no more but curiously enough, hardly had the dust of his demise settled than postulants started scheming for the position. Unfortunately some of those attempting to lobby support for themselves or their choice candidates don’t even understand how the S.C.N.C. operates.

The S.C.N.C. though often erroneously referred to as a pressure group is a liberation movement fighting for the restoration of the confiscated independence of Southern Cameroons. Even though the Yaounde regime has refused to accept its legal character, the S.C.N.C. is recognised and accepted within international circles, reason why Yaounde is so jittery and uncomfortable with its popularity. In fact, a former Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation once confided in Mr. Koumpa Issa, at the time Governor of the Northwest Province, that the Government had succeeded in containing the S.D.F. but their greatest headache is with the S.C.N.C. because it is more popular internationally than back at home.

What Southern Cameroonians need to understand is that the S.C.N.C. operates on a constitution and not on sentiments which has misled many to think that there is a leadership vacuum in the movement. Moreover some people have equally nursed and nurtured the view that the S.C.N.C. is equivalent to Southern Cameroons, reason why they uphold the idea that you must only be a member of the S.C.N.C. before your views about the Southern Cameroons struggle can have any impact. This writer wishes to point out that the S.C.N.C. though the most popular liberation movement within the territory is just one of the several voices articulating the aspirations of the Southern Cameroonian crusaders for a separate State and as such cannot block any other movement or individuals from pursuing the same goal from divergent angles. This remark is very pertinent because those who hold the view that S.C.N.C. is synonymous to Southern Cameroons are responsible for the crack that almost rocked the S.C.N.C. in 2011.

The Genesis Of The Problem

Prior to activities leading up to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Southern Cameroons independence on October 1, 2011, the various liberation movements saw the urgent need to constitute a common and strong force that will send shock waves down the spine of the annexationist, La Republique du Cameroun. In that respect, the Southern Cameroons Youth League, S.C.Y.L., initiated two conclaves and the leaders of the various movements met in Oslo in April and Washinton D.C. on June 5, 2011, respectively. Unfortunately, Chief Ayamba’s passport had expired so he had no choice than send his constitutional Vice to represent the S.C.N.C. in the two meetings. He even addressed a letter to the members of the conclaves presenting Dr. Nfor Ngala as the authoritative voice of the S.C.N.C. in those meetings with signature power.

During the Washington conclave, all the participants agreed to come up with a neutral body to coordinate activities leading up to October 1 celebration. That is how the Patriotic Coalition Front, P.C.F., came into being. It was equally agreed that for the P.C.F. to have a consensual image no movement should be considered superior to the other so a horizontal structure was adopted. Finally, it was also agreed that the P.C.F. will only be functional up to October 1 celebration and the ad-hoc committee was to be dissolved on June 9, 2011 after which each of the movements will regain its identity. Mola Njoh Litumbe was elected the Chairman of the “Ways and Means Committee” charged with raising funds for the celebrations. He was equally assigned together with Dr. Nfor Ngala to coordinate the activities of the commemoration back home. It should be noted that before this decision was arrived at, Chief Ayamba and some members of the Victoria/ Fako county had sat behind in Mutengene and signed a document recommending that the conclave should endorse Chief Ayamba and Nfor Nfor as President and Vice respectively of the free Southern Cameroons nation to be. Noticing what conflict such a proposal would have caused if faxed to the conclave, the then secretary General of the S.C.N.C. Fidelis Cinkwo simply put it aside.

When finally Mola Litumbe and Nfor returned to Cameroon, those who proposed the S.C.N.C. to occupy the positions of President and Vice were very bitter with Nfor for shelving their stand and refused to listen to whatever explanation he had to tender. To add salt to injury, Fon Yembe in a Political Punch publication declared that, “Mola Njoh Litumbe emerges as home front leader of the P.C.F.” This publication infuriated Chief Ayamba and his entourage who saw their hopes of being President and Ministers in Southern Cameroons dashed to the winds. Unable to contain their anger any further, they accused Nfor of sacrificing Chief Ayamba who had spent 14 months in an underground cell in Yaounde in favour of Mola Litumbe.

Enter, Blackmail.

It was then that the Ayamba clique sought for means to crucify Nfor for frustrating their aspirations but unable to establish any, resorted to blackmail. They conspired and accused him of having received money to the tune of FCFA 3.5 billion from the Biya regime to sell the Southern Cameroons cause. Chief Ayamba even stated authoritatively that he had a photocopy of the cheque Nfor received from the Yaounde authorities but couldn’t produce it even after much pressure. Later that year, Chief Ayamba and seven others met in Victoria and passed a vote of no confidence on Nfor and even attempted to bar him from participating in a National Council meeting that held in Victoria on December 5, 2011.In fact they only conceded when they realised that tempers had flared in the hall before they let him in. Chief Ayamba scheduled the next National Council meeting in Bamenda on January 12 and 13 2012 and many believed that was going to be a forum for the matter to be looked into.

Noting the unconstitutional manner in which Chief Ayamba handled the budding crisis; Meme County opposed the move and wrote to the National Council requesting Chief Ayamba to refer the matter to that supreme organ of the movement for arbitration. On the contrary, Chief Ayamba arrogantly replied that he was chosen by God to lead the S.C.N.C. and was answerable only to God. He even went on to state that the National Council was of Nfor Nfor`s making and that trying him there will be like trying Mr. Biya in the Central Committee of the C.P.D.M.  

Evasive Tendency

A week to the scheduled January 2012 meeting, Chief Ayamba called it off on the flimsy excuse that he was taking his wife to Nigeria for medical attention. Seeing that personal interests could not supersede State issues the other members of the council proceeded with the meeting. As was expected, Chief Ayamba and his clique were conspicuously absent. The highly attended meeting disapproved of the Chief Ayamba clique`s conspiracy and excluded them from the movement but gave them ample time to apologise and be readmitted as ordinary members. Of course being so sure of themselves and their new outfit, “Frontliners and Devoted Activists”, they ignored the National Council decision. Unfortunately, just like a castle of cards will crumble by a mere touch of an infant, hardly had the frontliners/devoted activists settled down to business than the group further disintegrated into three factions with each of them claiming to be the frontliner in the Southern Cameroons struggle. Mr. Bisong Mathias Arrey who has now arrogated to himself the Chairmanship of the S.C.N.C. interim administration and until then Chief Ayamba`s most dependable aide was the first to start pointing out his administrative blunders. Unable to contain Chief Ayamba`s inactivity any further, he was inspired to publish the infamous press release of  June 16, 2014 in The Median no. 0119 of June 16, 2014 which some pundits assert like the dagger stab on Julius Caesar by Brutus, might have caused the octogenarian a sudden malaise leading to his unexpected exit from this world.

Why There Is No Leadership Vacuum In The S.C.N.C.

Every ship sails out to the sea with a captain and when the captain becomes inactive or unproductive, the ship is not abandoned to sink. Someone else must take over and sail it to safe shores. Since Chief Ayamba and his clique fell out of favour with Nfor then Vice National Chairman in 2011, they have not featured in any major S.C.N.C. activity except for an ill-advised letter he posted on the internet in 2012 accusing Nfor Nfor of training a militia in Nigeria in complicity with the Yaounde regime to oust he Ayamba so as to sign for a federation with La Reublique du Cameroun. He even gave a contact number in Nigeria for any inquisitive person to call and verify and called on the U.N. Security Council to provide security for him.

Chief Ayamba and co were conspicuously absent in Buea on 1st October 2011 and even when over 300 activists were arrested and detained and later taken to court he never uttered a statement, talk less of even paying them a solidarity visit during the court sessions that suffered several senseless adjournments because the prosecution was unable to bring any charges against the detainees. On the contrary, Nfor and Mola Njoh Litumbe were always in court as 1st and 2nd defence witnesses respectively while Hon. Ayah Paul attended the court sessions and took solidarity photographs with the detainees. 

On October 1, 2012, while Yaounde was resting on its laurels thinking they had completely eliminated that monster of the S.C.N.C., it once again reared its ugly head under the leadership of Nfor Ngala. As usual, there were arrests followed by the routine senseless court adjournments. Still on August 27, 2013, 84 activists were arrested in Kumbo under the leadership of Nfor Ngala and while in detention at the Gendarmerie Company, the S.D.O. for Bui openly declared that he was lucky to have met the famous Nfor Ngala for his first time. The activists were in detention for one week and when quizzed by the Company Commander of the Gendarmerie  and the Commissioner for Public Security about the army the S.C.N.C. intended to use to oust La Republique du Cameroun from Southern Cameroons territory, this writer authoritatively told them that the Southern Cameroons struggle needed no army and that whether they arrested S.C.N.C. activists one million times they remained foreigners in Southern Cameroons territory and will eventually all pack back to La Republique du Cameroun someday. That statement probably reminded Yaounde of their illegal occupation of Southern Cameroons to the extent that for the first time, the activists were released without charge and the Government was responsible for transporting them back to their various destinations.

On August 12, 2013, Nfor after having been endorsed as Chairman of the S.C.N.C. signed a press release addressed to the U.N. Secretary General stating the position of the S.C.N.C. concerning the handing of Bakassi to La Republique du Cameroun and warned that if the only language the U.N. understands is that of bloodshed, then they should be getting ready for another Rwandan type of genocide because Southern Cameroonians were already exhausting their patience. That release had a positive reaction as the U.N. Secretary General caused the U.N. expert on minority rights to visit the S.C.C. secretariat in Bamenda on September 6, 2013.

On December 7, 2013, the S.C.N.C. addressed a petition to the Diplomatic community in Yaounde and the international community in which it established the illegality of the Buea so called 50th anniversary of reunification celebrations. It is common knowledge that the call was hearkened to as evident by the massive boycott of the event by the personalities mentioned above.

On February 24, the S.C.N.C. published its response to the Buea masquerade and it was highly acclaimed internationally which culminated in the S.C.N.C. being invited to address a conference on Self Determination as a Means of Peaceful conflict Resolution which held in the British Parliament, Westminster, on May 6, 2014. Due to visa constraints; passport arrived late from Ghana; the Chairman had no choice than send his speech that was read by the S.C.N.C. Technical Adviser for U.K. May it please you to know that the members of the House of Lords and House of Commons who convened the conference were so impressed that they signed a resolution pressing on the U.K. Government to take up the Southern Cameroons cede to the U.N. once more for redress. With all the diplomatic victories scored so far, can anyone then challenge this writer that there is no leadership vacuum in the S.C.N.C.?  

One must not only be a leader of the S.C.N.C. before fighting the southern Cameroons case. You will all agree with me that Mola Litumbe and Hon. Paul Ayah have often made utterances that sent cold sweat down the spine of the regime in Yaounde but they are not members of the S.C.N.C.

Those advocating for Hon. Ayah to take over the leadership of the S.C.N.C. may need to think twice before making known their stand to the public. During the 1997 race for the Presidency of FECAFOOT in Yaounde, the controversial Vincent Onana told fellow contender Joseph Antoine Bell that, “You don`t get into the upper floor of a story building through the window. You must use the staircase.” He was indirectly telling Bell that he could not come from outside and expect to win the most covetous position in FECAFOOT. He needed to have started from the rank and file and work his way up. Hon. Ayah is a very courageous and charismatic leader whose steadfastness in defending truth and legality is unquestionable but as at now he is not a member of the S.C.N.C. How then do people expect him to assume leadership of the S.C.N.C. when he is not yet a member? We of the S.C.N.C. are anxiously waiting for him to join us so that we can catapult him to higher heights. This shall not be done through opinions expressed in newspapers. This writer invites anybody who may feel hurt with this publication to challenge any of the points raised in it for further justification.

By Simon Fuh Ngwa, Secretary, S.C.N.C. Meme County

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