Foligar Lang, a Cameroonian politician based in the United kingdom has expressed disatisfaction and regret over what he encountered in Cameroon after honouring president Biya’s invitation to the national dialogue.
The objective of the discourse was said to be to seek solutions to the Anglophone problem which the dialogue convener had skeptically acknowledged its existence. The Weh-born political activist from the Menchum Division in Cameroon’s Northwest region told MMI few days before his return to the UK, that he arrived Cameroon days before the dialogue but was refused access in to the dialogue venue. This was because he is said to have been told he was not invited.
“It was a pity that I arrived exactly on time but they (the government) refused me access to the dialogue hall. I tried so much to see if can share my ideas to give grapevine opportunities for my people in order that we can get an inclusive understanding on how we can go ahead but I was told I was not invited as a political party leader” The leader of the Cameroon Reformation Party (CRP) said.
“I wonder how I should not be invited” he added. His flight to Cameroon including his lodging for the days he spent before and after the dialogue, he told MMI were his personal expenses. “My flight was paid by myself. My hotel was booked by myself and I came ready to support” he said while regretting that he was turned down, a situation he described as “unfortunate”.
The national president of the Reform Party, Senior Barrister Ashu Emmanuel, the PAC (Parti d’Aliance Camerounais) party president and other political activists were refused entry into the Conference centre by security forces at the gate for similar reasons. Some journalists were equally denied or limited access to the Conference Centre where discussions were held.
All extra efforts to get participation in dialogue, Mr Lang narrated, went in vain. “I went right up to Mont Febe Hotel and met the coordinator of the dialogue who is the prime minister’s Secretary and he asked me “what agenda have you?” I told him the agenda I got is to meet with other political parties in Cameroon so that we draw conclusion on what our people want before we can dialogue on their behalf.
We cannot dialogue when we don’t know what the people have in their minds” he is said to have told the PM’s Secretary. After meeting with the dialogue coordinator whom he said, said could not help, he was sent to Mbella Moki Charles. “Mbella Moki Charles was really astonished that I was not invited and said he could not do anything”.
“I was turned round and round until I had no access to the hall” he told us.
Asked on what were the solutions he brought from the UK that could solve the Anglophone crisis in the major national dialogue, he told us that ” My solutions were pertinent. First of all I have been talking to the fighters on the ground. I have been trying to ameliorate, talking to them to understand their viewpoints. It could have been possible for me to express this ideology. Some of them want independence, some want federation, secession and all sought of things”
“Some of the things they are asking for are synonymous to another like federation, separation or secession. Some of them can be understood but if I was to be allowed to go in to the hall, i even understand that the dialogue cannot give us an inclusive opportunity to put an end to the war in the Anglophone Regions. But it can give us the courage to meet with the people, the people on ground of the matter and get their own version but I was restricted from getting into the hall” he added.
“Fortunately” he went on, “the American embassy accepted my invitation where I met at the embassy with the political affairs officer and we held talks on what could be possible for the outcome and where is America’s position as a super power. Where do they stand in the crisis in Cameron”
“What did he say is America’s position in the crisis?” MMI asked. “At the moment” he told us, “I will not like to disclose” saying he is looking forward to meeting at the American embassy again.”
Reacting to the resolution of the major national dialogue giving Anglophones a “special status”, which is under critical political review and snapshot by political analysts and dissidents, Lang says “there is nothing in politics like special status”, questioning its characteristics. He added that “a similar dialogue was held back in 1996 and they drew a conclusion on decentralization but up till now, we have never heard decentralization”.
“We have come back. Now it is decentralization with special status. What is it all about? We don’t understand. What I want to tell you today is one thing. You cannot post a football match you bring the pole, referee, linesmen and you adjust the pole to your taste and you expect a different results. This is exactly what has happened” he explained stating that “this will not bring any change”. ” This is a camouflage to the public and international community that they are doing their best” he went on.
“But what is the best of a human being? Your best is not necessarily the best of everybody but an outcome that has the best is the most of the effort that is comprehensive to be apprehended or accepted by everyone” he noted.
Going by the CRP president’s words “decentralization is a public management scheme and not a system of government or governance”. According to him, “this means that the government just changes positions of administrative bodies into different areas of the country but the power is still autonomous. I don’t see any possibility on how this will work” he added. While emphatic that the impact of the just ended national dialogue is the status quo, the political aspirant and visionary says things are bound to remain the same characteristic of suffering, poverty and many other ills facing the Cameroonian population.
The CRP political party which is looking forward to participating for the first time in Cameroonian elections since its creation in 2010, boycotted the last October7, 2018 presidential election on reasons its president disclosed as “it was an election being hosted, managed and to be won by the incumbent”, president Biya.
By Beng Humphrey FANG.
Mimi Mefo Info