The Colbert Factor:
When North West CPDM MPs Begin Feeling the Ambazonian Reality
When Muteff was fighting for greater autonomy in the 70s from mainland Abuh village in Fundong Sub Division of the Boyo Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, one of the desperate moves was to withdraw its membership from the Abuh traditional council that was the source of their marginalization and subjugation, in the first place. Yet, one notorious villager, Yindo Tangeh, insisted he must continue to represent Muteff in the Abuh traditional council, come rain, come shine. Each time he left the council session at the Abuh Quarter Head’s compound, he made sure he stopped over at the Muteff Market Square to provocatively announce to whoever cared to listen to the resolutions of the Council session and the plans put in place by Abuh to quell the Muteff resistance.
He had thought being one of the few remaining Muteff members in the Abuh traditional council, he would be treated much better than others representing different quarters in Abuh. That was without the knowledge and understanding that the all-too-assuming and all-knowing towering Council Chair, bobe Donga Mbeng (who wielded all the decision-making powers in Abuh then) wasn’t considering him any force to reckon with. After months and years of waiting impatiently to be made a Grand Councilor for Muteff at the Abuh traditional council, Yindo Tangeh had no choice but to rush over one day to Muteff Market Square to castigate in very strong terms the greediness and marginalizing nature of mainstream Abuh councilors, and how if his grievances were not immediately looked into, he would cause havoc out there.
When the majority of Muteff revolutionaries tried to ridicule the fact that he was asked to withdraw and he claimed wiseness, he claimed he had all that it takes to drive sense into Abuh’s leadership head…Fast forward to 2023.
Last September 5, 2023, like Yindo Tangeh in the 70s in Muteff, some 17 of the 18 North West CPDM MPs sent a memo to the House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Jibril, protesting the blatant marginalization and ill-treatment of MPs of North West extraction in the 10th legislature. Without bordering on finding out how MPs of the sister minority South West Region have been feeling in the past nine legislatures when North West MPs and decision-makers were calling the shots, the North West MPs in the current legislature went ahead to enumerate areas and instances they have been relegated to the background in the National assembly including their non-belonging to inter-parliamentary unions and other regional and international missions organized by the National Assembly. They also pointed out the non-representation of North Westerners in Committees and the National Assembly offices. Their private interests. Nothing about the plight of the common wo(man) on the streets and neighborhoods of the South West and North West Regions.
In sharp contrast, their counterpart from the South West Region, Senator Mbella Moki, was on the streets of the South West, doing what elected officials ought to do: cry out for their people (and from the streets of Buea, not from the cozy confines of the Yaounde offices North West MPs signed their memo).
One month after the memo, and just weeks to the opening of the November session of parliament devoted to the reading and the adoption of the 2024 state budget; it is still to be seen whether the protest changed anything, other than making Cameroonians realize that CPDM MPs could come together on their own, not on any ‘High Instructions’, especially as they have been unable to come together to sign a memo demanding a stand-alone session in parliament on the raging deadly seven-year Anglophone conflict. The inability of MPs from the two English-speaking regions of the country to push through an agenda in parliament for the immediate silencing of guns in the conflict zones demonstrates in triumphant detail that ours is a highly bruised democracy.
As the November parliamentary session opens in the weeks ahead, political watchers in Yaounde are looking forward to seeing whether the protest by North West ruling party MPs would be historically relevant or it would just end up being a muddy mix of achu, nangtarre, fufu corn and khati khati. The disparate collection of signatures to the memo and the bundle of contradictions they represented seems quite bewildering to many a political watcher of the last moments of this outdated regime. Not only did the memo lack a clear focus, it was hugely wanting in community appeal and support.
While the concerted memo from the U.S. congressmen and women helped to extend the TPS for thousands of Cameroonian asylum seekers for another two years (just like the Springbok tour protests helped end apartheid; it is hard to see the protest memo from the North West CPDM MPs having a similar social impact.
How the National Assembly bureau President is going to bring back the majority of the North West CPDM MPs from feeling disenfranchised without upsetting the apple cart, is the thorny issue. As the answer whiles in coming, North West CPDM MPs can now feel the Ambazonian reality-that of systemic marginalization. It may be the kind of reality that Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher has described as being ‘deprived of its value, its meaning, its veracity to the same degree as an ideal world has been fabricated’, yet, there is a reality.
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