20, February 2019
Cameroon Concord News Group now has empirical evidence of the unwavering support by an overwhelming majority of Ambazonians for the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia despite the public disagreement between two cabinet members of the Interim Government.
The disagreement which was predictable might not have been entirely of the making of the two key members of the Interim Government Hon Chris Anu the Communication Secretary and Hon Tabenyang, the Treasury Secretary. The public disagreements arose from matters and circumstances which in fairness to both Honourable gentlemen, were beyond their control. Cameroon Concord News Group and indeed most Ambazonians have observed that despite their disagreement, the two cabinet members avoided any misstep which could have threatened the Interim Government. This was the right thing to do. Indeed, governmental discipline, the integrity and confidentiality of governmental action in times of a genocidal war, appeared to have been in the minds of the two Honourable Gentlemen as they delivered measured public statements on the matters, they held strong views about.
The question may be asked, should the matters in controversy have been addressed in public? In normal circumstances, the answer will be in the positive, considering the need for transparency in democratic governance that Ambazonians hope to reinstall in Buea. Should the issues have been brought up now when Ground Zero requires undivided attention? Ambazonians are divided in their answers? Cameroon Concord News Group will not take a position whether it was right or wrong to bring up the problems concerning the treasury and the ABC TV network now. Indeed, the trigger for the public disagreement arose from a meeting which was neither convened by Communications Secretary Hon Chris Anu nor the Treasury Secretary Hon Tabenyang Brado. Yet the public exposure of their hither fore internal cabinet disagreement arose because of this meeting over which they had not control.
One way or the other, the fallout from that meeting was bound to come out considering the matters on the agenda. The fact that persons who were not members of the cabinet were involved in the meeting was bound to bring about friction or aggravate existing frictions. Disagreements are not uncommon in every government. The two governmental portfolios of the IG are sensitive and matters coming within the mandate of each of the departments must entail profound security considerations. The treasury portfolio of the Interim Government cannot be expected to disclose in public or in that meeting which was presided over by the President, His Excellency Sisiku Ayuk Tabe sensitive information relating to overt and covert security operations undertaken for securing the Ambazonia homeland. Cameroon Concord News Group therefore is of the considered opinion that Secretary Tabenyang provided just enough information for the public record, to await the scrutiny of the exchequer through routine governmental procedure if the Interim Government so desires.
Hon. Tabenyang Brado was bound to provide this information not because Hon Chris Anu raised the matter publicly. Far from that! The fact that cabinet level matters came for discussion under unusual circumstances and in a French Cameroun potentially compromised environment, was a potential trigger for these records to become a potential source of controversy in different theatres. Among these are persons who have evinced every attempt to undermine or topple the Interim Government from the very inception. That was an unusual environment and unusual audience to discuss appropriation matters including that relating to the funding of ABC television network.
It may be suggested that the meeting was enlarged to include supposed county heads. But then governmental practice require that appropriation and policy matters are best discussed in the cabinet; in time of war, within the national security council comprising members of the cabinet and certain individuals. Had that occurred, the simmering tensions within the cabinet that existed but had the possibility of containment would not have elicited consequential reactions which the convenors did not anticipate or could not control.
The issues on the table were matters that required wide grass root consultation. A mere vote among participants was never going to be considered binding by the Ambazonia Diaspora and ground zero grassroots. That had the potential to polarize the citizenry on the watch of the President. There is a significant Ambazonia public interest imperative to make far reaching consultations before attempting to take a decision on the proposed endorsement of the ANPN conference and the proposed merger of ABC TV and SCBC.
A governmental communication network is not just about TV appearances. It has significant intelligence and security implications. A government TV or news agency is but the public face of an elaborate cobweb of security and intelligence operations. It is a platform, a conduit and a governmental outreach to multiple complex international relations. No government in time of war will lightly relinquish its sovereignty over its communication policy of which a TV channel and other communication networks are key components. Relying on the social media over which it has no control, will be reckless and humiliating.
Can the meeting which triggered this public disagreement between cabinet departments of the Interim Government be entirely blamed for the contentious outcome that has caused anxiety to many Ambazonians? Had to say! While the meeting was probably ill-conceived, it begs one issue that requires urgent attention by the Interim Government. Cameroon Concord News Group has taken the position that the meeting ought not to be organized from a constraining environment controlled by the enemy. The risk of the enemy generating hurtful intelligence from this meeting, there is a risk that French Cameroun may point to this meeting to discount or challenge the complaints that the condition of detention of the President are inhuman and violates international human rights.
The fact that this meeting occurred may be suggestive of the inexistence of a highly classified mechanism to brief the President on important matters requiring his attention and counsel. The Interim Government must therefore put in place a highly classified and security sensitive mechanism for briefing the President His Excellency Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. In fairness to Hon Chris Anu, he is on record as stating over ABC Television that when and if negotiations or the all-inclusive dialogue with French Cameroun hold, it must be Sisiku Ayuk Tabe who will lead the Ambazonia delegation. He insistently stated that there will not be negotiations or all- inclusive dialogue without the unconditional release of the President, members of the IG in captivity and all Southern Cameroonians/ Ambazonians help in captivity.
These policy statements critically undercut the misstatements of persons of bad faith who are interpreting the public disagreement which are common in democratic governments as undermining His Excellency the President,Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. It was not disaffection that motivated the mission to Nigeria by Hon Chris Anu to declare the battle for the release of the President and members of the Interim Government. It was not disdain or disaffection that motivated his ABC TV statement about the release of His Excellency Ayuk Tabe to lead the Ambazonia negotiating team in any internationally organized all-inclusive dialogue with French Cameroon.
The ongoing public disagreement has provided an opportunity for an overwhelming majority of Ambazonians to reaffirm their support for their Interim Government and the Acting President His Excellency Samuel Sako. In coming to this conclusion, Cameroon Concord News Group analyzed the criticisms laid against His Excellency Samuel Sako by friends, foes and opponents of the Interim Government. The interest of the foes of the Interim Government has been to wish that the public disagreement leads to the collapse of the Interim Government. It is ironic that these anti-Interim Government forces are so desperate to seek the endorsement of the Interim Government which they have publicly professed their determination to overthrow along with the established order.
The criticisms that had merit were brought to the attention of His Excellency the Acting Interim President Samuel Sako and the public at large. An overwhelming majority of Ambazonians considered the criticisms in good faith but nevertheless expressed their support for the Interim Government and the continued leadership of the Acting President His Excellency Samuel Sako. When Cameroon Concord News Group published these expressed wishes of the Ambazonia ground zero and diaspora masses, as expected, power mongers who believed that Cameroon Concord News Group had swept the carpet beneath their feet by bringing the criticisms of the Acting President to the public domain as well as the overwhelming public continued support for his leadership and the Interim Government, expressed bitterness at Cameroon Concords News Groups. Cameroon Concord News Group stands by this balanced, fair and candid statement reflecting the public mode, public interest and the opinion of a majority of Ambazonians.
An overwhelming majority of Ambazonians have expressed the same sentiments regarding the public disagreement between Hon Tabenyang and Hon Chris An. They, consider the disagreement as an internal cabinet matter which they want to see resolved and resolved fast. The subject of disagreement between the two cabinet members should have been resolved without a major disagreement, had a well-designed policy towards the development of the Ambazonia patrimony been designed and implemented. They request that one should be designed with immediate effect. The current direct public appeal for Ambazonians to contribute towards the funding and running of ABC TV would have provided an alternative source of financing. Now that the appeal is ongoing, Cameroon Concord News Group strongly urges Ambazonians to contribute generously. In this age of technology where international diplomatic opinion is informed by serious media communication, the Interim Government of Ambazonia cannot depend on the social media to make a compelling rendition of its strong case to governments and international public opinion.
Some social media activists have developed the use of insults and reckless language to define informed disagreement. Secretary Chris Anu and Secretary Tabenyang have demonstrated to these social media activists that reasonable persons may strongly disagree without rocking the boat and destroying the Interim Government which has wide international and national audiences and has compel reasonable international attention. For this reason, Cameroon Concord News Group calls on His Excellency the Acting President Samuel Sako to quickly take this disagreement out of the public domain and get the two members of the cabinet of the Interim Government to heed to the opinion of Ambazonians and resolve outstanding issues as quickly as possible.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai