Fellow Southern Cameroonians, Fellow Ambazonians,
Today, we celebrate our history as a proud people of the British Southern Cameroons or Southern Cameroons or the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. We, the people of the Southern Cameroons, move to reaffirm our inalienable, natural and legal rights to self-determination. I stand here today, to tell you that we are once again a free people. Exactly 56 years ago, our forefathers, in whose hands the leadership of our beautiful country of British Southern Cameroons was assigned, in good faith, reunited our people with those they saw as brothers and sisters from the Republic of Cameroun.
That union was always intended to be a union of two equals. Unfortunately, what our peace-loving people have experienced ever since is oppression, subterfuge, discrimination, violence, intimidation, imprisonment, forced occupation, cultural genocide, and misappropriation of our natural resources by the leaders of the Republic of Cameroun. Our people have endured this inhuman treatment for close to six decades. It is, without doubt, a reflection of how the government of the Republic of Cameroun sees our people, as no better than slaves. To the government of the Republic of Cameroun, the people of British Southern Cameroons are a colonized people, and they have treated us accordingly. By an ugly manipulative scheme in 1972, the leaders of the Republic of Cameroun ruined the federal system which was the foundation on which the so-called union was based.
In 1984, the people of Southern Cameroons witnessed the President of the Republic of Cameroun, Mr. Paul Biya, decree the complete annexation of our territory; and in one stroke erased the “United” in the country’s name. That ‘United’ was the last element of that so-called union between our great nation and the Republic of Cameroun. By that deliberate act, the subterfuge was complete. Mr. Paul Biya’s message was simple and clear. By that act, the President of the Republic of Cameroun had declared that the union with the people of British Southern Cameroons had expired and that the annexation of our territory was cemented. Today, on the 1st of October, 2017 we stand as a proud people to send a very loud message to the government of the Republic of Cameroun and to the international community that a new dawn has arrived for Southern Cameroons. We, the people of Southern Cameroons are slaves to no one. Not now, not ever again! Today we reaffirm autonomy over our heritage and over our territory. Our people have sent a clear message to Yaoundé and the government of the Republic of Cameroun that now is the time to correct the errors of our forefathers.
Anyone who had eyes saw and anyone who had ears heard what happened on Friday, the 22nd of September, 2017 when our people came out in their millions to assert their nationhood. Let this day be a reminder to anyone who doubted the resolve of the courageous people of Southern Cameroons that our mission is clear and our determination is firm. The people of Southern Cameroons will never again be treated with disdain. To the brave and courageous people of Southern Cameroons, let me use this opportunity to thank you for your immeasurable sacrifice, for your determination, and your willingness to be your brother’s keeper, your sister’s keeper. Your sacrifice for your great nation of Southern Cameroons is enormous and your pain is deep. Our hearts are heavy when we witness our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children murdered in cold blood by colonial forces unleashed by the government of the Republic of Cameroun. Our hearts go out to all the families that have been torn apart by the repressive actions of the government of the Republic of Cameroun. We, the people of Southern Cameroons shall never forget you.
Our resolve to part ways with the Republic of Cameroun is firm as we hope to chart our own way of conducting business. We are determined to walk away from the repressive system inherited by our neighbors on the East where soldiers would shoot elderly grandmothers at point blank on the orders of their superiors simply because she dared to exercise her right to freedom of expression. What kind of country do we live in where the very soldiers that are supposed to protect the citizens become the criminals who abduct, rape, maim and kill our children whilst they sleep at night? The people of Southern Cameroons have turned their backs to that way of life. That is not our way. That has never been our heritage. The youth of the Southern Cameroons have stood tall to tell the colonial regime of the Republic of Cameroon that they are the leaders of today. The mothers and fathers of Southern Cameroons have demonstrated by their actions that they want the very best for their children. There can be no doubt that the future of all Southern Cameroonians shall only be secured in a free Southern Cameroons.
Let the people of Southern Cameroons know that the world is aware of our plight, pain, and suffering. Let our people know that the international community has recognized our determination to free ourselves from occupation. We cannot forget our 16-year-old son, brother, friend, Cyprian Sevidzem, who was ferociously shot to death on the 4th of September, 2017 by forces of the Republic of Cameroun. We cannot forget the painful image of the lifeless body of our brother, Atanga, who was shot and killed for protesting peacefully by the colonial Mayor Ekema of Buea, who continues to collude with and benefit from his masters in Yaoundé. My dear people of Southern Cameroons, our fight is just, and the timing is right. The United Nations by Res. 1514(XV) of the United Nations General Assembly on the 14th of December, 1960 proscribed colonialism in all its facets as a crime against humanity, and a threat to world peace and security. Therefore, at this time, in 2017, we cannot sit and watch the colonial regime of Yaoundé continue to inflict pain and suffering on our people. We have witnessed how the forces of the colonial regime kill, brutalize, torture, abduct, and rape our people on an almost daily basis. A countless number of our people have disappeared, hundreds are in the stinking and overcrowded dungeons in far-flung corners of the Republic of Cameroun.
It is time to tell Yaoundé that enough is enough! My dear people of Southern Cameroons, our peaceful and non-violent struggle has intensified. Our struggle must continue until every single Southern Cameroonian in the inhumane jails of the occupier is free. Mancho Bibixy, Penn Terence, Patrick Ndango, and all our people languishing in colonial prisons have a right to liberty. We, the people of Southern Cameroons demand justice for the people of Southern Cameroons and that justice cannot be denied. My dear people of Southern Cameroons, our struggle has always been a non-violent and peaceful one. In the days ahead, we must remain focused on that core principle regardless of whatever provocation from the death squads of the Republic of Cameroon. We have also made some significant diplomatic strides in our struggle because of our peaceful and non-violent approach. Therefore, every dedicated and honest Southern Cameroonian must avoid any confrontation with the colonial administrators, their police, gendarmes, and armed soldiers today and in the days ahead.
However, our people must rise up as one to kick out any colonial administrator or anyone else who conspires with the colonial oppressors to cause disorder in our communities. All instructions from the colonial administrators shall be boycotted. Tomorrow, the people of Southern Cameroons must celebrate their independence. Our people should march jubilantly to the palaces of the Fons and Chiefs. We shall hoist our Southern Cameroons flag, together with the flag of the United Nations at the palaces. We shall do this in the most peaceful manner. Marching groups, where possible, should be led by the Takumbengs and other women, followed by our boys and men at the rear. In the diaspora, on the 2nd of October, 2017 our people shall march to targeted UN and Commonwealth Offices to deposit copies of our declaration (Res. GC/006/09/17 of the 1st of October, 2017). My dear people of Southern Cameroons, in the coming days, you should select good and faithful leaders within your communities as we go forward with the restoration of our nation. You shall rely on these leaders and the Governing Council for direction. These community leaders shall manage the affairs of your councils as part of our Restoration Plan. Therefore, we shall restore power to the Council of Chiefs until further notice. In this process, we shall be open and shall accept any of our elected officials such as any Members of Parliament (MPs), Senators, and Mayors as leaders, if and only if they have withdrawn from the colonial regime and pledged to faithfully serve the people of the Southern Cameroons. The rebuilding process of Southern Cameroons starts now.
That rebuilding starts with you, within your communities. You must start community projects and strive for self-sustainability. We must use the first Wednesday of every month from now on to clean and rebuild our communities together. Our people should start mobilizing emergency funds through individual and group contributions in order to create community coffers that the community can turn to in times of need. My dear people of Southern Cameroons, in the days ahead some of our towns, major junctions, and streets shall be named in honor of the heroes in the restoration struggle, especially the fallen. Therefore, the Department of Home Affairs shall research and record all the details of our heroes and all those who have sacrificed for this struggle until date. We shall honor them. In the meantime, by the powers vested in me, I move to rename the city of Limbe – Victoria in keeping with her name prior to our colonization in 1984. The Commercial Avenue in Bamenda shall henceforth be named Chief Ayamba Avenue, while the Mile 17 – Buea Town Avenue shall be named after our late Comrade Albert Mukong.
The Bamenda airport shall be named after Dr. Martin Ngeka Luma. This renaming will be intensified within the weeks to come. To our brothers and sisters in the diaspora, your relentless efforts, sacrifices, and unwavering support of the home front have undoubtedly helped to push this movement to greater heights. In the days ahead, our people back at home shall need you more than ever before. Our restoration struggle has benefited tremendously from your financial support, and more shall be demanded of you going forward. But our movement shall also continue to rely on your capacity to organize and seek the recognition of the Republic of Southern Cameroons and other forms of cooperation in your countries of residence. In the days ahead, the people of Southern Cameroons shall welcome all valiant Southern Cameroonians serving in the military and police forces of the Republic of Cameroon to return home to commence the training of community vanguards. My dear people of Southern Cameroons, we must build our country on the values that will attract other well-meaning nations to work with us and respect our people. Therefore, we shall begin this duty by teaching our children our rich history and the history of our restoration struggle. By taking this step, we shall ensure that errors of the past 56 years shall never again be repeated.
In the coming days, the Southern Cameroons Education Board shall present the framework for a new world-class educational system that should serve the needs of our children. This new system shall build on the positive values of the existing system and more. Our education system shall train future scientists, leaders, entrepreneurs, job creators, innovators, and others who shall be better prepared to solve our problems as well as develop and grow the Southern Cameroonian economy. The Governing Council and our leaders are already developing plans to create 13 state universities across Southern Cameroons. To the government of the Republic of Cameroon, the government of Mr. Paul Biya, the people of Southern Cameroon want to tell you that we are not at war with you. It is deeply regrettable that you have continued to invade Southern Cameroons with your brutal, trigger-happy forces who abuse, intimidate, arrest, torture, and kill our peace-loving mothers, fathers, and even children as young as sixteen years old. The people of Southern Cameroons strongly condemn the militarization of Southern Cameroons.
We demand that you immediately withdraw all your forces from our land and unconditionally release all Southern Cameroonians in your jails. Furthermore, some of your ministers and leaders, such as Issa Tchiroma, have been calling our people terrorists and dogs. Some have been taking public steps to radicalize your citizens against our people. We strongly urge you to stop preparing the grounds for a possible genocide against the people of Southern Cameroons. The eyes and ears of the international community are on you. The future of relations between our country and your country is at stake. To the international community. We wish to thank you for your continuous support to our people who are now littered in your various countries. Thank you for your hospitality. We would like to appeal to your endless generosity in hosting and supporting our people until we have regained our statehood and enabled our people to come back home and serve their motherland. We wish also to inform the international community to have a close watch over our territory as we suspect that Mr. Biya plans to unleash his brutal forces on our people.
The United Nations SecretaryGeneral sent a forewarning to Mr. Biya, but knowing his regime, we would not be surprised that we end up with additional casualties, to those inflicted over the past week. While we may want to reclaim our nation-state, we continue to be inclusive even of our brothers on the Eastern side of the Mungo. The Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia Governing Council has also committed to protect foreign interests in our country and consider avenues through which there might be continuity with our business friends. The country we seek to build is one based on mutual benefit for our people as well as for our friends. Therefore, ours will be an open-door business policy. My dear people of Southern Cameroons, we know that the international community is deeply concerned about the security of our people as we celebrate our freedom.
Ours is a peaceful, nonviolent celebration. We, the people of the Southern Cameroons, hereby move to reaffirm our inalienable natural and legal rights, and our autonomy. Assembled together, and with one accord, we hereby resolve to dissolve all previous bonds with the Republic of Cameroun, and solemnly declare the restoration of the independence and sovereign state of Southern Cameroons. Happy, free and prosperous Southern Cameroons!
I hereby declare open the commemoration of our Independence Restoration!
God bless Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia)!
Chairman, Southern Cameroons Governing Council.