His Royal Highness, Hon. N.N. Mbile has said Anglophone Cameroon is one and indivisible but added that this only holds true in a one and indivisible Cameroon. The former MP for Ndian made the declaration during a press conference he organised last February 17 at the Trinity Hotel in Limbe where he sought to set the records straight following comments he allegedly made during the South West Elite Forum that took place in Buea on February 2.
During the Forum, speaker after speaker took turns to state the position of the South West region regarding the current crisis rocking the two Anglophone regions of the country – North West and South West. The tone by most of the speakers was largely received as very harsh by Northwesterners who did not mince words to describe the forum as one cloaked in hate speech.
According to the Grand Chancellor of National Orders, Senator Peter Mafany Musonge , main convenor of the forum, the South West Forum was organised to situate, secure and consolidate the South West’s position as concerns the form of the state, get school functional and to educate the people on the present issues at stake.
“For close to three months now, our region has been subjected to disruptive forces, those who are trying to cast doubts on the unity and form of the state of our country. The people of the South West believe in a decentralised unitary state with 10 autonomous regions,” the Head of the South West CPDM Permanent Regional Delegation said.
The former Prime Minister said the South west Region is prepared to take control of its affairs and would not want to be influenced by negative forces. He expressed the need for schools in the region to resume immediately because nothing explains why the education of children can be sacrificed.
Hon. Mbile, who stressed that he was speaking for himself, said that during the Forum he made some comments regarding the implementation of a ten state federation which has always been the position of the South West region for a very long time. He also added that some Southwesterners support the idea of a two-state federation where a the Southwesterner who is generally very laxed will depend on the much more resilient, resourceful and more populous Northwesterner; leaving the Southwesterner to play second fiddle. He regretted that these remarks were regarded as insulting to the Northwesterner.
“By making such remarks, I was afraid that the Southwesterner will feel insulted but on the contrary, it is the Northwesterners who felt insulted for getting praises”
He added that his comments were never intended to insult his fellow brothers of the North West region but after receiving a lot of comments following the South West Elite Forum, the former MP said he thought it responsible to clear the air.
Firstly, he said he recognises the merits of the ongoing strike which has exposed the marginalisation by design or by coincidence of Anglophone Cameroonians of the North West and South West regions.
The strike to him, “addresses for the first time questions as to why the bi-cultural nature and bi-jural nature of the state were not respected and why the 1996 constitutional dispensation on the structure of the states has not been fully implemented.; I believe that the Southwest Region is a melting pot wherein peoples of almost all regions of Cameroon live within and have contributed to its social and economic development, that is why I believe that every inhabitant of this region enjoys full right of belonging and I will like to say that all inhabitants within the Southwest should feel Southwesternan.”
He also warned that should the Northwesterner leave the South West, the region will never be the same again considering the huge contributions and investments they have made in the Southwest.
He however warned that the voice of the Native Southwesterner should be heard and respected in matters of national concern.
According to Hon. Mbile, “ The South West region in all its organs has always opted for a ten-state federation; it is a logical evolution of the state of affairs, it will create less friction and it is implementation friendly.”
On schools boycott
Speaking on the boycott of schools in the South West and North West Regions, the initiator of the Operation Save the 2016/2017 Academic year said the boycott of schools in the English part of the Country is a time bomb.
The seasoned educationist who has used all available media organs to preach on the need for parents to send their children back to school added that the school boycott is time bomb and that the kids are angry and feel sacrificed.
He explained that the vices that comes with children staying at home during school hours are too many for Cameroonian parents to handle.
According to Chief Mbile, the children would have been allowed to observe the ghost towns and when business resumes the day after the ghost town, they too should be allowed to go to school so as to save the school year.
On the ongoing strike
While admitting that the ongoing strike has in the large parts has greatly exposed the plight of the Anglophone Cameroonians and pleased with the fact that it has given a platform for the Anglophone problem to be better explained even to ardent skeptics, Hon. Mbile stressed that the purpose of the strike has been achieved and the continues boycott is counterproductive.
He added that the government has shown remourse after the grievances articulated by trade union leaders during negotiations in Bamenda and Yaounde though the list kept on increasing.
He also regretted that the strike has taken the form of a social unrest with no leaders. “There is no strike that is indefinite, parents who have paid huge sums of money for their children’s school needs are the silent majority that is bearing the brunt of the suffering…they have paid fees for a whole year, rented hostels etc.”
Quizzed on whether the failure by the political and traditional elite to end the strike despite numerous outings is a disavowal of their leadership, the Hon. MP said the strike is a disavowal of many things and not only leadership. He added that a lot of people striking have been made to believe that this strike is for employment that is why many youths who are unemployed have turned into vigilantes in their respective quarters to enforce the strike. “They believe that this strike has come to solve all of their problems but they should understand that in every country of the world, people have problems and some people are unemployed.
Hon. Mbile concluded by calling on parents to send their children to school to save and guarantee their future. He also stressed that contrary to some interpretations of his comments during the South West Elite Forum, he has no hatred for his fellow Northwest brothers. On the contrary he sees them as a resourceful and resilient people who have contributed enormously to the growth of the South West region and have equal right as any other Cameroonian living in the region. He however added that the concerns by the native Southwesterner must be heard and equally respected.
Attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West were confirmed by the Nigerian Community in South Africa on Saturday. Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, President, Nigeria Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, that the attacks began at 4.00 a.m.
He said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans. One of the buildings is a mechanic garage with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents, were burned during the attack. Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” he said.
Anyene said the union had informed Nigerians in South Africa to be vigilant in the face of renewed xenophobic attacks. According to him, the union received information that there will be xenophobic attacks against foreigners on February 22 and February 23.
“We began taking precautionary measures when the incident took place today. The attack in Pretoria West is purely xenophobic and criminal because they loot the shops and homes before burning them,” he said.
Anyene called on the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to protect Nigerians in their country.
“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” he said.
The Nigerian government has called on the African Union and the South African government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans within South African borders. The Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made the call Monday amid reports of renewed violence against Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an “unnecessary setback”. She advised Nigerians to be extra cautious as it looks like South African government seems to have no control over these attacks. The SSA, however, urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences. Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said the attention of the AU was being called because of reports of planned attacks against foreigners on February 22 and February 23.
“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” she said.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa had two weeks ago met with South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the killing of Nigerians in South Africa. Mr Aaron-Mnguni promised that the South African government was investigating the matter.
“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years. And in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed,” this is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian High Commission and consulate in Pretoria and Johannesburg have been instructed by the federal government to investigate the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sola Enikanolaiye, explained that the findings of the probe would be on his table this week.
He advised Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and law-abiding and assured them that everything would be done to protect them and their properties.
“In terms of what we have done so far, I have asked our mission in Pretoria and Johannesburg to file a full report, to investigate the alleged reported killing so that government would consider what is appropriate to the circumstance,” said Eniokanolaiye.
He stated that the government could not do anything now until it received a full briefing of the attacks, adding that the report of the investigation would be analysed and decisions on appropriate response taken.
Gambian police said they arrested 51 people in a former stronghold of ex-president Yahya Jammeh for harassing followers of new leader Adama Barrow, amid lingering tensions following Jammeh's flight into exile.
Jammeh narrowly lost a Dec. 1 election to Barrow after 22 years of authoritarian rule. Jammeh initially refused to step down but fled to Equatorial Guinea last month as international military forces descended on the capital Banjul to uphold the election result.
The 51 were arrested on Sunday in the western town of Kafenda, a Jammeh stronghold, for insulting people returning from Barrow's inauguration celebration at the national stadium on Saturday, said police spokesman Foday Conta. Some threw stones, Conta added.
Twenty-six of the arrested were juveniles and were released on bail, while 25 were being detained pending an investigation, Conta said.
A spokesman for the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), Jammeh's party when he was in power, said those arrested were APRC supporters and were wearing t-shirts bearing an image of Jammeh's face.
"They were provoked by the supporters of the coalition (Barrow's party) who ... were calling Jammeh all sorts of names and saying he was a killer. Then a quarrel ensued," said spokesman Seedy Njie.
Human rights groups accuse Jammeh of torturing and killing opponents during his time in power. Barrow has pledged to reverse many of Jammeh's policies, including arbitrary detention.
Barrow vowed in his Saturday speech to enact sweeping reforms including bolstering a weakened economy.
Southern Cameroons (20 February 2017) -- For more than half a century, the peoples of Southern Cameroons have suffered all forms of abuses, torture, violence, militarization, intimidation, rape, killings, abductions, maiming, marginalisation, poverty, inequality, unemployment, underemployment, etc., simply because they'd resolved to claim their rights to restoration of statehood; or to reinstate a two-state federal system of government with equal status as enshrined in the original 1961 constitution.
In recent months, the death toll of Southern Cameroonian killed by the gangster regime has spiralled uncontrollably. At least eight in 10 families living in Southern Cameroons have been affected by the regime's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy fighters, illegal abductions, intimidation, inhumane treatment, unlawful arrests, unlawful killings, harassment, etc. We cannot let this continue to happen.
Never ever! The entire Southern Cameroons is now a funeral ground. We cannot go on celebrating a "national. trophy that does not reflect any aspect of true unity, complete integration, and inclusive dialogue with us. The trophy is a mockery to our winning struggle and not an official apology for the aforementioned crimes committed by President Paul Biya's regime on our peaceful citizens.
We are not your slaves, Mr. Paul Biya. We, therefore, declare a boycott of this event on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, in Bamenda, and on Friday, 24 February 2017, in Buea. No Southern Cameroonian should go out on Wednesday and Friday. Already, they are budding plans to kill citizens on the streets on that day. Stay at home and be peaceful. We are in mourning.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe turns 93 Tuesday and on Saturday a lavish party to celebrate his birthday is expected to cost more than $2 million (1.88 million euros).
This year's celebration of President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday takes place in Matobos southwest of Harare on Saturday. Some Zimbabweans are calling Mugabe to use the money to address a myriad of problems besetting the country while others are planning to celebrate their leader's birthday.
"We regard President Mugabe's birth so highly that we take him as second only to Jesus Christ. So his birthday is something we cannot miss as Zimbabweans. We are advocating for that day to be a national holiday," said one supporter in Harare.
Mugabe has been ruling Zimbabwe since 1980 when the country got its independence from Great Britain. Since then, Zimbabwe has religiously celebrated his birthday.
This year, a coalition of civic organizations called "21 Days of Activism Zimbabwe" told DW that Mugabe should not celebrate his birthday this year.
"We are highlighting key issues that need to be prioritized by government instead of spending millions of dollars on birthday celebrations when currently we have a massive cash crisis that needs to be dealt with," said Sam Farai Munro, one of the activists in the anti-birthday movement.
"So if the government can fundraise millions, then those millions should be dedicated to fixing up hospitals, or providing books in schools or paying teacher bonuses from last year," he added.
In an interview that is to be run on the state-run TV channel on the eve of his birthday, President Mugabe expressed respect for US President Donald Trump.
"When it comes to Donald Trump, on the one hand talking of American nationalism. Well America for America, America for Americans, on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans," said Mugabe in excerpts carried by the state-run Herald newspaper.
Mugabe has consistently opposed Western intervention in Zimbabwe and his country has recently been criticized by western governments for prosecuting Evan Mawarire and Phillip Patrick Mugadza, two pastors who have been vocal critics of his rule. Mugabe hopes that Trump will be different.
"We are just now under sanctions imposed not by Donald Trump but by Obama. What arrogance is that?" asked Mugabe.
Priorities versus parties
Zimbabwe's government is broke. Since last year, it has been failing to pay its workers salaries on time. It has not indicated when it will pay its workers their bonuses which were due in November last year. Add to that about the fact that five million Zimbabweans depend on Western food aid to following the ongoing El Nino-induced drought.
Garikai Chamalima, a unemployed graduate with a degree in engineering, still thinks that the celebrations should take place.
We are happy that February 21 is fast approaching. It is the president's birthday. Had it not been for him, the country would be so underdeveloped," he said.
But for now that is nothing; all efforts are on ensuring that Zimbabweans celebrate Mugabe's 93rd birthday. Last year a fan of Mugabe donated an elephant to be slaughtered and the meat was part of the celebrations' meal.
At a political rally on Friday, First Lady Grace Mugabe, whom many say is being considered as a successor to the president, told a crowd of thousands of supporters that they should support her husband, even if he dies.
"If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse," she said. "We will put his name on the ballot paper just to show that people love their president."
A day after falsely suggesting there was an immigration-related security incident in Sweden, President Donald Trump said on Sunday his comment was based on a television report he had seen.
Trump, who in his first weeks in office has tried to tighten U.S. borders sharply for national security reasons, told a rally on Saturday that Sweden was having serious problems with immigrants.
"You look at what's happening last night in Sweden," Trump said. "Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."
No incident occurred in Sweden and the country's baffled government asked the U.S. State Department to explain.
"My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.
Fox News, a U.S. channel that has been cited favorably by Trump, ran a report Friday about alleged migrant-related crime problems in the country.
A White House spokeswoman told reporters on Sunday that Trump had been referring generally to rising crime, not a specific incident in the Scandinavian country.
Sweden's crime rate has fallen since 2005, official statistics show, even as it has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.
Trump's comment confounded Stockholm. "We are trying to get clarity," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said.
Sweden's embassy in the United States repeated Trump's tweet about having seen the Fox report, and added, "We look forward to informing the U.S. administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies."
Trump has been widely criticized for making assertions with little or no supporting evidence.
He has said more than 3 million people voted fraudulently in the U.S. election, which officials say is false, and incorrectly stated that he won by the most decisive margin in decades.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to respond to Trump on Saturday by posting on Twitter an excerpt of a speech in which she said democracy and diplomacy "require us to respect science, facts and the media."
Her predecessor was less circumspect.
"Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound," former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.
Other Swedes mocked Trump by posting pictures of reindeer, meatballs and people assembling IKEA furniture.
"#lastnightinsweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!" Twitter user Adam Bergsveen wrote