By Michael Sone
AmbaNews24 Correspondent, Canada
The Leader of the Ambazonian Revolution, Dr. Cho Lucas Ayaba yesterday, August 18 addressed the Ambazonian people during the first stop of his global remobilization tour in Toronto, Canada. Speaking to the population in attendance and to Ambazonians at large, he stated that he was on a mission of hope: “I have come here as a candle of hope.”
Dr. Ayaba called on the Ambazonian people to “believe in the freedom” of their homeland as he had said over a year ago in Berlin, Germany. As people who have fought and bled so hard in the trenches, Ambazonians must have a sense of ownership of their liberation struggle and thus believe in their freedom.
Recalling his earlier visit to Toronto over a year ago, the President of the Ambazonia Governing Council took note of “soldiers of the Revolution” present in the hall this time who were not at his previous mission to Toronto, and who are now “wearing Ambazonia pins on their chest” as a sign of their identity, nationalism and commitment to the total liberation of Ambazonia from colonial rule by Cameroon.
In a familiar line of identity politics, Dr. Ayaba reminded Ambazonians of the intrigues Cameroon has played in history to deceive them of their identity and sense of peoplehood. The Leader said Cameroon has built a master-slave relationship with the Ambazonian people and caused them to see themselves as Cameroonians; to worship Cameroon’s flag; to sing Cameroon’s anthem; to glory in the national teams of Cameroon. He went on that while Ambazonians were doing all these, Cameroon was busy shattering the Ambazonian economy, destroying the democratic political system, and systematically eroding the Ambazonian national values of respect for human rights, the rule of law, and self-perfection through thought and hard work.
Speaking vigorously to the population, the leader of the Ambazonian liberation movement told the crowd of the inspirations that pushed him and others to begin the effective process of the liberation of Ambazonia without scaring away from a War of Independence as part of the revolutionary process. Dr. Cho Ayaba used the American war of independence as an example and said, “If the Americans could rise against British tyranny over two hundred and fifty years ago; then the Ambazonian people must rise against Cameroon today.” In the same logic, he went on with another example that if one man could defy a column of military tanks in Tiananmen Square to fight for freedom and justice in China, then the 8million Ambazonian people must rise against the unjust and illegal Cameroon military occupation of Ambazonia.
The leader called on the Ambazonian people to summon the courage to fight for their survival. He asked: if people the world over have risen in their struggle for life, liberty, and justice, why should the Ambazonian people who had a vibrant economy and a democratic political system before 1961 with elections and the peaceful transfer of powers at the helm of government not rise against Cameroon’s despotism? Why should we, who survived the Germans and the British not rise against a decadent Cameroon Republique whose national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has a sixty percent dependency on Ambazonia? he wondered.
Dr. Ayaba Cho said in a firm tone that the will and desire of the Ambazonian people to become independent is unwavering and went on that he has made it clear to the international system that not even the combined military of the USA Navy Seals, the British Navy, and French forces can force Ambazonia into existence under Cameroon. The minds of the Ambazonian people who watched their students in universities shot by the Cameroon soldiers, who wailed over the burning alive of an Ambazonian grandmother, Mami Apih, and who have seen thousands of their houses burnt and destroyed, and their homeland turned into killing fields and spaces of experiments by a very brutal invading Cameroon army have seen enough and have made up their minds that there is no going back to be ruled by the Cameroon tyranny.
The freedom fighter said he has heard whispers of the international system conniving against Ambazonia as they did in 1961. He said they are working hard to maintain Ambazonia as a part of and under Cameroon. Dr. Ayaba stated emphatically that he has given himself to Ambazonia and stands between conspirators and their planned continuous subjugation of the Ambazonian people. Even in death, his spirit will fight to ensure such a plan never sees the light of day. He emphasized that Cameroon will be held accountable for its actions in Ambazonia: “there will be accountability, not forgiveness and forgetfulness.” Drawing thunderous applauds from the audience, Dr. Cho Ayaba said if Cameroon continues with its barbarism in Ambazonia, and if necessary, the Ambazonian people will hold a part of Cameroon’s territory until Cameroon pays reparations for the damages it has caused the Ambazonian people in wealth and lives.
The President of the Ambazonia Governing Council extended greetings from Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, Tassang Wilfred, Catherine Nformugum – the Chairlady of ARCC – and others. He sent special greetings to the children and spouses of Ambazonians in Cameroon’s jails and applauded the tenacity of the prisoners who have stated in the courts of Cameroon that they are not Cameroonians but Ambazonians.
Dr. Ayaba noted that he has made the decision to build a working relationship with Sisiku Ayuk Tabe as this is necessary to create post-independence stability and to give the international community the assurance needed for the recognition of Ambazonia as an independent and sovereign country that will be peaceful. Stability and peace are necessary for foreign direct investments and the economic growth necessary to put Ambazonia on the path of prosperity. The leader went on to allay fears of post-independence chaos as some have warned and said ‘there may be squabbles as is common in every revolution, which are generally chaotic, but we must show that we are bigger than these squabbles. The world must now recognize Ambazonia because this is the only viable path to filling the governance void and having the Ambazonia government effectively respond to the needs of IDPs and current refugees who will return home’.
The leader talked about the relationship being worked out with the leaders in jail, and said this working relationship with the Sisiku camp must not be hurried or quickly built on hyperbolic walls without a solid foundation, but be gradually established on the foundation stones of mutual respect, honesty, work on common projects and a common vision. Speaking further about the occupation, the Leader said occupation is predicated on governance. He went on that the Ambazonian people have taken away political governance of their land from Cameroon, and it was necessary to build alliances that demonstrate that the Ambazonian people can fill that governance space as one entity. Dr. Ayaba insisted that as he has often said, we need to get to Buea as a people without which others who have the capability to make things better will simply sit aside and watch the nation collapse, or fuel discords to create a South Sudan scenario; but if we get to Buea as one, everyone will sacrifice to build the nation and turn the burnt towns and villages into modern cities.
Talking of his vision, the leader of the Ambazonian liberation struggle underlined that the Ambazonian people are fighting not just for an abstract concept of independence, but for the benefits that independence shall bring: safe roads, a high powered and vibrant economy, seaport, pride in one’s labor, a legal system that presumes anyone innocent until found guilty in a court of law, current liberation fighters that are trained and integrated into a state of the art military, and, among other things, a penitentiary system that rehabilitates and not tortures the inmates. Dr. Ayaba took the opportunity to call upon the Ambazonian diaspora to see themselves not as governors of Ambazonia, but as creators of opportunities for those who are paying the high price of our freedom in the homeland. Many attendees nodded in acknowledgment of this role and responsibility.
The Commander in Chief (“CIC”) as he is often referred to, dwelt for long on the topical subject of schools resumption in Ambazonia come September 2019. He took cognizance of the fact that education is the foundation upon which modern society is built, and any decision relating to this subject cannot be taken lightly. He posed it to the Ambazonian people to answer what kind of education they want to offer the Ambazonian children. He wondered rhetorically whether it is the same education that was rejected by the Ambazonian teachers in 2016 and went ahead to acknowledge that there is the right to education, and the right to live. These rights he said cannot be positioned one against the other. He concluded that Ambazonians cannot forget the history of Cameroon attacking Ambazonian school children in schools, hostels, and streets and said these experiences are a bitter reminder that ultimately pushes one to make a choice between schooling and life.
Dr. Cho Ayaba said there shall be a lockdown of the entire Ambazonian territory come September. He said Ambazonian liberation fighters shall be dispatched and fully activated across the national territory from September 2 to September 6 to stop the movements of the Cameroon military who are the cause of this insecurity. Civilians must, therefore, stay away from the streets for their safety. These will be days of lockdown! There shall be no compromise. Yaoundé does not care about the Ambazonian people whom it has rather maimed and killed without remorse. The political and military wings of the struggle have consulted on this decision, and there shall be full enforcement.
While closing his speech, the President of the Ambazonia Governing Council drew more applauds from an enthusiastic crowd, when a member of the public handed to him a face cap on which is written, “DON’T BLINK!” He wore it immediately and exhorted the people to remain steadfast. “The game of independence is about who blinks first,” Dr. Ayaba said.
This current mission in Canada is one in a series of foreign mobilization missions that Dr. Ayaba will be embarking on. Others will take him to the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, USA, South Africa, etc to re-instill the spirit which Ambazonians rose up within 2016 fully energized to free themselves from the bondage of Cameroon, to achieve their independence and to live freely in a sovereign Ambazonia.