By Paul J. Lysinge
The Chairman of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) political party, Ni John Fru Ndi, has suffered humiliation from the orders of the Divisional Officer of Limbe II. The SDF Chairman and his large convoy were on their way to see the SONARA oil refinery ravaged by fire in Victoria (Limbe) when he was stopped and asked to turn back at the order of the said officer.
Fru Ndi entered Victoria early Thursday, May 13 and headed to the office of the absentee Fako Senior Divisional Office (SDO), Emmanuel Engamba Ledoux. There, Fru Ndi was told he could not visit the SONARA site as it is under investigation. Cameroon ministers, however, had just visited the refinery reduced to rubbles. Cameras and other video gadgets belonging to Fru Ndi’s entourage were confiscated by Ledoux’s men. Fru Ndi, however, insisted on going to the site hoping to receive the honor of Cameroon’s ministers.
While on his way to the plant, he was reminded that Ambazonians in the second class human beings status accorded them by Cameroon do not have the privilege of the Cameroon ministerial slave masters even in their own land. The Divisional Officer for Limbe II charged a contingent of armed police and paramilitary officers who interrupted Fru Ndi and his convoy in Ngeme and ordered to turn back. Fru Ndi and his convoy succumbed!
Fru Ndi is an Ambazonian citizen and his political party has the second largest representation in the National House of Assembly in Yaoundé after the ruling party of dictator Paul Biya. In 1992, John Fru Ndi was the Presidential candidate who ran against Paul Biya. He was widely believed by most international elections observers including the USA to have won the polls. His alleged victory was rigged by Paul Biya who has been in power since 1982.
The Ambazonian people have been insisting on Fru Ndi t withdraw his parliamentarians and senators from the parliament of Cameroon. He has failed to do so, arguing that the Yaounde Parliament provides him an opportunity to speak about the Ambazonia Conflict to Paul Biya – an argument that has largely been described as whimsical and selfish. Last month he was briefly detained by a unit of the Ambazonia Defense Forces in Kumbo and interrogated on his refusal to walk his party out of the Yaounde Parliament as the Southern Cameroons representatives walked out of the Eastern House of Assembly in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1953, thereby forcing the British Administration in the days of the UN Trusteeship to establish an Ambazonian Parliament in Buea for the Ambazonian people.
The SONARA oil refinery it should be recalled suffered a massive explosion and fire disaster one week ago that destroyed one of the giant storage tanks amidst suspicion and tension between the predominant Francophone Cameroon workforce and their minority anglophone Ambazonian counterparts. For over 4 decades the oil refinery has been the flash point and ground zero of injustice waged by majority French Cameroun dominated government against the Ambazonian people from whose territory petroleum is exploited and refined. This widespread discrimination and injustice in the distribution of wealth are some of the causes of the current war that is causing serious pain to the local population.
For example, whereas petroleum is drilled and refined in Ambazonia’s city of Limbe, the refinery pays its taxes in Douala in the French Cameroon territory. In like manner, fuel prices are more exorbitant in Victoria where the refinery is located than in Yaoundé the capital of French Cameroun located some 400 miles away. The Cameroon government regulates fuel prices. The work force of about 1000 in the refinery is over 80 percent from Cameroun. The marginalization and discrimination do not end there. Cameroun workers of the plant live in a large modern separately built housing estate known as ‘Sonara City’ reminiscent of segregated neighborhoods in South Africa’s apartheid era, while workers from the Ambazonia territory are prohibited from living in the “Sonara City”. Their children of Cameroon parents go to special privilege schools at the chagrin of the majority Ambazonian population of the city of Victoria.
These official discrimination policies represent some of the vexing remote causes of why Ambazonians are clamoring for their own country. The decision to refuse the SDF Chairman a safe passage to the refinery simply goes to further the evidence that even political figures of Ambazonia extraction who stand for a “One and Indivisible Cameroun” agenda are not welcome to the party of colonialist from Cameroon who is bent on the total destruction of Ambazonia.