By Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh)
It would be unfair to blame Ambazonians for not counting their blessings more accurately. The horror of the genocide; the tragedy of being locked in an existential struggle; and the traumatizing new reality of daily mass slaughters in the ongoing war of annexation would have blinded even the biblical Job to the certainty of God’s unconditional love.
This article cannot list all of our blessings. There is neither enough ink nor enough paper in the world to hold those in a thousand encyclopedic volumes. So, forgive me for mentioning only one blessing Ambazonians need to celebrate more often. It is the blessing of unity.
I knew it!
But, think about it. Are Ambazonians any more divided than is the Church of Christ? There was a time – not so long ago – when a poisoned gift like federalism would have been welcomed with open arms. Today is a new day and a new age peopled by the “Never Again, Live Free, Or Die Generation”.
Unity is never perfect. The only perfect union we know of and can ascertain exists is the union of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
So, we must celebrate that an overwhelming majority of Ambazonians today agree, one thousand percent, on restoring our independence as the very and pressing mission of our current lives. We are as united as Christians are on Christ as the Head of the Church and we are only as divided as the Church is. Our different liberation movements are nothing more than equivalents of various Christian churches, all devoted to the same Christ – Lord, Savior and Redeemer.
I don’t write these lines to comfort those who are looking for an excuse not to strengthen unity. I write to point out that we don’t decree unity. We don’t wish it into existence. We achieve and foster unity by embracing more collaboration translated concretely in more unifying action. Collaboration in prospering our political goals is the equivalent of ecumenism in religion. America is founded on the philosophy “out of many, one”.
The reasons we have not achieved more collaboration and unifying action is that we have wished it more than we have worked for it. To keep the Christian analogy going, we have wallowed in the sin of having a lot of faith in unity and taking “zero actions” to bring it about. We have evoked unity to mask our desire to see other groups fold into and submit to our favorite group. It has been used as a smokescreen beckoning on others to take orders from our preferred leaders.
To make matters worse, too many of us have employed revisionism and turned to falsehoods to blame someone else. Everyone else is to blame for this sorry state of affairs, except ourselves.
You are right to be thinking “Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert, included”. Money!
Collaboration is the product of compromise among groups and leaders, not the outcome of unity imposed from on high, by decree or by the groups claiming superiority over others. We repair the situation by taking individual action. Ghandi offered advice on what we should do in circumstances such as this one. “Be the change you want to see,” he wrote.
Can Ambazonians swear they live by the Ghandi Creed? Have we tried hard enough to be different from the system we are fleeing from? Suffer that I mention a few concrete examples.
Have we shown ourselves sufficiently different from our colonizers? Is the attitude of one group proclaiming itself superior to others different from Ahmadou Ahidjo’s CNU forcing all other groups to collapse into the one-party state? Ahidjo did not achieve any more unity by imposing the CNU than the Ahidjo-Biya-France regime’s have succeeded in building the so-called “one, and indivisible” Kamerun.
Any Ambazonian who truly wants more collaboration and unifying action cannot endorse claims that, somehow, by some magic, the SCLC is superior to ARCC, and ARCC would better serve this revolution by folding into the SCLC. If you want collaboration, don’t endorse or share falsehoods like ARCC died on arrival. ARCC was neither a stillbirth nor is it dead today. The more ARCC haters wish this group and others dead, the harder its members will work to keep it/them alive. It’s the same effect the Biya regime is getting by wishing Ambazonia dead.
I can speak to ARCC and the SCLC because I have the honor to represent MoRISC in both. Knowing what I know about the two (which happens to be a lot) I would argue that it is embracing and occupying the gray unifying areas within these unifying, collaborative blocs (than shunning them) that creates the “out of many, one” which we seek.
Instead of wishing ARCC dead and instead of decreeing the SCLC the God-given superior unifying group of the two, our formula for achieving meaningful collaboration must be to encourage the leadership of both ARCC and SCLC to come together; building on their current strengths; dishing their current weaknesses and merging their efforts in action that sends the loudest message to the entire world that Ambazonia has truly risen to fall no more.
The second pillar on which we can build collaboration has to be the embrace of the truth. We desperately need the truth to heal our divisions.
It is the continued dissemination of the falsehood that ARCC was created to undermine or unseat the IG Group that blurs our minds to what ARCC brings to the table… and it is a lot. If the goal of ARCC was, indeed, to form a parallel interim authority, what do the proponents of this theory say prevented ARCC from proceeding? Might it be love for more unifying action and the determination to do nothing that divides us further?
If you are for collaboration and unifying action but you are also a pro-Sisiku or a pro-Sako supporter, you are serving up the same poison you blame the other camp for dishing out.
Pro-SCACUF and pro-IG supporters out there have not hesitated to turn to revisionism to bury the harm collaboration was dealt by the setting up of these entities. All Ambazonians of good faith know, or should know, that it is not the AGC (now AGovC) and it is not the SCYL (now APLM) that generated the divisions within the Restoration Council and the then Governing Council of SCACUF. It is those seating in those high places they erected for themselves who decided they were sufficient without AGovC and APLM, among others.
It is those who felt that they had more legitimacy than the AGovC and APLM; those who decreed themselves the interim government with a stunning level of arrogance in Zaria (by way of Kaduna Mafia) and who expelled others from the fold who pushed our revolution down this path of “dog eat dog”.
Even as I write these lines, the same level of monstrosity is tearing its ugly head with renewed vigor both from behind bars and from capitals of the Diaspora from South Africa and Mother Africa through Continental Europe to the Americas. A new round of “I’m in charge here” declarations ensure that we delay the moment when we must look each other in the face and accept the contributions of all, however small we think they are.
It is decrees issued by the IG Group banning self-defense groups like the ADF and SOCADEF on Ground Zero (those bans have not yet been repudiated) that dug the grave of disunity from which Ambazonians now hope we can, hopefully, one day resurrect before we get to Buea.
Despite the heroic sacrifices of our volunteer self-defenders on Ground Zero, we have folk in the Diaspora who are causing forces that should be fighting on the same side to be drawing the blood, not of the enemy, but of their own brethren in arms. Fellow Ambalanders, who should be focused on resisting La Republique terrorists, are obliged to build defenses against fellow Ambalanders seeking to seize their weapons; arrest, torture, imprison and/or execute them.
As I write and you read these lines, Ambazonian self-defense groups in one state or so-called county or one local government area know they will be treated same as La Republique terrorists if they were to be so unfortunate as to stray into the hands of another Amba group in a neighboring state. Instead of building unified self-defense action across all of Ambazonia, brave soldiers of this revolution are being misled into showing more allegiance to their group; to their CIC (commanders-in-chief); to their so-called local government area or their state of origin than to the flag – the “13-starred, blue and white strips of Ambazonia”.
What is the plan with that? Is it that we plan to declare Ambazonia free and liberated from annexation by conquering Boyo and/or Lebialem, for instance, instead of conquering Buea? How did we get to a place where we have mobilized Ambazonians to prioritize defending tribe and village of origin over and above unifying action to aimed at outsmarting the colonizer in and conquering Buea? Will flying the Amba flag in Bui State and/or Manyu State substitute for the hoisting of that flag in Buea?
We know the disease we are suffering from. We are a house divided against itself because we refuse collaboration; not because we are not united in our March to Buea. We don’t need to chase some elusive unity to cure lack of collaboration. They are two different things, equally important but not interchangeable. We need to truly embrace the collaboration that is at the heart of and constitutes the unifying core value that member organizations of both ARCC and SCLC proclaim as a creed.
So, my question is: when are ARCC and the SCLC going to finally organize their wedding?
Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh)