EDITORIAL: Boh Herbert, SCACUF and The Interim Gov’t

Boh Herbert (right) and Tassang Wilfred, leader of SCACUF.
Boh Herbert (right) and Tassang Wilfred, leader of SCACUF.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cameroon Journal, Washington D.C – About a month ago, we published an editorial titled “We Still Don’t Have a United Front.” The editorial came up in the framework of the conclave held in Nigeria to bring together all the Southern Cameroons groupings to form a united front. We were grossly misunderstood by many people. That editorial wasn’t an attempt at challenging, condemning or rebuking such a lofty undertaking SCACUF indulged in to bring unity to the struggle. Rather it was an honest assessment of the shortcomings and challenges that still had to be overcome. That Boh Herbert and MoRISC in extension have only too soon pulled out of SCACUF is clear vindication to the valuation we presented in that editorial.

That having been said, if SCACUF has to remain a relevant body, the uniting factor that Southern Cameroonians yearn for, certain things must to be revisited and addressed as a matter of emergency before another group or groups go the way of Boh Herbert and MoRISC.  We make a second call that SCACUF must reconvene with those still on board and those who believe in the idea of a stronger united front to consider stronger roles or a working document that spells out exactly what each group plays in the union.

This position is very relevant because right now, the SCYL and the AGC remain some of the most relevant groups to the struggle, but there isn’t clarity per their commitment and involvement in SCACUF.

An emergency strategic meeting of SCACUF would debate and make actual count of who belongs to the body. This is imperative because if the center of SCACUF isn’t fortified with clauses that bind its members together, we may live to see not just Boh Herbert and MoRISC leaving the union, others too could leave and that won’t argue well for the initiative and the struggle.

We don’t want to be prophets of doom here, but this is just a spot-on assessment of the present situation of things. We cannot fool ourselves that there are no structural issues in SCACUF that need urgent attention. But the good thing is that those issues can be resolved if tackled as a matter of urgency.

Let’s consider the case of groups advocating for arm struggle or self-defense which is one problem that SCACUF is yet to appropriately address. These groups were created basically for that aspect of the struggle. They are undoubtedly not comfortable within a SCACUF that preaches only diplomacy and nonviolence. Should those groups choose to withdraw from SCACUF because their position isn’t endorsed, SCACUF will be essentially nonexistent because, whoever eventually emerges their rebel leader would be the one to dictate the flow of events and the entire cause of the struggle.

However, SACUF can alleviate this situation by embracing inclusiveness. What does that mean? It means incorporating diplomacy with self-defense.

It beats our imagination here that many people are shying away from the main reason why Boh Herbert left SCACUF and are busy talking about trivial reasons. Herbert left SCACUF because Morisc and himself were promised to become the embodiment of SCACUF by virtue of the fact that SCACUF endorsed almost in its entirety, MoRISC’s plan of action. Leaving Nigeria from the meeting that made him Spokesperson for SCACUF, Herbert was under the assumption that since his root map was bought wholesale by SCACUF, he was going to use his position as Spokesperson of SCACUF as additional leverage to push the MoRISC plan of action.

When the meeting was over, the Cameroon Journal spoke to some executive members of SCACUF and they confessed that they endorsed MoRISC’s plan only as exchange for bringing Boh Herbert on board and getting him to support the Hoag Foley Lawsuit against LRC. So While Boh Herbert’s action plan was fully endorsed, the other groups felt alienated because it appears that only their signatures where needed.

And this is the point we made the last time – that nothing was made that bound the groups together. They embraced one group and flouted others. This will happen again if such errors are not immediately corrected.

It is time for SCACUF to get back to the drawing table and come out with a more concerted agreement that is binding upon every signatory in the united front. For that to happen, however, SCACUF must come to the realization that winning this struggle won’t take only diplomacy. All options, including self-defense or arm struggle must be on the table.

SCACUF should earnestly endorse the agenda of the groups that are championing and pushing for arm struggle and harmonize strategy to include both diplomacy and self-defense or arm struggle. There is no doubt that both will have to go hand in hand eventually.

And this is where the subject of an Interim gov’t comes in. At The Cameroon Journal, we have always thought that the idea of an immediate Interim Gov’t as propagated by Boh Hebert was very premature and we opposed the idea even when SCACUF endorsed it. As some have rightly suggested, you do not form an Interim Gov’t without soliciting a host for the gov’t and without creating structures within which the gov’t should function. As of now, those structures do not exist. MoRISC is barely known

Right now, Boh Herbert’s idea of an interim gov’t is bound to crash. First of all, with the titanic backlash from his resignation from SCACUF, even from within his own organization, it is very apparent he has no supporters for such an experiment. And by the way, if the people – Southern Cameroonians do not support the idea as public opinion indicates, who does Boh Herbert think will endorse his gov’t in the international community?  Boh Herbert’s gov’t would turn out to be just like all the other gov’ts formed in the past where they had no portfolio, no authority, no people to govern and no territory to claim title ship over.

On the contrary, given time, the best way to go about a reckonable foreign gov’t should be the transformation of SACUF into that Interim gov’t. It will be suicidal for SCACUF to think of creating a gov’t aside from the organization because it will give room for power tussle between such a gov’t and SCACUF. We should have at the back of our minds that any legitimate gov’t that we create must be seen as carrying out some responsibilities such as SCACUF is carrying now, or else it will end up in a vacuum.

Any interim gov’t should emerge from a transformation of SCACUF through an election commission that is created by representations of all the groups involved in SCACUF. In other words, when the moment comes, each of the groups can nominate two or three members, and then the nominated members once they come together, to elect the Chair of the commission. And the commission should have a temporal responsibility of conducting the elections. But again, SCACUF still has a lot to do to get to this point.

SCACUF has to synchronize or narrow the vision of the group into two – namely Diplomacy and self-defense or arm struggle. While arm struggle becomes the military wing of a subsequent Interim Gov’t, such a Gov’t constitutes the governing and diplomatic wing of the struggle. This way, both wings play complimentary roles one to another.


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