On International Recognition and Elections of former British Southern Cameroons Interim Government
By Mbeseha Timothy, Monday, January 1, 2018
I have watched and listened to your audio and video presentations on the former British Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia problems since you got on board early 2017. You purport to speak for a
group called MORISC (Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons). I personally appreciate your effort as you struggle to remain relevant in this struggle. Like any other freedom loving citizen of former British Southern Cameroons, your efforts should be properly evaluated and where necessary either adopted in whole, partly or rejected. That is the essence of an informed debate. That is what ought to make us proud. However, it is wrong to insist on something that the majority does not agree with, even if it turns out to be right later. Remember that in democracy the majority that carries the vote is not always necessarily right. That is why even in collegial court decisions like we aspire to have under the Common Law system, dissenting opinions also count. In some instances, dissent can even be the foundation for the formulation of a better decision in the future.
I note with interest that MORISC-USA for which you claim to be the spokesperson is now considered as one of the frontline organizations in the struggle. It is necessary for us to look back at how your MORISC got to the pinnacle of decision making in this struggle within such a short time. Who does MORISC represent and how did she get to where she is today? Until January 2017 there was nothing officially known as MORISC-USA. Late in 2016 when the crisis started back home, some individuals conceived an idea of forming a worldwide group called MORISC. The main goal of the group was act as an umbrella under which all other groups and organizations involved in the liberation struggle of former British Southern Cameroons would coalesce. The belief was that such a united front would make the struggle more meaningful and thus make victory much easier and possibly faster. Under Boh Herbert a blue print including a draft constitution of MORISC-USA and road-map were
drawn up. The idea was to have the drafts adopted at the first inaugural meeting of the organization which was slated for January 21st 2017. Behind the screen Boh and his cohort founders of MORISC planned to have the general assembly of 21st January endorse both the constitution, road map and executive that they secretly put in place. Unfortunately, the people behind the scheme failed to understand that it is easier to convene a meeting than to determine its outcome. The meeting that was massively attended refused to simply endorse the constitution, road map and executive as presented by Boh and his cohorts. Most of the people who attended the meeting were not delegates of any particular group, city or state. They came because of the enthusiasm that something could be done to help the deteriorating situation back home. Participation fees were collected to the tune of between $30,000-$45,000. That general assembly refused to endorse what the organizers had hoped to get as a platform from which to operate. That notwithstanding, the assembly adjourned and agreed to study the proposals and to reconvene on the 11th of February 2017 for a final debate and possible adoption of the constitution, road map and the election of an executive. The projected meeting of February 11th 2017 never took place because before the date of the meeting Boh Herbert surreptitiously registered MORISC-USA in the state of Maryland with the documents and his single handedly appointed list of officials that the general assembly had rejected a few days earlier.
While this was still going on, the first British Southern Cameroons conclave took place in Lagos-Nigeria. Boh quickly sent delegates to the conclave but they sat in as observers. After these manipulations, the 2nd Conclave came up. Again, MORISC headed by Boh Herbert himself was present. This time however, MORISC was no longer an observer. Armed with a check book and cash raised from unsuspecting citizens on January 21st 2017 she manipulated her way to be recognized as one of the frontline organizations for the struggle. Now as a new and youngest full fleshed member of SCACUF she successfully sold her road map including the idea that she be allowed to organize some fathom elections for the interim prime minister by internet. In her new-found glory, she also took the lion’s share of the offices that were available for the pick including the coveted post of spokesperson for SCACUF that was gladly handed to the kingmaker Boh Herbert himself. Some positions in the present governing structures are still held by MORISC loyalists the fact that MORISC officially withdrew from SCACUF-the united front notwithstanding. From this new high table, Boh the de facto leader and spokesperson for the organization started sponsoring members of his self-appointed group to attend meetings in other cities of the US and the world. There is nothing strange here because with money everything is possible.
What went wrong after this glorification of Comrade Boh Herbert and his MORISC? Seemingly, after a few reflections, other highly placed officials of SCACUF in particular and the public at large started questioning the credibility and feasibility of implementing the much talked about and applauded road map. In particular, the idea of an online election seemed unrealistic. When Boh realized that his road map was no longer being accepted he not only resigned his post of spokesperson of SCACUF, he also purported to pull his foster child- MORISC out of SCACUF platform. His bone of contention was and still remains the organization of election for the interim government. To him any interim government put in place to manage the struggle until independence will only gain international recognition and acceptance if the government resulted from a popular election organized by via the internet. Since then comrade Boh has made several audio and video presentations in defense of this fallacy of recognition by the international community. A close follow up of the presentations strongly suggest that either Mr. Boh does not understand what he is talking about or he is deceiving his audience or even both.
What recognition is British Southern Cameroons seeking from the international community at this time? At this moment I strongly believe that we are looking for the recognition of the state of British Southern Cameroons as a country separate from La Republique du Cameroun. Until we are given this state recognition, we cannot begin to talk of any government. In this phase of the struggle, like in many other liberation struggles before ours, groups involved in the struggle usually pick or choose their leaders not through nationwide democratic elections. It happened in Angola,
Mozambique, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) South Sudan, Eritrea, East Timor etc. The different groups fighting for a cause like this surely have their leadership structures none of which can be said to be democratic in the generic sense of the word. The delegates that represented the 13 British American colonies at the Philadelphia constitutional conference for example were not chosen through any statewide elections. The ANC of South Africa never had a national election to choose Nelson Mandela as its leader, neither has any liberation movement that I can think of in recent memory.
Talking about the recognition of governments by international organizations and governments of independent countries, it is an overstretch to suggest that such recognition is even guided by the principles of free and fair elections. The recognition of sovereign countries and admission by international organizations are guided by different rules. Democratic elections and good governance
might not even figure on top on the list of the basic requirements for the recognition and admission of new state members. This is why military regimes that come to power through bloody military coup d’états are hardly ever kicked out of international organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union, neither are their embassies shut down in other countries simply because they failed to organize free and fair elections. Nigeria for example never lost her membership in any international organization neither was any of her embassies or diplomatic mission ever closed during the long years of military rule; neither has Libya, North Korea or even China lost diplomatic recognition because of their failure to organize free and fair elections.
Can our dear brother give up this approach and jump on board the moving train for the liberation of our country? I think he can and should do so as soon as possible. He must be deceiving himself if by now he fails to realize that at this point in time he has lost the battle over the organization of election of people to lead the struggle. No matter the process for choosing Julius Tabe, the large majority of British Southern Cameroonians have accepted him. It is time to give up and jump on board the fast-moving train for the liberation of our country. The majority of our people have come to the conclusion that organizing a popular election especially through the internet as Boh proposes is both feasible and credibly flawed. That has never been tested anywhere else before. We are not going to be the guinea pigs of internet election laboratories.