By Mua Patrick, October 20, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – The two million-signature collection campaign at the behest of the United Nations to push forth the Southern Cameroons independence struggle has reportedly exposed cracks within the movement with some of its key officials already differing on the number of the signatures so far collected.
The campaign which began in August, The Cameroon Journal has gathered, is tearing some activists of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, apart as power tussle within the movement is said to have reached crescendo.
At the start of this week, barely days after Njoh Litumbe, a front line Southern Cameroons activist had declared that the campaign was recording huge success with over 2,000 signatures already mobilised, Nfor Ngala Nfor, one of SCNC’s leaders, was quoted by a Yaounde-based weekly tabloid as saying the signature collection drive had hit the one million mark.
Nfor Nfor told the newspaper that the one million signatures were collected in two weeks though Litumbe Njoh and co. have maintained they are not aware of any such figures. They told The Journal instead, that Nfor Nfor is trying to torpedo the struggle for his personal interests.
The conflicting figures with regards to what has already been collected is making proponents of the cause express fears and concern that such may frustrate the signature referendum. But some die heart supporters have said they are optimistic the signature collection exercise will hit the expected two million target before the year runs out.
Njoh Litumbe hits Nfor Nfor
Contacted yesterday, Litumbe said what Nfor Nfor is coordinating in the North West Region is not to their knowledge. While questioning how he (Nfor Nfor) came about the one million signatures said to have been already collected, Litumbe, who also told our reporter they are finalising plans to synergize with some nationalist political parties in the country to join the struggle, said the figures from Nfor Nfor are to be doubted given that the signatures gotten so far are being assembled and counted in a location in far away London and not in Cameroon.
He regretted that some individuals who know little or nothing on how the signature referendum initiative came about are now passing as champions of the campaign.
“When I visited the UN recently, I insisted on seeing the Secretary General. But I was instead sent to the political affairs department where I was received,” he recounted.
He then continued: “…while at the UN, I narrated the history and what Anglophones have been going through. They turned around and said, is it because you haven’t been made a Minister that you are complaining. I told them no, everyone else in Cameroon is not happy, and I said you want us to start killing ourselves before you come? The UN said no. It was then that they told me to go back home and mobilise two million signatures of Cameroonians who are in support of my view.”
Upon his return to Cameroon, News of the collection of two million signatures as demanded by the UN to facilitate the Southern Cameroons independence struggle was announced in August 2016.
One of the leaders of the SCNC, Leke Theodore, had told The Cameroon Journal that Litumbe returned with good news from the UN.
Leke who is known to be working closely with Litumbe had said in an exchange that: “…while on a recent trip to the UN, the body told Njoh Litumbe to come back home and get at least two million signatures of Southern Cameroonians who are in favour of an independent Southern Cameroons state…”
Quoting Litumbe, Leke gave to understanding that the UN had already expressed its readiness to send a delegation to the Southern Cameroons territory to have first hand assessment and information on the plight of North Westerners and South Westerners.
He, however, added the UN delegation would only make the trip to the Southern Cameroons territory should Litumbe go back there with at least two million signatures of Anglophones who are in favour of an independent state as soon as they are collected.
Quizzed then on how possible it would be to get the two million signatures, Leke retorted: “…we are already working on the two million signatures ‘referendum’ and from the enthusiasm seen on the field, Mola Njoh Litumbe would soon be going back to the UN with not less than five million signatures…”