Dieudonne Essomba Says Planned Protest Cannot Work Because It Is Tribally Motivated
In a recent write-up titled “Kamto is Crazy”, Dieudonne Essomba has blasted the CRM Chair for his September 22 planned protest saying it is driven by tribalism. “The only thing blocking the Kamto insurrection is the indifference of the other Communities… And it is precisely this factor that makes the slightest success of Kamto in […]
In a recent write-up titled “Kamto is Crazy”, Dieudonne Essomba has blasted the CRM Chair for his September 22 planned protest saying it is driven by tribalism. “The only thing blocking the Kamto insurrection is the indifference of the other Communities… And it is precisely this factor that makes the slightest success of Kamto in Yaoundé illusionary,” he said. He said it is impossible for Cameroonians to support the CRM, a Bamileke-dominated party, in its protest to oust President Biya from his 38-year rule.
“A simple sociological reading of the protest planned by Kamto to force President Biya to resign, for failing to resolve the Anglophone crisis and to revise the Electoral Code, shows that this gentleman can never organize a popular insurrection against Biya in Yaoundé, even in 1,000 years,” said Essomba. He accuses Maurice Kamto of attempting to use the protest march to get himself, a Bamileke person, into the Unity Palace, at the detriment of other tribes, including the Ekang, a dominant tribe in the capital city Yaoundé.“… in the absence of any codification on the relations between the Communities and the State, power immediately becomes a violent community issue. Its conquest and its maintenance essentially become a showdown between the communities. As soon as the Ekang who are the majority in Yaoundé and its surroundings have a negative reading of Kamto’s project on their future, they will never let him enter Etoudi against Biya, whatever the circumstances. They will take Biya’s camp even if they do not approve of his policies,” he said. Essomba’s pronouncements, which reek of tribalism and a sense of entitlement, raises serious questions as to whether he is not ignoring the plank in his eyes while attempting to remove the speck from another’s. Essomba however, goes on to add that the planned protest is bound to fail because of what he terms “communitarianism”, describing the tribal and community differences that exist among Cameroonians, saying every tribe will prefer to support only its own native into power. “… Clearly and unmistakably, he appears as a tribal mascot embodying the impatient desire of his Community to take power in turn in logic after Ahidjo-le-Fulbé and Biya-l’Ekang, here comes the turn of Kamto-le -Bamileke,” he said. Essomba’s arguments appear to go contrary to logic, given that Kamto recently met with leaders of other political parties such as Kah Walla of the CPP, who came out to announce that they were all in agreement that Biya had to leave power and a period of political transition instituted.
Given that Kah Walla and the leaders of the other political parties are not Bamileke, it would therefore appear that Essomba’s arguments are pushing at an open door. Although the Cameroon government has deployed soldiers into the cities of Yaoundé and Douala, Essomba says neither military intervention nor threats from government Ministers can stop the protest, but for “communitarianism.” “As for the agitation of Atanga Nji and the other Ministers, it clearly stems from career opportunism. It is a question of standing out to send the following message to their boss… Biya Bi Mvondo Paul Barthelemy,” he said. Essomba may be right here, given that there is a video circulating on social media, purported to be from a Cameroonian soldier, who has advised his colleagues to avoid shooting civilians on September 22. If it turns out that it is actually a Cameroonian soldier, it will add pressure to the already frayed nerves in Yaoundé.
Since Maurice Kamto announced the planned match by what is arguably Cameroon’s largest opposition party and his recent meeting with other party leaders, who agreed to work together to oust President Biya from power, several threats have ensued from government officials against anyone who will venture out on September 22. Some civil society leaders have also criticised the protest march, saying it will further distort the fragile peace reigning in the country’s eight regions like the Northwest and Southwest regions battle in a four-year-long armed conflict. Some analysts, however, counter that no part of Cameroon is in peace, given that there are more people dying from road accidents and other preventable causes across the country than they are dying in some active conflicts across the world. Kamto’s CRM party is also boycotting the December 6 first-ever Regional elections, alongside opposition SDF and other political parties, over some grievances, including the unabated Anglophone crisis.