Days after the release of some Anglophones from prisons in Yaoundé by Presidential order, TNN caught up with Senator Mbella Moki Charles, in an interview to get his appraisal of the current situation in the Anglophone Regions and attempt a way out of the current impasse in Cameroon.
TNN: Generally, what is your impression about the recent Presidential Order discontinuing legal proceedings against some detained Anglophones?
MBELLA MOKI: Well for me this country is a country after God’s heart and I am sure that it is God’s time and that the President in his wisdom certainly saw the necessity for the release of the incarcerated leaders of the Anglophone struggle. It has been the wish of a majority of English-speaking Cameroonians that as a way forward these guys be let free so that they can continue with the negotiation process and they initiate dialogue between the government and the agitating groupings of English-speaking expression. For me it has been a very timely decision from the Head of state and also reveals a lot of things in this country that those who around the President certainly ought to have done by way of explaining the realities to the Head of state at a certain time which they never did, and I can afford to tell you through your channel that Anglophones are short of leadership; the English-speaking population of this country no longer trusts their leadership in government, they no longer trust their elites in government; they no longer have confidence in those who pass around as leadership for the Anglophones because in all of these, those of us who are privileged to be in leadership position within the English-speaking community failed to mobilize ourselves and express and explain the relevance of the agitating groupings of the Anglophones in this country, we failed to do that. We failed to carry the truth to the leadership of this country and we failed to bring the truth to our people, we failed in several dimensions, we must acknowledge that, and if I was the Head of state, I will not only liberate the leadership of the agitating groupings of the Anglophones, I will also check and see the need to ask Anglophones to provide leadership that can be acceptable within the Anglophone communities and provide the much needed leadership that Anglophones need within this country so that he can adequately work with them and honestly negotiate with them for the benefit of the greater numbers in this country and for the greater good of this country. I am sure that by the grace of the Almighty God, this one act of the President of the Republic is going to mark a turning point in this whole struggle, it is going to mark a very defining moment in our country in that we can see ourselves differently and talk of issues frankly, and in a more précised fashion. I want to say that it will also map out a way forward for many of the problems we have in this country to find lasting solutions to such good initiatives.
TNN: Do you think that the President was under pressure to release the Anglophones?
MBELLA MOKI: We cannot deny the fact that the President was under pressure. If you have such problems in a country and you are the leader or President of the country, certainly there would be a lot of pressure on you; so he was under pressure and I think he acted with a level head in providing responses to the many questions that have come along with this pressure and I think he is still doing the same. We need to give him a helping hand, we need to provide him with support that he needs so much in guiding this country and seeking a very glorious conclusion to the problems we have at hand.
TNN: So in other words are you saying the release of these Anglophones was a strategy for the effective resumption of schools in the North West and South West Regions?
It is not a strategy but a way of providing an adequate response to the problem that is topical today, that of our children going back to their various schools.