Detained Anglophone consortium leaders have refuted claims that they have partnered with separatist movements
Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba and Mancho Bibixy declared that they have no links with separatist groups who are advocating secession or independence for Southern Cameroon.
Their statement was made known to the press March 1 by Barrister Bernard Achu Muna, lead lawyer for their defense. Barrister Muna said it was incumbent for the trio to clearly state their stand given the rise of many separatist movements who are seemingly taking the strike hostage with secessionist ideas.
Hear him; “Since this strike by lawyers and teachers started, a lot of other organisations have been trying to take advantage of what is happening in the North West and South West Regions, especially organisations that are preaching separation and the so-called independence of Southern Cameroon. That is why the leaders of the banned Consortium asked me to make a statement on their behalf.”
Muna holds that the trio have long been clamouring for the respect of the basic rights of Anglophones and not separation. Debunking claims on the consortium partnership with some separatist groups, Muna disclosed that Agbor Balla said the Consortium has never authorised anybody to sign any agreement with any of those groups. He said the Consortium has no links with organisations promoting separation or independence of Southern Cameroons. Anybody negotiating with those groups is not acting on behalf of the Consortium.
As the crisis drags on, many Cameroonians are of the opinion separatist movements, elites and some overzealous individuals are giving it a bad twist as they try to impose their presence on a national stage. Many groups like the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, Southern Cameroons Peoples Organisation, SCAPO, Ambazonia, Southern Cameroons Youth League, SCYL, Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroon, MORISC, and Southern Cameroons South Africa Forum are using the struggle as an opportunity to hoist flags in various cities.
Meanwhile media reports have revealed the creation of 77 GoFundMe accounts by some individuals to fund the Southern Cameroon crisis. For one thing, Anglophone pundits are of the opinion that if groups like the SCNC disavowed their secessionist agenda in favour of a more pragmatic and inclusive approach to redressing the marginalization of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, the protesters will have a strong case.
Agbor Balla, Fontem Neba and Mancho Bibixy are expected to appear before the Yaoundé Military Tribunal on March 23 for a second time. Over 200 lawyers of the common law and civil law sub systems were in court on February 13, to defend the consortium leaders who are being charged with terrorism, secession rebellion and other related offences.