It’s been over five (5) months since the strike led by teachers and lawyers of the two English speaking regions of Cameroon surfaced and quickly gained the support from majority of the masses in these two regions, schools were grounded and lawyers refused to go to courts to protests against government policies which they said hindered them from carrying on their profession.
But what started as purely professional demands from teachers and lawyers swiftly turn to be a movement as new organizations sprung from different places, diasporans became more active, online news activists were born and within no time, a whole new game was on the table.
The teachers and lawyers representative suddenly changed their stance after breathless negotiations and crackdowns of protesters by the state, and they started demanding structural tectonic shifts in structural composition of the state, demands the state regarded as not only unprofessional and contrary to their initial demands but also as a non-starter.
What followed after was an embroiled battle with massive protests in major towns across the regions punctuated by a series of ghost towns which continues today. Many were arrested and some are facing trial for different crimes including terrorism at the Yaoundé military tribunal and the crisis far from over as both the state and opposing actors are bent o push it to the very end.
But as the protagonists keep throwing punches at each other, there are certainly losers and winners of the so called “Anglophone struggle”. Many self-acclaimed freedom fighters and online activists who have promised to fight and give independence and freedom to the people have engaged not only in a fierce information war online, dismissing and reducing their opponents or at least those who differ with their ideology as mere traitors and “regime hand clappers” , they have raised millions of francs CFA abroad and at home through different sources especially GoFundme- a popular site for raising fund online, perhaps giving credence to claims by the state that the crisis is perpetuated by foreign sponsored extremist who want to destabilize the country
The total amount raised have not been made public and those actually running the different accounts are still in the dark, no account has been given as to what the money was used for and any attempt to raise issues of accountability is met with a strong and aggressive resistance from their die hard followers who are made to believe “independence” is near and that is all that matters.
The crisis has rendered many rich as they have benefited from the crisis to enrich themselves with numerous fund raising around the globe and while they continue to enjoy their new found riches and fly from one European capital to another in the name of attending rallies to advance and drum “support for the struggle”, it is the ordinary man home who suffers the most.
Thousands of people who badly depend on the private sector for teaching jobs are out of work and can barely afford three square meals nor pay their rents, hundreds of thousands of pupils and students remain out of school and many wonders in abyss what the future holds as there is no end in sight.
Its high time we face the realities on the ground, realize that the government has and continues to do a lot to resolve this crisis, put our hand on deck to find long lasting solutions and realize that the solution to these problem can only come through meaningful dialogue within the framework of a united and indivisible state without which it is only the ordinary and poor Cameroonians who will continue to suffer while some benefits in their luxurious suites in foreign capitals and cities in the name of fighting for our freedom.