Soter Agbaw Ebai
The South West Elites Association, European chapter has distanced itself from the recent Buea declaration orchestrated by former Prime Minister and Head of Government, Peter Mafany Musonge. A meeting of SWELA Europe that held recently in Dublin, Ireland refuted growing allegations that South Westerners are stooges of the Biya Francophone government who have been paid to guarantee Francophone political elites continued marginalization of Southern Cameroonians.
“Some people say the South West elites are the mouthpiece and stooges of the Biya government. But SWELA came into existence not because it likes any regime but it is because the forum likes the country.” The Secretary General of SWELA Europe, Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai who also moonlights as the Chairman of the Cameroon Concord News Group pointed out that the academics and political elites of the South West started as VIKUMA- meaning Victoria-Kumba-Mamfe and then to SWELA. “We came out on our own, not on the platform of Mr. Biya and we have not been paid for doing that.”
Speaking during the Dublin forum, the Secretary General did observe that the founding fathers of VIKUMA and later SWELA never antagonized the ruling government be it CNU or CPDM nor sought favours from it. SWELA’s main concern, he went on, was to protect the interest of the South West people and playing down anything that may divide or bring disaffection in the country.
The leadership of SWELA Europe pointed out that there were communication gaps between the public and the Musonge minority CPDM following including the demands of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. The Secretary General of SWELA Europe therefore advised that SWELA should serve as a unifying factor between the Biya government and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.
“I think there is a serious communication breakdown between CPDM elites and the South West Elites Association. Peter Mafany Musonge cannot claim be the prophetic voice of the South West people than Bishop Emeritus Francis Lysinge of the Mamfe Diocese. Both the CPDM elites and the South West Elites Association should listen to the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.” Concluded the SWELA Europe Secretary General.