Cameroon:The Crucial Open Letter Hon. Ayah wrote to PM Ephraim Inoni in 2008

“History should record that refugees were abandoned by their own Government as collective punishment because one person from that community differed in political opinion with the establishment.”

Ayah paul Abine

Collective Punishment on My People

Ayah Paul wrote:

As you very well know, the officially sponsored war against the Olitis through the Divisional Officer for Akwaya, Mr. Stephen Ebombe Ngonde, and the Yives, is over seven months old already.

You are also aware that the Government of Cameroon grossly politicised the war, and has done all it could, through a vast variety of sponsored agents, to tarnish my reputation.
As the crude methods used to prosecute the crusade backfired, the innocent Olitis, of whom I am one, have become the target of collective punishment.

I have tangible reasons to make that assertion, and the facts are there for the whole world to behold.You know that no sooner had I got information about the war than I informed you, the Presidency and several local authorities about the situation, calling for immediate security measures to arrest the situation. But because it was a planned war against our people, mercenaries were allowed, and even encouraged to destroy as much of Oliti as they could.

When eventually gendarmes were sent to that forgotten part of Cameroon, the instructions were clear: destroy Oliti property and inflict pain on the persons. And that is what happened. From all the intelligence reports you have, you are not without knowing the toll.

Several Olitis have been disabled for life. There has been looting, raping and sadistic torture!
You know of course that a few weeks ago, even the Chairman of Akwaya Chiefs Conference was arrested and detained for four days when his co-villagers resisted your gendarmes who had gone on the rampage because of such trivial criminal offence (criminal offence?) peculiar to the Olitis as a youth daring to greet his wife in the company of the gendarmes that had seized her from him.

It is a fact most notorious that most of the Yives took refuge in Nigeria because of the war. Your office is well informed that the Yives hired Nigerian mercenaries who came over to Cameroon and razed villages to the ground, killing women, including pregnant women, children and the elderly who were unable to escape.

It would be shameful for the Government to deny that they have had information that the local priest, one Rev. Forbanka David, one of the Government agents who fancies himself sitting by the right hand of Jesus at the Throne of Justice, received money from the United States of America, of which the figures have remained a mystery of the Trinity.

Possessed of the fact that the Yives were hiring mercenaries, he still gave FCFA 100.000 to 3.000 Yives; and that money was used to hire mercenaries who burnt down Ehembado; shot and wounded several persons; and burnt a blind woman alive. Even from the Seat of Wisdom, the seven thousand displaced Olitis were given only FCFA 40.000 in accordance with heavenly mathematical calculations; and even then, only after lengthy arguments.

Who is that one person in your Government who can deny that some Nigerian State Governments and international humanitarian organisations in that country gave relief supplies to the Yive refugees; and that it is the internally displaced persons in Cameroon, who are essentially the Olitis, that have gone for over seven months without shelter, clothing and food?

I am very confident that in spite of our traditional falsehood, there must be some honest Cameroonians that would bear me witness that, in several ways and for months, I called on your Government in vain to discharge its duty towards those refugees as we have ratified the relevant Geneva Convention.

When, therefore, the Southwest Governor informed the victims on May 30 that your Government had at long last made available FCFA 50,000,000 (FCFA fifty million), they were all in tearful joy that survival was imminent. But about six weeks later, their dreams got shattered when the Manyu SDO gave to the 3,000 Yives FCFA 13,500,000, and tendered FCFA 4,200,000 to the 7,000 Olitis.

The latter of course logically rejected the money as officially expected and designed in order to keep the conflict going. What coincidence! Rev. Forbanka from heaven gave the Olitis about a third of what he gave to the Yives. Months after that, the SDO uses the same ratio as the Father’s will must be done on earth as it is in heaven. Machinations upon machinations! In heaven, in hell and on earth!

Let us even grant that there are only 5,000 internally displaced persons as the Governor has stated. That would mean that the Yive-Oliti ratio is one to two. It is reasoning most curious that one point should deserve FCFA 13,500,000 and two points FCFA 4,200,000? And in any case, the two sums amount to less than half of the FCFA 50,000,000. Where is the rest of the money?

We have the right to conjecture that, in the end, FCFA 50,000,000 was removed from State coffers in the name of Akwaya conflict, but, in fact, rather to enable the SDO to prepare the mother’s funeral and/or his retirement and eventual funeral.

We are not really surprised, though. We know the official position. As it is well known within official circles that the Yives hire mercenaries, it was well calculated, as the reverend man had done before the Administration, to arm the Yives against the innocent Olitis who are branded as “Ayah’s men”.

Such blatantly biased conduct logically flew from the fact that, earlier on, one Ekwale Martin Ekwale, the Mayor of Akwaya Council, had been procured to prepare a welcome address which he presented to the Governor, suggesting to your Government that Akwaya should not be raised to a full Division; that the headquarters should move from Akwaya Town to another locality; and that primaries holding in four years’ time should not hold at Akwaya Town. Very clean politics indeed!

That document, we know, is being processed against the interest of the very people that elected this honest mayor. Of course, only a celebrated dullard would ordinarily call on the Government not to develop his own electorate as he did. But in betrayal of his intellectual unsoundness and reprehensible subservience, he went ahead to leak the official plot, which is to prolong the war situation until the primaries hold in four years’ time.

Funding the Yives was simply in the pursuance of that plot in practical terms. It is of utmost importance to tickle the national and international public opinions about this now!
History should record that money was officially made available to foreign mercenaries to attack part of our national territory just because one man from that area held fast to his conscience.

History should record that refugees were abandoned by their own Government as collective punishment because one person from that community differed in political opinion with the establishment. It may not be very material now whether these are offences within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal.

But posterity shall make issue with such callous, sadistic and preposterous conduct of afflicting pain and death on the innocent. We may equally wish not to forget that there is some supreme judge at the tail end who is recording evidence on such objective exercise of State authority.


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