By Nji Nelson Chefor
The General Manager of Cameroon Telecommunications, (CAMTEL), Judith Yah Sunday Epse Achidi, has hailed ex-separatist fighters in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Centre in Bamenda for heeding to President Paul Biya’s call for them to leave the bushes, drop their weapons, join the state for peace and participate in the reconstruction of the region they so cherish.
Judith Yah Sunday was speaking during a visit to the centre on Tuesday November 24.
The CAMTEL boss, who during the visit donated a consignments of foodstuff, laundry soap, toiletries and other basic commodities to the repentant separatist fighters, used the occasion to plead with them to lure their former comrades-in-arms who are still in the bushes to also drop their arms and join them for a total return to peace and normalcy in the restive North West region.
“Be ambassadors of peace. Tell your friends who are still in the bushes to also drop their weapons as you people have done,” Judith Yah Sunday said.
The visibly happy former separatist fighters, through their representative, the Senior Prefect of the centre, appreciated the CAMTEL boss and pledged to be the peace ambassadors “their mother” has asked them to be. They also promised to be part of President Biya’s vision for one and indivisible Cameroon — to join the Head of State in his resolve to put an end to the crisis that has been rocking the two English-speaking regions for four years now with untold consequences on the peace-loving populations.
Mourning with Queen Mothers
Prior to the visit to the DDR Centre in Bamenda, Ma fo’o Judith Yah Sunday epouse Achidi, joined Ma fo’os (Queen Mothers) in of the North West region in particular and mothers in general to condemn the constant killing of their children since armed conflict erupted North West and South West regions of the country.
The Ma fo’os, after praying for over an hour soliciting God’s interference in bringing actors of the conflict to reason, via a memorandum, also called on the belligerents to drop the guns and stop the violence.
“Our offspring have been dying in their numbers because of this violence and we come to pray that the killing should stop. Never again should children be targeted in this violence. Never again should we be comforted for what could have been prevented,” the Ma Fo’os of the North West said in a memo read on their behalf by Ma Fo’o Mary Siri Siri, Queen Mother of Akum Palace.
The Queen Mothers and women also condemned in strongest terms the constant killings of their children.
“We the Queen mothers (Ma Fo’os) of the North West Region deplore and condemn in the strongest terms the constant killing of our children since the escalation of the crisis in our beloved Anglophone regions. Months ago, it was Ngarbuh, before we could wipe off our tears, Comfort Tumasang was chopped into pieces in Muyuka while Florence Ayafor was reserved the same fate in Santa. And most recently, seven of our children were brutally assassinated in Kumba last October 24, 2020 as they sought to study,” they stated.
Belligerents supplicated to sue for peace
The Queen Mothers cried and prayed God in their various local languages to provide a solution to the conflict and they staged a walk along the Bamenda Commercial Avenue ceremonial ground to show their resentment to the killings with placards conveying varied messages all condemning the acts and begging belligerent groups to sue for peace.
“As Queen mothers we uphold the sanctity of life and the protection of all human lives in and out of our communities. We plead sincerely with the belligerents to render our two Anglophone regions peaceful as they used to be,” they pleaded.
Some of the messages brandished by the women on placards read: “Our children deserve their right to education”, “We the women are hardest hit in this crisis”, “For the fallen, we want pens not guns”, “The crisis has taken us decades back, together let’s put a stop to this crisis”, “Ngarbuh, Kumba never again, stop the killings” among others.
Also present at the event were the Members of Parliament, (MPs), for Donga Mantung Central, Ndu and Momo East in Mbengwi and Menchum North constituencies.
The event took place under the watchful eyes of the Divisional Officer of Bamenda II Subdivision, Nicolas Nkongho Machang.