Cameroon:Kamto Emulates Biya With Marginalization of Anglophones in Party Appointments

By Amos Fofung

Maurice Kamto also face criticism from French-speaking Cameroonians for associating mostly with denizens from the Western region where he originates (photo: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)
Maurice Kamto also face criticism from French-speaking Cameroonians for associating mostly with denizens from the Western region where he originates (photo: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

Cameroon’s main opposition leader, Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, political party has come under heavy criticism from English-speaking Cameroonians who question how different he will be from President Paul Biya if he one day takes over the leadership of the country.

This follows Thursday’s appointment of over 50 members of his party to state duties with Anglophone barely making up to 10%. Kamto has made public plans to take over the presidency of Cameroon and establish a third republic – and akin to what Anglophones have been subjected to under the Biya administration since 1982, Kamto’s list of appointees paints the exact bleak picture for English-speaking Cameroonians.

Many question how different Kamto’s Cameroon will be from that which Anglophones have been subjected to for 38 years under President Paul Biya. Taking to social media, Cameroonians from the English-speaking regions, at least those who still believe in a united Cameroon, have been quick to criticize Maurice Kamto.

A disgruntled Anglophone, Stephen Akam took to Facebook to vent his anger, “so Maurice Kamto wants to tell us that there are only two qualified Anglophone in Cameroon to appoint in his government. This is a clear indication that we need to be very careful with who we support into the Unity Palace else history will just be repeating itself.”

One of his English-speaking appointees, Lawyer Tamfu Ngarka Richard who was appointed to the position of National Secretariat for State Reform and Modernization, was seemingly excited to break the news to his social media followers who did not fail to crown him with congratulatory messages.

Some of the Anglophones who featured on Kamto’s list include, Abbey Martin Nkwa, appointed to the position of Adviser, Fah Elvis appointed Deputy National Secretary, and Ngum Chiabi Sylvie appointed National Secretary for Gender Affairs.

Recalled that, the opposition leader who came second in the 2018 presidential elections has repeatedly cited that he was cheated and should be the one at the Unity Place, Cameroon’s executive mansion. He has announced several times his intentions to organized nationwide protests to oust 87-year-old President Paul Biya.

Why Anglophones think Kamto will slide straight into Biya’s shoes

Opposition leader, Maurice Kamto first received nationwide condemnation when he decided to go through with his candidacy in the presidential election in 2018 despite calls by other political parties and politicians such as Kah Walla and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh to boycott polls until a solution is provided to the Anglophone crisis.

Watchers of the polity of Cameroon believe another reason why Kamto who just like Biya during his pre-presidential days seemed like the perfect gentleman might not be a suitable candidate to bridge the divide and reunite disparaging Anglophones is due to the fact that he has never visited the regions since 2016 when the crisis started.

Many point to the fact that when he threw out an invitation to sit with Anglophone leaders in the diaspora during his tour is telling sign that he does not consider Anglophones and their grievances as a priority.

Maurice Kamto, 66, has however been very vocal about how the Yaounde administration is handling the Anglophone crisis and has threatened to stage a nationwide protest which will paralyze the economy unless President Paul Biya proffers a solution to the crisis.

His critics believe his statements on the Anglophone crisis which has now metamorphosed into a full-blown armed conflict are all geared at winning him support and taking him into Etoudi, the Presidential Palace.

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