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General News of Saturday, 2 August 2014

Source: The Guardian Post Newspaper

The irony of Chief Ayamba’s state burial

Irony is a situation whereby something that has been planned to happen in a certain way, rather happens the opposite way. More often than not, it turns out to be embarrassing. Literary scholars would easily recall the story of Oedipus Rex who undertook an investigation to find out the man who killed his father and married his mother only to discover that he was himself the criminal.

Over zealous scheming politicians usually find themselves caught in traps they set for others. Their schemes quite often produce results they least expected or desired. What is happening in the Far North is a good example of bitter irony.

But the most glaring example is the burial of former SCNC national chairman, Chief Ayamba Ette Otun which took place on July 26, 2014. It was suspected that heavily-armed troops were deployed by the Yaounde authorities to disrupt the “state” funeral that was planned for the late SCNC chieftain. After confiscating the coffin and SCNC materials from the US and intimidating the thousands of Southern Cameroons activists who attended the occasion, the combat-ready troops finally escorted the corpse from the mortuary.

If we don’t describe the heavy presence of the Cameroonian military both during the funeral procession and at the burial a state funeral, then we have no name for it.

It should be noted that Southern Cameroons activists chanted freedom songs during the procession while the deceased’s family succeeded in putting the Southern Cameroons flag on his coffin.

History repeating self This was not the first time government zealots had overreached themselves in a scheme or seen their stratagems produce the reverse effect. Troops earlier attempted but failed to prevent the “state" burial of M.N Luma, a former SCNC chairman in Tiko as well as Prince Mbinglo Hitler in Bamenda. Pa Luma’s family, championed by his widow stood their grounds and he was given a Southern Cameroons hero’s burial.

In the case of Prince Mbinglo which took place at Bayelle, Nkwen, Catholic mission, there was a scufflle between security forces and SCNC activists in which the security forces emerged second best.

A young soldier was almost buried alongside Prince Mbinglo after he jumped into the SCNC Northern chairman’s grave to pull out a flag and a T-shirt which one of the activists had dropped on the coffin after it had been lowered into the grave. The soldier saved himself thanks to his agility or rather the nimbleness of his feet. The activists regretted that he was not buried alongside Prince Mbinglo to serve as his body guard in the world beyond.

The conduct of the New Deal zealots last July 26 in Mamfe proved that the regime has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. It should have taken hard lessons from previous occurrences like what happened in 1990 that the best way to make a political event successful is to deploy troops in a bid to disrupt it. It is anything but a secret that if troops and water cannons were not deployed or six youths killed, the launch of the SDF wouldn’t have been the great event that the party celebrates every year.

In fairness to the CPDM regime, it must be admitted that not only has its zealots promoted great ideas of opposition but has led to the popular scenario in history mentioning stories and books gaining world wide filled with seizures and bans. As this is not a dissertation or academic discourse, I will keep the examples to myself.

In conclusion, it is worth congratulating President Biya for the great honour he gave his departed Southern Cameroons “counterpart”, although without intending it. This lends credence to the immortal Shakespeare who tells us that “Our wishes are ours, their ends none of our own”.

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