May 2023

Militants and Sympathisers of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement,

Dear Compatriots of all political persuasions,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In memory of the many compatriots, anonymous and famous alike, whom I cannot list here, who have been snatched from their lives by the barbarity of agents of the State, or by violent spouses who propagate feminicide, or by cruel thugs on the roads and in the neighbourhoods, criminals devoid of any humanity who sow desolation and mourning in families and in our country, please join me in observing a minute’s silence.

My dear friends,

This 6th of May 2023 is and will remain a memorable day in the history of our party and of Cameroon. Indeed, for the first time since its creation in adversity in 2012, the CRM is holding a public rally in the city of Yaoundé, outside election campaign periods, and in agreement with the public authorities. In this regard, I would like to commend the republican attitude of the Yaoundé VI Sub-divisional officer who issued to the Organising Committee of this rally, the receipt for the declaration of a public rally as provided for by the law, and which you have heard read out, and this, without any hassles and other manoeuvres to which we are accustomed. I would like to express our appreciation, on your behalf, from this rostrum, to this state servant. We would like to see in this attitude of the administrative authority a positive sign of the normalisation of the treatment of the CRM in the public sphere of our country. Our party is simply asking to be treated like other political parties, without discrimination, without demonisation, in accordance with the laws of the Republic.

I would also like to welcome the presence here of the numerous security forces. This presence reassures us and honors them. As in Bafoussam, Nkongsamba, Douala, these security forces will see that we are not here today for marches, because when we want to march, we announce it, indicate the route, and always inform the authorities and the Cameroonian people. Let those of the security forces who are in charge of intelligence report faithfully on the progress of this moment of communion with our militants and all our other compatriots. I have said this on several occasions, and I take the opportunity of this rally at the headquarters of the Institutions of the Republic to reaffirm that we are not in conflict with either the administration or the defence and security forces, because we aspire to lead the country and we can only do so with them. Our unshakeable will to use peaceful means of political struggle, such as declared marches, when necessary, should not be confused with the irresponsible desire to wantonly disrupt public order.

Furthermore, I would like to warmly congratulate the CRM militants and sympathisers of the Centre 1 Regional Federation in general and the Organising Committee of this beautiful rally, headed by the elected Secretary of the Regional Federation, Mr Eric NJABON, for the abnegation and courage they have shown in mobilising to make this rally an exceptional moment. I know that they have worked in adversity. They have even more merit because it is never easy to succeed when you have fearless opponents in your own ranks.

Finally, on behalf of the CRM Directorate, I would like to congratulate all the newly elected teams, from the Unit bureaux to the regional bureau, as well as the subdivisional and divisional bureaux. I extend my sympathy and encouragement to the comrades on the lists that were not successful this time, but who are not seeking to disrupt the party in Centre 1; let them know that they are no less deserving, and that the party is counting fully on them as on those who won the elections to be ever stronger and ready to reap future victories.

Because, as I have often pointed out, remember, the party is not the property of those who won the elections. The winners must know how to bring people together, to be open and tolerant leaders who listen to all the militants. This is why I urge all the leaders of the elected basic organs to open their arms wide to the political friends whose lists of candidates lost the elections. The Directorate of our party attaches great importance to this.

I take this opportunity to recall what I have said elsewhere: the fact of occupying such and such a position within a basic organ of the party does not automatically give the right to be the candidate of the party in such and such state election; our candidate nominations will be done by bodies designated for this purpose by the party, according to the capacity of each and every one of them to bring us victory. For whoever wins, it will be the victory of the entire party and each of its militants.

The elections are now behind us. We need to turn the page. The renewal of the basic organs gives us the opportunity for a new start for our party in this political region, which roughly covers the territory of the capital of our country. This new beginning must be made in confidence and mutual respect between militants, members of the big CRM family. You must develop more than in the past the establishment of our party in all the nooks and crannies of Centre 1 and in all strata of the population. You must work together with ELECAM to amplify the new dynamic of massive registration of the population on the electoral registers. Peaceful change through the ballot box, which is the intangible option of our party, cannot happen without the voters. Through the vote, it is every Cameroonian citizen of voting age who holds the power of change. It cannot be the business of one person, no matter how much he or she may sacrifice individually.
As we meet here, our country continues to descend into hell. Each time we think we have hit the bottom, but with us there is no bottom; it is an inexorable fall into nothingness. And I am not kidding.

In terms of the security of the citizens and the country in general, since our rally to install the elected Regional Bureau of the party in Littoral 1 in December 2022, there has been the heinous murder, in particularly atrocious conditions, of our compatriot, the journalist Martinez ZOGO, of whom we are told that the accomplices of his torture have been arrested, but not the perpetrators of his murder; and I ask, does this mean that Martinez ZOGO is not dead, and that he was only tortured? His shocking death, since he is dead and we have been shown his remains, was followed by the no less horrible death of Father Jean-Jacques OLA BEBE, whose eventual investigation is unknown. In the Anglophone regions of the North-West and South-West, Cameroonians, military and civilians continue to lose their lives in a senseless war that could have been avoided and must be brought to an end without further delay. In the Far North Region, the resumption of Boko Haram’s terrorist attacks is again causing death and destruction, especially among our poor and abandoned people. I have never been able to come to terms with these tragedies, in the face of which the current government gives the impression of impotence, indifference or complacency.

Socially, life is crushing Cameroonians. I had warned that after the euphoria of the AFCON in 2022, we would return to the brutal and arduous reality into which the current regime has plunged us. Since then, we have been suffering the pangs of high living costs. For example, in one year:
– 3 ebobolos that used to cost 450 F now cost 1000 F in Mbankomo;
– a litre of refined palm oil Mayor from 1,100 F to 1,600 F;
– a litre of palm oil has risen from 800 F to 1,100 F;
– a litre of olio soya oil from 1,500 F to 3,000 F;
– a kg of basic rice from 350 F to 450 F
– a kg of perfumed rice from 1,000 F to 1,500 F
– a kg of meat from 2,700 F to 3,000 F
– a kg of mackerel from … to …
– a litre of petrol from 620 F to 730 F
– a litre of diesel from 575 F to 720 F.

This is just a sample. Dear husbands, before scolding our wives about the quality and even the quantity of the meals, let us first visit the market. It is true that there has been an increase in the guaranteed minimum wage. But it is a general increase in salaries that the State must carry out in order to allow Cameroonian households to gain some purchasing power.

In our homes, the water taps sometimes spit out a reddish sludge, otherwise most of the time they are dry, while the Sanaga river flows freely to the sea. Electricity is more than ever yo-yoing despite promises made about 10 years ago that the ordeal would be over with the construction of the dams. The dams have been built and electricity remains for many Cameroonians, until now even in the heart of the capital, an unattainable dream to get out of the kerosine lamps.
The assaults of misery are spreading in the towns and villages. And I won’t even mention the situation in health facilities and schools, where our children have become debauched, addicted to drugs and pornography. This is the mirage of the easy life conveyed by those who call themselves influencers.

In terms of the management of public resources, there was the massive misappropriation of billions of CFA francs allocated to the organisation of the 2019-2022 African Cup of Nations, which resulted in unfinished stadia and the initial projects for sports complexes being abandoned, the looting of funds allocated to the fight against COVID-19, which was brought to light by the Audit Chamber of the Supreme Court, i.e. financial and material resources that should have been used to protect public health and the lives of Cameroonians, which were gobbled up by the insatiable criminals. And while we were still stunned by such inhumanity, the British judiciary announced the corruption of officials at SNH and SONARA by the Swiss company GLENCORE to the tune of billions of CFA francs. However, in these cases, which the press has named CANGATE, COVIDGATE and GLENCOREGATE, no one has been arrested to date. In the case of GLENCORE, the State of Cameroon, by its inaction as a victim, has become an accomplice in the plundering of the resources of the Cameroonian people, thus contributing to tarnishing the image of our country and dissuading potential foreign investors from coming to Cameroon.

But those who claim to run the country do not care. The scandals follow one another and extend to neighbouring countries. The SAVANNAH ENERGY affair shows the level of collapse of our country, where even the Presidency of the Republic, i.e., where the beating heart of the State is located, has become the place of mafia-type practices and the most sordid behaviour. A generation of unprepared and greedy leaders, devoid of national consciousness and patriotic ideals, has transformed Cameroon into a “Republic of cronies and rascals”.

I have great respect for the canonical age of the President of the Republic in office.I said in 2018 and on various other occasions that if I were President of this country, if our victory had not been stolen and I had reached the highest office, nothing would happen to him and to his family. And I repeat it here, if I am President, nothing will happen to him. I am the only political leader to have made this commitment and one of the few to be able to give it this guarantee, because I know I can explain to Cameroonians why it is good to spare and protect it. However, I cannot help saying that the responsibility for this disaster lies with him. He has stubbornly refused to do what Cameroonians expected of him to do in order to give him all the honours to which he aspires in spite of the failures accumulated throughout his long reign, namely, to organise a peaceful democratic change in Cameroon, with the guarantee of his authority as the patriarch of the nation. His candidacy in the 2011 presidential election was already too much. I am not talking about the 2018 election and his seizure of power despite his electoral failure. It was a disaster for the country, because in 2018, indeed, he was already showing clear signs of great fatigue and a certain disinterest in the exercise of power on a daily basis, as clearly demonstrated by the permanent delegation of signature to the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, without limitation of purpose or duration, by Decree No. 2019/043 of 5 February 2019, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the Constitution of our country. Why did he run for the 2018 presidential election and transfer power to a person not elected by the Cameroonian people, only three months after his election and swearing-in?

In terms of nation-building, entrepreneurs of hate are suffocating the country. They have often studied, sometimes even studied for a very long time, but their only qualifications are hatred of others and machetes. They tribalize wealth and joy just as they tribalize pain and crime. They are a self-defeating coterie, who light fires between Cameroonians that they would be unable to put out.

I say to them:
Let Cameroonians live their fundamental, socio-historical brotherhood in the intermingling of origins, itineraries and lineages, in happiness as in misfortune. They do not need you to help each other in the neighbourhoods, to suffer and die in the misery of abandonment by a predatory elite.

Let Cameroonians breathe in the breeze of hope that the CRM is blowing on the public scene of our country, offering for a long time a real chance for a peaceful change carried by our people established in all regions and of all religious and spiritual beliefs, through the ballot box; this people who want to open up, after a long hibernation, the prospects of a shared progress, in a reinvigorated country, for its global development and its international influence
Why do those who inherited power in this way not address the serious problems that plague Cameroon? In their ambition to formalise the unconstitutional conquest of supreme power, they have targeted, demonised, terrorised, traumatised, in short, done everything possible to destroy the CRM by trying to drive Cameroonians away from our party. For three years, they have sought to dissuade the courageous militants and sympathisers of our valiant party through repeated arbitrary arrests, torture and other inhuman and degrading treatments of hundreds of them, imprisonment with iniquitous sentences pronounced by hateful, unbridled magistrates, assumed militants of the ruling party in violation of the Special Statute of the Magistracy, They believe that their hour of glory has arrived, forged on the misfortune of compatriots whose only crime is to have formulated peaceful citizen’s demands and in accordance with the law, namely the end of the armed conflict in the North-West and South-West regions, the clarification of the management of the funds allocated to the organisation of the African Cup of Nations and the consensual reform of the electoral code.

By the way, did we not all learn from the Canadian authorities that the Cameroonian Government had engaged in discussions with the representatives of the Anglophone secessionist groups with the facilitation of Canada? Did we not learn that proceedings were now underway at the Special Criminal Court on the mismanagement of AFCON funds? Have we not seen in 2021 the highest authority of ELECAM asking the local branches of this public body to submit their proposals for the improvement of the electoral code? So why were hundreds of CRM militants taken hostage by the regime through its repressive, security and judicial apparatus? Why did the young Rodrigue NDAGUEHO KOUFET have to pay with his life for legitimate demands which the government itself recognises as legitimate through the acts I have just mentioned? Why are some 62 of our valiant patriots, worthy of the heroes of our history, held hostage in filthy prisons?

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an Opinion on the 1st of September 2022 on the cases of our detained activists, stating that their detention was arbitrary and illegal, should never have taken place and calling for their immediate release. The WGAD is a body provided for by the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Cameroon in 1984. Its Opinions are therefore to be taken seriousely by our country. Their implementation by States Parties to the Covenant is not linked to the question of whether they are binding or not. Cameroon must apply the Opinion of the 1st of September, which was issued after an adversarial procedure involving it, since it is a party to the 1966 Covenant, which is binding on Cameroon, and the WGAD is an organ of the Covenant.

In the name of all the militants and sympathisers of our party, of many compatriots and compassionate foreigners, I address to each of our Political Friends still held hostage by the regime and to their families, our message of unwavering support, solidarity and compassion in the ordeal they are enduring with courage and dignity.

Nothing can break the collective determination of a people. Dictatorship settles, sustains and thrives where society is only a human mass of atomised individuals, devoid of common ideals, common values, shared aspirations. Our liberation, our emancipation from fear, our will for change depend on our ability to think and act as a collective being.

Let Cameroonians dream together of a new country, in republican brotherhood and unconditional love of their homeland. Together with our compatriots in the English-speaking regions, we shall put an end to the fratricidal war that is devastating these regions and find an appropriate solution to the problems that led to the outbreak of the war within the framework of the Nation. In this regard, our option for federalism as a mode of organisation of the new Cameroon is unequivocal.

Let Cameroonians put their immense talents together to build a strong nation. In this perspective, we keep our arms wide open to all our compatriots without exception, who share our vision for the recovery of the country and the national renaissance. I reiterate here that no one will be side-lined if he or she does not side-line himself or herself.

I see that we know where we are going. And since we know where we are going, we should not be afraid because people might abandon us along the way; because if people abandon us, they will not change our destination. They will have just reached their terminus on the way to our destination, so we must continue our way. Not everyone who is with us has the mission to lead us to our destination; there are stretches of the road that we will do with only a few people, those who are convinced and determined; other stretches we will do in the company of a huge crowd; the main thing is to know where we are going. Let us not get distracted and confuse a break with a stop.

We are sailing in rough seas. The times are uncertain. Anything can happen at any time, which is why we need to be ready now, regardless of the opponents our party will face. The upcoming elections, which could take place this year, in 2024 or on the official dates of 2025, will be a turning point for our country. We cannot afford to miss them. It is because of your patriotism, your abnegation for the cause for which we have all sacrificed ourselves for more than ten years that I am confident that this time we will achieve with all our compatriots mobilised around our doctrine of PEACEFUL CHANGE THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX, the political change that our people have been hoping for since independence. It is in Centre 1 that we must sow the seeds of our forthcoming victory. The newly elected teams in this region therefore know the challenge and the magnitude of their Herculean task.


I love you all.

Peace be with You!

May God bless our beloved Nation, Cameroon!

President Maurice KAMTO
Yaounde MENDONG, May 06, 2023