ELECAM Director Calls On Amba Fighters To Register Massively, Vote

Apr 29, 2024

Director of ELECAM, Enow Abrams Egbe

By Chris Mbunwe

The Chairperson of the Electoral Board of Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, Enow Abrams Egbe, has said if Amba fighters are so desperate to have the change they want in Cameroon, especially in the two Anglophone Regions, they should leave the bushes, drop their guns, register massively on the electoral role and turn things around. 

The ballot box, instead of the bullet, will usher in the change they so desire.

“For example, if you don’t want Enow Abrams as Director of Elections Cameroon and others elsewhere in government structures, come out massively and vote us out. This Thursday morning, to leave Ayaba hotel to Upstation for this meeting wasn’t easy. The town was virtually paralyzed” he said.

“How some of you managed to climb up here is what beats my imagination. Amba fighters claim they were mourning the death of a self-styled General and imposed a lock down. This is total rubbish.  The Amba collect what they call “liberation tax” from you people who are illegal and you people pay. Why should you pay such taxes when the money goes into private pockets instead of the public treasury” he questioned

To him, the people are the ones financing the fighters.  

“You people are the ones financing this buying of guns that they turn on you kidnap and killed peaceful citizens. The economy in this region is gone. The only industry we had here was education that attracted even Francophones to send children here. It is barely surviving. These boys that have taken guns against the government and us, are our brothers and sisters and we know them” he added. 

He asked the people to put an end to this senseless war. 

“We have lost many lives.  Registering massively and voting those you hate, is the solution. ELECAM’s role is to put in place what it takes for credible, transparent elections: human and material, the rest, is up to   political stakeholders. That is why we promoted this intelligent young man Elvis Mbowoh, to the Regional Delegate of ELECAM Northwest. We are aging, and so the young people are taking over”

Enow, was speaking Thursday, April 25, at the Regional Delegation of Scientific Research and Innovation Up station Bamenda during the second edition of the Regional platform for permanent consultation between Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, and other stakeholders of the electoral process at local levels that was dubbed “Citizens’ engagement for peaceful elections”

Magistrates, Forces of law and order, journalists, political party leaders, civil society organisations and a host of others, for two days brained stormed on: identifying obstacles to political participation of women, youths, minority groups and persons living with disabilities. 

How can they be encouraged to fully participate in electoral process? Participants also seek to identify behaviours and actions expected from every stakeholder of the electoral process to guarantee peaceful elections. 

What are the risks awaiting an election official, media personalities and political parties, what is needed to build the capacity of media personalities and parties, as well as what can be done to reduce distorted information, fake news, provocation of hate speech and gender-based violence. After examining all of this, it was resolved that all stakeholders must take their responsibilities to ensure peaceful elections. 

For example, as concerns media, no publication of election trends, relocation of polling stations to safer or what is known today as green zones. The ELECAM Board Chair, said he will not risk the life of any ELECAM official or materials to any red zone. 

“If there is total assurance that persons are safe wherever you want to relocate polling stations I will readily do that” he added.

Earlier on, the Regional Delegate of ELECAM Northwest, Elvis Mbowoh, Said Registration of potential electors is going on smoothly and of that date, they have registered 13,000 potential voters on the electoral role from January 1, when registers were flunked open. He was optimistic that by August 31, when the exercise is supposed to end, they will hit 30,000 far above the 27,000 target they were given. Despite the sociopolitical crisis, Mbowoh, complained of broken kits. 

According to Gaspar Ngah, the success is due to resilience and hard work exhibited by ELECAM staff. The visiting delegation of ELECAM to Bamenda that included the Board member of ELECAM, Gaspar Ngah, promised that all the problems will be looked into. Mezam Division tops the list with highest voter registration and Ngoketunjia is last in the Region as voter registration is concerned.