On Monday, The Post published an interview of Mancho Bibixy. The paper reports that when some reporters accosted Mancho at the prison over the weekend for a chat, he appeared upbeat, showed no regrets for being in prison, and made startling revelations.
He said, “The coffin revolution was an uprising by youths of the former territory of British Southern Cameroons now shared by the Republic of Cameroon called Northwest and Southwest. The uprising was for the restoration of the rights of our people. Five years after, the revolution is doing well. We have successfully moved it from a local affair in Bamenda to the corridors of international organizations. The coffin revolution was peaceful. The government of Cameroon declared war on us so as to shy away from facing the historical truth. Cameroun bears full responsibility for the war and they will surely pay for it,” Mancho stated.
According to him, the coffin revolution did not die following his arrest but has rather witnessed significant progress.
“In the most remote areas of our land, people now know their rights and are not willing to settle for less. So, the coffin revolution didn’t die after my arrest. On the contrary, it galvanized more people to join. The final phase of the awakening was my arrest. We are now represented in every village and in every country of the world,” he claimed.
He reiterated that “The coffin revolution at its inception wanted an improvement in the provision of basic utilities [and] better representation in decision making. Our broader vision is to solve our problems by restoring the independence of the former United Nations Trust Territory of British Southern Cameroons, as voted by the UN General Assembly.”
On whether he is now regretting being slammed a jail term of 15 years by the military tribunal for initiating a revolution that turned violent, and two years by the Yaounde magistrates court for the protest by detainees in 2019, he stated: “Five years behind bars, I don’t regret it. It is not a nice place to be. Others have paid the price with their blood. Paying with my time in prison is not too much.
“I tell our kids that they are only called Cameroonians by the barrel of the gun. But in their blood, they are Southern Cameroonians or Ambazonians. I tell them to continue the fight and never give up. I tell them, we don’t hand over this suffering to them, but if it happens, they should fight better than us,” Mancho Bibixy maintained.
In a message to the belligerents engaged in the armed conflict in the Southwest and Northwest Region, Mancho declared: “For the government and the restoration forces, always remember that this war will end on the table. No matter how long it takes, we will one day sit and talk.” On how life is going on in the prison and his relationship with co-detainees, he disclosed that he succeeded in putting in place a management team in June 2017 to help the detainees manage their own affairs.
“I personally conducted elections every four months. I am the only leader who asks my accusers to form a committee to investigate me and all along I have always come out clean.
“Many prisoners have come to me with proposals to extort the Diasporans which I have turned down. I strongly oppose sending cash to prison. Even when others lobby for help, the donor asks my opinion which I always give them.
“The list of what the management team received was given to them on 26th December 2020 and they all apologized to me. I and some people of goodwill still continue to pay medical bills, pay for medical operations and buy drugs for detainees. We still go for many days without food and it is I and other leaders who contribute privately and feed the group of over 200 persons. I joined this revolution as a giver and not a recipient, so mismanagement is not in my vocabulary,” Mancho said.
On what he makes of the recent retreat in Toronto, Canada, organized by CDN and which brought together some prominent Anglophones to talk and look for a way forward to come out of the ongoing crisis in the Southwest and Northwest Regions, Mancho Bibixy welcomed the initiative.
“Some people who feed on the revolution we started were trying to destroy it but they failed. Cameroon has always said they don’t know who to talk to. The Toronto retreat is the beginning of a process which will continue and prepare us for eventual negotiations which will require expert knowledge and not just public speakers,” he stated.
On what has become of the back-to-school campaign he launched from prison in 2019, Mancho said, “Amongst all the groups in the revolution, none could see the future we saw. We took the initiative as the original initiators of the revolution to take children back to school. Our military wing, the ‘kwifos’ worked with other restoration fighters to educate them on the need for school resumption. Some areas have achieved over 90 percent resumption.
“The campaign continues. Families are leaving Cameroun as displaced persons back to our land for quality education which is our pride. Those who accused us of being bribed for the project, those who opposed and fought us now have their kids going to school. The slogan for that campaign remains ‘ndamba na sense.’
“School boycott was an instrument used in the early days of the revolution. Why only schools? That is the question we have been asking. The answer is that it is no longer only schools. Schools must go on and the revolution too must survive,” he argued.
According to the coffin revolution initiator, “the regime has outlived its usefulness. They have run short of ideas. Every problem to them appears like a nail. So, it is only solved with a hammer. I hear Cameroonians say their country is one and indivisible. That is good for them. It is not much of my business. We have never asked for any part of Cameroun to be added to us. We have never claimed any square meter of Cameroun territory. We know the length and width of our territory.
“The justice system is rotten. I have been to four different courts in Cameroon and l left with the conclusion that it is waste of time and money,” Mancho told reporters.