The ruling party has a supporting role to play in helping the Committee meet its assigned mission.
Named, the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee, it was created this month on the wake of the swearing-in of the ‘new’ President of the Republic, candidate of the CPDM party at the October 7, 2018 presidential race.
In his inaugural speech, on November 6, 2018, Paul Biya pleaded with fighters in the North West and South West Regions to drop their weapons, abandon the dream of secession – one without a future, leave the bushes and return to normal life. A logical question ensued. What will become of the ex-fighters and their weapons, what will encourage them to drop their weapons? Paul Biya answered these genuine worries in a presidential decree wherein he outlined the mission of the Fai Yengo Committee. He appointed the former governor, a CPDM ‘wise’ man and an experienced administrator to run the committee. Later, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang appointed heads of the three centres in Bamenda, Buea and Mora.
If Boko Haram was squashed in the Far North Region and atrocities of the sect mimed into sporadic suicide bomb attacks, it was thanks to the rule of the vigilante groups. Locals worked in synergy and detected intruders. Attacks were repelled and terrorists arrested. Recruits into the ranks of Boko Haram withdrew. The ruling party played a coaching role. Local party leaders and officials such as mayors and members of parliament elected on the CPDM ticket rallied the locals into vigilante groups and foot the bills with donations from militants, sympathizers and supporters of the party.
In North West and South West Regions, Party officials borrowed a leaf from the actions of their comrades in the Far North Region. Youths were dissuaded from joining the armed groups. Party officials were in a bind, when fighters they persuaded to drop their weapons quizzed them if they will not be rounded up by government or what will become of their lives after abandoning the fruitless adventure. Answers to these questions are in the decree that created the committee. Weapons “voluntarily” handed over by ex-fighters, according to the decree, will be destroyed and their owners provided with “multifaceted assistance” and prepared for a “return to the civil life”. The committee will also help to “reintegrate them with tools and means of production and assistance for the creation of income-generating activities.” Now, militants have a point and a message of good tidings which will convince the fighters to drop their weapons.