BY NDEFRU MELANIE IN BAMENDA
Kum Henry has called on elites to stop running each other down and focus on building the region again, so that the much talk about peace can return to the armed conflict-ridden North-West region.
“The DDR is not politics. We are dealing with peoples’ lives. There are a good number of people out there who don’t know how these boys look like. Let’s assist each other and build the region. What is bringing us down in the North- West region is that we are trying to run down each other. All elites in the Northwest, everyone is trying to run the other down and by doing so the communities are affected. The North-Westerner is not taken seriously,” he spoke firmly in a press briefing.
He told the press that if NW elite can’t return home, then is far-fetched, “Most elite talk about peace in the North-West, mentioning the DDR, a place that a greater majority of them haven’t visited. If you are an elite and you know that the DDR is part of the Peace building process then you should visit the place and get real information from the children there.”
Kum Henry, NW regional coordinator of the DDR centre resolved that it is important to speak the truth to someone’s face than articulate bitterness in hiding, “Most NW elite are not playing any major role. Peace will not come from the literature that is discussed in Yaoundé. The Peace in the NW will come from the collective efforts of all elite in their various divisions and villages. NW elite enter armoured cars from Matazen and come out at Ayaba, sit in Ayaba, talk Peace, and then return to Yaoundé. But when in Yaoundé, they start talking of the DDR. My appeal is that these elite who are interested in peace in the NW should have good information on the DDR,” He cried.
“If you call yourself elite, play a major role in bringing peace to this region. A greater majority of the elites cannot go to their villages. When they come, they end up in Ayaba and cannot even receive people “, Kum Henry, DDR NW.
Kum Henry’s outing with the press has proven that he has made the press corps an integral part of the DDR Bamenda, an observation that wasn’t noticed with his predecessor. Kum Henry took over office in September 2021. According to him the number of people dropping arms against the state has been on a steady rise.
“We believe the Head of State’s largesse to create the DDR was an avenue for these young men to lay down arms. We have changed the face of the centre, reinforced training and educational capacity, and engaged them in a lot of social activities, which is part of their reintegration into society”.
“They have played matches …We engaged the girls at the centre in handball games and they took part in 11 February celebrations. At DDR skills of young men and women are built, impacting their lives, preparing them for social and professional independence” He continued
He appealed to government that despite the efforts made at the centre to prepare the ex-fighters for reintegration, materially they should be ready for them to settle while laying emphasis on agriculture and livestock.