South West Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai admits soldiers cannot track Ambazonia militants because they don’t know the forests. 

He told Cameroon Tribune that: 

“Current security measures are in place… But if those who are hiding themselves in the bushes continue to do so; those security measures may not produce immediate fruits. This is because the forces of law and order who are there are not from the village. It is the villagers who know who is doing what and who is hiding where. If they do not sustain the efforts of Government, it will not be easy. They should know that they are the first losers because if there is no peace neither can any profitable activity be carried on. The elite cannot move there easily to sustain the development of their villages and things will be upside down, children are not going to school, the civil servants are running away, the hospitals, the public services are shut down.” 

Contrast the fatalistic resignation with Okalia Bilai’s belligerent utterances when the crisis began, in which he referred to Anglophones as “dogs”.,

« Nous n’allons pas continuer de tolérer que les bénéficiaires qui sont ces populations continuent de détruire. Que chacun descende dans sa famille, dans son village arrêter son chien. Si les chiens continuent à aller dans la rue pour mordre, c’est-à-dire détruire, ils vont rencontrer les forces de sécurité ».

Note that, like the other governor and most of the District Officers in Anglophone territory, Okalia Bilai moved along with his family to Douala, and goes to work at the Buea palace only under high armed escort.


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