By Fai Cassian Ndi
(Courage brothers, do not stumble/ though thy path be dark as night/ there’s a light to guide the humble/ trust in God and do the right).
Those who lived the early years of the Anglophone revival: (All Anglophone Conference-AAC) AAC1 and AAC2 would surely recall these words. It is actually the opening stanza of the hymn which was song at the commencement of discussions on the Anglophone problem in Cameroon. The choice of this hymn was anything but an accident. Its choosers knew that many of those who attended AAC1 in Buea in 1993 and AAC2 in Bamenda in 1994 would stumble and fall along the side. Nfor Nfor, Chief Ayamba, Thomas Nwanham, Awanga, Litumbe, Prof. Chia and others say it is a birth right. When was unification before there was reunification? If no one has never ever seen history that is written backward, Cameroon history is the best place for such a research.
Ni John Fru Ndi, Ayah Paul, and a host of other Anglophone political figures have clearly not given up but the failure by Fru Ndi to take a definite position on the Southern Cameroons question has actually retarded the liberation struggle than accelerated it. Dante tells us that the hottest part of hell is reserved for those who in the heart of a heated controversy choose to be neutral. At one of the symposiums on reunification in Buea, Prime Minister Yang Philemon in responding to a question on the SNC struggle said that those belonging to SCNC should transform it into a political party. History is acclaimed as the story of man’s past events. And not scholar of would defy this simple plain explanation. All history students know this definition. All rational persons know that history cannot be change. Even God cannot change history. The question is whether Southern Cameroons existed, and if yes, anyone who advocates that SCNC should be transform to a political party should be considered as being in a state of sin. On the contrary, Nfor Nfor would say they are fighting for what is rightfully theirs by birth. Actually, the facts, figures and statistics that have stirred Anglophones to think of going back to their roots are very glaring. It steams from the fact that Anglophone marginalization is vividly a mind bugging, when SCNC activists think of the inferiority many are subjected to. From historical facts and following the realities of today, the subjugation is such that there are some key positions in this country that are no go zones for Anglophones. These positions have been at the beck and command of the Francophones since reunification. For example no Anglophone would ever dream of becoming the Minister of Defence, Finance, Territorial Administration, and Education and or even the President of FECAFOOT. Implicitly, any Anglophone who condemns UNO state, SCNC, SCAPO or any other Anglophone pressure group needs to have his conscience and head examined. Even the praise singers of the CPDM of Anglophone origins would admit this except those who have gone insane. By the time of Reunification, the economy of Southern Cameroons was booming, Manyu was not an island on land. By then there was the Cameroon Bank, National Producing Marketing Board, the Wum Area Development Authority. Today, all these structures have disappeared. From the day the Union Jack was lowered on the Southern Cameroons territory, it was the beginning of suppression. It became an unwritten law that no Anglophone could become the President of Cameroon. I remember how a certain minister said sometimes ago that an Anglophone youth must have at least 3 “A” to be considered an equivalent of Bac. It required the angry demonstration of the civil society and the Anglophone press for the situation to be reversed. When a Francophone minister describes Anglophones an enemy in the house, there is much to write home about the marriage.
Double think they say is the ability to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time and to believe both of them. It is an Orwelian concept and the forerunner of doublespeak. For instance, the same version of democracy which Cameroon practices is both young (nascent, budding) and advanced.
Another example is the idea of double nationality. Footballers that have double and even triple nationalities are often called upon to defend national coulours. But the same CPDM cohorts, who make this appeal to the nationality, denounce as foreign persons who don’t belong to the party and who inspire to or are elected to elective positions in the country. The case of Mongo Beti and Ndedi Eyango abound. Such double standards are common with Francophones. But when an Anglophone indulges in it, the conduct is less forgivable because honesty and sincerity are integral parts their bringing up.
Anglophones have been complaining about marginalization but they have their own part of the blame for what is happening. The first thing is that Anglophones intellects have been brainwashed to the point that they happily accept to assume a position of inferiority. Look the way Anglophone ministers and appointees struggle over slippery French to please a regime. In fact they have completely forgotten that they have to refuse to “succumb to the emotion”. When an Anglophone is appointed, his/her first enemy is the other Anglophones who are experts in petition writings. Even so, those who are appointed develop think skins, they see the appointment as a sort of favour and not merit.
The Anglophone intellectuals and politicians unfortunately have embraced this obnoxious concept of double think; although it must be said in fairness to them that circumstances plunged them into it. But the truth is that no human being an escape his or her past neither can a group of community try to do so. Many of us have thought the 50th Anniversary of Reunification would be an opportunity for the authorities to examine the contours of the marriage between La Republique and the Southern Cameroons. An opportunity to shape the past and prepare the future but seemingly, it is not the case. Cameroon history is checkered, distorted and has never been written in its entirety. History as Dr. Anthony Ndi told me is about facts and they never change. The other day I was listening to a live drama from Buea, I was shocked that history was told as if it occurrences premeditated. The Anglophone intellect may have sold their birth rights given that some of them have contributed to the distortion of history. When President Biya anticipated his trip to Buea, I said this could be another trap. The continuation of the Foumbam traps that Dr. Anthony Ndi talked about in one of his books. I remember how SDF National chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi after his petition on the irregularities that characterized the October 9, 2011 Presidential elections reminded Supreme Court President Alexis Dipanda Mouelle, that what was transpiring in Cameroon was not what was agreed upon in 1961. A clear reference to the Plebiscite that resulted to the reunification between La Republique du Cameroun and the Southern Cameroons.
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