Only Anglophone President in 2018 Can Ensure ‘One and Indivisible’ Cameroon
December 21, 2016
The lawyers and teachers strike that has been rocking Cameroon right to its very foundations for the past two months and counting has demonstrated in triumphant detail that the policies articulated by the two successive francophone-led regimes of Ahmadou Ahidjo and Paul Biya have failed.
What this means is that our East Cameroon-inspired leadership should be honest enough to admit that beyond the public discourse, they have failed to build the kind of ‘one and indivisible’ country they claimed they were building.
In societies that profess to be democratic, when leaders fail in implementing a public policy that has consumed tax payers’ money even for a Presidential mandate, they throw in the towel. That is the only thing that is left for the CPDM regime to do come 2018.
The criminal stupidity and the stupid criminality of the francophone-led regimes of Presidents Ahidjo and Biya has for the past 55 years pushed the nation further apart rather than pulling it together. The leadership’s arrogant and adamant refusals to benefit from the rich experiences of the political culture of the Anglophones so as to reshape the crooked form of state that Cameroon inherited in 1960 and 61 only distanced Anglophones from central government.
The francophone-led regimes’ refusal to remind themselves that West Cameroon and East Cameroon came into the UNION as equal partners with equal rights as agreed in Foumban and that before the UN’s two-options for Southern Cameroon’s to become independent by either joining La Republique or the Federal Republic of Nigeria, came after Southern Cameroons had already started experiencing self rule for over four years during which period six democratic elections were organized with an effective change of leadership, has made Anglophone Cameroonians in today’s arrangement look like a captured and marginalized people.
Failing to realize that the triangular patch-up called Cameroon has only had a semblance of a ‘one and indivisible’ nation because of the crucial wedge offered by the Anglophone factor, is failing to understand the bare simple fact that if Southern Cameroons did not choose to becoming independent by joining La Republique du Cameroon, that entity called La Republique would have been embroiled in an internecine war between the traditional Muslim Northern parts of Cameroon and the traditional Christian Southern parts of La Republique du Cameroon in much the same way the Central African Republic has been. The Kenya-based International Crisis Group, ICG, has over the years been articulate on this point.
Given La Republique’s brutal culture of civil wars leading to their independence from France and the subsequent massacring of freedom fighters in the Bassa and Bamilike lands with support from France, there is enough jurisprudential evidence to support the fact that it has been the uphill task and challenges of taming Anglophones considered by the francophone leadership over the years as a common enemy that has put them patched together than the fact that innately, they have the patriotic feeling of being ‘one and indivisible’. Proof positive is that ever since the 1984 abortive coup, Northern Cameroonians have never been in the good books of the ruling elites from the South and that only the Anglophone factor continues to keep them together.
There is no gain saying the fact that if the current francophone-led Yaoundé regime continues with its official policy of adamancy and arrogance toward the people of West Cameroon who joined the UNION as an equal partner under international law, Southern Cameroonians would have no choice than to restore the nationhood as obtained before 1961. It will be at this time that La Republique and the rest of the world would realize what a critical wedge the Anglophone factor was and remains in the unity of Cameroon.
As the campaigners for an Anglophone for Presidency 2018 have for the past two years been articulating, supporting an Anglophone for Presidency 2018 by the majority francophone electorate, would not only be an act of poetic justice but a balancing act after 55 years of francophone leadership. As it was stated then and now, an Anglophone Presidency from 2018 would be the beginning of the inauguration of a rotatory Presidency between Anglophones and francophones.
The current ‘divide and rule’ system where the Presidency is reserved for francophone elites and where the Prime Ministry is being wielded as a bait and a prized jewel between the North West and South West, is not only diabolic in its nature but a deliberate attempt by the francophone-led leadership to permanently reduce Anglophones to second class citizenship. Even if this worked out with the older generation of bellicose North Westerners and South Westerners who permanently discredited each other to gain the francophone leadership’s favours, the current events in Anglophone Cameroon, are proof positive that the youths would not settle for such cheap gimmicks.
Reason-why they have been unanimous in rejecting the demeaning post of Prime Minister and have resolutely set their eyes on the Presidency in 2018. Not more, not less. Already, campaigners for an Anglophone for Presidency 2018 since muted the idea that it was also time our francophone brethen enjoy the fruits of being Prime Minister, Head of Government, beginning from 2018.
After all, is it not Adolf Mongo Dipoko, author of the bestselling book: The Anglophone Soul who wrote that: ‘When the Prime Minister is Francophone; he wields real power and authority? But when that office comes to an Anglophone, he is hedged in-between a francophone Secretary General at the Presidency and another at the Prime Minister’s Office. At the same time he is saddled with not one, but two, Deputy Prime Ministers on whom real power devolves’?
One only needs to assess the manner with which francophone ministers were declaring in Yaoundé that the demands raised by Anglophone teachers and Common Law Lawyers were baseless even as Philemon Yang was burning the midnight oil in Bamenda struggling to appease the protesters. If Issa Chiroma of Communication, Laurent Esso of Justice and Fame Ndongo of Higher Education knew, even remotely, that Philemon Yang as Prime Minister and Head of Government wielded any power and authority beyond that name, they would have for courtesy’s sake, even waited for him to return from his fact finding mission in Bamenda before making any declarations engaging the government. Yet, they went ahead and stated an official government position against Anglophones that have not changed till date, even as the strike persist, and even as Anglophone youths are being brutally killed, maimed and raped by Gendarmes under the pretext of maintaining Law and Order.
Given the extreme radicalization of Anglophone youths through the official policy of arrogance by the francophone-led Yaoundé regime to an extent that they are now ready to sacrifice their lives for either a federation or the restoration of the Southern Cameroons nationhood; and given the level of conscientization of Anglophone masses, as well as the vivid memories of the fact that if SDF Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi would have become Cameroon’s President in 1992 if he was a francophone, Cameroon can only remain ‘one and indivisible’ if an Anglophone is elected President in 2018.
Truth be told. The only way for Cameroon to remain ‘one and indivisible’ is when it moves fast to transform the form of state from the failed unitary state that has only succeeded in dividing and pitting Cameroonians against each into a Federal system where every region manages its local development and where the Federal government in Yaoundé controls sovereign ministries, territorial integrity and foreign affairs. Only an Anglophone Present from 2018 can ensure that.
‘Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it’
Luke 17:33 Gwain Colbert is a campaigner for Anglophone for Presidency 2018