By Christopher Ambe Shu.
Buea Traditional Council (BTC)has implored President Paul Biya to pronounce Buea as the official host of this year’s Golden Jubilee of the Reunification of Cameroon, adding that the people of the town have since been anxiously waiting for it.
|Professor Kale:BTC Legal Adviser|
Since December 31 2009 when President Paul Biya announced in his 2010 New Year Address that Cameroon will this year celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun, what is today known as the Republic of Cameroon, he remains undecided as to which town will host the celebrations. Southern Cameroons gained its independence by joining La Republique du Cameroun on October 1, 1961
His delay to announce the venue of the golden jubilee has set lobby groups from different towns of the country into action as every lobby group tries to persuade the president to choose their towns of origin or preference.
There is no doubt that the scrabble for Biya’s ear is because such events also bring about infrastructural development and a general facelift of the town that is host. For example when Bamenda was chosen as host of the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s armed forces last year, the state allocated billions of FCFA for immediate facelift of the town. And it took just several months for the facelift to become a reality. Then, during the celebrations proper President Biya made the Northwest region happier: he announced the creation of the University of Bamenda and other huge projects.
Different lobby groups are reportedly praying the head of state to pronounce as venue for the golden jubilee celebrations one of the following towns: Foumban, Kumba, Mamfe, Bamenda or Buea.Whatever arguments they advance, all is intended to make the president side with a group and endorse its request.
But Buea is most likely to be the host of the reunification golden jubilee celebration; evidently, history and common sense are in its favor.
“There is no reason why the venue of the celebrations should not be Buea,”Ndiva kofele kale, distinguished professor of law in the USA and native of Buea told reporters as Buea Traditional Council (BTC) where he is legal counsel last July 20 rose from a session during which they resolved that, President Biya should pronounce Buea as the host of the golden jubilee.
The Buea Traditional Council (BTC) has as Chairman the Paramount Ruler of Buea, retired Justice SML Endeley, although the session calling on President Biya to endorse Buea was chaired by Hon. Peter Ikundi,one- time Mayor of Buea and member of parliament, who noted:
“On October 1, 1961 celebrations marking reunification took place here (Buea).So if you have to celebrate 50 years after, it is logical that you go back to where the first celebrations took place. That is why we are calling on the Head of State to make a pronouncement on this issue now. People have been anxiously waiting for it...”
Buea, which is today the headquarters of the Southwest Region, had been capital of German Cameroon, Seat of British Southern Cameroons and Capital of West Cameroon State .
According to Professor kale, mentioned earlier, when talking about reunification “Buea is the nerve center. It is here that everything radiates”
He recalls: “It was in 1957 that the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly adopted a resolution calling for secession from Nigeria and the granting of full independence. I think that is what set the ball rolling for what eventually became reunification. And all the major players came here from Buea…”
The Professor said Mr.Dibongue, the man who started the whole idea of reunification was in Buea; and “his house is right here and his wife is still alive”.
“Buea: this was where the reunification idea-in the legal terms, was conceived and consummated,” Professor Kale said with confidence, before adding: “The people of Buea are simply saying ‘come back here and give an account after 50 years”
The Buea traditional council’s call on Paul Biya to endorse Buea comes after repeated calls from the Mayor of Buea, Charles Mbella Moki to that effect. The Mayor says Buea in terms of everything, has all it takes to host such an event.