By Ewane Mbwoge Charley*
This story addresses itself particularly to the treatment of Southern Cameroonians (Anglophones). It contains general principles which are transcendent, and which in effect can be extrapolated relative to humankind in general.
In dialectics of Cameroon history it is evident that the wheel of change has never moved as fast as the contemporary Southern Cameroonians would have wanted. The tempo of events has defied all conventional wisdom. In a circumstance such as this, it becomes incumbent on us to make sure the elements of change are for something demonstrably better, so that the Anglophone men and women in Cameroon can be put on an ever enlarging escalator toward a bigger, better, and richer future.
If southern Cameroonians are human beings, then they have to be treated with respect and be given equal share of the national cake. If Paul Biya and his regime feel Anglophones are not human beings or are inferior to the francophone folks, then they must be relegated to the group of sophists whom Socrates spurned, saying: “you do not know your own nature”.
It can hardly be over-emphasized that the task of every nation is that of harmonizing, humanizing, and civilizing the deepest impulses of a people. Modern Anglophones in Cameroon have become prisoners of their social, political and economic system of the Cameroonese and are fast losing touch with the deeper meaning of life. This social, political and economic machinery provides a colossal apparatus of domination perpetrated by the Biya regime on Anglophones. The Biya regime has been manifesting inconsistent personality, moral hypocrisy, increasing cruelty, and deafness to the cries of millions of poor Anglophones.
Perhaps, nowhere is this image of modern Anglophones more dramatically revealed. There, the members of one race, as per the Foumban conference, have used the good services of the other races living in the same Republic to construct an economic, political and social apparatus enviable according to modern standards, but which excludes Anglophones from its benefits vast numbers of people of the same Republic, people still down and hopeless, reduced to beggars. What is more, Anglophones are not granted their full human rights,they are subjected to arbitrary arrest, the case of Mola Njoh Litumbe, Tole tea estate workers, Southern Cameroonians in prisons, occupy inferior positions in the Republic, and are subjected to many repressive laws which have for the culminating point the governmental policy of domination.
Marginalization is the most sophisticated type of consciously organized tribal discrimination promulgated in Cameroon by the Biya regime. According to this policy, Anglophones are suppressed and oppressed. They are treated as inferior and exposed not only to cruelty and brutality, but to contempt and blatant injustice in a land which is their birthright. Often they have been told to “go back home” by members of the Biya clan, or “Yaounde is not your capital” or “enermie dans la maison”.
On the 4th of February, 2011, I attended a CPDM meeting at the Fako section secretariat in Buea, in preparation for the 9th October presidential elections in 2011. The meeting was chaired by former Minister of special duties at the presidency and current chairman of SONARA, John Ebong Ngole. What I gathered from that meeting was the fact that it is the very Anglophones who are degrading themselves and who are letting the entire race down. The issue on the table was the mafia they would play in order to win the elections. An argument then erupted between the former Mayor of Buea, Mbella Moki Charles and the paramount chief of Bafaw, chief Mukete. The argument was about; where Unification celebrations would take place. Chief Mukete wanted the celebrations to be taken to Kumba while Mbella Moki wanted it Buea. Chief Mukete pointed out that he wanted it in Kumba because he has his businesses to protect and would want to showcase what he has as business, but Mbella said Buea is the capital of South West and the celebrations must take place in Buea. He then pointed out that when the 50th anniversary of the military was celebrated in Bamenda, why was it not taken to Banso? The argument went to a point that chief told Mbella that he is not even up to his grandson. Mr. Ebong Ngole stepped in as the argument was about to go off hand and ordered them to stop or he calls the nkunkuma at etoudi. This therefore tells you how our so called elites have let the Anglophone race down by stooping so low because of politics of the stomach
After more than 50 years of cohabiting with Francophones, Anglophones ought to be share in the possession of the country not as second class citizens. It would be an understatement to say Anglophones lack the knowledge or wisdom to stand up right. I think we have a bunch of cowards as elites who have stooped so low for many decades and who continue to so.
The sooner the “business” of “Marginalization” against Southern Cameroonians is finished, the more humane Cameroon would be. This is because whenever a human group fails to measure up to the requirements of living peacefully and fruitfully with its neighbours, humanity is the poorer for the anomaly. This therefore is a wakeup call for all Anglophones both at home and the Diaspora that unless there is peaceful change, Southern Cameroonians will resort to violence and proclaim an independent republic of southern Cameroon. We are a peaceful race that’s why we have always had a peaceful approach to this issue, preferring to negotiate rather than destroy, to talk rather than to kill.
NB:* Ewane Mbwoge Charley is People’s Action Party (PAP) Communicating Secretary and Mmember of its strategic team.