InAt a press briefing at Akwa Palace Hotel,Douala, last August 10 ,Chief A .S.Ngwana, the Chairman of the Cardinal Democratic Party, made public an open letter he has written to Cameroon President,Paul Biya ,calling on him to rescue the country from breaking up because of various crises. Following is the lengthy but important letter
President Paul Biya, 1/8/2012
The Presidency, Yaounde
Your Excellency, Sir,
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA.
Our last desperate appeal to you to stop Cameroon breaking up.
Without a Federation, Mr. President, Cameroon must breakup into two separate countries, La Republique Du Cameroun and the Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon, unless you act quickly.
|Chief A.S Ngwana addressing journalists about the letter|
1. I remember very well that it was after the morning Holy Mass from the Soppo Cathedral that Mr.Jack Kisop, his wife Ada Kisob, myself, my wife Elizabeth Ngwana and Mr. John Niba Ngu, on the 11th February 1961, casted our votes in the plebiscite conducted by the UN to decide whether we wanted to achieve independence by joining the Federal Republic of Nigeria or by joining the Republic of Cameroon as a Federal State. At that time, any British Cameroonian was either for unification with the Republication of Cameroon or integration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Neutrality was not part of the nomenclature.
The Student Unions in Nigeria and Europe were fully committed to the cause of unification with Cameroon and immediate independence. In 1959, I was the Secretary General of the National Union of Cameroon Students of Great Britain and Ireland, Lawyer Gorji Dinka was President. We organized a demonstration to 10 Downing Street and gathered at Trafalgar Square where after an address by Professor Victor Anama Ngu, we marched to 10 Downing Street where we presented our petition to the Prime Minister, McMillan, calling for immediate independence and unification.
The result of the plebiscite of 11th February 1961, was an overwhelming vote in favor of unification with the Republic of Cameroon, led by Dr. John Ngu Foncha, of the KNDP Party, against integration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, led by Dr.E.L.M.Enderly, of the CPNC Party.
Mr. President, you came back from Paris and was appointed by President Ahidjo to work with him in the presidency in Yaounde. I came back from London and Dr. John Ngu Foncha asked me to incorporate the Cameroon Bank Limited for his West Cameroon Government. The rest is history which both of us know.
In 1982, President Ahidjo suddenly resigned and appointed you president to succeed him. By 1983, I had resigned from Cameroon Bank Limited and decided with some friends to launch the Cameroon Democratic Party to challenge the oppressive one party system left by your predecessor President Ahidjo.
2. Official notification on the formation of the Cameroon Democratic Party to the Government.
After launching the Party in Douala, on the 5th of November, 1983 we wrote the following letter to President Paul Biya informing him of the formation of a new political party in Cameroon and telling him why a second political party was necessary
CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
5TH November, 1983
His Excellency President Paul Biya,
United Republic of Cameroon,
We have much pleasure in extending to your Excellency on the occasion of the first anniversary of your ascension to power as the Second Executive President of Cameroon, our warmest congratulations for all your achievements this year and best wishes for the prosperity of our Country. We hail your efforts to rid the nation of corruption, oppression, suppression, victimization, discrimination, intimidation, favoritism, tribalism, anarchy, and tyranny. We hail your promise to restore democracy. We thank you for restoring freedom of expression and freedom of the press. You have arrested the Nation from moral bankruptcy and spiritual decadence, and given the Nation hope and a sense of direction. Your first year in office is a success.
We thank your predecessor His Excellency Ahmadu Ahidjo, who out of his magnanimity appointed you to succeed him. Today Cameroon is one United Sovereign State enjoying its place in the comity of Nations and the Nation will ever remain grateful to His Excellency Dr. John Ngu Foncha, the father of Re-Unification, and to all Cameroonians who made re-unification possible.
3. 1. THE CAMEROON NATIONAL UNION (CNU).
In 1966 their Excellencies, Ahidjo, Foncha, Enderly and Muna, leaders of the four political parties then in Cameroon, dissolved their parties to form one political party called “The Cameroon National Union (CNU). These four honorable men, the founding fathers of the CNU, we are sure, were motivated by noble ideals, that the CNU would produce a democratic government, aimed at producing free citizens, living in a free and democratic country as enshrine in the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. Little did the founding fathers of the CNU suspect that they were giving birth to a Monster which would terrify Cameroonians and destroy democracy. The party became, as it were, an instrument of the Devil. It perpetrated the most heinous crimes known to man. It produced a government seven times more wicked than itself. Cameroonians who dared criticize it disappeared into underground dungeons where it is alleged they died of torture or got blind. Thousands of Cameroonians fled the country to Europe, America and other African countries where they sought refuge from arrest. Corruption was institutionalized and given an official stamp of approval. The most corrupt and efficient persons were promoted and decorated with national honors. Efficient, hardworking and honest persons were punished by being left stagnant in their positions for years, while corrupt, grossly inefficient and incompetent civil servants were appointed to head government corporations and parastatals. So that these institutions through maladministration drained millions of francs of the country’s revenue in loses and fraud. The banks were drained by CNU bosses and militants who borrowed huge sums of money with no intention to repay. The very big unscrupulous business men defrauded the government of milliards of francs in customs duties and taxes, but were protected by the Monster. There are serious allegations that more than half of the country’s revenue from the oil industry was unaccounted for. The amount is so staggering that we shall demand an official public inquiry into it.
Your Excellency Sir, we are happy with the swift actions you have taken to correct this sad situation. You have set prisoners free, recalled home the thousand of Cameroonians abroad, and disciplined some of the corrupt ministers and civil servants. We support the actions you have taken to stop evasion of custom duties and taxes, and all corrupt practices of the last CNU regime.
4. 2. ELECTIONS
Article 2 section 1 & 3 of the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon states that “…National Sovereignty shall be vested in the people of Cameroon…Nor may any section of the people or any individual arrogate to itself or to himself the exercise thereof..” Contrary to the above provisions of our Constitution, the CNU in flagrant violation of the constitution, arrogated to itself National Sovereignty. This Monster denied the people their sovereign power of freely choosing and electing the people and government of their choice. Instead, the CNU hand-picked (in many cases the most unpopular) persons and thrust them on the helpless masses for a “100 vote”
Mr. President Sir, this flagrant violation of our Constitution is the greatest abuse of power by the CNU Monster and the most detestable crime to our freedom and sovereignty. We have received with great consolation, your promise to democratize the CNU, and restore democracy to Cameroon. This is the beginning of real freedom
5. 3. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBY (PARLIAMENT)
It is regrettable that our hand-picked parliamentarians do not owe any allegiance to the people of Cameroon, but to the CNU which selected them. Our Parliamentarians are mere robots to rubber stamp the decisions of the CNU. Poor fellows, no one can blame them because they can be sacked from parliament easier than one can sack a houseboy. The Monster just has to sack them from the party and they are automatically sacked from parliament. No wonder our parliament has never ever rejected a Bill before it. Our parliament, the Supreme Law-making body of the Nation, has been reduced to a department of the all powerful Monster, the CNU. This is preposterous.
6. 4. THE JUDCIARY.
Despite attempts and pressures by the CNU to create fear among members of the judiciary to demoralize them, to destroy the neutrality and independence of the judiciary, we are happy that there are still judges of character and integrity. There are still courageous men and women to uphold the rule of law. There are still men and women who always strive to pass judgments without fear or favor, so that the country can evolve a judiciary that is truly independent, a judiciary that is honest and fair, a judiciary that we trust and rely on, and judiciary that will set standards for future generations to follow.
7. 5. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
The preamble to the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon declares among others things that, “ the human being without distinguish as to race, religion, sex or belief possesses inalienable and sacred rights.
- Affirms its attachment to the fundamental freedoms embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter and particularly:
- No one shall be harassed because of his origin, opinions or beliefs in religious, philosophical or POLITICAL matters, subject to respect for public order.
- The freedom of EXPRESSION, the freedom of the PRESS, the freedom of ASSEMBLY, the freedom of ASSOCIATION, and the freedom of Trade Unions are guaranteed under the conditions fixed by law.
- The State GUARANTEES to citizens of either sex the rights and freedoms set out in the preamble of the Constitution.”
Contrary to these provisions of the constitution and in flagrant violation of our fundamental human rights, the CNU government abolished the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. We once had many daily newspapers in Cameroon but now most of them have folded up. Under the pressure of press censorship and the continuous harassment of journalists, most papers could only safely publish sports news, as any other news was fraught with danger. The news papers ceased to be interesting and lost public support. Most of them liquidated and others became weekly, monthly or year periodicals. Today there is only one newspaper in Cameroon - The Cameroon Tribune, owned by the Government. Its functions are to sing CNU praises, Government achievements and report football results. As if local press censorship were not enough, foreign newspapers and printed materials that contain any criticism of the CNU or government were seized and banned. Freedom of the press is of such paramount importance that it is dreaded by dictators and feared by corrupt governments. A free press is the protector and guarantor of human liberties.
Mr. President Sir, we consider the restoration of Freedom of Expression and freedom of Pressas one of your greatest achievements in office. Cameroonians today are free once more to write or say what they like so long as it is not defamatory, seditious, obscene or blasphemous. That is real freedom and the beginning of progress.
8. 6. THE ONE PARTY SYSTEM
Our experience in Africa has proved that the one party system breeds dictators, encourages corruption, deters economic progress and encourages coup d’états. The One Party System is a cancer in the democratic process. Much of Africa today is a political and economic disaster area where corrupt and incompetent regimes mal-administer shrinking economies. More than two thirds of Africa’s 50 independent States have experienced one coup d’état in the past 20 years. The majority of African countries which have adopted the one party system have fared very badly politically, economically, and socially. The presidents of these countries are permanent heads of States. They are either life presidents or are re-elected with monotonous regularity.
By our Constitution, Cameroon is a multiparty State, but by intrigues and abuse of power, the CNU monster has for a long time remained the only political party in Cameroon. Mr. President Sir, but for your timely intervention, the CNU would have declared Cameroon a one party State and plunged us forever into slavery and bondage. No man is wise enough or good enough to be trusted with unlimited powers because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The CNU in its grand wicked design to stop your heroic efforts of reforming Cameroon, rushed and gave you absolute power, with the certainty that sooner or later you would become absolutely corrupt and the party would once more operate normally in corruption, oppression, suppression, victimization, discrimination, intimidation, favouritism, tribalism, anarchy and tyranny.
9. Your Excellency Sir, we very much appreciate your efforts to reform the CNU monster and rid it of these evils and we pray that you should succeed, but we think that you are pouring new wine into an old bottle. The old bottle cannot contain the new wine. The CNU is incorrigible, intrinsically wicked and corrupt; it does not respect the constitution nor believes in human rights. We shall not hazard our future in the hands of the CNU again. We have lost faith in it. We are not born with the CNU tagged on us, so we reject it.
Mr. President Sir, you were by Divine providence sent to deliver us from bondage and set us free. You have set us free and we shall not allow any person or group of persons to take away our freedom again. We shall from now on, control our own destiny.
10. 7. THE CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Your Excellency Sir, we have the honour and the overwhelming joy to inform you that, by virtue of our fundamental human rights contained in the preamble of the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon and guaranteed by the State of Cameroon, by virtue of Article 3 of the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon authorising the formation of political parties in the United Republic of Cameroon, motivated by burning love for Cameroon, service to the Nation and our fellowmen, motivated by the desire to preserve democracy, foster good government, promote unity, justice, peace and progress, we have formed a new Political Party to be known by the name, “CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY” (CDP) with its proposed Headquarters in Yaoundé.
The party is formed on the unshakable principles of FREEDOM, JUSTICE, LOVE and PEACE. To promote and foster national Unity, accelerate economic progress and ensure democracy and good government. The CDP shall as a matter of urgency vigorously campaign for the amendment of the constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon. Your Excellency Sir, enclosed is a copy of the constitution of the CDP outlining our aims and objectives together with a copy of the constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon with our proposed amendments. Our legal advisers have been instructed to complete the legal formalities of registration of the party.
We denounce all sorts of violence as a weapon of achieving political objectives and we trust that the CNU will do same. We shall win the parliamentary elections of 1988 and give the country a true taste of democracy, freedom and economic prosperity. Cameroon shall enter the third millennium as a model State, the pride of Africa and the World.
Your Excellency Sir, the CDP pledges its support and co-operation to you and your government and wish you God’s blessings in your difficult task of Government.
We have the honour to remain, Your Excellency,
For: CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY,
A. S. NGWANA
Cc: His Excellency, Ahidjo
“ “ Foncha
“ “ Endeley
“ “ Muna
All Provincial Governors
All Cameroonian Ambassadors
Constitution of the Cameroon Democratic Party (CDP)
Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon with proposed amendments.
P/S we regret the delay of this letter due to delays by our printers in printing the enclosures.
The English text is AUTHENTIC.
11. AN ADDRESS TO ALL CAMEROONIANS THANKING THEM FOR THE MASSIVE SUPPORT OF THE NEW PARTY.
On the 21st of June, 1984, we addressed the following letter to all Cameroonians thanking them for their support. In it we outlined our political policies and programmes, aims and objectives as contained in the Constitution of our party. We also outlined some of the major Constitutional amendments to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon, we intended to make, to ensure greater Freedom, Unity, Progress and Peace.
CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
21st June, 1984
Fellow countrymen, we write to thank you for the massive support and encouragement you have given our new party – the CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY, which is just a few months old.
We love Cameroon and we must endeavour to make Cameroon a good place to live in. It is therefore our onerous duty to lay down sound political, economic and moral principles on which to build our Nation. We must eradicate from Cameroon, ignorance, poverty, disease, corruption and all social ills that have plagued our quality of life and blocked our efforts to build a Cameroon we can be proud of. The Cameroon Democratic Party, formed on the unshakable principle of Freedom, Justice, Love and Peace, is fully committed to achieving these aims and objectives embodied in Article 4 of the Constitution of the Party.
“Article 4: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES; AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
(1) The policies and programmes of the party shall be in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon and the fundamental liberties embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (I) of this article, the party shall in particular vigorously and with a sense of urgency campaign for the amendment of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon.
(3) The party shall promote and foster:
(a) The Unity of Cameroon
(b) Personal liberty and fundamental rights and freedom of citizens
(c) The supremacy of the will of the people democratically expressed
(d) Social justice and social welfare
(e) Equality of opportunity for all citizens of Cameroon
(f) Self respect and self reliance, and
(g) Love of God, Neighbour and Country.
(4). To this end the party shall have the following objectives:
(a) To maintain and protect the unity and sovereignty of Cameroon as one indivisible and indissoluble political entity.
(b) To ensure the practice and maintenance of democracy, the Rule of Law and Social Justice in Cameroon.
(c) To provide free and compulsory education at primary and secondary levels; free education at post-secondary and post-graduate levels and free adult education.
(d) To ensure the teaching of Religion in all State Schools and Colleges.
(e) To provide adequate food and shelter.
(f) To provide a free National Health Service.
(g) To promote mutual respect for and understanding of the religions, cultures, traditions and heritage of the various communities of Cameroon.
(h) To achieve and consolidate real political and economic independence and self respect for Cameroon.
(i) To build and sustain a strong modern economy under the control of Cameroonians.
(j) To provide employment and secure for workers of all grades in Cameroon the full fruits of their labour.
(k) To protect the interests of farmers and peasants in Cameroon and to strive to obtain for them the greatest possible returns for their labour.
(l) To co-operate with Trade Union Organizations and Cooperative Movements in Cameroon with a view to the development and maintenance of the economic progress of Cameroon.
(m) To co-operate with all religious leaders in Cameroon with a view to enhance the spiritual life of Cameroonians
(n) To co-operate with any political or other organization whose aims and objectives are in harmony with those of the party.
(o) To co-operate with all members of the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) and United Nations Organization (UNO) and any regional groupings that should be in the best interest of Cameroon and Africa and also help to find just and peaceful settlement of international problems.
(p) To foster and defend the freedom of the press.
(q) To fight and eliminate corruption at all levels of the society.
(r) To sponsor candidates for council, parliamentary and presidential elections.
(s) To undertake other activities which in the opinion of the party are conducive to the attainment of the aims and objectives of the party”.
12. OUR PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON.
It is a terrible tragedy that the majority of Cameroonians do not know that Cameroon has a Constitution. The few Cameroonians that have heard about it have never seen a copy. The majority believe that we are ruled by decrees. Consequently when we announced the formation of the Cameroon Democratic Party, the news came as a shock to many. Article 3 of the 1972 constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon authorizes the formation of parties in Cameroon.
The constitution is supreme and its provisions have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Republic of Cameroon. That is, even the President of the Republic is bound by the constitution. The present constitution (1972) of the Republic of Cameroon, has so many loopholes that it has been abused and changed at the whims and caprices of the past government and party. To avoid future abuses, and to promote and foster National Unity, accelerate economic progress, and ensure democracy and good government, the Cameroon Democratic Party has published amendments to the present Constitution of Cameroon. As Stated in Article 4, subsection 2 of the Constitution of the Party, CDP shall as a matter of urgency, vigorously campaign for these amendments.
On the 5th of November, 1983 we forwarded these amendments to President Paul Biya and the President of the National Assembly Mr. S.T. Muna, for them to implement. Should the present CNU government fail to do so; the CDP government will immediately implement them when it wins the next elections. The new Constitution will safeguard our individual freedoms and fundamental human rights which have been abused before, ensure the rule of law, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary, the legislature and stop the executive from dictating to the judiciary and legislature. It will restore the important role of our traditional rulers in our culture, make public servants accountable for abuse of office and ill gotten goods, and finally it will stop any person from becoming life president or permanent head of State through regular manipulation of elections (maximum term of office 10 years for Presidents and Governors)
13. Here are some of the proposed amendments:
(1) Cameroon is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign State to be known by the name,
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON.
(2) The flag shall be of three equal vertical stripes of green, red and yellow, charged with four
gold stars in the centre of the red stripe.
(3) Cameroon shall be a FEDERATION consisting of States.
(1) There shall be four States in Cameroon. That is to say, NORTH, SOUTH WESTERN, EAST AND WEST.
(2) The North State shall consist of the North, Far North and Adamawa Provinces, with its capital at GAROUA. The South Western States shall consist of the West and Coastal Provinces, with its capital at BAFOUSSAM. The East State shall consist of South, Central and East Provinces, with its capital at BERTOUA. The West State shall consist of the North West and South West Provinces with its capital at BUEA. The capital of each state shall be the head quarters of the government of the State.
(3) YAOUNDÉ is the capital of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON and seat of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF CAMEROON.
(4) DOUALA is the Economic Capital of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
There shall be a National Assembly for the FEDERATION which shall consist of a SENATE and a HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
There shall be a HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY for each of the States of the FEDERATION.
(1)There shall be for the Federation a President.
(2) The President shall be the Head of State, the Chief Executive of the FEDERATION and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the FEDERATION
(1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of president if:
(a) He does any act, acquires any status or suffers any disability which, if he were a member of the Senate would have disqualified him from membership of the Senate; or
(b) HE HAD BEEN ELECTED TO SUCH OFFICE AT ANY TWO PREVIOUS ELECTIONS.
There shall be for the FEDERATION a VICE PRESIDENT.
(1) There shall be for each State of the Federation a Governor.
(2) The Governor of a State shall be the Chief Executive of the State
(1) There shall be established for each State of the FEDERATION the following bodies namely:
(a) State Civil Service Commission;
(b) State Council of Chiefs;
(c) State Electoral Commission; and
(d) State Judicial Service Commission.
The Federation shall establish and maintain adequate facilities for carrying into effect any Act of the National Assembly providing for compulsory military training or military service for citizens of Cameroons.
FOURTH SCHEDULE PART 1 CODE OF CODUCT FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS, GENERAL
1. A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.
2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not:-
(a) Receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emolument of any other public office; or
(b) Engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade but nothing in this sub-paragraph shall apply to any public officer who is not employed on full-time basis”.
14. Fellow Cameroonians, all of us have a duty to build Cameroon into a great nation, and we must therefore co-operate with President Paul Biya and his government to find lasting solutions to our problems. Any person or group of persons, who encourages hatred, violence, corruption, tribalism, nepotism, anarchy, tyranny, or treats fellow Cameroonians as second-class citizens, or threatens the unity of Cameroon as ONE INDIVISIBLE AND INDISSOLUBLE SOVREIGN STATE, is an ENEMY of Cameroon and must be condemned.
Our new Party - the CAMEROON DOMOCRATIC PARTY is our only hope for the future and requires all your support.
May God bless Cameroon.
For; CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
15. BIYA SECEDES EAST CAMEROON FROM WEST CAMEROON
On the 12th of December, 1985, we addressed the following message to all Cameroonians pointing out the dangers in the unilateral secession of East Cameroon from Federal Republic of Cameroon and the annexation of West Cameroon. We called on Biya to renounce secession at once and convene a Constitutional Conference in Buea before April 1986. Nothing was done and the situation remains very explosive.
CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
SECESSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
AND ANNEXATION OF SOUTHERN CAMEROON
Southern Cameroon (former British Cameroon - administratively part of Nigeria) on the 1st of October 1961, after more than forty years of peaceful and cordial union with Federal Republic of Nigeria, reunified with the Republic of Cameroon (formerly French Cameroon), to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
The terms and conditions of the reunification were contained in the Foumban Accord, which were incorporated in the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The important conditionalities of this Accord were;
1. Unification was based on Federalism and equality of status.
Each State was to submerge its identity. The Republic of Cameroon became the State of East Cameroon and Southern Cameroon became the State of West Cameroon.
2. Each State was to submerge its identity. The Republic of Cameroon became the State East Cameroon and Southern Cameroon became the State of West Cameroon.
3. Each State has to maintain its cultural, political and social institutions.
4. “The Constitution shared power:
(a) Territorially i.e. between the States and the Centre.
(b) Institutionally i.e. between the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.
(c) Personality-wise i.e. the Executive power was shared by the President and the State Prime Ministers, while legislative was shared by the State Deputies and Federal Deputies.”
5. The President and Vice President must not come from the same State.
6. To stop the Republic of Cameroon using its numerical strength to amend, modify or revise the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, to the detriment of the State of Southern Cameroon, Article 47 of that Constitution stipulated that in order for any amendment, modification or revision of the Constitution to be valid, it must have been introduced into the Federal National Assembly for debate and must have been approved by a majority of the Federal Deputies from West Cameroon and a majority of the Federal Deputies from East Cameroon. Thus the Federal Deputies from West Cameroon could block any such Bill.
16. Fellow Cameroonians, this Accord has been unilaterally abrogated by the Republic of Cameroon (Ahidjo and Biya). This is not the time for rhetoric’s because most of us were eye witnesses to all the events that took place before and after reunification. In August 1961, Dr. John Ngu Foncha led the Southern Cameroon Delegation in good faith to Foumban to sign with President Ahidjo from the Republic of Cameroon the Reunification Treaty (although Dr. E.L.M Endeley and some Southern Cameroon politicians had serious reservations). We are all eye witnesses to the treachery and betrayal of the Southern Cameroonians by their brothers east of the Mungo (Republic of Cameroon). Fon Gorji Dinka a legal luminary from Southern Cameroon, in his address to the Bamenda CNU congress this year, ably exposed the illegalities of the Ahidjo and Biya governments in abrogating the Foumban Accord and annexing Southern Cameroon, (for which Gorji Dinka is languishing in the BMM dungeon).
The truth is that in 1972 President Ahidjo by Proclamation DF72-270 of 2nd June 1972 unilaterally abrogated the Foumban Accord and the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, abolishing:
i. The Legislature and the Government of East Cameroon
ii. The Legislature and the Government of West Cameroon
iii. The House of Chiefs of West Cameroon
iv. The Legislature and Government of the Federal Republic of Cameroon and assumed power as a dictator.
17. President Paul Biya by proclamation No 80-001 of 4th February, 1984 abolished the United Republic of Cameroon and revived the defunct Republic of Cameroon, and automatically the defunct State of Southern Cameroon. Thus by this law the Republic of Cameroon irretrievably seceded from Southern Cameroon. The Southern Cameroon Elders, Foncha, Endeley, Muna etc pleaded privately and publicly with Ahidjo and Biya not to break the Foumban Accord, all in Vain. The Southern Cameroon intellectuals from the North West and South West Provinces catalogued the grievances of Southern Cameroonians to Biya for redress and a change of heart all in vain. The Southern Cameroonian youths (kids) from the North West and South West Provinces of Cameroon cried out to Biya to stop the inhuman treatment of Southern Cameroonians and return the country to a democratic system of government as agreed in Foumban all in vain.
Now that Biya has completed the secession began by Ahidjo in 1972, history has repeated itself and Southern Cameroon is now as it was in the beginning, alone. On 1st of October, 1960 Southern Cameroon seceded from Nigeria (when Nigeria became independent) and stayed on its own alone for one year until 1st October 1961when it re-united with the Republic of Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. As in 1961, Southern Cameroonians have three options:
1. To stay alone and form their own government
2. To return to Foumban and re-negotiate fresh terms of union with the Republic of Cameroon
3. To negotiate union with any of her neighbouring States.
18. The first option, for Southern Cameroon to stay alone and form her own government, is the most popular one at the moment in Southern Cameroon. The majority of Southern Cameroonians believe that they have been betrayed by the Ahidjo and Biya regimes (both from the Republic of Cameroon), reduced to 2nd class citizens stripped of their fundamental human rights and liberties, oppressed and discriminated against and now take pleasure in calling them “Biafrans”. Their Natural Rulers, Fons and Paramount Chiefs have lost their dignity and influence, the institution abused and ridiculed. Fons and chiefs graded like cocoa into grade 1, 2, & 3 and the House of Chiefs itself abolished. The diabolical effort to replace in Southern Cameroon, the English legal system, with the French legal system, the English educational system with the French system and eventually to abolish English as an official language, the imposition of the one party system on Southern Cameroonians, the complete neglect of Southern Cameroon in development plans (now there are some frantic face saving efforts to tar Limbe, Kumba and Bamenda roads) and the obnoxious introduction of press censorship and the arbitrary arrest of journalists, are very hash reminders of the raw deal Southern Cameroonians got from the union with the Republic of Cameroon. Today more than 95% of Southern Cameroonians prefer to stay on their own and to have nothing to do with the Republic of Cameroon.
The second option, to return to Foumban, and re-negotiate fresh terms of union with the Republic of Cameroon, is shared by a majority of the people of the Republic of Cameroon, who are worried that should Biya fail to annex Southern Cameroon, they would lose the immense mineral wealth and natural resources in Southern Cameroon they are now exploiting.
The third option, to confederate with any other neighbouring country, is the popular dream of elderly politicians and young intellectuals who through some ethnic, cultural, economic or political links with these countries have always desired some union with them.
19. Dear Countrymen, the situation is highly charged and can explode any moment. The borders of Southern Cameroon are internationally known and recognized and the borders of the Republic of Cameroon are internationally known and recognized. Let us not deceive ourselves, any attempt now by the Republic of Cameroon to annex and colonise Southern Cameroon will be violently resisted, and any attempt by Southern Cameroon to form her own government will be violently resisted by the oppressive regime of the Republic of Cameroon. We are on the brink of war; let no one make any mistake about it. Both States have international friends and any war will be long and bitter with heavy casualties on both sides. Can we afford it?
It is in this light that we, the Cameroon Democratic Party, the only legal opposition party in Cameroon; (the UPC is banned) whose motor is “ONE NATION, DEMOCRACY, LOVE, PROGRESS,” is seriously concerned.
20. Having reviewed carefully the grievances of the Southern Cameroonians and the actions of the Ahidjo and Biya regimes, the Cameroon Democratic Party condemns the unilateral abrogation of the Foumban Accord by Ahidjo and act of secession by Biya and his collaborators, and their ambitions to annex and colonise Southern Cameroon.
The Cameroon Democratic Party fully supports the struggle by Southern Cameroonians to regain their inalienable fundamental human rights and rid themselves of degradation, discrimination, oppression, and annexation.
21. The Cameroon Democratic Party fully supports the Southern Cameroonians in their struggle to maintain their political, social and cultural heritage.
In the interest of National Unity and Peace, we call on President Paul Biya to renounce secession at once and convene a constitutional conference in Buea, before April 1986. The following shall be members of the Constitutional Conference.
1. 10 representatives from the Cameroon Peoples Democratic movement and 10 representatives from the Cameroon Democratic Party.
2. Elders from Southern Cameroon, Foncha, Endeley, Muna and two others, 5 Elders from the Republic of Cameroon
3. 5 Paramount Fons and Chiefs from Southern Cameroon and the same number from the Republic of Cameroon
4. 5 representatives from Southern Cameroon intellectuals and the same number from the Republic of Cameroon
5. 10 representatives from the Cameroon Bar Association, 5 from Southern Cameron and 5 from the Republic of Cameroon
6. 4 representatives from the Trade Unions, 2 from each State
7. 6 elders of religious bodies, 3 from each State
8. 6 representatives from the Armed Forces, 3 from each State
9. If the UPC renounces violence, it should be represented by 2 persons.
Dear comrades, our party abhors violence and has advised President Paul Biya on several occasions (our letters of 5th November 1983, 17th March 1984, 25th January 1985, 25th March 1985, 1st September 1985, etc) that the only permanent solution to the Anglophone (Southern Cameroon) Francophone (Republic of Cameroon) problem is to return to the Foumban Accord with the Federal system of Government. We enjoy 75% support in the Southern Cameroon and 65% in the Republic of Cameroon, so we know what we are talking about. This is our last chance to avoid a blood bath. Southern Cameroonians know their rights and will form their Government any moment from now if the impasse continues. Let us return to the conference table before it is too late.
God Blessed Cameroon
For: CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
22. ADRESS IN LONDON ON BIYA’S AMBITION TO BE LIFE PRESIDENT AND THE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CAMEROON.
In 1987, after ignoring our advice on the Cameroon economy, the economy collapsed and Biya declared an “Economic Crisis”. Cameroonians at home understood the “crisis” because they felt the terrible impact, but those abroad could not imagine Cameroon, one of the most viable and credit worthy countries in Africa suddenly becoming broke. On the 3rd of October 1987, I convened the Cameroonian population in London to explain to them the causes of the economic crisis and Biya’s inordinate ambition to be life president of Cameroon through an illegal One Party System.
CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
London 3rd October, 1987
My dear fellow Cameroonians,
PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA’S AMBITION TO BE LIFE PRESIDENT OF CAMEROON THROUGH AN ILLEGAL ONE PARTY SYSTEM MUST BE STOPPED.
We are lucky to be here in London where we can discuss freely and without fear of arrest the political future of our country. In1966 after the former dictator President Ahidjo had brutally eliminated all the opposition parties in East Cameroon, he tricked their Excellences Foncha , Endeley, and Muna to dissolve their three political parties, KNDP, CPNC, CUC, and form one political party with him – the CNU MONSTER.
The plausible arguments were that the one party would bring together Cameroonians of all origins. That devoid of any tribal or regional allegiances, they will mobilize human and material resources and enhance economic prosperity. The one party would produce a democratic Government aimed at producing free citizens, living in a free and democratic country, as enshrined in the 1961constutition of the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
We all know what happened after 1966 when all the opposition parties disappeared, how Ahidjo proceeded systematically to make himself dictator and life President.
First, he dismissed the “fire brand” Prime Minister of West Cameroon, the late Hon. Augustin Ngom Jua, Foncha’s right hand man, one of the few Cameroonian Ministers with guts who did not quiver before Ahidjo. Hon. S.T. Muna, Cameroon’s most experienced Minister, (was in 1951 Minister of Transport in Nigeria, then Minister under Dr. E.L.M Endeley’s Government, Minister of Finance under Foncha’s Government and Federal Minister under President Ahidjo) who was sacked from Foncha’s KNDP party for betraying the KNDP to Ahidjo was appointed Prime Minister by Ahidjo to succeed Jua.
23. By now Ahidjo had neutralised and put into the cooler the once dynamic and outspoken Dr. E.L.M Endeley, first Prime Minister (Leader of Government) of West Cameroon (Southern Cameroons). Finally, Ahidjo made a ‘coup d’état’ on Cameroon. He unconstitutionally and illegally sacked Dr. John Ngu Foncha, the vice President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, Father of Reunification and Leader of West Cameroon. (Note that without Foncha’s KNDP and the OK/UPC support, reunification would have been impossible). He unconstitutionally and illegally abolished the 1961 Federal Constitution of Cameroon and the Foumban Accord, the basis of reunification.
He unconstitutionally and illegally abolished the Federation of Cameroon, the State of East Cameroon, and its organs and institutions, the State of West Cameroon and its organs and institutions including the House of Chiefs. Ahidjo then declared the UNITED REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON, abolished the post of vice president, centralised power in himself and became the most fear-some terror Cameroonians have ever known. Nobody could dare challenge him. Ministers quivered and virtually crawled before him.
24. AHIDJO BECOMES A PERMENENT HEAD OF STATE OR LIFE PRESIDENT
With the disappearance of political parties no person could stand an election against Ahidjo or the CNU party. ‘Elections’ became mere rituals with the president and his party scoring 100% against nobody. The president was re-elected with monotonous regularity. He was now permanent Head of State, and tyrant. Cameroonians who dared criticise him or his Government disappeared in to underground dungeons where many died of torture or got blind. Mr. Albert Mukong was one of the few lucky ones who survived 6years in the dungeons. In the wave of these atrocities, thousand of Cameroonians fled the country.
Ahidjo could not be removed democratically through an election, nor constitutionally by impeachment because the handpicked Parliamentarians were mere robots to rubber stamp Presidential Decrees. Nor could he be removed illegally by a coup d’état. At last Ahidjo who had tricked and betrayed others, was himself tricked and betrayed. He was fooled that he had only a few weeks to live. In order to immortalise himself as a benevolent dictator he immediately resigned, appointed Paul Biya a Francophone to succeed him and ignored S.T. Muna, former Vice President, an Anglophone who had served him faithfully and was expected to succeed him.
25. PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA
The whole nation was hilarious in its welcome of President Paul Biya in 1982. Biya, an efficient technocrat, was an unknown quantity in Cameroon politics. On being sworn into office, he promised to restore fundamental liberties and to democratize politics in Cameroon. In his first year in office, Biya kept his promise, the country enjoyed freedom of speech and freedom of press. On 5th November 1983, the Cameroon Democratic Party sent him the following congratulations: “We have much pleasure in extending to your Excellency on the occasion of the first anniversary of ascension to power as the Second Executive President of Cameroon, our warmest congratulations for all your achievements this year and best wishes for the prosperity of our country. We hail your effort to rid the Nation of corruption, oppression, suppression, victimization, discrimination, intimidation, favouritism, tribalism, anarchy and tyranny. We hail your promise to restore democracy. We thank you for restoring freedom of expression and freedom of the press. You have arrested the Nation from moral bankruptcy and spiritual decadence, and given the Nation hope and a sense of direction. Your first year in office is a success”.
Yes, Biya’s first year was successful and on the strength of this record, we decided to launch the Cameroon Democratic Party. (See our letter of 5/11/83 to President Paul Biya informing him why a second political party was necessary in Cameroon. We pledged our support to Biya and his Government and looked forward to a bright future where Cameroonians would enjoy democracy, freedom and economic prosperity. Then things changed suddenly.
26. FREEDOM OF PRESS AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
Press censorship was reintroduced and the Cameroon Times journalists were arrested and detained without trial, followed by the “Cameroon Report” journalists, the Tribune journalists and a host of others. In fact more journalists have been arrested and detained without trial under Paul Biya than under Ahidjo. This is because under Ahidjo people knew where they stood, but under Biya things are confused. Today he says you are free to criticize the next day, he locks you up for criticizing. Fon Gorji Dinka was arrested and detained without trial for months for criticizing the system. We insist that the press must be free because a free press is the protector and guarantor of human liberties. It is dreaded by dictators and feared by corrupt governments. Cameroonians must always be free to say or write what they like so long as it is not defamatory, seditious, obscene, or blasphemous. Paul Biya’s government is full of duplicity. Biya asked Cameroonians who fled the country during Ahidjo’s persecution to return home in safety. When they returned they were arrested and detained without trial, even an innocent man, Mr. Isodore Nkiamboh, my personal secretary carrying our letters to Biya was arrested and detained without trial; right now his whereabouts are not known.
The Cameroon constitution States that, “no one shall be harassed because of his origin, opinions or beliefs in Religious, philosophical or political matters, subject to respect for public order”, yet examples abound in the flagrant violation of these basic rights of all Cameroonians. Despite repeated appeals from the Cameroon Democratic Party to Biya’s government to abolish EXIT VISAS, nothing has been done. Cameroonians are in jail in their own country. No Cameroonian can leave the country if the government does not authorize him/her. Political opponents and critics are refused exit visas. Where is our freedom? Ahidjo left six torture chambers (BMM), Biya has increased them to ten - one in each province. Our letters to Biya to dismantle these inhuman dungeons with their torture equipments have been ignored. No wonder some people say that Biya is worse than Ahidjo.
27. THE ONE PARTY STATE
The One Party State in the African context means a State with a life President or permanent Head of State. (In many cases a totalitarian State). This is an incontestable fact in Africa. Zaire, Ivory Coast, Togo, Malawi, Benin, Ethiopia, Libya, etc are but a few examples. The President of a One Party State cannot be removed democratically by the Will of the People through an election, because the President is always the only candidate. He can only be removed by His Own Will – voluntary resignation, as in the cases of Presidents Sengor, Ahidjo, Nyerere, and Siaka Stevens, or BY FORCE OF ARMS – coup d’état, as in the cases of more than 60% of African States today.
All African States at independence had Multi-Party Constitutions, but the new Heads of States either ignored or amended the Constitutions, abolished the Opposition Parties and declared One Party States.
Thank God Ahidjo crudely abolished opposition parties, illegally amended the Constitution, but did not declare a One Party State. Many people are not aware of it, but Cameroon is still a Multi-Party State by law. Article 3 of the Constitution of Cameroon allows for multi-parties.
Biya, in his ambition to become a life President of Cameroon, wanted to amend the Constitution and declare a One Party State in 1985 at the Bamenda Congress of the CNU. We got wind of it and stopped him through intensive and extensive campaigns. Biya still wants to be life President, but he knows that he CANNOT win an election if we put a candidate against him. So he decrees that a Presidential Candidate must be nominated by 500 people, 50 of whom must be members of Parliament. With this law, he succeeded to be the only Presidential candidate in the last elections because the handpicked CNU Parliamentarians could not nominate someone else. Now Biya knows that the Cameroon Democratic Party will win the next Parliamentary Elections and will therefore have Parliamentarians to nominate a Presidential candidate against him. So, Biya now says that Cameroon is not ripe for multi-parties and that he will not allow multi-parties. This means that Biya wants to ignore the Constitution of Cameroon, declare himself a dictator, and use force to stop the opposition parties from contesting the next general elections. Ahidjo tricked our former leaders in to the ONE PARTY TRAP where he liquidated them politically and became a dictator. We, the new leaders will NOT allow Biya to liquidate us in the same one party trap. Cameroon must remain a multiparty State. Cameroonians must be free to elect a Government of their choice. There is no choice in a One Party System. We want a peaceful and democratic change of Government through fair and just elections. Every political party must be allowed to put up candidates for the Parliamentary and Presidential elections.
29. Any laws passed by Biya to ensure that only his party the CPDM can put up candidates for the next Parliamentary and Presidential elections are unjust, unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect. Of course, Biya can continue to use force and illegal means to stay in power, but we are under the weightiest obligation to advise Biya that those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Where are the other dictators? Biya must drop this ambition of becoming life President of Cameroon. The era of dictators and life Presidents is gone and we shall not allow it again.
30. THE ECONOMY
On the economic scene, the CNU/CPDM, Ahidjo/Biya Governments have failed woefully. Biya stunned the Nation with his announcement that the Government was broke. He declared austerity measures and thousands of Cameroonians lost their jobs. These measures have come too late and we doubt whether this Government is capable of implementing them. The same Government and the people who have plunged the economy into a mess are asked to salvage it. In other words we are trying to put new wine into old calabash. What we need is a complete new set of ideology and direction. “Despite our country’s immense economic potential, material comfort is still the prerogative of a privileged minority, while poverty is the lot of the majority of Cameroonians”. (President Paul Biya). We will add; ignorance and disease is the lot of the majority of Cameroonians. Despite what the statistics show that Cameroon has one of the healthiest economies in Africa, that we have good balance of payment surpluses, we are broke.
Despite our ‘manna from heaven’ - the oil bonanza, we are broke. Why? There are three reasons why the Government has gone bust.
1. Institutionalized corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
2. Gross mismanagement of the economy.
3. Global fall in prices of raw materials.
31. CORRUPTION AND EMBEZZLEMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS
At the height of Ahidjo’s reign, “corruption was institutionalized and given an official stamp of approval. The most corrupt and inefficient persons were promoted and decorated with National Honours. Efficient, hardworking and honest persons were punished by demotion or left stagnant in their positions for years. Corrupt, grossly inefficient and incompetent civil servants were appointed to head Government corporations and parastatals. So that these institutions through maladministration drained milliards of francs of the country’s revenue in losses and fraud” (A.S. Ngwana). When Ahidjo resigned it was alleged that half of the oil revenue was misappropriated or unaccounted for. On the 5th November 1983, we wrote to President Paul Biya that because the amounts involved were staggeringly large, an official public inquiry should be instituted. But nothing was done. Today, we know that one of Ahidjo’s secret accounts had one billion U.S dollars. The balance is now only 400 million dollars. Where are the 600 million dollars? When will the balance of 400 million dollars be returned to Cameroon?
Again after the Limbe refinery scandal where millions of francs CFA were stolen, we demanded a public inquiry so that all culprits of our oil money could be punished, and their ill-gotten assets be confiscated as a deterrent against future fraud. But nothing was done. Our oil revenue is a closely guarded secret in the Presidency. Detailed figures are not published, nor do we know what the proceeds are or where they are kept. This has given right to massive fraud and unbridled rumours. Right now it is alleged that it is because President Paul Biya has also secretly transferred one and a half billion U.S. Dollars in his own secret accounts, that we have the present economic crisis. We believe in public accountability. Most Third-World countries go bust because their Presidents embezzle all the money and nobody can bring them back to book. This must not be so in Cameroon. We must have strict public accountability. No person must be above the law.
32. MISMANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMY
Cameroon is extremely rich in natural resources and very fertile soil. We produce plenty of cocoa, coffee, rubber, cotton, cattle, timber etc. We have huge deposits of bauxite, uranium, iron-ore, coal, gold and diamonds. We have mighty water falls for cheap hydro-electricity. We have some of the most beautiful beaches, mountains, scenery, and wild life in the world for the tourist industry. What else can we ask from God? Yet our people are poor.
Our people suffer from poverty, ignorance and diseases because for 27 years the CNU/CPDM governments have mismanaged the economy. They did not invest judiciously in Agriculture, infrastructure, and industries nor did they build any reserves from which the country can now draw to meet the present economic crisis. There are not enough roads, hospitals, (no drugs), schools and industries. For 27 years, Cameroonians have been promised roads between Kumba and Mamfe, Mamfe and Nfum, Mamfe and Bamenda, a ring road in Bamenda, a road between Douala and Kribi etc. Millions of francs worth of crops are lost every year because they cannot be evacuated to the cities. Cameroon’s output of economic crops could triple if there were roads to the production areas. It is unbelievable that Endeley and Foncha with very little money were able to maintain the West Cameroon roads so that they were motorable all season, better than Ahidjo and Biya with all the additional oil money at their disposal. Today these roads are motorable only during the dry season. Cameroon is among the countries with the worst roads in the world.
When will the Tiko and Limbe (Victoria) ports be reopened again? Ports which handled goods from West Cameroon cheaply. Why were they closed in the first place?
Britain left us with the Cameroon Development Corporation on independence. For 27 years the CDC is still the only major mechanized farm. If we had 10 of such farms, one in each province would we have the unemployment in our hands today? Cameroon has pure sparkling drinking water in all our rivers and streams yet pipe born water is priced beyond the reach of most Cameroonians in the few towns in which it is supplied. Our numerous water-falls should provide cheap hydro-electricity for domestic and industrial consumption but SONEL charges are so high that they discourage industrial development and have pushed the majority of our people back to the firewood stove. Despite the fact that at Limbe we now refine our own petrol, the price of fuel is three times dearer than in some neighboring countries. The high cost of fuel deters economic and social activities.
Many countries which are less gifted in beauty than Cameroon balance their budgets from the tourist industry. Our tourist industry is not developed and the Government discourages its development. Instead, we should encourage the whole world to come to Cameroon, ‘Africa in Miniature’, a Paradise of beauty and splendor. It is sad to know that in this economic crunch our poor farmers are bound to suffer more because they are exploited by a ‘Marketing Board System’ which does not pay the fair price for their produce. The Government should allow farmers to sell their produce to the highest bidder.
33. GLOBAL FALL IN PRICES OF RAW MATERIALS
This is a regular phenomenon. Prices of raw materials are always fluctuating and in many cases always downwards; while prices of their finished products are always rising. Therefore any wise Government must allow for these fluctuations. To use the fall in prices of raw materials as an excuse for the present economic mess shows lack of foresight and poor planning on the part of this government. What the Government should have done for the past 27 years is not to rely on exporting raw materials alone but to transform them into finished products. Alas the Government is bust, and we have no industries to transform our raw materials into finished products.
My dear fellow Cameroonians, the Ahidjo/Biya Governments have failed politically and economically and driven Cameroon into bankruptcy. Cameroonians have lost confidence in the Government and its financial institutions. They no longer put their money in the Banks but keep their money at home or in “Njangi” houses. Morally and spiritually the Country is sliding into bankruptcy as well. This is evident in the alarming increase of murder cases, robberies, prostitution, abortions, divorces and a host of new crime hitherto unknown in Cameroon. The situation is very serious. We must act now to avoid disaster.
34. Fellow countrymen, I speak to you from the heart - out of the love we all have for our dear Country - Cameroon. We have “stooged” and “feared” for 27 years. Yesterday Ahidjo was a god. Today it is Biya. When shall we grow up? The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. We must not allow Biya and his gang to drive our beloved country into complete chaos. We need a new Leadership and a new Government. A Government democratically elected by our people. A Government that is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of our people. A Government that can provide us with hospitals and drugs, roads and schools, accommodation, industries and employment. A Government that guarantees the independence of the Judiciary, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and all our fundamental liberties. A Government we can be proud of, in a country we are proud of.
Our Party - the CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY enjoys massive support at home and will provide the Government we require. We expect and count on your deserving support as well.
May God Bless Cameroon
Long Live CDP
Long Live Cameroon
for: Cameroon Democratic Party
PS: For Further information contact:
20 Courtleigh Gardens
London NW1L 9JX
35. In view of the importance of the Anglophone Problem, I will like to reproduce here a detailed treatment of this problem and the solutions offered in the address the Chairman of the CDP, gave to the AAC2 Conference in Bamenda, 29th April 1994 to 3rd May 1994. Quote:
“Mr. Chairman, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Eminence, Your Grace, Your Excellencies, Honorable Members, Chiefs, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my pleasure, privilege and honor to address this august gathering on a matter which is dearest to my heart and to the hearts of all Anglophone Cameroonians, at home and in the Diaspora.
On behalf of my humble self, and on behalf of all the sons and daughters of Anglophone Cameroon, I thank the ALL ANGLOPHONES CONFERENCE (AAC) organizers for providing our people this cherished opportunity to discuss open-hearted this matter that is of common interest to us Anglophones.
We as a people with one blood and one destiny salute the AAC standing Committee on this unique occasion of AAC2. We are gathered again to re-visit the issue of the overdue constitutional reforms in our Nation with the solemn determination to chart a solid and all-weather road to our self-determination.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I was highly delighted to read that the theme of AAC2 Conference is THE ROAD TO PEACEFUL SELF-DETERMINATION, which dutifully presupposes that all of us here gathered on behalf of our people are in search of that road that will guarantee them peaceful self-determination which we have earlier agreed that it is a must. May the wordings of the conference theme lead us to fruitful deliberations and discussions.
36 OUR POLITICAL PAST
Ladies and Gentlemen permit me therefore to cast a few retrospective glances on our journey towards peaceful self-determination.
Our political history is textbook case which provides compelling reading to any interested persons. We of the CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY (CDP), have gone into it at some considerable length in our publications – The First Five Years 1983-1988, currently in circulation all over the country.
We embarked on this publication, just as I am now about to glance through our political journey towards peaceful self-determination, to sensitize the Anglophones in particular and Cameroonians at large, on our political past. This with a view to educate our people, our Nation and the world on where we come from; our present political conditions, aspirations and prospects for our future as a Nation.
My beloved countrymen and women, our African adage postulates that an adult knows his friends but may require some other person to tell him/her, his or her relations.
Before the invasion of Africa by the Europeans, what today is known as Cameroon (Francophone/Anglophone) was one interdependent, multicultural, mutually respecting, socially interacting, self-sustaining people with one destiny.
North or South, East or West, Cameroonians saw themselves as ONE, lived in peace as one, and no tribe tried to dominate the others. All tribes were equal.
Then came the Europeans into the continent and our people were subjugated and colonized. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, the Europeans put paid to their savage and devious act –THE PARTITION OF AFRICA, and Cameroon became a property of the Germans.
Our consent was not demanded nor was it of any consequence.
On the defeat of the Germans in 1916, Cameroon this time became the butt of another balkanization between two new masters – the French and the British. Thus began the departure of ONE NATION, ONE DESTINY for Cameroonian people.
Under this new tutelage our pathway to independence was not even. The French Cameroon (Francophones) fought the French and achieved their independence by violence and bloodshed. The British Cameroonians (Anglophones) achieved their independence through dialogue and the democratic process. NO BLOODSHED.
Ladies and gentlemen, I purposefully took a ride into our political journey towards peaceful self-determination to refresh our minds that we the Anglophones as a people have an enviable political culture and heritage of non-violence, dialogue and respect for the democratic process in our overriding quest for self-determination.
We are, and have always been a peace-loving people and we believe in peaceful solution to our problems, no matter the nature. However, this by no means, does not give any mortal on this planet the right to take our people, their interests, their political aspirations and goals for granted. Our People have never failed the call for bravery, as our historical past can bare testimony.
We love peace but we also love to defend our inalienable and civic rights when they are trampled upon with unpardonable disregard.
Why did we (Anglophone Cameroonians) become part of Francophone Cameroon, a territory we had been cut off from for more than 40years, and not part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a territory we had been united with for more than 40years?
Southern Cameroon was administered as part of Nigeria by the British Government. The democratic process was well developed in Southern Cameroon and the Plebiscite Elections there were fair and free. However this was not the case in British Northern Cameroons. Although the British Government wanted very much that British Cameroon should become part of Nigeria on independence, they succeeded in getting Northern Cameroon, (later Sardauna Province) integrated into the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
38. Fellow brothers and sisters, why did we of Southern Cameroons overwhelmingly vote to join the Republic of Cameroon on a mere promise of Federation rather than remain with the devil we knew - the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with which we shared a common political culture? I crave your indulgence to refresh our memories with some of the reasons:
1. Southern Cameroon enjoyed reasonable autonomy in the Nigerian Federation; it had its own House of Assembly and a House Chiefs, like the other three regions of Nigeria. It was well represented in the Federal house in Lagos and had Federal ministers like Fon Mukete and Hon. S.T. Muna. However tribal politics between the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC) and the Action Group (AG) soon alienated the Cameroons, leading to the famous declaration of “Neutrality in Nigerian Politics” by our leaders.
2. The Ibos and Yorubas, the two prominent tribes in Nigeria replaced the British in all the important posts in the civil service and corporations in Southern Cameroon. A situation which was inimical to the very economic survival of Southern Cameroon.
3. Nigerians dominated all business opportunities in Southern Cameroon, thereby causing a lot of resentment among Southern Cameroonians.
4. Southern Cameroon was quite small in the Federation of Nigeria, consequently there was that fear of being “swamped by Nigeria” after independence.
5. Southern Cameroonians were Cameroonians and not Nigerians. The majority of Southern Cameroonians did not speak or understand Nigerian languages. Although almost all Southern Cameroon leaders were educated in Nigeria, they did not see themselves as Nigerians.
6. Furthermore, Southern Cameroonians enjoyed all democratic rights like Nigerians; they could own property and do all kinds of business like Nigerians.
39. To put the historical record in its balanced perspective, it is pertinent to highlight
1. Southern Cameroonians required visas and passports to travel to French Cameroon (TheRepublic of Cameroon).
2. The majority of Southern Cameroonians did not speak or understand French.
3. The Legal, the political and educational systems of Southern Cameroons were different from those of the Republic of Cameroon. Southern Cameroons operated a Parliamentary system while the Republic of Cameroon was on the Presidential system. The legal and educational systems were English on one part and French on the other part.
4. Southern Cameroon had about one-third the population of the Republic of Cameroon, so there was no danger of being “swamped by the Republic of Cameroon” so the fear of economic marginalization was more on the Nigerian side than on the Republic of Cameroon side.
5. Although the majority of Southern Cameroonians do not speak French, they speak some ethnic languages as the people of the Republic of Cameroon. To be precise, the Anglophone Bamilekes and the Francophone Bamilekes have a common language. The Nsos and the Bamouns are of common origin, so also are the Ngembas of Santa and Mbouda and Bafoussam. The Bangwas and Dschang, the Anglophones and the Francophone Mbos, and the Bakweris and Doualas, who are of common stock. This factor explains why our leaders like Foncha , Muna, and Ntumazah were at home with their Bamelike counterparts across the Mungo, while Endeley of blessed memories and Fon Mukete were at home with the Doualas, Soppo Priso, Dr. Eyidi Bebe, to mention a few.
6. The Government of the Republic of Cameroon was most undemocratic, oppressive and brutal. Opposition parties were either banned or harassed out of existence or forced to go underground. Human rights were non-existent. An indefinite State of emergency was enforced on the population to prop up an autocratic regime.
40. Fellow Cameroonians, looking at the horrible political situation in the Republic of Cameroon and the terrorism that raged there at the time of the plebiscite, one could never have expected us to vote for UNIFICATION.
Why then did we vote massively for unification?
Well, Southern Cameroonians are Cameroonians and the people of the Republic of Cameroon are Cameroonians. We voted to join OUR BROTHERS across the Mungo. It was just a question of “BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER”. As brothers, as Cameroonians, we desired to live together with our kith and kin. So fellow Countrymen and women, this puts to rest the unsubstantiated far-fetched accusations of a sell-out by the uniformed new generation, levied against our political sagacious Founding Fathers who accepted the option of unification on higher motives than tribal or sectional interests.
OUR DISENCHANTMENT AND GRIEVANCES
41. After Thirty years of re-unification what has changed?
1. The Federation, the basis of reunification was unconstitutionally abolished.
2. The Cameroon National Union (CNU) government of Ahidjo, and the Cameroon People Democratic Movement (CPDM) government of Biya, have remained oppressive and corrupt as at the time of unification.
3. Southern Cameroonians, our own kith and kin from the very inception of unification have held and still hold important positions in the oppressive Governments even if only in symbolic terms.
4. What has not changed is the fact that we are still Cameroonians. Francophones and Anglophones with a common destiny as demonstrated by the 1992 presidential elections in which the Francophones sent a clear message to the incumbent government by voting massively for John Fru Ndi, an Anglophone to the bewilderment of President Paul Biya, a Francophone.
42. Ladies and Gentlemen we must not confuse the actions of oppressive and corrupt Governments, Governments composed of both Francophones and unfortunately Anglophones, with the cordial relations between Anglophones and Francophones.
Our fight, our struggle is not against Francophones but against the oppressive CNU/CPDM governments of Ahidjo/Biya, which have denied us our fundamental rights and frustrated our political, economic and social aspirations. Governments, which have reduced us to second class citizens, and are hell-bent on keeping us there. We unified on the understanding that we will operate a Federal Structure, in which we will live in a mighty, united, economically strong Cameroon Nation; Guaranteeing all citizens of every race and religion, inalienable and civic rights, equal opportunities and respect for the by bicultural character of our people.
We voted for unification with our eyes wide open. We knew the problems ahead and the difficulties involved and we were prepared to face them, and determined to solve them. We were resolved to introduce democracy and good government in Cameroon, to defend human rights and the rule of law and insure economic prosperity for Cameroon. This we have not yet achieved.
43. My dear Fellow Cameroonians, our task now is to throw into the dustbin of history this undemocratic, corrupt and spineless government and return to the basis of Unification, that is the re-establishment of an Anglophone State.
OUR CURRENT POLITICAL TASK
44. Fellow brothers and sisters, we all are committed to the rapid realization of this Anglophone State of our dream and desire. Is there any one amongst us here, today who is against an Anglophone State?
Yes I can see nobody. I thank God that today at AAC2, we the good people of Southern Cameroon have resolved that we must demand and have an Anglophone State of our dream.
There is no compromise on this political destiny. It is our destiny that we be a State. It is ordained that we must have one, and no human force can indefinitely prevent its realization rather it can only delay it. The choice between us as a people today is whether this Anglophone State is to be:
(1) A Federal Anglophone State within a Cameroonian Nation,
(2) An independent Sovereign Nation on its own.
45. Mr. Chairman, Your Royal Highness, Your Grace, Your Excellencies, Honorable Members, Chiefs, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, this august assembly must recognize that there exist two-schools of thought about this crucial choice facing us as a people. The proponents of each alternate choice must be allowed and protected to articulate, present and defend the realization of its avouched choice. Our people at home, whom we represent, must know what we want them to enter into and how they are to enter into it. They must be part of decision-making process so that what-ever emerges as the choice will be accepted as the peoples’ verdict.
Having said that I want to put on record that my Party the Cameroon Democratic Party and my humble self endorse that AAC devote all its energy to the realization of an Anglophone State that is within the Federation of Cameroon: A Federated Anglophone State.
Although our stand is unequivocal, our Party is not unmindful of the fact that no one of us can without Divine assistance, prophetically nail down which of the options will eventually be the lot of our people. The simple reason being that President Paul Biya and his oligarchy can by their foolhardy omission or commission bring about one or the other. So too, any student of political history can venture to predict that President Paul Biya may learn a good lesson from President Frederich DeKlerk of South Africa and call for abolition of the Unitary System.
THE ROAD TO OUR SELF DETERMINATION
46. Fellow Countrymen and women, we are all gathered here today determined that Anglophone Cameroonians must cast away the yoke of neo-colonial servitude, second class citizenship, oppression and suppression and be a race with a political, social and economic future, guaranteeing equal opportunity and civic and inalienable rights.
Yes it is well understood and the time is up for us to stand up for our rights. We must do this now or never. But we must also be matured, visionary, diplomatic, strategic in planning and opportunistic in reading unfolding world events and the events within and around us as a nation.
We must be patient with time; we must not burn our fingers in our political rage, nor ruin the future by irrational, impulsive amateurish behavior thereby jeopardizing our peoples’ lives and political destiny. We have a mission to liberate our people but let us not in mad rush end up enslaving them the more by making unpardonable mistakes as we are the joint-captains for the people political Ship.
We must be prepared to learn, from history, from the past successes and failures of others who have liberated or failed to liberate their people. The world is a university and every one of us is a student. The road to self-determination can be peaceful and non-violent. But it is always tortuous and sometimes exasperating. It requires painstaking planning and meticulous execution. At the end, the outcome is rewarding NO RUSH.
On the other hand it could be violent and blood-letting. It could be quick by proclamation like UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) in Southern Rhodesia now called Zimbabwe or in Biafra in Nigeria, and it does not out-live time and does bring untold hardship.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted that the wise organizers of AAC2 have chosen as the Conference theme - THE ROAD TO PEACEFUL SELF-DETERMINATION. So our way to self-determination compellingly must be peaceful and successful.
Now let us attempt to answer the questions before us: Which of these two options as of today namely:
(1) Anglophone State within a Federation of Cameroon Nation,
(2) An Independent Sovereign Anglophone State/Nation,
Will achieve the theme of AAC2 - The road to peaceful self-determination.
47. The answer is obviously an Anglophone State in a Unified Cameroon Federation. WHY
My beloved people, our Party – Cameroon Democratic Party, of which by the grace of God, I am the Founder Chairman, would not mind to reiterate once again the fact that a peaceful self-determination for Southern Cameroon is in conformity with our KNOWN and REVERED political culture and heritage of non-violence, dialogue and respect for Democratic processes. Our Founding Fathers gained on 1st October 1961 political independence for the State of West Cameroon (formerly Southern Cameroon or British Cameroon) using non-violent political strategy.
The African National Congress (ANC) of Dr. Nelson Mandela in South Africa is about to gain independence from evil Minority rule through dialogue as a major modus operandi. So, fellow compatriots, the AAC must succeed also on non-violence stance. The advocacy of an Independent Sovereign Anglophone Nation is call for secession. Every Nation, no matter how weak or small, once sovereign, regards its sovereignty as sacrosanct and defends it to the last drop of blood.
If Southern Cameroon attempts to secede, of course, every right thinking mortal, will expect the incumbent President of the country, Paul Biya to descend on Southern Cameroonians with the might of the Cameroon army to crush mercilessly the political revolt.
Who amongst us here wants a pogrom for Southern Cameroonians? What offence have our beloved countrymen or women, young and old, committed that the political class gathered here should visit them with such mayhem?
48. Ladies and Gentlemen, a call for an Independent Sovereign Southern Cameroon is a call for secession. A call for secession is a call for annihilation of Southern Cameroon as a race, or at best to call for civil war in Cameroon. Are we as a people prepared for such a sacrifice? As has been the case with the massacre in Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, Liberia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi, Chad, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yemen, Afghanistan, Chechnya to mention just a few? Is such a bloodbath necessary now, for our political, economic and social aspirations? To be a refugee in a strange land, or to be politically, economically and socially marginalized in one’s country, which is more painful?
49. Fellow Cameroonians, please put on your thinking caps for secession is fire and no adult plays with blazing unnecessary fire. Fire burns if you play with it! The world, modern historians will tell us, is now moving towards the aggregation of independent sovereign states into large political unions like the European Economic Community (EEC). Nationalism now gives way to amalgamated regional political nationhood.
What is more, with the disintegration of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR and the Confederation of Yugoslavia, and their attendant or resultant political problems, no Super or Medium Power in Global Politics will be willing to preside or support the dismemberment of any African Country. To secede without a strong foreign support is tantamount to committing political, economic, social and human suicide.
50. Proponents of an Independent Sovereign Anglophone State should be magnanimous enough to confide with us here, who their foreign backers are. They may come up with stories of success of Bangladesh seceding from Parkistan Nation.
Have we deeply studied the military parameters that gave rise to such success? Pakistan is on the western borders of India while Bangladesh is to the East. India supported Bangladesh secession and this confronted Pakistan with insurmountable military logistics thus leading to the breakaway territory of Bangladesh success. But even at that, what was the cost of this success to Bangladesh people? No war leaves the people as they were before the war started. This is true for the Victor and the Vanquished
Now, what about those people who failed: South Americans, Biafran Rebels of Nigeria, Katanga rebels in Zaire? Let us take a close look at our neighbors in Nigeria, how they prepared and still they failed. Before the secession, the mass killing and counter-killing created the alienation of the Eastern-Nigerians, particularly the majority tribe - the Ibos.
The general sense of insecurity forced the Ibos to flee from their various places of residence in Nigeria to their birthplace in the East. By subtle act, the people asked that Non-Easterners, Nigerians Soldiers and civilians leave their territory and that was done. Concomitantly they asked that soldiers of Eastern origin be released to go back to the East where they claimed their security was guaranteed. The Federal Government of Nigeria granted the secessionists request and Biafra inadvertently had its own army. Mr. Emeka Ojukwu - then Colonel, and leader of the secessionist Biafra - seized Federal Assets and Revenue, and was able to sustain his dream nation by paying workers’ wages and salaries and running the Biafran economy up to the time they were able to print Biafran currency.
Now Ladies and Gentlemen, which of these factors are on the ground now in Southern Cameroon? If you Anglophone men and women in government and private sector in Francophone Cameroon are patriotically summoned home never to return to Francophone Cameroon, will you oblige? Have we an army? What do we do to the Cameroon troops in our midst in Southern Cameroon. Let us stop kidding with fire. With such an elaborate planning Biafra failed, what fate awaits unplanned secession by Southern Cameroonians?
The qualities of good leaders compel and impel us to lead our people with the truth and not with negative radicalism. Charismatic leadership is a situational leadership that holds out such a leader as thorough master of the political terrain. Our political situation does not call for war yet but political dialogue bedded in astute diplomacy to achieve the desired aspirations, and every other aspiration will follow suit. The road to peaceful self-determination is the theme of this AAC2. We have ratified our choice and resolved to pursue it with stern determination. Our choice is an Anglophone State in a Cameroon Federal structure
51. Thank goodness, Ladies and Gentlemen, the proponents of an Independent Sovereign Anglophone State were bold enough to call it a “Zero Option”. A Zero-option, my fellow brothers and sisters is arrived at in the history of a people when all the existing potential political opportunities open to the people in question in their political journey are exhausted and the court of world conscience certifies so.
Can we say to the world’s conviction that all political opportunities available to us as a people have been exhausted? No! No! No! It is true that the bobby political opium, the open-ended political debate on the National Conference and the Constitution is a time-killer and a smoke screen that will give the Southern Cameroonians no-relief. We must be politically matured enough to evolve other creative ways and means to force Mr. Biya’s hand.
A Zero option is always an imposed option or choice. We are a peace loving people but determined to up-hold the political goals of our people and we have to do so by resisting playing into the wicked hands of an authoritarian regime. The ball is on the court of President Paul Biya. He has the opportunity like Mr. F.W. DeKlerk of South Africa, to write his name in gold in the political history of our country by returning the country once again to Federalism.
Only the return to a Federal Structure will guarantee permanent peace in Cameroon.
But if he allows his political fumbling and amateurism to impose a zero option on our people, then Ladies and Gentlemen, our people’s bravery will be called to test (but God forbid). Then we, as a people will cross that bridge when we are compelled to do so.
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen before I round up my address I will plead, because I have taken up much of your time, to allow me draw your attention to the political opportunity created by the Bakassi crisis between our country and our long-time friendly neighbor - Nigeria.
Protagonists of peaceful self-determination would want every Southern Cameroonian to believe that a political opportunity for secession or zero option exists. This is far from the truth, Yes, a political opportunity exists, as well as a political danger. We must not play into the destructive hands of an oppressive regime which is prepared to do to us what was done to the Native Americans or to Aborigines of Australia, because of black gold.
52. Yes, an opportunity truly exists but this opportunity does not call for secession but for intensive pressure on Paul Biya’s regime for Southern Cameroon Self-determination based on Foumban Accord – A Federated State of Southern Cameroon.
Our urgent political task therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the rapid translation of the existing political opportunity into an enabling environment compelling President Biya to dialogue with Southern Cameroon leaders on our self-determination goal and that is the abolition of the unitary system in favor of federalism.
We call on our brothers, the Francophones and friends of Cameroon as well, to bring pressure to bear on Paul Biya to adopt a Federal Constitution. Details of this constitution can be worked out in a Constitutional Conference using the draft Federal Constitution submitted to the Government in 1983, by the Cameroon Democratic Party and the AAC Standing Committee in 1993 and any other proposals that could serve as a basis for discussions.
53. We expect a new FEDERAL CONSTITUTION to be out before the federal elections. The New Federal Constitution need not be based on two States as in the 1961 Constitution but could be based on a Four States Structure. This was proposed by the CDP in 1983 and confirmed by the Father of Unification Dr. J.N. Foncha in his interview with Le Messager, Vol. IV No 013, Wednesday, 13 April 1994. “We are even ready to accept a ten State Federation if such a proposal is viable and generally supported,”
The Cameroon Democratic Party is fully committed to the unity of Cameroon on a Federal structure. We fully support the aspirations of the Anglophones to live in harmony and peace with their Francophone brothers in a Federal Republic. We condemn the Government of President Biya for jeopardizing the unity of Cameroon by delaying the Federal Constitution. We appeal to friends of Cameroon and all lovers of Democracy to join us in this constitutional battle. The unity of Cameroon is at stake.
OUR MODUS OPERANDI
54. Distinguished delegates and fellow brothers and sisters, how do we go about executing this task, in the face of insensitive leaders that have persistently played deaf, dumb and blind to the demands for political change? Sensationalism is not one of our modus operandi.
The first condition for this operation is a united front. We must Endeavour to speak with one voice once the common political objective has been identified, and to that end let me proffer a few suggestions.
CREATION OF A UNITED FRONT
55. A need urgently exists to put in place a reputable United Front to serve as the Voice of the Southern Cameroonians with clear mandate. It should not be modeled after the Ancient Greek parliament where membership was automatic by place of birth. Membership should be representative, grassroots oriented and should represent all shades of interests, opinions, professions and must not be schemed to radicalism or conservatism. The quality and calibre of its membership should command respect within and without the country. It must remain non-partisan and non-religious.
A unified and standardized document containing details of Southern Cameroon’s case (grievances and political, economic, social, cultural and religious goals) has to be produced for world-wide circulation. The Anglophone Draft Constitution, should be vetted, and presented to the United front and if adopted by 2/3 majority, becomes instantly the Southern Cameroon version of the Constitution, and the bargaining mandate for our leaders with the Government.
Having said this, Ladies and Gentlemen, my Party, The Cameroon Democratic Party invites the AAC to make common cause with us in realization of an Anglophone State within the Federation of Cameroon. An Anglophone Constitutional Conference Delegation should be empanelled now and kept on standby, for call at short notice.
MOBILISATION OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONIANS
57. We thankfully notice that the level of political awareness among our people has risen significantly since the inception of AAC. But we must admit that this level is grossly inadequate to produce rural and urban grassroots politically conscious men and women ever able to stand-up against any political challenges, ever able to defend their rights and political goals in any given circumstances. Intensive and extensive propaganda aimed at indoctrinating the citizens of Southern Cameroon is the sine-qua-non for the realization of our political, economic and social aspirations.
Our people must know their political rights and be prepared to defend them at all cost. A program of action to mobilize those who in turn energize Southern Cameroon polity and political wisdom, wizardry and total commitment to the political course must be put in place.
The United Front must as a matter of urgency, mobilize support for FEDERALISM from all political parties in Cameroon. Any political party or pressure group that does not support a Federal Constitution must be considered an enemy of Anglophone aspirations and interests. Accordingly, serious campaign must be mounted against such political parties or pressure groups. Anglophones in such political parties or groups should resign immediately. No Anglophone should be voted for in any election if he/she does not support Federalism.
All traditional rulers and elder Statesmen should be canvassed for their support. Educational institutions should be mobilized and educated on the merits and importance of federalism. Trade, tribal, and social unions should be co-opted and transformed into mobilization organs.
DIALOGUE WITH BIYA
58. Well represented delegations consisting of Elder Statesmen, Fons, Chiefs and United Front Delegates should make a representation to the President of the Republic of Cameroon on the urgency of a Federal Constitution. The same delegation should meet leaders of political parties, Elder Statesmen and pressure groups in all the eight Francophone provinces, on our uncompromising stand on Federalism
A time frame for the Constitutional Conference must be obtained from President Biya’s regime now and rigidly kept to. Let us pray that President Paul Biya will learn a lesson from Federich DeKlerk of South Africa and call for abolition of the oppressive unitary system in Cameroon.
WORLD SYMPATHY AND SUPPORT
59. Paid adverts should be inserted in the Cameroon Radio, Television, and prominent newspapers. Where funds are available, trips composing of the above mentioned delegations should be sponsored abroad to important friends of Cameroon who can exert diplomatic and economic pressure on President Paul Biya to adopt a Federal Constitution. These friends should include France, Great Britain, USA, Nigeria, Canada, Germany etc.
May God bless Cameroon and spare it form chaos, anarchy and doom.
Long live AAC
Long live CDP
Long live Cameroon
Cameroon Democratic Party (CDP)
60. Mr. President, I delivered this address in 1994 nearly 19 years ago, and today we of the Cameroon Democratic Party/Cardinal Democratic Party still hold the same view that a Federation is the only quick and bloodless solution to the Anglophone Problem.
Mr. President, We therefore plead with you to treat this open letter with the urgency it requires.
We who actually voted for Unification in 1961 have done everything in our power to try and maintain Unification and encourage it, but you, who did not vote for Unification, have done everything in your power to destroy, discourage and completely obliterate Unification. Remember that without Unification there is no Federal Republic of Cameroon.
61. When you seceded La Republique Du Cameroun from West Cameroon in 1984 by proclamation No 80-001 of February 1984, We pleaded with you to rescind this action and return the country to a Federation, You ignored our plea and continued to rule Southern Cameroon as your annexed territory since 1984.
Your administration seized my passport and kept me in exile for six years, but by law No. 90-43 of 19/12/90 your Government relaxed travel restrictions and abolished the Exit Visa Laws. Since then, neither I myself, nor my party have, ever contested any elections in Cameroon because the election process is a waste of time, energy and money. When there was only one party, you were the only candidate and always scored 99%, when we had multi-parties, the Supreme Court always declared you the winner,(their hands were tied and are still tied today). Elections are meaningless in Cameroon. You control the Legislature, Judiciary, and the Executive, democracy does not exist in Cameroon. It is stupid to waste time, energy and money to change the government democratically here in Cameroon.
62. We the people of the former British Southern Cameroon voted for unification on the basis of Federalism, if there is no Federation, there is no Unification.
Mr. President, consider Plan A and Plan B and choose which of them is suitable to you. We are ready for any.
63. The Federal Republic of Cameroon shall consist of :
Two Equal States, The State of West Cameroon and The State of East Cameroon. The State of West Cameroon shall consist of the former British Southern Cameroon and the State of East Cameroon shall consist of the former La Republique Du Cameroun (the French speaking Cameroon).
1. No law will be enacted or passed by the Federal Government of Cameroon unless it has been approved or passed by the Parliament of The State of West Cameroon or approved or passed by the Parliament of The State of East Cameroon.
2. Any law enacted or passed by the Federal Government to abolish the Federal Character of Cameroon, shall be null and void.
3. The Federal President of Cameroon shall hold office for five years. The office of the Federal President of Cameroon shall not be held by anyone younger than 45 years or older than 70 years.
4. The office of President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon shall rotate between the State of West Cameroon and the State of East Cameroon, every five years.
5. President Paul Biya shall resign as president of Cameroon to enable Presidential, Parliamentary and State Elections to be conducted in October 2016.
6. The first President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon will be the person from the State of West Cameroon who scored the highest votes in the Federal Elections in the State of West of Cameroon, in October 2016.
7. The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon will be the person who scored the highest votes in East Cameroon in the Federal Elections in the State of East Cameroon, in October 2016
8. The President and Vice President shall be sworn in, on January 2017.
9. After the Federal Elections of October 2021, the President shall step down and handover to the person who scored the highest votes in the Federal Elections in the State of East Cameroon, he will be sworn in as the President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon on January 2022.
10. The person from the State of West Cameroon who scored the highest votes in the Federal Elections of October 2021, in the State of West Cameroon will become the Vice President, on 2022.
11. Again in 2027 the President will come from West Cameroon and Vice President from East Cameroon.
This undemocratic excise will be repeated for at least 50 years before it is reviewed.
63. Yaounde shall be the Federal Capital of Cameroon and seat of the Federal Government.
The Federal Republic of Cameroon Shall consist of two equal States namely:
The State of West Cameroon and The State East Cameroon.
The State of West Cameroon shall consist of an Elected Governor, an Elected Parliament, and Elected Counselors.
Buea shall be the Capital of the State of West Cameroon and the seat of the State Government.
The State of East Cameroon shall consist of an Elected Governor, an Elected Parliament, and Elected Counselors.
Bertoua or Garoua shall be the Capital of the State of East Cameroon and the seat of the State Government.
Douala shall be the economic capital of Cameroon.
Federal Government in sharing Federal Revenue shall give, each State equal money, allowing 10% to the area of production. Certain items shall be controlled by the Federal Government such as, timber, gold, diamonds, crude oil, iron ore etc.
Certain Matters shall be controlled by the Federal Government such as Currency, National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Federal Civil Service etc., but the States will be free to make laws which do not contradict Federal Laws. There will be State Universities and Federal Universities.
All Federal Civil Servants must be bilingual.
64. President Paul Biya shall start implementing Plan A from January 2012 to December 2016 by
introducing a Bill in Parliament for the establishment of the Federal Republic of Cameroon with a rotating presidency as from January 2017.
In October 2016, the first Presidential, Parliamentary (House of Representives and Senate), Gubernatorial, and States Elections will be conducted on the same day.
President Paul Biya shall hand over to the first Elected President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, from West Cameroon, who will be sworn in on the same day, on January 2017.
65. Mr. President, if you accept Plan A, then we who voted for Unification on a Federal Basis, will join you to implore and beg, the Liberation Movements to drop their separation plans. They have good legal, moral and political reasons to separate from the Republic of Cameroon.
Therefore, their acceptance of our pleas must not be taken for granted. We have to beg them, plead with them, and convince them to drop their separation plans which are now very advanced and popular in Southern Cameroon. Southern Cameroonians have been pushed to the wall.
66. Mr. President, if you reject Plan A, then during your life time, you will see Cameroon breakup into two Countries namely, La Republique du Cameroun and the Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon. Then the Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon will automatically come into existence.
The Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon shall consist of :
Two States, The State of North West Cameroon and The State of South West Cameroon.
Buea Shall be the Federal Capital and seat of the Federal Government.
The President of the Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon shall be elected for four years and may be elected a second time. After which he is stopped by law to contest any other elective positions.
No person may be elected as President of the Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon who is less than 45 years old or older than 70 years.
Presidential, Parliamentary, Senatorial, Gubernatorial and State Elections will be held on the same day every four years.
Bamenda is the Capital of the State of North West and the seat of the North West Government.
Limbe(Victoria) is the Capital of the State of South West and the seat of the South West Government.
Federal Revenue shall be shared equally among the states allowing 10% to the State of production. When politically expedient and financially possible more States may be created.
67. As a matter of urgency and priority:
The Civil Service Administration, Defense, Police, and Security Services will be re-established immediately.
The Tiko and Limbe sea ports and the Mamfe river port will be reopened.
The Tiko, Bessong Abang, Bali, and Bamenda airports will be reopened.
The Limbe-Nkambe road, the Limbe –Kumba-Mamfe-Ikok road shall be reopened. Powercam Station will be reopened immediately to supply electricity.
A Federal Marketing Board will be reopened.
A Central Bank of Southern Cameroon will be established to issue and control the currency and regulate the economy accordingly.
Diplomatic Missions will be opened immediately with Southern Cameroon Friendly Countries.
----------------------------------------Implementing Plan B--------------------------------------------------------------
68. In 1961 the British Government lied that the British Cameroon was not viable to stay as an independent country on its own, and said that “it would not give us the key to the Bank of England”, therefore it recommended that we should join either The Federation of Nigeria or The Republic of Cameroon. We know that this was a political lie to influence the United Nations. The truth is that the British Southern Cameroon was quite viable then as now, to be on its own. We have, Gold, iron ore, coal, Timber, crude oil (in fact all Cameroon crude oil comes from southern Cameroon, but no Southern Cameroonian has ever been appointed the General Manager of SONARA). We produce high quality Cocoa and Coffee, we have abundant rain fall and beautiful tourist attractions, name them all. If Southern Cameroon were to manage its own resources, with the disciplined manpower with have, freed from the Yaounde corruption and mismanagement, we will transform Southern Cameroon into a Paradise on earth.
I first flew from Tiko to Lagos in 1956 to attend a course for young bankers by Barclays DCO. At that time Lagos Island and Lagos Mainland were separated from Ikeja by small villages, today Lagos has grown to cover Ikeja as far Ota and has developed as far as Badagry. Today Lagos is a City of sky-scrapers, and three bridges linking the Lagos Island with the Mainland. (with a fourth bridge contemplated). Today Douala is like Lagos in 1956.
It took 15 to 20 minutes to fly from Calabar to Tiko. Then, Tiko, Victoria(Limbe), and Mamfe were equally developed as Calabar. Today, Tiko, Limbe(Victoria) and Mamfe are ghost towns compared to Calabar.
While Nigeria has developed by lips and bounds, West Cameroon(Southern Cameroon), in fact the whole of Cameroon has had negative development. The one bridge which is being used by trains and cars, built by the French in the fifties, is still the one bridge linking Douala and Bonaberi. Nothing has changed. Cameroon has stood still for nearly 50 years.
69. Mr. President Sir, if you reject Plan A, we will automatically implement Plan B.
We have taken many things into consideration in the hope that you will change and treat us as brothers. We had very good reasons to join Nigeria, but rejected Nigeria because we thought that “Blood is thicker than water”. You have betrayed us, your brothers, and treated us as slaves, second class citizens, and made sure, that a Southern Cameroonian will never be President of Cameroon, Minister of Defense, Minister of Finance, Minister of Territorial Administration, etc.
You have flagrantly annexed our territory, treated us as an enemy and want to keep us in bondage forever.
Fifty years are enough for ZERO Change.
70. We who actually voted for Unification in 1961, are alive today, and will lead the campaign for Separation. We will lead the campaign to breakup this unholy alliance, where, we, our children, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been consigned to servitude, bondage and shame. God knows that we have done all in our power to stop the breakup of this union, but you insist on breaking it up.
We shall join and support all the “Liberation Movements” in Southern Cameroon who are campaigning for freedom and liberation, namely:
(1) The Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon led by Chief Ayamba/Fon Fon,
(2) Ambasonia led by Fon Gorjo Dinka,
(3) The Republic of Southern Cameroon led by Justice Ebong
(4) Southern Cameroon Restoration Government, led by Prof. Carlson Anangwe
(5) The Patriotic Coalition Front (PCF), led by Mola Litombe.
(6) The UN State of Cameroon led by Dr. Arnold Youngbang/Professor Martin Chia Ateh.
71. We will join them with all our material and spiritual strength to the glory of God.
We shall no longer talk of “the force of argument but argument of force”
We shall no longer talk of peaceful change but violent change. (Since you have rejected peaceful change.)
Every Southern Cameroonian will be involved in this “Civil War of Survival” whether he/she wants to remain in bondage forever or not.
The “Civil War of Freedom and Survival” from La Republique du Cameroun will be bloody and costly on both sides. No person must forget that many people may be killed on both sides, including you Mr. President and myself, but Mr. President, their blood will be on your head.
We have reached ZERO Hour.
We shall meet fire with fire, force with force, tanks with tanks, bombs with bombs, once hostilities start.
At the end, Southern Cameroon will be liberated.
The Secretary General of the United Nations can come in now to dialogue with leaders of the Liberation Movements and you Mr. President, before it is too late. (I am not one of the leaders, but will join them if Plan A fails).
The United Nations Peace-Keeping troops may come in immediately to reduce the blood bath, when hostilities start.
72. Mr. President, I voted for unification, in a Federal Cameroon, you did not vote. I will not die until I see this situation corrected.
If you choose Federalism, in Plan A, it will allow for a peaceful co-existence in The Federal Republic of Cameroon, but if you choose, Plan B, the violent separation of Southern Cameroon from this unholy-Union, Southern Cameroon will become an Independent Country, in a Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon.
We are prepared for any choice. We have reached “Zero Option.”
The choice is yours.
May the Almighty God, save us from Chaos, Anarchy and Doom
Please Accept my best regards.
Chief A.S. Ngwana,
National Chairman, Cardinal Democratic Party CDP,
(formerly Cameroon Democratic Party CDP)
BP. 2401 Bonanjo, Douala, Cameroon.
Tel. (237) 7775 7173, (237) 9638 8219, (237) 3343 1072
1. The Secretary General of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary of the African Union.
3. The Secretary of the European Union
4. The British Prime Minister
5. The American President.
6. The French President
7. The German Chancellor
8. The Nigerian President
9. The Prime Minister of Cameroon
10. The Speaker of the National Assembly
11. All Cameroon Opposition Leaders.
12. All Leaders of the Liberation Movements