President Paul Biya is planning sweeping changes in his cabinet and the management of the state of Cameroon including the army. But all these will not change anything in the fight for a Southern Cameroons identity and dignity. The success of the recent Anglophone Uprising and the humiliation of the Biya’s Southern Cameroons emissaries have left the 83 year old dictator fighting for his political survival. The Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime is slowly but surely running out of cash and ideas and day-by-day, it is becoming more evident that the leaders of the Consortium have legitimate authority in British Southern Cameroons than the Biya regime and its appointees.
Many factors that signal the end of a regime are now visible in La Republique du Cameroun. His so-called tactics of having an Anglophone as Prime Minister-a policy propounded in 1992 to stifle a Southern Cameroons orchestrated wind of change that came with the SDF is now outdated. Anglophones are now aware that no single Southern Cameroons CPDM member of government has political power. Correspondingly, President Biya’s New Year speech was leaked to the public more than 12 hours before it was delivered. With age telling on him, the 2017 New Year speech sent out contradictory messages which greatly angered Southern Cameroonians.
The ageing Cameroonian thug now intends to begin the process of destroying the recent Anglophone nationalism. On the good side of things Biya seems to have mustered the courage at last to effect changes that will lay the foundation for a good transition of power to the country’s next president. But this will be none of Southern Cameroons business. Biya has started the implementation of a Francophone backed plan by appointing Anglophone Magistrates and judges to the South West and North West regions. The truth is Southern Cameroonians virtually have no place in Biya’s thinking and also in the next republic.
With no Anglophone inside the present regime capable of raising a finger, it is now abundantly clear that for 34 years, Biya and his Francophone political elites have failed to adopt a Cameroonian solution to Cameroonian problems and have been working under strong French government influence aimed at marginalizing Southern Cameroonians. For the contribution that Southern Cameroonians have made to the image and standing of La Republique du Cameroun as a nation within the world community, the Anglophone Prime Minister and Head of Government should have at least been listened to during this difficult times in our country’s history. The recent statements issued by Higher Education Minister, Fame Ndongo, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seal, Laurent Esso and the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma indicates absolutely that any decision made by President Biya at this time will only be pushing Southern Cameroonians further and further out of the Republic of Cameroon. Where to?
Biya intends to sack Prime Minister Philemon Yang and some Anglophone CPDM hardliners on lame and ridiculous reasons that they have failed to resolve the Anglophone teachers’ demands and those of the Common Law Lawyers. Here lies the misfortune for Anglophone CPDM politicians, there are few of them in the Biya cabinet and still fewer in more lucrative parastatals and in the armed forces. The sad news is that even these few are now facing the danger of being sent away. The Yaoundé regime intends to bring in many new faces as cabinet ministers and Anglophone governors and SDOs but there will always be a powerful Secretary General or an Inspector General in those government departments that will make Southern Cameroonians look almost entirely unrepresented. This makes the case for a return to the 1961 status even stronger and why not a Southern Cameroons state.
Biya can no longer be part of the Anglophone solution finder. His time had passed and gone. Consider that for every one Anglophone Captain in the Cameroonian armed forces, there are a hundred and fifty Francophones, the threat of an Anglophone military uprising is utterly non-existent. So, our last chance is now in the hands of the lawyers and the teachers. If we fail to listen to those who are in charge and start thinking that someone from Europe or the US is the messiah or if we continue on the path of arguing about names such as SCNC or Ambazonia, the enemy will destroy the movement and havoc will be done on Southern Cameroons.
Like in the Cameroon army and in important government parastatals, Anglophones are traditionally left out of major ministerial appointments. Every Southern Cameroonian now knows that no Anglophone since reunification has ever been Minister for Foreign Relations, Minister for Defense, Minister for Finance, Minister of the Interior (Territorial Administration), Delegate General for National Security, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic or even to head the Cameroonian Red Cross which is even an international body. Interestingly, whenever there is an Anglophone Prime Minister, there is always a powerful Francophone figure appointed as his Vice to secretly run the Prime Minister’s Office. Never has an Anglophone headed companies like the Cameroon Airlines, National Investment Company, Cameroon Shipping Lines, and National Ports Authority. Giving these offices to Southern Cameroonians now is not a genuine offer!! It is to continue to plunder the resources of Southern Cameroons which includes its children.
The French backed Francophone pattern of governance is also seen in appointments to divisional offices. Between North West and South West regions, there are 13 divisions. The size and population density of Manyu division alone is more than 3 divisions in the South Region where President Biya hails from!!! It has never bothered Anglophone CPDM political elites that they do not occupy more than two or three SDO positions! Biya plans to give Southern Cameroons 13 SDOs and many more DOs!! Southern Cameroonians do not need these funny political settings anymore. We want to take our destiny into our own hands.
We of Cameroon Concord News Group understand that President Biya is working towards balancing the political equation while snubbing our Anglophone leaders in the Consortium. The 24 billion FCFA dished out to Baba Danpullo is almost finished and nothing seems to be changing on the ground. Nothing can best justify Biya’s unjust representation of Anglophones against the contribution that their mere existence in Cameroon does to the international standing of Cameroon as a nation than gross neglect and state terrorism.
Southern Cameroonians as a group are arguably far better qualified than the national average. They also represent a distinctive political entity Biya has ignored for 34 years. Any change of course by this present Biya administration attempting at bringing Anglophones into the mainstream of national life will never give Southern Cameroonians a fairer share of public positions and development. CPDM politics will never be healthy for the welfare of Southern Cameroons. So we hereby endorse the Ghost Town Operation announced by the Consortium.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai