When everybody is talking and few people are listening, little or nothing is ever achieved! In order to effectively prescribe treatment, a proper diagnosis of illness must be made. Southern Cameroons’ problem and Anglophone’s problem, are two distinct diseases plaguing and hampering the growth, development and prosperity of the four Divisions (Victoria, Kumba, Mamfe and Bamenda) that used to make up the “Southern Cameroons” under British Administration.
The Anglophone problem is a unique problem which is quite different from Southern Cameroons’ problem. The cure for Southern Cameroons problem is not the cure for the Anglophone’s problem, whereas the cure for the Anglophone problem cures the Southern Cameroons problem at least by 50%.
The Anglophone problem could be described as the internal rivalry, hate, betrayal, envy, jealous and selfishness between the factions or division or districts that made up the Southern Cameroons under British Administration.
On the other hand Southern Cameroons’ problem could be described as the cunning annexation of the factions that made up the Southern Cameroon by La Repubique Du Cameroun which led to their exploitation, maltreatment, and worst of it; being looked upon as second citizens in their own lands(Neo Colonialism).
The Anglophone problem is a divide and conquer mechanism put in place by the dictatorial regime of La Republique du Cameroun to ensure Southern Cameroonians never amount to anything. Remember it’s written in the book of Mark 3: 25 that; ” If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”. Before reunification, most of the places that make our today Northwest region were jointly referred to as the Division of Bamenda, and Division of Mamfe. Today’s South West Region which includes Mamfe was known as Division Of Victoria and Division of Kumba. These four divisions were made up of several districts headed by a district officers and at this time there was no internal conflict between these people, they were not referred to as Anglophones. They had a common identity and together fought the Igbo phobia!
After reunification with La Republique Du Cameroun, following a referendum on 20 May 1972, a new constitution was adopted in Cameroun which replaced the federal state with a unitary state. Southern Cameroons lost its autonomous status and became the Northwest Province and Southwest Province of the Republic of Cameroun. The Southern Cameroonians felt further marginalised and thence, the divide and rule mechanism was subtly put in place with the introduction of the two Provinces.
President Ahidjo of blessed memories, initiated and put in place the divide and rule mechanism of Northwest and Southwest, and the people fell victims to his schemes by sticking and showing great emotions to their respective Regions. The first step to solving the Anglophone problem is for the people to stop referring to themselves as beings from Northwest or Southwest. We have to look or refer to each other as Southern Cameroonians, an autonomous State, and not be reduced to two Provinces(regions) in La Republique Du Cameroon. By doing this, it will cure the differences and rivalry between Southern Cameroonians. The resources of Southwest Region will mean the resources of Northwest Region and the Human Resources(Bravery, hard-work among others) of the Northwest Region will be the same for the People of Southwest Region. There will exist no differences, no one will refer to the brother as lazy, no one will refer to the other’s land as being landlocked and infertile. A common identity is needed, in fact it’s a must!
The treatment of the Anglophone problem means 50% treatment of the Southern Cameroons problem. The viruses of divide and rule must be fought with the antigens of a common identity. For the Anglophone problems to be cured 100%, there have to be forgiveness, repentance and genuine change. No name calling, but let them that are selfish, stop being selfish; let them that betrays quit every form of betrayal, let the envious and jealous minds be opened and receive some light and for once in 56 years, let Southern Cameroonians stand and say, ” No to Divide and Rule”.
When the Anglophone problem is treated to the core, then and only then, the People of Southern Cameroon can truly start treating and tackling their problem of marginalisation, maltreatment and exploitation by the dictatorial regime of La Republique Du Cameroun. ” There’s strength in unity” A federation or secession without first dealing with the Anglophone problem is not by any way sustainable, this evident in the recent post made by our brother in the struggle and free thinker; Tapang Ivo Tanku.
Southern Cameroonians must speak with one voice, no more should we hear of, ” Cam no go”, ” Lazy People from Southwest”, We have to forgive and forget the errors and betrayals of our fore-fathers, and take note of our fathers who are currently betraying us. And with one Voice and purpose as Southern Cameroonians, we must speak!
I rest my case!
Davis E Tabot