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Re-Cameroon Independence Day Why All The Fuss 

By Abia David Mberambo

When I read the above article on The Post No. 01116 of January 15, 2010, I saw a slap on the face of History and Political Science. I wish to draw the writer’s attention and that of other patriots who pray for the good of this land of promise, to some issues in his article. My brother, from his reflections, gives a reader, who is not versed with the issues in Cameroon, the impression that Anglophones are always nagging without any tangible reason.

Looking at his first point, I would like to point out that the thirteen colonies declared independence from Britain and the others did not declare independence from any country but voted to join the United States of America. The name United States makes it clear that every member State is recognized. Let’s look at this little arithmetic:
13 states + 37 states = United States of America
Republic of Cameroon + British Southern Cameroon = Republic of Cameroon.
Let every true Cameroonian compare the two equations and see if ours is the right one.

In paragraph 5 of his article my brother declares that having the military celebration in Bamenda makes the unity more concrete. But let me put down some analysis: The display of military prowess in a region termed the bastion of the opposition, in a country where democracy is mocked and the government is always right and contrary opinions treated as subvention, judge for yourselves.

Paragraph 6 of that article shows that my brother did not read History, particularly the French colonial policy of assimilation. Its key features were:

1) The Division of the people into citoyen et sujets (citizens and subjects). The former were those who could speak, write and behave French as well as regard France as their motherland, the latter being those who could not either by design or inability act like the former. The treatment accorded these groups was of course different.

2) According to Assimilation, everything France or French was excellent and worth emulating while any thing indigenous was treated with scorn. The French Language was the official language though indigenous languages were not out rightly abolished. Let Mr. J.P Tanyong read, Mongo Beti’s "The Old man and the Medal" for more understanding. How do we call a situation where there are two official languages on paper but virtually one in practice?

What do we say is happening when ministerial decisions, service notes and competitive exams in a "bilingual country" are mostly published in one language? How do we conclude a situation where troops kill to implement regional balance in one university but in another, the indigenes are given more than half the places not because of merit but because the institution is in their region. Mr. Tanyong should rethink. Paragraph 7 talks of only one day of independence registered at the UN. True, but first let us answer these questions. Have we, since 50 years ago, like Nigeria or any country, celebrated one Independence Day on 1st January?

If we have at all, what then is the significance of 20th May, talk less of 11th February.
Dear brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers, we have deceived ourselves for too long. Let’s tell ourselves the truth and also tell our children, let’s give our youth a reason to be proud and patriotic, lets work toward fulfilling the promise of our fatherland. There are two things that will not help us. Separation will lead to further divisions, strife and bloodshed. Assimilation as has been seen has not helped either, but has brought about bitter feelings, hypocrisy, disregard for the very law we established, corruption, underdevelopment and unemployment.

Let those who think that they can sell the nation and their consciences for money and positions ask Catherine Abena, Abah Abah and the rest in Kondengui the price in the long run. Is there any wrong in returning to Fumban in order to repair our foundation for a stable, peaceful and happy home? As we face the challenges of 2010, let us remember this: "The silence in the graveyard is not peace"

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