Man rapes brother’s children to death

A man is currently behind bars at the Nkongsamba Gendarmerie brigade for allegedly raping his two nieces to death over the weekend.
The children’s father had travelled out of town while their mother had gone for a night vigil on Friday, when Joel Tanko, 31, took advantage to commit his act, eyewitness at the Ngang neighbourhood in the Nkongsamba II District said.
According to the Divisional Delegate for Communication in the Mungo Division, Clovis Tchamabo, the perpetrator drugged his brother’s two children aged seven years and six months old respectively before preying on them.
It was only early on Saturday morning when mother had returned from the vigil that she got worried of the unusual calm in the house. The two were “deeply asleep.”
According to her, the house is always buzzy in the morning with the cries and noise from her children who are normally awake very early.
This calm struck her mind and pushed her to immediately check on them. This is when she found the babies “deeply sleeping” on their bed.
As she struggled to wake them up, she realized the six-month old baby had passed away while the seven-year old was immediately rushed to a nearby medical facility where she was also declared dead with medical reports showing they had been raped.
Police investigations led to the arrest of Joel Tanko who first denied having a hand but will later give in when he was undressed with signs of blood found on his underwear.
In the heat of the matter, it was revealed this was not the first time Joel was committing such acts but has always been protected by some family members who decide to solve the matter internally until last weekend’s incident.
What awaits Joel Tanko?
If found guilty of rape, Joel Tanko could face a heavy jail term and fine. Under Article 296 of the Cameroon Penal Code, rape is punishable with imprisonment of from five to 10 years.
The sentence can be increased to life imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 16 and the perpetrator had authority over the victim, was a public servant, or a religious minister, or was assisted by others.
By Francis Ajumane

Inside the dark heart of personality cult

Penultimate Friday, the country was awash with news of a magic wand cabinet reshuffle, at least, from the perspective of CPDM cronies and official media. This is intriguing for an issue that had evoked no novelty in regard to its content or form although unlike in previous times, an element of surprise inhered in the fact that he had kept Cameroonians waiting and guessing until they lost interest and transferred their attention to more pertinent national issues like the simmering Anglophone crisis.
For the benefit of doubt, we can say that he avoided the customary embarrassment stemming from the fact that his ensuing cabinet in terms of persons and portfolios would have in normal times already been public knowledge before official announcement. To that extent, his deification by hangers-on and official media can therefore be understood within the context of a man whose proneness to megalomania has attained astronomical heights that warrant such revelry. Moreover, as Head of State, his actions are worthy of attention, no matter how impertinent they might appear, given that all previous efforts to consign him to the dustbins of history have failed, woefully, owing to our natural predilection for toadying.
The above notwithstanding, whatever status Cameroonians choose to ascribe to their Head of State, what is certain is that the heightening infusion of the persona of the First Lady, Chantal Biya into the national psyche is becoming very worrisome. It is worrisome for two reasons. The first has to do with the fact that our statecraft hinges on a very fragile foundation that gives room for even frivolities like personal aggrandizement instead of the rule of law to come into play.
Secondly, the rate at which sycophants and pseudo-patriots are wishing the first couple immortality makes it possible for us to get up one morning and discover that a presidential decree has transformed Chantal Biya to heir apparent to her husband’s throne. This assertion is in no way casting aspersions on the humanitarian proclivity of our First Lady. Far from it! Who can gainsay her involvement in uplifting the drudgery imperiling the lives of underprivileged Cameroonians? Who has not been taken aback by the stunning feats midwifed by her humanitarian stables that include CERAC and Chantal Biya Foundation?
Nevertheless, the recent hullaballoo occasioned by her participation during last week’s International Day of the Woman conjures the possibility of her elevation to a constitutionally recognized figure in the country. To buttress this assertion, we need to just throw our minds back to the overdrive the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency and the Ministry of Communication went into, just to ensure that her presence during festivities commemorating the event reflected reverence for a goddess. Not only were journalists supposed to subject themselves to official accreditation, but more importantly, her presence during the quasi-official event was made to assume the status of a presidential outing.
We should not forget what happened in Zimbabwe where ousted Robert Mugabe had contemplated handing over power to his wife. Moreover, the insipid conference to drum support for a constitutional provision to make the First Lady position a national emblem under the tutelage of no other than Fame Ndongo, University Professor, CPDM ideologue and Higher Education Minister is still fresh in our memories.
This warning is being sounded here on account of what the excesses of a 48-year old woman can do to an 85 year-old man. In terms of natural charm, Biya is said to have turned down all dissuasions from his supposed cronies against marrying Chantal. This, on its own, bespeaks the visceral grip she has on a husband not known to exert manly control over his wives.
This means that she can invoke any stunt to ensure that she is the prime source of inspiration to all her husband’s actions, be they official or private. As a matter of fact, the grapevine even has it that such influences have sometimes extended to determining who gets appointed or fired as Minister. But to be fair to Chantal, she is only taking advantage of the weaknesses of a system prodded by individuals instead of institutions.
This daughter of a timber merchant was certainly born with a golden spoon in her mouth. For her mother to have been chosen among the many women in the heart of the equatorial rainforest is not an issue to be dumped at the feet of providence. Mr. Vigoroux, her father, ordinarily would have seen many more beautiful and even better educated women, but he opted for Chantal’s mother just like Biya has opted for her. That is the work of God. It is also, gratifying to know that her charitable works have earned international acclaim, thereby bringing honour to Cameroon. However, it is nevertheless, no guarantee that her excesses, even if extolled by her somehow doting husband ought to be tolerated. Furthermore, is there any endowment fund from which she taps the resources that she uses to engrave her persona on the minds of Cameroonians and the international community?
More so, in a country where no distinction is made between the public till and the Head of State’s personal accretions from investments, the exploits of CERAC and the Chantal Biya Foundation may have been smokescreens to pamper the ego of a woman who has taken advantage of porous governance to establish herself as Cameroon’s Mother Theresa. For all we know, the cronyism and opacity that characterize her husband’s governance is highly present in both organizations.
Have we, at any time, stopped and reflected on the management of these institutions? Who are their auditors? Well, these might just be opportunities for sophisticated money laundering. The type that one of his current enfant cheri ministers had indulged in before coming into combined prominence and notoriety.
While extending kudos to the First Lady for at least putting smiles on the faces of many needy Cameroonians, the fear is that her undue intrusion into public space may be sending the wrong message, if at all it has not already done so. We are in a country in which unemployment is galloping. Citizens are increasingly finding it difficult to provide basic necessities like water, light, food and shelter for themselves and their families. It is therefore, unfathomable that each time she leaves the country, her retinue whose sole purpose is to massage her ego costs the country a fortune.
Mama Chantal, you can help Cameroonians by telling your husband that he is overdue his stay at the helm of state and, by that token, must take an honourable bow from the stage for the emergence of a new and rejuvenated Cameroon. Can Cameroonians count on you to foster their liberation from their current Catch-22?
By Ngoko Monyadowa

Motorbike ban cripples economy of Anglophone Regions

Inconsistency in Government policy is beginning to catch-up with its purveyors as an estimated 2,000 youths in the Northwest and the Southwest Regions whose fate had been tied to commercial motorcycle riding that even the Head of state had glorified as immediate solution to unemployment now face the possibility of a rudderless fate, following administrative decision banning their circulation outright.
The vicinities affected include Batibo, Widikum and Balikumbat Sub-Divisions of the Northwest Region and Mundemba, Ekondo-Titi, Mbonge, Konye, Kumba II and III under the Southwest Region. The decisions were signed by the Governors of the respective Regions.
According to the indefinite order, the circulation of motor bikes is suspended and any violators shall be prosecuted according t the laws in force. The same order tasks the Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs, of the affected places as well as security operatives are charged with the implementation of the order.
The ban has raised eyebrows across Anglophone Cameroon as many fear it shall go a long way to radicalize the youths who have already been asked to stay home every 8pm and resume work only at 5am.
According to Stanley Timo, economics teacher in Bamenda, the Governors’ decisions need a rethink. “My exposure to the two Anglophone Regions shows that since the coming of the motor bikes, every Sub-Division has embraced it as a major means of transportation with over 150 youths in each Sub-Division indulging into the sector to make a living. If now the Governors sign orders banning such activity, which many now look up to as means of survival I think they are just out to inflict more misery and pain on the youths.
Philemon Tih, a councillor in Bamenda thinks that it is a blow to the politicians. “It is a major blow to the politicians. Many of them often use these bike riders in campaigns and noise making. Given that we are in an election year and the governor banning bikers in some of the Sub-Divisions is a well calculated move to completely radicalize these youths, trigger voters’ apathy and completely discourage them from voting in the upcoming elections.
Like, Philemon Tih, Susana Nimbu, resident of Travellers neighbourhood says such administrative decisions are unfriendly to women and to the households. “How can they come up with such a decision at this time? Bikes have been able to transport labouring women to the maternity at midnight. They transport foodstuff to the market, beating inaccessible roads to all corners. Parents have been able to send children to school, take care of their wives and pay school fees, thanks to the coming of the bike sector.
“When you now say, no bikes will the same Government do all these?,” she wandered.
In Ndian Division, the only means of reaching Toko Sub-Division from Mundemba is by commercial motorcycle. The same holds for the maritime areas as the roads have been impassable for normal vehicles in the past three years.
Some have been quick to aver that this is an indirect way to deprive opposition politicians from campaigning. But this might unfortunately have a boomerang effect during elections of sovereign import like presidential, municipal and parliamentary, when the now alienated youths will seek their pound of flesh.
By Jean Marie Ngong Song

When a dog eats its own puppies

When a bitch begins to eat her own puppies you can tell one of three things is happening – famine has hit on a life-and-death scale, or she has lost control either of the litter, or she has lost her mind.
Cameroon has become that weirdo of a bitch that is voraciously devouring its own puppies, and it is anybody’s guess which of the above catastrophes has befallen it. We dare suggest that may well be a combination of all three.
When Ahidjo razed down Bamileke and Bassa villages in the early sixties it could have been argued that it was not the decision of a head of State. He was a surrogate of France, handpicked to read speeches about a nation he knew little about, and had Hobson’s choice when it came to implementing pro-French, anti-nationalist polices. He saw Cameroon through glasses tinted by French exploitative deceit, and the spirit of Cameroon as a nation did not inhabit him until the last decade of his stint in power.
Biya, like his peers of the pré-carré, is still under the thumb of the Elysee, though he cannot lay claim to the same excuses as Ahidjo for continuing to serve French rather than Cameroonian national interest.
He has had the benefit of a good education and greater pre-service exposure to statesmanship. He inherited a nation that was no longer just a geographical expression but a complete socio-political reality. So what will excuse him before history for repeating Ahidjo’s mistake? When people are arrested, they are often told they have a right to remain silent, as whatever they say may be used as evidence against them. How can President Biya ever exculpate himself for unleashing a genocidal war on the people of Southern Cameroons, especially if he sees them as an integral part of what he calls an indivisible nation?
Now let us look at the possible reasons a bitch can be eating her own puppies.
1. Loss of control over the litter. Because he devoted too much of his resources to living it up abroad, to the utter neglect of complaints that threatened the integrity of the nation, he finally lost moral authority over the complainants. To subdue them, and indeed any other form of dissent, the only trapping of power he has left is military brutality. But the heartlessness with which he is going about that suggests that the malaise may be deeper. African wisdom says rats in the same house fight with their tails rather than with their teeth. It is virtually impossible to convince anyone that the calamity being visited on the people of Kembong, Kwakwa, Ebonji, Batibo or Mofako is the work of the security forces of their own country and not that of some savage foreign invaders. President Biya has to take responsibility for these outrageous acts, whether the perpetrators are acting on his instructions or he has lost control of them too. And the scorched earth policy they seem to be implementing cannot but lead to ultimate loss of control over the victimized populations, unless it will be control over the land after having exterminated the entire Southern Cameroons population. Every new day that breaks, every new house that is burnt, every new person that is shot, makes reconciliation between them and the Biya regime that much less conceivable.
2. Acute famine. The war in Cameroon may well be a response to the threat of famine, especially from a “chop-broke-pot” regime that is used to eating without thinking of tomorrow. By famine here we refer to general economic mayhem. The prospect of losing Southern Cameroons causes the specter of famine to loom, given that that is where the breadbasket is. Even before this crisis, and perhaps more as a result thereof, Biya’s henchmen, rather than help him produce more and consume less, have shifted into higher kleptocratic gear – shamelessly stashing billions away in their ceilings and wardrobes where they cannot cart them abroad. And send a thief to catch a thief.
So SCEXIT is bound to usher the lean cows into Etoudi, and when Yaounde sneezes, Paris cannot but catch the cold. France makes no bones of the fact that without the exploitation of its African pré-carré it will become a third world country. With increasing nationalists awaking in Africa, that pre-carre is coming apart and that puts the French economy in dire straits. So the fear of famine must account for the planting the French are alleged to be doing in Kembong. Ironically, they are said to be planting either landmines or motion detectors, not cassava or plantains.
The crowning irony about this war is that instead of saving Yaounde from famine, it will exacerbate it. It is doing so already. And a hungry soldier is an angrier man, and eventually no soldier at all. This may be the link between the famine and the loss of control.
3. Brain damage. You may lose your livelihood and control over your family, but to end up eating your own children, you have to have lost something else – your mind. When this last loss comes in the form of senility due to age, it is best to withdraw from public life and manage it in the dignity and intimacy of one’s family. When it is the after-effect of …, sensible people submit to medical help for catharsis. They don’t wait until they hit the streets in the “Emperor’s new suit.”

UN can’t package and deliver ‘Ambazonia’ independence

By conviction or political deftness, he has consistently displayed faith in the eventuality of a broad based national dialogue on the Anglophone problem.
The erudite and politically savvy Dr. Simon Munzu’s interest in a constitutional solution to the headache dates back to the 1990s when, as part of the triumvirate of Elad, Anyangwe and Munzu, he played a very active role in convening the All Anglophone Conference, AAC, and thereafter charted a road map for Anglophone emancipation.
Today, the troika has succumbed to dissuasive subterfuge of the Biya regime with Barrister Ekontang Elad vacillating between support for the Anglophone cause and neutrality. Prof. Carlson Anyangwe, on his part, has thrown his weight behind Ambazonia separatists, leaving Munzu as sole purveyor of a return to a two-state federation via dialogue.
Munzu, in his characteristic candour, has advocated frank, inclusive and comprehensive dialogue as the only viable solution to the Anglophone conundrum.
Going by his consignment of counselling to Cameroonians and the powers that be, nobody should be left out, including those who are now advocating separation.
He has, also, warned Anglophones not to be carried away by the illusion of United Nations, UN, support for a separate Southern Cameroons as is being bandied by some compatriots instead of heightening pressure on the Biya regime to see reason in advocacy for a return to Federalism as obtained in the immediate aftermath of the Foumban Conference.
The alluring prose and endearing witticism, coupled with strengthening conviction for a project that defies solution, makes The Rambler’s interview with one of Cameroon’s finest legal scholars, a cocktail to be savoured with relish.
(See page…)

You have consistently advocated a national dialogue since the current Anglophone crisis gathered steam in October 2016. Why the sing-song on dialogue when it looks like President Paul Biya is working on an alternative to the much parroted dialogue?
It is generally recognised that a frank, inclusive and comprehensive dialogue is the best pathway to a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem and to the current Anglophone crisis. The dialogue must be frank. This means that the parties to it have to be sincere to each other and that neither should set out to fool, trap or cheat the other. It must be inclusive, meaning that all stakeholders, regardless of the outcome that they are seeking, including independence for Southern Cameroons, should be invited to the dialogue and allowed freely to state their position. The dialogue must also be comprehensive. By this we mean that it must touch on all aspects of the domination, marginalisation, assimilation and takeover of the territory and people of Southern Cameroons (the Northwest and Southwest Regions) that Anglophones have experienced in the last 56 years and which they are complaining about today. The dialogue cannot be limited to just education and administration of justice, the two sectors that sparked off the current crisis in October and November 2016. A comprehensive dialogue would have to cover all areas of governance in our country – political, administrative, economic, judicial, social, cultural, etc. in which Anglophones experience domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover, so that the grievances felt by Anglophones in all these domains can be addressed once and for all.
Since everyone recognises dialogue as the best way to sort out the mess in which our country is right now, many voices at home and abroad have repeatedly and insistently called for it. Prominent among them is President Paul Biya, notably in his New Year messages to the Nation of 31 December 2016 and 31 December 2017. It is disturbing to note, however, that even though the President recommends dialogue, he has, as you point out in your question, done nothing to initiate meaningful dialogue. He considers as dialogue the negotiations between the Government and the teachers and between the Government and lawyers that took place in December 2016 and January 2017 within the framework of the two Ad Hoc Committees that were set up by the Prime Minister. We all remember that those negotiations ended in the arrest and imprisonment for eight to nine months of some teachers’ and lawyers’ leaders, while others were forced into exile. That was not a dialogue. It did not lead the parties to a mutually agreed end to the crisis. President Biya also considers as dialogue the delegations of members of Government, political and traditional leaders and senior office holders that were despatched to the Southwest and Northwest Regions in October 2017 to ‘dialogue’ with the population of these two Regions. We all know that, in view of the manner in which those delegations conducted their mission, no meaningful dialogue took place on those occasions. These forms of ‘dialogue’ have not ended the Anglophone crisis. They could not have done so because they were not frank, inclusive and comprehensive. We still need to have a meaningful national dialogue on the Anglophone problem in Cameroon.

Can violence and dialogue go together in the search for a solution to the same problem?
Obviously, dialogue and violence cannot be applied at the same time to resolve the same problem. All conflicts can be resolved through dialogue. Therefore, every effort should be made to resolve all conflicts peacefully through dialogue. Those who resort to violence to resolve a conflict always find that, after a long or short period of loss of lives and livelihoods for many citizens, often the innocent, they still have to dialogue in order to arrive at a final resolution of the conflict. If, after using violence and causing so much loss of life, destruction of property and massive violations of human rights, the protagonists still end up engaging in dialogue, why not engage in dialogue at the outset and thus avoid all those negative consequences of violence, many of which affect innocent citizens? No, violence and dialogue cannot go together in the search for a solution to the same problem. In all situations, dialogue, not violence, should be used to resolve the conflict.

Is the belief that the ‘international community’, the UN and some big Western nations are going to step in and ‘grant independence’ to Southern Cameroons just a dream? Is such a belief justified, plausible?
Such a belief is unjustified. It is just a dream that may never come true. Some Anglophone Cameroonians are clamouring for the ‘restoration’ of the ‘independence’ of British Southern Cameroons. They rely on a distortion of the history of decolonization of the British Southern Cameroons and claim that the 1961 union between the Anglophone territory of British Southern Cameroons and the Francophone territory of Republic of Cameroon has no legal basis. They blame the international community, especially, the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France, for the fate that has befallen the territory and people of British Southern Cameroons since October 1, 1961. Paradoxically, these are the same persons who deceive our people that the international community will come in and grant independence to the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon. This is just an illusion and a deliberate lie. For the international community, the people of British Southern Cameroons voted in a valid plebiscite on February 11, 1961, to achieve independence by joining Republic of Cameroon. On the same day, the people of British Northern Cameroons voted in a separate and valid plebiscite to achieve independence by joining the Federation of Nigeria. Northern Cameroons joined the Federation of Nigeria on June 1, 1961 and thereby achieved independence. Southern Cameroons joined Republic of Cameroon on October 1, 1961 and thereby also achieved independence. On that same day, both Southern Cameroons and Republic of Cameroon gave up their respective independence in order to form a new independent and sovereign state, the Federal Republic of Cameroon, within which they both became two federated states of equal status, the federated state of West Cameroon and the federated state of East Cameroon, respectively. The international community considers everything that has happened thereafter in the territory of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, including the change of name of the territory and all modifications in its constitutional and administrative arrangements, as an internal matter for Cameroonians. Southern Cameroons gave up the independence that it achieved on October 1, 1961 when on that same day it opted to become the Federated state of West Cameroon within the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The international community is not going to come in, nearly 60 years later, to ‘restore’ that independence. Those who want to ‘restore’ the independence of Southern Cameroons know that they can only achieve their objective by waging a war of secession from the union that came into being on October 1, 1961. The international community is not in a position to grant independence to the former British Southern Cameroons for a second time.

In a recent message that you addressed to the people of Cameroon, especially, those of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, you harped on the need to save the union and to work towards a federation rather than complete break-up of the union. Are you, as far as the ‘Ambazonians’ are concerned, not just crying in the rain?
The persons you call ‘Ambazonians’ stand for the break-up of the 1961 union of Anglophone British Southern Cameroons and Francophone Republic of Cameroon and the ‘restoration’, as they call it, of the ‘independence’ of the territory of the former British Southern Cameroons that they have renamed ‘Ambazonia’. Considering that the two territories of the former British Southern Cameroons and the former Republic of Cameroon have lived together for nearly 60 years since they united on 1 October 1961, we need not go to the extreme of breaking up the union. We should insist upon a return to the original intent of administering the union as a federation in which the two founding territories have equal status. If we succeed to obtain this, we will end the domination, marginalization, assimilation and impending takeover of the territory and people of the former British Southern Cameroons. We will do this without having to break up the union. I am convinced that if you ask the people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions to choose between a peaceful return to the federal system through dialogue and negotiation and obtaining independence through years and even decades of war, they would choose a peaceful return to federation. To die-hard ‘Ambazonians’, anything short of breaking up the 1961 union may sound like just crying in the rain, as you put it. But to the overwhelming majority of our people, it sounds differently.

Very recently, President Biya reshuffled his cabinet, appointing Anglophones to full minister positions in two key ministries – territorial administration and secondary education. Does this measure address the grievances of the Anglophones?
These appointments are a clear indication that the governing elites in Yaounde are feeling the effect of the relentless peaceful resistance that the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions have put up for 17 months now and which they are prepared to continue until the ‘Anglophone problem’ is addressed through a genuine and meaningful national dialogue. Prominent among the grievances of Anglophones is the phenomenon of ‘marginalization’, which involves keeping Anglophones away from decision-making centres at all levels – national, Regional, Divisional, local. One of the manifestations of marginalization lies in the fact that, in 56 years since the union of 1 October 1961, no Anglophone has ever been appointed as a full minister at the head of any of the strategic ministries, whose importance is depicted by the French expression of ‘ministeres de souverainete’, in charge of domains such as defence, territorial administration, finance, external relations, economy and plan, etc. On Friday, March 2, for the first time since 1 October 1961, an Anglophone was appointed to head a ‘ministere de souverainete’, namely, the Ministry of Territorial Administration. This appointment was undoubtedly prompted by the pressure exerted by Anglophones through the protracted peaceful resistance that they have pursued without interruption since October 2016. Does it address the grievances of the Anglophones? No, it does not, for at least two reasons. First, there is the controversial character of the person who has been appointed to that post. As is well known, the flames of this crisis were stoked from the very beginning by the provocative and dismissive rhetoric of Mr Paul Atanga Nji, who vehemently denied, and continues to deny, the existence of the ‘Anglophone problem’. No one who denies the existence of a problem can be relied upon to solve it. Secondly, as I said in reply to one of your earlier questions, the grievances of the Anglophones relate to domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover in an array of domains of our country’s governance. Therefore, an isolated act such as the appointment of one or two Anglophones to head key ministries is far from sufficient to address the grievances of the Anglophones.

Put in Mr Biya’s position, what would you do to address the current Anglophone crisis?
In the position of the President of the Republic and Head of State, I would be guided in my approach to the current Anglophone crisis by the paramount necessity to hold the nation together while effectively addressing the genuine grievances of the Anglophones. First, I would have to deduce from the long, peaceful resistance by the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions that there does, indeed, exist an ‘Anglophone problem.’ To get an understanding of the full measure of Anglophone grievances, I would convene a national dialogue on the Anglophone problem in which I would personally participate. I would ensure that the dialogue is frank, inclusive and comprehensive as I explained earlier, and that it is conducted in such a manner that Cameroonians come to fully understand the ‘Anglophone problem’ in all its dimensions. From a full understanding of the problem I would direct that a solution be proposed that would bring about the cessation of the domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover of the territory and people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions in all spheres of public life and institutional governance. Recognizing that this would entail a return to the federal system of Government in our country, I would engage and quickly complete the process for such return.

Is President Biya constitutionally empowered, or by any means right when he unilaterally declares that the present structure of the nation is not negotiable?
The form the state is governed by the Constitution, not by the President of the Republic. The Constitution that is in force today provides in Article 1 (2) that “The Republic of Cameroon shall be a decentralized Unitary State.” Like all other articles of the constitution, article 1 (2) can be modified at any time to provide for any form of the State that the Cameroonian people choose to have. For example, it can be amended to provide that Cameroon shall be an empire or a monarchy or a federation or a Centralized Unitary State, if the Cameroonian people so choose. Let’s not forget that, following Reunification in 1961 Cameroon became constitutionally a Federation. In 1972, the constitution was amended to make Cameroon a centralized Unitary State. If the Cameroonian people so desire, they can alter Article 1 (2) of the constitution in 2018 to make Cameroon a Federal Republic again.
In a democratic republic, any constitutional reform that affects the form of the state is preceded by a general public debate among citizens. Cameroon is a democratic republic as stipulated by Article 1 (2) of our constitution.
Furthermore, the constitution guarantees Cameroonian citizens freedom of expression. They are exercising this freedom when they publicly discuss the form of the State. Under our law, the President of the Republic, who is neither a monarch nor an emperor, is under, not above, the constitution. He must act within, not outside it. Neither the constitution nor any other law of the land gives the President of the Republic power to deprive Cameroonians of their constitutional right to discuss the form of the state with a view to amending Article 1 (2) of the constitution that is subject to amendment like any other article of our country’s constitution.
Interviewed by Charlie Ndi Chia

Arrogance, looted cash haunt former GCE Board registrar

“…They should not look for trouble where there isn’t, or looking for lice on a bald head; my head is bald, so they should not look for lice on it.”
This is how metaphorically Humphrey Ekema Monono, the immediate past Registrar of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board, CGCE BOD, elected to refer to the arrogance, sleaze and underhand deals that purportedly characterized his headship of the examination outfit, especially in his ebbing days in that office.
Yet, The Rambler sources were categorical when painting a picture of what they described as the former registrar’s “trademark arrogance, bloated ego and propensity to denigrate others.”
The sources that that spoke on the sidelines of the installation last week of the new GCE BOD Chairman, quoted highly placed authorities in Yaounde as saying that the unusual rush to have Monono replaced at the helm of the examination outfit was strategically meant to keep him off some FCFA 1,7 billion earlier disbursed to facilitate business at the BOD.
The Rambler was told how President Biya had, months before Monono was replaced, ordered the disbursement of FCFA 1,9 billion for the BOD, to ease the conduct of examinations and payment of marking dues to teachers. This was supposed to be one strategy of warding off the disturbing schools and examination boycotts that were particularly rife in Anglophone Cameroon at the time.
The cash was duly made available to the Prime Minister, PM, who, in turn, handed it over to Secondary Education Minister, Jean Ernest Messina Ngalle Bibehe, with firm instructions. The Rambler learnt that Bibehe proceeded to disbursing the GCE BOD cash piecemeal. That he gave the former BOD Chair, Peter Alange Abety, FCFA 25 million “for his back pocket” and FCFA 100,000 million to Monono, the out gone registrar.
Part of this subvention, The Rambler learnt, must have precipitated a widely publicized press conference in December, 2017, at which it was gleefully announced that GCE markers who had since not been paid, would finally receive their dues in a matter of weeks. Yet, as we write, teeming numbers of these markers are yet to be paid a dime, despite Biya’s near FCFA 2 billion lifeline which was duly passed on by the Prime Minister.
News of grumbling unpaid markers and apparently misapplied cash disbursement is said to have gotten to the PM. Yang summoned Monono to his office to explain the “ding-dong” with public funds, unpaid markers and shoddily run examination BOD. The then registrar reportedly passed the buck, onto his minister, Bibehe. Equally summoned by the PM, Bibehe is said to have accepted that only FCFA 100,000 of the FCFA 1,9 billion had been effectively paid to Monono.
Yang instructed that the rest of the money be immediately wired to the GCE BOD account. But then, our sources, quoting “their antecedents,” said the authorities decided that the former BOD managers could not be allowed access to the remaining FCFA 1,7 billion “for obvious reasons.” It is for this reason, we were told, that PM Yang hurriedly effected the change at the helm of the GCE BOD “without due process.”

The cash discrepancy apart, Monono was also accused of influence peddling and laying undue claims to political protection as it were. This attitude, the subordinates alleged, was responsible for his “arrogance towards the Minister and the new BOD Chair when it came to last week’s handing over and installation ceremony.”
“He was clearly seen to be trying to downplay the dignity of the BOD Chair while giving impetus to the Registrar.” He is quoted as telling the Minister that he (minister) is supposed to conduct the handing over between the two chairmen in his (Monono’s) office and go out only to install the registrar in the open which is not supposed to be so. The Minister is said to have been taken aback and blasted him; questioning why he should place the Prime Minister’s decree over the Head of State’s, given that the BOD Chair is appointed by a Presidential decree and the Registrar by a Prime Ministerial decree.
According to Monono’s protocol arrangements at the installation ceremony, the incoming chairman was allegedly assigned an inferior seat, while the incoming registrar had a prominent place. “But the Minister opposed such protocol and told the BOD Chair, Professor Ivo Tambo Leke that it was his occasion and so put him on his rightful seat. Monono refused to come out for the installation and stayed locked inside his office.”
FCFA 1,9 billion rears ugly head again
Inside sources claimed that Monono may be facing the anti-corruption body, CONAC, once again in connection with the FCFA 1,9 billion cash which might not have been put into the right use and for which the PM summoned him and his supervisory authority. “The Head of State made available this huge sum, ostensibly to fight off this current crisis. It was FCFA 1,9 billion, confirmed to have been for the GCE Board and a similar amount for the BAC Board. Out of the money, the Minister gave Monono FCFA 100 million to start with. But he is said to have held a council meeting and told councilors that money had not yet come but was going to come. He did not mention that he had received FCFA 100 million,” our sources stated. Repeating the obvious, one of our sources noted:
“When the Prime Minister learned that Monono didn’t as much as mention that he had received money, he was surprised and called him to Yaounde for questioning and Monono told him the Minister gave him FCFA 100 million and gave the BOD Chair FCFA 25 million. The Prime Minister then invited the Minister and gave instructions for him to go and prepare the rest of the money, that is some FCFA 1.7 billion and send to the GCEB.”
Our source added; “the PM knew that if he waited for the council to meet, elect a registrar and go through the various processes, it would take time and the money might enter unsafe hands. That’s why he went ahead to appoint a new registrar since he now had the problem of who will come and handle the money in Buea since Monono had not explained what he did with the FCFA 100 million.”
It would be recalled that certain elites, including the teachers’ trade unions petitioned the Prime Minister for violating the GCEB and an Anglophone institution text at this time of the year and at this state of the nation. But the PM’s office acknowledged their fault and after revealing the above situation to some of them.
Some of Monono’s collaborators are of the opinion that he has also “spoiled everything for the chairperson.” As they put it, the BOD Chair’s office is like a small stall, with scanty furniture, while the registrar has a very big office that even the minister cannot boast of.
Notwithstanding, the aggrieved complainers are convinced that as long as the new Chairman, the Minister and the Prime Minister have realized that a mistake was made, the GCEB text was violated, the BOD is not in danger as many might have thought.

Monono claims lice free bald head
Asked if and why he boycotted the installation ceremony of the new BOD Chair and if it was as an act of arrogance and insubordination to the Minister, he replied; “I wasn’t at the incoming BOD Chair installation ceremony because I was busy somewhere else.”
Asked if he was insolent to the Minister, dictating and directing his boss on the procedure to be adopted during the handing over exercise, Monono spat out:
“Who was there with me when I was talking to the Minister? Well, if you are looking for excuses for the Minister, be sure that I wasn’t rude to anybody. The Minister and I had cool words in the session, a peaceful handing over. I was not at the ceremony because I obtained permission from the Minister. I was also carrying a teaching lesson; we were to select invigilators that afternoon and collect their textbooks which were instructions from the Central Committee as simple as that; and that is why I went to see the Minister to obtain permission that I wasn’t going to be able to be at the ceremony. So who is putting salt and pepper? Or is it because I took permission?
“Even if I have left the office, it is not the right time to look for trouble. I would repeat and accept that I wasn’t at the installation ceremony because the Minister and even Prof. Tambo were aware of the reason why I wasn’t at the ceremony. I said it in front of him and the new registrar and the secretary general that we have this meeting of collecting electoral applications which were instructions from the Central Committee. How could I have divided myself to be at both events probably at the same time?”
He continued: “If I didn’t hand over, then that could have been a different thing. But I handed over in peace and tranquility. We had a working session the day before. The new registrar came and he met me when I was preparing to receive senators’ files. That day I think up to about 8:00pm, I was still working with him. I left from one office to another. I was quite patient to listen to anybody who wanted my attention. What does it mean that I was impolite to the Minister?
“Saying that, I set out to diminish the new BOD Chair’s integrity by dictating and directing which procedure to be adopted or not, I say it is false. The Minister has his own procedures and I cannot go against his modus operandi. He is a Minister in Government; and whatever principles I have in my head, remains in my head. I don’t see how I should be above the Minister. If I am above him, then tomorrow, I would certainly be above the Prime Minister and the President. What my ideas are should not override the Minister’s position; he is my boss and if he says handover, I should do it. Did your source say I refused to hand over?” Monono asked laughingly.
Hear the former registrar: “Oh my God! So people are busy looking for reasons as to why I wasn’t at the installation ceremony? They should not look for trouble where there isn’t or looking for lice on a bald head; my head is bald, so they should not look for lice on it.”
On the issue of the alleged mismanagement of FCFA 100 million, Monono stated; “Few months back, the Minister of Secondary Education gave me FCFA 100 million and I have given him the papers and statements of what I used. The documents are still in the office where I left them; you can either go back to the office I left or ask the Minister if I have justified the use of the FCFA 100 million he gave me. Before I even took the money, I had given him a plan on how to use it and he approved it before I used it. So, what is the trouble? It is well accounted for. Anyone who took any farthing from the money signed. The catholic mission secretaries were part and they all signed and gave me attachments to the documents that were handed to the cashiers. So please, my management cannot be faulted for FCFA 100 million.
“The documents for the money are there. I know that justification papers may be signed by anybody or you can ask anyone to give you a receipt, but this one, people to whom I paid the money signed for and are not traders who signed the receipts. The people who signed for the money are there and can be questioned.”
Asked if he sees CONAC revisiting him anytime soon, Monono said he was a Cameroonian and I saw nothing wrong with CONAC revisiting him after his term of office. Hear him:
“Visiting me woll the papers for all the money that I have spent for the last 12 years and above. Anyway, CONAC visited me, they were there a few months ago, did uld depend on the records that they have; if they are not sure of what I did, my accounts and justification… But the office that I have left has acontrol. In 2013, it was already news that I was in prison; but when they checked their records they found me faultless and let me go and I ruled the board after then for five more years. I think as a Cameroonian I’m free to be audited or interviewed, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

By Nester Asonganyi & Relindise Ebune

A crisis of sovereignty in Southern Cameroons and the United Kingdom

(An in-depth comparative analysis of the perennial struggle by the people of Southern Cameroons to wrestle their sovereignty after 158 years and the malign erosion of Britain’s sovereignty during her brief stay of 43 years in Europe.)

By Ojong Clement Akem

Minor infringements on British sovereignty provoked outrage and triggered BREXIT, whereas they have refused to repair the damage inflicted on the people of Southern Cameroons by selling them into slavery to La Republique.

This research endeavour is an attempt to draw parallels with what had happened in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2016, and ask why the people of Britain have failed to notice the injustice their Government had imposed on our people (by refusing them independence). This exercise is intended to educate our people, the British public and our neighbours. It will be presented in two parts.



“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance” (Jawaharal Nehru – at midnight on August 14th 1948, on the eve of Indian Independence).

That moment should have come for Southern Cameroons on October 1st, 1961, but a conspiracy of three exogenous forces (the creation of the Unification Movement by the East Cameroon Workers Union in Kumba in alliance with the U.P.C. & R.D.A, the fear of communism (U.P.C & R.D.A were allied to the Soviet communist party) and perhaps of more significance, the non respect by Britain of Her obligations under Article 76 of the Trusteeship Council Agreement), all combined to derail the prospects for our independence. We are sure the sovereignty of Southern Cameroons will soon be installed.

One of the things we humans have in common is a reluctance to discard the past, and a willingness to look back for whatever may still fit in our lives (Mary Catherine Beteson 1990). Our generation yearns to prove itself – and, in proving itself, to accomplish great things for our people. Researching, composing and publishing this narrative involves a continual reimaging of the future of our territory, her people, and the reinterpretation of our past so as to give meaning to our quest for a bright future – the coming of the sovereignty of Southern Cameroons.

The territory and homeland of our people has been occupied for 158 years (1858–2016), by European intruders and by an illegal neighbour to the East. However, BREXIT has shattered the myth. It has demonstrated, that “PEOPLE POWER”, can, and should reverse any treaty agreements that erode (or in the case of Southern Cameroons), takes away your sovereignty.

We lay emphasis on the fact that memory is crucial in shaping our identity, and can motivate us in the face of the challenges we have faced over the years, the driving force behind this researched article is to educate our people about the reality of the nation of Southern Cameroons which has sometimes been questioned by usurpers.

We have been inspired by three historic events which have rekindled our hope, the hope that has never been extinguished as far as regaining our sovereignty is concerned. The 2009 recognition by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights that “the people of Southern Cameroons,” qualify to be referred to as a “PEOPLE” (cf 45th Ordinary Session Banjul Gambia, 13-27 May 2009).

The Green Tree Accord signed by the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo and the Republic of Cameroon Paul Biya witnessed by Mr. KOFI Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, UN. The signatories of this accord accepted the clause which demanded “that each country will respect its boundaries as they stood at independence” (October 1st, 1961 for Nigeria, and January 1st 1960, for the Republic of Cameroon).  The boundary treaties exist.

Then on 23 June 2016, in a referendum, the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union. BREXIT was a defiance of international treaty obligations, a defining moment which demonstrated, that anything that infringes upon the SOVEREIGNTY of a nation can, and should be nullified by a vote of “the people.

The February 11, 1961, plebiscite vote to create a Union with our neighbour produced a stillbirth, so we adopted the motto, “the force of argument, not the argument of force” to educate our neighbour about the wisdom to part ways. Now that BREXIT has cleared the way, what is our option?

This researched article is devoted to, and dedicated to the 13 selfless, fearless nationalists from Southern Cameroons who risked everything by walking out in block of the Eastern Regional House of Assembly in Enugu. Their action created a political crisis and forced the British Government to grant self Government to Southern Cameroons in 1953. Their statues will be erected at the Independence Square to immortalize them.

  1. Historical Background: Timeline

This timeline chronicles in summary form, the events that have marked the 158 years of occupation of our territory, together with the ascendant loss of power, freedom and sovereignty and our determination to end this state of affairs once and for all, by achieving our sovereignty. This is perhaps the longest occupation of an African country by Europeans, and an illegal neighbour:

2.1. The year 1858 marked the beginning of the intrusion by foreigners into our territory under our village chiefs or kings. This land gained international status in 1922 when it became the League of Nations Mandated territory – Southern Cameroons.

2.2. The first British Occupation lasted from 1858 to 1887.

This was confined to coastal villages which included Douala, Bimbia and Victoria. Their main goal was trade.

2.3. German occupation 1884 – 1914

The expedition was led by the warship Möwe under Dr. Nightingale and arrived the coast of our territory on 12 July, 1884 and by July 14, 1884, the Germans signed a treaty with chiefs Bell, Akwa and Deido granting rights of sovereignty, legislation and management over their respective countries (note that the word countries referred to the territories that were under the rule of the above chiefs. However, the Germans eventually extended their dominance over the entire country which became known as German Kamerun. They fought wars where they met resistance, like with the Bakweri people for the capture of Buea, the Bali people fought against Zintgraf, while Fontem fought against Gustaf Conrad. These battles took enormous tolls on our people and the Germans (witness the graves and tombstones in these chiefdoms).

By 1907 there were 800 Germans, 6 Austrians, 16 Swiss, 3 Dutch, 58 English, 2 Norwegians, 43 Americans, 3 Spanish, 8 Portuguese, 3 Russians, 1 Belgian, 3 French, 4 Swedes and 1 Japanese, giving a total of 1010 foreigners of different nationalities (cf appendix 1 W033/448). These foreigners and the population were guarded by German troops distributed across the country (cf distribution of troops in April 1907 p87 and 88 W033/448).

2.3.1. In 1905 – 1906 a joint Anglo-German Commission matriculated the boundary between Southern Nigeria and the Cameroons. It runs from the mouth of the Akwayafe River for about 85 miles. The agreement between the United Kingdom and Germany respecting the boundary between the British and German territories from Yola to Lake Chad was signed in London on March 19, 1906. This boundary goes through the so-called “Yola arc”, which has been fixed by the arrangement concluded in August 1903, was, with but slight modifications, allowed to hold good (cf W033/448 p6).

2.3.2. On 28 July, 1919 Britain, France and Germany signed the Versailles Peace Treaty at Le Palais De Galeries in Versailles France. This brought to an end German occupation of Kamerun after their defeat in World War 1.


We must emphasize that Southern Cameroons was being administered as a mandated territory of the League of Nations NOT A COLONY. In 1922, Southern Cameroons gained International Status as a Mandated Territory of the League of Nations and was placed under the tutelage of the British Government.

The other Mandated Territories were; French East Cameroon, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Papua New Guinea, British Togoland, French Togo, Rwanda, Burundi and South West Africa. The question may be asked, why all other mandated territories gained their independence, while Britain sent Southern Cameroons into slavery?? There is a latin axiom “Nemo dat quod non habet” (you cannot give what you do not have), Her Majesty’s Government defied logic by transferring Southern Cameroons to the Republic of Cameroun (It was not her colony). This monumental error of judgement MUST be urgently rectified and Southern Cameroons returned to its legal owners “THE PEOPLE”.

  • In December 1933, the Nigerian surveys, Lagos drew and reproduced the orographical map of Nigeria and Southern Cameroons under British Administration in the scale of 1:3000 000 or 1 inch to 47,35 miles showing the International boundaries of Southern Cameroons and Nigeria (perhaps it was this map that proved to the International Court of Justice at the Heague that Bakasi Peninsular belongs to Southern Cameroons, not Nigeria or La Republique).
  • On the May 18, 1940, Protocol No. 11 was drawn up in Victoria between Monsieur George Verges Administrateur en chef des colonies and Mr. J.G.C. Allen, District officer, Nigerian Administrative service, commissioner appointed for the delimitation of the Anglo-French Cameroons boundary. The protocol was signed on behalf of the French Government by the French commissioner and for the British by the British commissioner (cf FO37/32066 page 11). This protocol closed the loop on the question of boundaries and proves that Southern Cameroons has identified boundary demarcation that separates her territory from Nigeria in the West and East Cameroon to the East. It is a nation state period (not part of another country).
  • 1946 – 1953 British Administration of the United Nations Trusteeship Council Territory (NOT A COLONY OF BRITAIN)

In 1946, Britain signed Article 76 of the charter of the United Nations designating her as the Administering Authority for Southern Cameroons. This article set out the obligations of the British Government.

  • The British Consul General on January 24, 1952 in a confidential letter addressed to the foreign office, (cf paragraph 18 ref. F037/10/390) clarified as follows: Our obligations under article 76 of the charter of the United Nations are: “To promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the Trust territories, and their progressive development towards SELF-GOVERNMENT OR INDEPENDENCE as may be appropriate to the particular circumstance of each territory and its people and the FREELY EXPRESSED WISHES OF THE PEOPLES CONCERNED, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement”.

Unfortunately, despite the precision, logical and unambiguous manner in which the mandate was drafted, the British Government still found a way to circumvent article 76 (read paragraph 18 p7 of the letter referred to), and what follows below.

“The British view is that in the particular circumstance of the British Cameroons the progressive development of their inhabitants towards self-government or independence may most appropriate be promoted in association with the socially advanced protectorate of Nigeria. The British Delegation has impressed this view with consistent firmness and frankness upon the Trusteeship council, and the council has been obliged to accept it, grudgingly”.

This attempt to derail the determination of the people of Southern Cameroons to achieve self government was emphasized in paragraph 8, page 3. “The failure of the British Cameroons people in the course of the review of the constitution to achieve Regional Status, in spite of the guarantees they have received for representation in the central, as well as the Eastern Regional legislature, automatically inclines the politically conscious elements in Southern Cameroons to turn towards the prospect of union with French Cameroons. In fact, “we have deliberately accepted the possibility of embarrassment from a unification movement as part of the price to be paid for our success, during the review of the constitution, in restraining Cameroons nationalist demands in the interest of the over-riding policy of consolidating three strong regions in Nigeria’, but Southern Cameroons was not a British Colony. The British Government was redefining the terms of reference of Article 76 which they had already signed. How dishonest was this?

Enters the East Cameroonians to destabilize Southern Cameroons


In summary form, the Unification Movement was conceived, designed by the French East Cameroonians, hatched in East Cameroon, and transported to Kumba were it was born under the midwifery of the French Cameroons Welfare Union of the Cameroons Development Cooperation C.D.C.

The President of the Movement was Mr. R.J. DIBONGE (President of the French Cameroons Workers Union, Vice President Chief Joseph FORMIYEN, and Secretary Mr. N.N. MBILE. The movement was sponsored by the representatives of the Rassemblement Democratique Africaine R.D.A, and Union of Population of Cameroon U.P.C (cf paragraphs 14,15 and 16 of the confidential letter no 5 referenced 5/10/52 no 24/173 of the British Consulate General Brazzaville French Equatorial Africa addressed to the foreign office F0371/10/390.

Without receiving any mandate from the people of Southern Cameroons the unification movement addressed secret petitions to the Trusteeship Council on the possible unification of Southern Cameroons with East Cameroon (attempts to divert our independence).

Unfortunately, the R.D.A and the UPC were known allies of the Soviet Communist Party (communism was enemy No.1 in the Western World). To counter this movement, the British intensified their deliberate attempts to annex Southern Cameroons to Eastern Nigeria in gross violation of their treaty obligations under article 76 of the UN charter (witness item 8… “the British view…)”.

The people of Southern Cameroons now had two forces to battle against. Those whom we had accepted as refugees fleeing oppression from their dictatorial masters, had prepared a political vendetta against the innocent people of Southern Cameroons because they were refused voting in the C.D.C Workers’ Unions (refugees have no voting rights in the host country). We emphasize that by 1937, there were 4343 East Cameroonian in the labour force in Victoria Division alone (cf C.O.582/228/2 p137).

Our people had accepted these refugees, without knowing, that, they were Trojan horses that had been smuggled into our territory to sow the seeds of our future annexation to their country of East Cameroon. The British colonial forces were the others we had to confront (the British began to deliberately forget that Southern Cameroons was a UN Trusteeship Territory not their colony).

  • This British refusal to abide by the terns of Article 76 of the UN charter provoked a political crisis in the Eastern Regional House of Assembly in Enugu. In 1953, all the 13 representatives of the Southern Cameroons in the House walked out as a block. This idea had immense impact on the struggle four our independence. All the cunningly woven arguments which the British were advancing for our annexation to Nigeria were brushed aside.

The names of these confident, self esteemed and patriotic leaders who represented all constituencies in Southern Cameroons shall be engraved in gold, under their statues, that shall be erected upon our liberation at our independence squares. We therefore cite them here for posterity because they forced the British Government to reluctantly grant Southern Cameroons self government. Here then are the heroes: Hon. Emmanuel M.L. Endeley of Buea, Hon. Martin N. Foju of Bangwa, Hon. John Ngu Foncha of Bamenda, Hon. Sampson A. George of Mamfe, Hon. S.T. Muna of Mbengwi/Ngembu, Hon. Rev. J.C. Kangsen of Mbem, Hon. V.T. Lainjo of Kumbo, Hon. A.T. Ngalla of Ndu, Hon. R.N. Charley of Tombel/Bakossi, Prince Sama C. Ndi of Kom, Hon. J.T. Ndze of Tabenken, Hon. N.N. Mbile of Ngolo-Batanga and Hon. Motomby Woleta of Victoria.

These leaders, upon returning to Southern Cameroons mobilized all the influential traditional rulers, opinion leaders and the elites to attend the historic Mamfe conference, which took place May 22 – 24, 1953. They brainstormed on the intrigues, deceit and flattery which our people have been subjected to and ruled out all options except independence that must be granted to our people.

That conference will be remembered for the prophetic, and wisdom packed words of advice from the natural traditional ruler of Bafut Abumbi I. He expressed dismay about any suggestion, or proposal that may delay our independence. Here is what he said; “Joining Nigeria was like jumping into the ocean, but joining East Cameroon was like running into a blazing fire”. We were forced against our own deep convictions and free wills to accept the option of joining la Republique and, we have been burning ever since.

The Mamfe conference produced a compelling letter based on irrefutable statements of facts, addressed to the Secretary of State for colonies, demanding the creation of a separate and autonomous legislation for the Trusteeship Territory of Southern Cameroons, as stated in the mandate.

On May 28, 1953, Dr. E.M.L. Endeley left Lagos, Nigeria for London with the petition which he delivered to the Secretary of State for colonies.

Now, if we admit, as historians do, that great men lead humanity to the attainment of their ends, then, the 13 Southern Cameroonians who risked their lives and triggered the process which resulted in the granting of self-government, were indeed great men.


The two essentials for “representative” democracy are the freedom of the individual, and the regular opportunity for him to join with his fellows in replacing, or reinstating the government of his country by means of the ballot-box and without recourse to assassinations or uprisings.

In 1954, following the granting of self-government to Southern Cameroons, a general election was organized. The Kamerun National Congress K.N.C of Dr. Endeley won the election. Legal Institutions of Government were established, the Assembly, House of chiefs and the Government Ministries. Dr Endeley became the first Prime Minister of Southern Cameroons.

However, following the 1957 constitution of the London Conference, membership of the House of Assembly was increased from 14 to 26 seats. The Assembly was dissolved and a new general election was convened for January 24, 1959.

The Kamerun National Democratic Party K.N.D.P led by Mr. John Ngu Foncha won the election. Dr Endeley conceded defeat, congratulated Mr Foncha who became the second Prime Minister of Southern Cameroons. They say, ‘’power is the combined wills of the masses transferred by their expressed or tacit consent to the rulers by the masses in a democracy”. These transfers took place in 1954 and 1959.

Leo Tolstoy wrote, “The subject of history is the life of peoples and humanity”. African history, must therefore record the two transfers of powers from one Prime Minister to the other which took place in Southern Cameroons between 1954 and 1959 as the VICTORY OF TRUE DEMOCRACY in AFRICA. The seeds of representative democracy were firmly planted in Southern Cameroons. This was quickly followed by the consolidation of economic and financial institutions, the Cameroon Bank, the Southern Cameroons Marketing Board (constituted by Farmers’ Co-operatives), the Cameroon Development Cooperation C.D.C – an inherited statutory corporation, the Southern Cameroons Power Company – POWERCAM and many others. It must be mentioned here that the hydro electric power station in Yoke was conceived, designed and built by a Southern Cameroon Electrical Engineering – Mr. Mbiwan.

  1. THE PLEBICSITE. The Decline and slow death of Southern Cameroons

This was a poisonous gift imposed on the people of Southern Cameroons, in violation of the principles and objectives that motivated the creation of the League of Nations. One of these principles was made public by the American President Woodrow Wilson while addressing the joint session of the two Houses of the American Congress on January 8, 1918. He said, and we quote, “A general association of nations should be formed on the basis of covenants designed to create MUTUAL GUARANTEE of political independence and, territorial integrity of states, large and small equally”. This was the corner stone for the creation of the League of Nations on January 10, 1920, and subsequently the United Nations.

The non respect of this secret pact has plunged the world into chaos and interminable wars. The two questions which were imposed on the people of Southern Cameroons were motivated by British greed and the French Cameroons Workers Union – the vampires who had descended into Southern Cameroons as refugees turned into Trojan horses to derail our quest for independence. These refugees had high jacked our political process through the unification movement and their association with the communist further complicated our quest for independence.

It was these three exogenous forces acting from different directions that combined to condemn Southern Cameroonians to vote on how they wished to be executed, by drowning in the sea, or by burning in an eternal fire – we chose the latter, from the prophetic declaration that has since been vindicated.


On 17 July 1961 Ahmadu Babatura Ahidjo – President of the Republic of Cameroun opened the constitutional conference in Foumban, without a representative of the UN that should have chaired the talks or that of Britain, the Administering authority of Southern Cameroons (still a Trusteeship Territory of the UN).

This ran against the grain, because the “law of natural justice forbids any man from being the Judge in his own case”. President Ahidjo was therefore “NOT qualified” to preside over the constitutional negotiations between his country La Republique and the self-governing Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons.

However, the Southern Cameroons delegation was led by Prime Minister John Ngu Foncha, accompanied by Dr Emmanuel Endeley, leader of the opposition and their entourage.

Ahidjo tabled the draft constitution and announced that the negotiation would last just two days. Immediately, the Southern Cameroons delegation smelt the rat. Their request that the talks should last three weeks based on their rich experiences gained during the constitutional conferences in London and Lagos (Richards, 1946, Macpherson, 1951, Littleton, 1954 – cf Fonkem Achankeng 2014), was rejected out of hand.

One of the issues that Ahidjo rejected outright was the demand from the Southern Cameroons delegation to maintain their Police Force and have their own army, within the Federation.

Records have it documented, that the Southern Cameroons delegation put forward the following amendments to the draft; (a) the flag, (b) National Anthem (c) Motto (d) Federal Capital to be in Douala (e) Electoral maturity at 21 years, (f) Secret ballot (g) powers and attributions of the Federal President (h) Presidential Mandate Limited to two terms (i) a Federal Assembly made up of a National Assembly and a Senate (j) double nationality (k) Primary and Higher Education System and (l) cancellation of the word INDIVISIBLE from the constitution.

What is important is that the constitutional conference did not adopt a constitution, and the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly and the House of Chiefs did not rectify any constitution, because the Foumban conference had not produced any.

It must be restated that the Foumban Constitutional Conference was convened in violation of the London Conference agreement of October 10 – 13 1960, UN Doc T/1556 p40, UN resolution A/C.4/l685 of April 18, 1961 the Landmark UN resolution on the concept of independence by joining 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 updated 15/12/1960 by UN resolution 1541 (XV). Given the above violations can the resultant constitution drawn by Ahidjo be considered binding on Southern Cameroon?

The Southern Cameroonian delegation went to Foumban with open hearts, in anticipation that by blending together, both nations would one day form the foundation stone of African Unity. It was not to be-Ahidjo’s delegation came with a hidden agenda to lure the Southern Cameroonians into total submission of their identities. They failed because the constitutional talks were reduced to a stalemate. There is no written agreement as required by Article 102 of the UN chartter at the UN Secretariat to prove that Southern Cameroons and La Republique joined.


On the 30 September, 1961, at the invitation of Her Majesty’s Government, in violation of their obligations clearly laid out in Article 76 of the Trusteeship Agreement, Ahidjo moved in military forces and illegally occupied a United Nations Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons. Jeffrey Hughes has repeatedly asked; ʺWhy did the British Government abandon the people of Southern Cameroons in such great haste, failing to ensure an appropriate negotiating body in the post Plebiscite period in 1961 and continue to be negative to the Southern Cameroonian subsequent request for sponsorship to the United Nations for their independence, in accordance with the United Nations charter 76b and the United Nations charter 1514 (XV)ʺ (cf Jeffrey Hughes 1999 p 158).

ʺBREXITʺ has given us the answer, that when a people find out, that their sovereignty has been USURPED, they can vote to repel the obstacle. Britain did not seek authorization from the other member states of EU or the UN before launching their referendum.

The illegal occupation of Southern Cameroons has lasted more than half a century. It is time to vote and take back our sovereignty too. The occupation MUST END.


They say knowledge is power. Unfortunately, ignorance has a way of robbing people of their rights, privileges and duties. It enslaves rather than liberates the mind. It brings about stagnation, and this explains why dictators are allergic to true intellectuals. Ignorance has delayed our liberation.

Ahidjo’s first administrative edict was the abolition of all the Teachers’ Training Colleges, followed up by the change of name from Southern Cameroons which has international boundaries to, West Cameroon, an anonymous state. He was laying the groundwork for the complete annexation of our territory, by blind fooling us with names.

He then suspended the production of electric energy from the Yoke hydro-electric power generation station, to force our people import electricity from Edea (located about 160km from Yoke). They destroyed our community Development System which together with the Swiss Technical Assistance ensured the installation of pipe born water in our villages. Transferred the headquarters of Cameroon Bank from Victoria to Yaounde, Southern Cameroons Marketing Board to Douala and emptied the cash savings of our farmers estimated at about 78 billion CFA, at the time. Our farmers have been reduced to beggars.

They destroyed our road network infrastructure too. Evidence exists to show that in 1961 there were 272km of paved roads in Southern Cameroons and 473km in East Cameroons. Our major streets were also paved in Victoria, Tiko, Buea, Kumba, Mamfe, Bamenda, Wum and Banso – Kumbo. The Public Works Department P.W.D stationed maintenance teams along the roads to guarantee all seasonal passage. Most of these roads and streets lie bare today from neglect. (To be continued)

AFTER ‘AMBAZONIA’ LEADERS’ CAPTURE: Will Gov’t dialogue or crush Anglophone agitation?

About two years ago, the word dialogue, stealthily crept into the political lexicon of Cameroon. President Paul Biya intoned it. His appointees sang it like parrots even if many of them did not buy into the concept.

Dialogue was said to be the panacea that should put paid to the Anglophone crisis. But from all indications a principal party to the dialogue was either stone deaf or simply imagined that it was better carried out with both the stick and the carrot. Better still, that the gendarme and the gun were better instruments of dialogue than the round table.

Certain compatriots were named and tagged. Arrests were perpetrated, certain members of the opposing side were chased into exile and some even summarily killed. The situation got out of hand and dialogue transformed to hard times for the “terrorists and secessionists” so tagged.

About two weeks ago, Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma, like the Physicist, Archimedes of the Eureka fame, ran out of his bath stark naked more or less, to announce that “terrorists and secessionists earlier arrested in Nigeria had been handed over to Cameroonian judicial authorities.”

The Rambler was prompted by Tchiroma’s announcement to ask its respondents if this action on its own would put paid to the festering crisis or reignite the much parroted dialogue.

What they state could be very instructive to whether this dialogue and not outright military bravado is the true answer to Cameroon’s awful socio-political plight.


The solution is dialogue

I strongly propose that now that the Government of Cameroon has hunted down and is keeping the secessionist leaders, it is time they sit at a table together and open the so called dialogue that they have been propagating. This will even be advantageous because it shall be a litmus test to Cameroon’s democracy.

Nancy Fuma, Teacher Bamenda

Anglophones should constitute new leaders to carry on the struggle

I do not even know whether the said leaders are dead or alive. Despite the fact Government media has been singing their capture and extradition to Cameroon, we have not even seen their pictures. I propose that the Anglophones should constitute themselves again and let new leaders emerge and carry on the struggle.

Gwendolyn, Nsang Trader Bamenda

Gov’t should immediately announce dialogue

Now that the Government has them, it should immediately announce dialogue and call for an immediate ceasefire so that all these brutal killings that have gained notoriety these days can end.

Christopher Agu, IT specialist Bamenda

There’s no way forward as long as those leaders remain in custody

They should at least make a public presentation of these leaders, interview them on why they will want to separate and even find out from them what needs to be done to maintain the status quo.

I will tell you there is no way forward to solving this problem as long as those leaders remain under custody. See the abduction of those leaders, permit me use the word abduction because if they were arrested they would have at least shown us images. By doing what they are doing, Government is radicalizing supporters of this course more than ever. Maybe the Government thought that keeping those leaders will render followers weak, but you have seen and heard of attacks here and there. It only tells us that Ambazonians are determined in death or life to have their freedom. If there will be any way forward then let them release those leaders in their keeping.

Joseph Ntui, History Teacher Bamenda

Gov’t should bring them to dialogue table

Talking about way forward of the crisis because leaders are in Government custody is a broad situation to analyze. Why do I say so? Firstly, you must have understood by now that this crisis is far more than what Government thinks is in the hands of Mr. Julius Ayuk Tabe and others. If the situation were so, then since after their arrest there would have been peace in the country but contrarily the number of attacks has instead increased with both sides suffering. Yet their being in custody without gainsaying can only be one step solution to the crisis by bringing them to dialogue table. But think of those who lost loved ones, farmlands and even villages. How will Government compensate them because if they are ignored the crisis will never end.

Ngasi Jacob, farmer Kumba

Let powers that be call for dialogue

The only way forward now is dialogue. The Government has always talked of dialogue. International organisations and even Presidents of neighboring countries have cautioned on dialogue. Even the President in his end of year speech talked of dialogue.  It’s going to be a month by Monday since the leaders were arrested in Nigeria but nothing is being said about dialogue again. I wonder how much time we are they going to take when soldiers and innocent civilians keep dying. I heard the Government’s spokesman the other day talking about them facing justice for their crimes. I bet you if they go to that direction, I smell Rwandan experience of genocide in Cameroon. Let the powers that be call for dialogue.

Williams Mbohteh, Kumba

Gov’t should release those in detention and then dialogue

The way forward now is that Government should first release those in detention before bringing about dialogue. Because if they talk dialogue now when the leaders are still jailed it will be as though they are forcing options on Southern Cameroonians. Besides, if those leaders are not released no one will even be interested in talking. All the killings on both sides should stop.

Celia Ebako student, Kumba

We need a national dialogue

The Anglophone crisis has never been about secessionists or the secessionist movement. This thing started in November 2016 with teachers and lawyers and the general population. There was a dialogue put in place before Government arrested all the genuine leaders. I think Government should go back to the negotiation table back with those they started the dialogue and bring all the other leaders, for a national dialogue. People are dying in the (Anglophone) Regions because we want to solve this crisis through war.

Emmanuel Achanyi, Agricultural Engineer, Douala

Let us review the terms of our coexistence

There is nothing Government can do to stop the movement whether they arrest all Anglophones or not. The message is clear and has been sent to Yaoundé, no form of arrests will intimidate Anglophones. The arrest of consortium leaders did not change anything so the arrest of the secessionist leaders will not change the situation on ground. I think some Government forces just want to see the situation on the ground continue because some of them are benefiting from it. The only way a solution can be found to this crisis is an international mediation supervised by the United Nations to review the terms of our coexistence. Anything short of that will be a failure because no form of arrests, intimidation, violence or torture will ever suppress the Anglophone feeling.

Charles Mafeh, photographer

Proper and genuine dialogue

I don’t know if the arrest of the secessionist leaders can solve anything in this crisis. We see that fighting has been ongoing; people continue to die every day in the Southwest and Northwest Regions despite the arrests. Arresting people is not the only solution, but if Government thinks it is a solution, then let us wait and see how it will bring peace in our Regions in the weeks ahead. I will propose for Government to first start by demilitarizing the Anglophone Regions; the massive presence of soldiers keeps creating tension and panic. The Government should put a mechanism in place for proper dialogue to take place. Even with those they are calling secessionists or terrorists who are in prison, I think Government will still have to look for a means to dialogue with them.

Nquiaka Viviane, Teacher Douala

An all-inclusive dialogue

I suggest that the President opens frank dialogue will all persons involved; that must include Ayuk Julius and his band because dialogue is never a one man show. Before now, they arrested some Anglophones like Agbor Balla and Ayah Paul, thinking it would solve the problem but it only aggravated it. We need frank dialogue and action. The people concerned should come together with equal status and discuss the way forward. It should not be like the dictatorship we witnessed last time in Bamenda in the name of dialogue. Without this, I am afraid that Cameroon will witness something worse than Rwanda.

Mekumba Dieudonne, Yaounde

A referendum to establish what Anglophones want

I think a referendum to establish what Anglophones really want is the best way to end this civil war that is a breath away. The Government knows this but has been pretending to want to resolve this crisis. A referendum will not cost them even a tiny bit of what they have wasted so far. But, they are riding a very high horse. Once the limping horse stops automatically, then they will fall to the ground. They should not say we did not tell them. Without a referendum, trust me, the crisis is still beginning.

Ashu Ndemalia, Actor

Yaounde has the solution to this crisis

Yaounde has the solution to this crisis. I think the dictatorial Government should now force the guys to the dialogue table now that the Minister of Communication claims that they are in Yaounde. The dialogue that will solve the Anglophone crisis should focus on the opinions of all parties. It should take into account the opinion of unionists, federalists and separatists. Then, they should organize a referendum so the people of Southern Cameroons can choose which one they want for themselves. I insist that the dialogue must be supervised by the African Union and the United Nations Organisation. Sentencing those people (if at all there is any ground on which they can be sentenced) will lead to more havoc than imaginable.

Bonvemock Cedric, Unemployed

Free, fair and frank dialogue

Now that leaders of both parties are in the same town, I think all that is left is a free, fair and frank dialogue.  By free, I mean each man should be given the chance to air their thoughts, not a talk at gunpoint. For the dialogue to be fair each party must recognize the other as a leader of a people and each constituency well defined. It goes without saying that frank dialogue would mean putting all cards on the table as they are: black or white. However, I know that this will be very difficult because no Government is willing to negotiate with people it calls terrorists,worse of all, in the eyes of international bodies. Now, let us face the facts. It is needless to think of dialogue with people who are bent and fixed on their ideas of a one and indivisible country. It is clear that with that mentality; even a referendum will not change a thing except it is in their favour. Let the Government do what it does best. Bribe them and release them. They have got a people to lead out there,even though I do not buy this method.

Ransome Nganjo, Engineer

Compiled by Jean Marie Ngong Song, Ngende Esther, Francis Ajumane & Nsono Claudia





Bohemian Reactivated

Many have nursed dreams-dreams about a clutch of presidents and assorted diplomats watching from the stands as an extravagant ceremony unfolds. One in which a man or woman raises the right hand above a mammoth book on which he or she places the left hand while repeating words offered by a presiding official, it could be someone from the clergy, the judiciary or the legislative arm.

True, a frightened animal at bay can turn violent, but this particular monster appears to have been manufactured by a kidult. Something seems to have gone wrong somewhere, to the point of throwing this monster’s body out of kilter.

Yet, the street people are talking, and the chattering classes are spreading the word, while the new prophets have no message from God but mark you; they have a message for you. The one you like to hear. Everyone advertizes his scam with great razzmatazz.

Someone says we are citizens of shithole countries, but who’s sh**hole suspends over our fatherland? This someone has all the obscurity of Harry Potter’s quid ditch and none of the charm. Even those who do not know the meaning of the word “cliché”, recognize one when they hear it from a politician. There is need for one to spend the rest of the year melting down their entire vocabulary and then re-minting it.

The street people want a voice; they want those vested with the power, to genuinely reform the public services; but when it appears those with authority had not thought through the task and when it looks like the project proves too big for them, you notice it when they shift from substance to spin.

So, I, the Bohemian of Abakwa, born on the last day of the month in the land of the proud people, under the sign of the rising sun, this day declare; some things are best left unsaid. The slogans in the shadows maybe spend more-deliver less, but brothers and sisters, there are no new levers to pull. Some people have lost faith in the current political elite; they merely conclude that all politicians are the same. So why not stick with this lot? Keep your ears to the ground, the Bohemian has been reactivated.

By Winston Lebga

GCE Board autonomy shattered

The Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board, CGCEB now has a new Board of Directors Chair as well as new Registrar. While Prof. Ivo Leke Tambo replaces Prof. Peter Abeti as Board Chairman, Dang Dominick Ako, takes over from Dr. Ekema Humphrey Monono as Registrar.

Both men were appointed on Tuesday, January 30, and Wednesday January 31 by separate Prime Ministerial Orders.

The appointments have put paid to months and, even years of politicking and attempts to jettison unwritten gentleman’s agreement relating to rules of succession at the helm between functionaries of the Northwest and the Southwest Regions.

Monono and Abeti are being relieved of their functions after unconstitutionally being in office for more than a decade, contrary to the institution’s statutes. Officially, the registrar has a three-year office term, renewable twice; meaning after every three years, the post of registrar is up for grabs and may be advertised by the Chairman of the Board for interested candidates to apply.

Now that there has been change of guards at the education board, many are hoping that like their predecessors, they will put in their all to maintain the statuesque of the Board. It is also expected that the duo would use their profound educational experiences to ensure the independence and efficiency of the GCE Board.

Prof. Leke Tambo hails from Lewoh in Lebialem Division, Southwest Region. He has served in various capacities, rising from primary school teacher to University Professor. He was also, for 10 unbroken years, Secretary General in the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education prior to his retirement.

Dang Dominick Ako is from Menchum Division of the Northwest Region. Upon graduation from the University of Yaounde, in 1982, he immediately embarked on a career in the Examinations Department of the then all-encompassing Ministry of National Education, a circumstance that has made him a very square peg in a square hole in his current appointment.

GCE Board’s wings clipped?

A handful of direct interests and hangers-on are certainly celebrating the changes at the GCE Board, Yet, underlying such celebrations is a hidden potent blow that the GCE Board has been dealt and which has, tacitly watered down the examination body’s powers and ability to uphold the values of typical Anglo-Saxon like educational system.

Under laid down terms, the GCE Board members should have met in conclave, deliberated and had one of their choice appointed to the position of Registrar. This wasn’t the case in the recent exercise. The PM merely appointed the new head without due process. And from the look of things, the autonomy of the Board has been lost to Yaounde, given that it is, from every indication been made to become a department in the Ministry of Secondary Education.

By Nester Asonganyi