Who owns the Anglophone Problem?

Listening to Francophones talk about the so-called Anglophone crisis can be both distressing and refreshing, depending on where they are   coming from. It is common to hear stuff like, there is no Anglophone problem  only a Cameroonian problem. Peddlers of this fallacy fall in two categories. Both hold that infrastructural underdevelopment is not unique to the Southwest and North-west Regions. One group, generally of
“pays organisateur” origin, consider it sheer greed for Anglophones to protest so loudly about inequities which others have always borne and continue to bear with a patient shrug. Read more

Corruption, our national brand

President Biya once said he wanted to be remembered as the one who brought democracy to Cameroon. Realism or ‘Trumpism?’ Opinions are, and will stay as varied as interests.Meanwhile his regime has effortlessly secured it self a place in our annals for something else the opposite of the Midas touch. King Midas is remembered for turning everything he touched into gold. Even if, literally speaking, this is only a myth, it does convey the sense of changing things to their purest form. The opposite is called corruption and this is where the ‘Lion Man’s’ palmed’ or is sans dispute.

The latest trophy in his war chest is the GCE, which has been devalued to lower than Chironko. Like their boss, the Ministers of Education are only
now learning that things don’t just happen at the snap of their fingers.

The GCE practical exam last week toggled from the intended forceps delivery to a stillbirth. Now the rest of the GCE is on the stirrup and even
the surgeon-in-chief is all at sea, worried, not for the patient but for his job. So, as in the parable of the marriage feast, the servants have been sent out into the streets to bring the whoevers, lest the King’s banquet hall be seen to be empty.

Children who have not been taught are invited to sit for exams even if they did not register. Now, whether we declare a blank school year or not, an exam sanctioning an uncovered syllabus can only produce a mockery of
a certificate. You can call it a political certificate, because it is awarded for compliance with a political expedient and not in recognition of academic performance. After that, onehopes that all the talking heads on TV who
accuse Anglophones of politicizing their children’s education will shut up for shame, and for good. And even ‘Zero Mort II’ should be hard put to refuting that Government is officially and publicly diluting Anglophone education for a motive yet to be avowed. At that point the proponents and supporters of the school strike can conveniently rest their case because it has been made for them.

Another trophy is the celebration of the National Day. Away from  allegations that this day was chosen because it was Germaine Ahidjo’s birthday, and away from whatever you may make of West Cameroonian apathy to this day, there is more to a national day than a march-pass, a military parade and some televised speech on its eve. It is a day when nationals rally to showcase their pride in their nationality when they flaunt their sense of belonging to an entity that means the world to them. That sense of belonging goes far beyond party politics. Political parties are highly divisive, and a national day must in no way give expressions to those divisions.

You may never have thought this, but political parties are cultic in concept and practice. They are, therefore, understandably exclusive. The national day, in its concept and practice, is inclusive and must override the exclusiveness of the other 364 days of the year. In Cameroon, however, it is a day for displaying those divisions officially in the marketplace, with an institutionalized show of strength between the parties. The divide between party and state is so blurred that the ruling party confiscates the institutions, beginning with everything that concerns the President or his Government.
When he is leaving for, or returning from a foreign trip; when his ministers and governors go out to the field to do their normal work, it is party uniforms all over the place.

We make nonsense of the notion of the functional neutrality of the civil service. This is the malware that has attacked the national psyche, triggering the growing apathy towards celebrating the national day or even  participating in elections. Now the national day has become an activity in which people are bribed or blackmailed to participate. In Limbe, The Rambler learnt of chiefs who were threatened with deposal if they did not bring at least a hundred of their “subjects” to the march-pass. In the absence of patriots at heart, administrators (patriots by appointment) are busy creating a new brand patriots by simulation.

Finally, and as a signal of the critical viral load of this corruption bug in our national bloodstream, Etoudi has been gunning for the ultimate trophy the corruption of the Church. That is ominous. It means things are coming to a head. We have finally stuck our finger into God’s mouth to see if He still has teeth. That is a level of madness that will make a Sodom of this nation unless, like Nineveh, we take to sackcloth and ashes.