Be not derailed by the reckless rhetoric which seeks to pit Anglophones against Francophones in the ongoing conflict rocking Cameroon. We have posited in an earlier editorial, and still insist, that the name “Anglophone” is a misnomer for the people of Southern Cameroons. France and its vassal states can hold on to their francophone identity because, like Fame Ndongo’s two cubes of sugar in a drum of water, they are struggling not to be dissolved and lost in an English-dominated world.
For Southern Cameroonians, English is only part of a universal culture and set of values to which they were exposed during the trusteeship days, and which they have since espoused. The Yaoundé regime is bent on reducing Southern Cameroons to a mere linguistic expression, in a bid to counter the osmotic pressure from a stronger culture.
Were this uniquely about French and English, what fools we would be, fighting a proxy war on behalf of two countries that exploited us! And by the way, were we British and French colonies as such? A colony is defined as a geographical area politically controlled by a distant country. The Cameroons were a German colony. France and Britain did not conquer and colonise us. They were mandated by the League of Nations to help prepare us for independence after the Germans were routed in World War II.
The regime in Yaounde is behaving with the French like a girl who is so used to being sexually abused by a foster father that she cannot come to terms with putting paid to the abuse. And as if to share the shame in this kind of behavior, the regime tries very hard to make it look like Southern Cameroons are behaving in the same way like the British.
But history makes the falsity of that claim visible even to the blind. Yet Yaounde is intentionally stuck with that illogic, in the ostensible hope of using it to forge some semblance of synergy among the Francophones against “secessionists who want to destabilize” their country. And that is because it is aware of the entire country’s growing disaffection with its litany of failed policies.
Lest this false narrative beguile some Francophones, it must be known that Southern Cameroonians are NOT at war with them. In fact many of them are heard to say that what they call the “Anglophones problem” is actually a “Cameroonian problem.”
Is that an expression of implicit solidarity with Southern Cameroonians whoare being treated as sub citizens, and even sub humans? If it is, then they are perhaps too cowardly to show it in public.
But if by Cameroon problem they meant that the mistreatment of Southern Cameroonians is only one of the many manifestations of bad governance, then that would be tantamount to the recognition of the Southern Cameroonians as fighting on their behalf too. Again they are too emasculated to even support them openly. Instead they are busy preparing for elections as if nothing wrong were happening, while Southern Cameroonians are dying, with their homes and property torched. And it’s not only Francophones. Even Anglophone MPs, Senators, and the SDF have adopted the same business-as-usual attitude.
The Rambler would love to address this message not only to the Francophones but also to Southern Cameroonians, especially the “Tigers” who have been sabre rattling against Francophones lately.
Yes, you must have been shocked at the wave of euphoria among most Francophones when the news broke that Ayuk Tabe and his aides were arrested in Nigeria and repatriated to Cameroon. But the rest of the francophones may have jubilated simply because they thought that was the beginning of the end for the Southern Cameroonian struggle which was disturbing their business.
Now they know better. The wave of panic that swept the territory last week, and the developments reported in Kupe Muanenguba this week attest that the resistance is not about to peter out, with or without Ayuk Tabe.
It can be argued that those who don’t stand with you are against you. But remember we are operating in a context of well cultivated collective cowardice.
So who is the enemy? It is not a people but a political setup that seems to make a mockery of the very raison d’être of Government. That setup has the jitters about anything that could upset the applecart, especially as elections approach. And the current shift of rhetoric to the election is to galvanize accomplices for the maintenance of the status quo. The question to ask, however, is whether the system thinks it has the magic to make all the bereaved, homeless and destitute Southern Cameroonian families suddenly swallow their grief and go out to register and vote.
The answer seems to be playing out at the police stations. Reportedly, everyone who goes there for a new ID card is asked if they have a voter’s card. If they don’t, their photos and credentials are taken for what many suspect as forceful voter registration. Many further suspect that this might serve to authenticate fake voters, come polling time. Applying that to the current crisis, it would then be possible to claim that many Southern Cameroonians registered to participate in the elections, in the hope of convincing the world that the “secessionists” are just a small minority of agitators. That falsehood which ignores and deliberately misrepresents real feelings and aspirations of the people is a key attribute of the real enemy.