Situation in Bamenda: Leave Cameroon Alone!

Cameroonians do not seem to have read, at least appropriately, about the victories of the 1961 Foumban conference and the ensuing conclusions that led to the reunion between the two erstwhile territories initially ceded to France and England following the defeat of Germany in the First World War .


The way we have made of the conclusions of that conference are a reflection of what has been happening on the streets of Bamenda in the past few days. Many Cameroonians today on the both sides of the perceived divide, earnestly believe that people in a glass house should avoid throwing stones! Simply because they believe stones can break what has painstakingly taken a good 55 years to build! There is a lot of passion around; and in an atmosphere of passion nothing really good can emerge except in a situation where one camp wants to win at all cost. The passion being referred to here is about the massive destruction of public infrastructure in Bamenda which will certainly take many years to rebuild.

This came about mainly because of the ambient poverty which is not an exclusive problem of the Bamenda municipality but rather a national problem which the government is trying in more ways than one to address with results which, for obvious reasons, cannot satisfy the wide-ranging demands of a wild army of job seekers. The situation therefore calls for patience just as it is also necessary to patiently hear the demands being made by striking teachers and lawyers and for which the Governor of the North-West Region has promised a responsible response in his desire that dialogue should be given a chance!

This means the “warring” factions have finally come to terms and one expects that in the coming days the dialogue promised by the Governor and which, in the first place, can be blamed for the prevalent situation, can produce results that are satisfactory to all the parties. No one is preaching secession as has been suggested by some people who are obviously oblivious of the gains of the 1961 constitutional conference in Foumban whose conclusions were extremely bullish about a future Cameroonian nation in which all the reunited components lived in absolute harmony. When this trouble in Bamenda started, it was hard to believe under what auspices the Foumban Constitutional Conference held. Has the slogan “How nice It is to be together Again” carried on a huge billboard on the entrance to Foumban been thrown to the dogs?

Time and history will have to judge the real intentions of the negotiators of the Foumban conference, but the suggestion attributed to some indigenes of the former British territory of Southern Cameroons is obviously considered an insult to the vast majority of Cameroonian citizens of this part of the national territory who need not be reminded each time, as has often been the case, that they are citizens of a reunited Cameroon. Moreover, the 1961 translated version of the national anthem of Cameroon is unequivocal in its belief that Cameroon is one. It suggests in imagery that Cameroon is a huge mass as mighty as the Buea Mountain.

These are some of the suggestions that those animating the social media are unaware of. Cameroonians simply want to be considered as full-fledged citizens, ensuring that no one is considered in any way possible as a second-class citizen or as one not enjoying the full rights as conceived by our grandparents, uncles or aunts in Foumban. Social media actors should leave Cameroon alone; because we can address our problems alone and simply need leaders who are in a disposition to listen to others because this is what a Republic is all about.

Those talking about secession and the like are obviously prophets of doom or simply those wanting undeserved political gains. Maybe many Cameroonians simply want an improvement in their lot but lack the appropriate way to express their desire; but hawks of the system want to give them a bad name and consequently hang them. Let us do everything to save Cameroon!

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