In the next edition of dissecting the Bishops 22nd December letter to Paul Biya, they faulted the government for the very poor management of the problem. The Bishops found it worrisome that Government has been refusing to recognize the existence of this problem meanwhile they go ahead bribing elites and causing division between Southern Cameroonians. In light of this problem, groups such as “secessionists” and Federalists were created as well as Unitarists who are bent on maintaining the status quo. The Bishops chastised the government by saying things must not be the same again. Read on
“…The Management of the Anglophone Problem
It is our conviction that the Anglophone Problem would have been solved, or at least mitigated, if it had been well managed by those concerned. A lack of proper management seems to be what has aggravated the problem.
The Government and Government Ministers
It is unfortunate to note that the government of Cameroon seems to have made every attempt to downplay or even deny the existence of an Anglophone Problem. Government Ministers (even those of former West Cameroon extraction) have denied the existence of any such problem in the media and in public speeches.
Furthermore, it is widely believed in Anglophone Cameroon that government has consciously created divisions among the English-speaking elite, remunerating some allies with prestigious positions in the state apparatus previously reserved for Francophones only, and repressing all actions designed to improve on the status of Anglophone Cameroonians in the union.
This seems to have been proven true in the recent unrests by the utterances of government Ministers in the Press Conference on CRTV, in the dispatch of an Anglophone Elite delegation to the Northwest Region, and in the brutal suppression of protests by certain professional groups and sections of the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
In the face of this denial of the existence of an Anglophone Problem by government and the consequent deafening silence from the government to the cries and protests of Anglophone Cameroonians, certain groups have emerged in Anglophone Cameroon that call for the secession of Anglophone from Francophone Cameroon. The Southern Cameroons Youth League, the Southern Cameroons National Council, and the Ambazonia Movement are some of the most strident of these groups and are currently members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) in The Hague.
There are different forms of federalism, and federalists in Anglophone Cameroon will differ as to the specific nature of the federal state they would want. However, they are all agreed that they do require a federation which recognises and preserves the region’s peculiarity, as did the 1961 Federal Constitution.
Successive amendments to the Constitution up to and including the Amendments of 1996 insist on the fact that Cameroon is one and indivisible (Article 1-2, 1996). Cameroon is described as a decentralized unitary state. Unitarists believe that everything must be done to avoid federalism or secession. However, even the decentralization announced by the 1996 Constitution has not been implemented, and government and administration have been highly centralised…..” Writes Kumbo, Buea, Kumba, Mamfe and Bamenda Bishops
To be continued………….