The so-called Anglophone problem in Cameroon is the clash of these two concepts. The English speaking population of Cameroon, former West Cameroon, is trained to stand against the transformation of government from servants of the people to lords of the country. It is simply the expression of a people who have experience of a different and reverent way of government. The Francophones find this not only preposterous and even heretical but also suicidal.
The Anglophone Problem in Cameroon is the decision of one segment of the country to break away from eternally waiting for government to perform the simplest but necessary tasks like harmonizing the legal system to fit the color of the country for instance. It is the determination of one segment of the population to put a halt to the systemization of mediocrity to satisfy a French agenda that is shamelessly determined to bleed the country dry for their own grandeur. It is the determined effort of one segment of the population that is convinced that their country does not merit the appellation of PPTE (French acronym for Very Poor, Highly Indebted Country) with all its natural resources and hardworking and greatly solarized people. Anglophone Cameroonians are not angels but they are better equipped to see the differences between life as it is in their country today and what it can be, and they have the culture to challenge it.
The present problems in Cameroon are dubbed ‘Anglophone’ because the regular follow-up of bribing some leaders and killing dissent did not work. This time around, in spite of the summary executions, torture and arbitrary kidnappings and deportations to far away jurisdictions, the teachers and lawyers who initiated the strike actions stood their grounds, accepting torture and refusing to be bribed. Our francophone compatriots are shocked because according to Cameroon norms, this is suicidal. The problem has lasted this long because Yaoundé still isn’t take things seriously as they continue their usual technics of intimidation and repression and attempts at bribery. Things have gotten because the English-speaking populations of the Northwest and Southwest regions have sided with the lawyers and teachers and adhered to calls of civil disobedience.
The crackdown from the government is brutal and deliberately inhuman. The world saw everything first hand as every citizen of the planet is now a photographer with instant publishing capabilities. Even the marauding soldiers took pleasure in recording their exploits and sharing them on social media, proudly or accidentally showing known uniforms and landmarks. This is how the government went from mistake to mistake instead of doing the work of governing which comprises of just plain negotiations, with no strings attached. When they called for negotiations they laced their platform with items of contention which would not bring lasting solutions but shift the problems for later, as usual.
The government is embarrassed and frustrated now because this is a first. Normally, money and alcohol would have quelled things. The people of West Cameroon just want to find solutions to issues that have been sources of frustrations for more than half a century. But the arrogance of the government has caused it to exact crimes on the people of West Cameroon. Capitulation is now seen as a sign of failure and not as a symbol of a government that is at the service of its people.