Barrister Fon Gorgi Dinka was the first person to my knowledge who defied all odds and held himself out publicly in defence of the Anglophone cause. After publishing his book – The New Social Order – he called on the “Anglophone soldier” to take up arms against the President of the Republic whom he described as “going from illegalities to illegalities”. He spectacularly escaped from detention and fled to Calabar (Nigeria). Even as he relentlessly fought the Anglophone cause under the banner AMBAZONIA, the struggle under that banner has remained moribund internally
AAC1 and AAC2 ended up submitting a memorandum (draft constitution”) to the President of the Republic in the early nineties. Elad, Anyangwe and Munzu subsequently took part in the Tripartite Talks, most probably in the name of Anglophones. Not only did the draft constitution end up fatally in the waste basket, but none of the Anglophones’ grievances as per the memorandum ever received any attention
Eventually was the Southern Cameroons’ National Council – SCNC – born with the sole intent to press the case for dialogue. It took little time for Yaounde to send soldiers to brutalize innocent Southern Cameroonian citizen and secure the arrest and detention of SCNC leaders. Those who did not die in detention did take out a suit against Cameroun in the African Human Rights Commission at Banjul for physical injuries from torture and false imprisonment. The result was the Bunjul Ruling which has been lying in the “Pending tray” in Yaounde for upwards of two decades now
At one point in time during the proceeding at Banjul, the members of SCNC who, it would appear, had sued Cameroun by themselves and on behalf of Southern Cameroonians, broke off to call themselves Southern Cameroons’ People Organization – SCAPO. Another faction later emerged in the Name of southern Cameroons’ Youth League – SCYL.
Due to leadership crisis from mistrust and unending bickering, every one of these groupings has lost steam in the recent past. In the end, there is little coordination at the national level, even less so at the international level. Professional and career groupings necessarily sprang up in defence of group interests. Prominent among them are teachers’ “unions” and recently Common Law lawyers
The strategy of Yaounde has been to pretend to listen to such groups while favouring their multiplication so that they pose little threat… Yaounde appears to be out of wit now that a sense of common purpose is permeating the walls Yaounde has erected between the groups
But the fear is that the expedient is ever transient. There is absolute need for coordination both nationally and internationally. The contemporary two groups, namely, the teachers and the lawyers, should select representatives, maybe five per group, to constitute the nucleus. The 10 or so will meet the soonest and co-opt a few other prominent Anglophones. They may choose a leader among themselves or operate for the time being in a collegiate manner.
This is most crucial and urgent! Yaounde tricksters could ridicule us before the world if they were forced by the present circumstances to invite us to talk very like replaying the scenario of Fumban 1961… Even if just to get Yaounde to that point, such a team seems to me indispensable!
Ayah Paul Abine
Cameroun Supreme Court Advocate