Cameroon at 50
First of all, I would like to appreciate Baffour Ankomah for writing his wonderful piece of work on Cameroon’s golden jubilee celebrations. Nevertheless, I have a few points to comment on. Baffour said Cameroon was “Africa in miniature for good or for worse”, but in his article we could only find “the good” and not “the worse”. It is necessary therefore that I outline some of “the worse”.
The heroes of the UPC party (Union des Populations du Cameroun) – Felix Moumie, Ernest Wandji, Ruben Um Nyobe, etc – who fought relentlessly for the nationalist interest of this nation against the colonial master, France, have not been honoured in any way during this celebration.
After the union of the French and English Cameroons on 1 October 1961, we had the Federal Republic of Cameroon, not the United Republic of Cameroon. I am not sure that Cameroon is celebrating two jubilees because the government has never recognised 1 October as any historic day of the nation. Instead 1 October is a day that troops are deployed in one part of the country to prevent any form of celebration.
Perhaps 1 October 2011 might be a change. We shall wait and see. Pretending that there are two jubilees is just to satisfy the international community that they care for the minorities. Regarding the Yaoundé Conference, this was more of an African Union (AU) event – what with the presence of so many “big men” to prove to Cameroonians that their president is popular.
The president’s speech was more of an AU speech than celebrating Cameroon’s jubilee. At the moment one part of the country is confused about whether they are part of the celebration at all. We are anxiously waiting to take part in the “second jubilee” next year by the grace of God.
Ntebo Ebenezer Awungafac. Kumba, Cameroon