Professor Fanso talking……. How can this government talk about unity when the state of its own unity is so laughable?
Professor Fanso talking below.
Enjoy the write up.
“My fears all along about the Ad Hoc Committee negotiating with the Anglophone Civil Service Consortium was that the Committee was not only powerless to take decisions but made up of strange bed-fellows. In the first place, it was headed by a non-Cabinet Minister who had in the team not only Full Francophone Cabinet Ministers of all levels of Education, but also contained a Minister who had not only caused and orchestrated much of the Anglophone Educational Problem, but one who publicly denied that there is an Anglophone Problem; a Minister who is known to be very close to the President and is said to be his speech-writer, and who is arrogant and ridiculous in many respects. Definitely, such a Committee could not be expected to produce acceptable results and deliver. The Cabinet Ministers in the Committee knew their deliberations were only a show and that, sooner or later, the work would be abruptly terminated. And that is what happened!
That is why I was not surprised when news broke out that the Consortium and the SCNC had been outlawed and the talks suspended. The surprising thing is that the suspension was not by the Prime Minister/Head of Government who set up the Ad Hoc Committee in the first place, but by a Minister in his Government.Another surprising thing is that the Consortium had been negotiating with the Committee for some time, either party respecting the other.
Much earlier, while the Prime Minister himself was in the field in the North West acknowledging the existence of an Anglophone Problem and initiating dialogue to solve it, some Ministers of his Government organized a press conference and told the national and international community that there was no such problem. And the one who vehemently denied its existence was still a member of the Ad Hoc Committee. *What a ?Confused Government?!*
The third thing is that the Ad Hoc Committee was not mandated to discuss issues other than education, not even the context in which agreements on education would be implemented. Besides, the fact that the Ad Hoc Committee was headed by an Anglophone to negotiate the Anglophone Problem with an Anglophones team for the Francophone-led Government spelt nothing but disaster! But, as many Francophones are now pointing out, the Government itself seems to be totally ignorant of the Anglophone Problem. Or is the leadership blinded by their obsession with annexation and assimilation?
The Anglophone Problem in Cameroon is not a language problem; it has never been English vs French; it has never been a problem between Anglophone and Francophone; it has never been the ability to learn and speak English. It is rather a cultural problem, meaning the totality of the way of life of Anglophones, including ideas, traditions, institutions, arts, attitude and many other things produced and shared by them over the decades, which they brought into the federal union in 1961 and wanted to preserve. The Fathers of Unification of 1961 accepted and even enshrined the protection of the different cultures into the so-called Foumban Federal Constitution. They agreed that they would respect them and that the larger and more populous Francophone State assured the smaller territorial and numerical inferior Anglophone State that it would never use its population, size and leadership to impose on Anglophones. The two parties had agreed, even before the plebiscite and later enshrined it in the Foumban Constitution, that the best way to safeguard their heritages and ways of life for all the time was to set up a two-state federal bilingual country. That is why Anglophones voted massively in favour of unification.
But since 1961, the Francophone-led Government has done nothing but disrespect the Constitution, destroy the Federation and instead go for annexation and assimilation, not dialogue and progressive integration of the peoples and national cultures. They had agreed that neither side would alone take it upon itself, without consultation, to decide anything even if the thing was in the best interest of both parties.These agreements are there for any one to verify and see for him/herself.
But here we are, where we are! The story is bitter to narrate and I worry that negotiations have been suspended. The children are not in schools and universities in the two regions. The people of NW and SW may seem defeated in the face of massive military presence, arrests and all sorts of intimidation, but the Government should not pride itself, not at all, that it has won. *The Voice and Prayer of the People, even in silence, is the Voice of God!*
My plea: release all the Consortium members and others arrested in the NW and SW and allow them to continue to talk on behalf of their marginalized people. I am a victim of marginalization and can document it from as far back as possible.