Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Content

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Dedication

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pp. ix-ix

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Acknowledgement

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pp. xi-xi

I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and my German academic friends and collaborators, Professors Eckhard Breitinger . . .

Preface

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pp. xiii-xiii

Part One

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1. Democracy and Development in Africa: Putting the Horse before the Cart

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pp. 3-20

Before the colonial intervention in the history of Africa, the continent was politically composed of various Kingdoms (Fondoms), . . .

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2. The Medium and Long Term Lessons of the Lake Nyos Natural Disaster

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pp. 21-25

There have been three events in recent times that have drawn world-wide attention to Cameroon, a country which, otherwise, . . .

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3. X For All by the Year 2000

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pp. 27-30

The year 2000 A.D. ought to be designated the “International Year of Hope.” Nearly everyone is familiar with the expression . . .

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4. Letter to the Dean

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pp. 31-37

I first applied to the University for a lectureship in November 1984, immedi-ately after obtaining my Ph D. from the University of Ibadan, . . .

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5. Fonlon’s Socratic Life: Its Relevance to our Political Culture and Contemporary Situation

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pp. 39-45

The parallels between the life of Bernard Fonlon and that of the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, are so striking as to make . . .

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6. The Sasse Motto Fide Quaerens Intellectum

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pp. 47-52

The founding fathers of Sasse College, Cameroon’s premier secondary pedagogical institution, chose for its motto the scholastic . . .

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7. The Plight of the Ex-seminarian and Ex-religious in Modern Cameroon

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pp. 53-57

I should begin this essay with some preliminary confessions: I am one of these people that I am about to write about, having quit the path . . .

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8. Bernard Fonlon Evening Monday 19th November 1990

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pp. 59-61

I have greatly enjoyed all the lectures given this evening. I have learnt a lot of things I didn’t know before. All the lectures have raised . . .

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9. Fale Wache, Lament of a Mother

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pp. 63-64

In this poem, Wache, taking refuge behind a woman whose son, Ndikochong, has gone overseas and refused to return, lays bare the festering . . .

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10. On The Television Programme “The Debate”

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pp. 65-68

I have what I might describe as serious reservations concerning the T.V. programme “The Debate.” Let me try to put my points simply and . . .

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11. Is There Really an Anglophone Problem in Cameroon?

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pp. 69-75

If there is an “Anglophone problem’’ in this country, what exactly is the problem? If there is no Anglophone problem, then what the hell . . .

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12. The Beginning of the End

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pp. 77-80

Well, before you mistake me for a preacher, let me own up and introduce myself as a University teacher by deliberate choice . . .

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13. Our Book of Revelations

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pp. 81-84

My priestly hangover is still with me. Well, you don’t get over an abortive attempt at “fada-work” so easily, do you? My Bible . . .

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14. Cameroonians are Unshockable

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pp. 85-87

The late seventies and early eighties were a period of remarkable relative prosperity and optimism in Cameroon. The Cameroon . . .

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15. From Unshockability to Exaggerated Credulity

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pp. 89-91

Last time I was talking about the apparent unshockability of Cameroonians. This unshockability is complemented by exaggerated, . . .

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16. For the Attention of my Students

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pp. 93-95

I must try my best again to convince you of the following thesis: all formal education involves the acquisition of skills, whether physical or . . .

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17. Revelations Chapter 3

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pp. 97-100

For “INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM,” the gold medal for this year will surely go to LA NOUVELLE EXPRESSION.” In this . . .

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18. Our Mungo Bridges

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pp. 101-108

On 11th February 1961, the United Nations conducted a plebiscite in what was then called “British Cameroons,” comprising . . .

Part Two. In the Spirit of GOBATA

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1. The Stuff Mandela is Made of

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pp. 111-114

First of all, I throway salute to all Cameroonians in general and readers of CamPost in particular, especially those who have steadfastly . . .

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2. Of Prof Ngwafor’s Practical Jealousy and Ambition’s Sterner Stuff

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pp. 115-118

Please, forgive today’s title. It sounds quite un-Gobatalike, but all the “Sasse” in it is drawn from the SOBA YAOUNDE CHAPTER NEWS . . .

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3. Struggling Non-violently: The Case of the SCNC

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pp. 119-122

Some people claim that the idea of non-violent struggle is selfcontradictory an impossible idea. This point of view is not entirely without . . .

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4. Western Democracies and African Dictatorships

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pp. 123-125

Although democracy as a system of governance has acquired the status of a sacred dogma in western political thought and ideology, . . .

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5. Western Democracies and African Dictatorships

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pp. 127-129

The real tragedy in the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and his compatriots is not the mere fact that it was done in contemptuous . . .

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6. Tenth Anniversary of a Horrible Year

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pp. 131-134

I am scripting this piece on August 27, 1996, exactly ten years, to the day, since the untimely death of Bernard Nsokika Fonlon whose birthday . . .

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7. Where we Should Be Heading

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pp. 135-137

As a freshman undergraduate at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, which, as they used to boast in those days, is “the very first . . .

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8. In the Spirit of a Zealous Disciple

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pp. 139-143

There is a remarkable story told by all the four biblical evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - about the Passion and . . .

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9. A Rich Harvest of Peters by Paul

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pp. 145-148

What’s in a name? Very little. Especially Western names like Peter and Paul, Mary and Martha, which have no literal meaning but . . .

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10. The Collapse of the French Empire in Africa

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pp. 149-151

The French have received more than a fair share of my critical attention since 1990. I have voluntarily and freely given the French very important . . .

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11. Between Mvondo and Mvodo; The Emergence of Victor Ayissi

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pp. 153-156

Honourable Victor Ayissi Mvodo, an erstwhile Minister under Ahidjo’s dictatorship, has emerged from the wings, as it were, and . . .

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12. Corruption Fights Cameroon

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pp. 157-159

There is a famous Nigerian cartoonist named Josy Ajiboye who, for decades, has been cartooning regularly for the . . .

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13. Rumours of Dangerous Manoeuvres and Machinations

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pp. 161-163

Although we have continued saying that “Le Cameroun c’est le Cameroun” and: sometimes, with apparent justification, we need to . . .

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14. Politics of Back Scratching

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pp. 165-168

It is Honourable (?) Simon Achidi Achu, ex-this and that, who is generally credited with the copyright of the political theory of back-scratching. . . .

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15. For the Attention of All Potential Ethnic Cleansers

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pp. 169-171

Ethnic cleansing is a truly horrible idea that had its origin, birth and flowering in Europe, especially in Nazi Germany. It is closely . . .

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16. Independent Electoral Commission, an Absolute Necessity

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pp. 173-175

With the mandate of our first supposedly democratically elected parliament coming to an end, Cameroonians have one rare . . .

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17. How to Demystify John Fru Ndi

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pp. 177-179

For quite a long time now I have never written anything directly about John Fro Ndi or Paul Biya, so as not to create or reinforce the . . .

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18. If You Saw The Shah Escaping…

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pp. 181-184

Do you remember the Shah of Iran who reigned before the rise of Ayatollah? How funny I cannot now even recall his name! The . . .

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19. On Behalf of a College Room-mate

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pp. 185-187

I have once remarked in this column that the bond between school class-mates is much stronger than any tribal bond. People are never so ready . . .

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20. Mixed Signals of the Emerging Shape of Things

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pp. 189-191

Faithful watchers of our political thermometer would agree that the political temperature has been dropping towards normality in . . .

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21. Address to the Youth

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pp. 193-195

I am talking about my own address to the youths, not about that of His Excellency Paul Biya. I am not a senior political analyst at CRTV to . . .

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22. Registering on the Electoral List

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pp. 197-199

I wonder how the exercise of registering for the forthcoming elections is going in other parts of the country; but in Yaounde it has, so far, . . .

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23. In Provisional Praise of Paul Biya

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pp. 201-203

I could easily become a frequent praise-singer of His Excellency Paul Biya, if the latter continues changing and improving at the remarkable rate that . . .

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24. Constitutional Council: Why we Are Worried

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pp. 205-207

The last (extraordinary) session of our now expired parliament was evidently not convened to create the (as yet) non-existent Constitutional . . .

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25. For Every Mobutu a Kabila

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pp. 209-211

When His Excellency, Marshall Sese Seko Mobutu was recently persuaded to interrupt his terminal cancer treatment in . . .

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26. Killing an Innocent Person Can Never Be Justified

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pp. 213-215

Killing an innocent person is unjustifiable, not only from the point of view of morality but from the point of view of mere rationality. . . .

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27. On the Threshold of a Democratic Breakthrough

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pp. 217-219

Today, in Cameroon, we are standing on the threshold of a democratic breakthrough from the strangulating grip of the repressive . . .

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28. Yielding Place to a New Order

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pp. 221-223

No human being is immortal. No human being is eternal. No human being is omniscient. No human being is omnipotent. No human . . .

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29. Mola Njoh Litumbe’s Concept of Home

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pp. 225-227

According to Mola Njoh Litumbe, a person’s home is where that person (or, more accurately, his/her corpse) is going to be taken for . . .

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30. As a Participant Observer

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pp. 229-231

As a participant observer, it is my patriotic duty to make the following report on our just-ended parliamentary elections. I do know that . . .

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31. Waiting for Kabila

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pp. 233-235

You may think I am referring to Mobutu. His Excellency Marshall Sese Seko Desire Mobutu, the erstwhile richest and most powerful . . .

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32. Kleptocracy and Mendacity as Identification Marks

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pp. 237-239

The unmistakable identification marks of the political regime which is co-extensive with the Ahidjo dictatorship without being identical . . .

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33. Non Dimittis, Domine

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pp. 241-244

Man plans and God unplans. I had planned to sing my nunc dimittis about now. You remember Simeon, don’t you? Yes, the Simeon . . .

33Non Dimittis, Domine

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