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Cameroon Political Story

Memories of an Authentic Eye Witness

Nerius Namaso Mbile

Publication Year: 2011

The Cameroon Political Story is a long journey through the eyes and actions of the author himself. It is a mix between Mbileís memoirs, a bit of his biography and the Cameroon political story, heavily weighted in favour of that part of the Republic formerly identified as Southern Cameroons, later West Cameroon, now South West and North West Regions. The story is told in the interest of the Cameroonian youth and scholar who have often complained of the inadequate recording by political leaders of the life and deeds of their times. It is the story of an African boy of humble village beginnings who rose to participate in the making of a modern political community. It is hoped the book provides useful knowledge on the history, growth and constitutional evolution of Cameroon, a country which after more than a century of administrative metamorphosis settled to its present statehood in 1961, a Cameroon reborn.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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Dedication

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Contents

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pp. iii-vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

This effort is not strictly my memoires; it is a mix between that, a bit of my biography and the Cameroon political story, heavily weighted in favour of that part of the Republic formerly identified as Southern Cameroons, later West Cameroon, now South West and North West Provinces. The pressure on me to produce this record has come from many sides: the intellectual youth who have often enjoyed bits of my ...

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xvi

Hon. N. N. Mbile is one of the rare breed of surviving founding fathers of the Cameroon nation west of the Mungo. He has played a preponderant role in the politics of this nation for almost half a century with lots of zeal, patriotism and foresight. Indeed, destiny assigned a noteworthy place for him in the political dispensation of this ...

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About the Author

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pp. xvii-

Nerius Namaso Mbile was born in 1923 at Lipenja, Batanga, Ndian Division. He attended primary school at Lipenja N.A. School (1930- 32), Kumba Government School (1933-37), Buea Government School (1938-39), Umuahia Government College/Hope Waddell Training Institute Calabar (1940-45). He obtained his Senior Cambridge ...

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Chapter One - My Early Days

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pp. 1-18

No one recorded when I was born, but I can tell you my age. This I have been able to do by using the year school came to my village and when I was admitted to the then Lipenja N.A. school. School came to Lipenja in 1929, and I was admitted to the school in 1930 with my admission number 100. Since my father, a retired “German plantation ...

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Chapter Two - As Journalist with the Zik’s Press

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pp. 19-23

After the tour through the territory, Mr. Narnme stationed at Victoria and I at Kumba. From there I poured news to the West African Pilot, Lagos, and soon settled down as a regular Reporter/Correspondent for the Zik’s Press. The popularity under which I was basking as the hard hitting West African Pilot Reporter/Correspondent of Kumba was soon rudely disturbed when I dared beard a certain administrative lion in his ...

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Chapter Three - Trade Union Days

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pp. 25-32

Meanwhile the Cameroon Voice project turned out a dream that never came true. After waiting for months on end in. vain, my colleague Mr. Namme sailed to Lagos to find out what was happening with the project. He did not return. I waited for eight months and could hear no word, so in the end all the storm we had raised about the Cameroon Voice ended like the historic South Sea Bubble. As God works in His ...

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Chapter Four - I Become Assembly Man

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pp. 33-38

By December 1951, the country was ready for its first general elections. It had been agreed, at the end of the exercise since 1948 that revised the Richards Constitution from its unpopular system of nominating representatives, to that of Sir John Macpherson which introduced the more democratic selection of parliamentarians through elections, to have three Regions, Eastern Region with Headquarters at ...

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Chapter Five - The Eastern Crisis of 1953

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pp. 39-63

The activities consequent upon my father’s exit having subsided, I returned to my headquarters in Kumba to pursue the diverse calls that constituted the duties of a parliamentarian. Soon we were off to Enugu, then to Lagos and back to Kumba again. Forward and backward we travelled between our constituencies and the Legislative Houses as our new duties as lawmakers demanded. Then there were ...

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Chapter Six - Lagos Reassembled Constitutional Conference: January - February 1954 Southern Cameroons Gains

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pp. 65-75

Dr. Endeley and his KNC men returned to Buea where they were neither here nor there constitutionally until the reassembled conference in Lagos, January and February 1954 endorsed a Quasi-Federal status for Southern Cameroons. Below is the declarations on the issue following the Lagos talks. ...

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Chapter Seven - Elections 1957-1959 and Constitutional Matters

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pp. 77-112

One of the decisions taken at the Lagos Constitutional Conference 1954 was that “The life of this first Assembly should end not later than the 31st of December, 1956.” This referred to the House of Assembly of the thirteen members who had won their seats through the Eastern House of Assembly, Enugu, in 1953. Due to official delays, this date of ...

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Chapter Eight - Plebiscite Campaign and Results

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pp. 113-126

To suit a largely illiterate electorate it was agreed to choose two striking symbols to represent the two contending points of view. We finally settled on using colours that could not be confused, GREEN for association with Nigeria; WHITE for unification with the Republic of Cameroun. The two boxes were painted green or white, with a slot at the top for placing the vote. The vote itself was a piece of firm paper ...

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Chapter Nine - Interpretation of Plebiscite Results

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pp. 127-136

When the results of the plebiscite were announced, there was blind rejoicing by some, cautious jubilation by others, but there was a dreadful chill amongst the pro-Nigerian elements. It was the type of silence that accompanies desperation, that precedes an explosion. To the 97.741 men and women who had cast their vote in the green box, it was as if their world had ended. ...

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Chapter Ten - The Foumban Conference and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon

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pp. 137-160

We had hardly enough time to wash our travelling clothes from the Bamenda dust after the Mankon meeting, when the gong tolled for the expected East-West Conference to tackle the question of a constitution for the Federal Republic. The venue was announced to be the romantic capital of the historic Bamoums, famed for their valour in war, their love of art, and their beautiful women referred to in local ...

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Chapter Eleven - KNDP Breaks Up

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pp. 161-180

The appointment of Jua as Prime Minister turned out to be the last straw on the back of the KNDP. Those who had disagreed with the party constitution by continuing to back Muna were suspended from the KNDP by its President. The action was ratified by the Central Working Committee, but later changed to expulsion by the KNDP Executive Committee. ...

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Chapter Twelve - My Closing Days

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pp. 181-202

I returned to Buea from Bafut as the new Secretary of State for Primary Education, West Cameroon, and set to work to acquaint myself with the requirements of my new responsibility. My departmental experts were on hand to put me through the necessary paces, but I was anxious myself to introduce fresh impetus into some elements of our education system in which I passionately believed. ...

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Chapter Thirteen - The National Party Idea

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pp. 203-208

Students of political science must by now be examining the basis of the one party or national party system as advocated by several African States like Tanzania, Cameroon etc. I have personally been conducting my own examination of the basis for our present CPDM national party, not from an academic point of view, but from the political historical events in Cameroon where we had arrived at our national ...

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Chapter Fourteen - The Unfinished Task

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pp. 209-213

More than three decades ago, the dawn of Cameroon Independence spread its radiant light of freedom across the land. Millions of Cameroonians witnessed the historic event of which their ancestors and their forebears hardly dreamt could one day be a legitimate aspiration of the black man. Some of those who lived to see that day that had for centuries eluded their fathers only dimly grasped the full ...

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Chapter Fifteen - The Cameroonian Character

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pp. 215-219

Non-Cameroonians as well as Cameroonians must often be baffled at the Cameroonian spirit of contradictory tendencies, accommodation and compromise, discord and diversity, bitterness and rancour and yet understanding and humanity, all bundled together. ...

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Chapter Sixteen - Cameroon Takes Its Stride

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pp. 221-234

Even to those now accustomed to the fast changing scene in independent Africa, the-news was electric, the move dramatic, and there could hardly be a better example of a political bolt from the blue. President Amadou Ahidjo of Cameroon shook the world with the announcement of his departure from the office he had held for over twenty years, a near quarter century. In one of the shortest speeches in ...

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Chapter Seventeen - Rudolf Douala Manga, a National Hero

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pp. 235-247

I wonder how many Cameroonians know who have been our true national heroes, apart from those on whom some local newspapers naively shower (through parochial tribal patriotism) such, often undeserved, honour and title. In my dive into this Cameroon political story, I believe I have found one such hero in the name of Rudolf ...

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Chapter Eighteen - Milestones Here and There

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pp. 249-270

While I was working on my Cameroon Political story, two significant events concerning two of my characters - Dr. Endeley and S.T. Muna overtook me. Both men, who had commenced parliamentary politics in the year 1952, surprisingly ended their careers as parliamentarians in the same year of 1988. This gives a staggering thirty-six years of unbroken parliamentary membership to their credit, and the strange ...

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Chapter Nineteen - The Return of Multiparty Politics

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pp. 271-282

In 1985, a CNU Congress which held in Bamenda converted the Cameroon National Union into a new party renamed Cameroon People’s Democratic Party (CPDM, RDPC for the French acronym). One reason that fitted out for the change appears to be the desire to shed off as much as could possibly be, of the old CNU complexion. This is understandable, judging from the unpleasant events during the ...

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Chapter Twenty - The Cameroon Political Balance Sheet

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pp. 283-288

When the Powers of Europe sat in Berlin in 1884 to 1885 and partitioned Africa between themselves as hunters share their slain elephant, one of the parts was named Kamerun and given to Germany. This is the German version of a name that began with Rio dos Cameros (Portuguese), Cameroons (English). Cameroun (French). The Germans ran the territory mostly through their plantation system for ...

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956717828
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717774

Page Count: 310
Illustrations: b/w
Publication Year: 2011