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Southern West Cameroon Revisited (1950-1972) Volume One

Southern West Cameroon Revisited (1950-1972) Volume One

Anthony Ndi

Publication Year: 2014

This book contributes to discussions on the topical issue of ìFifty Years after the independence of the Southern Cameroonsî, by taking a critical look at the process that lead up to Southern Cameroonsí ëreunificationí with la RÈpublique du Cameroun. This was the period spanning from 1951 to 1961, and possibly up to 1972. This immediately conjures two overriding factors; first, the British colonial policy in Southern Cameroons, which dominated political life in the period leading up to: the Plebiscite, the Buea Tripartite Conference, the Bamenda All Party Conference, the Foumban Constitutional Conference and the Yaounde Tripartite Conference during the phase, 1959-1961. This constituted one huge hoax, whilst that from 1961-1972 and, beyond was dominated by the enigmatic figure of President Ahrnadou Ahidjo. At the heart of the first, are the declassified British secret papers which have uncovered the ugly undercurrents that characterised British colonial policy, while on the other hand, is President Ahmadou Ahidjo, who practically personalized the administration of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. His domination of the entire existence of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, (1961-1972) was overshadowed by the fact that he could not brood sharing power with any individual or institution. Simply put, he was allergic to democratic principles-or any form of opposition to his authority. As well, he was a matchless dictator especially in his ambivalent dealings with Southern West Cameroon. Apparently, it was the ìdestinyî of Southern Cameroons ëthat up to 1961, it was harnessed to the tenterhooks of Great Britain and from 1961-1972, transferred to those of the Ahidjo Regime; neither of which wished its people well.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, About this Book, Praise, About the Author

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book has been realized with noteworthy contributions from several institutions and individuals. Among these, are public archives including: the National Archives, Buea (NAB), the Regional Archives, Bamenda (RAB) and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary (STAMS) Archives and Library, Bambui. Further to these, l was privileged to be granted access to the rare private archives of the...

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xiv

Writing a foreword to a book written by a luminous historiographer like Anthony Ndi can be exciting and challenging. Exciting because it gives one the opportunity to discover new facts and appreciate new techniques in the state of the art of historiography. In the same instance, presenting a foreword to a study of this calibre is also challenging. Challenging because the historical plot espoused by the...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xxii

Let me start this preface with a quote from “God’s Little Devotional Book for Graduates.”

When Honorius was Emperor of Rome, the great Coliseum was often filled to overflowing with spectators who came from far and wide to watch the state-sponsored games. Part of the sport...

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Introduction

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pp. xxiii-xxxii

The Landscape

“Not to know what took place before you were born is to remain forever a child” (Marcus Tulius Cicero).

The title of this book derives from a topic appropriately selected to kick-start discussions in the year of celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee of the Independence (and Reunification) of Southern...

Abbreviations

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pp. xxxiii-xxxiv

List of Photographs

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pp. xxxv-xxxvi

Images

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pp. xxxvii-xl

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Chapter 1 - Independence and Reunification: An Analysis of Basic Issues

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pp. 1-22

This book is the product of a triple mandate: which started from a presentation at a Regional Symposium in Bamenda and concluded at a conference convened by the Minister of Arts and Culture in Yaoundé on 28 June 2011 in connection with celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee of the “Independence and Reunification of Southern Cameroons”. It was in this context that the author took up the assignment to immortalize this unique occasion by critically reexamining...

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Chapter 2 - Reunification Account: Setting Basic Records Straight

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pp. 23-48

So far it is obvious that there was indeed not only a plethora of indictments but as well, several controversial topics which sprang out from the epic Summit Magazine interview. The bulk of these will be dealt with later in the course of this exposition. Nevertheless, there are a few pungent ones which call for urgent preliminary examination to clarify issues fundamental to the themes that resonate throughout the ...

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Chapter 3 - Southern Cameroons: Political Maturity

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pp. 49-80

This chapter, elaborately, and in comparative terms demonstrates using various parameters, the extent to which Southern Cameroons up to the mid-1960s, had extensively developed an evolved, mature, political culture. It was amazingly led by a range of: simple, visionary, austere, honest, peace-loving and realistic leaders, almost without exception – vintage products of their epoch. Distinguished by good governance; throughout it organized frequent free, fair and transparent...

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Chapter 4 - The Plebiscite: Litmus Test of Political Maturity

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pp. 81-114

Of all the events which occurred to actualize it and those which have happened in its wake, the plebiscite of 11 February1961 is incontestably the highest watershed in the political history of Southern Cameroons; as by it, all the political activity in that territory beginning from 1951 was epitomized. It was a momentous decision taken by 349.652 or 94.75 of the total electorate and was the most critical decision that has continued to affect the lives and times not only of the...

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Chapter 5 - The Constitutional Marathon, From Bamenda to Foumban

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pp. 115-142

The Foumban Constitutional Conference of 16-21 July,1961 incontestably marks the peak of Cameroon history; the political confluence of Southern Cameroons and Cameroon Republic, which forged a common identity and took concrete shape in the Federal Republic of Cameroon. It could also be said that the Bamenda All Party Conference, which preceded it was a dress rehearsal and direct...

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Chapter 6 - Foumban: Beyond The Constitutional Conference

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pp. 143-170

In retrospect, it is doubtful if indeed, there were better alternatives to what took place at Foumban after all that had transpired in Southern Cameroons leading to the referendum. Foumban was taking place with a “French Cameroon” that had already attained its independence with a solidly centralized presidential type constitution already approved in a “referendum”, while Southern Cameroons was plainly still in political ...

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Chapter 7 - Foncha’s Waterloo: “Secret Deals and Hidden Constitution”

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pp. 171-198

In the context of the pungent and persistent stigmatization that Foncha “hid” the draft highly centralized federal constitution because of a deal he had struck with President Ahidjo for positions (his cabinet) in the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, recourse is sought to the original verbatim records bearing on the facts. However, it should immediately be clarified that the real issue is not about...

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Chapter 8 - Indictments: Foncha Opposed Southern Cameroons Independence

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pp. 199-226

Of the litany of accusations piled up against Foncha, two stick out poignantly. One is with regard to his policy towards autonomy or independence for Southern Cameroons and the other about secret deals he is supposed to have struck with President Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1961 over positions for himself and Muna in Ahidjo’s Government. In fact, there are repeated instances in the Summit Magazine interview...

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Chapter 9 - Malcolm Milne: “Dr. Jerkyll and Mr. Hyde

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pp. 227-258

In essence, the “Nadir comprises historically contextualised excerpts from Malcolm Milne’s rich autobiography entitled: No Telephone to Heaven – From Apex to Nadir- Colonial Service in Nigeria, Eden, the Cameroons and the Gold Coast.”356 The entire volume recounts his experiences in the British colonial service but the focus here is on his time in Southern Cameroons, which saw the end of his life in the...

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Postscript - About History. “It is History and not the Historians that Society Requires” (Marwick)

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pp. 259-264

History is written following set principles defined by “historiography” and not merely the presentation of a catalogue of facts. Isolated facts in history make no sense. They must be seen in the context of place, time and circumstance. That is why similar facts and events occurring or happening in the same place, affecting the same or different persons at different times are characteristically different. History, therefore,...

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Epilogue

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pp. 265-282

Below is the Summit Magazine No. 16 April –June 2011 interview with Professor, Victor Julius Ngoh anchored by Kange Williams Wasaloko (Publisher, Acting Editor-in-Chief) reproduced in full.

“Fifty Years after Reunification: Southern Cameroons Had a Raw Deal Because of the Greed of KNDP Politicians.

Foreword - The Reunification Gamble: Setting the Records Straight (sic)...

Appendices

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pp. 283-314

Select Bibliography

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pp. 315-320

Index

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pp. 321-335

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956791224
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956791446

Page Count: 378
Publication Year: 2014