ATANGA PAUL NJI’S APPOINTMENT

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This is exactly the kind of reaction I have been waiting for. I want Southern Cameroonians to join me and say Alleluia and even to quote Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by saying « A Daniel is come to judgement » For those who for over fifty years have been saying « Yes » to everything this monster government headed by Mr Ahidjo and then Mr Biya Mr Biya has been doing, please once again say « Yes » as loud as you can. But if you do so, and for just one second really don’t feel stupid about yourself, please you better commit suicide. I don’t want to mention Atanga Paul Nji’s denial of “no Anglophone problem”. He is a moron. But let me tell you people a brief story about my encounter with this con man back in the early 1980s.

I was in my second year in Ngoa Ekele when he just showed up in my student’s room near CRADAT in Yaounde. He was accompanied by my room mate. As talkative as he is he did not waste time to introduce himself as the National President of an organization he called International Youth Organization whose World President was Muamar Ghadafi. He backed up his claims by giving us a business card printed in colour – a rarity in those days which actually bolstered his claim to what he was telling us. He even produced pictures shaking hands with Ghadafi and then Margaret Thatcher.

We were impressed until I went to America and became aware of Madame Tussaud’s exhibitions where life sized waxed figures of popular world characters are displayed and any visitor there can take a make belief snapshot with any of the waxed characters and nobody would know the difference from the real person. But I could only put these facts together when I heard about a this fellow whom every newspaper in Cameroon had described as a con man of the highest level – and that he had offered a very huge sum of money to the Cameroon government whch was undergoing undergoing a very serious economic crises at the time – i.e early 90’s.

I then remembered this form three drop out from St Bedes, Ashing Kom who had visited us at Ngoa Ekele some years back – and then everything fell into place. Even the way he talks would tell you he is from the lowest ranks of society. His language is crude made worse by his very diminished vocabulary with obvious signs that he has never been near to any of Shakespeare’s writings.; his accent is unpolished made much so by some kind of impolite behaviour when talking to people – a characteristic that can be attributed only to Cameroon conmen (Feymen) who always like to give the impression that they know better than anybody else.

Lack of education is no crime but when such a person finds himself among better educated persons who have used education to master how to interact with their fellow man in a more civilized way, he unfortunately interprets civility to mean weakness. That is why in public he interrupts conversation to make himself be the only one to be listened to.

That is the Atanga Paul Nji I know. However, regarding his recent appointment to the post of Minister of Territorial Administration, I will begin by saying that this would have been the biggest mockery and a pure slap in the face of English speaking Cameroonians if by some bad luck we still believed in the nonsense called a union with LRC. How could anyone be appointed into such a strategic position who barely knows how to read and write. He is barely literate though I know as a feyman he can produce a degree from London, Yale, Havard, MIT, Tufts, Moorehouse. etc, etc.

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So among all Anglophones in that country he is the best Mr Biya thinks would represent that values of what we are fighting for? What an insult! Thank God he is insulting a people who are no longer there to hear or at best even feel it. If this kind of appointment had to affect us, at what level would he be coming up with suggestions among the very learned colleagues under him? Infact he would have ended up being a disgrace to us just how Mr Biya always wanted it to be – a lower class, incompetent, uneducated inferior set of people who just happened to find themselves in LRC, if we had not definitely chosen to break away from that illegal union. Yes, Atanga Paul Nji is a pure reflection of Mr Biya’s concept of Southern Cameroonians. And we refuse that characterization.

We Southern Cameroonians are proud even if complacent. We have endured the pains of marginalization from a people who have been groping in the dark and still continue to do so 56 years after their independence. We can no longer be part of that self destructive adventure into nothingness.

This appointment as I earlier stated should be welcomed by all Southern Cameroonians. But this not because we expect anything from it but rather because it also shows that he has accepted that there was something wrong before. Please take note that I use the past tense that “there was something wrong”. Well, not anymore. Southern Cameroonians have chosen the path to their future and these appointments have nothing to do with us anymore. For those who will turn to have a positive impression of this let them. To a genuine Southern Cameroonian, to borrow his( Mr. Biya’s) favourite expression this is “sans objet”

By such appointments Mr Biya is pretending that he does not understand what is going on. But he does. He perfectly understands everything; what is blinding his concept of us is a very ominous and dark hatred against us. I had earlier stated why I think he hates Southern Cameroonians with so much passion. This started in 1983 when English speaking students of Yaounde University stood up and started the fight to maintain the GCE against a ministerial order signed by then Minister of Education Rene Ze Nguele. What Mr Biya, just like any average francophone could not not understand is why these students would stand up to fight for something that no longer had anything to do with them since all of us at the time had had our « A » levels.

That was his first encounter with the Anglophone spirit of cultural consciousness. But the most baffling thing to him was the fact that these students would not back down until he did. It was something he has never taken lightly. Secondly before he could recover from that shock of defiance from mere students, he was further rattled by the 1984 coup d’etat by Issa Tchiroma and his friends. The irony of this situation was that the coup d’etat forced him to rely for his personal safety on these very Anglophones he was still planning to teach a lesson to for insubordination to authority – something he had never expected from his Francophone citizens. Insubordination and victory against him by a people he had very low opinion about, and yet he had to acknowledge that but for them he might have even lost his life?

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His nerves could not absorb all these. But as if that was not enough, the demand from these people to create an all Anglosaxon University started. As usual these Anglophones would not back down whenever they came up with their “ridiculous” demands. Once again he was forced to back down and grant the creation of the University. Then before the University could even take off they came up again with a demand for the creation of a GCE Board to safeguard its Anglosaxon heritage and also because government would have the means not affect the quality of the exam at the expense of the Anglophone people in the union.

Once again Mr Biya after all kinds of intrigue and subterfuge was forced to bow to the Anglophone pressure and the GCE Board was created. Tell me dear Southern Cameroonians, don’t you see Mr Biya’s anger and hate against Southern Cameroonians was already on overdrive now and reaching boiling point? And nothing could make it worse than the organizing of AAI and II which might not have made any concrete achievements but solidified the concept of a two people union in the entity called Cameroon.

This was in-spite of his 1984 decree that changed the name of the country from United Republic of Cameroon to Republic of Cameroon – an attempt to obliterate the existence of another component of the state making up the union. If the name change even made an impression in that direction, AAC I and II reversed that almost within a day or two. It was the rebirth of Southern Cameroons nationalism something – Mr Biya till this date has never wanted to hear about. But with Southern Cameroons as part of the illegal “union” he is forced to live with it. It is a thorn in his flesh or bone in his neck he cannot swallow down but cannot cough it out either. Does he really want to cough it out? Oh yes he does.

He wants us out but not with our land. He wants the land and wants it so badly because apart from the abundant resources there, Ahidjo had done his best to prepare our territory ready for the exploitation: Mr. Biya had to do absolutely nothing again apart from engaging i full scale raping of the territory of its resources. . Ahmadou Ahidjo had constructed underwater pipeline to transport the refined oil from Victoria to Douala. No problem with that. Ahidjo had constructed the Tiko-Douala Road that would help transport CDC and forest products from Kumba, Mamfe, and Victoria to Douala without any problems. So if the Southern Cameroonians could just “disappear” from Cameroon he might have some peace.

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That is why when this uprising started he approached it with the most extreme brutality nobody in his right mind could have thought possible. The killing of innocent unarmed young and old people of the Southern Cameroons was shocking. How could such horror be the response to something as ordinary as a demand for fairness to the English speaking part of Cameroon? But if he thought that could break the spirits of Southern Cameroonians he is mistaken. We have nowhere else to run to. We did not ask to be born in the Southern Cameroons. Well we were, through no fault of ours and so it is our home and we will make it so come rain come shine. If we don’t where else do we go to be accepted, and by who?

So we should see that Mr Biya’s response to us is based on no strategic planning to handle the crises. It is just an opportunity for him to “teach us a lesson” something he has been dying to do since 1983. These appointments are just the latest part of insulting us. Of all English speakers in Cameroon he wants the world to believe that Atanga Nji Paul – who wanted to use an ordinary university student like myself to practice his con profession on, is the best man for the job? But if Mr Biya wanted this as an insult to us his timing is wrong.. We offer him Mr Atanga Nji Paul as our gift to him. He can use him as Vice president or Minister of Finance for LRC. We of the Southern Cameroons are in the process of putting final touches to our government currently headed by Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe.

For now since we not able to force him release him our President, Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe and the other members of the government who are either under his detention or in Nigeria he can keep them for as long as it takes. That will neither delay the reestablishment of our Southern Cameroons state or stop it. The intrigue between Nigeria and LRC surrounding the situation of the Southern Cameroons leadership will be unraveled shortly and neither Nigeria nor LRC will win in this aspect of the struggle. Only the Southern Cameroons will end up the winner because strangely enough for any such resistance movement, we have stubbornly remained on the side of legality. Unfortunately for LRC they have failed to understand that by being on the side of law any move against us must be against the law and that is where LRC finds itself now. They have been boxed in.

 

Source Jonathan Ngwa

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