This is 2013. Three years ago or more, during one of his hollow end-of-year addresses to the Nation, Mr Biya, President of La République du Cameroun, drew applause from some sycophantic and gullible Cameroonians alike as he promised celebrating the Reunification of the Cameroons. Some protagonists of the independence of Southern Cameroons quickly concluded this was a tacit admission of that fact that they had been unjustly punished each 1st October they were arrested and tortured for celebrating the independence of Southern Cameroons.
This promise keeps on approaching D-day as a hyperbolic curve reaches a straight line. Worst of all it has turned out to be a South West affair rather than an affair of the Cameroonian people. We all have heard time without number over the national radio that the South West elite or so has already contributed the sum of FCFA 100 million francs.
This procrastination has given room to the protagonists of Southern Cameroons independence to oil their rumour mills, which daily churn our tons of hope for the beleaguered Southern Cameroonians who are yearning for the day they shall be freed from the shackles of La République du Cameroun’s firm tyrannical grip. The various factions, each in their turn, give messages of hope to their anxious militants. For instance the group that advocates for British Cameroon UNO Territory have heightened the hopes of their militants by even going as far as proposing a date, August 14, 2013, for the UN final declaration of the independence. They even claim there are already some UN-peacekeeping forces lodging at the Bamenda Airport while some are lodged at Man’o’War Bay in Victoria. They assert that Biya’s continuous delay in going to Buea is caused by the UN that has stopped him from doing that. At one time they even claimed that SONARA, the oil refining company in Victoria was now manned by the UN. They even have their own ID cards now and also claim that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has already assigned a telephone code for the territory.
Their claims are mostly explained off using the Green Tree Accord and the works of the Cameroon-Nigeria Joint Boundary Commission. According to one of them the last but one meeting held recently in Yaoundé and the last, where the UN will declare the independence will be in Abuja on August 14, 2013. It is also based on the fact that during the 50th Anniversary of La République’s independence, the President of the UN General Assembly, Ali Trika, presented two maps President Biya: one of the former British Cameroons that extended to Lake Chad i.e. the former Sardauna Region, now part of Nigeria, and then the map of La République prior to its independence on January 1, 1960. Another fact the protagonists cling on is a document they claim Mr Biya signed. The document, which was asking Nigeria and La République du Cameroun to withdraw to their boundaries before independence by August 2013, was allegedly already signed by Obassanjo, then President of Nigeria, and later brought to Cameroon by Kofi Anan, the UN Secretary General. The terms of this document, they claim, have already been respected by Nigeria, i.e. by allowing the three States that make up the former Sardauna Region their freedom.
These and many more rumours and the continuous delay of the celebration of the (Re)Unification of the Cameroons, have kept many wondering where along the road the caravan carrying Biya’s much-parroted celebrations of (Re)Unification could have had an accident and in which hospital it is tending its fractures. The delay again further lends credence to some of the rumours that whatever developments La République is carrying out in Southern Cameroons territory has been forced down their throats by the UN. The rehabilitation of the long-abandoned Mountain Hotel and others in Buea is their case in point, the construction of the road from Mile 4 Limbe through Bonjongo to Buea, the Bamenda-Ekok Road, etc. it is even claimed that the road construction going on from Ndop to Kumbo is not the Ring-road but a trans-African highway that might go right to Ghana.
As the storm gathers we are anxiously waiting for the day the Celebration of the (Re)Unification of the two Cameroons shall take place; or whether on 14th August the UN will declare the independence of British Cameroons Territory. Either way the wine will always flow.