Echoing the words of Cardinal Christian Tumi in an interview he granted, he said that the divide between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroons has grown so wide and big that if another referendum was to be conducted today, Anglophones will without hesitation, vote to leave the union.
Cardinal Tumi retrospectively thinks the union is a curse. He posits that if it was a blessing – as the Francophone would suppose, he wonders aloud why Anglophone Cameroon has remained so underdeveloped over 50yrs since reunification. He continued and declared:
“I am sure that if the English speaking part of Cameroon were independent, that area would have been far more developed than what we have today.” The cardinal said.
In an exclusive interview with ARISON TAMFU , some of the highlights of the points made by the cardinal includes:
Low Public Profile:
The Cardinal said he has been busy writing books . He cautions that he is on retirement. BaretaNews hopes that such a book will be launched as soon as now for the political and spiritual edification of the Cameroons people and most especially the Anglophones.
Anglophone Lawyers Ultimatum:
The cardinal said he had always loved a Federal System of government where states are managed by elected governors and own their parliament. As regards to bilingualism in courts in the English speaking part of the country. The Cardinal was categorical that it is irrational to send non-English speakers to preside over courts that conduct proceedings in 100 per cent English. So I think the move the lawyers took was very correct. However, it is almost a year and more without concrete moves from the lawyers. BaretaNews noted that the lawyers seemed lost already in their quest to shake the Biya regime to revisit the issue of Cameroons unity and/or so called reunification.
Lawyers Ultimatum to Biya.
The Cardinal said he hates ultimatum because if they don’t react in six months what then becomes of the ultimatum. He again said the idea of Federation is laudable. BaretaNews seems to agree with the Cardinal. The political position of BaretaNews has always been a Federated Cameroon though acknowledging the fact that Southern Cameroons have a legitimate right to self-determination.
Government responding to pressure and ultimatum:
The cardinal wonders if the lawyers had an idea of the type of government they have in the Cameroons. He stated that even if an ultimatum of one year is given to Biya, nothing will happen. he stated ” You know we are dealing with a government that keeps reminding the people that `do what you like` and does not listen to the people and they are ready to react militarily to quell down any opposition and uprising. It`s sad ”
The Cardinal categorically stated that the Anglophone Problem is real and he believes in it. In his words, he said ” I am sure that if the English speaking part of Cameroon were independent, that area would have been far more developed than what we have today. Take a simple example like Kumba-Mamfe road, it`s terrible. What impression does it leave on the people? Of course, that they are marginalized…”
The Cardinal said he has the impressions that certain ministerial posts like finance, military, education, secretary general and so on are reserved exclusively for Francophones. And directors of certain parastatals like SONARA, CAMTEL are Francophones and Anglophones are always sub-directors. I think this is a serious problem because qualified Anglophones also have the right to have political ambition. The Cardinal then Echoed Fru Ndi. Hear him. “It is said that Fru Ndi won the election in 1992 and that if he were a Francophone he would have been President of Cameroon. But France said that an Anglophone can never be President in Cameroon.”
BaretaNews wishes to add that the Anglophone problem is real and what the Cardinal stated are not facts and not just an impression. It has always been the political position of BaretaNews that there shall be no change in the Cameroons without addressing the Southern Cameroons Question.
Referendum in the Cameroons:
The Cardinal strongly declared that If a referendum is organized for Anglophones today the results will be quite different. He continued to explain and said ” That is to say many Anglophones if not all will not vote to continue to live with La Republique. He gave an example with an old and retired Anglophone from Mamfe. Hear him: ” I received an old man from Mamfe and he was sitting right here in my office. And he told me that he came all the way from Mamfe to ask me whether what the young people in SCNC are fighting for is correct. I told him that they have a point and he thanked me and left immediately. So you can see how deep the problem has become. It is growing and spreading every day and unfortunately the government is giving a deaf ear.”
BaretaNews confirms that the Cardinal is very right. This platform strongly believes that if a referendum were to be conducted today with all international observers with a free and fair process, Anglophones will vote to leave the Union. BaretaNews had a year ago conducted an online referendum, which ran for one month, over 80.4 percent of Anglophones voted to say “YES” they will leave the illegal union with Cameroun.
NB: This interview was first published by Arison Tamfu on June, 25, 2015 and conducted before the mother of the Cardinal passed on to eternal glory. The article has been modified with my own analysis without removing the original lines said by the Cardinal. BaretaNews as a platform for Anglophone advocacy found the interview worthy to see the headlines of the news once again.
God is still saying something.