On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had been campaigning for voting rights. King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes’’ (King, ‘‘Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March,’’ 121).The first march took place on March 7, 1965, organized locally by Bevel, Amelia Boynton, and others.
President Barack Obama on March 7th, 2015, in one of his groundbreaking oratories during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma March in Alabama reminded the attendants that action requires that they shed their cynicism for when it comes to the pursuit of justice, they can afford neither complacency nor despair.He also reminded the crowd that as they commemorate the achievements of the marchers, they should remember that at the time of the marches, many people in positions of power condemned rather than praised them. Back then, they were called communists, half-breeds, outside agitators, sexual and moral degenerates.Their faith was questioned. Their lives were threatened. Their patriotism was challenged. Finally, he reminded them that there are more marches and many more bridges to cross just like the March over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Some decades ago, John Ngu Foncha, the political leader who led Southern Cameroons into an “illegal union” with La Republique du Cameroun and other Southern Cameroons leaders marched over the Mungo after they came back from the UN to demand the independence of Southern Cameroons. The trip led by John Ngu Foncha to the UN was a historic event to correct the wrongs in the past. How far did Foncha’s delegation go to challenge the status quo? No one knows. There is no follow-up and collective will of Southern Cameroons to bear fruit from Foncha’s visit. What could have happened along the line?
However, the steam Southern Cameroons movement had within these years has seen a drastic decline. How can Southern Cameroonians as a people collectively stand against La Republique? We recalled that African Americans 50 years ago, braced the odds, defied police brutality to demand voting rights and their collective voices won them their battle.The truth is that the people of Southern Cameroons have the right to self-determination.What stops the people to present a unified voice taking the examples of the African-Americans? Where are Anglophone religious and civil right leaders? Where are the elites and political actors? What stopped the Anglophones to come together for once and fight for what is theirs?
That said, if Southern Cameroonians must get what is theirs, if the Obama addressed on March 7th, 2015 must inspire Southern Cameroons people, if the SELMA march would inspire the people of Southern Cameroons then the people of Southern Cameroons must come out en mass to march over Mungo to demand these rights.The day “Anglophones” brace the odds and gather at the Mungo, the day they decide to face the coloniser then that day will begin the new phase of Southern Cameroons independence.If the movement continues to seek independence as they currently do, it might take another century for Southern Cameroonians to get it.The information period seems to be exhausted and over..
God is still saying something