MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS OF HIGHER EDUCATION (NUTHE/SYNES)
Dear Parents, Teachers, and Students,
When teachers declared a peaceful strike so that Government will address the decay and rot it had caused in the Anglophone sub-system of education, we little expected things to take the turn they did. Government ministers rented the airwaves and copiously insulted us without regard for the role they themselves had played in spoiling our school system.
Even as the Prime Minister, and Head of Government tried to find a negotiated settlement, these ministers undermined his effort, making him look powerless or even helpless simply because he is Anglophone. After taking part in two days of negotiations in Bamenda, I must say that I saw a lot of sincerity in the PM. But if after four days he still hasn’t been able to do one thing as agreed upon in Bamenda, then it means that, decidedly, he is not the person to solve the Anglophone problem in Cameroon. The way he was even ridiculed by his own ministers speaks volumes. Government is determined to absorb or wipe us out.
When our parents brought Southern Cameroons into a union with La Republique du Cameroon, they did not expect the raw deal we have been served in the last 55 years. As a people, we have suffered deprivation, exclusion, marginalization and exploitation, betrayed by some of our own brothers and today, compared to other parts of former Southern Cameroons which voted to join Nigeria, we are worse off, as Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Nigeria’ first PM) had rightly predicted. Our people are poor, live marginal lives, have no roads, even though our part of the country has provided all the wealth that has developed Yaounde and Douala and made our ministers arrogant. In fact, the Government of this country has no regard for our existence!!
For years, our oppressor has used “divide and rule”, aided by some of our brothers and sisters who are ready to betray us for crumbs at their master’s table. It is therefore not surprising, therefore, to hear the shameful statements some so-called anglophone ministers made last week.
I call for unity among ALL Anglophones of Southern Cameroons extraction and urge YOU to shun the parochial definitions of “Anglophone” which are only meant to water down our problem. Resist every ploy by the Government to make our quest for a better life for our children bloody. Do not yield to police provocation; make sure that our resistance is as peaceful as possible so that those thirsty for blood will not have any cause to drink of it. Also desist from posting false information and demands like regime change on the internet and social media. These only distract us from our focus and could seriously injure our cause. Our demands are meant to give reparation to all the plunder we have suffered.Anglophone chiefs, ministers, politicians and those who wield any form of influence but have never done so in the interest of their people have their last chance now. STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH AND BE REMEMBERED or forever be shamed.
We have information that the Government is planning mass kidnappings, eliminations and the physical torture of teachers, lawyers and leaders of the unions so as to stifle the Anglophone movement. Already, gun men have been sent to eliminate some of us. We no longer fear what this government can do, but as stakeholders in this union, if they do not think that we have a right to cry out against such chronic marginalization, then we are certainly in the wrong place. Battalions of troops are being mobilized as they did in Buea against a peaceful students’ demonstration. But this time, more than before, the truth shall prevail and the glory of the Lord will shine among us. EVERY ANGLOPHONE has a moral duty to contribute to 5his struggle and we shall succeed.
We have asked the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium [CACSC], the umbrella organisation of our unions to consider the current stalemate and chart the way forward in our common interest.
Professor James Arrey Abangma
UB CHAPTER OF NUTHE/SYNES