This piece was written on the eve of the new millennium. It was a call for action to all Southern Cameroonians.
Interdependence is a voluntary venture often sought by an independent individual or a group of individuals, for the good of all the parties concerned. When one is independent, he is self- reliant, that is, dependent on himself. Any interaction between two independent entities for their mutual benefit, is what is known as Interdependence.
Therefore, one cannot claim to be in the state of interdependence without passing through the independent state. Furthermore, when an independent entity decides to be dependent at some point in time, it immediately ceases to be interdependent.
Independence is a state of mind that can only be achieved , not given and when you seek it you must first cut all the 'strings attached' to your wish. There is no such thing as 'dependent' independence. What we call political or economic independence of some western nations , is actually political or economic interdependence.
Independence of a people come as a result of 'cyclic transitivity' among the independent minds of each individual of the majority of individuals making up that populace. True independence is achieved in the mind before manifested by the body.It surpasses freedoms and liberties (actually it is a cause to them). It is a stepping stone to interdependence. It is precious! So precious that efforts to achieve it should be revolutionary, not evolutionary. Independence is not a dependent variable, it should depend on itself.
The people of Southern Cameroons have never been independent, not to talk of interdependent with another entity. Their present state is worse than 'dependence'.They are in the doldrums. They have, but don't own. They see, but don't observe. They foresee, but don't prevent. They agitate but don't react.
Brethren, it's not yet late! They erred but they should not relent their efforts to correct the blunders of the past.
When the United nations, under the chairmanship of Sir Sydney Phillipson put the ball in their court in Mamfe on the 10th and 11th of August 1959, they refused to play. Even if the referee was biased, it was their obligation to score the goals and later argue about the the biased nature of the decisions taken, instead of letting their opponents(the imperialists) defeat them mercilessly. The inability of Southern Cameroonians to have come up with a consensus in Mamfe Conference in 1959 was, ipso facto, a glaring proof of their refusal to put off their caps of tribalism, nepotism, and other 'isms' for the interest of all. That is why the so-called plebiscite questions were ambiguous. Some of them foresaw through the able mind of P.N. Kale that the lone option for Southern Cameroons was ' a sovereign independent state', but many, through their egoistic tendencies, thwarted this proposal.
It was a lose/lose option.
a) "Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the Independent Federation of Nigeria?"
b) "Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the Republic of Cameroon?"
What puzzles us more about these questions are not the words but the authors. In as much as Southern Cameroonians have realized the fact that the British had a hidden agenda for them( joining Nigeria), they should have defeated the shameless act of the British, who, instantaneously coined their language through the able tentacles of the United Nations in a bid to achieve their aim.
They never needed a plebiscite to belong where they were. But if the then Trusteeship Agreement spelt out that Trust Territories were to achieve independence at some point in time , then the British, under the banner of the United Nations Organisation, misled them, by not giving them the option of true independence. Once in time, the 'upright' sold their consciences and behaved like Lilliputians with regards to the Southern Cameroons case. What a shame to them all!
How can one achieve independence by ´joining´...? You can only choose to join after you are independent and not the other way round
February 11, 1961 was 'Dependence Day' for Southern Cameroonians. They chose to be 'independent' by being dependent. How can they be given the options to join two other independent Republics and claimed at the end that they have achieved independence. They all should bear a part of the brunt of the blame and stop pointing accusing fingers at each other. The ambiguity of the Plebiscite questions was an intentional act by the British to either subject us to continuous tutelage ( by joining Nigeria) or, go to hell (by joining La Republique). The British never wished that Southern Cameroons should achieve independence.
Our present 'symbiosis' with La Republique should not be seen as interdependence. It is like an Oligarchy masterminded by French Imperialists, with the oligarchs tapping their wealth from Southern Cameroons and sharing it with their imperialists. Southern Cameroonians are being exploited materially, psychologically and intellectually.
They have, but don't own.
Southern Cameroons has some independent minds, but as a whole they are not independent. The cause presently with the United Nations is genuine but the United Nations seems to be acting as a gateman who is asleep when old 'reliables' are around. They need to ring the gate bell longer for the gateman to wake up and open the gate.
Therefore, the only panacea to all this hanky panky is hullabaloo. They must cry loud and fight hard. They must react. It is not late yet. The route of revolution is not known until revolution has come to pass. They need to revolutionize their minds before anything else. They must fight the syndrome of marginalization from the cause- tribalism. This was the root cause of the 1961 plebiscite fiasco. They must sacrifice. They should not look at this cause as an anti- government struggle. They should look at it as a Quest For Justice That Was Denied.
I foresee a new millennium where each Southern Cameroonian will act spontaneously and instantaneously, in a bid to achieve independence.
Courage brothers, do not stumble.
By Neba Fuh