By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Is it not rape of the intellect of even the ordinary Cameroonian that the story of Cameroon is being thwarted even by those who lived it? Otherwise how do we interpret the growing misrepresentation and interpretation of Cameroon’s history, making the facts as unrealistic as every other happening in Cameroon’s daily life?
How would any right-thinking Cameroonian, except those who have no conscience say Cameroon reunited in 1972?
It might be seen just as another slap on the face of the docile Anglophone, but it is a harder slap on the conscience and history of the whole Cameroon nation.
The history of the nation may be distorted by a clique of unpatriotic citizens, but it stands to be scrutinised and corrected by the international community.
The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, was one of President Biya’s special guests at the 20th May celebration and the official launching of the 50th anniversary may have done just that.
The Secretary General and his delegation during an audience after the march past on 20th May at the Unity Palace in Yaounde presented to President Paul Biya two maps, the one representing West Cameroon and the other representing East Cameroon before reunification.
Though the Secretary General said after the audience that the two maps were a symbolic gift that depicts the two regions before reunification, many observers believe it was a vivid reminisce of the historical facts of the country that should be respected and under no circumstances be adulterated.
Throughout the activities marking the 50th anniversary celebrations, pictures or maps of this nature painting the history of the country before reunification were absent, indicative of some calculated intent to conceal certain historical facts.
It should be recalled that President Paul Biya in his message to the nation in prelude to the official launching of the 50th anniversary celebrations said the event will span throughout the year to culminate in the celebration of the reunification of East and West Cameroon on 1 October 2011.
This, accordingly, implies that Cameroon, next year, will be celebrating reunification and not the independence of West Cameroon.
Historically, however, the Western part of Cameroon got its independence on 1 October 1961 one year after their brothers of East Cameroon on 1 January 1960. So while East Cameroon has 50 years of freedom from their French colonial master in 2010, West Cameroon will have its own 50 years of freedom from their English colonial lords in 2011.
Biya Receive Other Guests
The 38 edition of Cameroon’s National Day that also coincided with the 50th anniversary celebration was a moment of honour and pride for the country and its leader, President Paul Biya who for the first time since taking over power in 1982 saw such quality VIP visitors in a single event.
After the over three hours march past, each of the special guests took turns to discuss with their host on some salient issues dear to them.
Beginning with neighbouring Nigeria where two past presidents, Yakubu Gowon and Olosegun Obasanjo and the newly sworn in, Goodluck Jonathan, all had friendly tete-a tete with him, Paul Biya was apparently quite at ease with the over 20 special guests including 10 current Heads of State in the continent:
Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Sasso Ngueso of Congo, Idris Deby of Tchad, Francoise Bozize of Central African Republic, Joseph Kabila of DR Congo, Ali Bongo of Gabon, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Fradrique De Menezes of Sao Tome and Principe.
Other dignitaries included former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamlesh Sharma, Ali Treki, President of the 64th UN General Assembly, Jean Ping, Chairman of the African Union Commission, Cai Wu, Chinese Minister of Culture, etc.