Many are surprised by the way things have turned around for this struggle. Reason being that many still do not want to accept the fact that the word change cannot be changed in its self.
As a critical observer, I have been following the unfolding of events since October 2016 when lawyers took to the streets in protest against what they called government’s intentional technical eradication of their cherished common law system and the subsequent follow-up by teachers in November to protest against government’s pollution of the Anglo-Saxon education system with French.
The popular move from the strike for cooperate demands to political demands or the people’s fight is what many a political observer cannot pinpoint the spirit behind the struggle. However, Africaninfolook.com has come up with three (3) things leading the struggle from stage to stage.
Three factors leading the Anglophone struggle
- Old fashion time game tactics of the government.
Having ruled Cameroon for 35 years and counting, the incumbent CPDM barons believe so much in the game of time as a way of ruling the people and redressing their socio-economic and political demands.
This goes in line with the governing mechanism of Biya’s regime that is afflicted with bureaucratic pathology full of administrative circumlocution to ensure bribery and corruption.
That is why when the lawyers filed their cooperate demands to the ministry of justice since 2015, they were given deaf ears, they decided to take to the streets in November 2016 but were still undermined, then the teachers joint the strike yet the government remained insensitive to handle the demands in a holistic and operational manner.
Then came the real propelling factor for the struggle, the banning of the civil society consortium, the arrest of leaders and the escape of Barrister Bobga Harmony and Deacon Tassang Wilfred abroad.
Now know this, the escape of this two meant that the gods of the struggle led them to go and legitimize the way back minority liberation movements abroad well known among which is the SCNC.
That is why SCACUF was formed with little or no stress to this extent where SCACUF has now become the main opposition party in Cameroon with “unconstitutional demands” (the demand for southern Cameroons independence).
- Increase political culture in Anglophone Cameroon
Political culture was propounded in 1963 by two political scientists Gabriel Almond and Sydney Verba. Generally, political culture refers to a set of attitudes and practices held by a people that shape their political behavior. It includes moral judgments, political myths, beliefs, and ideas about what makes for a good society.
Countries with a high political culture like that of the UK and USA means citizens are well informed and participate in the running of the state, whereas in low political cultures like that of Mexico, Japan, citizens are less informed about state affairs and the actions and decisions of appointed and elected leaders are unquestionable.
Contextualizing the concept to Cameroon, it can be said that the country has both high and low political cultures since it has two peoples as per international law (Southern Cameroons and La Republic du Cameroun) as maintained by justice Ayah Paul
Since 1961, the political culture in English speaking Cameroon has been dormant reason being that the state authorities had successfully imposed a low political culture on the Anglophones, a good example is the banning of the University of Buea students union (UBSU) which many called the young politician’s laboratory.
However, the outbreak of the systematically popularized Anglophone problem abruptly unlocked the high sense of political participation in English Cameroon. Citizens are now too conscious and critical about government actions.
Dealing with a reactionary and not proactive regime, it becomes very difficult to push through any government propaganda. Anglophones have become so politically aware to the point where they can judge and analyze any diplomatic move even on a picture. For instance, see what the US Embassy in Yaoundé mere Facebook profile had to go through:
This critical mindset of the people has helped the Anglophone liberation cabal abroad to easily pass their message and be supported and criticized where necessary.
- The francophone myth of fear and political apathy
As earlier mentioned, French Cameroon has a low political culture and naturally stays aloof from state affairs. This is systematically instilled by the regime as colonially enshrined by France.
Now get it straight; that the struggle has reached this level it’s partly because French speaking Cameroonians remained indifferent for if they had sympathized with the Anglophones, the essence of struggle which is addressing the root cause of the problem, by reviewing the form of the state will have been aborted.
The viewpoint of many francophones that there’s no specific Anglophone problem, but a general Cameroonian problem will have been prioritized. That is why even the minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma had to say lately on Equinox that he and the government misunderstood the concept of the problem at the beginning.