OPINION: Not Just Dialogue

paul-ayahBy Paul Ayah, November 19, 2016


The Anglophone is an exemplary crusader for peace. History is there to corroborate that assertion. There is, for instance no contention that there still exists prominent monuments of how Francophones found sanctuaries in our lands as escapees from wars and terrorism. No honest man would dare to deny that few people other than the Anglophones would have suffered with such mature endurance the mistreatment inflicted on them for over half a century, sadly, by the very people the Anglophone had sheltered and treated with phenomenal generosity!

In his unfailing humility, all that the Anglophone has requested over the decades has been dialogue. After AAC 1 and AAC 2, the Anglophone did muster courage and reduced into writing matters that warranted revisiting. For years after submitting the memorandum, the Anglophone waited, begged, prayed and supplicated domineering Yaounde for even just acknowledgement of receipt in vain. From utterances by some Francophones in authority, it was as if it was intolerable audacity for the Anglophone even just to express dissatisfaction!

It was out of this frustration that the Southern Cameroons’ National Council – SCNC – was born. Its motto till date is “The force of argument and not the argument of force”: meaning, it had and still has predilection for dialogue. When Yaounde replied with ruthless brutality, the peace-loving Anglophone quietly sought but legal redress, understandably, on the

international arena. More than two decades since an auxiliary organ of the United Nations of which Yaounde is a member recommended dialogue, Yaounde has continued to prefer the use of torture, maiming and killing. It has been very like the master not being accountable to anyone under the sun for the absolute authority he has over his slaves, including the authority to terminate human lives!

If today it has finally dawned on Yaounde that repression radicalizes while dialogue defuses, it does not have to be just dialogue – Yaounde picking and choosing which Anglophone group to dialogue with. That is divide and rule; and conscious we are that the intention is to weaken us. If Yaounde has become reasonable, giving up the resorting to atrocities to impose its rule, let Yaounde come out with a solemn declaration, inviting Anglophones to the round table. Round table because it will be intercourse between two peoples equal in status! In that event, Anglophones would take a sovereign resolution as to who should speak in their name. That is an inalienable right of the Anglophone – the true Anglophone!

Anything else is unacceptable digression!


Hon. Paul Ayah is former Member of Parliament (MP), leader of the opposition People’s Action Party,  and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Cameroon.


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