The Golden Age of Southern Cameroons

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This book argues that since the emergence of the Cameroon National Union (CNU) and the one-party state in 1966, Cameroonians have progressively degenerated into the syndrome of collective amnesia inspired by a culture of sycophancy, glorifying and deifying political leadership. These developments stand in stark contrast to what obtained in the nascent Southern Cameroons � the UN Trust territory administered by Britain until 1961 when its population voted overwhelmingly by 70.5% to gain their independence by establishing a federation with the then French-speaking Republic of Cameroon. From the late 1950s until the dismantling of the Cameroon Federation, Southern Cameroons and later West Cameroon had a vibrant parliament, a House of Chiefs (or Senate), an independent Judiciary, an ideal, corruption-free Public Service, a state government with ministers presided over by an Executive Prime Minister and, for a decade, West Cameroon provided the Vice Presidency for the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In what may be accurately described as Prof Anthony Ndi�s seminal work, he contends and rightly so that solutions to the legion of problems that plague contemporary Cameroon may be easily found in the pages of The Golden Age of Southern Cameroons. Agents for this transformation do not have to be invented or imported from Mars; all we need is a patriotic spirit, political will, readiness to dialogue, transparency and commitment to democracy.

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Published 11 May 2016
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EAN13 9781942876151
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THE GOLDEN AGE OF SOUTHERN
ANTHONY NDI
CAMEROONS
is book argues that since the emergence of the Cameroon National Union (CNU) and the
one-party state in 1966, Cameroonians have progressively degenerated into the syndrome of
collective amnesia inspired by a culture of sycophancy, glorifying and deifying political
leadership. ese developments stand in stark contrast to what obtained in the nascent Southern
Cameroons – the UN Trust territory administered by Britain until 1961 when its population THE GOLDEN AGE OF
voted overwhelmingly by 70.5% to gain their independence by establishing a federation with
the then French-speaking Republic of Cameroon. From the late 1950s until the dismantling
of the Cameroon Federation, Southern Cameroons and later West Cameroon had a vibrant SOUTHERN CAMEROONS
parliament, a House of Chiefs (or Senate), an independent Judiciary, an ideal, corruption-free
Public Service, a state government with ministers presided over by an Executive Prime Minister
and, for a decade, West Cameroon provided the Vice Presidency for the Federal Republic of
Cameroon. In what may be accurately described as Prof Anthony Ndi’s seminal work, he contends
and rightly so that solutions to the legion of problems that plague contemporary Cameroon
may be easily found in the pages of e Golden Age of Southern Cameroons. Agents for this
transformation do not have to be invented or imported from Mars; all we need is a patriotic
spirit, political will, readiness to dialogue, transparency and commitment to democracy.
"...In quick succession, Prof Ndi is churning out mouth whetting chunks of its history. e
inescapable attraction of this volume is the erudite verve, scintillating language and the engaging
style which he employs to tell his story."
Prof. Canute A Ngwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Bamenda
"... It is an outstanding publication that breaks ‘new grounds’ and lays the foundations for a
comprehensive and more open consideration for constructing a new society. In a way the author
demonstrates a Cameroon Nation envisioned by the founding fathers as the political laboratory
of African integration and unity which has today succumbed to a failed democracy. "
Prof. John W. Forje, ARAD, Bali, Cameroon
Anthony Ndi is a retired Associate Professor of History. He pursued further studies at the
University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he earned a B.Ed. (Hons) degree and later proceeded
to the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) University of London for a Master’s
Degree in African History followed by a PhD in African History. He is a keen researcher in
Cameroon history and is Associate Editor of Pan-Tikar, a history journal of the University
of Bamenda. He is the author of over ten history and related publications among which are:
Mill Hill Missionaries in Southern West Cameroon: Partners in Nation Building; Southern West
Cameroon Revisited 1950-1972; Southern West Cameroon Revisited: North South West Nexus
1858-1872, besides countless articles and joint publications. Presently, he is working on the
biography of Dr. John Ngu Foncha, erstwhile Prime Minister of Southern Cameroons and
pioneer Vice President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
HISTORY/ AFRICAN STUDIES/ POLITICS
Cover Design by Spears Media
Front Cover image courtesy of author
ANTHONY NDI
With a Foreword by Julius Amin
spearsmedia.com
Praise for Te Golden Age of Southern Cameroons
"...In quick succession, Prof Ndi is churning out mouth whetting chunks of its history.
Te inescapable attraction of this volume is the erudite verve, scintillating language and
the engaging style which he employs to tell his story."
-Prof. Canute A Ngwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Bamenda
"... It is an outstanding publication that breaks ‘new grounds’ and lays the foundations
for a comprehensive and more open consideration for constructing a new society. In a
way the author demonstrates a Cameroon Nation envisioned by the founding fathers
as the political laboratory of African integration and unity which has today succumbed
to a failed democracy. "
-Prof. John W. Forje, ARAD, Bali, Cameroon
"Te Golden Age of Southern Cameroons: Prime Lessons is a historical masterpiece for
nation building. It pricks the conscience of those who have glossed over the Southern
Cameroonian dedication to the values of patriotism, liberty, diligence, honesty, and
search for peace, truth and justice. Te volume serves as an inimitable moral compass
for national unity in diversity; a companion for all patriotic Cameroonians.
-Confidence Chia Ngam, Lecturer/Researcher, University of Bamenda, History
of International Relations and Social Sciences
"Cameroon is a complex geopolitical entity, where contradictory variables e-xist in inexpli
cable harmony; a marriage of two former self determining UN Trust territories; French
and English-speaking with the former today crying wolf about shabby treatment. While
some become emotional about facts, which they hardly master, Prof Anthony Ndi has
taken a more academic approach to state historical facts that are difcult to contest.
Te Golden Age of Southern Cameroons is a work that should tickle scholars and provoke
a rethink among others."
-Fr Tatah Mbuy, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Bamenda.
"Auspiciously, historical facts are irrepressible and sooner or later rebound. Professor
Anthony Ndi’s Golden Age of Southern Cameroons is a glorious wakeup call for a nation
in deep stupor."
-Prof. Simon Tata Ngenge, Head of Department, History, University of Bamenda
•✳•
Te SCHLOSS (Cover Photo)
Te SCHLOSS as the residence of the German Governors situated in Buea, the former
capital of German Kamerun, became the residence of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of
Cameroon and Prime Minister of West Cameroon (1961-1965), then subsequent Prime Ministers
of the State of West Cameroon (1965-1972). Tus the Schloss symbolises the one unchanging
historical rock that runs through the German colonial period up to 1916, the British colonial
period as the residence of the Residents and Commissioners of the British Southern Cameroons
(1916-1961), residence of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the Federal Republic of
Cameroon, (1961-1965), residence of the Prime Ministers of West Cameroon (1965-1972),
residence of the President of the United Republic of Cameroon (1972-1984) and residence of
the President of the Republic of Cameroon since 1984).
THE GOLDEN AGE OF
SOUTHERN CAMEROONS
THE GOLDEN AGE OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS
Prime Lessons for Cameroon
Anthony NdiSpears Media Press
Denver • Bamenda
7830 W. Alameda Ave, Suite 103 Denver, CO 80226
Spears Media Press publishes under the auspices of the Spears Media Association.
Te Press furthers the Association’s mission by advancing the frontiers of knowledge in
education, learning, entertainment and research.
First Published 2016 by Spears Media Press
www.spearsmedia.com
info@spearsmedia.com
Information on this title: www.spearsmedia.com/thegoldenage
© Anthony Ndi 2016
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical
methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of
brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses
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“Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
Ordering Information:
Special discounts are available on bulk purchases by corporations, associations, and
others. For details, contact the publisher at any of the addresses above.
ISBN: 9781942876120 [Paperback]
ISBN: 9781942876151 [eBook]
Spears Media Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for
external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or
appropriate.
To Patriots, Posterity and Cameroonians of GoodwillHistorical Quotes
Tose who do not remember their past are apt to repeat its errors
≈c≈
Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a
child
Contents
List of Figures xi
List of Mapsxi
Acknowledgementsxv
Abbreviations and Acronyms xvii
Foreword to the New Editionxxv
Preface to the New Editionxxix
Chapter One 1
Philosophical and Historical Concepts of the “Golden Age”
Chapter Two 33
Legacies: Colonial, Christian and Indigenous
Chapter Tree77
Te Southern Cameroons: Character
Chapter Four 123
Te Emergence of a Genuine Democratic Culture
Chapter Five151
Decline of the FRC: Internal and External Factors
Chapter Six185
Violating the “Inviolable Federal Constitution”
Chapter Seven 229
Ironic Outcome of Marginalisation: An Invincible Spirit
Chapter Eight261
Te last Lines: Ahidjo-Biya Tussle
Epilogue 279
Appendix I291
ixAppendix II 297
Appendix III299
Appendix IV 301
Appendix V 303
Interviews and Written Notes 311
Bibliography 315
Index 321
x
List of Maps and Figures
Maps
1. Cameroons 1922-1961 xxi
2. Federal Republic of Cameroon (1961-1972), showing the two states, West
Cameroon (formerly Southern Cameroons) and East Cameroon (formerly the
Republic of Cameroon). xxii
3. Southern Cameroons Relief and Drainage xxiii
4. West Cameroon (North West and South West Provinces) Political, 1961-1972
xxiv
Figures
1.Mr. P M Kale11
2.Dr. E M L Endeley 11
3.Mr. J N Foncha 11
4. Mr. N N Mbile11
5. Mr. A N Jua 11
6.Mr. S T Muna11
7.Malcolm Milne, Acting Commissioner 12
8. Kwame Nkrumah, being presented a carved elephant tusk by Mr. JN Foncha,
newly elected PM of Southern Cameroons, February 1959 18
9. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe 19
10. Prime Minister, JN Foncha and Fon Galega II of Bali, chat with Brigadier EJ
Gibbons OBE, frst Commissioner of Southern Cameroons. 21
11. Lef, Mr. Ndeh Ntumazah; Right, Mr. A W Mukong. Founder and co-founder of
the One Kamerun (OK) Party in Southern Cameroons in 1957 24
12. Dr. Djalal Abdoh, UN Plebiscite Commissioner for Southern Cameroons is the
gentleman on the lef with his lef hand on his mouth. He is conferring with
colleagues over the counting process. 26
13. Southern Cameroons Police on Parade 34
14. Lef, HRH Fon Galega II of Bali Nyonga, Right, Chief J Manga Williams of
Victoria. Tey Represented Southern Cameroons as Native Authorities (NA) in
Nigerian Legislatures. 36
15. Hon SN Tamfu & the Fon of Tabenken about to fre den guns at a traditional
celebration 42
xiList of maps and figures
16. Te Governor General of Nigeria, H E, Sir James Robertson unveils Victoria
Centenary Monument in 1958 44
17. Mr. John IE Foleng, a highly qualifed young accountant. He worked in the
Treasury Department, Buea. 49
18. Bismarck Fountain, Buea 57
19. Woermann, who together with Jantzen and Tormalen opened enormous
agricultural estates in German Kamerun, precursors of the present day vast CDC
plantations 60
20.Lef, Dr E M L Endeley and Bp. Peter Rogan; Right, St Francis’ Teacher’s Training
College, Kumba.69
21.Top, St. Joseph’s College Sasse, Buea opened in 1939, and the frst secondary
school in Southern Cameroons. It provided manpower for the civil service;
bottom, Man O’War Bay, Victoria, where Bilingual Grammar School, Buea, the
frst Government Secondary School was originally opened in 1963 71
22a. Dr E M L Endeley & wife congratulate Mr. J N Foncha afer CPNC defeat by
KNDP and replacement by Foncha as Premier 72
22b Lef, J O Field, Commissioner of Southern Cameroons and right, HE Sir James
Robertson, Governor General of Nigeria 72
22c. Top, Prime Minister, A N Jua acquiring land for CCAST at Bambili, Bamenda;
bottom, President Ahmadou Ahidjo being received in Buea, West Cameroon 73
23. Dr. E M L Endeley: Leader of Government Business 91
24. Te Southern Cameroons Executive Council, 1958 95
25. Te Foncha (KNDP) Government, 1959 97
26. Fon Achirimbi II of Bafut with Gerald Durrell 102
27. Te Southern Cameroons National Assembly in Session 105
27a. Top, voters line up for Plebiscite vote; Bottom, Premier J N Foncha at a Press
Conference afer Plebisicite 114
27b. Top, Bamenda All Party Conference 26-28 June 1961. Note Fon Galega II of Bali,
Prominent among others; Middle Foncha, PM with Jua, Muna and Kemcha to his
lef; Note the presence of three British colonial ofcials in attendance including
the Attorney General (It is repeatedly alleged that the British were not consulted
or invited to the Bamenda all party conference nor to the Foumban Conference
but they were present at both) 115
27c. Top: some Southern Cameroons delegates to the Foumban Conference few in
by air from Tiko International Airport. Here at the Koutaba Military Airport,
lef to right are: ST Muna, PM Kemcha, Dr. EML Endeley and JN Foncha.
xii List of maps and figures
Bottom: Delegates at the Foumban Conference in front of the sultan’s palace:
the three central fgures are: President Ahmadou Ahidjo, JN Foncha and Sultan
Njimoulouh. 116
27d. Top: Note, President Ahidjo in white, fanked by Charles Assale and Moussa Yaya
on his right. Bottom: Inside the Conference Hall, Note Endeley and Foncha with
microphones in front of them, fanked by Muna and Kemcha on the right with
Jua and the Attorney General to the lef 117
27e. Top: cross section of audience at the Foumban Conference; Middle: Prime
Minister, JN Foncha decorated by Sultan Njimoulouh as Prime Minister, Charles
Assale looks on Bottom: in the Conference Hall, sitting right to lef are: the
Attorney General, Jua, Foncha and Muna. 118
27f. Top lef, Malcolm Milne, Deputy Commissioner of Southern Cameroons receives
President Ahmadou Ahidjo at Tiko International Airport as he comes to preside
over the independence day celebrations. Note Joseph Lafon in the background.
Top right, Ahmadou Ahidjo presides over the independence celebrations in Buea.
Bottom lef, Independence Day celebration at Buea Mountain Hotel: Te British
Ambassador to Cameroon, C E King reads the Queen's speech. Bottom right;
Governor General of Nigeria, Sir James Robertson, lef, received by JO Field and
JN Foncha 119
27g. Lef, Endeley and wife; Top Right and bottom, Foncha and Ahidjo dance at the
Independence celebration, Mountain Hotel Buea. 120
28. Mungo Bridge christened “Reunifcation Bridge” 125
29. Mr J N Foncha, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon and Mr. A
N Jua, PM of West Cameroon inspect Guard of Honour 129
30. SDO, Nick Ade Ngwa receives Federal Minister and his entourage from Yaoundé
in Victoria, Fako Division 139
31. President Ahmadou Ahidjo being received in Buea, West Cameroon 143
32. Lef, Zintgraf; Right HRH Fon Galega I of Bali. Tey undertook a blood pact,
literally, drank each other’s blood in a palm wine concoction as a sign of intimate
friendship. 144
33.Like Mr. A N Jua and Mr. S T Muna, both Nzoh and Egbe were candidates for
elections to key posts in the KNDP party at the 9th Convention, which sparked
serious discords and dissent within the Party 159
34. From Lef to right Hon. Ajebe-Sone, PM Augustine N Jua, SDO Ngwa and DO
Mbuyonga during the PM’s Ofcial Visit to Muyuka 165
35. New Secretaries of State in the Jua Coalition Government (Messrs. Nsame, Tamfu
xiiiList of maps and figures
and Mbile). 168
36.Mgr. Ndongmo standing lef of Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, Rome 171
37.Hon S T Muna seated second from lef. 179
38.TeAhidjo Government, 1975; Front row from lef to right: Messrs Ayissi
Mvodo, Sadou Daoudou, Paul Biya, Ahmadou Ahidjo, Samuel Eboa, Enock
Kwayeb and Emmanuel T Egbe. 182
39.Prime Minister, Charles Assale.225
40. Copy of Ballot paper for the 1972 Referendum 228
41. Christian Cardinal Tumi; outspoken on issues of human rights and the
marginalization of Anglophone Cameroonians. 231
42. Independence Day celebrations in Buea with Cecil King, the British Ambassador
to Cameroon reading the Queens speech 239
43. André-Marie Mbida 249
44. Te Green Tree Agreement; Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Obasanjo of
Nigeria shake hands as Kof Anan, former Secretary General of the UN looks on
283
45.Plebiscite Results 297
xivACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Te origin and much of the content of this book resulted from practical
discussions and consultations. I am therefore highly indebted to several
institutions and individuals both at home and abroad for its production.
I received assistance from the National Archives at Buea; the Archives
and library of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC), Buea; St.
Tomas Aquinas Major Seminary (STAMS) library, Bambui; the Public
Record Ofce, London; the Mill Hill Archives and Library, London and
the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Furthermore, some persons generously
allowed me the use of their personal libraries and archives. Still, many
others, most of them “prime actors” in the narrative, freely gave me their
precious time in personal interviews and group discussions. My gratitude
to these though acknowledged in the bibliography and list of interviewees
is far from satisfactory. I wish l could do more to express it.
Nonetheless, I must single out for mention a few of the people who
have been most instrumental in this publication. Tese include P- rofes
sor Richard Gray, Emeritus Professor of History, School of Oriental
and African Studies, (SOAS) University of London, who gave me every
encouragement to have the topic investigated into and published; Dr.
Paul Giford, Reader, SOAS, University of London, who read through
the manuscript and made useful suggestions; Dr. Omer Weyi Yembe of
the Cameroon GCE Board, who frst suggested my elaboration of the
topic and Mrs. Elizabeth M Chilver, a central “prime actress”, who was
very supportive in personal discussions, correspondence and the copious
supply of useful material. In fact, she provided a stub for the book.
Others, who critically read the work, made fertile written or verbal
comments include: Mons. Clemens Ndze, Messrs. Peter Nsanda Eba, a
prime actor; David Ngiewi Asunkwan, a retired Senior Journalist and
prime actor; Henry Fonge, Assistant Chief Examiner, General Cer- tif
cate, Advanced Level; History; Stephen Nfor, London-based former
CRTV journalist and Ms Mary-Tonia Ndi, recent graduate of the Catholic
xvAcknowledgements
University of Central Africa, (UCAC), Yaoundé. Mr. Nicholas Ade Ngwa,
Retired Principal Civil Administrator, who served both as Senior Tutor
at Sasse, Education Ofcer and participated both in the political and
administrative life of this country, was a marvellous source of frsthand
information and encouragement. He graciously accepted to write the
Foreword to this work; Barrister Luke Sendze another key player,
especially in the Ndo“ ngmo Afair,” threw great insight into that epic trial and
supplied invaluable material included in the Appendix. Mr. Cyril Ebu, a
retired accountant, literally a “priest without orders”, who missed priestly
ordination by months, ofered inside information about the Church as well
as about the civil service, while Mr. John Mof Ndi,or was exceptionally
enthusiastic and made available to me rare, invaluable documents and
information. In short all of these were insiders and prime actors during
the existence of the state of Southern Cameroons.
In the fnal analysis, however, it was Fr. George Nkuo’s homily and
the appointment of HE Chief Ephraim Inoni as Prime Minister and
Head of Government that sparked the fre in me to further investigate
and undertake this publication in the abiding faith and hope that change
is inevitable and the ripe time for it is now.
Mr. Henry Bongbi of Maple Fair Graphics undertook the entire
burden of putting the pieces together for this production with
intermittent assistance derived variously from Mr. Leo Yuniwo Ndi, Mrs. Colette
Nahsang Horatio-Jones, Mrs. Renee Mungo Nfor, and Mr. Cornelius
Tfurndabi Tawong. My wife, Patience Ndi, bore my seclusions “patiently”,
and above all, proved to be a fairly reliable proof-reader. To each and every
one of these noble souls I am heartily indebted and immensely grateful.
Anthony Ndi
Bamenda 20 April 2005
xviAbbreviations and Acronyms
1Chronological Nomenclature of “Cameroons
• German Kamerun, 1884-1915
• Cameroons Province, 1922-1949
• British Southern Cameroons, 1949-1954
• British Cameroons: this appellation referred to both SoutherBritish n
Cameroons and British Northern Cameroons under colonial rule
• Southern Cameroons, 1954-61; then, West Cameroon, 1961-1972
• French Cameroon, also “French Cameroun” 1922-1960
• Republic of Cameroun also, “République du Cameroun”, 1960-1961
and again, the entire territory after 1984`
• East Cameroun, (former French Cameroon) 1961-1972
• Federal Republic of Cameroon, FRC, 1961-1972
• United oon, URC, 1972-1984
• République du Cameroun; Republic of Cameroon: (Former French
Cameroon) 1960-61
• North West Province (NWP), 1972- 1984
• North West Region (NWR), 1984-Date
• South West Province (SWP), I972-1984
• SWest Region (SWR), 1984- Date
Civic Titles
AO Administrative Ofcer
EO Education Ofcer
DO District Ofcer
SDO Senior Divisional Ofcer
CO Colonial Ofce
NA Native Authority, Native Administration
NC Native Court, Native Council
NT Native Treasury
IR Indirect Rule
1 Cameroons with an “S” is commonly used with :”Te Southern Cameroons”, “Te
Northern Cameroons” or British Southern Cameroons.
xvii