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« Haiti: Shot in the Streets Over Rice | Main | Book Review: British Southern Cameroons Journey Towards Complete Decolonization »

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Comments

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Kamarad

Rest in peace! You've done your part.

Dr A A Agbormbai

Absorbing!

There seems to be a whole area of Cameroonian history that is never taught or recognised in Cameroon. This concerns the decade before independence (i.e. the 1950s), the role of the UPC, the fight for independence, how Ahidjo came to power, and why the UPC rebelled against him.

In my mind, it seems that a great injustice was done here but I don't have the facts (as this period of Cameroonian history seems to be a black box for most Cameroonians).

I would welcome more authoritative writing in this area. For instance, is it true that the UPC burned down whole villages in order to get their way? How would that then tie up with their claims for defending the people's rights.

Va Boy

Agbormbai, the reason the history of la republique is being concealed is because it is the real criminals who are in power and you are channeling their propaganda, I hope inadvertently. But you are in luck. Check this book out by Oxford U Press. Radical Nationalism in Cameroon: Social Origins of the U.P.C.Rebellion (Oxford Studies in African Affairs)
Le mouvement nationaliste au Cameroun: Les origines sociales de l'UPC (Hommes et societes) (French Edition)

These scholarly books are out of print, but since you are a, you can check in the university library. These are the facts that la republique has been hiding from you.
docta

Paa Ngembus

Dr. A A Agbormbai,

The UPC rebelled against French Colonial rule, not against Ahidjo.

Activities of the UPC and its forerunners go back to the 1940s.

The French started the genocide against the Bassa/Bamilike of the UPC (500,000 died) long before 1956/57 when Ahidjo came into the scene.

Ahidjo only used the French to crush his political opponents who considered him a French puppet.

As for Ndeh Ntumazah, I respect his bravely and sense of conviction (you rarely find that these days), but that is where it ends.

This guy and his followers are responsible for laying the framework (with their One Kamerun) that sold Southern Cameroons into slavely.

Thanks to them of the OK, Foncha and Endeley converted from an independentists to federalist and unionists.

Ntumazah had an opportunity like his other OK partners (Paa Mukong and Fon Gorji Dinka) to redeem himself and fight for our independence but he choose not to.

So techically as a Southern Cameroonian patriot I would spit on his grave.

A+

Paa Ngembus
THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS SHALL BE INDEPENDENT BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

dt

Hi Dr. Agbormbai,
An good online reference on Cameroon's nationalist heroes (Nyobe, Moumie, Afana, etc.) and the UPC war of liberation is available at: http://www.dibussi.com/decolonization_papers/

Va Boy

Thank you Paa Ngembus. You express my sentiments exactly. I respect the man's tenacity but not his ability to accept when he was mistaken. I really do recommend that Dr Agbormbai and other Southern Cameroonians look for those books every way they can and read them. The scales will fall from their eyes. These are detailed, highly researched books with original sources into which they can dig further. The first book has exclusive interviews of Soppo Priso and other important players. Another title is Gaullist Africa: Cameroon under Ahmadu Ahidjo.

Again, as I said there is no Cameroon government version to this history. They would rather pretend it did not happen at all.

Nfor Susungi

I remember that when I went to Sacred Heart College in 1963 as a young student, we would always be reminded about Ndeh Ntumazah when we look at an imposing house sitting at the top of a knoll overlooking Ntarikon Market. We were told that the house belongs to Ndeh Ntumazah.

I also remember that Dr. Kevin Ngwang Gumne was in charge of a Community Development Garage/Workship just down the road on the way to Sacred Heart College. Today Dr. Gumne is living in exile as Chairman of SCAPO an organisation that aspires for a separate independent Southern Cameroons, not the ONE Kamerun which Ndeh Ntumazah stood for and eventually died in the UK.

In 1990 Ni John Fru Ndi, whose compound is just stone's throw from that of Ndeh Ntumazah, launched the SDF from Ntarikon Market itself, with the promise of change through the democratic process in Cameroon. Up to the present day, the people are yet to see the change, as John Fru Ndi has been marginalised into total political insignificance by the regime which sent Ndeh Ntumazah into exile (even though he stood for ONE Kamerun) and is now preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Cameroon Armed Forces in Bamenda this year.

My question is what lessons can we draw from the passing away of Ndeh Ntumazah in terms of where we should go from here?

Dr. Susungi

Austin Ngenge

It is true that we lack role models in Cameroon these days in every section of the population.In the regime,the opposition and the civil society,the people of Cameroon are still to find people who really have the guts of Nyobe,Moumie and Ouandie etc.The passing of Pa Ntumaza to me is a point for reflection on this....he was one of the last surviving patriarchs of his time.As he opines,the country is still ruled by mercenaries,validity of that claim far from contested but it is easier to condemn than to govern. Believe it or not politics in Cameroon has become such a disheartening topic that even the mention of names like Ntumaza means little ot our generation who have been fed with little or no information about the Cameroon of people like the one who just passed away.

Dr A A Agbormbai

I'm sorry guys, I'm not a historian. I don't have time to be reading books that are meant for historians.

I have my own professional books to grind (some of which are as long as 700 pages) as well as projects to complete.

So citing extensive references on Cameroonian history covering that period is not going to help.

What I need are condensed authoritative factual articles written by balanced intellectuals, not by those who have an emotional axe to grind. Thanks.

Dr A A Agbormbai

Thanks, dt. I shall be following up on that, as I imagine they are condensed articles.

ntahoh boniface

Dr. AA Agbormbai:
I find your comment,"I'm sorry guys, I'm not a historian. I don't have time to be reading books that are meant for historians" quite disburbing for somenone with your title. "Books are meant only for historians? It speaks volumes about the type of educated persons that Cameroon has. Here,you find Cameroonians attempting to help you with references that would help you understand your own history, and you,in turn, make a comment of this nature? Isn't that why we obtain Phds? Your ability to read widely leaves you with that credibility to engage on various topics. It tells me why we have Cameroonians who spend their time listening to rumours, rather than reading their own history. I have a copy of Richard Joseph's "Radical Nationalism In Cameroon" and it is a book that I would recommend any Cameroonian, who wants to understand our history to read.

Mbeseha

Yes, the UPC and its ally fought for a United Cameroon. What was the type of United Cameroon they stood for? I am not sure things would have been different for Southern Cameroon if the UPC had won power. Their vision of a United Cameroon was not even a Federation that came to borne and failed. They wanted a country with an all powerful central government just like what is today. As some one has already said, we regret and morn the passing into enternity of one of us but he has never certainly been a hero as far as Southern Cameroon is concerned. May the lord give him rest.

The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

The Real Ndeh Ntumazah:
http://www.entrepreneurnewsonline.com/2010/01/asonganyis-diary-eulogy-on-upc-chieftain.html

Unanswered Questions in Prof. Asonganyi's Eulogy:

(1) Did he die in Exile? No...

(2) Did he returned voluntarily? (?)

(3) Was he pardoned before he returned? (?)

(4) If he wasn't pardoned, what did those who 'pursued' him into exile do, when he returned? Lock him up? Or gave him a grand reception?

(5) What was his recent role in various UPC factions imbroglio...as viable political parties in contemporary Cameroon?

(6) So, was he an active player in recent Cameroon politics?

(6) And how do we distinguish self-exile from political exile? Can someone just walk away and give himself a five-star living with all his coordinates well-known by would be assailants; and then claim to be in exile?...And Possibly travel periodically back to his native country through Nigeria, Gabon, Ghana, etc...simply to mislead his hosts, as a true exilee?

(7) How do you control for those in self-seeking fame from the true patriots whose lives were at risk...especially today that people use admission (invitation) letters from colleges (colleagues) abroad or DV lottery, dress in suits and then majestically walk into Embassies for interviews, and obtain visas.....and then they proclaim exile? // QED

More Questions than answers.....tired of reading 9,450 books already...not eager to add to this lot...so, do not refer me to any book.....

casara

Entrepreneur
Close your big mouth,Fool

watesih

An exile can be self or condition induced,but it remains an exile. Pa Ntumazah was on self-exile an voluntarily came home to join opposition forces in the 90s,but discovered 'mercenaries' could not loosen their grip on power. He could come home become fortunes had changed and colonialists were confident of warding off any threat to power in their colonies through their puppets. After infiltrating the upc with mercenaries like Kodock, the regime knew pa was not any danger and allowed him to come and go. They also knew he was ailing and that their immediate danger was the sdf.

Antoine

Entrepreneur asks if he was pardoned. For what crime? You may be pardoned if you were charged with a crime. Ntumazah and other top UPC activists returned to their home country after their party was considered a spent force by Cameroun government and no longer a threat. That is when he returned. As a child long before you were born, I remember that Ntumazah was an exile whose name was only whispered during the days when Ahidjo was a terror.

It is quite obvious that you want to tear down the mythos of Ntumazah. Good luck with that. It is not going to work. Based on your writings, it is obvious that you are a mere political hatchet man and not a real scholar, a poor man's imitation of Dr Goebbels.

watesih

What makes one a political exile are the political tides that precipitated his departure from his country,not his present life style. Akwanga,s status as a student in the US does not in anyway undermine the fact that he is a hero who went through the eye of a needle. The treacherous political terrain he came back to was riddled with the same cut-throat practices Ahidjo excelled in that he had no option but to retreat in to exile. As his sight started failing he on ditched out political lessons. He was not directly involved in the making and breaking of the numerous UPCs we,ve come to know.Mong Beti was not pardoned before returning,so was Pa. They needn,t this by the way.But they still ran into a wall when they returned.With the UPC completely at the mercy of Biya Pa return could not salvage the party. Those of us of this generation who are now easily picking up posts from the same entity that has persecuted people like Pa Ntumazah,must and should respect historical facts.

The UPCian

Quick response to Entrepreneur's questions:

Yes, Ndeh Ntumazah was a wanted man in AHidjos Cameroon after the UPC refused to put down its arms in the early 60s. The protection offered the One Kamerun Movement during British trusteeship disappeared with the unification of of 1961 and Ahidjos determination to eliminate UPC leaders and their allies.

Ntumazah returned to Cameroon on December 5 1991 following a general amnesty granted to all political exiles wanted by the state of Cameroon for "subversive" activities.

Barely 3 weeks after his returned, he was elected UPC president in replacement of Dika Akwa on December 30, 1991. His problems within the UPC began in 1992 when a Koddock faction of the party emerged which wanted closer ties to the Biya regime. For example, during the 1992 presidential elections, Ntumazah supported the Union for Change while Koddock was a member of the Presidential majority. These divisions would ultimately lead to the "UPC-Ntumazah" and "UPC-Koddock" nonsense which the government was only too happy to promote to the extent of legalizing both UPC factions at one point.

Ntumazah did not die in exile (in the classical sense of escaping political persecution). He went back to England for medical treatment and would have returned to Cameroon if his health had warranted it. [It could be argued that he was on medical exile, the result of the absence of medical facilities in Cameroon...]

He was no longer a wanted man in Cameroon at the time of his death.

A more in-depth analysis of the role of Ntumazah in recent Cameroonian politics is the work of historians and not of Up Station commnetators.

Nzui Manto

UPCian, why are you bothering to respond to Mr. Etrepreneur? His questions were not meant to educate but were merely a basis to ridicule Ndeh Ntumazah and argue that he was just another one of those people who fled to the West for ecomomic reasons while claiming political persecution. Ntumazah was more of a nationalist that he will ever be. Nationalism or Patriotism is not about not pointing out the shortcomings of the regime in power but about standing on the side of the Cameroonian people, come what may.

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