20th May Celeberations: Fake or Real


This question comes to my mind and that of every objective Cameroonian especially those from West of Mungo. Should 20 May be celebrated as a national day in Cameroon?

What has become of 1 October which was the day the two Cameroons (East and West) finally became one following the 11 February 1961 plebiscite? Should 1 October not be a better day to be celebrated as a national day since it was the Reunification day that brings in mind the history and culture of the two Cameroons?

A day which we could take stock of our activities and events and see how it could be improved upon. But what comes to mind? Anyone who dares to mention the above date is seen as the enemy of the state but history teaches us the facts and there is no way we can run away from history. Politicians and historians have just decided to twist our history in their favour distorting the real meaning and facts of 1 October 1961, the supposed national day.

A National Day should have a base of the history and culture of its people and so 1 October teaches us that it was the day that finally saw the 11 February 1961 plebiscite come into fruitful in what was known as the Federal Republic of Cameroon or better still the re-unification. Thus this day formed the basis of our history and is supposed to be the national day rather than 20 May, in which, the referendum on 20 May 1972 was considered as a fake one with a 99.9 percent Yes vote arbitrarily chosen by a particular leader (late president Amadou Ahidjo) at a particular time.

This was illegal because he rigged the Federal Constitution and abolished a state which voluntarily joined la Republique and went further to proclaimed May 20th a national day unilaterally in violation of article 47 of the Federal Constitution (which prohibited any action that would threaten the existence of the Federation) and so by this very act, 20 May should not be celebrated as a national day because it has no basis for the Anglophones.

A National Day should also be able to resonate with the peoples’ culture and past but what have we seen of late? The Assimilation, annexation and the distortion of history that touches the life and culture of the people of West Cameroon.

National Integration
Historians have made us to understand and believe that 20 May 1972 came as a result of National Integration after achieving Re-unification on 1 October 1961. The power-that-be at the time was just trying as much as possible to wipe away anything that brings to mind Southern Cameroons’ past and history and which of course we can’t hide from it.

What has national integration got to do with Re-unification? Which one should Cameroonians better celebrate Re-unification or national integration? What has been achieved by the people of West Cameroon since they joined their brothers of East Cameroon on the platform of national integration?

Does national integration mean the annexation, enslavement and occupation at the peaceful, democratic and loving people of West Cameroon where inhabitants have been reduced to a tribal nomenclature of Anglophones? Students and Cameroonians at large have been forced and fooled to believe that the real pillar of what is known today as Republic of Cameroon was laid down in 20 May 1972. This day was single handedly conceived by late president Amadou Ahidjo on the pretext of national integration which has been closely followed by his successor H.E Paul Biya.

But the truth shall always prevail and shall remain supreme since La Republique du Cameroun has never demonstrated the honestly that its annexation of West Cameroon has not only been an insult but a violent violation of dignity and respect for human rights for the people at West Cameroon. Historians and politicians have decided to toy with the destiny of the people of Southern Cameroon.

Conclusively let Cameroonians learn to celebrate the real meaning of their history and forget about this cock and bull story.. Let 11 February be celebrated as a plebiscite day; a day when Southern Cameroon voted to join East Cameroon and not the Youth day as postulated by the regime.

Let 1 October be celebrated by all Cameroonians as a National Day; a day when the agreement of 11th February 1961 plebiscite finally came into fruitful in what is known as Re-unification rather than witch-hunting anyone who dares celebrate it.

Cameroonians should learn to respect the real meaning of their historical independence dates as it happens in other countries.

And finally Anglophones would feel better and integrated in the nation if the so called regional balance is strictly followed and applied, when English language is not looked down at and when Anglophones are not considered as second class citizens and a host of others to boost what is known as national integration.

Bara Mark
Bsc(Hons) Microbiology
University of Buea

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