Why the Federalists are wrong

This post comes a bit out of date and that is ironic because the “arguments” submitted by this sample of federalists is itself … out of date. Who knew!

The Ambazonia Restoration War has switched gear recently to expand on communication. There is a new untenable class called “Federalists” who find themselves promoting, at once the idea that the international community is not going to help while relying on the intervention of the international community in an eventual negotiation for Federation. We recall that La Republique du Cameroun started the war to avoid any idea of federation and actively dissuaded many from even using the very word.

New platforms have led to  the highlight of some of the voices of “pro-federation anglophone figures” in debates and 1-on-1’s.

Whereas their previous highlight was the effort of Cardinal Tumi which culminated in the first established temperature of Anglophone opinion on the conflict, recent outings have come from proponents of Federation.

Speaking on ABS TV in Mar/April 2022, Dr. Munzu described “national negotiations” which would come “after LRC and Separatists come to realise the war is too expensive and unwinnable”. These “national negotiations” remind of the GDN of yore.

Dr Munzu imagined that the Federalists were the middle ground saviours who would provide a happy-median between the antagonists. Though this is a paraphrase it does carry the idea he tried and intended to convey.

The first question which was not posed, and therefore not answered, was the morality of not only waiting in the wings while children got killed in Ambazonia, but actually declaring that they [the federalists] were waiting thus! Anyone who would so calculatingly wait to come in and pick up the pieces could hardly be empathetic enough to solve the problems that invariably arise from such conflicts, even if the antagonists, somehow were to agree to cede their positions to the self-proclaimed “median”!

As “an expert on international workings”, having worked at the UN, Dr Munzi decried the futility of the Ambazonians’ efforts in conducting an armed restoration struggle, “as international law does not allow secession”. Forget Timor L’Est. Forget Somaliland, though they are not recognized yet. The outing reminded very much of the La Republique du Cameroun tactic of wheeling out “experts” to present illogical and untenable arguments. Let’s say if secessions never happened we would not have the examples cited – and the very word would not exist. The more accurate idea is that they do happen in eventual negotiations.

The illogic of Dr. Munzu’s position is the question of why LRC and Ambazonia would go to negotiations, one having objected to their dysfunctional union and the other having violently objected to federation, and that both voluntarily accept federation. So having explained how the international community would not help, the Federalists are now implying that the same international community will basically impose a federation!

The Federalist “upgrade” idea

The most recent effort and a more refined one came from Dr Ben Akih, who introduced himself as an Engineering professor from Syracuse University.

Drawing on his conjunction of political science “training” he emphasised how international law, and national law, forbade separation and rendered the restoration struggle futile…unless it is won in the war! Dismissing the prospect of winning, Dr Akih proceeded to outline a method for forcing “the government of LRC” to change. He actually described it as a way for the people to “defeat the government” lawfully.

On the way to that plan Dr Akih listed and condemned the various violations that French Cameroon had committed since the 1961 reunification:

< begin paraphrase>

  1. It is wrong to celebrate 20th May as a national holiday as it marks a constitutional violation of the federation of West Cameroon and East Cameroon.
  2. The referendum that changed the federation was unconstitutional as it violated articles of the federal Constitution.
  3. The Cameroon government is wrong to be enforcing a unitary state and calling it national unity. These are two different concepts… as, taking the example of the US, the the US is very much united around allegiance to the flag and yet functions as a federation so national unity is not about a unitary state, concepts which the francophone populations confuse.
  4. The manipulator is France, who set up the whole process by helping their collaborators appropriate, against their wishes [so much that East Cam PM Andre Marie Mbida resigned], the unification program/ideas of the UPC before “independence. [ France has a lot to lose as democracy in Cameroon could lead to similar in other French colonies, viz Chad, Mali, Togo …]

<end paraphrase>

Dr Akih missed out the first violation, namely not bothering to bring the treaty of union to either state assembly! That means the Federation did not exist and none of the other violations matter! Nor do any international law theories!

In any case Dr Akih, to his credit, does admit that winning the war would do!

With the lack of union treaty and the fact that LRC became independent in Jan 1960 and was a separate country for more than a year whereas Southern Cameroons was a separate independent [even if just technically] for months while the union treaty was meant to be concluded, international law would be hard pressed to enforce a union that never was as secession would not apply!

Here is Dr Akih’s plan for achieving federation in 2025!

<Begin paraphrase and comments>

 Why 2025? Well, the plan relies on everyone massively registering to vote and the introduction of polling so that “parties” can see from polls that Federation is the most popular option for the electorate! No explanation yet for why francophones, who [falsely] imagine themselves to be the beneficiaries of the unitary state… and are not used to the freedoms of thought that characterise Southern Cameroonians, would prefer federation. Well, the solution is that the margin between competing parties should be less than 20% as the Southern Cameroons electorate accounts for 20% in “the would-be federation” as that would demonstrate to the parties that they need to be federalists… Suspend disbelieve for once, that even in the more democratic countries parties have been known to ignore their manifestos after elections. OR that Elecam is supposed to organise the elections… Or even that all Southern Cameroonians [including Ambazonians] would want to vote in the “massive block”.

So, the LRC government, which Dr Akih says bans polls, will agree to legalise polls in time for 2025 and let Elecam run free elections so that they can lose…after fighting a genocidal war in the last six years! So why not just negotiate and leave out the war part?

Please maintain suspension of disbelief! There is a recourse for “if” it is “clear that the elections have been rigged”… say the Constitutional Council hears pleas and announces a result that “could be proved” to be contrary to the polls [prior polls, yes, those polls that everyone in the polling community always so do not guarantee the results!].

In Cameroons case the polls need to be believed, which we are as we are suspending disbelief so in the event on a rigged election result … “we should go out and fight” for the result in “massive protests”

<End paraphrase and comments>

You couldn’t make it up!

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