Biya Initiates “Special Status” Trick to Ratify Union Treaty with Cameroun
Nkemaka B. Julius, AmbaNews24 Correspondent, Germany
I have read the entire bill, and the associated special
status therein adopted by the Cameroon government for its so called “south-west
and north-west regions”, which are rather distinct and single territory of the
erstwhile UN Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons under British
administration, now rightly called, “Ambazonia.” I want to focus here on the
content of the bill. What is it that is really “special” here for anyone to
speak of “special status”?
Before dealing with the content, I must note that it
should bid the imagination of any right thinking man or woman that Paul Biya,
President of Cameroon had to wait for more than 4,000 innocent civilians to be
killed by his forces and over 450 towns and villages to be burnt down for the
Cameroon government to implement its own Constitution of 1996, which called for
some of what it calls its “regions” to be given a “special status”. It is also unimaginable
that Biya and his regime can abrogate to themselves the powers to give this
territory a “special status” – an
issue that Paul J. Lysinge has dealt with.
The “special status” is the most laughable piece of
anything that anyone can think of. It must have been meant for illiterates,
uneducated fools, and a class of political kleptocrats such as Atanga Nji the murderer,
rejected “senators” such as Chief Tabetando, traitor parliamentarians such as
Bernard Forju, people such as Agboh Balla who promote geneocide by claiming
that the barbaric killings going on in Ambazonia are not genocidal acts, and Ni
John Fru Ndi the chief enabler.
To begin with, what are special status regions? Special
Status regions are ones that exercise greater autonomy over their affairs by
having powers that other regions of the country do not have. What makes them
special is not that they have a House of Chiefs, a regional assembly, some
conciliator, or whatever organ but that these organs and the executive in those
regions have powers that no other regions in the country have. Simply put,
their specialness is in their distinctive powers. In other words, what makes a
region a special status area is that it has powers over its affairs at a level
or magnitude that other regions do not have, and it can exercise these powers
in a way that other regions cannot. In fact, these powers often include
provisions for things that the central government cannot do in those regions
without the approval of the region’s legislative and executive bodies.
Having these powers is what makes Quebec in Canada, the
Basque Country in Spain and Northern Ireland in the UK “special status”
regions. In fact, Hong Kong as a “special status” region in China has powers to contract a wide range of
agreements with other countries and territories such as mutual abolition
mutual legal aid, air services, extradition, handling of double taxation and others, with no Chinese Government involvement.
In the case of the “north-west and south-west regions”,
the Cameroon government – despite having no legal jurisdiction over the
territory under international law, principles and procedures, believes it can
throw any bone as a “special status” and the Ambazonian people shall fall for
Let us focus on the element of “powers” that really makes
any area a “special status region”.
Sections 267 to Section 273 of the bill outlines the
powers of regions. One would then expect that in Section 328 that provides the
powers of the “Special Status of the North-west and South-west Regions,” one
will see real powers that other regions do not have. Rather, what does it say?
Let us quote it in full, underlining key words:
Section 328:(1) In addition to the
powers devolved on regions by this law, the North-West and South-West Regions may
exercise the following powers:
- participating in the formulation of national public policies relating to the
Anglophone education sub-subsystem;
- setting up and managing regional development authorities;
- participating in defining the status of traditional chiefdoms.
(2) The North-West and
South-West Regions may be consulted on issues relating to the
formulation of justice public policies in the Common Law subsystem.
(3) They may be involved in the management of public services
established in their respective territories.
Did they say “Participating” in Anglophone Education
Oh Yes, they did! Only the infamous illiterate
school master will not take note of what those words mean in public
administration and politics. This bill implies that those “special status”
regions of “southwest and northwest” can “participate”; not that they have any
decision powers on the “Anglophone education sub-system.” They can simply talk;
they cannot decide! They can participate by writing motions of supports, by
holding debates on TV, by daring to protest on the streets before helicopter
gunships are fired on them, etc. What is “special” about anyone participating
in the public policies of a country? Is that not what is ordinarily expected of
every citizen, political party, etc? It is a mockery to call such
participation, “special status”. Only in a dictatorship can such mere “participation”
be as “special status” function, as opposed to having the powers to actually
decide the education policies of the territory. Laughable!
Did they say “setting up” and “managing” regional
For sure, they did! That looks like giving what
they call “the south-west and north-west” regions some powers, until you begin
to see the political ploy in the details. Open your eyes and see!
The key Regional Assembly for the “special
status” has the same ninety members as those of all the other regions. But what
is worst? It is weakened by breaking it down into separate houses: a House of
Divisional Representatives and a House of Chiefs. The Cameroon government
governs through divide and rule tactics by which it infiltrates, causes
confusion and weakens the people. The Yaoundé regime simply needs to use those
chiefs to fight the Representatives who shall only be seventy in number
compared to other regions that shall have ninety. Ever heard of the logic of
numbers? Ninety people agreeing on one thing together are stronger than
And what are they “managing” that other regions
are not “managing” for them to be “special”? Nothing!!
Did You read “may”?
O Yes, you sure did! When it comes to the powers
of the Cameroon government’s infiltrator – the real man with powers – the bill
says in Section 325, “The representative of the State or his duly mandated
delegate shall, as of right, take part in Regional Council meetings.”
When it comes to every power of the “President of the Republic,” including the
power to dismantle the so called Regional Assembly, the bill uses the word,
“shall”. Where it involves consulting “the northwest and the southwest” on
matters of justice and common law, and in the management of their public
service affairs, the bill says, “may”. If you think the difference is
accidental, then you do not know La Republique du Cameroun!
Words have meaning. “May” as used here means, it may be done as well as
it may not be done! Nothing is required; nothing is mandatory! Yaoundé can do
as it pleases, and no one can query the Cameroon government because they will
be acting in compliance with the law of “may.”
Make no mistake – in law, “may” is a weak and conditional word often
used as a polite way of saying ‘may be’ or non-affirmative or non-committal. “May”
cannot be used on something that is mandatory and must be done! If politeness
is the reason for the use of “may”, why not be polite throughout the text and
use the same “may” when speaking of the powers of Biya and the Yaoundé regime
Create the “House of Representatives” and “House of Chiefs”?
I wonder how many people have really asked themselves why it was so
necessary to create these two houses in the Regional Assembly for the so
called, “special status”. In fact, reading through the report from the Grand
National Dialogue, properly dubbed “Biyalogue,” there was no prominence of
place giving to this bicameral legislature in the “north-west and south-west”. That
is one reason Cardinal Tumi is shocked at the “special status” proposal, saying
Biya deceived them who gathered in Yaoundé.
Why create these House of Chiefs and House of Representatives? The
answer is simple: the Cameroon government is recreating the Southern Cameroons
House of Assembly and House of Chiefs as it existed before 1961 when Ahmadou
Ahidjo dismantled them. It is not recreating them for the interest of the
Ambazonian people, but to instrumentalize them at the opportune moment to
create and ratify a union treaty that will legally make the Ambazonian
territory a part of Cameroon’s territory.
Yaoundé knows that its greatest losing argument against its claim of
authority over Ambazonia is the lack of a union treaty as was required by UN
General Assembly Resolution 1608 (XV), Operative Paragraph 5 of 21 April 1961.
The Biya regime knows that for such treaty to have been valid, it ought to have
been ratified by the House of Assembly and the House of Chiefs in Buea as it
were. Ahidjo misfired and shut Cameroon on its own foot when it dismantled
these institutions without such a ratified document.
Today, all that Cameroon is trying to do is to strategically recreate
those legislative bodies, propose a union constitution as a “union treaty”,
have the House of Representatives and the House of Chiefs that will be in Buea
and in Bamenda to approve and ratify them, and history is sealed!
The Cameroon government has really taken “Anglophones” for “anglofools”,
believing they cannot read and understand their gimmicks. Biya’s “special
status” is hollow; it is a container void of any meaningful content; it is
nothing but what Joe Biden, former US Vice President calls, “a bunch of
malarkey.” The only appropriate solution
to these tricks is to totally reject the “special status” and intensify the war
of independence until Ambazonia becomes totally free, independent and sovereign.