Ethnic Positioning and Power Sharing in Kamerun

25 Aug

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

Fact: Adamawa is the only administrative region out of Cameroons ten regions, not named after its geographic position but rather after its political and religious founder; Modibo Adama. 

The other nine regions are: Far-North, North, Centre, East, West, North-West, South-West, South and Littoral
*Littoral means coastal region.

MODIBO ADAMA: It is because of his jihad wars authorised by the Caliph and sultan of Sokoto, Usman Dan Fodio that we learn of the great south migration of the Tikari and Chamba tribes into the Centre and Western highland to became the Bamenda, Bamum and Bamilike Fondoms. He was great in deed. Adamawa state in Nigeria is named after him, the lamidos of Banyo and Tibati among others in Cameroon still pay homage to the Emir of Yola in Nigeria. He even has a university named after him too.

The British and German colonialists made sure the Adamawa Empire died an unnatural death as did every other city-state and kingdom. That is how the development of the state system in Africa was disrupted and replaced with the Westphalian/Berlin model, which from then until today has failed to create nation-states but has rather lead to secessionist demands and ethnic polarization of politics in the successor states of these colonial creations. Sadly, nations have been divided between and trapped within adjacent states. Endless nationalism and conflict cycles.

Where the union of several pre-colonial nation-states is impossible, let them be able to seek the South Sudan option. In Cameroons case, a degree of non-belligerent coexistence exists already. however the issues that divide our people are more due to imported tongues and ethnic hegemony which manifest them self in the politics of exclusion and marginalization.The cycle of north vs south rebellions in much of Africa could in part be blamed on the OAU charter of 1963 which specifically frowns against the newly independent states doing anything that could change the borders they inherited from colonialism. If the articles of secession, reunification, unification and integration were given consideration in those early days, many states today wouldn’t be what they are. The discovery of natural resources in the later years made a switch to the format of states developing along ethnic geographies as was the case before colonization, very problematic and impossible. since they hold the most vital resources that make Nigeria what it is the way it is, Biafra tried but failed. Nigeria used to be three British protectorates before being merged into one colony. That explains why conflict there in addition to governance failures always becomes a regionalized and ethnic issue.
I believe if the republican institutions of the state were decentralized and power was de-concentrated, then everyone would be sure to have a bite of the national cake by their efforts to join on time and follow the queue orderly! But as it stands, a mentality of spoils and grab all for your self where ever you find your self haunts public and private civil service personnel. Economic development projects in Cameroon dont mean the natural right of citizens to have an asphalt road, it’s now more of a discretionary reward by elites to hand-clapping regions for their motions of support!

 

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  1. Power that does Not Corrupt | GodAnalytics - September 8, 2013

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