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The Kamerun plebiscites 1959-1961: perceptions and strategies Chem-Langhëë, Bongfen 1976

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THE KAMERUN PLEBISCITES 1959-1961: PERCEPTIONS AND STRATEGIES by Bongfen Chem-Langhee B.Ed. (Sec) Hons., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1973 M.A., Carleton University, 1974  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of HISTORY  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1976 (c)  BONGFEN CHEM-LANGHEE  1976  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e the I  Library  further  for  agree  in p a r t i a l  fulfilment  of  at  University  of  Columbia,  the  make  it  freely  that permission for  this  representatives. thesis  for  It  financial  of  gain  /•  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  Date  for  extensive by  the  shall  not  the  requirements  reference copying of  Head o f  is understood that  written permission.  Department  British  available  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d  by h i s of  shall  thesis  I  agree  and  be a l l o w e d  that  study.  this  thesis  my D e p a r t m e n t  copying or  for  or  publication  without  my  ii THE KAMERUN PLEBISCITES 1959-1961:  PERCEPTIONS AND  STRATEGIES  ABSTRACT The Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e s of 1959-1961 were c r u c i a l to the r i s e and development of Western Kamerun nationalism.  Some of the factors which shaped the  events connected with that phenomenon can be traced' back to the p r e - c o l o n i a l period.  Others emerged from the a c t i v i t i e s of the colonizers i n the region  during the c o l o n i a l and t r u s t period.  But, i t was  against the B r i t i s h a c t i v i -  t i e s that a few Western-educated Southern Kamerunians, the p o l i t i c a l leaders, reacted and, i n the 1940s, developed a n a t i o n a l i s t movement. new  leaders, who  In 1953,  these  had made l i t t l e headway i n t h e i r demands of the B r i t i s h ,  involved the t r a d i t i o n a l leaders, the a-Fon, i n the n a t i o n a l i s t movement. The a-Fon who  commanded the l o y a l t y and support of most of the  region's  inhabitants, s i g n i f i c a n t l y strengthened and influenced the movement henceforth. During that c r u c i a l period, however, the movement witnessed several confl i c t s over p o l i c y regarding the future of Western Kamerun. Kamerun, the l o c a l authorities advocated  In Northern  integration with Nigeria while some  dissident l o c a l Fulani and the a-Fon demanded secession from i t .  In Southern  Kamerun, some p o l i t i c a l leaders stressed integration with Nigeria, others favoured secession from i t and ultimate r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun, and, others emphasized immediate secession and r e u n i f i c a t i o n . the a-Fon requested secession without r e u n i f i c a t i o n .  yet,  On the other hand,  Thus, there were funda-  mental differences among the p o l i t i c a l leaders and between them and the t r a ditional rulers.  During t h i s period, the p o l i t i c a l leaders defined  and  redefined their varying programmes i n an e f f o r t to win over the Crowned Princes  iii  who refused to budge. Realizing the firmness of the a-Fon, backed by massive support from the electorate, the organizers concentrated their e f f o r t s at the United Nations where they manipulated, confused, and engineered a s p l i t within i t s members. The d i v i s i o n within the United Nations and among the organizers forced that organization to concentrate on reaching a compromise rather than finding out what the majority of the Western Kamerunians desired. t h i s approach was adverse decisions:  The outcome of  i n the case of Northern Kamerun, where  the electorate, a f t e r the f i r s t p l e b i s c i t e , had mistaken the reformed l o c a l administration for secession from Nigeria, the United Nations refused to postpone the second p l e b i s c i t e , and, i n the case of Southern Kamerun, i t l e f t out secession without r e u n i f i c a t i o n , the most popular view, from the p l e b i s c i t e despite numerous appeals and protests from both regions. ensuing  In the  confusion i n the North and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the South, the elec-  torate asked and answered t h e i r own questions at the p l e b i s c i t e s , interpreting the United Nations' questions to s u i t t h e i r l o c a l conditions and circumstances. This interpreting process was to be expected.  In most p l e b i s c i t e s and  elections, electors ask and answer t h e i r own questions, often with l i t t l e reference to the larger issues, but the timing of the second p l e b i s c i t e i n the North and the unfortunate wording of the p l e b i s c i t e questions i n the context of p o l i t i c s i n the South, contributed not only a good deal of confusion to the proceedings, but also s i g n i f i c a n t l y impeded the process of self-determination.  Moreover, the conduct of the p l e b i s c i t e s , themselves, was charac-  t e r i z e d by the abuse of power by those interested groups i n and out of author i t y , and by suspicion and accusation which were sometimes j u s t i f i a b l e and sometimes not.  Furthermore, the p l e b i s c i t e undermined the Concert of the  iv  Crowned Princes, the symbol of Southern Kamerun unity, and l e f t sections of the region standing at a distance from, and threatening, each other. Not only had the t r u s t system ended i n Western Kamerun on an uncertain note, but the United Nations had been less than e f f e c t i v e i n applying the p r i n c i p l e of self-determination.  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS  page  ABSTRACT  11.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  v  LIST OP. MAPS  vi  GLOSSARY  vii*'  PREFACE  x  ACOOWLEDGEMENT  xxvii  CHAPTER ONE  CHAPTER TWO  CHAPTER THREE  THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE RISE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN WESTERN KAMERUN  1  The Northern Kamerun Situation  1  The Southern Kamerun Situation  14  THE RISE AND EVOLUSION OF NATIONALISM IN SOUTHERN KAMERUN 1939-1953  33  THE ROAD TO THE PLEBISCITES 1953-1959  65  The Road to the Northern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e s 1953- 1959 The Road to the Southern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e ;  65  1954- 1959  90  1  CHAPTER FOUR  CHAPTER FIVE  A TIME OF NO COMPROMISE 1958-SEPTEMBER 1959  135  The Nationalist Leaders at the United Nations October 1958-March 1959 The Nationalist Leaders at Home April-September 1959  137 160  STRIKING A COMPROMISE  185  I n i t i a l Reaction to the Foncha-Endeley Compromise i n Southern Kamerun October 1959  199  vi  CHAPTER SIX  CHAPTER SEVEN  Delayed Response t o the Compromise 1960-1961  201  THE CONDUCT OF THE PLEBISCITES 1959-1961  220  The Conduct o f the Northern Kamerun 1959-1961  Plebiscites 220  The Conduct o f t h e Southern Kamerun 1959-1961  Plebiscite 257  THE MEANING OF THE VOTES  285  The Meaning o f t h e Votes i n t h e N o r t h e r n Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e s  287  The Meaning o f t h e Votes i n t h e Southern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e : :  304  CONCLUSION  340  BIBLIOGRAPHY  350  MAPS The T r u s t T e r r i t o r i e s o f Kamerun and t h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s V i s i t i n g M i s s i o n o f 1958.  128  The Northern and Southern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e  334  D i s t r i c t s o f 1961.  vii  GLOSSARY  a-Fon  Plural of Fon—a traditional ruler. The B r i t i s h r e f e r r e d t o t h e more p o w e r f u l o f these t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s as e i t h e r 'Fons' o r 'Paramount C h i e f s . ' Those t h e B r i t i s h r e g a r d e d as l e s s p o w e r f u l were c a l l e d ' C h i e f s ' w h i l e t h e l e a s t p o w e r f u l o f them, a c c o r d i n g t o t h e B r i t i s h were simply ' V i l l a g e Heads.' But i n Kamerun, a Fon i s a Fon and r e c e i v e s any r e s p e c t due t o a Fon. I t should be remembered, however, t h a t t h e p r o n u n c i a t i o n and s p e l l i n g o f the word d i f f e r from one t r a d i t i o n a l s t a t e and/or e t h n i c group to another.  AG  A c t i o n Group.  CCC  Cameroons Commoners Congress. A Southern Kamerun p o l i t i c a l p a r t y formed i n 1959 by Fon Stephen E. N y e n t i . I t s p o l i t i c a l g o a l was the c r e a t i o n o f an independent s t a t e o f Cameroons under U n i t e d Kingdom A d m i n i s t r a t i o n .  CDC  Cameroon Development C o r p o r a t i o n . A Corporation of the Nigerian Government which r a n t h e German p l a n t a t i o n s i n Southern Kamerun.  CFU  Cameroons F e d e r a l Union. A p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Southern Kamerun which operated i n t h e l a t e 1940s.  CIP  Cameroons Indigenes P a r t y . A p o l i t i c a l p a r t y o f Southern Kamerun formed i n l a t e 1960 by Fon Jesco Manga-Williams. Its p o l i t i c a l g o a l was t h e c r e a t i o n o f an independent s t a t e o f Cameroons under U n i t e d Kingdom A d m i n i s t r a t i o n .  CNF  Cameroons N a t i o n a l F e d e r a t i o n . A p o l i t i c a l organization of Southern Kamerun founded i n 1949.  CPNC  Cameroons People's N a t i o n a l Convention. A p o l i t i c a l p a r t y o f Southern Kamerun formed i n mid-1960 o u t o f a f u s i o n o f t h e KNC and t h e KPP. I t s p o l i t i c a l g o a l was t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f Western Kamerun w i t h N i g e r i a .  CWU  Cameroon W e l f a r e Union. O r i g i n a l l y a Bakweri c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n founded i n 1939 i n Southern Kamerun but, a f t e r a s h o r t time, i t became a p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e group which then i n c l u d e d both Bakweri and non-Bakweri members.  CYL  Cameroons Youth League. A p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Southern Kamerun founded i n Lagos, N i g e r i a , i n 1940 by a group o f Kamerun students. I t superseded t h e CWU, Lagos Branch.  EKWU  E a s t e r n Kamerun W e l f a r e Union. A s o c i a l and, t o some e x t e n t , p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e E a s t e r n Kamerunians r e s i d e n t i n Southern Kamerun. I t superseded t h e FCWU.  A Western N i g e r i a - b a s e d  political  party.  viii FCWU  French Cameroons Welfare Union—the o r i g i n a l name of the EKWU.  Fon  A t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r i n Kamerun.  Fondom  A t r a d i t i o n a l state i n Kamerun.  KFP  Kamerun Freedom Party. A p o l i t i c a l party of Northern Kamerun founded i n 1960 to f i g h t the second Northern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e . Its p o l i t i c a l goal was secession from Nigeria and ultimate reunif i c a t i o n of Western Kamerun with Eastern Kamerun.  KNC  Kamerun National Congress. A p o l i t i c a l party of Southern Kamerun founded i n 1953 out of a fusion of the CNF and KUNC. I t s p o l i t i c a l goal altered with time and circumstances.  KNDP  Kamerun National Democratic Party. A p o l i t i c a l party of Southern Kamerun founded by John Ngu Foncha between late 1954 and early 1955. I t s p o l i t i c a l goal was secession of Western Kamerun from Nigeria with no c l e a r l y defined end.  KPP  Kamerun People's Party, A p o l i t i c a l party of Southern Kamerun founded i n 1953 by Paul M. Kale. I t s p o l i t i c a l goal altered with time and circumstances.  KUNC  Kamerun United National Congress. A p o l i t i c a l organization of Southern Kamerun formed by Jabea R.K. Dibonge i n 1951 during a s p l i t wihtin the CNF.  KUP  Kamerun United Party. A p o l i t i c a l party of Southern Kamerun founded i n 1959 by Paul M. Kale. I t s p o l i t i c a l goal was the creation of a Smaller Kamerun State, a state of Western Kamerun.  Lion  A term of respect by which Kamerunians address t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l rulers.  NCNC  National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons. An Eastern Nigeriabased p o l i t i c a l party.  NEPU  Northern Elements Progressive Union. A Northern Nigeria-based p o l i t i c a l party with l e f t i s t i n c l i n a t i o n s .  NKDP  Northern Kamerun Democratic Party. The f i r s t p o l i t i c a l party of Northern Kamerun founded i n early 1959 to f i g h t the f i r s t Northern Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e . I t s p o l i t i c a l goal was secession of Northern Kamerun from Nigeria, u n i f i c a t i o n of Northern and Southern Kamerun, and ultimate r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun.  NPC  Northern People's Congress. The major p o l i t i c a l party of Northern Nigeria with conservative i n c l i n a t i o n s .  The p l u r a l i s 'Fondoms.  1  One Kamerun. A p o l i t i c a l party of Southern Kamerun formed i n 1957 by Ndeh Ntumazah. I t was a disguised rejuvenation of the UPC and i t s p o l i t i c a l goal, among others, was the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun. United Middle Belt Congress. b e l t of Nigeira.  A p o l i t i c a l party of the middle  Union des Populations du Cameroun. A p o l i t i c a l party of Eastern Kamerun which operated i n Southern Kamerun between 1955 and May 1957. I t s p o l i t i c a l goal, among others, was the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun.  X  PREFACE The Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e s of 1959-1961 were c r u c i a l to the r i s e and evolution of nationalism i n Western Kamerun.* p l e b i s c i t e s were of two main categories: pondents.  The participants i n these  the organizers and the res-  The organizers included the United Nations, the Administering  Authority (the B r i t i s h ) , the Western Kamerun Western-educated p o l i t i c a l leaders, and the Western Kamerun t r a d i t i o n a l leaders who acted i n some respects as organizers and i n others as respondents.  The respondents  *The choice of the name and the s p e l l i n g need some explanation. The name given to the whole t e r r i t o r y , of which a part i s the subject of t h i s study, by i t s f i r s t colonizers was Kamerun. After the p a r t i t i o n of this German Kamerun Empire i n 1919 between France and B r i t a i n , the French c a l l e d t h e i r own section Cameroun and the B r i t i s h c a l l e d t h e i r own part the Cameroons. O f f i c i a l l y the French section was referred to f i r s t , as the Mandated T e r r i t o r y of the Cameroons under French Adminis t r a t i o n and, l a t e r , as the Trust T e r r i t o r y of the Cameroons under French Administration. The B r i t i s h section was referred to as the Mandated T e r r i t o r y of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration and, l a t e r , as the Trust T e r r i t o r y of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration. But the o f f i c i a l nomenclature was hardly ever used. The French simply referred to t h e i r section as Cameroun and the B r i t i s h referred to theirs as the Cameroons and occasionally as i f i t were part of Nigeria. The world population, even up to today, refers to the two sections as the French Cameroons and the B r i t i s h Cameroons. The Kamerunian populace themselves, to a man, pronounce the word as Kemerun; because the B r i t i s h version had an 's' at the end, the English speaking Kamerunians pronounced i t Kameruns. The choice of the name "Kamerun by t h i s study i s i n conformity with the way those to whom the word refers pronounce i t . 1  The standard use of the word i n t h i s study i s therefore as follows: Kamerun to stand f o r the German Kamerun Empire; Eastern Kamerun to stand for the section under French administration u n t i l independence i n 1960; Northern Kamerun to stand f o r the northern portion of Cameroons under B r i t i s h Administration and Southern Kamerun to stand f o r the southern portion of that section; and, Western Kamerun to refer to both Northern and Southern Kamerun. When quoting, however, the exact words of those quoted would have to be adhered to.  xi consisted mainly of the Western Kamerun t r a d i t i o n a l leaders and t h e i r subjects, l i t e r a t e or i l l i t e r a t e .  Both the organizers and the respon-  dents had t h e i r objectives involved i n the p l e b i s c i t e s .  This study  dwells upon the objectives of the organizers, on the one hand, and the aspirations and reactions of the respondents they polled, on the other. But, since the p l e b i s c i t e s occurred during the l a s t three years of the r i s e and development of Western Kamerun Nationalism, attention i s also paid to the period preceding the p l e b i s c i t e s . Sources f o r t h i s study r e f l e c t the fact that there were many groups of actors at the p l e b i s c i t e s .  B a s i c a l l y , the sources a r e . .  the United Nations' documents although they came from a variety of sources.  Some of them originated with the United Nations General Assem-  bly, the Trusteeship Council, and the United Nations V i s i t i n g Missions to Western Kamerun.  Others came from the B r i t i s h and are mainly the  United Kingdom Annual-Reports  f i r s t , to the League of Nations and, l a t e r ,  to the United Nations, and statements made by B r i t i s h o f f i c i a l s i n Western Kamerun, i n Nigeria, i n the United Nations, and i n London concerning Western Kamerun.  S t i l l other sources came from the Western Kamerun  p o l i t i c a l leaders consisting mainly of t h e i r p o l i c y statements i n Western Kamerun, Nigeria, London, and the United Nations, of the p e t i t i o n s they addressed to the United Nations, and of the arguments they made at the United Nations and elsewhere.  There i s no problem with these sources  originating from the organizers. The same thing cannot be said regarding sources o r i g i n a t i n g from the respondents.  O r i g i n a l l y , t h i s study was to use interviews as a means of  obtaining information at the grass-roots l e v e l while making allowance for  xii human i n a b i l i t y to r e c o l l e c t feelings and ideas held f i f t e e n or seventeen years e a r l i e r and for human tendency to colour the facts after the event.  But the present writer had to confine himself to the p e t i t i o n s  which these actors at the grass-roots l e v e l addressed to the United Nations during the p l e b i s c i t e s period.*  These p e t i t i o n s are, therefore,  the main sources at the grass-roots l e v e l . Nevertheless, there are a number of problems involved i n t h i s  source.  Many of them are d i r e c t translations of phrases and idioms from the various Western Kamerun languages i n t o English.  As a r e s u l t , someone  whose f i r s t language i s English might not be able to understand exactly what the p e t i t i o n e r i s attempting  to communicate.  a major problem to the present writer.  This was not, however,  To be sure, a few of these p e t i -  tions were troublesome but, a f t e r some consultation with Nigerian and Kamerunian students, the p e t i t i o n e r s ' ideas were e a s i l y understood. Secondly, the p e t i t i o n e r s were a c t i v e l y involved with the p l e b i s c i t e s . This i s both an asset and a l i a b i l i t y .  Because the p e t i t i o n e r s were  active p a r t i c i p a n t s , t h e i r feelings, sentiments,  objectives, i n short,  *Although o r a l evidence always has i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , interviews would s t i l l have performed an important and useful part i n t h i s study. But, a number of problems and considerations stood i n the way of the present writer conducting such interviews. F i r s t , the writer found i t f i n a n c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t to make the attempt. Secondly, for such interviews to be exhaustive and f r u i t f u l , a lengthy period would have to be a l l o t t e d to them, and such an amount of time was not available to the writer. Thirdly, and more importantly, even i f money and time were a v a i l a b l e , such interviews would have been of limited value when conducted by either the present writer or any Kamerunian at t h i s point i n time. At a time when most former Southern Kamerunians claim to have voted for the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun, i t i s u n l i k e l y that many would be w i l l i n g to say earnestly to any Kamerunian interviewer how they f e l t at the time of the p l i b i s c i t e and how they perceived the phenomenon.  xlll t h e i r perceptions of the p l e b i s c i t e s at the time were preserved; gives a more accurate picture of the s i t u a t i o n to the scholar.  this But,  because they were active participants with d i f f e r i n g objectives and perceptions, there was bound to be a high degree of suspicion and exaggeration i n whatever was reported.  However, having been active at the  p l e b i s c i t e s himself, and having read through these p e t i t i o n s d i s i n t e r estedly, the present writer has come to the conclusion that, when the p e t i t i o n s are stripped of the elements of suspicion and exaggegation, the basic ideas reported were f o r the most part, accurate.  Experience  has thus enabled the writer to cope with this second problem. The next problem might be put i n form of a question: p e t i t i o n s f o r the i l l i t e r a t e ?  The l i t e r a t e did.  who wrote the  How can one then be  sure that the ideas expressed were those of the i l l i t e r a t e rather than those of the writer?  Letter-writing i n Western Kamerun o f the time was  not a commercial a f f a i r .  Moreover, the i l l i t e r a t e d i d not just pick any  l i t e r a t e from the street and ask him to write h i s l e t t e r ; l e t t e r - w r i t e r s for the i l l i t e r a t e were usually family members (of whatever l e v e l of education), trusted friends and close associates, some of whom were teachers.  Perhaps more importantly,  the majority of the petitioners,other  than those written by the l i t e r a t e for themselves, were written on a group basis.  The secretaries of these groups shared the objectives and  attitudes and more or less transmitted these to the United Nations. The next problem, possibly the most important, has to do with those p e t i t i o n s which the United Nations o f f i c i a l s summarized.  Usually, when  one event occurred i n Western Kamerun, say the arrest of one p o l i t i c a l leader, the United Nations could expect to receive between 3,000 and 4,000  xiv p e t i t i o n s dealing with the event as the major issue but including other complaints not always related to the main event.  In such cases, the  United Nations would d e c l a s s i f y the p e t i t i o n s , summarize them into one p e t i t i o n of about ten pages, and then destroy the o r i g i n a l s .  x  This was  unfortunate because f i r s t , the United Nations i n the process might have destroyed just those ideas that could be c r u c i a l to the student i n understanding better the p l e b i s c i t e s and, secondly, by merely stating "some of the p e t i t i o n e r s argued that," the summaries make i t d i f f i c u l t to know just whom these p e t i t i o n e r s were and what they supported.  This i s a  problem which the student may regret but which he can do nothing to remedy. Closely related to t h i s problem i s that of not being able to decide e a s i l y which objective held during the p l e b i s c i t e the p e t i t i o n e r supporting.  was  In some cases, t h i s i s indicated either by the organization  issuing the p e t i t i o n , or by the ideas advocated i n the p e t i t i o n .  Where  t h i s i s not the case, the present writer uses his personal experience by looking at the geographic area from which the p e t i t i o n originated and makes his  decision on that basis.  But where t h i s too i s not h e l p f u l , unless the  p e t i t i o n i s c r u c i a l , i t i s l e f t out.  More than 600 categorized p e t i t i o n s  (about 8,000 were d e c l a s s i f i e d and destroyed) were read although not a l l of them are included i n the study.*  The l a s t problem involved those p e t i -  *The present writer has endeavoured to bring nearly a l l the ideas expressed i n the p e t i t i o n s into the study. Petitions l e f t out either expressed ideas already taken from other p e t i t i o n s or they were so vague and so exaggerated as to be of l i t t l e value. For example, two or three po-:'. l i t i c a l leaders i n Western Kamerun, o r i g i n a l l y from Eastern Kamerun, might be arrested by the B r i t i s h and repartriated to Eastern Kamerun where they were, for the most part, executed. One p e t i t i o n e r would report the  XV  tions written i n French. present writer.  This would have been a big problem for the  But the United Nations solved the problem by t r a n s l a t i n g  them into English. Other primary sources which ought to have been included i n t h i s study are Western Kamerun d a i l i e s and memoirs p a r t i c u l a r l y those of Western Kamerun p o l i t i c a l leaders.  There were no d a i l i e s i n Western  Kamerun u n t i l late i n 1960 when the p o l i t i c a l parties began to campaign. Then, the p a r t i c u l a r d a i l y published almost always the contents of the p o l i t i c a l programme of the party which owned the press, and rehashed only the offers which the party was already making verbally. taken account of from other sources. even written.  Only P.M.  This has been  Memoirs have not been published or  Kale, one of the p o l i t i c a l leaders, wrote some-  thing i n form of a book but which i s actually a mixture of h i s memoir, a chronological cataloguing of events, and a book of documents.  This piece  of work has been very useful. The only other sources included i n the study are secondary materials. These include mainly books and journals.  Generally, the a r t i c l e s i n  journals and p e r i o d i c a l s exhibit a very poor understanding of the p l e b i s c i t e s and are not, therefore, very useful. d i f f e r e n t with books.  The situation i s not very  Except for one book, books are useful insofar as  incident stating the time of the arrest, the time .of r e p a r t r i a t i o n , the names of the victims, and the time of the execution. The other p e t i t i o n e r would report that 'the B r i t i s h are going around arresting every Eastern Kamerunian refugee i n Western Kamerun and sending them to Eastern Kamerun to be k i l l e d . ' The arrest, the r e p a r t r i a t i o n , and the execution are common to both p e t i t i o n s , but i n such cases, the present writer leaves out the l a t t e r p e t i t i o n , and makes use of the former as a fact, when supported by other evidence, or as an a l l e g a t i o n when there i s no further evidence to substantiate the ideas.  xyi  they describe the major events i n t h e i r chronological order and make use of some important documents, and also d i r e c t the student to major sources of the p l e b i s c i t e s .  I t appears that these secondary sources  are not very useful because the authors ignored almost completely sources from the grass-roots l e v e l . The introduction of these grass-roots sources into the study represents the f i r s t major change from the existing approaches to the study of the Kamerun P l e b i s c i t e s .  The current l i t e r a t u r e on the subject has  concentrated on the organizers; nearly a l l of them have studied the subject from the viewpoint of the organizers. Nearly a l l the authors have concentrated on sources originating  from the organizers. Nearly a l l of them  have disregarded the sources originating  from the grass-roots l e v e l .  Nearly a l l of them have written on the subject from above.  Finally,  nearly a l l of them have limited themselves to the number of votes without any serious attempts to f i n d out the meanings of the votes.  The outcome  of t h i s common approach has been the establishment of several theses which lend themselves to challenge. With the introduction of t h i s long existing, but never-before-used evidence from the grass-roots literature.  sources, t h i s study d i f f e r s from the existing  The evidence from both the organizers and respondents i s  exploited to i t s maximum.  The subject i s studied from the point of view  of both the organizers and the respondents.  The respondents, for the  f i r s t time, are given t h e i r adequate role i n the events. studied, therefore, both from above and from below.  The subject i s  F i n a l l y , t h i s study  looks at the number of votes but goes beyond the number to f i n d out what the votes actually meant.  The outcome of t h i s approach i s the establish-  xvii  ment of several theses which run contrary to what exist i n the current literature.  But, since these new  theses are the subject of the present  study, t h i s preface l i m i t s i t s e l f to i d e n t i f y i n g the theses currently existing i n the l i t e r a t u r e . The f i r s t of these assertions depicts a p o l i t i c a l l y disorganized pre-colonial Kamerun. In 1884 the rest of what i s now the Cameroon was inhabited by a m u l t i p l i c i t y of t r i b a l groups having l i t t l e i n common with one another, but sharing a general suspicion of and h o s t i l i t y to strangers. Only i n the Cameroon north, beyond the t r o p i c a l r a i n f o r e s t , was there any sense of p o l i t i c a l cohesion, but i t was a cohesion imposed by the Fulani conquests of the early nineteenth century. 2  I t i s important  to note that sources from the grass-roots l e v e l are not  very useful as a means of challenging t h i s assertion.  But there are very  good and useful secondary sources which did not concern themselves with the p l e b i s c i t e s but which question every aspect of t h i s assertion.  With  t h i s perception of Kamerun i n mind, i t was d i f f i c u l t for i t s author to acknowledge or even attempt to f i n d out what role the t r a d i t i o n a l rulers of Western Kamerun played i n the development of nationalism therein. The second assertion claims that neither Nigeria nor Cameroun Republic was  interested i n acquiring Western Kamerun between 1959  and  1961. Adding to t h i s uncertainty i s the p u b l i c l y - o p t i m i s t i c , privately-pessimistic a t t i t u t e of responsible Nigerian and Camerounian p o l i t i c i a n s . P u b l i c l y , they favour integration or u n i f i c a t i o n , depending on whether they speak from a Lagos or Yaounde rostrum. P r i v a t e l y , they admit that anyone who gets the Southern Cameroons acquires an economic and financ i a l l i a b i l i t y , and almost come to wishing i t on someone else.3 Following an assertion l i k e t h i s , one would expect to see no Nigerian or Cameroun authorities involved i n anything that would secure any part of  xviii  Western Kamerun for either Nigeria or Cameroun. A t h i r d assertion makes John Ngu Foncha, one of the e a r l i e s t Southern Kamerun n a t i o n a l i s t s , the r a l l y i n g point of the r e u n i f i c a t i o n ists.  When the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), an Eastern  Kamerun p o l i t i c a l party, was banned i n 1957,  the UPC l e f t  "unification"  behind as the r a l l y i n g cry of the Kamerun National Democratic Party  (KNDP),  4  Foncha s p o l i t i c a l party. 1  I f the KNDP was the r a l l y i n g cry of the reuni-  f i c a t i o n i s t s , and Foncha a strong r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t , one should, expect to find Foncha and the KNDP pursuing a very vigorous  first,  reunification  p o l i c y , and secondly, one would not expect to find another p o l i t i c a l party claiming and convincingly demonstrating that i t was r e a l l y the only reunif i c a t i o n i s t party. The fourth assertion states that r e u n i f i c a t i o n as a p o l i t i c a l idea and objective and nationalism were imported into Western Kamerun from Eastern Kamerun. Cameroon n a t i o n a l i s t sentiment developed f i r s t i n the French Cameroun and then gradually found i t s way into the B r i t i s h Cameroons as i t grew i n strength and i n t e n s i t y . Two dominant themes i n the growth of Cameroonian nationalism can be traced i n each part of the Cameroon: (1) i n the French Cameroun, Cameroon nationalism per se and i t s outgrowth, the demand for the 'reunification' of the two Cameroons (to use Cameroun n a t i o n a l i s t terminology); (2) i n the B r i t i s h Cameroons, f i r s t , Southern Cameroonian separatism (from Nigeria) and l a t e r , under the impetus of ideas and pressures from the east, a mounting pressure i n that t e r r i t o r y f o r 'reunification' with the French Cameroun.^ To assert that nationalism was imported into Western Kamerun from Eastern Kamerun i s to assume four things at least: that there were close p o l i t i c a l contacts between Western Kamerun and Eastern Kamerun i n the late 1930s; that Western Kamerunians did not have any p o l i t i c a l problems of t h e i r own  which could force the r i s e of nationalism; that nationalism rose i n Western Kamerun i n about 1947;  and, that nationalism rose i n Western  Kamerun i n form of either separation or a demand for independence. assert also that r e u n i f i c a t i o n was  To  imported into Southern Kamerun i s to  assume that there were no Western Kamerunians who  were either bothered by  the inter-Kamerun boundary l i n e or saw i t as unacceptable, and that an idea cannot be indigenous to two or more d i f f e r e n t parts of the same t e r r i t o r y or region. The b i r t h and o r i g i n s of ideas are too d i f f i c u l t to prove or disprove in history.  But the e x i s t i n g evidence suggests very strongly that the  idea of r e u n i f i c a t i o n was Eastern Kemerun.  as indigenous i n Western Kamerun as i t was  To be sure, when the Eastern Kamerunians crossed over  to Western Kamerun, the idea became more p o l i t i c i s e d and gained strength, but that i s no reason to assume that the idea was Southern Kamerun.  in  new  imported into  When the f i r s t r e a l attempt at studying the Kamerun  p l e b i s c i t e s by Claude E. Welch, J r . pointed out that the idea was imported into Western Kamerun, the author who 6  o r i g i n a l l y made the asser-  t i o n , without further research, argued simply that there was knowing "for c e r t a i n either way:  not  no way  of  what i s sure i s that i t seemed to have  found expression i n both French and B r i t i s h Cameroons about the same time 7 —  that i s , between 1947  and 1949."  After t h i s i m p l i c i t admission of  error i n a footnote, t h i s same author continued g the same book i n which he admitted i t .  to reassert the error i n  Had t h i s author made further  research before reasserting his p o s i t i o n , he would have served the academic world much better. The l a s t of these assertions i s the most popularized probably because  XX  i t i s c e n t r a l to the study.  Although d i f f e r e n t authors have stressed  d i f f e r e n t aspects of i t , they have one thing i n common, namely, the acceptance of the main assertion:  that there were f r e e l y and democ-  r a t i c a l l y conducted United Nations p l e b i s c i t e s i n Western Kamerun between 1959 and  1961.  Following a United Nations supervised p l e b i s c i t e i n which the southern part of the B r i t i s h protected Cameroon voted for Federation with i t s Eastern French-speaking neighbour, the Federal Republic of Cameroun was formed on October 1, 1961. What this unidentified author asserted was the existence of a United Nations free and democratic p l e b i s c i t e i n Southern Kamerun i n 1961 i n which the Southern Kamerunians voted i n favour of r e u n i f i c a t i o n on a federal basis.  The form and nature of r e u n i f i c a t i o n was thus known before  the electorate went to the p o l l s . In 1961 a p l e b i s c i t e was held i n the B r i t i s h Trust T e r r i t o r y of Cameroon under the auspices of the United Nations, the . r e s u l t being that the Southern Cameroon opted for u n i f i c a t i o n with the former French Cameroon while Northern Cameroon chose union with Nigeria.- 1  0  The existence of two United Nations p l e b i s c i t e s i n Western Kamerun i n 1961 in which the meaning of the votes coincided with the meaning of the United Nations p l e b i s c i t e questions i s thus s t i l l asserted. In February 1961, the Northern and Southern Cameroons voted separately i n a p l e b i s c i t e , by which the 'Southern Cameroons' elected to j o i n 'Cameroun Republic,' and the 'Northern Cameroons' to j o i n the Federation of N i g e r i a . H The preceding assertion has once more been repeated. The r e s u l t of the p l e b i s c i t e was a clear v i c t o r y f o r Foncha's programme i n the south, and a decision i n favour of Nigeria i n the n o r t h . ^ Foncha's programme to which t h i s author refers was r e u n i f i c a t i o n .  Thus th  author asserts that the votes i n Southern Kamerun were votes for r e u n i f i -  zxi  cation and those i n Northern Kamerun were votes for Nigeria. In i n s i s t i n g on a showdown on the question of r e u n i f i c a t i o n versus integration, the B r i t i s h and the U.N. forced on Cameroonians only what they themselves had f i r s t and continually demanded.13 This author a c t u a l l y has two assertions here:  that r e u n i f i c a t i o n was  one of the United Nations p l e b i s c i t e questions; and that the majority of the Western Kamerunians demanded r e u n i f i c a t i o n and continually for that matter. One author, however, propagated this assertion once too often. The alternatives put before the electorate were i d e n t i c a l — t h a t i s , a choice between joining the Cameroun Republic or Nigeria . . . the Southern Cameroons opted for the Cameroun Republic by a vote of 233,571 to 97,741, while the Northern Cameroons chose to j o i n the Northern Region of Nigeria by a vote of 146,296 to 97,659 . . . The huge margin with which the Cameroun alternative won i n the South Cameroons was undoubtedly mainly due to the s k i l l with which Prime Minister John Foncha of the Southern Cameroon managed the p l e b i s c i t e campaign.^ . . . the f a c t remains that when i n 1961, the issue of u n i f i cation was put to the e l e c t o r a l test i n the B r i t i s h Cameroons, a large majority of the voters consciously chose to implement the 'Kamerun i d e a . ' ^ 1  The 'Kamerun Idea' as f a r as t h i s author was concerned, had r e u n i f i c a t i o n as i t s hub.  As he also indicates, i n another assertion, the r e s u l t s of  the p l e b i s c i t e i n Southern Kamerun were "an overwhelming vote for unif i c a t i o n with the Cameroun Republic." ^ 1  One author directed h i s attention only to Northern Kamerun and came out with the most highly sophisticated explanation of the p l e b i s c i t e s i n that region but the conclusions s t i l l f e l l within the conventional wisdom. . . . the issue of the apparent reversal of position i n the second p l e b i s c i t e was, i n fact, not a reversal. The Marghi and t h e i r pagan neighbours maintained an unchanging p o s i t i o n of s e l f - i n t e r e s t throughout. To be sure, they voted more  xxii  'against' a choice than 'for' i t s a l t e r n a t i v e , but f a r from f a i l i n g to understand p o l i t i c s , they adapted party p o l i t i c s t o t h e i r .own i n s t i t u t i o n s , and understanding f u l l y that the party was only a device for achieving goals, they switched parties when the leadership proved i n s e n s i t i v e to t h e i r will. :  1 7  The sad thing about these assertions i s that they soon get incorporated into text books and they begin to take on the aspect of facts or reality.  This has already happened i n the case of Northern Kamerun.  In fact there should have been no surprise that Northern Cameroons joined Nigeria. There had never been a strong, leader, or a powerful p o l i t i c a l party, i n favour of a merger with French-speaking Cameroon. The people had many things i n common with Northern Nigeria, including a language, Hausa. S i m i l a r l y the fact that most people i n Northern Cameroons profess Islam made i t easier for them to want to j o i n Northern Nigeria. Before the advent of the B r i t i s h or Germans, Northern Cameroons had been part of the Emirate of Bornu and l a t e r when the B r i t i s h administered Adamawa and Benue Provinces as part of t h i s system, they were i n fact preserving a 'status quo' which the people saw no reason to alter. 1 8  This strong explanation i s a consequence of accepting ideas from books that are i n themselves suspect. I t i s true that the contents of votes, that i s , the meaning of votes as opposed to the assumed meaning of them, i n most p l e b i s c i t e s and general elections for that matter hardly ever correspond to the larger issues at stake.  But, i f the authors of these assertions had made any  r e a l attempts to find out just how much the contents of the votes i n the Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s d i f f e r e d from the obvious implications of the United Nations' questions, the assertions might not have been questioned. Yet, the majority of these authors f a i l e d to do just that.  Their conclusions  are derived mainly from the number of votes cast for each alternative at the p l e b i s c i t e s .  The present writer does not ignore the number of votes  zxiii but he attempts to go beyond that and find out the hard contents of 19 those votes.  As Johnson  20 and Welch  suggest, what i s c r u c i a l i n  understanding the Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s are the issues involved i n the p l e b i s c i t e s at the time they were conducted.  I t may also be added that  not only the issues are c r u c i a l , but also the way the p l e b i s c i t e s were organized and conducted, how the electorate perceived the p l e b i s c i t e s generally, and the circumstances under which the p l e b i s c i t e s were conducted, namely, the timing of the p l e b i s c i t e s and the questions put to the electorate.  U n t i l these aspects are pursued more intensively,  the Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s would have to remain largely unstudied. The approach adopted i n t h i s study i s just a beginning i n the r i g h t direction.  The organization and conduct of the p l e b i s c i t e s are probed.  The perceptions of the electorate and the meaning of the votes are looked into more c a r e f u l l y .  This of course means using sources from the grass-  roots which existed and were available to the public as early as mid-1961 but which the existing l i t e r a t u r e has ignored.  The main purpose of t h i s  approach, and indeed of the whole study, i s to take another look at the p l e b i s c i t e s , to i n i t i a t e a more intensive study of the p l e b i s c i t e s , to aid scholars i n t h e i r approach to the study of Kamerun a f f a i r s , and more importantly, to attempt to give a more accurate picture of the Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s by showing what r o l e the t r a d i t i o n a l leaders and t r a d i t i o n played i n the events. The focus of the study i s mainly the Western Kamerun scene and the contact of the Western Kamerunians with the United Nations.  Nigeria,  B r i t a i n , Eastern Kamerun, and France are brought into the study occasiona l l y where appropriate.  But the main purpose of the study i s to depict  xxiv the  r o l e s p l a y e d i n the ; p l e b i s c i t e s by Western Kamerun's  educated p o l i t i c a l  Western-  l e a d e r s , i t s t r a d i t i o n a l l e a d e r s , and i t s v o t i n g  citizens. In  an attempt t o a c c o m p l i s h t h i s purpose, the study i s o r g a n i z e d  i n seven c h a p t e r s .  Chapter one p r o v i d e s the background  i n the case o f Northern Kamerun, i t i s the background  t o the e v e n t s :  t o the p l e b i s c i t e s ;  and, i n the case o f Southern Kamerun, i t i s /the background r i s e and development cites.  o f n a t i o n a l i s m i n Southern Kamerun and the p l e b i s -  Chapter two d w e l l s on t h e r i s e and e v o l u t i o n o f Southern Kamerun  n a t i o n a l i s m from e a r l y 1940scl953. the  t o both the  Chapter t h r e e handles t h e r o a d t o  p l e b i s c i t e s i n b o t h Northern and Southern Kamerun from 1953-1959.  Chapter f o u r l o o k s a t the p r o c e s s l e a d i n g t o the U n i t e d N a t i o n s ' d e c i s i o n s . Chapter f i v e h a n d l e s the U n i t e d N a t i o n s ' d e c i s i o n s and the response t o them.  Chapter s i x d w e l l s o f the conduct o f t h e p l e b i s c i t e s i n both Northern  and Southern Kamerun. the  The l a s t c h a p t e r attempts t o examine t h e meaning o f  v o t e s i n b o t h Northern and Southern Kamerun.  attempts  There i s a c o n c l u s i o n  which  to p u l l t h e main f i n d i n g s t o g e t h e r , and t o pose t h r e e q u e s t i o n s on  l a r g e r i s s u e s which a r e r a i s e d i n d i r e c t l y by the s t u d y .  XXV  Footnotes - Preface ^U.N., T.C.,  Examination of P e t i t i o n s , T/SR.943, A p r i l , 1959, pp. 11-12.  2 V i c t o r T. Le Vine, "The P o l i t i c s of P a r t i t i o n i n A f r i c a : The Cameroons and the Myth of U n i f i c a t i o n , " Journal of International A f f a i r s , Vol. 18, No. 1, 1964, p. 205 and passim. V i c t o r T. Le Vine, "A Reluctant February Bride? The 'Other Cameroons'," A f r i c a Report, Vols. 6-7, 1961-1962, February, 1961, pp. 6, 12. 3  4 Ibid., p. 6. V i c t o r T. Le Vine, The Cameroon Federal Republic, Ithaca and London, 1971, pp. 16-17. 5  6 Claude E. Welch, J r . , Dream of Unity, Cornell University Press, 1966, p. 159.  N.Y.,  7  Le Vine, The Cameroon Federal Republic, London, 1971, p. 17, Footnote 9. Q Ibid., pp. 16-17. 9 "The Last Federation," West A f r i c a , Nos. 2535-2565, 1966, A p r i l 2, p. 371.  1966,  ^Peter H i l l , "Cameroon Microcosm of A f r i c a n Unity," The Times, Monday, June 30, 1975, London, p. v i . x  Edwin Ardener, "The P o l i t i c a l History of Cameroon," The World Today, Vol. 18, 1962, p. 342. 11  12 N e v i l l e Rubin, Cameroun: An A f r i c a n Federation, Praeger, London, 1971, p. 88. 13 Willard R. Johnson, The Cameroon Federation: P o l i t i c a l Integration i n a Fragmentary Society, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1970, p. 152. 14 V i c t o r T. Le Vine, "Calm Before the Storm i n Cameroun?" A f r i c a Report, Vol. 6, No. 5, May, 1961, p.-3. "^Victor T. Le Vine, "The p o l i t i c s of P a r t i t i o n i n A f r i c a : The Cameroons and the Myth of U n i f i c a t i o n , Journal of International A f f a i r s , Vol. 18, No. 1, 1964, p. 209. V i c t o r T. Le Vine, The Cameroon Federal Republic, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1971, p. 15. x 6  p  xxvi James H. Vaughan, J r . , "Culture, History, and Grass-Roots P o l i t i c s in a Northern Cameroons Kingdom," American Anthropologist, V o l . 66, Menasha, Wisconsin,'U.S.A., 1964, p. 1094. 18 T. Eyongetah and R. Brain, A History of the Cameroon, Longman, London, 1974, p. 158. 19 Johnson, op. c i t . , pp. 47-48. Welch, op. c i t . , p. 225.  xxvii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am very grateful and indebted to the following for the varying assistance I received from them i n the course of t h i s study:  the University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, which gave me f i n a n c i a l assistance, and i t s Library s t a f f , p a r t i c u l a r l y Government Publications and Inter-Library Loan D i v i sions, who put i n a great deal of time trying to locate United Nations documents and to loan documents and secondary sources respectively for me; Joseph N. Lafon, Paul Mdzeka Ndzegha, Francis and Celine F a i Mbuntum,. and Lawrence Bongfen Jumbam who provided me with information and some primary sources from Cameroon; the Nigerian and Cameroonian students who helped me make meaning of some of my primary sources; Sandra Archer who sympathized with and morally encouraged  and pushed me forward when I was getting discouraged  and leaning backwards; and, f i n a l l y , Dr. Robert Vincent Kubicek who allowed me to think f r e e l y , supervised and quided t h i s study, whose penetrating, i n s i g h t f u l , and searching c r i t i c i s m s were instrumental i n reshaping my ideas and structuring t h i s study, and without whose guidance, sympathy, s a c r i f i c e s , patience, understanding, and encouragement t h i s study might have been a t o t a l disaster.  i n memory of my father shey chem-langhee  1  CHAPTER ONE THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE RISE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN WESTERN KAMERUN Northern and Southern Kamerun were t e c h n i c a l l y and l e g a l l y one  and  i n d i v i s i b l e t r u s t t e r r i t o r y under the administration of the United Kingdom. But the societies of these two regions, before and during the c o l o n i a l period, d i f f e r e d greatly i n some respects from each other.  As a r e s u l t ,  some of the factors which influenced the r i s e and evolution of nationalism i n both regions d i f f e r e d from each other.  I t seems more appropriate,  therefore, to treat each region separately i n t h i s chapter.  The Northern Kamerun Situation Prior to the Fulani (Fulbe) i n t r u s i o n of the early nineteenth  century,  the geographic region which l a t e r became Northern Kamerun comprised four main groups of people. Batta, and the Mandara.  These included the aborigines, the Korofa, the Three of these groups acted as invaders and con-  querors at one point or the other. aborigines. Korofa.  The Korofa invaded and conquered the  The Batta invaded and conquered both the aborigines and the  The Mandara were the l a s t invaders and conquerors of the society  they found i n Northern Kamerun.  1  There appears to have been no a s s i m i l a t i o n after each conquest. What seems to have happened i s that, a f t e r each conquest, the conqueror s e t t l e d separately i n one area of the region and, i n l i n e with most of A f r i c a of the period, demanded tribute and recognition of authority from the conquered.  Before each invasion, the previously supreme group appeared  2  t o h a v e b e e n u n d e r one conquered  suffered  central authority.  a f t e r each i n v a s i o n ,  the  some d i s i n t e g r a t i o n r e s u l t i n g i n t h e m u l t i p l i c a t i o n  of  independent  an  investigation, a British  seemed t o  But  authorities within  the  same g r o u p .  anthropologist  A l l t h i s i s what,  e m p l o y e d by  the  Colonial  after Office  suggest.  S u c c e s s i v e waves o f K o r o f a , B a t t a , Mandara, and F u l a n i invasions have had a d i s i n t e g r a t i n g e f f e c t , w h i c h the b r o k e n n a t u r e o f the c o u n t r y has f u r t h e r a g g r a v a t e d , so t h a t i t i s n o t u n u s u a l t o f i n d g r o u p s o f p e o p l e l i v i n g a l o n g s i d e e a c h o t h e r , s p e a k i n g t h e same l a n g u a g e a n d s h a r i n g a common c u l t u r e , y e t f i e r c e l y i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and m u t u a l l y d i s t r u s t f u l . 2  But  t h i s d i d not  anything, was  i t meant p o l i t i c a l  a political  monarchies or integral  mean p o l i t i c a l  of  the  council  or  political  Fon  of  the  than the  authority  shared  authority  with  In  case,  the  power o f  various the  political  hereditary  the the  a - F o n was  enhanced Many o f  to  face  threats.3  they the  as  Jihads,  One  of  these  in was  the  i m m i g r a n t s who  i n Northern many o f  the  paid  taxes  Kamerun f o r g r a z i n g F u l a n i , who  had  now  to  of  a-Fon.  them w o u l d  external  the  either  in  also  their band  which  Fulani  began t o p e n e t r a t e indigenous  t h e i r c a t t l e on  the  s e t t l e d i n Northern  a  The  threats, the  In  the  i n some c a s e s by  Fulani  the  themselves  loyalties  the  century,  them w e r e  state  p r e s e n t e d by  early nineteenth  these  unlimited.  the  If  fragment  Some o f  i n t r a - r e g i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , was  peaceful  found  of  e n t i t i e s were t o  together  region  Fon  region.  Each  Some o f  political  m i l i t a r y leaders.  About  the  elders  r e l i g i o u s and  the  o r monarch.  of  as  altered  region.  others.  function  external  the  f o r the  e n t i t i e s w h i c h were  some, t h e  either  of  Fon  In  otherwise.  inhabitants  o v e r by  larger political  empires.  others,  fragmentation  Fondoms w e r e l a r g e r  parts  virtually  entity ruled  disorganization  the  inhabitants land.  During  Kamerun,  3 embraced Islam and came under the leadership of Modibbo Adama. a l l the Fulani enclaves i n the region owed allegiance to Adama.  By  1823,  Whenever  Adama conquered any area of Northern Kamerun, he i n s t a l l e d a Fulani as the supreme authority of the area.  The peaceful relations between the  indigenes and the Fulani had begun to a l t e r . masters over t h e i r previous masters.  The Fulani had become  Worse s t i l l , the Fulani began to  enslave many of the indigenes both f o r themselves and f o r the yearly tribute to Sokoto.  Consequently, the indigenes came to "see Islam as a  threat to t h e i r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y " and l i v e s , a threat personified by the , . 4 Fulani. However, while t h i s was the general perception of the Fulani held by the indigenes, during and a f t e r the Jihads, not a l l the indigenes f e l l under the suzerainty of the Fulani.  A good number of them refused to  embrace Islam and to f a l l under the authority of the Fulani.  Yet, the  Fulani penetration and invasions accelerated the d i s i n t e g r a t i v e process. The e f f e c t of the Fulani penetration was to dismember [the indigenous] Kingdoms. With some the invaders made t r e a t i e s , others were converted to Islam, while many withdrew to the sanctuary of the h i l l s . In.a few cases a Fulani governor of tact and character acquired some personal influence with his pagan subjects, more especially i f he had married the daughters of important l o c a l chiefs or had himself been born of such a union.^ It appears that the complete domination by the Fulani of the region, which Le Vine has asserted, and the wide-spread of  adoption of Islam as the r e l i g i o n  the area, which Eyongetah and Brain have stressed, were s t i l l a f a r cry  from r e a l i t y . Indeed, as late as the 1930s, non-Muslims outnumbered the Muslims i n Northern Kamerun.  While out of an estimated population of 200,000 i n what  l a t e r became Dikwa Emirate, only about 66,666 were non-Muslims, out of an  4 estimated population of 208,322 i n what l a t e r became Adamawa, north and south, about 142,660 were non-Muslims.  The grand t o t a l of the population  then was 408,322, of which 198,996 were Muslims and 209,326 non-Muslims.  6  What seemed to have existed i n the region, before the Germans came, was a form of compromise: compromise:  "Pagan lands i n the plains were held on . . .  a  the Fulani refrained from harrying the farmers on the under-  standing that the pagans allowed c a t t l e to graze unmolested up to the 7 foot of the h i l l s and to the broader valleys during the dry  season."  It was this compromise which characterized the Northern Kamerun society before the New  Imperialism, not the domination of the region by Islam  and the Fulani. However, that society had more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s than the accommodation between the other groups on the one hand, and the Fulani on the other, before the New inhabitants: Fulani.  Imperialism.  There were already f i v e indigenous groups of  the aborigines, the Korofa, the Batta, the Mandara, and the  The f i r s t four were organized into several Fondoms which, though  probably independent of each other, could come together i n the i n d i v i d u a l groups to face an external enemy. and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c .  These Fondoms were mutually suspicious  But they co-existed with each other.  The l a s t , the  Fulani, owed allegiance to Yola, the c a p i t a l of Adama's empire, and through Yola to Sokoto.  They attempted to establish an overlordship over  the other four groups and to convert them to Islam.  But the attempt  was  not yet completely successful. The r e l a t i o n s between the other four groups on the one hand and the Fulani on the other were generally bad because of the l a t t e r ' s slaving a c t i v i t i e s .  However, because the Fulani dominance  was far from complete, there existed a form of compromise between the  5  Fulani on the one hand and the other groups on the other. Unfortunately, the features of the Northern Kamerun society were l o s t to the new conquerors.  When the Germans subdued Northern Kamerun  between 1885 and 1901, they perceived a "well-organized, u n i f i e d , and extensive" p o l i t i c a l system ruled over by the Fulbe princes i n a g "quasi-feudal machinery." r a t i v e Adamawa Creed:  Here lay the basis of the German administ-  to administer Adamawa well, one must gain the !.  loyalty of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s ; to gain the l o y a l t y of the t r a d i t i o n a l 9  r u l e r s , one must recognxze t h e i r authority and rule through them. What t h i s Creed or rather p o l i c y involved was simple.  The supreme  authority i n Northern Kamerun, aside from the Germans, would be the Fulbe princes.  The German residents or commissioners i n the region "were not  supposed to i n t e r f e r e with the internal management" of the peoples.  They  were expected "to confine themselves to keeping the peace between [the peoples] and maintaining German rule.""*"^  But there could be no peace  between the other groups on the one hand and the Fulani, who r a i d for slaves, on the other.  continued to  Without investigating the cause of the  apparent disorder, the Germans instead provided the Fulani princes with guns which they used to e f f e c t i v e l y enslave and suppress the rebels."''"'"  apparent  With the guns i n t h e i r hands, the Fulani now regarded the other  groups "as f i t t i n g objects of numerous slave raids."  Indeed, even i n 1914,  the Fulani took guns from the Germans to f i g h t the B r i t i s h but instead 12  used them to enslave and k i l l the other indigenous groups.  The Germans  had, thus, increased the tension i n the region before the B r i t i s h came to the scene. During the B r i t i s h period, the s i t u a t i o n was modified but not altered.  6  This was a consequence o f the B r i t i s h reorganization of the region and of B r i t i s h administrative p o l i c y .  The B r i t i s h perceived and reorganized  Northern Kamerun* as part of the Northern Region of Nigeria Nigeria hereafter). Nigeria.  (Northern  But Northern Kamerun was not an e n t i t y within Northern  I t was fragmented into three parts, each of which had l i t t l e to  do with the others.  Except Dikwa Emirate, and that a f t e r the 1930s, a l l  the fragments were parts of d i f f e r e n t Northern Nigerian Provinces ruled, aside from the B r i t i s h , by the F u l a n i .  Since B r i t i s h administrative  p o l i c y i n Northern Nigeria was to rule through the l o c a l t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s , and since the various parts of Northern Kamerun f e l l under the authority of the Northern Nigerian Fulani t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s , a l l Northern Kamerunians now f e l l under Fulani rule.  What the Fulani had f a i l e d to accomplish during  t h e i r period and during the German period had now been accomplished for them by the B r i t i s h .  The non-Fulani  inhabitants of Northern Kamerun were now  closer to the Fulani and to Islam, which they perceived as a threat to t h e i r l i v e s and c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , than they were ever before. Fortunately, however, the B r i t i s h administrative p o l i c y d i f f e r e d from the German i n one respect.  The Germans completely  denied the existence of  any t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s , other than the Fulani, i n Northern Kamerun.  In-r.  i t i a l l y , the B r i t i s h made the same error but soon discovered the r e a l s i t u ation. Fon  A f t e r some investigations, the B r i t i s h came to r e a l i z e that the a-  (plural of Fon) existed.  However, they s t i l l made one error; they came  *The terms N i g e r i a , Northern, E a s t e r n , and Western N i g e r i a , Kamerun, Northern, Southern, Western, and E a s t e r n Kamerun a r e c o n v e n i e n t l a b e l s p a r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g the 1920s and t h e 1930s. These were geographic exp r e s s i o n s w i t h no r e a l p o l i t i c a l meaning a t the p e r i o d .  7  t o b e l i e v e t h a t a l l the a-Fon i n N o r t h e r n Kamerun had f a l l e n under t h e suzerainty of the F u l a n i . F u l a n i as was  Or was  i t t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l p r e f e r e n c e f o r the  t h e case w i t h N i g e r i a ?  Whatever the case, the B r i t i s h  attempted t o l e a v e the a f f a i r s a t t h e g r a s s - r o o t s l e v e l i n the bands o f the?a-Fon.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , the F u l a n i remained i n c o n t r o l o f the a f f a i r s  a t s u c c e s s i v e l e v e l s h i g h e r than the a-Fon. because the experiment was  new  The attempt f a i l e d  partly  t o b o t h the F u l a n i and the a-Fon, p a r t l y  because t h e F u l a n i found i t d i f f i c u l t t o a v o i d i n t e r f e r i n g , and p a r t l y because t h e B r i t i s h were u n w i l l i n g t o b e a r the f i n a n c i a l burden  involved  13 i n the experiment. When the experiment f a i l e d , the B r i t i s h a l t e r e d the approach.  They  c o n f i r m e d the F u l a n i as the l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s i n N o r t h e r n Kamerun and then c h a n n e l l e d t h e i r e n e r g i e s i n two d i r e c t i o n s .  F i r s t , they attempted t o  p r o t e c t the n o n - F u l a n i from F u l a n i o p p r e s s i o n and abuses by deposing the t y r a n t s and to improve Fulani.  the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the F u l a n i and the non-  A l t h o u g h the attempt was  n o t v e r y s u c c e s s f u l , i t earned f o r t h e  B r i t i s h the g o o d w i l l and a d m i r a t i o n o f t h e non-Muslims who 14 "the B r i t i s h as t h e i r p r o t e c t o r s from the F u l a n i . " l e a v e a g r e a t impact on the p l e b i s c i t e s .  now  thought o f  T h i s a d m i r a t i o n would  Secondly, the B r i t i s h attempted to  t r a i n some o f the a-Fon and t h e i r s u b j e c t s i n the a r t o f Western a d m i n i s t r a t i o n so t h a t one day t h e t r a i n e e s might be a b l e t o handle t h e i r own 15 a f f a i r s w i t h i n the framework o f N i g e r i a . some r e s u l t s . Muslims;  local  By 19 34, the t r a i n i n g had had  Out o f f o u r t e e n d i s t r i c t heads o f Adamawa, e l e v e n were  t h r e e non-Muslims had thus become d i s t r i c t heads.  the 105 v i l l a g e headmen i n pagan a r e a s were a l s o p a g a n s . " c a n t t h a t some non-Muslims now  had a u t h o r i t y beyond  16  Even "some o f It is signifi-  t h a t o f the a-Fon.  8  What seemed to have r e s u l t e d from the B r i t i s h approaches to the problem can now  be suggested.  o f F u l a n i domination  i n Northern Kamerun through  organization of the region. B r i t i s h reduced t h e impact ants o f the r e g i o n . apprehensions  The B r i t i s h almost  completed t h e their p o l i t i c a l  But, by p u r s u i n g c e r t a i n p o l i c i e s , o f t h a t F u l a n i domination  While t h i s , however, d i d l i t t l e  o f the n o n - F u l a n i  ree~ the  on the o t h e r i n h a b i t s t o reduce the  f o r the F u l a n i , i t d i d win  the g o o d w i l l and a d m i r a t i o n o f the n o n - F u l a n i .  process  f o r the B r i t i s h  The F u l a n i and the  non-;  F u l a n i c o - e x i s t e d t e n u o u s l y under Pax B r i t a n n i c a , b u t the s u s p i c i o n o f the non-Fulani  f o r the F u l a n i remained.  A l l these f a c t o r s would have an  important b e a r i n g on t h e Northern Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s .  But, o t h e r  factors,  stemming out o f B r i t i s h e d u c a t i o n a l , s o c i a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , economic, p o l i t i c a l p o l i c i e s a l s o l e f t a mark on the  plebiscites.  B r i t i s h e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y i n Northern Kamerun between 1922 was  not vigorous.  By 1925,  and  t h e r e were t h r e e elementary  and  1961  s c h o o l s i n the  17 r e g i o n w i t h a t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n o f 31.  The year 1930  l o c a t e d a t Mubi w i t h 28 c h i l d r e n i n attendance. and u n r e c o g n i z e d  There was  o n l y one another  s c h o o l a t Dikwa D i v i s i o n s u p e r v i s e d from N i g e r i a .  Northern Kamerunians were undergoing school teachers.  saw  The  t r a i n i n g i n N i g e r i a t o become  school unassisted Five elementary  same y e a r , t h e r e were about 619 K o r a n i c s c h o o l s which  18 had l i t t l e , i f a n y t h i n g , to do w i t h Western e d u c a t i o n . T h i s was another i n f l u e n c e o f t h e F u l a n i and a f u r t h e r t h r e a t t o the n o n - F u l a n i which the B r i t i s h encouraged.  By  1938,  t h e r e were f o u r r e c o g n i z e d elementary  schools  19 i n the r e g i o n .  Shute, the B r i t i s h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t o the T r u s t e e s h i p  C o u n c i l , gave an a c c u r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n o f the s i t u a t i o n as i t e x i s t e d i n the e a r l y 1950s.  In "the remote p a r t o f the n o r t h  [North Kamerun] i l l i t e r a c y  9  i s almost one The  hundred p e r  s i t u a t i o n was  three primary schools construction. by  20  improved by  the l a t e 1950s.  i n Adamawa n o r t h and  However, t h e r e was  no  south,  Nor was  a Teacher T r a i n i n g Centre a t Mubi.  elementary s c h o o l s .  The  r e g i o n had  one  and t h i s was  such a q u a l i f i c a t i o n . "  "the  1958,  t h e r e were  and a f o u r t h was  The  there a g i r l s '  under  several  (supposed t o  t h a t q u a l i f i c a t i o n ) , B.Sc.Hon.,  f i r s t time a N o r t h e r n e r  In a d d i t i o n , two  school.  m i s s i o n a r i e s ran  u n i v e r s i t y graduate  the f i r s t Northern N i g e r i a n t o a c q u i r e  Ibadan, i n 1958,  By  secondary s c h o o l i n Northern Kamerun  the time the B r i t i s h l e f t the r e g i o n .  There was  be  cent."  . . . attained  Northern Kamerunians  "obtained  21 diplomas i n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and n a t i v e t r e a s u r y a c c o u n t i n g . " i m p o r t a n t t o note t h a t the s i t u a t i o n which e x i s t e d i n 1958 by members o f t h e C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee* who educational  was  r e g a r d e d i t as a  described great  advancement f o r the r e g i o n a t t h i s p e r i o d i n time.  B r i t i s h w e l f a r e p o l i c y was policy.  I t i s very  The B r i t i s h n e g l e c t e d  perhaps even l e s s v i g o r o u s  than the  education  a l l the l e p e r s e t t l e m e n t s  the Germans had 22 l e f t b e h i n d and e s t a b l i s h e d one c e n t r a l one at M a i d u g u r i , N i g e r i a . This was a t e l l i n g d i f f i c u l t y f o r the N o r t h e r n Kamerun l e p e r s . However, l a t e r on i n t h e i r p e r i o d , the B r i t i s h r e - e s t a b l i s h e d those they had  neglected  i n the  23 region.  Between 1919  i n Northern Kamerun.  and  19 39,  However, by  t h e r e was  no permanent m e d i c a l s e r v i c e  the 1950s, t h r e e m e d i c a l d o c t o r s  from  *The C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee, whose f u n c t i o n was t o a d v i s e the N o r t h e r n N i g e r i a n Government on m a t t e r s c o n c e r n i n g N o r t h e r n Kamerun, was e s t a b l i s h e d by the B r i t i s h i n 1955 and, between 1957 and 1958, i t was c o n s t i t u t e d a formal Committee o f the Northern R e g i o n a l Government. I t s a c t i v i t i e s and p e r c e p t i o n s w i l l be seen again i n c h a p t e r s t h r e e - f i v e .  10  N i g e r i a attended  t o t h e r e g i o n o n l y one o f whomvwas on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . 24  Attempts were a l s o underway t o b u i l d t h r e e permanent h o s p i t a l s . The  y e a r 1958 saw major improvements.  The Northern N i g e r i a n Govern-  ment and t h e N a t i v e A u t h o r i t i e s p r o v i d e d  r e g u l a r medical s e r v i c e s . But  for a population  o f a m i l l i o n , there were  o f about t h r e e - q u a r t e r s  o n l y two h o s p i t a l s , t h e one o p e r a t e d the m i s s i o n a r i e s .  mission  still  by t h e government and t h e o t h e r b y  There were t e n N a t i v e A u t h o r i t y d i s p e n s a r i e s and f o u r 25  owned and o p e r a t e d  ones.  Once more, i t must be s t r e s s e d t h a t  the 1958 s i t u a t i o n was g r e a t l y p r a i s e d by t h e members o f t h e C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee. B r i t i s h economic p o l i c y , o r l a c k o f i t , i n Northern Kamerun was one of t o t a l neglect. i n the region.  The B r i t i s h undertook no s i g n i f i c a n t economic  operations  B r i g a d i e r Gibbons, B r i t i s h s p e c i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t o t h e  Trusteeship Council, explained,  during  the t r u s t e e s h i p p e r i o d , t h a t "Lack  o f economic j u s t i f i c a t i o n continue[d]  t o r e t a r d t h e development o f a l l 26 season motor-roads i n t h e Northern Cameroons." However, t h e B r i t i s h d i d 27  b u i l d two roads, t o t a l l i n g 35 m i l e s , t o l i n k up some a r e a s . o t h e r means o f communication were t h e s e a s o n a l by  t h e Native A u t h o r i t i e s .  The o n l y  roads b u i l t and m a i n t a i n e d  In 1958, the N o r t h e r n Kamerunians who s a t i n  t h e N i g e r i a n l e g i s l a t u r e s , and who p r a i s e d t h e B r i t i s h , had v e r y l i t t l e t o say i n economic terms.  There were "numerous numbers o f mixed farmers"  who were " c o n s t a n t l y a s s i s t e d by t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l o f f i c i a l s s t a t i o n e d i n 28 n e a r l y e v e r y b i g v i l l a g e t o g i v e h e l p and a d v i c e . " When G a r d i n i e r s t u d i e d the s i t u a t i o n , he came t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e r e were few attempts, i f 29 any, t o improve even t h e q u a n t i t y o r q u a l i t y o f n a t i v e food. A d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y , the Northern Kamerunians d i d n o t have an adequate  11  share o f the o f f i c e s i n t h e i r r e g i o n .  B r i t i s h administrative policy i n  Northern Kamerun cannot be understood w i t h o u t the p r i n c i p l e upon which i t was  based.  G e n e r a l l y , B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l p o l i c y was  pay  f o r themselves.  to have the  colonies  Yet, the B r i t i s h spent more time a d m i n i s t e r i n g t h e i r  c o l o n i e s r a t h e r than d e v e l o p i n g them.  I f the c o l o n i e s must pay  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , the cheapest e f f i c i e n t a d m i n i s t r a t o r s must be  for this  sought.  N a t u r a l l y , such a d m i n i s t r a t o r s must know b o t h the E n g l i s h language the B r i t i s h system.  D u r i n g the f i r s t decade o f B r i t i s h r u l e , no  Kamerunian commanded these q u a l i f i c a t i o n s .  The N i g e r i a n s who,  and  Northern  because  t h e i r e a r l y acquaintance w i t h the B r i t i s h t r a d i t i o n , a l r e a d y had  of  these  q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , were then used i n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s e r v i c e o f Northern Kamerun.  R e i n f o r c e d by the B r i t i s h e d u c a t i o n a l n e g l e c t o f Northern  Kamerunians, the employment o f N i g e r i a n s as a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i n Northern Kamerun became c r y s t a l i z e d i n t o a s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i n g system.  Moreover, by  making the F u l a n i , b o t h Kamerunian and N i g e r i a n , l o c a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , the non-Muslim N o r t h e r n Kamerunians were e f f e c t i v e l y e x c l u d e d from any form o f administration.  Perhaps  the s i t u a t i o n would b e s t be i l l u s t r a t e d by  a t t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f two groups  i n Northern Kamerun, the one a d m i r i n g the  s i t u a t i o n and the o t h e r condemning i t i n Those who  looking  1958.  p r a i s e d t h e s i t u a t i o n d e s c r i b e d i t as f o l l o w s .  Out o f the  seventeen members o f the Lamido's c o u n c i l i n Adamawa P r o v i n c e , seven were Northern Kamerunians.  Four N o r t h e r n Kamerunians o f Adamawa P r o v i n c e were  members o f the N i g e r i a n l e g i s l a t u r e s .  L o c a l government b o d i e s which i n -  c l u d e d D i s t r i c t C o u n c i l s , Outer C o u n c i l s , and V i l l a g e C o u n c i l s were " e q u a l l y p l a c e d a c c e s s i b l e t o the n a t i v e s o f the Northern Cameroons as t o any o t h e r persons."  Out o f the f o u r t e e n d i s t r i c t heads, e i g h t were Northern Kamerunians,  12  while seven other Northern Kamerunians held "important Native Authority posts. On the other hand, l i k e those who praised the situation, those who condemned i t limited t h e i r comments to Adamawa Province.  From the  beginning o f the mandate system, "the r u l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s of the indigenous people o f the t e r r i t o r y [had] been abolished or made into a nonentity."  The D i s t r i c t s , except perhaps B e l e l , had become "a Colony of  Adamawa Emirate [Nigeria] under the Lamido o f Adamawa i n Yola."  The Lamido  was appointing "men of h i s own choice or h i s own kin to rule the D i s t r i c t s " rather than the "indigenous inhabitants of the area."  The d i s t r i c t s  had become "a place for adventure o f the few r u l i n g families Nigeria.  from Yola,"  A l l the " i n f l u e n t i a l administrative posts" i n the D i s t r i c t s were  held by people from Yola.  As a r e s u l t of t h i s Yola monopoly, the indige-  nous inhabitants o f the area were l e f t "behind without adequate  training  31 to man t h e i r own a f f a i r s by themselves."  As suggested above, the so-  c a l l e d 'Yola monopoly' of administrative posts i n Adamawa Emirate was due to the fact that there were few Northern Kamerunians who understood the B r i t i s h system and the English language. I f the desire to have the colonies fend for themselves governed the B r i t i s h administrative policy i n Northern Kamerun, the reason the B r i t i s h acquired Western Kamerun governed B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l policy i n that region. Indeed, a l l B r i t i s h p o l i c i e s i n Western Kamerun as a whole were governed by that reason.  The B r i t i s h acquired Western Kamerun i n order to extend  the Nigerian boundary eastwards and, i n so doing, correct the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of the Nigeria-Kamerun boundary l i n e .  Yet the B r i t i s h did not take  into consideration, as might be expected, c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i a l factors  13  which would have h e l p e d them c o r r e c t t h e a r t i f i c i a l i t y  o f the l i n e .  32  Whatever the case, h a v i n g a c q u i r e d Western Kamerun f o r t h i s r e a s o n , the B r i t i s h attempted  t o f i n d o u t the b e s t N i g e r i a n p o l i t i c a l u n i t s w i t h  which t o a d m i n i s t e r the v a r i o u s segments o f Northern Kamerun. T h i s attempt r e s u l t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e r e g i o n . Dikwa E m i r a t e , the northernmost  a r e a o f t h e r e g i o n l o c a t e d around Lake Chad,  was  a d m i n i s t e r e d b y the B r i t i s h R e s i d e n t o f Bornu, N i g e r i a .  This Resident  was  r e s p o n s i b l e t o t h e L i e u t e n a n t - G o v e r n o r o f Northern N i g e r i a .  Yola  Emirate North o f the Benue R i v e r , the a r e a south o f Dikwa Emirate t o the n o r t h e r n end o f t h e Benue V a l l e y , was a d m i n i s t e r e d by the R e s i d e n t o f Y o l a who was a l s o r e s p o n s i b l e t o the L i e u t e n a n t - G o v e r n o r o f N o r t h e r n N i g e r i a . Y o l a Emirate South o f the Benue R i v e r , the a r e a from the southern end o f the Benue V a l l e y t o t h e Mambilla escarpment,  t h e boundary w i t h  Kamerun, was a l s o a d m i n i s t e r e d by the R e s i d e n t o f Y o l a .  Southern  As mentioned  e a r l i e r , a l t h o u g h a l l these segments were u n i t e d i n the L i e u t e n a n t - G o v e r n o r of  Northern N i g e r i a , they had v e r y l i t t l e  t o do w i t h each o t h e r .  To be sure, t h e r e were minor m o d i f i c a t i o n s , b u t Northern Kamerun developed i n these a s s o c i a t i o n s r i g h t i n t o 1960. By 1959, Dikwa Emirate had become Dikwa Emirate D i v i s i o n o f the Bornu P r o v i n c e o f Northern One  Nigeria.  o f the Y o l a E m i r a t e s had become a D i v i s i o n , Adamawa Emirate D i v i s i o n o f  the Adamawa P r o v i n c e o f Northern N i g e r i a .  The o t h e r Y o l a E m i r a t e had become 33  Wukari D i v i s i o n o f t h e Benue P r o v i n c e o f Northern N i g e r i a .  By 1959,  t h e r e f o r e , t h e t h r e e fragments had become p a r t s o f three d i f f e r e n t t r a t i v e e n t i t i e s o f Northern N i g e r i a and s t i l l had l i t t l e  adminis-  t o do w i t h  each  other. The i m p l i c a t i o n o f these arrangements was s i g n i f i c a n t .  In p r a c t i c e ,  14  there was  no Northern Kamerun administration between 1919  although the region was which was  and  1960  l e g a l l y and t e c h n i c a l l y a part of Western Kamerun  i t s e l f a t e r r i t o r y d i s t i n c t from Nigeria.  Any Nigerian proper  or any Northern Kamerunian could represent Northern Kamerun outside or within the region; there was no d i s t i n c t i o n made i n the region between a Nigerian and a Northern Kamerunian.  Had the Northern Kamerunians, or at  least the majority of them been s a t i s f i e d with these arrangements, no r e a l serious reaction against them would have been expected. out, many of them were not happy with the way  But, as i t turned  the region had been reorganized,  and when the opportunity arose would r e g i s t e r t h e i r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n .  The Southern Kamerun Situation The nineteenth century p o l i t i c a l organization of the geographic region which l a t e r became Southern Kamerun was Europe.  not unlike that of contemporary  I t consisted mainly of empires and nation states.  Banso, Bansaw), Bafut, and Kom  for instance were empires.  Nso  (Nsaw,  Some of the B a l i 34  states and many of the Wimbum (Nsungnin, Nsungli)  states were nation states.  Each of these p o l i t i c a l e n t i t i e s , whether with an e l e c t i v e leadership or not, had at i t s head a^Fon.  The authority of the Fon was  a t r i c k y question.  When making a decision involving h i s personal i n t e r e s t s , unless curbed within his Council, the Fon was  i n c l i n e d to be d i c t a t o r i a l . Bflt,.. when making a  decision involving the interests of the whole Fondom, he consulted with his Councillors who, who,  i n t h e i r own  i n turn, consulted with some of the important commoners turn, sounded the opinion of the r e s t of the society.  In decisions involving the i n t e r e s t s of the whole Fondom, therefore, the statement of the Fon usually r e f l e c t e d a consensus of the Fondom.  15  Consequently, i f the statement or p o l i c y of a Fon c o n f l i c t e d with that of any person who was not himself a Fon, that of the Fon must be taken more seriously, i f other things remained equal. The t r a d i t i o n a l states, Fondoms hereafter, were very i n t r i c a t e l y organized p a r t i c u l a r l y the empires.  More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , they had d i p l o -  matic r e l a t i o n s among themselves and even with intruders.  B a l i Nyonga  had diplomatic and trade relations with Babessong and with Babungo. The Germans, represented by Dr. Eugen Z i n t g r a f f entered into diplomatic r e l a t i o n s with the same B a l i Nyonga.  Central to the treaty between the  B a l i Nyonga and the Germans was authority.  The B a l i would help the  Germans to subdue the rest of the grasslands; of Southern Kamerun and then e s t a b l i s h German overlordship.  In t h e i r own turn, the Germans would  make the B a l i Nyonga the supreme l o c a l authority of the grasslands.  To  face this unholy a l l i a n c e of the B a l i and the Germans, the Bafut and the Mankon formed a m i l i t a r y a l l i a n c e which gave the Bali-German  alliance a  35 thorough thrashing several times. There was also an i n t r i g u i n g diplomacy between five Fondoms with T i k a r i (Tikar) and Nodobo* o r i g i n s . Bafut, Bum,  and Ndu.  These Fondoms included Nso,  The smallest of them, Bum  Kom,  (about 5,000 people i n  1953), was commercially and s t r a t e g i c a l l y situated.  I t was the entrepot  for the Kolanut trade between Northern Nigeria and the grasslands of Southern Kamerun. southern border.  I t was i n intermittent h o s t i l i t y with Kom l y i n g on i t s But, Bum was  " i n pacts of friendship with^Nso and  * T i k a r i and Ndobo are actually the same ethnic group.  Ndu."  16 The population of Ndu i n 1953 was estimated at 8,300 the same year was 50,000. each other.  and that of Nso i n  Nso and Ndu were for the most part h o s t i l e to  But Nso and Kom were ( s t i l l are) i n a l l i a n c e .  Kom,  with an  estimated population of 27,000 i n 1953, was competing with Bafut (19,000 estimated population i n 1953)  "for the allegiance of t i n y v i l l a g e chief-  36 doms" (Fondoms). This diplomacy teenth century.  smacks of the Bismarckian diplomacy of the late nine-  The Bum-Kom h o s t i l i t y was neutralized by the Nso-Kom  and Nso-Bum friendships; Nso protected Bum  from Kom  aggression.  The  Nso-  Nd'U h o s t i l i t y was neutralized by the Ndu-Bum and Nso-Bum friendships. The i s o l a t i o n of the Bafut i n the group was neutralized by the MankonBafut a l l i a n c e . i t gave Nso, Kom,  While t h i s diplomacy maintained peace among these Fondoms, and Bafut v i r t u a l l y a free hand to subdue t h e i r weaker  neighbours and create empires.  Considering a l l t h i s , i t would appear that  Le Vine's idea of disorganized, unruly " t r i b e s " warring with each other before the New  Imperialism leaves much to be desired.  Indeed, the problem of the period appears not to have been the r e l a t i o n ship between Crowns and Crowns. of  I t does not appear to have been the problem  the relationship between peoples and peoples.  I t was the problem of the  relationship between the Crowns and t h e i r subjects. conspiracy of the a-Fon against t h e i r subjects: ship [between Nso and Kom] of  There was an international  "there was a pact of f r i e n d -  involving royal g i f t exchange and mutural return 37  run-away wives and slaves."  With such pacts, the subjects of the a-Fon  could do l i t t l e more than obey royal decrees without question. To be sure, Western intrusions, education and ideas, did threaten tradition.  But, by the time of the p l e b i s c i t e s only a very generous e s t i -  mate would have put Southern Kamerunians at 20 per cent Western-educated.  17  Consequently, any decision any Fon made regarding the p l e b i s c i t e s , more representative of l o c a l opinion and would command greater  was  support  among the electorate than decisions made by the new p o l i t i c a l e l i t e . This s i t u a t i o n , of course meant that no Western-educated p o l i t i c a l leader of t a c t could act without h i s eyes looking over h i s shoulders at the a-Fon. Here l i e s the key to the understanding a l i s t movement i n Sourthern Kamerun.  of the major part of the nationHere l i e s the key to the under- ..  standing of the conclusion of that n a t i o n a l i s t movement, the Southern Kamerun p l e b i s c i t e s . The fourth and f i n a l United Nations V i s i t i n g Mission to Kamerun immediately before the p l e b i s c i t e s was Mission saw i t , although  aware of t h i s s i t u a t i o n .  As the  the authority of the a-Fon varies i n extent and  influence, many of the a-Fon "appear to play a part i n public a f f a i r s — not only i n l o c a l administration but also i n the shaping of opinion on the main p o l i t i c a l issues—which afford to ignore."  none of the p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s proper  can  The a-Fon of the grasslands i n p a r t i c u l a r included i n  t h e i r persons "the strongest t r a d i t i o n a l authorities i n the country." a-Fon submitted that t h e i r role was  traditional.  The  But, nevertheless, they  reserved "the r i g h t to interfere with and correct the a f f a i r s of the country  38 when i t [was]  r e a l i z e d that things [were] going r a d i c a l l y wrong."  The  statement of the a-Fon that they reserved "the r i g h t to interfere with correct the a f f i a r s of the country  and  . . .," would seem to suggest t h e i r  authority and influence over the Southern Kamerunians. Nevertheless, the Mission mentioned one important point which should be borne i n mind always. the grasslands.  This was  that t r a d i t i o n was more pronounced i n  The grasslands were the most populous areas of Southern  18  Kamerun.  Indeed, Bamenda D i v i s i o n alone  i n the g r a s s l a n d s  p l e b i s c i t e i f o n l y i t s a-Fon took the same p o s i t i o n . v e r y pronounced i n some p a r t s o f the f o r e s t zone.  and  F u r t h e r south,  not  a watershed between  t h a t i n the f o r e s t zone.  o f i t s a-Fon were s t i l l v e r y i n f l u e n t i a l . decay i n t h e i r a u t h o r i t y .  T r a d i t i o n was  the  Mamfe D i v i s i o n , m a i n l y  i n the f o r e s t zone and p a r t l y i n t h e g r a s s l a n d s , was the s i t u a t i o n i n the g r a s s l a n d s  c o u l d win  The  majority  But o t h e r s had begun to see  a  i n Kumba D i v i s i o n i t appeared  t h a t the m a j o r i t y o f the a-Fon s a t s a d l y w a t c h i n g the decay o f t h e i r au-:::. thority.  In the southern  end o f t h e r e g i o n , V i c t o r i a D i v i s i o n , the a-Fon  had almost v i r t u a l l y l o s t t h e i r a u t h o r i t y by A l l t h i s was The  the time o f the  plebiscites.  t h e r e s u l t o f Western i n t r u s i o n i n t o Southern Kamerun.  f i r s t o f these i n t r u s i o n s came i n the form o f s l a v e t r a d e .  t h i s d i d not seem to have l e f t any i n t r o d u c t i o n o f s l a v e trade by  s i g n i f i c a n t impact.  the West d i d l e a d t o some  To be  sure,  t h r e a t t o the t r a d i t i o n a l systems was the whiteman.  a-Fon was The  What seemed t o have begun  the  t h e l o n g c o n t a c t o f the c o a s t a l areas  T h i s means t h a t the d i s m a n t l i n g o f the a u t h o r i t y o f the  g o i n g on i n the c o a s t a l areas w h i l e  f o r e s t zone and  the  Even the F u l a n i attempts t o conduct s l a v e r a i d s i n  Southern Kamerun were e a s i l y r e p e l l e d .  with  the  skirmishes  between some o f the Fondoms, b u t i t d i d not shake the f a b r i c s o f t r a d i t i o n a l systems.*  But  t h e g r a s s l a n d s had,  d i r e c t i o n s long before  the g r a s s l a n d s were i n t a c t .  thus, begun t o move i n d i f f e r e n t  the Germans came t o the  scene.  * P h i l i p D. C u r t i n , The A t l a n t i c S l a v e Trade: A Census, The U n i v e r s i t y o f Wisconsin P r e s s , Madison, Milwaukee, 1969, p. 255 shows t h a t some o f the s l a v e s were"captured from the Bamenda'area o f Southern Kamerun. Yet, i t i s here t h a t we have the t r a d i t i o n a l systems i n t a c t t i l l today.  19  The movement i n d i f f e r e n t directions by the two areas was aggravated when the Germans colonized Southern Kamerun.  German occupation  and e f f e c t -  ive rule of the region began from the south and proceeded gradually northwards.  Because the t r a d i t i o n a l systems of the coastal areas were already  weakening, the Germans attempted to rule the area d i r e c t l y and V i c t o r i a became one of the most important centres of administration.  But, i n the  i n t e r i o r , that i s i n some parts of Kumba, Mamfe, and nearly a l l of the grasslands, the Germans discovered many powerful a-Fon through whom they ruled i n d i r e c t l y .  The Germans entered into treaties with these a-Fon and  gave them German f l a g s .  Central again to these threaties, p a r t i c u l a r l y  when the Bali-German attempts had f a i l e d , was authority.  The a-Fon pledged  to "recognize German r u l e , to supply workers, and to r e f r a i n from i n t e r ference with trade."  In one case, the German agent "followed native  customs and swore blood friendship with the t r i b a l c h i e f t a i n , the f o r mality requiring the participants to drink each other's blood mixed i n water."  On t h e i r own part, the Germans promised to uphold the authority  of the a-Fon over their subjects.  Where there was some struggle for power  within any empire, the Germans recognized one of the a-Fon and placed him 39 " i n authority over r i v a l s . " This p o l i c y had some s i g n i f i c a n t bearings on the p o l i t i c a l development of Southern Kamerun.  By r u l i n g coastal areas d i r e c t l y , the Germans  further weakened the t r a d i t i o n a l systems and, with them, the influence of the a-Fon.  The inhabitants of the coastal areas began to make decisions  on major issues i n d i v i d u a l l y .  This process became self-perpetuating with  increased Western education, increased l i t e r a c y , and increased penetration of the area by Western ideas.  20  On the other hand, the s i t u a t i o n i n the i n t e r i o r , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f a r north, the grasslands, was d i f f e r e n t .  Here, the Germans recognized  and confirmed the authority o f the a-Fon over t h e i r subjects and r i v a l s . The t r a d i t i o n a l systems, the authority of the a-Fon, and the loyalty of t h e i r subjects remained i n t a c t .  I t i s thus easy to understand why  Western ideas found more receptive ears i n the coastal areas and struck no responsive chords i n the mental make-up of the grasslanders for so long a time.  Indeed, i t was not u n t i l the end of the thirty-two year German  imperium i n Kamerun that Western ideas began to penetrate the grasslands. The end of the German Kamerun Empire came i n 1916 as the FrancoBritish-Belgian  forces gathered i n f o r a k i l l on the Germans i n Kamerun.  I t occurred when the kamerunians, who saw no reason to get involved i n a European family a f f a i r , refused to f i g h t :  "as f a r as the Cameroons was 40  concerned there was l i t t l e or no f i g h t i n g at a l l . "  Without any r e -  sistance from Kamerunians, who concentrated t h e i r e f f o r t s i n protecting the Germans in Kamerun from the invading forces,the B r i t i s h gratuitously moved i n as peace-makers rather than conquerors.  The b i t t e r and long-drawn out wars  which the a-Fon of the grasslands fought with the Germans, before being subdued, were thus absent at the time of the B r i t i s h occupation.  Due to  this peaceful occupation, the a-Fon began to perceive the B r i t i s h as friends rather than conquerors.  This friendship would continue as long as the  B r i t i s h d i d not attempt to undermine t r a d i t i o n .  Fortunately, the B r i t i s h  attempted to uphold t r a d i t i o n through t h e i r administrative p o l i c y . B r i t i s h administrative p o l i c y i n Southern Kamerun followed that of the Germans d i f f e r i n g only i n one major respect. status quo without any qualms.  The Germans accepted the  They accepted the fact that there were  21  central authorities i n the i n t e r i o r and that c e n t r a l authority i n the coastal areas was they were.  decaying.  I t was  not t h e i r f a u l t that things were as  The best they could do was  i n the same d i r e c t i o n .  This was  to accelerate the course of h i s t o r y  not the way  the B r i t i s h saw i t .  The B r i t i s h thought quite d i f f e r e n t l y . quo must be maintained. status quo was  But what was  They agreed that the status  the status quo?  the s i t u a t i o n which obtained i n the grasslands.  ation which obtained i n the coastal areas was I t was  In their.minds, The  the  situ-  the f a u l t of the Germans.  their duty to correct t h i s German blunder and preserve the t r a d i t i o n s  of the people.  As they put i t themselves,  As regards native a f f a i r s , the B r i t i s h p o l i c y i n the Cameroons follows that of Nigeria, and i s an endeavour to r e b u i l d the t r i b a l and ethnological i n s t i t u t i o n s which had to some extent suffered disintegration during the period of d i r e c t German administration, to f i n d the hereditary native r u l e r s and to educate them i n t h e i r duties i n that capacity, and to seek t h e i r co-operation and help, and to maintain t h e i r prestige i n a l l matters concerning the areas under t h e i r c o n t r o l . 4 1  The main difference between the B r i t i s h and the German administrative p o l i c i e s lay i n the fact that the Germans i n t e r f e r e d more i n the coastal areas of Southern Kamerun than the B r i t i s h did.  But, both the B r i t i s h and  the  Germans were w i l l i n g to rule through the a-Fon i f possible. This B r i t i s h administrative p o l i c y was  not to be as easy for a l l the  areas of the region as the B r i t i s h might have thought.  In the  grasslands  and i n some parts of Mamfe and Kumba, the hereditary t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s with authority were not i n doubt.  Here, the B r i t i s h did maintain and  uphold t h e i r authority and prestige i n a l l matters i n the areas under t h e i r jurisdiction. Better s t i l l ,  The German approach had been r e p l i c a t e d i n t h i s area. the B r i t i s h were not conquerors, just the l i b e r a t o r s of the  22  a-Fon and t h e i r subjects from :the German iron r u l e . On the other hand, even when the B r i t i s h discovered the hereditary a-Fon i n the south, the B r i t i s h r e a l i z e d that the authority of the a-Fon had, :;tio some extent, been sapped.  In that area, the B r i t i s h established  l o c a l councils which made decisions for the people under the council's jurisdiction.  Membership i n these councils included the a-Fon and some  Western-educated e l i t e , many of whom could not, t r a d i t i o n a l l y speaking, s i t with the a-Fon i n the same council. the south.  L i t t l e republics had emerged i n  To be sure, these councils almost always i n v a r i a b l y corresponded  with the j u r i s d i c t i o n of either the decaying Fondoms or Fondoms which claimed the same ethnic o r i g i n s .  But, there was  nothing t r a d i t i o n a l i n  them or i n t h e i r authority. In time, these republics were introduced i n the grasslands, South Eastern Federation, Ndop, for instance. those i n the south i n two major respects. whatsoever over the subjects of the a-Fon.  the  But, they d i f f e r e d from  The councils had no .authority The councils might take d e c i —  sions but unless the a-Fon agreed to the decisions, they could never be implemented.  Furthermore, the councils could not even take decisions  contrary to the views of the a-Fon.  Indeed, i n the South Eastern  Federation,  the Western-educated councillors spent more time wooing the Fon.of Bafut the Fon of Nso than they spent thinking about the problems of the  Federation.  These two a-Fon must agree on any decision before the South Eastern Federation could attempt to implement i t . Like the Germans, therefore, the B r i t i s h modified the s i t u a t i o n and the difference between the forest zone and the grasslands, but d i d not change them.  and  The south and the north were s t i l l moving i n d i f f e r e n t  23  directions with d i f f e r i n g outlooks.  This s i t u a t i o n would have an important  bearing on the n a t i o n a l i s t movement and on the p l e b i s c i t e s .  However, the  n a t i o n a l i s t movement i t s e l f , as a new phenomenon i n the region, was the product of the B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l reorganization of Southern Kamerun and of the r e s u l t s of that p o l i t i c a l reorganization. The B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l reorganization of Southern Kamerun r e f l e c t e d B r i t i s h perceptions o f the region.  The B r i t i s h perceptions of the region  themselves were anchored i n the p r i n c i p l e s upon which the B r i t i s h based t h e i r a c q u i s i t i o n o f Southern Kamerun.  As was the case with Northern  Kamerun, the B r i t i s h acquired Southern Kamerun i n order to extend the Eastern Nigerian boundary eastwards and, i n the process, f i l l i n the missing 42 l i n k s of Eastern Nigeria.  Southern Kamerun,lin the B r i t i s h mind, was 43  ethnologically a natural part of the Eastern Region of Nigeria,  Eastern  Nigeria hereafter.  Integrated  As a r e s u l t of these perceptions, the B r i t i s h  Southern Kamerun with Eastern Nigeria p o l i t i c a l l y and otherwise.  In  practice, therefore, the terms Southern Kamerun and Southern Kamerunians, except i n l e g a l and technical ways, d i d not have any real meaning. B r i t i s h economic p o l i c y i n Southern Kamerun was almost the a n t i t h e s i s of the German economic p o l i c y i n the region. Germans had l a i d down a well-developed  Before the B r i t i s h came, the  i n f r a s t r u c t u r e f o r the economy o f f  the region comparable to none i n c o l o n i a l A f r i c a o f the time.  Witness the  i n t r a - r e g i o n a l trade system, the plantations, the s c i e n t i f i c experiments on a l l aspects of the economy, the search f o r ivory, the experiments with and development of palm o i l and palm kernels, cocoa, rubber, cotton, ramie, tobacco, coffee, and Kolanuts.  Witness the botanical garden, the buildings,  the network of roads and r a i l r o a d s , the seaports, the telephone l i n e , the  24 44 a i r s t r i p s and many o t h e r s .  Indeed,  "A s t u d e n t cannot escape t h e c o n c l u s i o n  t h a t e v e r y t h i n g was b e i n g done by Germany t o g e t the maximum from- the 45 colony."  Southern Kamerun s t o o d t o g a i n much i n t h e l o n g - r u n had t h e  B r i t i s h done the same t h i n g t o g e t t h e maximum from the t r u s t  territory.  But the B r i t i s h d i d n o t . Things began t o decay as soon as t h e B r i t i s h took o v e r c o n t r o l o f Southern Kamerun.  German roads went i n t o d i s u s e .  were m a i n t a i n i n g o n l y a t o t a l o f 185 m i l e s o f r o a d .  By 1938, t h e B r i t i s h 46  The U n i t e d Nations  ( f i r s t ) V i s i t i n g M i s s i o n t o Kamerun on October 31, 1949, found roads poor, 47 u n s a t i s f a c t o r y , and inadequate.  B r i g a d i e r Gibbons, B r i t i s h  special  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t o the T r u s t e e s h i p C o u n c i l , i n d i c a t e d t h a t improvements c o u l d n o t even be expected.  P l a n s t o d e v e l o p roads were underway, he s a i d ,  "but i n view o f t h e f a c t t h a t i t c o s t s fel,000 t o b u i l d a s i n g l e m i l e o f simple g r a v e l r o a d , he was unable t o say how f a r such p r o j e c t s would be 48 c a r r i e d o u t i n t h e near  future."  The B r i t i s h d i d n o t even t r e a t the p l a n t a t i o n s , the b a s i s o f t h e Southern Kamerun economy as such. buyers f o r the p l a n t a t i o n s .  At f i r s t ,  When such buyers were n o t a v a i l a b l e , the  B r i t i s h s o l d them t o t h e i r former owners. War,  the B r i t i s h sought non-German  L a t e r on, a f t e r t h e Second  t h e p l a n t a t i o n s became t h e p r o p e r t y o f t h e N i g e r i a n Government r u n by 49  the  Cameroons Development C o r p o r a t i o n (CDC).  the  p l a n t a t i o n s was o f l i t t l e b e n e f i t t o t h e Southern Kamerunians.  1936  World  Even t h e v e r y e x i s t e n c e o f "In  the Permanent Mandates Commission l e a r n e d t h a t 95 p e r c e n t o f the  p r o f i t s from the banana t r a d e , the t e r r i t o r y ' s c h i e f e x p o r t , were g o i n g t o 50 Europeans."  I n the f i r s t y e a r o f i t s o p e r a t i o n , t h e CDC made a p r o f i t o f  1178,275 n e t and 6158,000 was s e t a s i d e as taxes f o r t h e N i g e r i a n Government.  The  next y e a r ,  the CDC  made a p r o f i t o f 6343,396 net and 6209,000  was  51 a l s o s e t a s i d e as taxes f o r the same Government. CDC  was  not e q u i t a b l y d i s t r i b u t e d .  which t h e r e are f i g u r e s , two  Between 1955  groups o f N i g e r i a n s ,  Even l a b o u r i n the and  1959,  the y e a r s  the Ibo and  the  I b i b i o , were always the l a r g e s t s i n g l e e t h n i c groups employed a t CDC.  for  Efikthe  52  On t h e i r own  p a r t , the " B r i t i s h undertook no  l a r g e s c a l e economic  program" i n Southern o r r a t h e r Western Kamerun e i t h e r through "grants loans."  No attempts were made " t o improve the q u a l i t y o r q u a n t i t y  n a t i v e food o r cash crop p r o d u c t i o n ,  d e s p i t e the  f a c t t h a t cocoa  of  production 53  was  l a r g e l y i n the hands o f A f r i c a n s , mainly i n the Kumba d i v i s i o n . "  The  unemployment o f the Southern Kamerunians who  t h e r e f o r e , be  s o l v e d by self-employment on the  commercial and  Ibo  were i l l i t e r a t e  farms.  Worse  tradesman a c t i v i t i e s were monopolized by 54  or  could  not,  still,  the N i g e r i a n s ,  the  in particular. The  n e g l e c t o f the Southern Kamerunians who  matched by  the o n l y Southern Kamerunians who Beyond the  the German systems. administration. Southern Kamerun. 1938,  also  the n e g l e c t o f the Western-educated Southern Kamerunians.  Originally, speaking.  were i l l i t e r a t e was  t r a d i t i o n a l systems, t h i s group had  an i d e a o n l y  T h i s meant they c o u l d n o t be o f much use  Yet,  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n was  i n the  of  British  the main B r i t i s h i n d u s t r y i n  For example, out o f a t o t a l e x p e n d i t u r e  6142,484 (about 76%)  Armed F o r c e s  were l i t e r a t e were German  o f 6188,427 i n  went t o a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y r e l a t e d f u n c t i o n s : 55  612,396, P o l i c e 617,817, and A d m i n i s t r a t i o n  the l i t e r a t e Southern Kamerunians were n o t a c q u a i n t e d  6112,271.  w i t h E n g l i s h and  the B r i t i s h system, they were v i r t u a l l y , i n the b e g i n n i n g ,  Since with  e x c l u d e d from  26  this industry. A d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s t s i n Southern  Kamerun became f i l l e d w i t h  N i g e r i a n , and o t h e r non-Southern Kamerunian a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , a which became c r y s t a l i z e d i n t o a s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i n g system. l a t e 1930s, there were o n l y 71 Southern t i a l p o s t s i n Southern  Kamerun.  Kamerunians who  These i n c l u d e d :  one  British,  situation  Indeed, i n the  h e l d any  substan-  Supervising  Teacher,  one A s s i s t a n t M e d i c a l O f f i c e r , two A s s i s t a n t A g r i c u l t u r a l O f f i c e r s ,  thirty  i n t h e c l e r i c a l s e r v i c e , twenty t e a c h e r s , twelve midwives and n u r s e s , five technical staff. these 71 Southern the Bakweri.  56  I t i s important  and  t o note t h a t the m a j o r i t y o f  Kamerunians were from the c o a s t a l a r e a s ,  In t h e p l a n t a t i o n s , the "Bakweri and  particularly  the Ibo are  again  57 numerous" i n the " c l e r i c a l grade" ment between the f o r e s t zoners  o f workers.  and the g r a s s l a n d e r s would c o n t r i b u t e t o  t h e v a r y i n g p o s i t i o n s taken by the two The e x c l u s i o n o f Southern have been r e s c u e d had Southern  areas d u r i n g the p l e b i s c i t e s .  Kamerunians from w h i t e - c o l l a r jobs c o u l d  the B r i t i s h p a i d much a t t e n t i o n t o the e d u c a t i o n  of  Kamerunians and taken s t e p s to h a l t the employment o f N i g e r i a n s  i n Southern  Kamerun.  government elementary 785  The d i s p a r i t y i n employ-  But t h a t was  n o t the case.  By 1925,  t h e r e were seven  s c h o o l s i n Western Kamerun (North and South) h o l d i n g  p u p i l s w i t h a s t a f f o f 25.  w i t h an average attendance  The N a t i v e A u t h o r i t i e s had  o f 2,848.  reading, w r i t i n g , E n g l i s h composition  The  ten schools i .  compulsory s u b j e c t s taught were  and grammar, E n g l i s h d i c t a t i o n  and  colloquial English. The s i t u a t i o n , however, began t o improve i n the 1930s. number o f government s c h o o l s had reduced o f 1,256.  By 1930,  the  t o s i x w i t h an i n c r e a s e d p o p u l a t i o n  There were twelve N a t i v e A u t h o r i t y s c h o o l s w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n o f  27  990.  The M i s s i o n s had  459  s c h o o l s , about 90 p e r cent o f which were  59 unassisted.  The m a j o r i t y o f these u n a s s i s t e d s c h o o l s , however,  n o t h i n g beyond the P r a y e r Book. was  still  six.  The  By 1938,  the number o f government s c h o o l s  Native A u t h o r i t i e s now  had n i n e t e e n s c h o o l s .  M i s s i o n s c h o o l s were d i s t r i b u t e d as f o l l o w s : o f which were a s s i s t e d ; B a s e l M i s s i o n — 1 6 1 , German B a p t i s t M i s s i o n — 1 9 , B a p t i s t s c h o o l which was  T h i s example was  seven  t e n o f which were a s s i s t e d ;  two o f which were a s s i s t e d ; and,  also a s s i s t e d . ^  The  Catholic Mission—47,  I t was  Roman . C a t h o l i c M i s s i o n opened the f i r s t secondary Division.  taught  one  n o t u n t i l 1939  Native t h a t the  s c h o o l a t Sasse,  Victoria  f o l l o w e d t e n y e a r s l a t e r when the B a s e l M i s s i o n  opened another  secondary  s c h o o l a t B a l i Nyonga i n 1949.  o n l y secondary  s c h o o l s i n Southern  Kamerun a t the end o f the p e r i o d i n  which the B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t e r e d Southern  Kamerun.  Indeed, a t c t h e end o f the  p e r i o d , o n l y a v e r y generous e s t i m a t e , as s a i d e a r l i e r , l a t i o n a t 20 p e r c e n t l i t e r a t e .  These were the  c o u l d put the popu-  Moreover, t h i s e s t i m a t e d 20 p e r cent  c o n c e n t r a t e d i n the c o a s t a l a r e a s .  was  The p l e b i s c i t e s thus came when the  g r a s s l a n d s , which housed more than one h a l f o f t h e t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n o f Southern The  Kamerun, were i l l i t e r a t e a-Fon themselves,  not a t ease w i t h 1925,  and t r a d i t i o n a l i n o u t l o o k .  i n d e e d n e a r l y a l l the Southern  the B r i t i s h w e l f a r e and  and s e v e r a l y e a r s  three medical o f f i c e r s .  social policies  t h e r e a f t e r , Southern  Kamerun had  Kamerunians were i n the r e g i o n .  f o u r h o s p i t a l s and  These h o s p i t a l s were d i s t r i b u t e d as f o l l o w s :  V i c t o r i a — 5 6 beds, B u e a — 2 5 beds, Mamfe—20 beds, Bamenda—32 heds, and d i s p e n s a r y was  In  soon t o be opened a t Kumba.  b o t h i n V i c t o r i a D i v i s i o n , one  61  a  V i c t o r i a and Buea h o s p i t a l s ,  o f the l e a s t p o p u l a t e d areas o f  Southern  Kamerun had a t o t a l o f 81 beds whereas Bamenda D i v i s i o n , which had more  28  than h a l f the population of Southern Kamerun, had 32 beds i n the h o s p i t a l . The Buea h o s p i t a l , only about 20 miles away from V i c t o r i a , was  exclusively  for the 281 Europeans i n Southern Kamerun, a disproportional majority of whom were resident i n V i c t o r i a D i v i s i o n . by the name 'Senior Service' h o s p i t a l . Kamerunians who  To be sure, the h o s p i t a l went But, there were not many Southern  could claim to be i n the Senior Service grade; the only  Southern Kamerunian who  could claim to belong to this category came  several years l a t e r and was himself an Assistant Medical O f f i c e r . * In general, therefore, B r i t i s h p o l i c i e s i n Southern Nigeria, i n p a r t i c u l a r Eastern Nigeria, and this term i n practice included Southern Kamerun, were detrimental to the interests of the Southern Kamerunians. The Southern Kamerunians who  f e l t the impact of those p o l i c i e s most were  the Western-educated because they were largely excluded from administrative jobs i n the region they perceived to be t h e i r s .  I t i s l i t t l e wonder,  therefore, that the f i r s t reactions to these p o l i c i e s came from the Westerneducated Southern Kamerunians.  The reaction began with a search for .'  i d e n t i t y and food.  *An Assistant Medical O f f i c e r was actually a f u l l y q u a l i f i e d medical doctor who was given this t i t l e mainly f o r two reasons: to assert h i s i n f e r i o r i t y to a white medical doctor; and, to hold him down from aspiring for promotion to the Senior Service category.  29  Footnotes  D a v i d E. G a r d i n i e r , "The B r i t i s h i n the Gameroons, 1919-1939," P. G i f f o r d and W.R. L o u i s , eds., B r i t a i n and Germany i n A f r i c a : Imperial R i v a l r y and C o l o n i a l Rule, Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , New Haven and London, 1967, p. 540. 2  Ibid.  3 A.H.M. K i r k - G r e e n e , Adamawa: P a s t and P r e s e n t , O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , London, 1958, pp. 147-149 and passim. 4 James H. Vaughan, J r . , " C u l t u r e , H i s t o r y and G r a s s - r o o t s P o l i t i c s i n a Northern Cameroons Kingdom," American A n t h r o p o l o g i s t , V o l . 66, 1964, pp. 1985-1088. ^ K i r k - G r e e n e , op. c i t . , p. 148. ^Computed from D a v i d E. G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , pp. 532-538. 7 K i r k - G r e e n e , op. c i t . , p. 149.  g Harry R. Rudin, Germans i n the Cameroons 1884-1914: A Case Study i n Modern I m p e r i a l i s m , Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968, p. 186. 9  Ibid.  H.M.  Great B r i t a i n , F o r e i g n O f f i c e H i s t o r i c a l S e c t i o n , Handbooks No. S t a t i o n a r y O f f i c e , London, 1920, pp 27-28.  I l l ,  ^ G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , pp. 536-538. 12 Vaughan, J r . , i n American A n t h r o p o l o g i s t , V o l . 66, 1964, pp. 1085-1088. 13 G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , pp. 527-238. 14 Vaughan, J r . , " i n American A n t h r o p o l o g i s t , V o l . 66, 1964, p. 1088. 15 Great B r i t a i n , Report by H i s B r i t a n n i c Majesty's Government on the B r i t i s h Mandated Sphere o f t h e Cameroons f o r the Year 1923, H.M. S t a t i o n a r y O f f i c e , London, 1924, p. 36. 1 6  G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , pp. 538-543.  17 Great B r i t a i n , Report o f H i s B r i t a n n i c Majesty's Government t o the C o u n c i l o f the League o f Nations on the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e B r i t i s h Cameroons f o r t h e Year 1925, H.M. S t a t i o n a r y O f f i c e , London, 1926, pp. 63-74.  30 18 Great B r i t a i n , Report by His Majesty's Government i n the United Kingdom of Great B r i t a i n and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations, on the Administration of the Cameroons under B r i t i s h Mandate for the Year 19 30, H.M. Stationary O f f i c e , London, 1931, pp. 80B89. 19 Great B r i t a i n , Report by His Majesty's Government i n the United Kingdom of Great B r i t a i n and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations, on the Administration of the Cameroons under B r i t i s h Mandate for the Year 1939, H.M. Stationary O f f i c e , London, 1939, pp. 81, 144-148. 20 U.N., T.C., United Nations B u l l e t i n , Vol. 6, February 15, 1949, p. 147. 21 U.N., T.C., Extracts from Memorandum Dated 25 September 1958 of Elected Representatives of the Northern Cameroons i n the Nigerian L i g i s l a t u r e s , T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, p. 5. 22 B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 1930, p. 97. 23 U.N., T.C., T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, p. 5. 24 B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 1930, p. 97; U.N., T.C., United Nations Review, V o l . 4, A p r i l , 1958, pp. 33-41. 25 U.N., T.C., T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, p. 5. 2 6  B r i t i s h Report for the Year 1938, p. 109.  27 B r i t i s h Report for the Year 1930, p. 105. 28 U.N., T.C., T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, p. 4. 29 Gardinier i n G i f f o r d and Louis, eds., op. c i t . , p. 551. 30 U.N., T.C., T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, pp. 3-4. 31 U.N., T.C., Extracts from Memorandum Dated 5 November 1958 from the United Middle B e l t Congress/Action Group A l l i a n c e (UMBC/AG), T/1426, Annex IV, January 20, 1959, pp. 8-10. 32 Edwin Ardener, "The P o l i t i c a l History of Cameroons," The World Today, Vol. 18, Oxford University Press, 1962, pp. 343-344. 33 U.N., T.C., Report of the United Nations Commissioner f o r the Superv i s i o n of the P l e b i s c i t e s i n the Southern and Northern Parts of the Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration, T/1556, A p r i l 3, 1961, p. 176. 34 An analysis of many of these p o l i t i c a l e n t i t i e s deserves an independent study by i t s e l f . The scope of such a study f a l l s beyond the bounds of this study. Consequently, the interested reader i s directed to some of the  31  s t u d i e s o f t h e s u b j e c t which a l r e a d y e x i s t . E l i z a b e t h M. C h i l v e r on the B a l i (Nyonga) i n P r o s s e r G i f f o r d and Win. R. L o u i s , eds., B r i t a i n and Germany i n A f r i c a : I m p e r i a l R i v a l r y and C o l o n i a l R u l e , New Haven and London, 1967, pp. 479-511. P.M. Kaberry on t h e Nsaw (Nso) i n A f r i c a , V o l . 29, No. 4, October, 1959, pp. 366-383. P.M. Kaberry, Women o f the G r a s s f i e l d s , London, passim. M. M c C u l l o c h , M. L i t t l e w o o d , I . Dugast, Peoples o f t h e C e n t r a l Cameroons, E t h n o g r a p h i c Survey o f A f r i c a , West A f r i c a , P a r t IX, V o l s . 9-11, London, 1954, pp. 11-172. E. Ardener, C o a s t a l B a n t u o f the Cameroons, E t h n o g r a p h i c Survey o f A f r i c a , West A f r i c a , P a r t XI, V o l s . 9-11, 1956, pp. 9-108. P a u l M. K a l e , P o l i t i c a l E v o l u t i o n i n the Cameroons, Government P r i n t e r , Buea, August, 1967. 35 E l i z a b e t h M. C h i l v e r , "Paramountcy and P r o t e c t i o n i n the Cameroons: the B a l i and the Germans, 1889-1913," P. G i f f o r d and W.R. L o u i s , eds., B r i t a i n and Germany i n A f r i c a : I m p e r i a l R i v a l r y and C o l o n i a l Rule, New Haven and London, 1967, pp. 483-486. 36 E.M. C h i l v e r and P.M. K a b e r r y , "The Kingdom o f Kom i n West Cameroon," D a r y l l Forde and P.M. Kaberry, eds., West A f r i c a n Kingdoms i n the Ninet e e n t h Century, O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967, pp. 127-128. 37 I b i d . , p. 133. 38 U.N., T.C., U n i t e d N a t i o n s V i s i t i n g M i s s i o n t o T r u s t T e r r i t o r i e s i n West A f r i c a , 1958, Report on t h e T r u s t T e r r i t o r y o f the Cameroons under B r i t i s h A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , T/1426, January 20, 1959, pp. 54-55. 39 Rudin, op. c i t . , pp. 183-187. 40 P a u l M. K a l e , P o l i t i c a l E v o l u t i o n i n the Cameroons, Government P r i n t e r , Buea, August, 1967, p. 7. 41 B r i t i s h Report f o r 1923, p. 36. 42 Ardener i n The World Today, V o l . 18, O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962, pp. 343-344; G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , p. 521. 43 G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , op. c i t . , p. 521. 44 45 46 47 48 49  Rudin, op. c i t . , pp. 222-296 and passim. I b i d . , p. 277. B r i t i s h Report f o r 1938, p. 108. U.N.,  T.C., U n i t e d N a t i o n s B u l l e t i n , V o l . 8, March 1, 1950, pp. 208-209.  U.N.,  T.C., U n i t e d N a t i o n s B u l l e t i n , V o l . 8, A p r i l 1, 1950, pp. 322-323.  G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , p. 549.  32  50 51  I b i d . , p. U.N.,  T.C.,  550. U n i t e d Nations B u l l e t i n , V o l . 8, March 1, 1950,  pp.  209-211.  52 C.D.C., Annual R e p o r t [ s ] o f the Cameroons Development C o r p o r a t i o n f o r the Y e a r [ s ] : 1955, p. 25; 1957, p. 27; 1958, p. 25; 1959, p. 23, B o t a , Victoria. 53 G a r d i n i e r i n G i f f o r d and L o u i s , eds., op. c i t . , p. 551. 54 U.N., T.C., P e t i t i o n from the A l l - N i g e r i a n Union Concerning the Cameroons under B r i t i s h A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , V i c t o r i a , 21 September, 1959, T/PET 4/L 42, September 30, 1959, pp. 1-2. 55 B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 1938, p. 115. ^ ^ K a l e , op. c i t . , p.  52.  57 Edwin Ardener, " S o c i a l and Demographic Problems o f t h e Southern Cameroons P l a n t a t i o n A r e a , " A i d e n S o u t h a l l , ed., S o c i a l Change i n Modern A f r i c a , O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , London, 1961, pp. 90-91. 58 B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 1925, pp. 63-74. 59 60 61  B r i t i s h Report f o r t h e Year 1930,  pp. 80-89.  B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 19 38, pp. 81, 144-148. B r i t i s h Report f o r the Year 1925,  p.  76.  33  CHAPTER THE  TWO  RISE AND EVOLUTION OF NATIONALISM IN SOUTHERN KAMERUN 1939-1953  I t i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o be so p r e c i s e as t o suggest t h a t such i l l u s i v e phenomenon as n a t i o n a l i s m rose on a d e f i n i t e even easy to t r a c e the development and very a c c u r a t e l y .  The  know i t .  the way  o f t h i s phenomenon  transform,  i n time,into  However, the d i f f i c u l t y must not be a l l o w e d  nationalism  to stand i n  o f attempts to s u g g e s t r o u g h l y when t h i s phenomenon began i n a  particular The  I t i s not  d i f f i c u l t y becomes even g r e a t e r when a r e a c t i o n or  reactions against s p e c i f i c grievances as we  characteristics  date.  an  r e g i o n , how  i t developed, and what i t s main f e a t u r e s were.  a v a i l a b l e sources  British policies  suggest t h a t the- f i r s t r e a c t i o n s t o  i n Southern Kamerun o c c u r r e d  i n 1939,  and  a few  years  l a t e r , the r e a c t i o n s became t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o Southern Kamerun n a t i o n a l i s m . These s o u r c e s and  evidence a l s o suggest t h a t the r e a c t i o n s were a  challenge  t o the B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h a t r e g i o n , t o the r e s t  of  British policies  re-  therein,and  a c t i o n s , the r i s e and tutional  t o the r e s u l t s  o f those p o l i c i e s .  The  development o f n a t i o n a l i s m were p a c i f i c and  a l l through.  In t h e m i d d l e o f 1939,  G.J.  Mbene, a s c h o o l m a s t e r i n V i c t o r i a ,  a Bakweri c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n c a l l e d the Cameroon W e l f a r e Union Initially, But,  consti-  formed  (CWU).  i t s membership i n c l u d e d o n l y the Western-educated Bakweri.  when i t s branches were soon e s t a b l i s h e d i n the main towns o f Southern  Kamerun, i t s membership was  extended t o i n c l u d e many o f the non-Bakweri  Western-educated Southern Kamerunians.  Through an a p p e a l from Mbene,  34  P a u l * M. K a l e , a Bakweri who at  S i e r r a Leone but who  branch o f t h e CWU  soon found h i m s e l f t e a c h i n g a t Lagos, founded a  i n that Nigerian City.t  Branch, the e s t a b l i s h m e n t Kamerun, and  l e f t Southern Kamerun f o r f u r t h e r s t u d i e s  The  f o r m a t i o n o f the Lagos  o f i t s branches i n the main towns o f Southern  the e x t e n s i o n o f i t s membership t o i n c l u d e the non-Bakweri,  soon a l t e r e d t h e c h a r a c t e r o f the CWU.  From a c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i t  1 became a p r e s s u r e  group.  However, i t was  a branch o u t s i d e Southern Kamerun, the Lagos Branch,  which s e t t h i s p r e s s u r e  group i n t o a c t i o n .  T h i s branch prompted  mother branch i n V i c t o r i a t o w r i t e a p e t i t i o n t o the B r i t i s h r e p r e s e n t a t i o n f o r Southern Kamerun i n the N i g e r i a n c e n t r a l  the  requesting legislature  2 l o c a t e d a t Lagos.  T h i s r e q u e s t was  the B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l  a d x r e c t r e a c t i o n and  r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Southern Kamerun.  challenge to N i g e r i a had  been c a r v e d o u t i n t o t h r e e p o l i t i c a l u n i t s , namely, the Western, E a s t e r n , and Northern at  Lagos i n t h e i r own  N i g e r i a and I t was did  Regions.  c o u l d not,  Only these t h r e e p o l i t i c a l right.  Southern Kamerun was  t h e r e f o r e , be r e p r e s e n t e d  r u l e d from Enugu, the headquarters  n o t have s e p a r a t e  u n i t s c o u l d be  representation.  represented  a part of Eastern  a t Lagos i n i t s own  right.  o f E a s t e r n N i g e r i a , where i t  The Southern Kamerun r e q u e s t  for  *Le V i n e , The Cameroon F e d e r a l R e p u b l i c , C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I t h a c a and London, 1971, p. 22, has i n c o r r e c t l y s u b s t i t u t e d P e t e r f o r P a u l . t N e v i l l e Rubin, p. 83 and W i l l a r d Johnson p. 117 have c o n f u s e d t h i s Lagos Branch w i t h the Cameroons Youth League, t o be seen p r e s e n t l y , founded a t Lagos i n 1940 by the members o f t h a t Lagos CWU b r a n c h . The c o n f u s i o n i s p r o b a b l y due to the f a c t t h a t the CYL soon superseded the CWU.  35 representation at Lagos was,  therefore, fundamentally a request for the  constitution of Southern Kamerun as a p o l i t i c a l unit equal i n a l l respects to the other p o l i t i c a l units of Nigeria.  In essence, i t was  an attempt  to assert the i d e n t i t y and unity of Southern Kamerun within the framework of Nigeria.  Such an assertion struck at the very heart of the B r i t i s h  p o l i t i c a l reorganization of the region. could be expected.  B r i t i s h reaction to the  request  "In this the Administering Authority and the Union were 3  at daggers drawn." B r i t i s h reaction to the request d i d not, however, discourage the Union. Indeed, the Union was June 20, 1940, Victoria.  soon to carry the assertion one step forward.  the representatives of a l l the branches held a meeting at  There they decided on three names from which the B r i t i s h could  choose at least one to represent the region at Lagos. P.M.  On  Kale—a  These names included  schoolmaster at Lagos, Charlie Ndobide—a businessman i n Kumba,  and Dr. B a r b e r — a native of Fernando Po.*  The B r i t i s h instead argued that  "because the Cameroons d i d not enjoy the franchise," the matter of Southern Kamerun representation at Lagos was  a p r i v i l e g e and not a r i g h t .  I t i s not  r e a d i l y known what the B r i t i s h did with the three names thereafter, but they were never used.  So discouraged was  the Union that i t began to  4 dwindle into o b l i v i o n . In spite of t h i s discouragement and disappearance of the CWU, registered two important points.  By demanding the representation of  Southern Kamerun at Lagos, i t challenged the way Southern Kamurun. *Fernando Po was  it  the B r i t i s h had  reorganized  By selecting names to give to the B r i t i s h , i t served a Spanish colony.  36  n o t i c e t o t h e B r i t i s h t h a t Southern Kamerunians e x i s t e d and t h a t they had spokesmen who c o u l d make d e c i s i o n s f o r them.  All inall,  t h e CWU  asserted  a d i s t i n c t i v e i d e n t i t y f o r Southern Kamerun and i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . was t o o i m p o r t a n t f o r t h e Union t o be f o r g o t t e n .  This  Furthermore, t h e i n t e r -  a c t i o n between t h e Union and t h e B r i t i s h s e t t h e tune f o r t h e r e s t o f the period.  The Southern Kamerun p o l i t i c a l  leaders  f o r the most p a r t ,  despite  disagreement among themselves, would c o n t i n u e t o a s s e r t t h i s i d e n t i t y . The B r i t i s h  seldom responded s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y ,  But, the i n t e r a c t i o n would, The CWU was d y i n g emerging. formation  and even then  belatedly.  f o r t h e most p a r t , be p a c i f i c and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l .  o u t j u s t when another n a t i o n a l i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n was  T h i s was t h e Cameroons Youth League (CYL), a p o s s i b l e  trans-  o f t h e CWU Lagos Branch, founded a t Lagos on March 27, 1940.  I t s members i n c l u d e d the Southern Kamerun s t u d e n t s and workers v i c i n i t y o f Lagos. s e v e r a l aims.  I t s motto was " U n i t y and C o - o p e r a t i o n . "  i n the  I t had  I t was o u t t o d e v e l o p Southern Kamerun i n a l l r e s p e c t s , t o  work towards the i n t e g r a t i o n o f a l l t h e Southern Kamerun Fondoms i n order t o c r e a t e a Southern Kamerun n a t i o n , t o p r e s e r v e a l l t h e Southern Kamerun c u l t u r e s and t r a d i t i o n s , t o f a c i l i t a t e  female e d u c a t i o n ,  and t o a c t as a  l i a i s o n between t h e Southern Kamerunians and t h e B r i t i s h , making t h e .. l a t t e r aware o f t h e d e s i r e s o f t h e f o r m e r .  5  The main p o l i t i c a l  o f t h e CYL was thus t h e c r e a t i o n o f a Southern Kamerun s t a t e .  objective Here was  the b e g i n n i n g o f n a t i o n a l i s m . T h i s o b j e c t i v e was, perhaps, t h e g r e a t e s t e a r l y c h a l l e n g e B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the r e g i o n .  t o the  The CWU had a s s e r t e d the  i d e n t i t y o f Southern Kamerun and i t s i n h a b i t a n t s , i n i t s e l f n o t a mean feat.  But, t h i s i d e n t i t y was t o be w i t h i n t h e framework o f N i g e r i a .  The  37  desire of the CYL to have a nation for Southern Kamerun went beyond that. To be sure, a Southern Kamerum nation could s t i l l remain within the framework of Nigeria i n form of either a federation or of a confederation. But i t could also e x i s t completely  outside the framework of Nigeria.  B r i t i s h p o l i c y did not intend to administer Western Kamerun as a p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y from Nigeria.  separate  Yet, the CYL decided to work i n co-opera-  t i o n with rather than i n opposition to the B r i t i s h . This approach was  faulty.  The B r i t i s h were under no i l l u s i o n s as  to the ultimate objective of the CYL. l e g i s l a t u r e for the Cameroons was Youth League."  6  "The case for separate or autonomous  i n i t i a l l y championed by the Cameroons  To have championed such an objective when the B r i t i s h  f e l t that the region was best administered  as an i n t e g r a l part of Eastern  Nigeria, and to have expected the B r i t i s h to co-operate with i t , was  for  the CYL to take delight i n self-delusion. The B r i t i s h could concede something, but not that which could stand i n the way i s t r a t i o n of the region. 1942.  of the e f f e c t i v e admin-  Indeed, the B r i t i s h did concede something i n  In t h i s year, the B r i t i s h selected Fon Jesco Manga-Williams, one  of the Western-educated a-Fon of Bakweri land whose t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e had 7  been undermined, to 'represent' Southern Kamerun at lagos. Some authors, N e v i l l e Rubin for instance, have made too much of t h i s Manga-Williams' seat at Lagos.  Rubin suggested that the seat gave Southern 8  Kamerun representation at Lagos.  But, the B r i t i s h intention was  to have  Manga-Williams at Lagos as a delegate from the Eastern Region of Nigeria and not to represent a p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l u n i t .  Whatever the case, i t  i s important to note, f i r s t , that Manga-Williams was CWU  recommended to the B r i t i s h i n 1940  not among those the  and, second, that only the already  38 constituted p o l i t i c a l units of Nigeria could be represented at Lagos in t h e i r own r i g h t , and Southern Kamerun was not yet such a unit. Nevertheless, two years a f t e r .the nomination of Manga-Williams to the l e g i s l a t u r e at Lagos, the CYL which raised the f i r s t n a t i o n a l i s t voice channelled i t s e f f o r t s i n another d i r e c t i o n .  In 1944,  the E l l i o t  Commission, which established the University of Ibadan and several Colleges of Arts, Science and Technology some years a f t e r i n Nigeria, v i s i t e d Southern Kamerun.  There, Dr. E.M.L. Endeley, Leader of the  CYL,  presented i t with a comprehensive memorandum on education and the consequences of the educational s i t u a t i o n on the employment of Southern Kamerunians.  The message was simple:  Southern Kamerunians had been neglected  educationally; t h i s neglect had made i t impossible for them to gain admission into the Nigerian C i v i l Service; and, the remedy lay i n the establishment of post-primary i n s t i t u t i o n s of learning i n Southern Kamerun and i n the 9 award of scholarships to Southern Kamerunians to these i n s t i t u t i o n s . What t h i s memorandum seems to suggest i s that the CYL sought education i n the name of employment, an i n d i c a t i o n , f i r s t , that the Western-educated e l i t e were not happy with B r i t i s h employment p o l i c y , and, second, that they saw education as the best means of correcting the s i t u a t i o n . essence/ i t was a request for Jobocracy—the  In  idea that jobs i n Southern  Kamerun should be i n the hands of Southern Kamerunians.  The demand for  food had been added to the demand for i d e n t i t y and the demand for a separate or autonomous status for the region.  The demand for a nation, although  already i n a programme, had not yet been raised. long i n coming. elsewhere.  But t h i s would not be  Nevertheless, for the moment, e f f o r t s were concentrated  39 In 1944,  some members of the CYL, Kale and Endeley for example,  participated i n the formation of Dr. Nnamndi Azikiwe's p o l i t i c a l party for Nigeria, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). This p o l i t i c a l party i n i t i a l l y was made up mainly of Southern Nigerians —Yoruba, Ibo, and Southern Kamerunians. without an impetus.  B a s i c a l l y , i t was  tution* and i t s four "obnoxious b i l l s . " agitation against the Constitution.  But the NCNC was not formed  a response to the Richards ConstiThe idea was  to have organized  During t h i s a g i t a t i o n the Southern  Kamerun members of the NCNC are said to have played a leading part but concentrating on the interests of Southern Kamerun.  Endeley pointed out  the "special features of the b i l l s which affected the Cameroons." his  For  own part, Kale went to London as a member of the'.NCNC "to seek r e v i s i o n  of the c o n s t i t u t i o n and repeal of the l e g i s l a t i o n i n an interview with the Colonial Secretary, Arthur Creech Jones. " ^ x  The important part the Southern Kamerun members of the NCNC played in the a g i t a t i o n was  justifiable.  Williams' seat at Lagos.  ".The constitution abolished Manga-  On the other hand, i t provided for t h i r t e e n  elected members of the Eastern Regional House and for the representation of the Region at the central l e g i s l a t i v e council at Lagos. thirteen elected members were Southern Kamerunians. Southern Kamerunians who  could now  been increased from one to two,  xx  Two of these  The number of  s i t i n the Nigerian l e g i s l a t u r e s had  a number which seemed to recognize the  r o l e of the Southern Kamerunians i n the a g i t a t i o n . Furthermore, there  *Sir Arthur Richards was Governor of Nigeria, 1943-1947, and the Constitution introduced during h i s Governorship was named after him.  40 was a net gain for Southern Kamerun.  The e l e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e which also  applied to the selection of the Southern Kamerunians for the Regional House was very s i g n i f i c a n t : i t involved an acknowledgement that from then, Southern Kamerunians would have to s i t i n the Eastern Regional House, i f other things remained equal; and, the opportunity  to choose t h e i r own  i t also gave the Southern Kamerunians 'representatives.'  Although the  Southern Kamerunians did not mak.e.'.full use of.the e l e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e i n selecting t h e i r two representatives,* the Richards Constitution which came into force i n 1946  and lasted u n t i l .1951, was  ever came close to was  the f i r s t time the B r i t i s h  enfranchising, i n p r i n c i p l e , Southern Kamerun.  This  the significance of the Richards Constitution to Southern Kamerun. In 1946,  when the Richards Constitution came into force, Endeley  and h i s groups founded a p o l i t i c a l discussion group c a l l e d the Cameroons Federal Union (CFU).  The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the formation of the  CFU  and the coming into force of the Richards Constitution i s not r e a d i l y known.  But the objective of the CFU was  clear.  I t was  out to acquire  "a  separate regional status" for Southern Kamerun; Endeley and his group saw a regional status as the surest way  to reduce Ibo influence in Southern  12 Kamerun.  A "separate regional status" for Southern Kamerun, of course,  carried with i t the implication of a Southern Kamerun i d e n t i t y .  As a  discussion group, however, the CFU did not have the impact comparable to that of the CWU  and the CYL.  However, while i t kept a l i v e the objective,  *There were no elections i n Southern Kamerun before 1949. What probably happened i s that the Native Authorities i n the forest zone chose one 'representative' and those of the grasslands chose another.  41  f i r s t suggested by the CYL, a separate regional status, i n the minds of i t s members, i t prepared the groundwork for i t s successor, the Cameroons National Federation (CNF). The CNF was a p o l i t i c a l organization founded by Endeley i n 1949. The impetus behind i t s formation was the impending f i r s t v i s i t of the United Nations Mission to Kamerun on October 31, 1949.  The Federation  consisted mainly of the various Improvement Unions and/or Associations 13 of nearly a l l the Fondoms or ethnic groups. tions were  based mainly i n the Urban areas.  These Unions and AssociaThe Unions were of two kinds:  the majority of them corresponded exactly with the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Fondom whose name they bore, f o r instance, Nso Improvement Union would be limited to the Nso—these were the smaller Unions; others embraced several Fondoms and ethnic groups i n the same v i c i n i t y , f o r example, Bamenda Improvement Union—these were the larger ones.  In either case,  the membership of the Unions consisted mainly of the Western-educated  elite  and a few businessmen—literate or i l l i t e r a t e ; the i l l i t e r a t e businessmen were wooed into the Unions by the e l i t e i n an e f f o r t to make use of the former's wealth f o r the improvement of the areas under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l Unions.  The Unions were located either at the c a p i t a l  of the Fondom or at the agreed c a p i t a l of the area:  Nso Improvement Union  was located i n Kimbo (Kumbo) while Bamenda Improvement Union was located i n Mankon Town.  The attention of the Improvement Unions was almost always  invariably directed at the education of those under t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n and the building of roads to f a c i l i t a t e  communication.  The Associations d i f f e r e d from the Unions i n many respects.  They  were composed, i n the main, by the labour force, l i t e r a t e and i l l i t e r a t e .  42  Their main functions were s o c i a l :  helping members i n times of d i f f i c u l t i e s ,  setting squabbles among their members, meeting once every week or every other week or monthly to drink and exchange ideas, acting as c r e d i t s o c i e t i e s , d i s c i p l i n i n g and advising members believed to be acting contrary to t r a d i t i o n or exposing themselves unnecessarily to c e r t a i n dangers.  As  organizations of the workers, they were based i n the main centres of economic a c t i v i t y such as c i t i e s , towns, and the plantations. The CNF was thus composed of groups whose purposes were o r i g i n a l l y nonpolitical.  But Endeley did not mean the amalgamated group or i t s parent  branches to remain that way. the CNF would be p o l i t i c a l .  From now on, many of the branches as well as The CNF i n p a r t i c u l a r , although numerically  t i n y , embraced representatives from nearly a l l the Fondoms and surely a l l the ethnic groups i n Southern Kamerun: i t thus had a national character. Furthermore, i t was manufactured i n readiness for the United Nations Mission to Kamerun, the f i r s t time Southern Kamerunians would meet with the organizat i o n that was said to rule them. More s i g n i f i c a n t , however, was the ambitious objectives of the CNF. The CNF had three main p o l i t i c a l objectives, two of which were very ambitious.  The f i r s t was to assert the i d e n t i t y of Western, not merely  Southern, Kamerun.  The second was to bring about the u n i f i c a t i o n * of  Northern and Southern Kamerun into a single p o l i t i c a l entity.  F i n a l l y , the  CNF stood for the r e u n i f i c a t i o n * of Western and Eastern Kamerun, and t h i s  *The words ' u n i f i c a t i o n ' and 'reunification' have confused many authors on Kamerun. I n i t i a l l y , Southern Kamerun leaders used the former i n r e l a t i o n to Northern and Southern Kamerun and the l a t t e r i n r e l a t i o n to Western (or Southern) Kamerun with Eastern Kamerun. But l a t e r on, they began to use both at d i f f e r e n t times for either of the r e l a t i o n s . They were thus respons i b l e for the confusion of scholars.  43 "during the years when the Southern Cameroons was less e a s i l y d i s t i n 14 guishable . . . from Eastern Nigeria." A l l the elements of Southern Kamerun nationalism were evident. CWU agitated f o r separate i d e n t i t y .  The  The CYL agitated for food, but p o l i t i -  c a l l y demanded AUTONOMY, NATIONHOOD or INDEPENDENCE.  The CFU advocated  the overthrow of Ibo influences and possibly discussed u n i f i c a t i o n and reunification.  But, i t was the CNF which e x p l i c i t l y made UNIFICATION and  REUNIFICATION national issues.  In a sense, therefore, i t was the f i r s t  contact of the Southern Kamerun n a t i o n a l i s t leaders with the United Nations which indicated the mix bag of the Southern Kamerun n a t i o n a l i s t programme. The rest of the period would be dominated by agreement and disagreement over which of these elements should be stressed and at which time. This disagreement and agreement would not be long i n coming; the leader and founder of the CNF d i d not himself believe i n r e u n i f i c a t i o n . Endeley advocated r e u n i f i c a t i o n mainly as a means of developing Southern Kamerun.  I f he could develop Southern Kamerun without the instrumentality  of r e u n i f i c a t i o n , he would have nothing to do with r e u n i f i c a t i o n .  As he  himself explained i n 1959, the issue of r e u n i f i c a t i o n "had o r i g i n a l l y been raised i n 1949" by the CNF, "of which he had been the f i r s t President." The motive behind i t "had been that the Cameroons under B r i t i s h administ r a t i o n was lagging behind both Nigeria and the Cameroons under French administration."  I t was believed that r e u n i f i c a t i o n would make Kamerun  "an economic unit with better prospects of standing on i t s own feet." But subsequent events had shown the f u t i l i t y of that hope and made r e u n i f i c a t i o n a "barren p o l i t i c a l instrument i n the hands of irresponsible and ambitious p e o p l e . "  15  This explanation suggests very strongly, f i r s t ,  44 that as f a r as Endeley was concerned, r e u n i f i c a t i o n was a means to an end, not an end i n i t s e l f , and secondly, that r e u n i f i c a t i o n was indigenous to Southern Kamerun.  Le Vine's assertions that nationalism and r e u n i f i c a t i o n  were imported into Southern Kamerun from Eastern Kamerun do not seem to stand too well i n l i g h t of what has been said so f a r and i n l i g h t of Endeley's explanation of r e u n i f i c a t i o n . In either event, the CNF made several demands and statements to the Mission when both groups met i n 1949.  The system of administering Western  Kamerun as an "appendage to Nigeria" was not " i n the best i n t e r e s t of the people."  Instead of receiving the attention which " i t s special status  i s said to require," the t e r r i t o r y had been "grossly neglected" because i t was being administered as a part of Nigeria. a l l of Kamerun as i t was before 1914.  I t was necessary to reunite  Northern and Southern Kamerun should  be united to form a d i s t i n c t Region of Nigeria under the High Commissioner who should be d i r e c t l y responsible to the Governor at Lagos.  Western  Kamerun should either be ruled d i r e c t l y by the United Nations or be given independence.  Everywhere, the "Mission encountered  the cry f o r more and  better education, f o r compulsory primary education, for secondary and for the expansion  for vocational and trade training."'*"  6  schools  Southern  Kamerun nationalism was now o f f the ground. But the Southern Kamerunians appeared confused i n t h e i r f i r s t encounter with the United Nations. within Nigeria.  On the one hand, they advocated autonomy  On the other, they asked f o r the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of Kamerun  which implied severance from Nigeria.  Yet on the other, they demanded  either d i r e c t administration by the United Nations or independence. Mission's recommendation possibly r e f l e c t e d t h i s confusion.  The  The Mission  45 emphasized "the need for a c a r e f u l examination of the d e s i r a b i l i t y and p r a c t i c a b i l i t y of some administrative, l e g i s l a t i v e , and budgetary  autonomy  17 being established for the Trust T e r r i t o r y . " But, i t was i n the Trusteeship Council that the B r i t i s h reorganization of Western Kamerun as a whole was c r i t i c i z e d .  A member of the Trusteeship  Council, a f t e r studying the B r i t i s h report to the United Nations on the administration of Western Kamerun for that period, c r i t i c i z e d what he described as B r i t i s h "continued Kamerun.  segmentation and scrambling"  of Western  This p o l i c y , he went on, impeded "progress towards unity and  self-government" for the t e r r i t o r y .  He was not very c e r t a i n how the B r i t i s h  could "give an assurance that the i n t e g r i t y of the Trust T e r r i t o r y would, i n fact and not on paper, be preserved."  Brigardier Gibbons, B r i t i s h s p e c i a l  representative to the Trusteeship Council r e p l i e d that, "In actual fact, whether or not u n i f i c a t i o n was possible must depend e n t i r e l y upon the wishes 18 of the people."  This was the f i r s t hint that some form of consultation  might be employed to find out what the Western Kamerunians r e a l l y wanted. Meanwhile, other events to which the n a t i o n a l i s t s of Southern Kamerun could not be i n d i f f e r e n t were taking place i n Nigeria.  S i r John MacPherson,  who replaced Richards as the Governor of Nigeria, was reviewing the Richards Constitution and introducing l o c a l reforms as early as 1948. These reforms increased p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y i n Nigeria including Southern Kamerun.  Desirous of avoiding the mistake which Richards made by producing  a c o n s t i t u t i o n without any consultation with the Nigerian  leaders,  MacPherson sought recommendations from the various Regional Houses of Nigeria.  The Enugu House met i n 1949 to draw up these recommendations.  During the discussions, the Southern Kamerunians demanded a separate region  46 for Southern Kamerun.  But -the Nigerians argued that such a region would  be p o l i t i c a l l y and economically  unviable.  Being i n the majority, they  subsequently decided that the demands of the Southern Kamerunians "might s a t i s f a c t o r i l y be met by representation of the Trust T e r r i t o r y i n both the regional House of Assembly and Executive Council and i n the new central executive and l e g i s l a t u r e . "  The Southern Kamerunians l a t e r  described the decision as an "imposition" adding that, due to "their minority p o s i t i o n . . . they could not press e f f e c t i v e l y f o r a separate 19 regional organization f o r the Trust T e r r i t o r y . " This decision was accepted  i n January, 1950, by both the a l l - N i g e r i a  Conference at Ibadan and by MacPherson.  The next thing was to show how  many Southern Kamerunians would be 'representing' Southern Kamerun i n the Nigerian l e g i s l a t u r e s .  The MacPherson Constitution, named a f t e r the  Governor,provided the Eastern Region with "a single l e g i s l a t i v e chamber, which comprised eighty elected members, together with s i x o f f i c i a l s and three who were nominated." 20  Thirteen of the 80 elected members were to be  Southern Kamerunians. The MacPherson Constitution was of no p o l i t i c a l significance to Southern Kamerun.  I t s i d e n t i t y had not yet been recognized  explicitly.  I t was s t i l l only recognized as part of a p o l i t i c a l unit of Nigeria.  The  fact that s i x of i t s t h i r t e e n elected members would s i t i n the House of Representatives  at Lagos, and one would be i n the Eastern  Regional  21 Executive Council  made l i t t l e difference.  The best that can be said for  the MacPherson Constitution i s that i t increased the number of Southern Kamerunians i n the Nigerian l e g i s l a t u r e s . However, since the MacPherson Constitution was to come into force i n  47 1951, Southern Kamerun had to take steps i n 1950 to select i t s members of the l e g i s l a t u r e s .  The selection of these persons would demonstrate  the  d i f f e r e n t directions i n which the forest zone and the grasslands were moving.  Some elections did take place i n the forest zone where t r a d i t i o n  had been undermined.  But even here, the turn-out was disappointing.  Only 25 to 30% cast t h e i r votes and the figures were sometimes as low as 10%. In Mamfe D i v i s i o n , for example, out of f i f t y primary units, only nine were contested and i n Kumba D i v i s i o n the number was as low as two and i n V i c t o r i a t h r e e . ^ 2  In the grassland, however, the 'representatives' were merely selected by the Native Authorities.  In both areas of the region, therefore, the  e l e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e was not adequately exploited.*  Nevertheless, the  selection had been done and the thirteen persons had become the acknowledged p o l i t i c a l leaders of the region under the leadership of Endeley. A l l of them were members of the  CNF.  But the CNF i t s e l f included strange bed-fellows i n i t s membership.  The  confused demands i t made to the United Nations Mission i n November 1949 r e f l e c t e d the elements of i t s programme which i t s members,'individually or i n groups, stressed.  Some of i t s members stressed autonomy for Southern  Kamerun, i n a Region equal i n status to the other Nigerian Regions, within the Nigerian framework.  These were the autonomists and, l a t e r , inte-  g r a t i o n i s t s and a s s o c i a t i o n i s t s .  Others stressed the creation of a  Southern or Western Kamerun state (Smaller Kamerun). separatists or secessionists.  These were the  A t h i r d group stressed the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of  * I t i s not r e a d i l y known why there was such a low election turnout. However, i t could be due to the fact that the n a t i o n a l i s t movement was s t i l l confined to the Western-educated e l i t e .  48  Kamerun ( G r e a t e r Kamerun). anti-imperialists.  These were the r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t s and,  later,  Some o f them were simply o p p o r t u n i s t s .  Such an amalgam o f p o l i t i c i a n s r e q u i r e d an a s t u t e p o l i t i c i a n o r a 'supreme e q u i l i b r i s t '  a t i t s helm t o keep i t t o g e t h e r .  t h e u n i t y o f t h e CNF,  Endeley was  'supreme e q u i l i b r i s t . ' show.  Unfortunately for  n e i t h e r a c a l c u l a t i n g p o l i t i c i a n nor a  Too soon he l e t h i s a n t i - r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t  sentiment  He d i d not even g i v e h i s r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t c r i t i c s an o p p o r t u n i t y  t o have doubts about h i s s e n t i m e n t s . f o r the 1950  e l e c t i o n s , he was  F o r example, d u r i n g the p r e p a r a t i o n s  opposed t o the enfranchisement o f E a s t e r n  Kamerunians r e s i d e n t i n Southern Kamerun.  The  sentimentally pro-reunif--  c a t i o n i s t o f the time, R. Jabea K. Dibonge f o r i n s t a n c e , c o u l d not f a i l see the i n t e r n a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n between a c c e p t i n g r e u n i f i c a t i o n and  to  opposing  the enfranchisement o f the E a s t e r n Kamerunians l i v i n g i n Southern Kamerun. Furthermore,  E n d e l e y became i n v o l v e d i n p e r s o n a l feuds w i t h some of  important l e a d e r s o f the CNF.  the  F o r example, he q u a r r e l l e d w i t h N e r i u s  23 Namaso M b i l e t h e S e c r e t a r y o f the CNF.  By n o t b e i n g a b l e t o c a l c u l a t e  p o l i t i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , and t o b a l a n c e the a p p a r e n t l y u n n a t u r a l u n i o n o f p o l i t i c i a n s and p o l i t i c a l hands o f p o l i t i c i a n s who  s i t u a t i o n s , Endeley was had those q u a l i t i e s ,  a l s o p l a y i n g i n t o the  John Ngu  Foncha f o r i n s t a n c e .  E n d e l e y ' s b e h a v i o u r a t t h i s time and the c o m p o s i t i o n o f the CNF a p o s s i b l e source f o r disagreement. i n 1951.  The c l a s h was  cationists.  a s p l i t w i t h i n the CNF o c c u r r e d  e s s e n t i a l l y between Endeley and the p r o - r e u n i f i -  Supported by M b i l e , and under some p r e s s u r e from the members  o f the F r e n c h Cameroons Welfare Union Union  Indeed,  were  (EKWU), and smugglers  who  (FCWU), l a t e r E a s t e r n Kamerun Welfare  t r a d e d i n goods smuggled a c r o s s the  Kamerunian boundary, Dibonge founded another p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n ,  Interthe  49  Kamerun United National Congress (KUNC).  Its objective was  "to consider  24 the question of r e u n i f i c a t i o n . "  After a short period of c a l c u l a t i o n ,  Foncha broke away from the CNF and joined the KUNC.  Including i n i t s  membership Dibonge from Eastern Kamerun, Mbile from Kumba D i v i s i o n , and Foncha from Bamenda D i v i s i o n , and with smugglers supporting i t , * i t was obvious that KUNC would soon have more backing than the  CNF.  The KUNC's programme revolved around independence and r e u n i f i c a t i o n . Its motto was Kamerun."  "Towards self-government or independence for a United  I t was determined to create a "cohesive Kamerun nation" to  tackle the " p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , economic, educational and any other problems which may  confront the indigenous inhabitants of the Kamerun."  Once  Greater Kamerun had been established, i t s inhabitants would have the "status of c i t i z e n s h i p of the Kamerun." f u l l y and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y :  A l l t h i s would be achieved peace-  "the Congress s h a l l engage i n a sustained  f i g h t i n a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l manner" to achieve these goals.  With these  l o f t y objectives, the KUNC l e f t the CNF with almost no c l e a r l y definable objectives and claimed for i t s e l f the greater support of those involved i n 25 the n a t i o n a l i s t movement.  The year 1951 was,  i n the n a t i o n a l i s t movement. could be expected i n time.  therefore, a turning point  From that year, more s p l i t s and  reunions  But not u n t i l the r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t s had had  opportunity to test t h e i r programme. The opportunity for such a t e s t came i n 1952.  In June, 1952,  the  *Kale, p. 57, reported that the KUNC "attracted a large following of petty traders who were many [sic] i n the B r i t i s h section and who traded heavily i n almost 75% of smuggled goods from the French Cameroons."  an  50 B r i t i s h made an attempt to bring Southern and Northern Kamerun together in a conference at Buea, the headquarters of Southern Kamerun.  The  purposes of the conference, which the B r i t i s h described as a " s t r i k i n g " event, were twofold:  to see how best to expend the p r o f i t s made available  from the CDC for the development of Southern and Northern Kamerun; and, to find out whether the two regions desired u n i f i c a t i o n . at the conference were amicable and f r u i t f u l .  Delegates from both regions  agreed that u n i f i c a t i o n was something to be effected. of New Zealand praised  Discussions  The representative  the attempt and the Trusteeship Council urged the  B r i t i s h to arrange many more such conferences.  The B r i t i s h promised the  Council that the next one would be held as soon as the p r o f i t s from the 26 CDC for the year 1950 came up for consideration.  But, as i t turned out,  the 1952 conference was the f i r s t and the l a s t . Later on i n 1952, the Southern Kamerunians came i n contact for the second time with the United Nations v i a the V i s i t i n g Mission.  The difference  between the p o l i t i c a l objectives of the CNF and the KUNC came out very c l e a r l y i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l demands from the Mission.  The KUNC demanded  everything to be found i n i t s programme concentrating on immediate r e u n i f i cation.  On the other hand, the CNF was pleased at the "greater p o l i t i c a l  representation" gained i n the MacPherson Constitution, but wondered whether t h i s gain "would lead to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the Trust T e r r i t o r y as a p o l i t i c a l entity."  I t f e l t that "a separate region" should be established 27  "for the whole of Cameroons," that i s Western Kamerun.  Autonomy within  Nigeria for Western Kamerun i n a Region separate from Eastern Nigeria was thus the goal of the CNF and i t s members; these were now the autonomists. The establishment of Greater Kamerun was the goal of the KUNC and i t s  51  members; these were now the r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s t s .  The question then  was  which of these goals had greater support. If the two p o l i t i c a l organizations had wished to know which of the two opposing objectives commanded greater support among the p o l i t i c a l l y active Southern Kamerunians i n 1952,  they had ample opportunity.  The  V i c t o r i a Federated C o u n c i l — a union of a l l the Native Authorities i n V i c t o r i a D i v i s i o n (Bakweri land) including the Bakweri Native Authority and the Bakweri Land Committee, the Mamfe D i v i s i o n a l Memorandum Committee, the Mamfe Improvement Union, and the B a l i Improvement Union were autono-' mists.  They demanded (from the Mission) " t e r r i t o r i a l autonomy for the  Trust T e r r i t o r y . "  They also f e l t that the r i g h t s of the Commissioner for  the Cameroons should be extended to include those of the LieutenantGovernor.  They saw a "separate regional status" for Southern Kamerun "as  a step towards the achievement of self-government." of the CYL was  s i l e n t over the two issues.  The Bamenda Branch .  (By t h i s time, Southern Kamerun  had been divided into two administrative units, the forest zone and the grasslands.  The forest zone, Mamfe, Kumba, and V i c t o r i a Divisions, assumed  the name Cameroons Province, a name previously given to a l l of Southern Kamerun as a Province of Eastern Nigeria.  The grasslands, Bamenda,  and Nkambe Divisions, went by the name Bamenda Province.)  Wum,  On t h i s occasion,  the Bamenda CYL demanded that the two Provinces be administratively reunited and given i t s former name, Cameroons Province, i n order "to restore the conception of a Cameroons e n t i t y . "  Surprisingly enough, surprising because  Endeley and some members of the CNF were included, when acting as a group, a l l the thirteen 'elected' leaders demanded r e u n i f i c a t i o n a l b e i t none of them had any concrete proposals for bringing i t about.  28  52  I t i s now p o s s i b l e t o suggest which o f t h e two i d e a s , autonomism o r r e u n i f i c a t i o n i s m , e n j o y e d g r e a t e r support among t h e p o l i t i c a l l y Southern Kamerunians.  Had t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e Southern Kamerunians  the n a t i o n a l i s t movement, one c o u l d s u g g e s t t h a t , because l e a d e r s s u p p o r t e d r e u n i f i c a t i o n as a group, support.  active  a l l the ' e l e c t e d '  r e u n i f i c a t i o n enjoyed g r e a t e r  B u t , even here one has t o be c a r e f u l ;  i t i s n o t r e a d i l y known  how the 'elected':i.members o f t h e CNF would have behaved when a c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l l y o r as a CNF group.  joined  either  Nor i s i t r e a d i l y known how t h e oppor-  t u n i s t s and/or  a s t u t e p o l i t i c i a n s , members o f e i t h e r t h e CNF o r KUNC, would  have behaved.  The p r e c e d i n g paragraph  suggests v e r y s t r o n g l y t h a t  mism was more p o p u l a r i n 1952 o r t h e r e a b o u t .  autono-  I t seems, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t h e  p o p u l a r i t y which K a l e , who was h i m s e l f very a c t i v e a t t h e time, awarded t o the KUNC was due t o t h e i d e a o f independence, The B r i t i s h ,  not r e u n i f i c a t i o n .  t h e F r e n c h , and t h e M i s s i o n i n 1952 a l s o concluded t h a t  r e u n i f i c a t i o n had l i m i t e d appeal.  According t o the M i s s i o n , t h e idea o f  r e u n i f i c a t i o n "was c l o s e l y l i n k e d i n the minds o f t h e [ t h i r t e e n ] r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s w i t h concern over t h e i r m i n o r i t y p o s i t i o n i n t h e N i g e r i a n l e g i s l a t i v e organs and r e f l e c t e d t h e apprehensions  that the i n t e r e s t s o f the T r u s t  T e r r i t o r y might be s u b o r d i n a t e d t o those o f N i g e r i a . "  The French and t h e  B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s i n Kamerun came t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t o n l y a few Kamerunians r e a l l y wanted r e u n i f i c a t i o n .  The M i s s i o n ' s c o n c l u s i o n over t h e  i s s u e was t h a t r e u n i f i c a t i o n was l i m i t e d t o c e r t a i n areas o f t h e r e g i o n and 29 was  n o t even p o p u l a r i n those l o c a l i t i e s .  Whatever t h e case,  would prove t o be t h e most d i v i s i v e element o f a l l t h e elements Kamerun n a t i o n a l i s m . subsequent  reunification o f Southern  But n o t u n t i l t h e 1953 events i n N i g e r i a and t h e i r  r e s u l t s had g i v e n i t t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o p l a y i t s r o l e .  53  In 1953, t h e r e was a p o l i t i c a l NCNC.  c r i s i s w i t h i n the leadership o f the  E s s e n t i a l l y , t h e c l a s h i n v o l v e d a c o n f l i c t over NCNC p o l i c y and a  challenge  t o A z i k i w e ' s a u t h o r i t y over t h e i s s u e .  the E a s t e r n R e g i o n a l  House were s p l i t i n t h e i r support.  the l e a d e r o f t h e NCNC i n E a s t e r n n a t i o n a l l e a d e r o f t h e NCNC. Kamerunians d e c i d e d  Members o f t h e NCNC i n  Nigeria.  Some s u p p o r t e d  Others supported A z i k i w e , the  On t h e o t h e r hand, t h e t h i r t e e n Southern  t o form a n e u t r a l b l o c .  B u t A z i k i w e and C h i e f Obafemi  A w o l o w o — l e a d e r o f t h e A c t i o n Group (AG), a Western N i g e r i a - b a s e d p a r t y , thought they saw an o p p o r t u n i t y  t o secure  the a l l e g i a n c e o f the  Southern Kamerun b l o c i n t h e i r own r i v a l r y i n t h e a l l - N i g e r i a situation. in  political  political  The c o n t e s t f o r the a l l e g i a n c e o f Southern Kamerun had begun  earnest. I t was A z i k i w e who i n i t i a t e d t h i s c o n t e s t on A p r i l 14,  p o l i c y statement i s s u e d from Lagos, A z i k i w e  1953. I n a  declared:  The NCNC r e c o g n i z e s t h e p e c u l i a r p o s i t i o n o f t h e Cameroons as A T r u s t T e r r i t o r y and supports t h e Cameroons p e o p l e s ' demand f o r separate R e g i o n a l s t a t u s i n c l u d i n g a separate l e g i s l a t i v e assembly f o r the Cameroons w i t h f u l l budgetary autonomy. The N a t i o n a l C o u n c i l a l s o r e c o g n i z e s and s u p p o r t s t h e d e s i r e s and ~ a s p i r a t i o n s o f t h e p e o p l e o f t h e Cameroons f o r u n i f i c a t i o n o f the two s e c t i o n s o f t h e t e r r i t o r y under t h e B r i t i s h and t h e F r e n c h , i n t o a s i n g l e p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y as e x i s t e d b e f o r e 1 9 1 4 . 30  Two weeks l a t e r , A p r i l 25, 1953, Awolowo j o i n e d i n the c o n t e s t and d e c l a r e d i n a speech from Ibadan: I t i s the p o l i c y o f the A c t i o n Group t o be independent i n a l l t h i n g s b u t n o t t o be n e u t r a l i n a n y t h i n g a f f e c t i n g the d e s t i n y o f any p a r t o f A f r i c a . We a r e n o t i n d i f f e r e n t t o t h e a s p i r a t i o n s o f t h e p e o p l e o f t h e Cameroon. The A c t i o n Group supports the demand o f Cameroons p e o p l e f o r a separate L e g i s l a t u r e and a r i g h t t o s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o remain i n o r o u t s i d e N i g e r i a . I t i s an i n s u l t f o r a c o u n t r y l i k e t h e Cameroons t o remain perpetually, against i t s w i l l , a Trust T e r r i t o r y . 3 1  These two speeches were s i g n i f i c a n t i n many r e s p e c t s .  The n a t i o n a l  °  54  NCNC and the AG  aimed a t b r e a k i n g the Southern  other's favour:  Kamerun n e u t r a l i t y i n each  A z i k i w e , i n o r d e r t o have more support i n the E a s t e r n  R e g i o n a l P a r l i a m e n t ; A z i k i w e and Awolowo, i n o r d e r t o b o o s t  their  s t r e n g t h a t the n a t i o n a l l e v e l .  and Awolowo  o v e r d i d themselves.  They o f f e r e d Southern  had o f f e r e d i t i n 1949 The  In these attempts,  Azikiwe  Kamerun much more than  a t the Enugu and Ibadan  conferences.  speeches f i r s t had t h e i r impact on the Southern  neutrality.  Kamerun b l o c and  B e f o r e the c r i s i s , two members o f the b l o c , both from the  h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e p o s i t i o n s i n the Nigerian l e g i s l a t u r e s .  Endeley  M i n i s t e r w i t h o u t P o r t f o l i o i n t h e C e n t r a l E x e c u t i v e a t Lagos. Tandeng Muna was  But, p o s s i b l y because o f h i s n e u t r a l i t y , A z i k i w e ' s r i v a l i n  f o u r o f the t h i r t e e n Southern K a m e r u n i a n s — M b i l e ,  N d i , P.N.  i n the  i n v o l v e d m a i n l y the E a s t e r n R e g i o n a l  the E a s t e r n R e g i o n a l House d i s m i s s e d Muna from h i s m i n i s t r y .  S.C.  was  Solomon  not a f f e c t e d by the c r i s i s because i t was  c e n t r a l l e g i s l a t u r e whereas the c r i s i s legislature.  CNF,  M i n i s t e r o f Works i n the E a s t e r n R e g i o n a l E x e c u t i v e .  Endeley's p o s i t i o n was  speeches,  they  Motomby-Woleta,  After  these  Charlie,  (the Four h e r e a f t e r ) , broke the b l o c and 32  t h e i r own  n e u t r a l i t y by s u p p o r t i n g the l o c a l NCNC l e a d e r a g a i n s t A z i k i w e .  N e i t h e r A z i k i w e nor Awolowo had s e t out t o break the b l o c , j u s t the n e u t r a l i t y i n each o t h e r ' s f a v o u r .  But i t  w a  and i n f a v o u r o f the l o c a l NCNC l e a d e r who ministry at least,  to o f f e r .  s  the b l o c which broke  first  had something c o n c r e t e , a  Whoever would have the r e s t o f t h e b l o c (the  Nine h e r e a f t e r ) would depend on the t u r n o f e v e n t s . When i t l o o k e d l i k e the P a r l i a m e n t would once more f u n c t i o n n o r m a l l y , the Nine r e f u s e d t o break t h e i r n e u t r a l i t y . Muna be r e i n s t a t e d i n h i s m i n i s t r y .  On May  I n s t e a d , they demanded t h a t 5, 1953,  the demand was  rejected  55  by a vote o f 45 t o 32. o f the NCNC who  D u r i n g the v o t e , the Four j o i n e d w i t h the members  supported the l o c a l l e a d e r and v o t e d a g a i n s t the demand.  On the o t h e r hand, the Nine combined f o r c e s w i t h those who  supported  Azikiwe and v o t e d f o r i t .  The break between the Four and the Nine  now  On May  definitely  confirmed.  i n the P a r l i a m e n t .  6,  1953,  was  the Four took t h e i r u s u a l s e a t s  On the o t h e r hand, the Nine abandoned t h e i r s e a t s  s a t on the p u b l i c g a l l e r y .  and  I t i s not r e a d i l y known what e f f e c t the a c t i o n  o f the Nine had on the P a r l i a m e n t .  But, t h a t same day, May  6,  1953,  the  P a r l i a m e n t came t o a s t a n d s t i l l and, when i t moved, c h a i r s flew a c r o s s the floor.  The  l i e u t e n a n t - G o v e r n o r o f E a s t e r n N i g e r i a had no c h o i c e b u t t o 33  d i s s o l v e the P a r l i a m e n t by p r o c l a m a t i o n on May  6,  1953.  The Nine then s e t about s e e k i n g support i n Southern message dated May on May  him,  7, 1953,  6, 1953,  b u t p u b l i s h e d i n the Outlook,  Kamerun.  In a  a Nigerian daily,  they r e p o r t e d Muna's d i s m i s s a l and the r e f u s a l t o r e i n s t a t e 34  and t h e d i s s o l u t i o n o f the P a r l i a m e n t .  After this i n i t i a l reporting  the Nine suggested what ought t o be done-and, i n the course o f t h i s g e s t i o n , they s e t about i n f l a m i n g p u b l i c sentiment. s t a t e Muna, they s a i d , was  The  refusal to rein-  "a d e l i b e r a t e d i s r e g a r d f o r the wishes  a s p i r a t i o n s o f t h e people o f t h e Cameroons."  sug-  and  They had broken t h e i r  connection  w i t h E a s t e r n N i g e r i a because, "as a minority;' group," they c o u l d not "make t h e wishes o f Cameroons people  respected" i n that l e g i s l a t u r e .  kamerun must p r e s s immediately  " f o r a s e p a r a t e Region."  Kamerunians s h o u l d be "prepared t o make s a c r i f i c e s . "  Southern  A l l Southern  Future e l e c t i o n s to  the E a s t e r n R e g i o n a l House would have t o be b o y c o t t e d u n t i l Southern r e c e i v e d "a Cameroons House o f Assembly." be  fiEm and l o y a l t o the cause o f h i s "dear  Every Southern country."  Kamerun  Kamerunian must  Every  Southern  56  Kamerunian s h o u l d "have f a i t h i n t h e f u t u r e o f the Cameroons." Southern Kamerunian who  c o u l d make i t was  Every  i n v i t e d t o a conference at 35  Mamfe between May  22 and May  24, 1953,  t o d i s c u s s the i s s u e s .  A f t e r i n v i t i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e r s and t h e i r s u b j e c t s on May 1953,  t o j o i n the n a t i o n a l i s t movement,* the Nine l e f t  p r e t t h e message.  In t h e i r Land Rover, on t h e i r way  6,  f o r home t o i n t e r -  home, an  incident  o c c u r r e d i n Ibo l a n d , an i n c i d e n t which d i d much t o h e l p them and t o heighten a-Fon-Ibo.tensions;t message was  massive  No wonder then t h a t the response t o t h e i r  and spontaneous  as they t o u r e d Southern Kamerun  l e c t u r i n g , meeting w i t h the a-Fon, and e x p l a i n i n g what ought t o be done. (The o p p o r t u n i t y to chase away the Ibo had been g i v e n t o the a-Fon and t h e i r subjects.) the d e c i s i o n was  The Mamfe Conference was unanimous:  h e l d on the s c h e d u l e d dates and  a p e t i t i o n s h o u l d be addressed t o the Sec-  r e t a r y o f S t a t e f o r the C o l o n i e s "demanding the c r e a t i o n o f a s e p a r a t e and autonomous L e g i s l a t u r e f o r the T r u s t T e r