Foncha: blamed or famed?
Dr. J.N. Foncha’s Resignation Letter:
Yaounde, 9th June 1990
RESIGNATION FROM THE CPDM
I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that after careful consideration and careful thought, I have decided to address to you my resignation from the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) and my reasons for resigning are as follows:
The CPDM which elected me as its first National Vice President is the party which forms the GOC and has been responsible for shaping government policies.
As the National Vice President of the party, I have found it impossible to use my exalted position to help in any way shape or influence the policies of the party and nation because:
1) Demands by me for audience with the Chairman (President) of the party to discuss issues have been systematically turned down.
2) Several memos and representations I have made in writing on several important national issues have been ignored.
[ndlr. Culled from one of mine on another media platform. Take it with a grain of salt until you are satisfied otherwise.]
During my political career which spans over forty years, I headed the group that campaigned for and got the peoples of the then Southern Cameroons to vote for unification, after which I went from village to village in the then East Cameroun at the risk of my life to calm terrorism which existed at the time. I even housed some Cameroonians wanted in East Cameroon. I successfully had them reconcile with the Ahidjo government. I missed being shot down on my way from Bafang on peace making mission.
After unification, a lot of Cameroonians had confidence in me and when the first Presidential elections were coming up, many people urged me to stand against President Ahidjo. I decided to go for the Vice Presidency instead in order to avoid unnecessary conflict and further bloodshed.
When President Ahidjo decided to get rid of me as the Vice President, a lot of Cameroonians sympathized with me and urged me to make an issue out of it, but for the love of peace, I came back quietly to live in my village as a private citizen.
After settling in my village, I was occasionally consulted on some national issues and I accepted to serve the people of Cameroun in whatever capacity it pleased the powers that be to put me. When the leadership of Cameroun changed hands and Your Excellency became the President of the Republic and eventually head of the CNU, I assured Your Excellency that I was at your disposal and ready from my experience to give you advice you may need on national issues.
1) Unfortunately this was not to be as it became clear to me that I had become an irrelevant nuisance that had to be ignored and ridiculed.
– I was to be used now only as window dressing and not listened to. I am most of the time summoned to meetings by radio without any courtesy of my consultation on the agenda.
2) All projects of the former West Cameroon I had either initiated or held very dear to my heart had to be taken over, mismanaged and ruined, e.g. Cameroon Bank, West Cameroon Marketing Board, WADA in Wum, West Cameroon Cooperative Movement.
3) Whereas I spent all my life fighting to have a deep sea port in Limbe(Victoria) developed, this project had to be shelved and instead an expensive pipeline is to be built from SONARA in Limbe to Douala in order to pipe the oil to Douala.
4) All the roads in West Cameroon my government had either built, improved or maintained were allowed to deteriorate making Kumba-Mamfe, Mamfe-Bamenda, Bamenda-Wum-Nkambe, Kumbo-Bamenda inaccessible by road. Projects were shelved even after petrol produced enough money for building them and the Limbe sea port.
5) All progress of employment, appointments, etc. meant to promote adequate regional representation in government and its services have been revised or changed at the expense of those who stood for TRUTH and justice. They are identified as “Foncha man” and put aside.
6) The Anglophone Cameroonian whom I brought into the Union have been ridiculed and referred to as “les Biafrians”, “les enemies dans la maison”, “les traites’ [traitres], etc., and the constitutional provisions which protected this Anglophone minority have been suppressed, their voices drowned while the rule of the gun has replaced the dialogue which Anglophones cherish very much.
7) The national media has been used by the government through people who never voted for unification to misinform the citizens about Bamenda, deliberate lies have been told over the mass media all in an attempt to isolate the Anglophone Cameroonians who voted for unification and subject them to hatred and more discrimination and harassment from other Cameroonians.
8) Embezzlement of Public funds in all forms and illegal exportation of our currency by the privileged class seems to go without reprimand but is rather condoned.
9) The constitution which I have held and preached as the supreme law of the land is in many respects being ignored or manipulated… Let the CPDM not move towards the direction where it will find itself collapsing faster than many of the “strong” governments that have collapsed in recent memory. My resignation is effective from today the 9th June 1990.
I have the Honor to be
Dr. J.N. Foncha
John Ngu Foncha: Short biography and important links with the history of Cameroon
June 21, 1916: born in Nkwen, North West region of Cameroon
1942 – 1957: Union activist with the Union of the Catholic professors of Bamenda and the president of the Bamenda section of the Nigerian Union of Teachers;
1953: Head of the Bamenda section of the Kamerun National Congress of Emmanuel Mbela Lifate Endeley E.M.L. Endeley];
1955: Leaves the Kameroun National Congress due to disagreement on the issue of reunification and founds the Kamerun National Democratic Party (KNDP) with Augustine Ngom Jua;
1957: The KNDP gets 5 of the 13 seats of the Southern Cameroon House of Assembly
1959: the Kamerun National Democratic Party obtains 14 of the 26 seats in parliament and wins the election against the Kamerun National Congress, which favours integration with Nigeria;
1 February 1959: John Ngu Foncha becomes Prime Minister of British Southern Cameroon.
11 February 1961: referendum on the future of British Cameroon. Foncha takes sides for reunification with Cameroon;
1961: KNDP obtains 28 of the 37 seats in parliament;
October 1, 1961: Southern Cameroon is reunited; Foncha becomes Prime Minister of the Federated State of West Cameroon and Vice-President of Cameroon;
May 13, 1965: Foncha leaves the primacy, succeeded by Augustine Ngom Jua;
1966: End of the multiparty system. The KNDP becomes part of the CNU, President Ahmadou Ahidjo’s party;
1970: Foncha leaves the post of vice-president.
In the years 1970-1980: Ngu Foncha approaches the secessionist movements that advocate an independent state of Ambazonia;
1990: Foncha leaves the CPDM, the presidential party (ex-CNU), because of the discrimination against Anglophones that this party would show;
1994: led the Southern Cameroon national council delegation to the UN to demand more autonomy for the English-speaking provinces;
10 April 1999: death of John Ngu Foncha