The internecine rift within the Anglophone community in Yaoundé of the Ahidjo days: The Muna-Fonlon confrontation.

2 comments On The internecine rift within the Anglophone community in Yaoundé of the Ahidjo days: The Muna-Fonlon confrontation.

  • My Comments on The internecine rift within the Anglophone community in Yaoundé of the Ahidjo days: The Muna-Fonlon confrontation by Shutav Martin Jumbam

    Dear revered Shutav Martin Jumbam: Highly gifted and distinguished man of letters:

    Thank you for the wonderful piece. I quite enjoyed reading it again and again and the following words and sentences called my attention, which made me swallow your story as if I was enjoying a plate of water fofo and ero. While reading it in the train, I missed my train stop twise because the writeup was like a film. I quite enjoyed it. I resolve to use these 62 sentences in my subsequent write-ups. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and for your enduring literary legacy. I resolve to read all your write-ups and clearly bring out the sentences I enjoyed most. Here are the words and sentences which I quite enjoyed:

    1. at best latent at the outset.

    2. put in overdrive.

    3. unceremoniously ejected.

    4. slippery opportunist.

    5. This situation was further exacerbated.

    6. the turbulent, vibrant and fearless…

    7. particularly infuriated.

    8. backstabbing actions.

    9. Not being one who merely grumbled in his beard in hiding.

    10. still gleefully fondling the prime ministerial.

    11. trophy he had just bagged.

    12. left panting by the roadside.

    13. its content stunned all parliamentarians to silence.

    14. beaming a broad smile from ear-to-ear.

    15. who had been chauffeured into the parliament building.

    16. where he slumped into the trembling waiting arms of his stunned wife.

    17. political intrigues.

    18. gives a fascinating eye-witness account of what happened.

    19. As the early days of January 1968 dawned on sleepy Buea, a rustle of political wind swept through the air.

    20. It was early January 1968 at Buea, there was excitement and fever everywhere.

    21. Flags and buntings were fluttering in the morning air.

    22. as the hour of ten drew near, crowds of people were seen streaming towards.

    23. The public gallery was packed to overflowing.

    24. gleaming instruments.

    25. There was now dead silence that one could hear a pin drop…

    26. All eyes were fixed on the speaker.

    27. He rapidly unfolded it, turned his eyes to the members and said:

    28. The words fell on all, like an electric shock.

    29. there rose such a spontaneous roar from the assembled crowd that the din of human. voices could be heard for miles around the mountain slopes…

    30. Mr. Muna striding down the pavement to the doors.

    31. being heavily cheered by the crowd was swept into the Prime Minister’s waiting Mercedes.

    32. Mr. Jua just had enough nerve to rise from his seat and walk out.

    33. he waited patiently until an Opel Record came round into which he was whisked to the Schloss.

    34. Ah, the intrigue-ridden vicissitudes of political life in Cameroon! Habah! Habah! Wallahi! Abaii-veni! Man no run-ooh!

    35. That downright humiliating treatment meted out to.

    36. not long thereafter to his successor.

    37. was something Fonlon found difficult to swallow.

    38. in an eye-ball-to-eyeball confrontation, gave the astonished VP a piece of his mind over what he saw as his slimy role in the less-than-elegant eviction from power of the two KNDP leaders.

    39. VP Muna’s action an unforgivable affront to the dignity and integrity that had hitherto largely characterized the Anglophone political scene in Cameroon, notwithstanding existing disagreements there might have been among the politicians.

    40. battle-scarred politician, who was no stranger to the ruggedness and roughness of political battles and intrigues.

    41. from where he had often emerged largely unscathed in the halls of political power in Lagos or Enugu, Nigeria.

    42. Those were battles, with thugs being frequently thrown into the arena, from where the victor would often emerge joyfully brandishing the entire trophy, leaving nothing to the opponent except a bloody nose, smashed teeth and broken limbs, and taking no prisoner from the opposing camp. That was a world ruled by political thuggery and hooliganism of the worst kind.

    43. On the other hand, there was Doctor Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, a suave, polite, truly and complexly enigmatic personality, if ever there was any, totally seasoned in celibacy and in the humanities, having been thoroughly schooled in the rigours of seminary life and in the exigencies of studies in other world-renowned universities – the Sorbonne in Paris, Oxford University in London and the University of Ireland.

    44. Elegant in style, fluent in speech, a baritone that made all who heard him sit up and listen and pay attention, spartan in dressing (not much to write home about in this domain as he was almost always dressed in worn-out danshikis with feet eternally clasped in flat-bottomed slippers), dignified in gait with an ever shy and hard-to-discern smile on his lips.

    45. There was a man who seemed to have stumbled by accident into the intrigue-infused political life of the Cameroons of his day, often baffling many a political colleague — the dreaded Ahidjo included – with his irritating insistence that priority be given at all times to the human side of life, which, as he incessantly preached, should hold sway over the avarice of political life.

    46. two political titans, with glaringly opposed views of life, sent violent shock waves bashing the usually placid-handclapping surface of the political waters of Cameroon’s politics.

    47. One thing Fonlon rejected, among numerous other perks that went with the ministerial turf in Cameroon, was a direct telephone line into his office.

    48. Fonlon became furious and shouted a categorical and loud “No!

    49. It was clear to my brother that he did not seem to give a hoot if his what he was saying had tickled Muna’s vice-presidential ears or not.

    50. The Fonlon-Muna confrontation was just one among many rivalries that characterized the rather uneasy peace.

    51. much to the utter delight of the readers of that paper.

    52. infamous Njoh Litumbe-SML Endeley rivalry that led to deep-seated personal animosity that stretched on for several decades.

    53. There are certainly more of such instances of political bad blood that underpinned the relations among West Cameroon politicians of the day.

    54. Many of such rivalries are urgently calling for the surgical incisiveness of well-heeled political analysts.

    55. which was nothing but a watered-down version of…

    56. who finally got fed up with him and tossed him out in the cold.

    57. Not being one who could just tiptoe out of a confrontation to lick his political wounds. at a corner, Muna swung back with a vengeance,

    58. a sneaky, intrigue-seasoned man who never trusted any.

    59. He was therefore only too happy to stoke the embers of division among those who were with him in Yaoundé.

    60. but I bet you it might not hold anything flattering to the ear in this regard.

    61. I am not privy either to Vice President ST Muna’s views of his intriguingly enigmatic colleague.

    62. would by now have brokered an uneasy peace deal among the Ahidjo-Muna-Fonlon triumvirate for the sake of peace in heaven.

    • Anglophones who went to work in Yaounde after Ahidjo had unilaterally violated the Constitution by eliminating the federal nature of the country, found it difficult to adapt to a new environment, especially to a new language, French, which many of them did not speak. Intrigues and quarrels among them were not rare, as it is seen in the case of Dr. Fonlon and ST Muna.

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