By Amos Fofung
New polls conducted by an international nongovernmental organization, the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation, CDN has revealed that over 86% of Southern Cameroonians (English-speaking Cameroonians) want full autonomy of their territory.
The recently conducted polls by the CDN, an organization charged primarily with proffering a solution to the four-year-long conflict in Cameroon also revealed that 7% of Southern Cameroonians chose federation, 4% want a confederated state and 1% a system of governance propagated by the government known as “special status.”
From October 16 – 24, the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations conducted a survey of Southern Cameroonians to gauge their aspirations on key aspects of their homeland. This survey, its organizers said, drew three thousand seven hundred and forty-nine (3,749) respondents.
It is believed to be the largest survey of its kind ever conducted on the Southern Cameroon question that goes back to postcolonial times.
Of those surveyed, 38% was from Cameroon, 23% from the United States, United Kingdom (7%), Nigeria (6%), Germany (4%), Canada (3%), South Africa (3%), United Arab Emirates (3%) and other countries.
The survey which follows that previously conducted by Cardinal Tumi last year with some 1,000 respondents quizzed Southern Cameroonians on critical aspects such as system of education, judicial system, and law and order, among others.
On the judicial system, 87% prefer an independent judicial system based on common law and another 10% chose common law system controlled by the central government.
True to their culture, those surveyed voted the Anglo-Saxon Educational system as most favorable with 57%, while 38% of Southern Cameroonians say they would like to see a newly developed educational system.
Rolling out questions about the economy, one aspect almost all those surveyed were unanimous in is that the Franc CFA currency should be dumbed. A whopping 95% rejected the CFA franc as their currency indicating it was time to part ways with colonial-back currency.
Commenting on the data which was analyzed by 4Most, a Credit Risk and Analytics Consultancy Firm in London, United Kingdom, the CDN team stated that “these compelling results confirm three things about the ongoing armed conflict: First, negotiations are inevitable to end the war. Second, independence must be part of any negotiations. It cannot be excluded given its strong appeal among Southern Cameroonians.”
“Finally, to resolve this conflict there must be a truly inclusive dialogue involving the full spectrum of Southern Cameroonian opinion. Cosmetic policies that do not address the root cause(s) and true aspirations of Southern Cameroonians will inevitably fail as we have seen with the recent Grand National Dialogue and evidently the special status proposed as a solution to the armed conflict.”