Dossier de la Rédaction


UPC: Of Metaphors and Hyperboles

Once upon a time, nearly every meaningful Cameroonian swore by the message of the Union des Populations du Cameroun, Cameroon’s premier and avangardist political formation created in 1948 with the avowed aim of improving the living conditions and the standard of life of the citizens of that time. The political goals and objectives proclaimed at that time were particularly bold!

For long, a very long time, Cameroonians had been subjected to the dishonorable regime of the indigénat, a kind of political dispensation in which ordinary Black Cameroonians were considered by the French colonial masters as barely equal to their pets! From this perspective, one could rightly describe the UPC, metaphorically as bold and fearless. The party was the first to ever consider reunification as a political objective to be attained; and by doing this, it was clearly stating that Cameroon was an identifiable entity. Here again, one can say: “as clairvoyant as the UPC” without any mistake.

Then in the mid 50s when it became necessary for the UPC to meet the colonial masters in a head-collision, the UPC showed no fear. At that time, one could also say without contradiction:”as fearless as the UPC”. This was the posture of the UPC presented by its earliest leaders including such charismatic characters as Ruben Um Nyobe, Dr Felix Moumié or Ernest Ounadié, Dr Ossendé Afana, all of everlasting fame. None of these leaders is still alive today, having each spilled their blood in defence of the fatherland.

But with the party formally rehabilitated, what will be their attitude from the bottom of their graves either in Boumnyebel or Conakry through Bafoussam to Yaounde? The state of the nationalistic party is simply a negation of what its founding fathers had wanted it to be, that is a meeting ground from within which all peace-loving and patriotic sons and daughters of the fatherland were to discuss the best strategies to take our nation forward. From this purely philosophical political consideration, each and every Cameroonian is in some way a member of the Union des Populations du Cameroun!

Since the demise of the last of the leaders of the UPC in 1971, the party has posited every image but that of a united body. It all started with the December 1990 laws on freedom of association when the party began to show the very ugly part of its multifaceted image with a senseless war of leaders and leanings. Bewildered members of the party thought this was as a result of years of political ostracism courtesy of the one-party state.

These internal divisions and sheer greed came to a head in the 1997 general elections when the then Minister of territorial Administration, obviously flabbergasted by the party’s inability to function as a united front, found the troublesome formula of registering several UPC factions to run in the elections of that year. Rather than take this as a moment for reflection on the need to come together and work in unity, the various factions have rather encouraged the proliferation of this shameful attitude which has led a hapless Elections Cameroon to register three factions of the UPC in the coming senatorial elections. In so doing, the UPC gets another metaphor: “as divided as the UPC”.

UPC insiders obviously know who is right or wrong. This obnoxious image the party is portraying has long term effects on itself as a party which is not just one of the hundreds registered today, but as the foremost in the country and by which account, it is expected to serve as pathfinder and model.

On the other hand, the image the party sends out today seriously questions the overall performance of Cameroonian democracy because, at the end of the day, all is reduced to selfish interests and not about a political programme to be carried out. Thirdly, the behaviour of the UPC on the national political scene does not portray Cameroonian democracy as serious and well meaning.

In leaving the party in this posture, those promoting the bickering in this internecine fight should remember the metaphors and the hyperboles that have been used correctly or incorrectly about the UPC.

Commentaires (0)
Seul les utilisateurs enregistrés peuvent écrire un commentaire!

!joomlacomment 4.0 Copyright (C) 2009 . All rights reserved."

haut de page