Today Friday May 20, Cameroonians celebrate the 44th National Day under the theme: “Defence forces and the dynamic forces of the nation standing together to combat terrorism and preserve peace and territorial integrity.”
Past celebrations of the national day on May 20 have met with lots of controversies. Political scientists say a national day is a designated date set aside to celebrate the nationhood of a nation, usually the date of independence or becoming a republic.
The choice of May 20 for Cameroon as a national day has often been criticized, with a major question being whether Anglophone Cameroonians should mourn or celebrate the day. While some opinion leaders are of the stance that Anglophones shouldn’t mourn but celebrate, another school of thought holds that the whole idea of May 20 as national day is a sham.
Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, Minister of Forests and Wildlife
Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, Political Scientist and Former Minister, holds that Anglophones have every reason to celebrate the national day because they are 100% Cameroonians and have the right to benefit from everything the country has. “Anglophones have no reason to make themselves feel somehow.
We were Cameroonians before, were born Cameroonians and we should remain as Cameroonians,” he told The Cameroon Journal.
However, a Bamenda-based lawyer, Barrister Bobga Harmony, sees no meaning in the day.
According to Bobga, Anglophones don’t have any business celebrating it because the date of the celebration has no legal bases. Bobga thinks Anglophone politicians who take part in the celebration are “political prostitutes.”
The first class traditional ruler of Mankon, Fon Angwafor III is rather of the opinion that Cameroonians have to make do with May 20 as national day as long as the date has not yet been changed.
He, however, advanced that there is no reason for the date to be changed. “We fought to create Cameroon as a nation. The UN gave us the opportunity and we voted to become one,” Fon Angwafor III affirmed.