Day-1 National dialogue outcome. Get an insight of it here.
Written by Boris Ndicho on 1 October 2019
Monday the 30th of September 2019 marked another historic conference in the history of the country Cameroon. This came abruptly following president Paul Biya’s speech of an urgent call for dialogue after the prolonged crisis that almost morphed into a war .
10 a.m prompt saw the invitees for the national dialogue at the Yaounde Congress hall which kicked started with a “chant” of the patriotic song of the Cameroon people led by ex-combatant. A prolific speech by one of these ex fighters caught the attention of Cameroonians, though it was comic. Yannick dished out some of the grievances that made him and others to pick up weapons as he narrates.
“We were looked upon as Second class citizens of this our beloved country”
Yannick highlight the irregularities and partial discrimination of the Anglophones in competitive entrance examination in to state institutions. A young lady who also happened to have been one of the ex fighters addressed the crowd in which she was heavily applauded. She said she was one of those who were in bushes and dropped her weapon to come for the National dialogue. She pleaded that other fighters should drop their weapons and join her. She said she needs a job, it was due to unemployment she found herself with a weapon. She ended it that she just realized that Cameroon can never be separated.
This got Cameroonians bickering on social media as reactions were negative seems the said lady has been spotted on several other drama scenes since the beginning of the crisis. One could not readily confirm the rumour about her.
Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph then presented a welcome speech addressing the key points as highlighted by the president in his speech as a center of focus and guide for the National dialogue which captures, Bilingualism, Decentralization and how the internally displaced can be settled so they can come back to their original areas et all.
Barrister Akere Muna, 2018 presidential aspirant felt dissatisfied and took to twitter his dissatisfaction see screen grab below..
Former PM, Peter Musonge also made a speech. He decried the destruction of the CDC by the war and insisted that the examination of the root causes of the crisis is important for its resolution.
Senator Fon Mukete as one of the Speakers,talked about Bilingualism . According to him the only Anglophone problem is that of poor implementation of bilingualism.
The SDF chair Ni John Fru Ndi doubted and questioned the selected youths who sang the National anthem and who presented their speeches as ex combatants. We happened to have seen a speech circulating on media addressed by Ni John Fru Ndi. You might want to check below; . We shall be bringing to you updates of the Day2 dialogue soon. Stay glued to ekwattv
OPENING STATEMENT BY Ni John FRU NDI, President of the FRONT SOCIAL DEMOCRATE (SDF) ON THE OPENING OF THE GRAND NATIONAL DIALOGUE
YAOUNDE, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
Prime Minister, Head of Government,
Distinguished participants and guests,
Dear Compatriots in Cameroon and abroad,
Ladies and gentlemen,
After so many years to claim an opportunity to speak to each other; after so much bloodshed; and, after all this wasted time, here we are today finally participating in what the SDF and I sincerely hoped would be the beginning of the healing process that our country so badly needs to resolve the Anglophone crisis. . This meeting would have been the ideal setting to establish the truth and reconcile our country.
Responding to your invitation for the preparatory phase of this forum, my party outlined a number of fund issues that needed to be resolved before this forum. We will reiterate some of these issues here for the general public:
The problem of the form of the State which would have allowed us to dwell exhaustively on Federalism. That is why I propose at the outset that we tackle the deep structural causes of the crisis we are experiencing today in the North West and South West regions. Indeed, in 1972, we made a very fatal mistake in abolishing the Federal Republic of Cameroon through a referendum that was neither provided for in the 1961 Federal Constitution nor even envisaged by the Foumban Conference of 1961.
I would like to point out, here and now, that the Federal Republic of Cameroon was made up of two entities: the Federated State of Eastern Cameroon and the Federated State of Western Cameroon, each with a different cultural and institutional heritage.
It is the abolition of this Federal Structure and its replacement by a unitary state without going through separate referendums for each of the two states that has paved the way for the marginalization and assimilation of the populations of the North-West regions and Southwest. It is important to emphasize that a single referendum for the whole country gave the Federated State of Eastern Cameroon the opportunity to use its overwhelming majority to decide the fate of the Federated State of Western Cameroon against the will of the last.
Resolving the crisis that prompted the convening of this dialogue should begin with a process of restoring the Federal Constitution of 1961.
In addition, the Federated State of Western Cameroon will consist of two regions, namely: the Northern Region, now known as the North West Region, and the Southern Region, currently known as the Southwest Region.
To be valid and credible, such a conference should be chaired by a neutral personality.
This conference would have been preceded by a cease-fire followed by a general amnesty allowing the participation of all parties mainly concerned.
Today we are facing a most shameful situation since our independence and reunification in 1961. Thousands of people have been killed and countless others maimed; women raped, hundreds of villages destroyed, property destroyed, commercial enterprises ransacked, schools destroyed and our children deprived of education for three years, citizens forced to flee are internally displaced and more than sixty thousand are refugees in neighboring countries. All of this stems from the irresponsibility, intransigence and arrogance of the regime in place. We have the responsibility here today to end it with Truth and Reconciliation.
Excellency, Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is well known that since the constitutional amendment of 1972, there is clearly a strong political determination to impose a non-consensual Social Order called Decentralization. This imposed social order has undermined our living together and the spirit of national unity.
It is time for us to face the truth. We have been suffering for a quarter of a century under the yoke of a failing social contract, built on the ruins of a centralized totalitarian doctrine, which can not function in a nation whose most valuable asset is its diversity.
We firmly believe that our strength, our luck and our future is our diversity. It is by maintaining this diversity, within the framework of a social contract originally established, that we will be able to build the soul of the nation that we have been seeking since 1961.
That is to say that if we want peace and justice to return to our country, we need to review the form of the state in this conference.
Excellency, Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At this critical juncture, it is important to remember how many times this has been the case in the past, when Anglophone delegations withdrew or were ignored at various meetings held to determine the fate of that country.
In 1964, Dr. Bernard Fonlon, a prominent Anglophone researcher and one of the pillars of reunification, sent a memorandum to President Ahmadou Ahidjo complaining of the marginalization and second-class treatment of Anglophones. Nothing was done.
In 1984, a delegation headed by the founding fathers of our country, John Ngu Foncha and Solomon Tandeng Muna, went to see the Head of State about the Anglophone problem. Nothing good came out.
In 1991, in my capacity as Vice-President of the Coordination of Opposition Political Parties, as well as Dr. John Ngu Foncha, left the Tripartite Conference because the Anglophone problem was being shelved .
In 1991, the Federalists, including Ekontang Elad, Dr. Simon Munzu and Dr. Carlson Anyangwe, left the Constitutional Commission in charge of drafting the 1996 Constitution, because the federal option dear to Anglophones had once again been ignored. .
In 1993, the Pan-Anglophone Conference, All Anglophone Conference (AAC1) met in Buea and published the Buea Declaration in favor of the Federalist position. This too has been ignored;
In 1994, a second Pan-Anglophone Conference (AAC2) convened in Bamenda and published the Bamenda Declaration that led to the birth of the SCNC. As usual, the government ignored this political earthquake;
When the current crisis erupted in 2016, the leadership of the SDF, its deputies, senators and mayors went to Bamenda and Buea and sounded the alarm on the situation, which degenerated quickly.
Nobody listened to us;
The SDF parliamentarians protested in Parliament and blocked the debates during several sessions with the aim of ensuring that the Anglophone crisis is debated in Parliament. Once again, nothing happened;
During the Prime Minister’s last visit to Bamenda, the SDF proposed the services of its National President to negotiate peace with the combatants on the ground. In the same vein, the National President called for, inter alia, a ceasefire and a blanket and unconditional amnesty for all persons detained in connection with the Anglophone problem. If we had been listened to, it would have created a healthy climate for the conduct of this dialogue.
Today, we are invited to a National Dialogue whose agenda is completed in advance and imposed once again on Anglophones in particular and Cameroonians in general. The above-mentioned historical facts, which are far from being exhaustive, show that if we want to find a lasting solution to the Anglophone crisis, we must set up a Constitution Drafting Commission that will prepare a new Federal Constitution. for Cameroon.
Decentralization has killed the spirit of community development that was characteristic of the Federated State of Western Cameroon, and appointed officials have enriched themselves by impoverishing the citizens of this potentially rich but poor country. Here we are in front of the story. Now is the time to decide whether we want to build or destroy the future of this country. We therefore appeal to the conscience of each participant in this conference to think about the children who suffer in the bush as well as the many people afflicted by the Anglophone crisis.
We have made all these proposals in good faith and in the supreme interest of our country. But if these are ignored, the SDF will have no choice but to withdraw from the dialogue.
The truth must always prevail, I thank you!
The National President
Ni John FRU NDI
Visit our Facebook page for more reads. Ekwattv