By NOELA EBOB BISONG
Mancho Bibixy and Ngalim Felix, proponents of the ‘Coffin Revolution’, have recently made public what they term ‘DECLARATION BY LEADERS OF THE COFFIN REVOLUTION’, where they once more make clear their take on school resumption in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, and have gone ahead to appeal to the consciences of other stakeholders to ensure school children in the two regions are not again deprived of one of their fundamental rights, the right to education.
While still in detention, the duo has remained resolute in their resolve to see that schooling resumes in the two regions.
In the declaration, they begin by telling of what transpired at the Kondengui prison last July 22, which will see them taken out of the prison for at least two weeks before being brought back, as proceedings continue.
“It all started from a peaceful protest by Anglophone Detainees who, conscious of the back to school campaign were calling for their release as they too have to take part in the school resumption exercise. Amongst them are students, teachers and parents. Unfortunately, the protest was infiltrated by inmates with other accumulated grievances and it resulted to looting and destruction.”
Mancho and Ngalim however state: “This does not affect our desire to pressure all stakeholders to do the right thing for schools to resume. We call on the various stakeholders to play their various roles with undivided attention”, as they address five main groups as follows:
-The government of Cameroun: While everyone is for school resumption, there is a wide range of concerns raised regarding security. WE HAD EARLIER RAISED THESE CONCERNS IN NUMEROUS CORRESPONDENCES to the government dating back to 2018. We also wrote to several International bodies pleading with them to assist the government or pressure her to do the right thing. Needless mentioning the measures here since they are lying on government’s tables and clearly spelt out. We again remind the government that Anglophones cannot be taught the importance of education. Before the war, our poor parents could go without food just to educate their children.
-Parents: we do not doubt the desire of parents to send their children to school. Educating children is the pride of every Anglophone parent. We call on you all to stand up like one man and fight for the future of your children. Don’t forget that education is the best inheritance for your children.
-Students/Pupils: You are the main victims of the school boycott. It is your future that is being destroyed as other kids have moved to safer areas to study. Your right to education is a basic human right. You must not let anyone take it from you. Learn from the examples of other countries who made this mistake. Don’t repeat the errors of other countries.
-International Organizations: This is the time you are needed most. You played an important role during peace time to ensure the education of youths. You assisted in building and equipping schools during peace time. You can provide temporary Premises (tents) where schools have been destroyed. You run school in conflict zones and war ravage countries. Our case should not be an exception.
-Religious Authorities: Before the crisis, you played a vital role in education as you operated the best educational establishments. The shutdown of school is a great set back to the society you have toiled for decades to build. The teachers and other staff have been out of work which affects entire families. The once morally upright youths you produced are now an exact opposite. All these values can only come back if you take your responsibility and fight for an effective school resumption in safety.
“Conclusively, let it be known that the coffin revolution and Anglophones in general are not against school resumption. The last days of August and the early days of September 2019 are very crucial. The entire world is watching at the government of Cameroon. We remain hopeful that the government will listen and do the right thing. It cannot be later than now”, they say.