Special Status for the Anglophone regions is a right not a gift!

EDITORIAL 05 Nov 2019
Special Status for the Anglophone regions is a right not a gift!

If in the course of framing the 1996 constitution by what has gone down in history as the Joseph Owona commission, and provision was made for a special status for the two Anglophone provinces, it certainly was because these two regions deserved the right to enjoy these inherent status with which they had sustained their existence long before unification.
More so, it was on the basis of this inherent discipline in the people of this part of the country, embodying all institutions of governance that made the reunification a success story in the very beginning. Even if today, that erstwhile admirable disposition of understanding now seems palpably sour, we whole heartedly appreciate the Owona commission for applying the wisdom to include a provision for a special status. What now remains to be seen is how honestly in practical terms, this special status will carry in order to make it acceptable to a majority of the people of these two regions.
The truth is that, the special status in its true sense as concerns the case of the two Anglophone regions, constitutes a comprehensive package of values, values so linked with the day to day existence of a people so much that, to attempt to dislodge the process is enough to enrage the people. The issue of a special status as enshrined in the 1996 constitution is therefore a right and not a gift to the Anglophones as many would want to view it, looking sideways.
There is equally no doubt that the issue of special status for the two regions did attract heated debates and contributions at the Major National Dialogue, debates and contributions in which, even other regions with no justification to demand for special status, were asking for it. We have mentioned it before. We are saying again and again that the delay in putting the recommendations together for public consumption is raising worries.
Our fear is that since provisions in our constitution can only be considered authentic by applying what is commonly known as TEXTS OF APPLICATION, and by this, experience has shown that this is how Constitutional provisions can leisurely be interpreted in distortion of the original form, and manipulated with ease to suit government position. However, this notwithstanding, we can only hope that, in the final proclamation by the head of state on the work of the Major National Dialogue, particularly the special status issue, it should be noted that this particular issue remains the root cause of the crisis rocking the country today. No one should doubt the fact that the outcome could as well become the true source of landing on the final solution to the problem.
Needless to start recounting the contents of the whole package of the fundamental liberties, and to a certain extent, a level of administrative autonomy which the two Anglophone regions enjoyed before the miscalculated centralised system came to disrupt a well founded union. Even as we make no direct allusions to the glory of the beginning, we still insist that we are at a loss to find where the Federal system posed a threat to the continuity of the state of Cameroon, other than the expansionist ambitions of the former president with the connivance of Neo colonial France.
Coincidentally the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean Yves Le Drian, was in Cameroon recently and we believe he must have been told a few things about the true situation on the ground concerning the current crisis. We hope with the true picture before him, he will be able to impress on his government to guide the authorities in Cameroon towards the right path to a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem.

About the author

Leave A Reply

Leave A Reply