By NOELA EBOB BISONG
Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, Cameroon’s Prime Minister PM, Head of Government, has appealed to the minds of Cameroonians, especially his Anglophone brothers and sisters, to understand that no country in the world is perfect, calling on them to shun violence, as “we are the architects of our own destiny.”
The Head of Government was speaking in Buea, last January 6, 2020, during a campaign rally for his party, the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, ahead of the February 9 twin elections.
A separatist imposed lockdown had welcomed the PM to the region that day, but he braved it all to inspect sports infrastructures in Limbe, before addressing comrades of his party, but generally the entire Anglophone public, in Buea.
After having been received by the traditional authorities of his native South West region and dressed according, (himself being their peer from Ndian Division), the PM, in his keynote address went straight to the burning issues affecting Anglophones generally.
“I want to say that the socio-political situation has greatly improved as compared to the time of my last visit in May 2019. This is to a large extent due to your ceaseless efforts to bring peace. I want to thank you sincerely for that”, he noted.
Giving a balance sheet of the Major National Dialogue MND of which he was a key player, Dion Ngute mentioned that the MND was based on topics to strengthen Cameroon’s unity, facilitate development and ensure greater stability for the fatherland.
Following the deliberations of the MND, he highlighted the four major recommendations as follows:
“The Special Status for the North West and South West regions which has already been promulgated into law following the last December 2019 extra-ordinary session of Parliament…I hope and I believe that this has already met the aspirations of the people especially those of the North West and South West. If not, I want to reassure you that it is a work in progress. As such, efforts shall be maintained to continue improving on the situations in these two regions. The Special Status gives the North West and South West regions enhanced powers to participate in the development of national policies especially those relating to the Anglo-saxon system of Education and on the issues concerning justice in the common law systems.”
According to the PM, “The General Code on regional and local authorities has also provided for accrued resources for councils and regions, moving from 4% before to 15% as from this year.”
He mentioned that “The dissolution of the post of appointed government delegates to be replaced by that of an elected central city mayor is a clear signal of the deepening of our democratic process at the local level.”
On improving the practice of bilingualism in accordance with Law no 2019/019 of 24 December 2019 on the promotion of bilingualism, Ngute held that “One of the key aspects of this law is to institutionalise the equal practice of both languages in the official domain.”
Concerning the reconstruction of the North West and South Wes regions, Ngute took time to explain that “Government has opened discussions with our development partners in view of the reconstruction of the North West and South West regions. Some countries have already donated funds for this exercise. The government is also putting aside resources to fully embark on the reconstruction exercise. In line with this, a decree has been enacted declaring the North West and South West regions as economic disaster zones in order to ease the procedures and reduce the delays in bringing on line the resources needed to reconstruct the two regions.”
He however stated that “For this reconstruction phase to begin, we need peace! It is therefore in the interest of the North West/South West regions that we turn our backs to insecurity and violence.”
The PM equally announced, to the delight of many at the rally who responded with thunderous handclaps, that the project team for the construction of the Limbe Deep Seaport is currently being set up, assuring that the project will soon be a dream come true.
“My dear people, we have to take advantage of this peace plant extended to us by the president of the republic; we have fought for too long, killed and inflicted pain on ourselves, destroyed our infrastructure, our economy, our educational system and the list goes on. It is worrisome that for close to four years now, the rate of children attending schools has dropped drastically…what future are we preparing for these innocent children?” he questioned.
The PM went on that “Those who promised our young boys and girls for a brighter country in two months are living quiet lives abroad and their children are all attending good schools. They are making a lot of money from this unrealistic secessionist enterprise at the expense of your blood, let us not be deceived again, there has been a lot of bloodshed in the North West/South West regions, let it stop now!”
Ngute noted that “I know that we have problems, I have come so that we jointly acknowledge our imperfections and agree to move in peace and security. Our house is on fire and we must rescue it. We have observed the unfortunate crisis and we can draw conclusions. It is clear to us that violence has no future; it has never been a solution to any difficulty…ghost towns, lockdown, threats to life, kidnappings, killing, banditry, destruction of state property, civil disobedience etc cannot constitute a solution to our problems, we can only resolve our problems in brotherly love and peaceful dialogue…please there is a time for everything, there has been a time for violence and hatred, let us agree that the time has come for peace and love to reign”, appealed Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, to his South West and North West brethren.