By Nga Jefferson, Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Bamenda – A commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon was Monday, January 24, created by President Paul Biya. The announcement was made over state-owned CRTV during 7:00 PM news. The Commission, as usual, was created by Presidential decree. It shall be “responsible for promoting multiculturalism in the country.”
The decree adds that the Commission will do this “with a view to maintaining peace, consolidating the country’s national unity and strengthening the people’s willingness and day to day experience with prospects of living together.”
The 15-man Commission will be answerable directly to President Biya himself though the announcement said it is autonomous. It is tasked with forging a stronger sense of unity, bilingualism, and oneness in Cameroon. However, pundits, as well as ordinary Cameroonians, have been swift to lambast it, saying it falls short of addressing the demands of Anglophones in the country.
span style=”font-size: 14pt;”>“People cannot ask for something else and you give them something else. That’s the problem we have with this government,” an annoyed resident of Bamenda told The Cameroon Journal (CJ) shortly after the announcement was aired. She went on to add, “Teachers said they wanted Francophone teachers to be
withdrawn immediately but gov’t instead announced the deployment of “bilingual teachers,” we said the only way we can peacefully co-exist is in a two-state Federation and now they create some kind of Commission…” – she then stormed off in visible anger.
Another resident whose names we got simply as Amos, told us, “The fact that this is being done shows that it is acknowledgment that indeed there is a problem but we need more than just acknowledge. It’s a problem that cannot be satisfactorily addressed with these kind of cosmetic solutions” he said. “The only way peace can reign is for the gov’t to grant what the people want, which is a Federation in this case. If not, we have to part ways,” he said.
Some residents were appalled that Biya would rather create a Commission for the promotion of bilingualism which is what he thinks is best for the people and not what they the people want. “This is not how a democracy works. You grant the people what they want and feel is best for them but all I keep hearing is how one and indivisible we are. It’s not by force. Look at how ghost town was fully respected all over the NW and SW yet some people are still delusional to think we’re not drifting apart” a man named just as Arnold told us.
The move is one of many unpopular moves by gov’t to address the deteriorating situation in the NW and SW which started with teachers and lawyers and now has been relayed to the population since the arrest of the leaders.