By Mua Patrick, March 6, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Bamenda – Prime Minister Philemon Yang, began meeting yesterday with education stakeholders and other personalities in Bamenda in a fresh school resumption crusade which is expected to last four days.
At the Bamenda Congress Hall today, Monday, March 6, during the enlarged meeting with stakeholders, speakers who took to the rostrum were blunt enough, telling the Prime Minister that the only guarantee for an effective school resumption remains the unconditional release of several persons arrested and detained in Yaounde as well as the immediate restoration of internet connectivity in the two English-speaking Regions.
Most of the speakers, majority of whom were parents, teachers and school proprietors, said with the leaders of the teachers’ strike action still held in detention, school resumption remains far-fetched.
One of the speakers at the Bamenda meeting, SDF Member of Parliament for Bafut/Tubah constituency, Hon. Wilfred Fusi Namukong, questioned the Prime Minister rhetorically how he (Yang) expects schools to resume without internet and while individuals arrested in the course of the crisis are still being detained in Yaounde.
He added that the militarisation of the North West Region is equally disturbing and has been acting more as a counterproductive move in efforts towards school resumption in the Region.
Some teachers, who spoke during the meeting, told the PM that they have been going to school, but that often they are greeted with threats in their classrooms from unknown sources.
In response to the several worries raised during the meeting, the PM said government has been taking appropriate measures to solve the demands of Anglophone teachers. He said it was unreasonable and unacceptable for pupils and students to be deprived of their right to education.
With regards to the shutting down of internet in the two Anglophone Regions, PM Yang said the move was taken given that individuals were using the internet to spread false information.
About unconditional release of Anglophones being held in detention, Yang’s response was that some have already been released while others must be prosecuted because they committed crimes against the state. He said the town of Bamenda will not be demilitarised should the inhabitants continue to cause chaos and disorder.
After the Bamenda meeting, the PM is expected in Wum, Menchum Division on Tuesday for same mission of seeing schools resume.
During the tour that will also take the PM to Nkambe, Kumbo, Mbengwi and Fundong, he will hold working sessions with administrative, traditional, religious, education and civil society authorities, as well as local elite.
The PM’s visit to the seven divisions of the NW was announced in a communiqué issued last Friday by the Director of Cabinet at the PM’s Office, Ghogomu Paul.
It remains unclear if he will embark on a similar tour to the South West Region which is also badly hit by the current crisis.