By Nfor Hanson Nchanji, Nov. 26, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Bamenda – Prime Minister Philemon Yang, unlike his colleagues in the Biya’s regime on Friday confessed in front of Anglophone Lawyers and teachers that there actually is an Anglophone problem in Cameroon. Yang spoke in Bamenda, chief town of the North West region where he was chairing a meeting aimed at arriving a deal that should have ended the ongoing strike by Lawyers and Teachers of the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
In the days following the PM’s meeting in Bamenda, some senior cabinet members of his gov’t, including Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso, Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency Paul Atanga Nji and Issa Tchiroma, Minister of Communication, had taken turns in the media telling Anglophones that their problems are not peculiar to others’ in the country. Yang
didn’t only acknowledge that the problem exist, but in trying to pacify the Lawyers and Teachers to broker a deal that ends their strike, he said that the Anglophone problem can be solved if everyone contributes in his or her own way.
Reacting to provocative statements by Atanga Nji that there exist no Anglophone problem,
Yang suggested that Atanga Nji, did not speak as a Government Spokesman nor was he mandated to say so.
In his meeting with leaders of the Common Law Lawyers, the PM advised that they operate within the limit of the law and promised that the problem of wigs and gowns seized from Lawyers in Buea by the Police and Gendarmes during a previous strike will be resolved before next weekend.
Yang assured the Lawyers that he will meet with those at the Ministry of Justice to solve their litany of problems presented in a memorandum but which were never made available to the Press.
Speaking to the press after the meeting with the Prime Minister, President of North West Lawyers Association, NOWELA, Barrister Bobga Harmony said that discussions with the PM were cordial, a good start to find ways of resolving the problem, but cautioned that the meeting was only a start to finding a solution to the problem, insisting that the strike will continue until the lawyers meet in an enlarge meeting with Justice Minister Laurent Esso.
At the Teachers forum with the PM, we gathered that things got very heated – at some point they got to a deadlock and suspended the meeting to resume later. Coming out of the meeting after it resumed, like the Lawyers, the teachers insisted that the strike action will continue until a significant agreement is reached. They refused to accept what they termed mere promises, from the PM. Discussions with the PM were contentious, hot and went deep into the night of Friday November 25, we gathered.
The Cameroon Journal gathered from sources at the meeting that the Teachers were mounted so much pressure to call off the strike by PM Yang and his collaborators who assisted in the
deliberations. One of them is quoted as saying that “calling off the strike will mean saving their PM.” But the Teachers stood their grounds arguing that calling off the strike without any firm and practical resolution is out of question. Like the Lawyers, the Teachers were also told to write their demands in order of merit with deadlines.
Representing the Teachers Trade Unions were Dr. James Abangma, Tameh valentine ,Wilfred Tassang ,Afu Steve, Ayeah Emmanuel, Kimfon Michael and Tasi Ntang of SYNES-UB,TAC,CATTU,PEATTU,BATTUC, CeWOTU and CEF respectively.