By Mua Patrick, November 29, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Bamenda – Members of Parliament, Senators plus Mayors of leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, SDF yesterday, staged a street demonstration in Bamenda as protest against the marginalisation of Anglophones in Cameroon.
The peaceful demonstration was lead by the party’s chieftain, John Fru Ndi who together with SDF lawmakers from both the National Assembly and Senate marched to the governor’s office up station to table their grievances.
The protest march according to SDF officials was also intended to demonstrate their solidarity and support to striking common Law lawyers and teachers as well as pressure government to speed up dialogue with the aggrieved Anglophone groupings. At Fru Ndi’s Ntarinkon residence, Joseph Wirba, SDF MP from Bui read out a statement at from the party before they embarked on the street protest.
He said in the statement that there is a growing anger among Anglophones who are being treated as second class citizens. Referring to last week’s violent protest in Bamenda , the SDF MP regretted that “Both the young and the old and even children as young as 11 years were
seen recently ready to die and brave the odds in search of equality and justice on the part of a country that has suffered gross neglect and injustices.”
From the residence of the party chairman, the MPs and Senators left for the governor’s office where they were received by Adolf Lele L’afrique, Northwest Governor. After meeting with the governor, they then marched to the commercial avenue grandstand where a brief rally took place. While the SDF officials marched along the streets of Bamenda, banners with varied messages were brandished. Amongst the messages, the SDF officials were demanding the respect of fundamental rights to protest and the respect for the Anglo Saxon system of education and its judicial system.
Other messages also called on the Cameroon government to give a listening ear to the demands of Anglophones. “There is the Anglophone problem. Federalism is the sustainable solution. Anglophone distinct cultural identity must be respected’’ the lawmakers stated in one of the banners.
“No to state sponsored vandalism. Anglophones are not a tribal or ethnic group. We stand with the common Law lawyers and the Teachers’ trade unions,” read one of the placards. “No tear gas and the use of water cannon in schools, hospitals and residences,” read another placard.
“Strikes and civil disobedience are fundamental human rights. Listen to the grievances of the people” another placard also read. Unlike last week’s protest, there was no violent incident reported.