By Macdonald Ayang, November 25, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency Paul Atanga Nji, has in a PR outing on state broadcaster, CRTV, warned that Anglophone agitators perpetrating acts capable of “threatening national unity” will meet with the unsparing arm of the law.
Talking as special guest on CRTV’s midday TV newscast, the 1pm French language newscast, as well as on the English version of the news at 3pm Wednesday, Atanga Nji categorically dismissed suggestions that there is an Anglophone problem in Cameroon.
Speaking in an authoritative tone, the Permanent Secretary of the National Security Council, advanced at least 10 reasons why he believes Cameroonians from the North West and South West Regions of the country should not complain about marginalisation.
Nji, responding to questions from CRTV, vehemently condemned Anglophone lawyers and teachers currently on an indefinite strike action. He said he had incontrovertible proof that some of the striking lawyers had collected huge sums of money from individuals abroad and were being manipulated by same with the attendant goal of destabilising a nation which, he said, has so ingenuously been put together by President Paul Biya.
In what sounded like a frontal attack on the protesting Common Law lawyers, the Special Duties Minister said those striking lawyers who transgress the law will be brought to book because “lawyers have no immunity.” He then added that all the constituent associations of Common Law lawyers such as the Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, Meme Lawyers’ Association, MELA and North West Lawyers Association, NOWELA, just to cite these few, are existing in illegality because “the Cameroon Bar Association is one.”
He criticised the teachers and lawyers for not attending meetings convened by their respective Ministers to look into their grievances. He then instructed them do so with immediate effect should they expect an end to their myriad of worries.
‘Anglophones are not marginalised’
Atanga Nji chronicled about 10 instances to buttress his claim that Anglophones are not marginalised under the Biya’s regime.
He said he could not understand why people talk of the marginalisation of Anglophones when the post of Prime Minister has since 1992 been held by Anglophones. “How can you be talking about marginalisation when for the past 25 years, all Prime Ministers of Cameroon have been Anglophones” he rhetorically asked CRTV’s George Kellong.
Biya’s love for English speaking Cameroonians was made manifest not long after he took power in 1982; with his visit to Bamenda, the holding of the first CPDM congress in the same town, his first agric show as well as the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Armed Forces in the North West regional capital, Nji said.
He equally cited the Directorates General of Customs and Treasury, held by Anglophones, as proof that Anglophones are not at all marginalised. Edwin Fongod and Moh Sylvester, it should be noted, hold these respective positions.
He also cited the fact that Anglophones are heads of three state universities in Cameroon, that Biya spoke English during his visits to Bamenda (during the 50th anniversary
of the Armed Forces) and Buea (during the 50th anniversary of the reunification) as ample evidence that the Head of State loves and cherishes Anglophones.
He then concluded that they the elite of the North West and South West Regions, they were not going to fold their arms and watch certain individuals bring the hard-earned peace and unity of the nation to jeopardy.
Antecedent of Atanga Nji’s outing
Atanga Nji’s CRTV outing, came three days after irate protesters took to the streets of the North West regional capital, Bamenda, venting their irritation against the “neglect” by the Yaounde Regime.
Monday’s riots which later went violent are said to have left one person dead with several others severely wounded and hospitalised. The Bamenda protest erupted on the same day Anglophone teachers also began an indefinite strike action in protest of what they describe as attempts by government to erode the intrinsic values of the Anglo-Saxon sub system of education.
Meanwhile lawyers, who were also a major target of Minister Atanga Nji’s CRTV outing, have on their part been on strike for the past seven weeks, protesting what they say is the disrespect for Common Law precepts which constitute a major aspect of Cameroon’s bi-cultural and bi-jural nature.