By Mua Patrick, March 14, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – Contrary to expectations that the eldest member of the National Assembly, Enow Tanjong and his peer at the Senate, Nfon Mukete, were to use the 2017 opening sessions of both Houses of Parliament to comprehensively address Anglophone crisis which has held the nation bound since November 2016, the two personalities rather chose to use the opportunity to sing the timeworn song of peace and national unity.
The opening of Parliament, coming amidst rising socio-political tensions in the two English speaking Regions of the Northwest and Southwest, many had anticipated that the two doyens would use the opening of the March session to condemn acts of torture, maiming, rape and shootings allegedly perpetrated on Anglophones by security forces in the course of the current crisis.
The shutting down of the internet in the North West and South West Regions as well as calls for the release of several Anglophones arrested and detained in Yaounde, many had expected, would be some of the key issues to be raised by the two Anglophone lawmakers in yesterday’s separate opening sessions.
In separate presentations yesterday, both Senator Mukete and Hon. Tanjong merely said frank and patriotic dialogue remains instrumental in solving the ongoing crisis.
The National Assembly eldest member, Tajong, instead of calling on the regime to go in for real and honest dialogue, chose rather to praise what he described as government efforts taken to normalise the current tension in the Anglophone Regions. He then went on to castigate the arson attacks that ravaged the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bamenda in the night of March 3, and the destruction of the administrative Block of Government High School Akwaya on February 12.
“I wish to commend the counter move to normalise things. The political, religious elite, members of the civil society and traditional rulers have all joined the Head of State in appealing for dialogue and peace and I encourage all past, present and future initiatives in this regard” Tanjong said.
He continued: “I hail in particular the recent creation by the Head of State, H.E Paul Biya, of a National Commission on the promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism. We should see this structure as a privilege framework to enhance the value of our bilingualism which, it should be remembered, is one of the major hallmarks of our nation.”
The Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism, Tanjong said, equally appears to be a platform for unity. The people’s representatives, he said, appeal to all and sundry to continue with the dialogue started.
“We need to think of the future of Cameroon and that of our children. Let us allow ourselves to be overcome by the Lion’s spirit. Like the Indomitable Lions, let us be united and targeting the same goals like them. Cameroonians are a team with differences and individual styles but moving in total cohesion. Let us not forget the saying that united we stand, divided we fall,” he cautioned.
He added that his greatest wish is to see the situation in the North West and South West normalised once and for all. “We are capable of having a normalised situation provided that it is our wish. In this regard, all possible avenues should be exploited in resolving this matter notably the acceleration of the decentralisation process,” he suggested.
In his own presentation during the opening session at the Senate, Senator Nfon Mukete, 99, said he is delighted with the measures taken by government to ensure serenity and security in the North West and South West Regions.
The creation of the Commission for the promotion of Bilingualism and multiculturalism, the octogenarian said, positively falls in line with the actions and measures which will help address some of the grievances of Anglophones.