By Mua Patrick, December 16, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM Member of Parliament for the Ocean Division of the South Region, Martin Oyono has urged President Paul Biya to call resentful Anglophones for dialogue in order to end the ongoing crisis in the two English-Speaking Regions of the country.
Fielding questions from newsmen at a press conference in Yaounde yesterday, Oyono who unlike most of his CPDM peers, admitted that there is indeed an Anglophone problem and insisted that the ongoing agitations by Anglophones in the North West and South West Regions remain “genuine” and “legitimate.”
“Our country, according to section 1(3) of the constitution, has adopted English and French as the official languages of equal value. And it is not by chance that English comes before French in the constitutional numbering order. The reversal of such constitutional precedence in practice, premeditated or unconscious minimizing of a language for the benefit of the other, can lead to legitimate frustrations that can give room for social unrest.” Oyono said in a statement read out during the Yaounde press conference.
In admitting the existence of an Anglophone problem, Oyono who is also the vice president of the African Chapter of the Global Legislators’ Organisation, said the problem of one part of the country being marginalised is to say the least “the non respect of constitutional provisions of the country…”
“Whereas all government services in Cameroon, from top to bottom, have translation services and staff deemed competent, nothing justifies the fact that legislative and regulatory texts are not concomitantly delivered in the two official languages,” he asserted.
Cameroon’s bilingual nature, the CPDM lawmaker said, is an asset that needs to be jealously guarded and developed. “Far from weakening national unity, it should rather reinforce it, for
it makes Cameroon peculiar in the world…it is established that some significant reforms in our country today are Anglo-Saxon inspired such as the BMP system in our universities, the new Criminal Procedure Code drawn from the Common Law system, the programme budgeting, etc…” He explained.
Commenting on the recent uprisings in Bamenda and Kumba which led to the loss of lives and material damage, Oyono said physical attacks; acts of torture and humiliation are unacceptable in a democracy such as the one Cameroon purports to be practicing.
“It is needless denying the fact that our Anglophone compatriots have an Anglo-Saxon cultural influence of which just the language is the apparent vector. They have a peculiar life style and specific social codes etc” Oyono pointed out.
Oyono is one of the few CPDM MPs who has always been outspoken and vocal on matters of national interest. He was one of those who had joined opposition MPs to stage a walk out during a session meant for adoption of the ‘controversial’ new penal code which included immunity to government Ministers.