By Mua Patrick, January 19, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, has summarily apologized for earlier stating that “there isn’t an Anglophone problem” in Cameroon.
The government spokesperson, who had made the statement along with some four other government ministers in Yaounde that the issue of marginalisation being raised by Anglophones is not real because other Regions of the country face similar problems, said Tuesday at a press conference that there is indeed an Anglophone problem.
Though Tchiroma who is also National Chairman of the National Salvation Front, an opposition political party that pays allegiance to the Biya regime, would not entirely accept that Anglophones have suffered marginalisation since joining French-speaking Cameroon after a UN organised plebiscite. He, however, admitted that worries by Anglophones about the non-respect of English as one of the official languages in most government business, remain genuine.
“Allow me to let you know one thing; there is a problem of language especially when it comes to translating because we have many documents which are written in one language while the constitution makes it mandatory to have all official documents published in both languages.”
“Allow me to say that I am sorry, I might be wrong in my assessment of the situation,” he added, responding to a question from The Post Newspaper’s Yerima Kini Nsom on whether he (Tchiroma) maintained his earlier stand nothing existed as an Anglophone problem.
Earlier, in his preliminary statement, Tchiroma had said the idea of Federalism which is being pushed by a vast majority of Anglophones is non– negotiable.
He said the Head of State in his end-of-year address to the nation had affirmed without any ambiguity that the unitary form of the state is intangible and Cameroon is one and indivisible and shall so remain.
He was blunt that “there will therefore be neither Federalism nor secession.”
Whoever goes off this track, the communication boss said, has “deliberately chosen to be at the margins of the nation.”
“Those people, I mean those who, of recent, appeared to us as legitimate bearers of claims in relation with their various corporations, but who today have unveiled themselves as diehards of protest, driven by political motives and having chosen terror and violence as vectors of their struggle – those people, as I was saying, must know that the North West and South West Regions are an integral part of the nation as a whole, and that anything that is of interest to our compatriots who are native of these Regions or those who are living there are of interest to the entire nation.”
He said the government condemns in strongest terms the ideologies of sedition, forfeiture and division promoted by individuals whom he described as “extremists.”
“These troublemakers will be held liable for their acts when time comes, as well as those who, through intermediary media, especially through social networks, spread terror and utter death threats to anyone who dares to defy their injunctions to the boycott of the education of young people and the organization of ghost towns” he added.