Cameroon: Situation in NW/SW - Dialogue Efforts Stepped Up

Photo: UNHCR
Cameroonian refugees arriving in Cross River State (file photo).

Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute ended his maiden working visit to the North West region on May 12, 2019 after communing with the population

Curtains dropped on the fourday working visit of Prime Minister Chief Joseph Dion Ngute to the North West region on May 12, 2019 with what many believe is a new and hopeful style in doing government business. It is all about his down-to-earth approach to change the dynamics in efforts to help normalcy return to the North West and South West regions following ongoing socio-political and security upheavals.

On the Streets, Markets

Away from formal audiences and working sessions with community leaders, Prime Minister Dion Ngute took President Biya's message of hope and peace to the streets and neighbourhoods of the Nkwen municipal market and Commercial Avenue. In the language of the ordinary man (pidgin), he told traders about Biya's preparedness to dialogue with the people of goodwill for the advancement of a united and prosperous nation. It was a rare moment when inhabitants rushed to listen to the Prime Minister speak their language, register and share their concerns of poverty and insecurity and walk their neighbourhoods.

P.M. In University

Over at the University of Bamenda in Bambili, the Prime Minister, Head of Government communed with administrative and academic staff, as well as student Union leaders at their ultramodern University restaurant. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Nkuo Akenji Theresse presented the twelve schools and Faculties of the University of the future, the heights and depths of the University and especially, recent speed brakes in the teaching and learning process blamed on insecurity with threats, ghost town calls, killings and kidnappings. Chief Dion Ngute featured President Biya's message of hope and encouraged the University community to focus on peace building to help matters in their teaching and learning process.

Audiences/Working Sessions That Speak

Back in metropolitan Bamenda, the long list of audiences featured community leaders, political/traditional and religious leaders, economic operators, commercial motorcycle riders, trade union leaders, buyam selams, elected officials, teacher trade unions, parent teacher associations, youth groups, administrative and security officers, elite etc. After the in-camera sessions, the Prime Minster told the press that virtually all the groups received condemned the ongoing crisis with a quick return to normalcy expressed. The P.M said the effective resumption of schools in the North West and South West regions featured top on the agenda of most groups. He urged religious and traditional rulers to lead peace building and reconciliation efforts and encourage and embrace fighters in the bushes who drop their guns and return to normal life that pays with the government as the comprehensive insurance for their future.

Also received were youth groups, among who were the Managers of Yong Sports Academy (YOSA fc), PWD Bamenda and Bang Bullet football clubs. A team of opposition SDF political party members led by National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, as well as a UDP team led by Chairman and Presidential Majority Spokesman, El Hadj Lawan Bako and another CPP team led by Prof Tita Samuel Fon were all received by the Prime Minister, Head of Government. Land Transport trade union leaders led by Pius Ndi were equally consulted among many others. His Majesty, the Fon of Mankon's palace welcomed H.E, Chief Dion Ngute on May 12, 2019. It was also a moment for traditional diplomacy where he communed with His Majesty Fon Angwafor standing solidly by the nation.

Ex-Combatants, Injured Defence Forces Encouraged

Away from the audiences, P.M, Chief Dion Ngute went cheering some fighters or Ex-Combatants who have left the bushes and are in the reintegration process for normal life at the Bamenda-based NDDR Center. It was a day for them when the P.M announced government's preparedness to have the sun shine on them. They featured song, dance and gifts for the Head of State and requested the P.M to turn full circle for most fighters to leave the bushes where life is not the best.

Media In The Focus

Pressmen and women in the North West region acknowledged that in recent times, they have hardly received any attention better than what featured during the maiden visit of P.M, Dion Ngute to the region. In effect, the entire communications family was received in audience where they were encouraged to play a front role as key stakeholders in President Biya's peace efforts. The P.M urged press men to rise to expectation and disseminate the government's message of hope and the goodness of education in the conviction that education is the only requirement to fight marginalization and injustices, and the fact that violence obstructs meaningful consultations and does not fall within standards of nation building in the 21st century. He took time off to answer questions and clarify some public concerns raised by pressmen and women.

In all, the Prime Minister summed up the visit as very positive when he told the press, " I retire to Yaounde very positive about my working visit to the North West region. I was extremely well received by the population. In terms of substance, every group I received in audience, expressed a strong condemnation of the crisis and wished things quickly return to normal. It is a strong indication that the crisis will soon come to an end. President Paul Biya is bending over and spends about 70 per cent of his time working for the end of the crisis. He has virtually granted an amnesty to the boys fighting in the bushes with the creation of the NDDR and opportunities for those who will drop their guns"

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