SDF MPs to house speaker – we shall not enter parliament until anglophone crisis is resolved
Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) political party, have told the Speaker of Cameroun’s house of Assembly, Cavaye Yegue Gibril, that they would continue to boycott parliamentary sessions until the Anglophone crisis is resolved. They were speaking, Wednesday November 15 2017, during an audience the speaker granted the 17 SDF members of National Assembly.
According to the head of the SDF parliamentary group, Hon Joseph Banedzem, the SDF party is totally frustrated by the manner with which the government of Cameroon is handling the crisis. He urged the Speaker of the National Assembly to chart a way forward for an effective, inclusive and pacific dialogue between warring factions in the Anglophone crisis.
“For one year now, life in Anglophone Cameroon has been nightmarish, characterised by an undeclared but effective state of emergency which has resulted in the judicial system, the educational system, economic activities and others, grounded to a halt. Law and Order, at the verge of total collapse; the rampant abuse of human rights; people being chased out of their homes to bushes; the number of Anglophone refugees increasing on the neighbouring Federal Republic of Nigeria on a daily basis; the unjustified suspension of internet in these regions; the kidnapping, abduction, and deportation of citizens of these regions to detention centres in Yaounde, Bafoussam, and Douala, to be judged in the French Language, a language they barely understand; the unjustified killings of armless citizens, which has of late degenerated to the killing of members of the security forces in very murky circumstances. This is unacceptable! The population is crying for a way out of this impasse, and voices have called for meaningful and inclusive dialogue, to find a long lasting solution to the problem. The government is applying a military solution to a purely political problem whose existence is now universally acknowledged. In its recklessness, the government has ordered its functionaries and elites, to refer to Anglophone Cameroonians as Terrorists to be killed, dogs to be caged in, and rats to be exterminated…” Hon Joseph Banendzem told the Speaker.
The SDF MPs handed a document containing all their grievances and proposed solutions in English and in French to the Speaker of the National Assembly. They told him, the party will only resume work at the assembly, if the document has been studied and attended to. The document contained the state of the two Anglophone Regions and how things can get back to normal.
On his part, the Speaker of the National Assembly acknowledged the reception of the document, but pleaded with the MPs to return to parliament, so the house will continue deliberating on pertinent things on the country. He assured them that he will carry their information to the highest authority of the land, so urgent solutions can be looked at.
The meeting between the SDF MPs and the House Speaker, came on the heels of repeated pleas by the government to have the opposition party MPs resume session at the Senate and National Assembly, so as to quell in international attention seeking. SDF MPs are yet to reveal when they will resume session at the National Assembly, but from the look of things, they could be back before the November parliamentary session ends in December. Many have criticized the SDF for using the present crisis rocking the two English Speaking regions, for their political aggrandizement. They use boycotts to blindfold the general public, while they go behind the scenes and negotiate their own gains.
Whether they are playing a Cat-and-Mice game or not, time will tell. The general public is observing the situation very keenly and will vomit anyone trying to use the current situation for their selfish reasons.