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Debate On Federalism Is Obviously Not Taboo –Tchiroma 

Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari

Minister of Communication and Government Spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, says the debate on Federalism is “obviously” not a taboo in Cameroon, given that certain prominent political parties have included it in their programme.

Tchiroma made the statement on Tuesday, October 24 in Yaounde, during a press conference on the latest report of the International Crisis Group on the Anglophone Crisis.

According to the Minister, “these political parties present themselves regularly with their federalist programmes to the various electoral consultations with the results that we all know. Should there be any Cameroonian thinking that the Federal State might be brought back, then, he or she should merely canvass for votes in any election.”

The Minister said the issue of secession should never be discussed, because the country is one and indivisible.

Tchiroma, however rejected the two recent reports of the International Crisis Group dated August 2 and October 19, stating that they are baseless with underground facts and accusations without any relation to reality.

He said the reports are pure gossips, instead of an objective report based on observation and a contradictory analysis of the situation in the two Anglophone Regions.

Instead of publishing a report worthy of its name, the Minister said, the group has rather served the Government with a prejudicial document drafted in defiance of all the applicable canons governing such procedure.

He observed that the group has never paid a visit to the scene of events to discover things for itself, but prefers to draw its sources from fanciful information published in one or two newspapers in France whose reporters have not, at any time, stepped on Cameroon soil since the outbreak of the crisis.

In dismissing what the reports say are superficial measures employed by the Government to solve the problem affecting the two Anglophone Regions, Tchiroma said: “Instead of a human rights NGO, we are dealing here with a veritable destabilisation organisation defending the interests of the secessionist movements veiled with un-confessed interest whose sole dream is to install chaos in our country.

“Our people, be it from the North, South, East or West, Moslems and Christians, Anglophone and Francophones, are united and are mobilised to frustrate the conspiracy made by predators whose aim is to take control of our natural wealth.”

The coalition, including the network of allegedly charitable NGOs, be it Amnesty International, The International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, REDHAC, the Human Rights Network in Central Africa or even Reporters Without Boarders, just to name this few, the Minister stated, is only window dressing.

Asked why Government can’t device another strategy of defending herself each time reports like this comes up, the Government Spokesperson said these reports are baseless and need to be treated at such.

According to most Yaounde city dwellers who spoke to The Post after the conference, they do not know why Government is turning around now to accept that the issue of Federation can be discussed when, in the beginning, it was declared a taboo topic.

Besides, the conflicting reports concerning the September 22 and October 1 events are still gripping the public with many caught in the middle as whether to accept the Government’s version or that of citizens of the Regions affected.

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo