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Despite Gov’t Courting: Teachers Unbendable On November 21 Strike 

By Bouddih Adams

PM Philomon Yang

PM Philomon Yang

Teachers’ trade unions and other education stakeholders have reiterated their resolve on the strike action which begins on Monday, November 21.

Despite the fact that Prime Minister Philemon Yang created a commission to look into the grievances of the teachers and review the Anglophone education subsystem, the teachers trade unions observe that the government is playing pranks with them.

According to them, the seat of such a Commission ought to be either in Bamenda or Buea or any other town in Anglophone Cameroon.

That the Commission is headed by a Francophone, the Minister of Higher Education, Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo, who, they say, is created most of the problems, for instance, his attempt to harmonise the Anglophone university education with Francophone university education at the peril of Anglophones.

In a posting on the net, the Executive Secretary General of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union, CATTU, Tassang Wilfred, said the strike will go as scheduled.

“We hereby call on all to intensify the campaign. Let us sacrifice time, money and energy to make it happen. It would be unfortunate that after such a long advocacy, we fail. Let’s go out with a vengeance.

Let God’s servants condemn these injustices from their pulpits on Sunday. Meet your priests, pastors and prophets for them to continue to keep the Lord God in remembrance concerning this yoke.

Organise prayer sessions, fast and break the fast in communities. This is the season for corporate prayers. There is power in the closet and there is much more power when two or three go down on their knees.”

He quotes Ps 140:11:12; “Liars will not prosper in this land and the Lord shall cause great disaster to fall on the violent. The Lord will help the oppressed and the persecuted. He will give justice to the poor and the weak.”

In another posting by the President of Teachers Association of Cameroon, Tameh Valentine reads: “The Teachers Trade Union leaders have called off their talks in Yaounde, which were billed for 18th day of this month, on the grounds that the treatment meted on lawyers, which, from every indication, was ordered by highly placed Government officials, leaves them with a heightened sense of insecurity.

After all, they are just common teachers, as our society prefers to see them, not power-broking members of the judiciary, like the lawyers, whom the petty Government law enforcers battered without fear and without qualms!

If that could be done to lawyers who were protesting glaring injustices peacefully, then, worse will certainly befall common teachers …

Tameh further observes; “First and foremost, the Prime Ministerial commission, mooted during the 04/01/2016 meeting in MINESUP Yaounde, should have been created long ago. Unfortunately, it was left to hazard till when we started agitating again, which is a clear sign of bad faith.

“We also think that all talks must be in Bamenda, or out of Yaounde, anywhere in the Anglophone zone. We also refuse to have the Minister of Higher Education chair a meeting with issues, many of which he deliberately created and whose resolutions he has fudged many times in the past.

We think that if there must be a meeting, it will be with our parents, legal counsels, religious leaders, and so on.

Also, we think it paramount to assert that there is no particular leader who is focal point, but all six signatories of the PM’s memo/fliers are leaders in equal capacity, this, because, we must take away any heat that might be in the offing from that one person and diffuse it on all of us and also to forestall any attempts at suborning individuals in order to destroy the Anglophone steam.

“The trade unions have opted for a sit-down/stay-away strike, not street demonstrations!!! We know that if we order for street demonstrations, the repressive law and order machinery will bring untold pain, as they have always done, on many a family.

We wish to avoid that for the start; like a diesel engine, we intend to take off slowly and pick up steam gradually.

The strike period should be a period of soberness, a kind of mourning, NOT A TIME FOR US TO GET INVOLVED IN BING DRINKING.

We therefore strongly advocate that we boycott sitting in any or all bars. We may buy and drink at home if the craving gets too strong, but we take the liberty to say “no bar drinking during the period of the strike”.

We hope to stay focused and rational and pray that all comrades should do same.