In Dire Need For Peace, PM Emphasizes on Special Status

The PM speaking in Bamenda

Likened to Joseph in the Bible by a few, the PM according to so many has been described as someone who is solution oriented and remains open to all options that will bring back peace and calm to the Northwest and Southwest regions.

Delving into the details of the PM's Peace Mission to the Northwest region on high instructions from the Head of State, His Excellency President Paul Biya, the PM visited the NWR amidst the ongoing armed conflict, to see for himself the implementation of the Major National Dialogue. A process that has been described as "Slowly but Surely".

The PM during his visit, spent few days talking to key persons, stakeholders who represent the grassroot population. Recieved warmly by Elites of the NW and did not relent effort in asking them to shun fear, stay back and fix the situation with their people as a family.

Government has confirmed that there is need to have continues talks, directly and indirectly, with all the separatist leaders at home and abroad, all in efforts for Peace to be achieved and encourage ideas that will bring development to conflict hit regions and the country as a whole.

The PM's peace mission to Bamenda, August 5, 2021, stirred some level confidence amidst elites of the Northwest region, including a cross section of the local population that answered present, because the PM did his best to explain the content of the Special Status that is already in process.

The Major National Dialogue was held in Cameroon from September 29th to October 4th 2021 to lay to rest grievances of the teachers and lawyers and other syndicates. Two years on since the convening of the National Dialogue, about 80% of the resolutions of the Dialogue has been complete.

Two years on, the government has done more than 80% of what was initially raised, accorded a special status to the North West and South West regions, with a bicameral nature that is not enjoyed by the other 8 regions.

Major National Dialogue proposed the creation of a special status for the North West and South West regions. This was adopted and inserted in Law No 2019/024 of the 24th December 2019 to institute the General code of Regional and local authorities.

To further ensure that the over centralization of power becomes a thing of the past, the law gives room for 15% of the state budget to be devolved to the regions.

To guarantee that alot is no longer centralized, the government went forward to create a school for training of local administrators who will hence assist in the delivery of council activities known as NASLA- National school of Local Administration based in Buea.

On several occasions, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute has made a clarion call for those fighting to leave the bushes and visit the Disarmament, Demobilisation and rearmament centres created since 2018.

The people must know that in the process of acquiring reforms, the process must be gradual and respect of state institutions. Reason why there exist commissions that will ensure that the Special Status is enjoyed by the masses and ammends will be made where need be.

The PM being open minded, down to earth and willing to listen to the masses, has asked the local population to take advantage of the Special Status so that their impact is felt, while embracing peace.

PM's visit to follow-up implementation of the Resolutions of the Major National Dialogue gave him an opportunity to reveal that work on the much-talked about Bamenda-Babadjou road and the ring around Bamenda city, is beginning in earnest in the weeks ahead with the World Bank finally giving its clearance.

The construction of the said road, he explained may not be the point of focus but the Special Status that is already in process. He called on the local population to collaborate and give in their best while enjoying the fruits of the Special Status which is the opposite of a centralized system.

The Special Status gives room for Northwest and Southwesteners to identify themselves through their culture, make their own decisions and tailor self voted budgets to suit their needs and interest. It is the direct opposite of what use to obtain; a centralized system, where people will always run to Yaoundé to follow up on files.

The Prime Minister continues urged that Northwest region regain back their independence, nobility, dignity and elegance from separatist leaders who are unscrupulously exploiting them, depriving their children of education, and inciting them to undermine republican institutions.

He took time off to remind journalists that as constitutional law professor, he never doubted the fact that laws are dynamic and that is why there's still room for improvement on the Special Status content that could even beat the much talk about federation.

Memories of the Prime Minister's visit to the Northwest region still lingers in the mind of the population who were trapped to observe ghost days at the time, yet have been tasked to synergize for the much talk about Peace to return.

By Ndefru Melanie


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