Prof. James Arrey Abangma, President of the National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education (SYNES) University of Buea Chapter has regretted that the ‘Major National Dialogue’ announced by President Paul Biya last Tuesday will drown the voices of Anglophones.
The Head of the Department of Political Science and Comparative Politics at the University of Buea says everyone was expecting that at last the Anglophone Crisis will be addressed and there will be the drive to seek solutions but wonders why the dialogue has been expanded to involve the entire country and not only the aggrieved Anglophones.
His words: “What I have seen is characteristic of whatever is been done in the country. I will take you backward. When the people wanted Mayors to take charge of councils, they imposed Government Delegates. When we went for the Ad-hoc Committee meeting to address the grievances of Anglophone teachers, we wanted a number of teachers to be recruited from Anglophone regions to address the shortage of Anglophones in professional schools.
“They ended by saying that Bilingual teachers will be recruited. It watered down the whole issue. I don’t see how a crisis in the North West and South West will be addressed in the interest of Anglophones by the whole country, in a national dialogue. If there is need for a national dialogue to address other inadequacies of the whole country, it welcomed.
“What the President said can be likened to asking the whole country whether Anglophones like something or not. You dilute the whole point. So calling for a national Dialogue dilutes the whole point because people from other Regions will come there with ideas that have been injected into them, to suppress every other point that will be raised by Anglophones.
“In a national dialogue, how can you be thinking of armed groups? I feel that they would have organised two dialogues, one that is specific for the Anglophone crisis and one that is national. The one on the Anglophone crisis should have limited participants to the two Anglophone regions.
“When they talk about involving the Diaspora, there is Anglophone Diaspora and Francophone Diaspora. They will swell the Francophone Diaspora and everything will be watered down. That is the way I see it. The country is not ready for a solution.”