The Anglophone crisis is finally getting its fair share at the country’s lower house as parliament speaker Hon. Cavaye Yeye calls for an open debate concerning the once taboo subject-Anglophone crisis.
The veteran Speaker of the house was speaking today Wednesday 19th, 2019 during a plenary session of the house.
The statement from the House Speaker is in itself history as the rubber stamp parliament has failed to discuss the Anglophone crisis, queuing behind government mantra as the crisis worsens.
Creating history by addressing the house for the first time in both official languages of the country today, House Speaker Cavaye called on lawmakers to debate and find long-lasting solutions to a crisis many say the solution now rests far beyond the borders of the national triangle
In a surprise twist of events following an eventful opening session of the house, the house speaker is embracing much-trumpeted dialogue after he has been heavily criticized by fellow opposition MPs for ignoring the crisis which has been debated elsewhere around the globe
Reacting to the call by House speaker in parliament, SDF’s Joshua Osih chastised the house speaker for calling for debate and dialogue almost three years late, saying what the country needs is an inclusive dialogue involving all parties of the conflict and not a parliamentary debate-opening another front of potential verbal confrontation even as SDF boost of limited firepower in their arsenal
The CPDM controlled house has failed to honor its constitutional responsibility of legislative independence from the Executive, opting instead to criticized foreign parliaments for doing their join for them
Most lawmakers have routinely and embarrassingly denied the existence of the Anglophone crisis, blindly support government’s uncoordinated actions which are clearly not enough and largely remained in Yaoundé as their constituencies light up in flames.
For an armed conflict which has been debated in EU, Germany, UK, Canada and other parliaments around the world, Cameroonians have been stunned by the historic silence of their representatives and bewildered by the neglect from their own lawmakers in what is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the country since independence
Issues about the Anglophone crisis have been a lightning rod in the house as MPs prefer to debate whether the issue should be an agenda for parliamentary discourse outside the glass house rather than inside as many continue to die from ravaging gun battles.
In December 2016 during the height of the crisis, SDF’s MP Hon. Wirba made history and defiled house standing orders with a bombshell speech, ignoring raucous calls from CPDM MPs led by their speaker to leave the rostrum as he detailed the crisis and warned of dangers ahead.
His defiance and bravery endeared him in the hearts of many Anglophones and he instantly became a symbol of the revolution.
According to the rights group, thousands have died, leaving more than 500 000 displaced and more than 200 villages razed government figures put those numbers far lower, saying only about 150 000 people have been displaced and are being taken care of.
A parliamentary revival?
Many are welcoming the latest move from the country’s third most powerful man as a parliamentary revival, but if recent activities are a pointer, and then we are far from that.
Faced with mounting international pressure which is drying up much-needed cash in Yaoundé, House Speaker is flexing his muscle where he can, joining the bandwagon of uncoordinated and contested dialogue initiated launched by the country’s premier chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute
Last week, the speaker took aimed at the International community and foreign governments which he says want to destabilize Cameroon, the President of the Senate reiterated the same stance three days later during the opening session of both houses of parliament.
Government critics say Yaoundé is trying to buy time amidst mounting international pressure adding the government has no appetitive to resolve the crisis
For lawmakers who are living well beyond their mandate as another extension looms which might keep them into the office till 20220, the House Speaker doesn’t have so many options to avoid the country’s most urgent and pressing security challenge which is threatening to disintegrate the very foundation of the state whose legislative branch he presides
With deserted villages, daily gun battles, massive unemployment, the rising death toll, and tired population, it might be a matter of time before al government branches realize that there is only one option-genuine and inclusive dialogue with everybody on board.