‘My Trip To Buea’ Is A Pipe Dream And A Fallacy – PM Dion Ngute

PM other government members, religious clerics and others pose for a family picture

By Yerima Kini Nsom

The Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, has pooh-poohed the agenda of the separatists dubbed, “My trip to Buea”, as a pipe dream and a fallacy that has only helped to inflict pain and suffering on the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

He remarked while presenting a balance sheet of the achievements of the Major National Dialogue, MND, which are inherent in the implementation of some of the recommendations that sanctioned the confab in 2019. He enumerated the achievements during the 4th session of the committee to follow up on the recommendations of the MND, which took place at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaounde on Thursday, August 4.

While calling on separatist fighters to take advantage of the olive branch President Paul Biya has extended to them, he said it was incumbent on them to drop their guns because “My trip to Buea” remains a pipe dream and a fallacy.

Going by him, it is under the “My trip to Buea” campaign that separatist fighters, including hardened criminals, have been turning the heat on the civilian population by torturing people and kidnapping them for ransom.

He called on those who are bankrolling and stocking the embers of the crisis to desist from unpatriotic practices to give the people of the two regions a chance for peace.

Harping on the gains of the MND, Dion Ngute, who is also Chair of the Committee, cited the enactment of the law on the General Code on Regional and Local Authorities, which carries the Special Status for the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

He equally cited the creation of Regional Assemblies, the appointment of the Public Independent Conciliators of the two Regions, and the granting of Amnesty to ex-fighters by the President of the Republic as achievements that have militated significantly for a return to peace.

The Prime Minister highlighted the strides of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the Northwest and Southwest Regions and the Disarmament and Rehabilitation Centre as well as the National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPBM’s onslaught against hate speech as measures government has taken to ensure a return to peace.

The dividend of such achievements, the Prime Minister went on, is evident in what he qualified as a gradual return to normalcy in the two crisis-ravaged regions. He said the people in many areas of the two regions were now going about freely with their normal activities, as they have learnt to denounce acts of violence by separatist fighters.

He said the progress made in the return to normalcy in the two regions is quite telling in the increase of economic activities, following a swell in the various production units of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, and the PAMOL Plantations.

He added that the Ndawara Tea Estate now functions without any problem, while trans-border trade is rising due to the free movement of goods and persons, except where the road network is poor.

Still, within this context, Dion Ngute said President Biya has instructed the Military Engineering Corps to construct the Kumba-Ekondo-Titi road, whose construction was disrupted. In the same vein, he said the Babadjou-Bamenda construction contract was awarded to a local company that is doing the job very well.

The Prime Minister used the increase in school enrolment to drive home the claim that the Anglophone Crisis is dying down. He equally claimed that the increase of fresh vegetables and fruits from farmers of the two regions, the resumption of socio-cultural activities such as the enthronement of the Fon of Mankon, the Paramount Rulers of Buea and Limbe and the holding of the Southwest Chiefs Conference are indicators of a gradual return to peace and normalcy in the two regions.

Such events, the Prime Minister said, represent the fact that the population has been collaborating with the authorities to stem the tides of separatist-generated violence. While assessing the overall situation, he drew inspiration from Shakespeare’s Macbeth by saying: “We have scorched the snake, but we have not killed it”.

This means that the journey to a return to normalcy and peace in the two regions is still very long. It was at the backdrop of this situation that he called on those who are making economic gains from the crisis to desist from such ‘devilish’ practices.

He called on separatist fighters to take advantage of the olive branch President Paul Biya has extended to them by coming out of the bushes and dropping their weapons.

The 4th session of the Committee to follow up on the implementations of the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue came on the heels of the first, second and third that took place in Yaounde, Bamenda and Buea, respectively. Some Cameroonians from the Diaspora attended last Thursday’s meeting that took almost a whole day at the Prime Minister’s office.

One of them, Paddy Asanga, who came in from Germany, called on President Biya to grant general amnesty to separatist leaders abroad so they can come home freely for a frank and inclusive dialogue.  Many stakeholders, including the President of the Northwest and Southwest Regional Assemblies, the clergy and members of the government attended the meeting.

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