The hotted debate on Press hour this sunday started with the women’s day celebration that took place last Wednesday 8th March under the topic, what are they up to? The second part dealt entirely on the Anglophone crisis; The PM’s visit to the North West and resumption of schools. Invited as panelists, we have The Journalist Matute Menyelo, Tehwi Lambiv of CRTV, Hon. Naamukong Fusi MP Bafut and The Chairman of the GCE board Prof Peter Alange Abety.
The moderator Joe K started by saying that the women’s day is gradually taking up like a national holiday which is rather an International Day as the speakers could be heard challenging women to use this day more for education than celebration; that creating awareness on the plight of the women and fight for their rights was more important than parading the streets , drinking and partying till dawn. Prof Abety saw nothing wrong in celebrating citing that a lot of progress has been done. A compromise was arrived at giving the female (girl child) maximum education. some were of the thought that celebrations come with achievements and one could not see what the Cameroon women had achieved for the past 30 years and therefore more could be done to elevate the their plight. This debate took place without a lady taking part and talking on their behalf. Joe did acknowledge his attempts to get some in vain.
The second part of the debate was hitted and more on the Anglophone crisis taking cognissance with the visit of the Prime Minister Yang Philemon in the North West region for a 5 day session in 7 Divisions.
Joe started by stating that it was worrysome talking agin about schools resuming or effectively started agin despite that this had come up as many times as God alone can count yet a stumling block and big wall despite the PM’s visit.
Prof Abety took the floor stating that parents and teachers in the first place never wanted to keep the children at home from schools as he felts lots of concerns had been addressed and the trade union leaders had called off the strike. He went ahead to reiterate that as the GCE Board chair, he would go ahead to Organize the Exams despite the registration has witnessed more than 100,000 participants as compared to last.
His reason as he advanced was that not only students register for the GCE and that civil servants, and other groups of people do register for the exams to improve upon their grades or want to get promotion through those exams and that last year witnessed about 21,000 external candidates and such candidates could go ahead to sue them for not Organizing the Exams.
Hon. Fusi accused the Government for having the solution and yet refusing to provide and bring the crisis down to rest. He said we could not live in a country where people will cry for bread but yet be attacked, beaten, killed and arrested to unknown destinations. He said he could provide for evidences anytime and anyday and that children are living in the fear that they can not even go out to buy bread, how more can they go to school with such insecurity.
Tehwi Lambiv disagreed with the point raised by Prof. Abety to keep the chidlren out of the crisis to study while other issues are looked into. He said Education could not be isolated and that since Education is a basic human right, a secured and condusive atmosphere need to be provided for such and that this is not the case yet. He added that Goverment pushed people to exhaution with the hope that they will get tired and retire to nomalcy and give up. “You do not let people go into a coma before you begin treatment, preventive measures have to be taken.”Lambiv said.
Hon. Fusi when asked on the way forward questioned how many lives have been replaced, he insisted that people should be released, internet released, stop the arrests, withdraw the Military and most importantly that the government should read the documents from the Bishops and clergy and see what can be done. Last but not the least he requested for a 3rd party be it the Canadian Ambassador, British etc into a forum for dialogue and that once these people are brought together, good reflections will take place for principles and deadlines respected.
Lambiv said no teacher with a conscience will come to class when his or her colleague is in jail. Buea students and other university students will need the internet to do their research and students arrested will make others studying uncomfortable.
Matute cooncluded by requesting the father of the Nation President Biya to intervene and bring a solution himself. They stated that if the family has a problem, he can not let the first son to handle it, He can delegate powers of course but when they fail as is the case, he has the sole right to do something. “If the PM can spend 5 days in the North west and we still doubt the solution, then only the Big man can solve it himself”.
Shey Tatah Sevidzem