Biya’s Speech: Many had hoped for more! Some for a resignation! but practically we are in the middle
The President did not go far enough, yet he went a distance he has not gone before.
Firstly this speech addressed specifically the Anglophone Crisis, something we have called for since March 2017.
Secondly, he admitted there was a crisis and for the first time apologized and extended condolences to the people affected.
Thirdly, he even attempted to explain his choices and decisions made, something he never has done in the past.
Fourthly he called for dialogue. While the details will have to follow and necessary good faith he heed to the call.
Fifthly while not admitting he will be obliged to consider pardons as part of this broad based dialogue. He insinuated that those who drop arms will not be persecuted. This still leaves the large number in detention to be addressed.
The President failed in my opinion to admit his own government’s shortcomings. If everything was alright then why the dialogue. He also could at least have extended pardon to the leaders who were extradited from Nigeria so to create a platform for meaningful dialogue.
He also could have made a historical reference to the two Cameroons coming together and that the dialogue will enable Cameroonians to evaluate our progress over the last 50 years and take action to resolve the differences.
While he mentioned rehabilitation, it is imperative that he creates the condition necessary for such rehabilitation. This was not evident in his speech.
Many had hoped for more than this. Some for a resignation but practically we are in the middle. There is an opportunity here, let us make the most of it.