Several Francophone opposition political parties that attended the 6th Ordinary Congress of the National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP) on February the 25th, 2017 in Yaoundé have rejected the idea of federalism currently being championed by some Southern Cameroonians including the leadership of the Social Democratic Front, SDF. The parties currently in the government under an obscure organization known as the Presidential Majority made a mockery of the Anglophone problem and echoed their opposition to federalism.
The Secretary General of the Union des Populations du Cameroon (UPC), Basile Louka, opined that there was need for Cameroon to remain united, democratic, decentralized through dialogue. For his part, Henri Hogbe Nlend, Chairman of the General Council of the same party and a former cabinet minister of the Biya regime painted federalism as divisive. He observed that: “We have not fought for Cameroon to be united and to come now and be fighting for it to be disunited.” Both UPC leaders had in the 1990s condemned the modus operandi of the unitary state, when the party’s Secretary General Augustine Federick Kodock singlehandedly dismissed six parliamentarians from the National Assembly and from the party.
The position of the Progressive Movement was also identical to that of the UPC. According to its coordinator, Jean Jacques Ekindi, “the unitary form of government remains the only tool capable of saving Cameroon.” Another speaker was the leader of the Front for the National Salvation of Cameroon (FSNC), Issa Tchiroma Bakary, who also moonlights as Minister of Communication and government spokesman. He failed to state the position of his party but urged “the President of the Republic not to shrink from any difficulty in his search for solutions to the problems threatening Cameroon. The UNDP leader, Maigari Bello Bouba in his speech also pointed out that federalism was not the solution to the problem.
By Rita Akana