Despite widespread resistance that greeted the bill relating to the promotion of official languages in Cameroon and that on the Decentralization Code aka Special Status, President Biya has passed them into law.
The rubber stamp National Assembly and Senate had clapped both bills into law, with slight voices of dissent from some lawmakers.
Apparently as a Christmas present or provocation for the people of the troubled North West and South West Regions, President Biya promulgated the bills into law on December 24, 2019 – Christmas eve.
Many are those in the English speaking regions who have since 2016 asked for a return to federalism or outright independence.
But with the cosmetic measures being ramped down the throats of the people, it is feared that violence may escalate, given that activists are of the opinion that their views have been ignored.
According to Kemende Henry, lawmaker of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, the bill “if adopted will make nonsense to the much talked recommendation of a special status to be implemented in the North West and South West regions”.
To him, the Cameroon government depositing the bill totally undermines the very reason why common law lawyers began a strike in 2016 that subsequently became the Anglophone crisis that has escalated into an armed conflict.
Senator Mbella Moki Charles of the ruling CPDM party also warned his counterparts on the bilingualism bill, stating that it has the potential to radicalise even those who are moderate.
Despite these and several other warnings including a protest by common law lawyers, the bills were adopted and have finally been promulgated by the head of state.
President Paul Biya it should be recalled had revealed in Paris that attempts to annihilate vestiges of anglophone existence had failed and a special status will now be granted them.