Ahead of President Paul Biya’s youth day address yesterday, the Anglophone crisis was expected to be top on the agenda.
After voting in the twin elections yesterday, the Head of State hinted about Regional Elections, noting that they will come up soon. In his speech last evening, President Biya noted that his current seven year mandate will be a very decisive one.
Regarding the decentralisation process, “the Major National Dialogue paved the way for adoption, by Parliament of the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities and a law which guarantees the use of English and French on an equal footing. Without delay, I promulgated these instruments into law,” said the president.
“Therefore, nothing stands in the way of their application any more,” he added. This to him “is indeed a peaceful revolution that meets the aspirations of our fellow citizens to greater participation in the management of local affairs”.
President Biya went on to talk on a range of issues including victories scored by the nation’s athletes on the international scene as well as the employment for youth as a cause for concern. “This difficulty notwithstanding, it is gratifying to know that, according to statistics, slightly over 500,000 jobs were created last year in the modern sector of our economy,” he said.
With regards to those fighting in the bushes in the restive Anglophone regions, “once again, I urge them to come out of the bush and rejoin their other fellow young citizens who are leading normal lives in our society,” he pleaded.
Extending his condolences once more to the family of Tchakounte Boris Kevin, a teacher stabbed to death by his students weeks back, the President called on parents, the clergy and teachers “to prevent, through their teachings, such acts from happening again”.
“I also urge you [youths] to reflect on what has happened, to ponder its gravity and to resolve to never again commit such acts,” he went on.
Sixty years ago – when I was your age, Cameroon gained its independence… It took a lot of effort, but also blood and tears, to get to where we are today. Generations of youth like you devoted their lives for us to get here. We have no reason to be ashamed of what they achieved,” President Biya explained.
“Today, a large majority of Cameroonians can eat their fill, receive health care, enrol in primary and secondary schools and university, and have the right to express themselves and to vote freely,”
he ended, highlighting the need of youths in building the future.
Despite the supposed facilitation of the decentralization process, its implementation remains doubtful as intense fighting still persists in the conflict-stricken zone.
The crisis has left over three thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced in and out of the country.