“There are no Anglophone in the bushes” – Paul Tasong [video]

The head of the commission for the reconstruction of the North West and South West regions, Paul Tasong says there is nobody hiding in the bush in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. According to Paul Tasong, everyone living in the restive regions are still in their homes including Ambazonians, fighting for an independent state of the Central African nation’s English-speaking communities.

Talking on Equinoxe Television’s pidgin news debate this Saturday, Paul Tasong said he is very much aware of the realities on the ground, having hailed from the English-speaking part of Cameroon.

Among other issues he also addressed military brutality stating that the Ngarbuh massacre was an isolated incident. He categorically said soldiers do not harm civilians but are in the regions to protect them.

But the Chairman of Reconstruction Plan for the North West and South West is confident that, “whether there are gunshots or not, reconstruction must go on”.

He insisted that nothing will stand in the way of the reconstruction plan no matter how rocky the atmosphere is. The project set up by president Paul Biya of Cameroon has received criticisms from political observers who describe it as one of government’s white elephant projects. Cameroonians especially the Anglophones have been quick to condemn a reconstruction plan amid an ongoing war.

Many persons, as well as organisations both nationally and internationally, have criticised the government for seeking to reconstruct a region which is in an active conflict situation. Some took to Twitter to enumerate the number of commissions that have already failed, raising the question of whether this is just another, in a long list.

The chairman for the reconstruction plan was very defiant of the threats posed by the crisis to the successful execution of the presidential reconstruction plan.

“People think we cannot build in the midst of war” he stated, “What they want is an inclusive dialogue. But it doesn’t mean we cannot be dialoguing at the same time while reconstructing because the suffering incurred by the people of North West and South West has been unbearable. So whether there are gunshots or no gunshots, we are going to embark on our reconstruction plan. But the ideal thing will be for us to begin work in peace”.

Minister Paul Tassong revealed during the interview that three stakeholders are going to be considered in the reconstruction plan of the Head of states. The government will be the chief beneficiary of the reconstruction plan. Government institutions such as schools, government hospitals and others will be reconstructed amongst others. Other beneficiaries of the reconstruction will be some non-state institutions such as churches and then finally other individual beneficiaries. Paul Tassong is even more unconcerned about the present situation in the North West and South West Region as he feels the president’s plan will be a possible solution.

“The ultimate objective of the reconstruction plan according to the head of state is for peace to be attainable as soon as possible” he claimed.

“One of the biggest challenges of the reconstruction plan rather is for us strategize how to accompany the local chiefs and Fons to go back to their areas to help us in the reconstruction” the chairman said, clearly pointing out the more complicated issue was not the frequent gun battles according to him.

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