By Kesah Princely and Regis Che, In Buea
The Head of the University of Buea’s Journalism and Mass Communication Department, Dr. Kingsley Lyonga Ngange says human conflict is inevitable but that the process of deescalation is what Cameroonians should be preoccupied with at the moment.
He made the remarks in an interview with TWIF NEWS from Yaounde, after the launch of a scholarly piece entitled ANGLOPHONE LAWYERS AND TEACHERS STRIKES IN CAMEROON (2016-2017): A Multidimentional Perspective,_on Wednesday August 28.
The Head of Department (HOD) who played a leading role in the writing and editing of the book revealed that, the Anglophone crisis would have been evasive if the lawyers’ and teachers’ sit-ins had been properly handled.
“There is always an opportunity to do things better and that is why we have written so that we will see where we went wrong and in the future be able to correct our mistakes,” he said.
In October and November
2016, Anglophone lawyers and teachers in separate protests, decried what they regarded as government’s plans to completely eradicate the Common Law and Anglo-Saxon system of education.
The disgruntled Anglophone lawyers pressed for the withdrawal of French speaking magistrates from Anglophone courts and the translation of the OHADA Law to English.
The striking teachers for their part, decried the deployment of Francophone teachers in Anglophone schools to teach in English — a language which according to the aggrieved teachers, most of their Francophone colleagues barely had a mastery of.
They called for the redeployment of the French speaking teachers to Francophone schools, and the promotion of technical education in Anglophone Cameroon.
After the lawyers’ and teachers’ sit-ins, some youth of the North West and South West organised their own protests, decrying what they termed “Anglophone marginalisation.” These protests later escalated into an armed conflict that is nearing its third year.
The current status quo, Dr. Kingsley Ngange says, can be averted if the parties involved in the crisis play their roles adequately.
“Those who are propagating hate speeches on social media must stop doing so. People who are preventing students from going to school must stop doing so, and those brutalising people should cease doing it. All of us should in our little quarters, contribute towards resolving the crisis and not further escalate it,” he stressed.
The journalist cum University Don intimated that the choice of the writers of the book was defined by their high accuracy and shrewdness in their respective fields.
He added, “we wanted people who love their country, who want to bring solution to the problem and not people who will keep fanning problems through their writings.”
Mr. Stephen N. Ndode, one of the nine contributors of the publication told TWIF NEWS that it is his responsibility as an academician to contribute solutions to conflicts.
“My taking part in this book is part of the way to contribute to nation building and to document the history of the lawyers’ and teachers’ strikes for future generations,” he intimated.
Meantime, the HOD of JMC, Dr. Kingsley Ngange disclosed that he would be making public two other scholarly works by December 2019.
ANGLOPHONE LAWYERS AND TEACHERS STRIKES IN CAMEROON (2016-2017): A Multidimensional Perspective is a piece jointly written by nine professionals from different fields, including Emeritus Professor Kashim Tala and Dr. Kingsley Ngange, who doubled as editors.
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