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Cameroon National Dialogue:Agbor Balla says Form of state must be in discussion

October 3, 2019

Akere Muna storms out of Major National Dialogue

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Agbor says form of start must be part of discussions

Renowned human rights lawyer and the leader of the ban Anglophone civil society consortium has insisted that the form of the state should be discussed at the ongoing Major National Dialogue to bring a long-lasting solution to the crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

The Head of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA was speaking at the Yaounde Conference Centre, during the working session of the Decentralization and local Development Commission.

According to Barrister Agbor Balla, if federalism is not adopted, the debates aimed at seeking lasting solutions to the Anglophone crisis will be fruitless, and the President will have to convene a new dialogue next year.

“We believe in the oneness, and the unity of this country, we believe that Cameroon should be one and indivisible, we equally believe that decentralisation will not solve the problem We have to get to a federation that is the minimum the people who have taken up arms would accept. Bar Agbor Balla said.

Barrister Ballas stance on one and indivisible Cameroon has received a backlash from Ayah Paul. In a Facebook post, Ayah questions who mandated Agbor Balla to represent Southern Cameroonians. He writes: WHO GAVE HIM THE MANDATE?

We are for ONE AND INDIVISIBLE CAMEROUN  the spelling of Cameroun not certified; and the highlights are mine. The barrister is entitled to his opinion: it is his most absolute right. Some other persons think likewise and so firmly hold. But with the difference that many such other persons hold that it should be the end product of legality, the reflection of the will of the people, at the least, in their majority. And that is the RUB!”

When Barrister Agbor Balla says WE, what group of persons is he referring to? Did those persons give him a mandate? What were the terms of the mandate? What is the nature of the mandate? When was the mandate conferred? What is the term of the mandate? How was the mandate conferred? As a lawyer, Mr. Barrister knows, or, at least, is presumed to know what I am talking about! WE AWAIT ANSWERS!

Since the President announced the convening of a Major National Dialogue without exclusion on September 10, 2019, many have been reacting on the need to adjust the form of the State and go in for federalism instead of decentralisation.

Prior to the dialogue, traditional rulers, members of the civil society organizations continue to reiterate the need for 10 decentralized federal states as a means to solve the crisis in the Anglophone Regions.

Akere Muna storms out of Major National Dialogue

The leader of the Now Movement Barrister Akere Muna pulled out of the Major National Dialogue citing his discontent over the way the event is unfolding. Akere Muna said at the end of the first day that he will not be returning to the dialogue table if all political prisoners in jail are not released and if the form of the state is not inserted in the agenda.

Akere Muna

“I was hoping to find a platform where all stakeholders can make their voices heard, where all opinions however divergent would be taken into account so a way out is found at the end of a healthy debate He said while adding that “Unfortunately, the unfolding of the events of the first day of the National Dialogue reveal that everything was carefully staged and produced from a script from which the organizers could not stray.” “Worst still, certain topics such as the form of the state and the situation of political and economic prisoners which are important in the current context, have simply been avoided. From what I saw, I could only suspend my participation in this event as it became painfully clear that they needed spectators, and not participants.

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