Monday, 27 March 2017

Biya’s Technical Advisor Backs Federalism, Calls Recent Events in English speaking regions of Cameroon “Blessing in Disguise”

As the current conflict in Anglophone Cameroon deepens more and more persons are coming out to access the situation and propose a way forward. 

The latest of such publications is signed by Biya’s Technical Advisor, Christian Penda Ekoka who calls the recent events in Buea and Bamenda are a “blessing in disguise.”

In a 7 page document published recently, Christian Penda Ekoka claims the recent strike action in the Anglophone Cameroons is more of a blessing than a curse. This is how he puts it: “We should seize the recent events in Bamenda and Buea as a “blessing in disguise”, as an opportunity to re-assess our State’s performance, with the aim of building a time-proof effective institutional public affairs’ infrastructure.”

In a bid to reach the targeted population, Penda Ekoka, who is a Francophone from Littoral region published his write up in English and according to him Federalism is the best form of government, tested and proven in countries like USA, Canada, Germany, Australia and several other countries. He even went further to challenge all those who say Federalism would destroy the “unity” of Cameroon. In his own words:

Federalism does not mean Anglophone or secession. It is a form of state organization, and it is a way of public governance, which has proved its effectiveness as a development accelerator in several countries including USA, Canada, Germany, Australia and several other countries. Let us not confuse people’s mind, federalism does not challenge or question the founding fathers’ pledge of ‘Unity in diversity”, on the contrary the prevailing highly centralized government does, as attested by its dangerous resulting consequences.

He challenged those who argue that any claim that is against the constitution cannot be entertained. To him, there is no static constitution in the world, and every constitution must represent the aspirations of the people. This is how he puts it, “Constitutions are not inscribed on stones; the only permanent thing in this world is constant global changes, which continuously challenge our pattern of life, and it may compel a country to adapt its organization for the betterment of its citizens.” He as well advised public authorities to embrace federalism before things get out of hand because the growing trend in the world in the past 30 years has been that of secession. Over the last 30 years, our world has witnessed the cases of former Soviet Union, Germany, Sene-Gambia, Brexit…Many countries are currently under similar pressure including UK. Anticipation and pro-activeness is the best guide to avoid brutal and undesired consequences akin to these patterns of evolution, he warned.
Penda Ekoka also addressed the situation of some jailed Anglophone leaders including Ayah Paul and says by jailing such persons because they expressed a contrary opinion, the state has instead become the terrorist. He beckoned government authorities not to invoke “law and order” as a solution but engaged “responsible and constructive dialogue, underpinned by good faith and open mind of the parties involved, in search of consensually and mutually agreed – and not imposed –solutions.”

He also visited the general state of Cameroon and concluded that it was built on shaky foundations and has not benefited from good leadership. Ekoka define the current situation as “our moment of utterance and reckoning.”
Christian Penda Ekoka, Biya’s Technical Adviser
Penda Ekoka is one of the rare Francophones not to take the side of government functionaries who either deny that there is any problem or failed to engage in frank dialogue and would prefer the use of force. Other courageous Francophones who have spoken out frankly on this matter include former Governor David Abouem à Tchoyi and Martin Oyono, MP for South Region. Christian Penda Ekoka is an international consultant in Economy and Development and since 2010 has also been serving as Biya’s Technical Advisor.

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