17, January 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last week, the Consortium called for a Ghost Town to protest against the continuous militarization of our towns, police provocation and brutality – shooting and arrest of citizens – even as the negotiations were going on. This call has been respected throughout the NW and SW Regions. West Cameroonians are a peaceful people and must remain so.
However, some pictures of people exacting violence on school children in Limbe have shocked the Consortium. These pictures remind us of what happened in Bamenda a month ago. Let it be clear that the Consortium unreservedly condemns violence in all its forms and aspires to a society where respect for human personality and property will reign supreme. We strongly urge all our people to remain decent, and to show greater self-discipline. We must undo violence from our cultural make up, and beware of infiltrations and people who are sent to incite violence so as to justify a crackdown. Nevertheless, we encourage parents to keep their children at home when there is a call to strike.
We call on Government to clear our streets of all armed uniform men. We also demand that all those arrested, abducted or kidnapped in Bamenda, Mutengene, Buea, Kumba and Mamfe, including teachers who expressed strong views about the current situation of the country should be released forthwith.
Concerning the work the Teachers’ Union did in the Teachers’ Ad hoc Committee, we expect them to present it to the public and educate the masses about its contents before an agreement is finalized. We are consulting with them and will ensure that the outcome is satisfactory to our people.
We therefore decry all attempts by the Chairperson of that Committee to manipulate the process and to exacerbate tensions at a time when everyone is looking forward to a sustainable solution. In the same vein, we urge the community – parents, students and other stakeholders – to be patient and wait for the Teachers’ Unions to suspend the strike when the process has come to a logical end. But this can only be after the community has been properly informed about the resolutions arrived at, and guarantees provided that past abuses will not be repeated.
Our hope for this beautiful country is that we and our brothers East of the Mungo can cohabit peacefully, and that every child will have equal opportunity to rise to greatness through hard work. We pray for a country where our origin will no longer limit us.
God is our strength.
For the CONSORTIUM
Barr. Nkongho Felix A. Dr. Fontem A. Neba