Peace Crusade In NW, SW: Local Newspapers Hail Dialogue Efforts
The newspapers of English-expression in Cameroon have not only been reporting on the move but also more importantly open their respective issues these days with the articles
In an unprecedented unison, English Language newspapers in Cameroon have taken up the reporting and analyses of Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute’s peace and dialogue crusade to the North West and South West Regions as their priorities. The Prime Minister was in Bamenda for the North West lap of the broad-based consultations aimed at ensuring a return to normalcy in the restive two English-speaking regions of the country from May 9-12, 2019. He embarked on the South West phase of the visit on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 to convey President Paul Biya’s message of peace and hope, while calling on all stakeholders to work together for the return to peace and security in the two regions.
Press organs have developed much interest in the peace and dialogue crusade with the main local English Language tabloids taking a leading position. The newspapers have varied ways of reporting and analyzing the peace move by the government with convergence on embracing the effort and also moving local stakeholders and Cameroon’s partners to join efforts for lasting peace to return to the North West and South West Regions where proponents of secession have through various acts of violence turned the regions asunder.
The Guardian Post
The leading newspaper and the lone English Language daily in Cameroon, The Guardian Post has taken keen interest in the visits. On Monday, May 13, 2019 issue of the newspaper, the Prime Minister’s visit to Bamenda was the opening article. In the article entitled, “Efforts to resolve Anglophone crisis: PM Dion Ngute charms Bamenda public with down-to-earth approach”, the newspapers reported on the various stages of the visit. The newspaper in the article published on page three quoted the Prime Minister abundantly as he conveyed the Head of State’s message. It also quoted the highly appreciative local leaders consulted and the Bamenda population who expressed happiness with Dion Ngute’s style and simplicity. The Guardian Post also opened Tuesday, May 14, 2019 issue with the main headline entitled, “Peace Mission: After winning hearts in Bamenda, PM Dion Ngute begins SW trip today.”
One of the oldest newspapers of English-expression in Cameroon, The Post took keen interest in the peace crusade. The newspaper in the opening front page picture of its Monday, 13, 2019 issue showed North West elite receiving Prime Minister Dion Ngute. In another front page headline, it described the circumstances ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the South West Region and entitled its third front page headline, “ Biya, separatists set opposing conditions for dialogue.” The main article in page three of the newspaper focused on the audiences and visits the Prime Minister had in Bamenda,. The major highlights were the lunch the Prime Minister had at the residence of the leading opposition, Social Democratic Front (SDF) National Chairman, John Fru Ndi, the four pre-requisites the SDF handed to him on how to come out of the crisis. The Prime Minister assured everyone of President Paul Biya’s readiness to talk on all issues except secession.
The Eden newspaper had the following title for its main front page article of the May 14, 2019 issue, “Triumphant entry into embattled Anglophone Regions: PM Woos Population With impressive style.” With a telling picture of the Prime Minister walking in Bamenda with a peace plant. The newspaper gave a detailed coverage of the event in four pages.
The Sun newspaper on its part also opens its Monday, May 13, 2019 issue with the article on Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute’s visit to Bamenda. The opening headline was, “Dion Ngute says Biya now ready to dialogue.” Highlights in the report concern the four pre-requisites the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) set for genuine dialogue and the pur ported memo the PM received from secessionist fighters “Amba boys”. The bilingual biweekly newspaper, LeGideon in its May 13, 2019 issue had the main article on the Prime Minister visit to Bamenda. It was entitled, “ Anglophone crisis: PM unveils Biya’s peace plan in NW,SW visit. The plan, the newspaper stated is President Paul Biya’s package geared towards resolving the Anglophone crisis rocking the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
The Voice newspaper in its second front page headline of last Monday’s issue wrote, “ 3rd Year of Bloody Conflict: Sweet talking PM on Ground Zero.” In the article cir cumstances of the mission were described. It highlighted the Prime Minister’s declaration that genuine dialogue was on the way with the only taboo topic being secession.
The Median newspaper on its part went ahead to announce Prime Minister Dion Ngute’s visit to the South West Region. The May 14, 2019 issue of the newspaper had the opening front page headline, “Home Coming of a home boy: Triumphal procession to usher Dion Ngute into SW Region”. The paper announced that the Prime Minister will be coming to commune with the populations of Limbe and Kumba and also published the full programme of the visit.