Harmonious Living Together : Manifold Recommendations Of Major National Dialogue

While chairing the closing ceremony on October 4, 2019, PM Dion Ngute said he will report back to the Head of State, architect of the inclusive talk, who will take the final decision.

Curtains have finally dropped on five days of deep, inclusive and sometimes passionate brainstorming on possible ways of taking the North West and South West Regions out of dreadful security challenges which have haunted the two English-speaking parts of the country for over three years now. What could be done to ensure a harmonious living together for sons and daughters of the country from the North to the South and East to West was equally discussed with wide-ranging proposals to be forwarded to the Head of State, guarantor of the constitution.

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As the over 600 participants to the Yaounde September 30 October 4, 2019 Major National Dialogue retire to the respective areas of residence, they, like the rest of the compatriots and the world at large, are no doubt awaiting with anxiety to see what is made of the recommendations. 

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Special Status For NW, SW Regions!

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Among the myriad of recommendations from the Yaounde conclave is the wish to endow the North West and South West Regions with a Special Status in line with Section 62/2 of the country’s Constitution which specifies that the law may take into consideration the specificities of certain Regions with regards to their organisation and functioning. If such is given consideration, then special legal and administrative instruments will be put in place to define the content and functioning of the Special Status. Given that Decentralisation was one among the eight Committees in which there was heated debate, the dialogue members proposed the effective putting in place of Regions as soon as possible. They equally prayed the powers that be to disburse special allocations to each of the councils in the North West and South West Regions to facilitate the effective resumption of certain agglomerations. Suppressing provisions for the appointment of Government Delegates provided for within the Special Regime applicable to certain agglomerations as well as a substantial reduction of the powers of the supervisory authority have equally been tabled for consideration by the President of the Republic. 

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It was also agreed that government should provide resettlement and reintegration kits to refugees and internally displaced persons and to take necessary measures towards granting general amnesty to foster their return. The participants equally enjoined government to carry out a physical headcount of all displaced persons and come up with an estimate of their basic socio-economic needs comprising among others; schools, health facilities, accommodation.

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Ensuring Mutually-beneficial Co-habitation 

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According to the final report presented by the General Rapporteur of the Major National Dialogue, Felix Mbayu, who is also Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, the decision to come together and form a new nation was a single event in Cameron’s history which citizens should be most proud of. “Unlike the previous other developments in the Constitution of our nation, this one was not decided by the foreign powers, but by us Cameroonians,” he said.  Reason why Cameroonians need to remain faithful to their initial intent to make the country’s bilingual and bicultural heritage be of equal status instead of presenting it as an obstacle to sustainable socio-economic development. 

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For this to be a non-debatable truism, the National Dialogue suggested among others that all must be done to enroot cultural diversity through a strict implementation of regional balance and equitable access for public service and security forces. Government also needs to develop and codify principles on social dialogue, social cohesion and living together. 

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What Next After the Dialogue?

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In his closing speech, the Chairperson of the Major National Dialogue, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said he will report faithfully to the Head of State, designer of the conclave. He said while the recommendations can only be implemented in the climate of peace which all and sundry must strive to attain, Dr Dion Ngute said the doors are still opened for proposals. “A return to normalcy is a matter for all and for each Cameroonian,” the PM said. 

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Remarkable about the closing ceremony was the gesture of the Diaspora who chipped in spontaneous contribution amounting to over FCFA 2.7 million for development, pledging to continue and insisting that the Diaspora is not only made up of people who use the social media to castigate all peace initiatives but also of citizens who wish to see the country better developed. 

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Some 23 ex-fighters who dropped the gun and sued for peace were also presented. These add to the five and 13 others who presented themselves in course of the dialogue.  The Prime Minister said special measures will be taken, within existing institutions, to ensure their security and socio-economic reintegration into normal life. 

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