Virtues of Social Cohesion Reiterated

During his visit to Sangmelima on October 17, 2019, Paul Atanga Nji urged the population to be tolerant with each other and overcome ethnic differences for national interests.

Following the social tension that recently erupted in Sangmelima, Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region, Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji on October 17, 2019 visited the locality preaching the gospel of peace and living together. The Minister equally had a security meeting with administrative officials of the region led by the Governor, met with elite, custodians of culture, commercial biker riders, talked with inhabitants of different regions of origin residing in Sangmalima and visited their market square.

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At every meeting, Paul Atanga Nji highlighted the importance of peace and social cohesion, noting living together is at the centre of the governance strategy of the Head of State. “I bring to you the message of the President of the Republic on living together. After an assessment meeting with the Governor, I have been told calm now reigns. We all need to consolidate peace in our country and should accompany the Head of State in achieving the aspect of living together,” he stated. The Minister cited different occasions during which the Head of State has visited different regions for different activities with the most recent being the visit to the Far North Region to launch his campaign as an example of promoting living together.

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While making reference to the words of Peter Tosh who is quoted to have said no matter where you come from, as long as you are black, you are an African, Minister Atanga Nji said Cameroonians are in their homeland and should be able to feel at ease anywhere they so decide to reside on the national territory. “I came across a man, an origin of the North West Region who has lived in Sangmalima for about 60 years. All his children were born in Sangmalima and he speaks the Bulu native language properly. Another from the West Region has spent more than 20 years here. We cannot separate them because they are our brothers and sisters. We are all one big family,” the Minister encouraged. Minister Atanga Nji urged the population to always use the justice system in situations of misunderstanding because Cameroon is a State of law and not rather resulting to physical or brutal confrontations. He therefore used the opportunity to thank all those who have visited the South Region suing for peaceful coexistence.

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As he visited some 52 shops in the market, Minister Atanga Nji made a stop at every shop that was broken and looted as a result of the social tension, comforting the shop owners and making a symbolic gesture of assistance. To better illustrate the policy of peace, social cohesion, the Minister went to the fuel station with commercial bikers riders of the Noun Division of the West Region and those of Sangmalima, had their bikers filled and paraded together with the words "We are together" printed on flyers. A common meal comprising traditional meals of both regions was shared, with the Minister proposing such meals should be cooked on a three or six-month timeframe, bringing together people of the two regions as well as other regions to commune.

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