“Profound Demonstration Of President’s Political Will”

Peter Sakwe Masumbe, Senior lecturer in Public Policy, International Relations and Conflict Studies in the University of Buea.

How significant is the decree for the effective implementation of the Special Status for the North West and South West Regions? 
As a benchmark for satisfying the intended aspirations of this decree, there is a step involving two major parties or actors. Primarily, it is the populations of the South West and North West Regions; secondly; it embroils the appointees arising from the decree – the Public Independent Conciliators and their staff. Consequently, whoever is appointed into the functions of the Public Independent Conciliator must imbue him or herself with a thorough understanding of the contours of the decree, besides the experiences such a person must have gathered in useful national and international networking.  In addition, the decree is a very delightful stride in the right direction towards the fulfilment of President Biya’s promise to implement to the letter, the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue, which as you know was ably chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute on the high instructions of the President of the Republic.  Consequently, the decree is actually part of the accomplishment of this promise to offer the people of these two regions, the characteristics of the Special Status. 
I would like to add that the creation and signing of this decree is typical, because, it unequivocally amplifies the Head of State’s honest and clear commitment to see the return to peace, tranquillity, serenity, development and the living together of the people of the South West and North West Regions in the mainstream of the politico-economic and socio-cultural development and growth of the Cameroonian fatherland.  Irrefutably, this decree is another milestone among several other measures undertaken by the President’s in his utmost quest and zeal to guarantee the special conditions of cultural affinities of the people of the South West and North West Regions in Cameroon.  Accordingly, it is inestimable and indeed, far-reaching to have this decree signed just on the heels of the conclusion of the Regional Elections, and the putting in place of the Regional Council Executive Bureaus in the country. So, for those who still doubt President Paul Biya’s resolve to nurture and grow our democratic culture, this is another doubtless testimony. 
What should the population of the two regions expect from the Independent Conciliator?
From the contents of the decree, the people of the South West and North West Regions should expect the Public Independent Conciliator, who would critically examine and amicably settle disputes between the people; and the regional and local council administrations. They should expect to have Public Independent Conciliators, who would defend and protect the rights and freedoms of the people; promote and harness harmonious relationship between them (the population) and the Regional and Local Councils in their respective regions.  The people should further expect to have PICs who would ensure that, persons serving in the regional or local council administrations fulfil their critical ethical obligations. It must be noted that the PICs would judiciously work within the armpits of the decree, and in this direction, he or she would conduct thoroughly unbiased investigations on the functioning of regional or local council services, at the request of (5) five parliamentarians or (5) five regional councils. Thus, it is important highlighting that, the public – that is the people of the two regions get admirable hold upon this decree, read it, and unwaveringly understands its contents and the spirit thereto. In this wise, it must not only be what the population, as you ask, would expect from the Public Independent Conciliator, but what the Public Independent Conciliator would also expect from the population as well. Therefore, in the language of public administration, the decree is a two-sided sword sharpened to serve two masters – the population and the executors of the decree. In fact, the public is even the primary executor of the decree, because it is the public understanding of the decree, which would harness its proper functionality. As the decree stipulates, the PIC would prepare an annual report on the State of relations between the populations of each region and their regional and local council services. Above all, the PIC may propose statutory and regulatory amendments of this decree to the President of the Republic.
What means has the Public Independent Conciliator got to exercise his duties suitably?
Four key means have been put at the disposal of each of the Public Independent Conciliators, namely: Political means, which implies that, the Public Independent Conciliator must act independently from any influence whatsoever. Further, he or she can cause the amendment of this decree, for the better functioning of his or her duties, and for the better causing of sound relations between the population and the state...



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