Commission Takes up Watchdog Function

P.M. Yang yesterday, April, 27 in Yaounde, installed the 15 members of the National Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism

 

The massive presence yesterday, April 27, at the Yaounde Conference Centre of sons and daughters of Cameroon cutting across all strata of society to witness the installation of the first ever members of the National Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism was enough evidence of the political and constitutional importance of Cameroon’s  bilingualism  and cultural diversity. The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang who installed the commission members on behalf of the Head of State did not only re-echo the task assigned to Peter Mafany Musonge, President of the commission and his colleagues, but went further to underscore the watchdog role it must play in order to enhance the spirit of unity that is so dear to the country. “Bilingualism and Multiculturalism have their roots in the history of the country”, he said, and to buttress this point, cited the preamble of the constitution which says; “We, the people of Cameroon, Proud of our linguistic and cultural diversity, an enriching feature of our national identity, but profoundly aware of the imperative need to further consolidate our unity, solemnly declare that we constitute one and the same Nation, bound by the same destiny….”
Created by Presidential Decree of January 23, 2017, against the backdrop of social unrest in the two English speaking regions of the North West and South West, a situation triggered by striking lawyers and teachers, the National Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism has as task to among others, “promote bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon with a view to maintaining peace, consolidating the country’s national unity and strengthening its people’s willingness and day-to-day experience with respect to living together.” The Prime Minister in his installation speech took time to recall these attributions and to remind the commission of the daunting task awaiting it. In effect, the Musonge commission that will serve as advisory body to the Head of State is to say the least, simply implementing an aspect of the country’s constitution which unfortunately has been neglected all this while.
Things are not supposed to be the same following the creation and installation of the Commission. “Bilingualism, multiculturalism and togetherness are the three key values, the Head of government brought out at the Conference Centre, emphasising on Article 1 paragraph 3 of the Constitution which must be respected in all sectors of the administration and its ramifications. It states inter alia that “the official languages of the Republic of Cameroon shall be English and French, both languages having the same status.” He however underscored the effort so far made in this light citing certain administrative settings such as the translation departments but said much remains to be done in order to improve on the situation for an aspect which the world continues to envy Cameroon.
The installation ceremony was an embodiment of cultural display, translation (through the singing of the National Anthem and the speech of the Prime Minister) of the bilingual nature of the country and open exhibition of appreciation on the appointment of the commission members. If there was some other thing commission members left with it was the reminder from the PM that they must listen to complains from the society and tackle problems of the people who are victims of linguistic and cultural discrimination. 
 

 

Réactions

 

Peter Mafany Musonge: “The President 0f The Republic Has Giving Us A Big Responsibility”

President of CNPBM

« We are going to start work right away. We are going to hold a small meeting and then we will fix a date for our next meeting. We realise that the President of the Republic has given us a big responsibility and we have to do everything to satisfy him and the Cameroonian people. So, we are going to set ourselves to work immediately. We are going to discuss among ourselves and see how to approach all the work that has been given to us. It is an enormous task but like in any task there has to be a beginning. We are going to start somewhere. And that you will come to know as we meet and divulge our programme.” 

 

 Me Nico Halle: « La paix est la fondation de tout ce que nous allons faire »

Membre

« La mission est assez lourde. Mais comme c’est Dieu qui a guidé le chef de l’Etat pour nous désigner. Il va nous accompagner pour résoudre les problèmes des Camerounais. Nous ne sommes pas omniscients. C’est pour cela que nous appelons donc tous les Camerounais à se mettre à nos côtés, car cette mission implique tout le monde. La paix est la fondation de tout ce que nous allons faire. Aujourd’hui, elle est menacée. Il est donc question que nous nous engageons tous pour qu’elle soit rétablie. Nous ne pouvons pas promouvoir le bilinguisme et le multiculturalisme sans la paix ».

 

David Abouem à Tchoyi: « Toutes les contributions sont les bienvenues »

Membre

« Il faut observer deux choses. Premièrement, C’est une lourde responsabilité lorsque l’on sait quelle est l’importance du vivre ensemble, du multiculturalisme et du bilinguisme. Ensuite, il ne faudrait pas que les Camerounais prennent les membres de la Commission pour des génies universels. Tous doivent contribuer à alimenter les commissaires en idées, en propositions, en recommandations. Ils doivent être prêts à appuyer et approfondir le travail de la Commission qui ne sera là que pour coordonner ce que pensent les Camerounais».

 

Pr. Samuel Efoua Mbozo’o: « Je ne ménagerai aucun effort »

Membre

« Passée l’étape de la surprise, j’ai réalisé combien était importante la responsabilité qui m’a été confiée. J’ai d’abord eu un sentiment de gratitude envers le chef de l’Etat pour cette haute marque de confiance. Ensuite, j’ai mesuré l’importance de la tâche qui m’attend. Les défis sont nombreux. Ce que je puis dire aujourd’hui, c’est que je ne ménagerai aucun effort pour mériter la confiance, non seulement du président de la République, mais également celle des Camerounais qui attendent beaucoup de cette Commission ».

 

 Mbafor Jean Marc Afesi: « I Will Bring What My Energy Will Permit »

Member

«Once again I want to thank God for this memorable day. Of course I pay all my homages to the Head of State who honoured me and the youths of Cameroon by appointing me to this very delicate Commission. We listened keenly to the Head of Government Philemon Yang who clearly spelt out our mission and I will simply say that the feeling which inhabits me now is a feeling of youth responsibility and hard work in the days ahead. I will bring in as much as my youthfulness and energy will permit.

 

Angouing née Ndanga Françoise: « Nous sommes prêts »

Membre

« Personnellement je suis prête comme femme et, avec les autres femmes à assumer notre part de responsabilités au sein de la Commission. Nous sommes prêtes. Nous avions besoin d’une prise de contact. Déjà en notre sein, nous devrons développer ce vivre ensemble pour pouvoir l’implémenter auprès des autres. Au regard du parcours qui est le nôtre, nous pensons pouvoir apporter notre petite pierre à l’édifice auquel le chef de l’Etat nous a associé pour le montage».

 

Ngwane Georges Essambe: “I’m Committed To Carry Out My Mission Well”

Member

« It’s a job that just started. So, we think that Cameroonians are already looking forward to what we can do. And we hope that by the time we are through with our first official meeting we will be able to lay down a plan of our action or a road map of how we can move ahead. We also need to know who we are and where we were. It’s important to reinforce our multiculturalism. And I’m committed to carry out my mission well. We want to work and to respond to some of the expectations of Cameroonians”. 

 

 Ama Tutu Muna: « The PM Has Been Very Explicit On Our Mission »

Member

« First of all, I will like to thank the Head of State for this appointment. It is a very prestigious and lofty one. For now, I can’t say much. You heard the speech of the personnal representative of the Head of State. So we will follow suite and wait also for our President to indicate what he expects from us. I think the speech of the Prime Minister, representing the Head of State, is very explicit on our mission.

 

Mbappe, née Ticky Ngonde Njoh: « Il nous revient de travailler dur »

Membre

« Je suis animée d’un sentiment de joie et de fierté pour avoir été choisie pour faire partie des pionniers de cette Commission et servir la Nation. Je sais que la mission est lourde. Mais nous allons travailler en équipe. Le président de la République nous a fait confiance, il nous revient de travailler dur pour en être dignes afin que le peuple camerounais qui traverse des moments difficiles aujourd’hui puisse connaître la paix ».

 

 Benjamin Itoé Mutanga: « Our Country Should Remain One And Indivisible »

Member

« Cameroonians expected from us, the spirit of ensuring the unity of this country, of ensuring peace and the living together of all Cameroonians. And also, to ensure the spirit of dialogue, the dynamism which has been introduced by the dialogue that is implemented by the Head of State should be carried on and respected. So that we learn to live together and to above all maintain the unity of our country. Our country should remain one and indivisible. We have differences, but with the spirit of the Head of State and encouragement of dialogue, I am sure that we can overcome all these difficulties. I think that will be my role in the Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism. ».

 

 Abbé Jean Marie Bodo: « Je suis disponible »

Membre

« Ce que l’on est en droit d’attendre de moi au sein de cette Commission, c’est que je sois un bon membre, que j’y apporte toute mon intelligence, ma disponibilité et que je donne toute mon expérience à la construction que nous sommes amené à faire et qui doit être proposée au chef de l’Etat. Il s’agit de faciliter le mieux vivre au sein de notre Nation. Je suis content du choix qui a été porté sur ma modeste personne et je dis toute ma disponibilité à œuvrer pour le vivre ensemble au Cameroun et le bilinguisme ».

 

 

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