Jean Simon Ongola says the silence of parliament on the ongoing protests in English-speaking Cameroon discredits and disqualifies the elected officials and give citizens reasons to distrust them
Jean-Simon Ongola, MP of the CPDM popularly known for his denunciations of social injustices, has in a write-up published today in French language daily, Le Jour, blasted his fellow members of parliament and senators. In the write-up, he decries the fact that the lawmakers did not think it worthy to dedicate a session to the Anglophone crisis during the March sitting of parliament.
Like Maurice Kamto, leader of the MRC polictical party, the CPDM parliamentarian criticised the fact that more attention is focused on the war against Boko Haram while the ongoing protests that have crippled schools in the North West and South West region is ignored. Jean-Simon Ongola points out that both the war against Boko Haram and the Anglophone protest threaten the peace and serenity of Cameroon.
According to Jean Simon Ongola, the silence of parliament justifies the people’s decision to disown their parliamentarians. Indeed, since elected officials have been given the mandate of the people to represent them, they have a duty to pass on their concerns so that solutions can be sought during debates in parliament, he says.
He also noted that many parliamentarians are disconnected from the reality of the people they are supposed to represent in parliament. To him, the MPs and Senators are not even aware of the poverty, unemployment, social injustice, and other difficulties their citizens face. To him, what is worse is the fact that some of them are over-zealous and act beyond what they call party discipline.
The CPDM MP expressed his disappointment at the fact that sometimes some topics discussed in specialized committees of the National Assembly are swept aside by people with an approximate or inaccurate knowledge of the experiences of citizens. This passiveness of the people’s representatives is enough to transform parliament into a registration chamber which makes the executive power stronger than it is supposed to be.
Jean-Simon Ongola, in the write-up, sent a clarion call on his colleagues to step up their commitment to the common interest. He said there is need for parliamentarians to change the negative image of Parliament already embedded in citizens.
The MP also called on parliamentarians to better interprete texts by calling on outside expertise for a better understanding of the changes taking place in the society. He urged members of the lower and upper houses of parliament to revisit the role of the National Assembly and kill the notion that the country is run by a few civil servants who hide the truth from the people.