The frontline opposition political party, Social Democratic Front, SDF has announced that it will be holding a grand campaign in Cameroon’s port city of Douala to sensitise citizens on Federalism as a form of government. The party, we gathered, has already notified administrative authorities about the holding of the event on March 4
The SDF has been advocating the return to a federal system of government for Cameroon since the early nineties. Some officials of the party have repeatedly stated on several occasions that government only introduced decentralisation in the 1996 constitution as an excuse to turn away from federalism.
The upcoming sensitisation campaign is being organised at time when a pressure group is also pressing for the return to federalism as a prerequisite for them to end a prolonged strike taking place in the English-speaking regions of the country.
The Anglophone Civil Society Organisation, which transformed a sit-down strike by teachers and lawyers into a regional movement was outlawed on January 17, 2017. Its leaders at large are coordinating the strike from abroad while those arrested are facing trial for terrorism, rebellion, unlawful assembly etc.
The campaign which is going to include a street march, according to the main organiser, Jean Michel Nintcheu, Member of Parliament who doubles as Regional Chairman of the party for the Littoral, will focus on portraying this form of government as a model of national unity.
The campaign which speculators fear might meet with resistance from security forces, comes at a time when public opinion holds that top government officials who are against this form of government, have deceived citizens in the French-speaking part of the country to believe that federation is synonymous to separation- some of them, commentators say, have been made that to believe that federalism is a step towards secession.
This, they argue, is in a bid to prevent citizens of the francophone regions from supporting the on-going protest in the English-speaking regions. The leaders of the protest however hold the strike would come to an end only when government decides to organise a referendum which would possibly see the mutation of form of the state to that which was put in place during the unification of West and East Cameroon 1961.