The campaign was banned by Jean Marie Tchakui Moundie, Divisional Officer for Douala V in whose jurisdiction the sensitisation activities are scheduled to take place
Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu, Member of Parliament and Littoral Regional Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, has vowed that a planned sensitisation campaign on federalism and national unity will take place in Douala on March 4, in spite of a government ban
The federalism campaign was banned by Jean Marie Tchakui Moundie, Divisional Officer for Douala V in whose jurisdiction the sensitisation activities are scheduled to take place. The banned letter was signed on February 24 with instructions to the heads of the national gendarmerie and police force in the sub-division to enforce the injunction.
The DO’s decision followed a notification from the event organisers who informed the senior civil administrator in writing, about the occasion which includes a peaceful street march and a grand meeting. The SDF Member of Parliament, in a statement, insisted he and other organisers are going on with preparations and urged potential participants to disregard the DO’s proscription.
Hon. Nintcheu argues that the letter sent to the DO was not a request for authorisation. He pointed out that the 1990 law on public demonstrations prescribes the principle of declaration and not authorisation. He also criticised the DO’s decision, claiming that it is against citizens’ constitutional right to freedom expression.
He contended that the divisional officer did not justify the reasons for the ban. But the decision, a copy of which Journal du Cameroun stumbled upon, states that the ban is intended to prevent a possible disruption of public order.
The banned sensitisation campaign was planned to hold 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. It should be recalled that the SDF has been advocating the restoration of federalism as the form of the state of Cameroon as far back as the early ‘90s. Cameroon was a federation of two states from the time of unification in 1961 to 1972.