Security officers surrounded the home of SDF MP, Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu on Saturday March 4 to prevent him from holding a grand meeting and peaceful march in Douala to sensitise citizens on federalism and national unity
Police and gendarmerie officers equally stationed anti-riot trucks on strategic junctions in Douala, blocking traffic along the trajectory initially mapped out for the pro-federalism march.
The SDF Parliamentarian who doubles as Regional Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, had nevertheless made a U-turn from a vow he made- he had sworn to defy a government ban on the sensitisation campaign, but later on decided to postpone the event to a later date. Instead of challenging Jean Marie Tchakui Moundie, Divisional Officer for Douala V who issued the ban,by ignoring his decision, Hon. Nintcheu rather sued the senior civil administrator for influence peddling.
Political pundits say the DO’s decision could be justified by the fact that the banned campaign appears to support ideologies of an outlawed pressure group, Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. Analysts argue that holding campaigns on federalism at this particular point in time can be equated to giving credence to actions of the Consortium which is pressing for the return to federalism as a prerequisite for them to end a prolonged strike taking place in the English-speaking regions. This is despite the fact that the SDF has been advocating the return to federalism for more than twenty years.
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 when former President Ahmadou Ahidjo staged a controversial referendum.