Chants of peace, tears, wails and lamentations. This is the atmosphere that welcomed Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute in Bamenda today May 9, 2019.
P.M Dion Ngute’s first official national outing from Yaounde since his appointment in January is in the crisis hit North West and South West regions of Cameroon. Coming with a peace plant in hand, P.M Dion Ngute made the reason for his visit clear: to bring peace to the people of the two regions.
On arrival in Bamenda today, women of the South West and North West Women Task Force dressed in black intercepted the Prime Minister at his hotel, weeping and lamenting over the sociopolitical crisis that has made life unbearable for them for close to three years.
Despite the heavy military presence, the women were resolved more than ever before to dish out their mind to the Prime Minister. According to the women, they are tired of the crisis; they are tired of losing their sons and husbands in gun battles and are tired of not being able to do anything freely due to the insecure state of the region.
With brandished placards, they also reiterated the need for peace which will enable them live normally as women.
Responding to the women in Pidgin English, a very calm P.M Dion Ngute assured them that the Head of State who has sent him to Bamenda has heard their cry and is determined to do everything to end the sociopolitical crisis.
PM Dion Ngute also told the women that he came to see them because he is one of theirs and is determined to do everything to prove to separatist fighters that there is no need for them to continue staying in the bushes but should rather come back home and work towards the return of peace.
Speaking today in Bamenda, P.M Dion Ngute has disclosed that President Biya is ready to dialogue and what he needs are the people to dialogue with. He added that apart from secession, the President is willing to welcome every other option on the dialogue table.
He added that the Head of State will withdraw troops from the two regions immediately all fighters in the bushes drop their arms and reintegrate into society. P.M Dion Ngute also said President Biya is ready to provide food to all those who will drop their weapons and go to reintegration centers created for ex-combatants of the conflict.
In 2017, former Prime Minister, Philemon Yang visited the North West region for the same reason as his successor. Many described the visit as one which failed to yield any fruit as the crisis has deepened even further since then. Many are equally wondering if the visit of P.M Dion Ngute will yield any results or will amount to nothing like that of his predecessor.
P.M Joseph Dion Ngute is expected to meet with Ni John Fru Ndi, the Chairman of the country’s main opposition party, the Social Democatic Front tomorrow May 10, 2019. The P.M is going to stay in the North West region for four days and is expected in the South West region next week.