By Idowu Bakare – The Social Democratic Front (SDF) for the Republic of Cameroon has condemned what it called the “inadequate response to the Anglophone crisis” by the country’s President Paul Biya.
The party called for the immediate resignation of Mr. Biya, saying the government’s failure to stem social unrest has compromised its leadership.
SDF’s 1st National Vice-President, Joshua N. Osih, in a statement made available to News Investigators by APO, Monday said Cameroon is now at a crossroads, arguing that the President’s “inadequate response to the Anglophone crisis has only aggravated the situation and caused further instability.
According to Mr. Osih, SDF “strongly condemns curfews, restrictions on movement of the population and all forms of violence perpetrated by the Government in the South-West and North-West regions of the country. Cameroon is now at a crossroads. President Biya’s inadequate response to the Anglophone crisis has only aggravated the situation and caused further instability. The government’s failure to stem social unrest has compromised its leadership. It is time for President Biya to resign immediately.
“Freedom of movement in Cameroon is a constitutionally guaranteed right. By prohibiting the mobility of people in the heavily militarized North-West and South West regions, the Government is treating our compatriots like second-class citizens. We warn that these inflammatory actions only breed new resentments and embolden those who espouse secession. Even at the height of the war against Boko Haram, no such extreme measures were applied as like now on the Anglophone citizens.
“The SDF has repeatedly voiced strong condemnations for bad governance, dysfunctional state institutions, endemic corruption, blatant disregard of the rule of law and free press, and non-application of the 1996 constitutional requirements with regards to decentralization and reform of state institutions.
“President Biya’s government is responsible for continuous state-sponsored electoral fraud, has disregarded any proposals from national and international communities to reform government, and has closed all avenues to inclusive national dialogue. This has led to an irreversible escalation of violence in Cameroon for which the Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement is solely responsible.
“The President has failed to meet with any civil society leaders or visit with the Anglophone regions since the crisis started nearly one year ago. His inability to draw the conflict to a close has risked more bloodshed and violence. The SDF calls for the military to show restraint and to protect all Cameroonians from abuse.
“Cameroonians now have a choice to make between a free, inclusive and democratic Cameroon or stick with President Biya’s current regime. The SDF clearly chooses a free, inclusive and democratic Cameroon where its people can come and go in peace,” the statement added.