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Gov’t blocks SDF from sensitising citizens on federalism

Jean Marie Tchakui Noundie, Divisional Officer for Douala V, has banned the Social Democratic Front, SDF, from holding a campaign…

Jean Marie Tchakui Noundie, Divisional Officer for Douala V, has banned the Social Democratic Front, SDF, from holding a campaign in Douala to sensitise citizens on federalism.

The senior civil administrator states categorically in the decision that the public meeting and march planned by Honourable Jean Michel Nintcheu, SDF regional chairman for the Littoral, scheduled to take place in Bepanda to sensitize citizens on federalism and national unity has been banned.

In his decision note, dated February 24,  he ordered the head of security forces (police and gendarmerie) in the Douala  V sub-division to ensure that the meeting scheduled for March 4, does not take place.

It should be recalled that the frontline opposition political party had 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 had, in accordance with legal requirements for organisation of public meetings, notified administrative authorities about the holding of the event on March 4.

The SDF, it should be noted 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 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.

Rene Emmanuel Sadi, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, while banning the Consortium on January 17, also banned the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, and equally declaring illegal, the activities of any individual or group, that fall in line with the ideologies of the outlawed groups.

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