During his maiden visit to the Southwest Region on Tuesday, March 27, Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji said the Government of President Paul Biya is ready for dialogue with nationals and not secessionists.
Minister Atanga Nji Paul: “I have brought the message of peace, unity and dialogue from the Head of State. It is important to understand that Cameroon is one an indivisible and the Head of State has asked me to extend his congratulation to all the administrative authorities, that is the Governor, the SDOs, DOs and the forces of law and order for taking care of the situation on the ground in a very professional manner.”
The recently appointed Minister was speaking at the South West Governor’s Office as he makes his first official visit to the region since appointed following the Presidential decree on March 2, 2018.
Minister Atanga Nji while calling on villagers that have taken refuge in the forests and also separatists forces, he pleaded with them to abandon arms and return to their villages. To him, this will lead to dialogue which will resolve the Anglophone crisis that has been going on for more than a year now.
He continues: “…but peace and dialogue only to those who will want to remain in one and indivisible Cameroon. A message of peace and dialogue only for those who understand that the Head of State is President Paul Biya and the only country they have is Cameroon. And that peace and dialogue will only be discussed within the frame work of Republican institutions and the law….”
Despite cries of military brutality and unprofessionalism in handling the crisis, the newly appointed Minister of Territorial Administration instead lauded the job done by government forces since the crisis started. He also, extended congratulatory message from the Head of State to the government forces which to him, have been doing everything possible to calm the upheavals in the two English-speaking regions in Cameroon.
Government forces have been criticized for looting, extortion, rape, brutality, killings among others since the crisis started late in 2016.
During his time as the Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic when the Anglophone Crisis started, Atanga Nji appeared on the national television denying that there was no Anglophone problem. This statement made him unpopular as Anglophones termed him a “traitor” because he refused that English-speaking Cameroonians are not marginalized in Cameroon.
Many believed that the statements of the former Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic back then fueled the crisis. Back in his area of origin Bamenda, threats were issued banning the son of the soil from setting foot in his hometown as a result of his statements regarding the Anglophone marginalization.