One of the most important resolutions of the 2019 National Major Dialogue was the rationale to grant the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon a Special Status. This decision was highly applauded and considered by most delegates a significant achievement of the National Dialogue.
The organisation of elections to elect regional councillors and Assemblies for traditional rulers marked another important step in the strategy of decentralization of governance through the setting up of structures needed. This important step was followed by the election of regional executives including the Presidents of the Assemblies, another step which ushered brighter hopes as far as the functioning of our regional councils and decentralized systems are concerned. Cameroonians’ hopes again rose when the regional councils started meeting to examine, debate and adopt their budgets.
As all this went on giving citizens the conviction that the decentralization dream was fast becoming a reality, their joy attained another unexpected level with the appointment of Independent Regional Conciliators, Simon TAMFU Fai for the North West and TELELEN Dorothy Atabong,(Mrs Motase) for the South West. Great! While some Cameroonians saluted this decision in song and dance, some compatriots considered it too early to dance lame before the day of the feast. Whatever the cause of their fears, it is prudent for us to appreciate the crucial steps being taken to give meaning to a goal that is close to what democrats believe brings administration nearer to the people.
Besides, this truth, who doubts that those who opt for violence in protest of an over centralized system, see for themselves, government’s goodwill to lean towards the federal system of administration while ensuring that the various realms of governance respect democratic norms. These important steps towards effective decentralization attained another emblematic stage last week with the holding of the National Decentralisation Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister /Head of G o v e r n m e n t Chief Dion Ngute. In that Council meeting, the Prime minister r e i t e r a t e d contents of Decree N0 2020 / 676 of 3 Nov 2020 which reminds us of the importance of efficient organisation, functioning, monitoring, evaluation, and implementing what gives meaning to decentralization. Earlier within the week, Governors of the ten regions had in their own meeting with the Minister of Territorial Administration rayed the local administrative situations in their regions, and adopted what must be embraced to ensure security, besides developmental projects in various fields. All these efforts to give decentralization the meaning it deserves demand a communal spirit that triggers love and the challenge to work together for a common future. And, who doubts that with the global problems of socio-economic protectionist trends today aggravated the corona virus pandemic, we need greater love and cooperation instead of hatred and senseless wars? In the face of the unpleasant surprises we continue to face as concerns the separatists fighting in the North West and South West Regions, Boko Haram atrocities in the Far North and the refugee problems in the East, besides other ills tarnishing the image of our country, we need to sit up and give meaning to what is being undertaken for our common future. One of them is letting Decentralization take off.