We collectively call on you to take actions that will again begin to give Cameroonians hope that the future is infinite with possibilities or reassess your ability to deliver on the national mandate and step down if you can deliver us into our achievable promise land. We demand the following:
On the 22/04/2016, the SDF Chair, South Africa and leader of the Diaspora Black Friday Movement including leaders from MRC/CPP have written a 16 point memo addressed to President Biya. They are asking Mr. Biya to step away. They gave some strong points which the government must do. They wrote:
Mindful of the constitution of the Republic of Cameroon
Mindful of the constitution of the SDF, CPP & MRC
Mindful of efforts played by our principals: SDF, CPP, MRC and all other parties to democratically win elections democratically in Cameroon
Mindful of the mass suffering of the Cameroon people due mainly to bad governance
Mindful of the urgency of the now to restore dignity and hope again in our country
Mindful of the deplorable state of our public sector institutions
Mindful of the sad state of our public infrastructure
Mindful of the unacceptably high levels of unemployment in the country
Mindful of the crisis level and extremely high youth unemployment levels
The Cameroon people in the diaspora, patriotic and peace loving declare this day that over the last 34 years of your reign, Cameroonians in and out of Cameroon have been confronted with what a large majority of our people now call failed leadership on a number of issues affecting our national life. Mindful of the important role of an active civil society in the construction or reconstruction of the state, mindful of an inherent right to speak out to defend democratic values, the South African structures of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the Cameroon People’s Party (CPP) and the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) supported by other Cameroon Diaspora anti-government movements around the globe this day in Pretoria South Africa jointly affirm the creation of the Cameroon Diaspora Black Friday Movement whose main mandate is to ensure it uses all democratic means possible to ensure that Cameroon finally becomes a democratic beacon of hope as expressed by the collective aspiration of the Cameroon people from North to South, West to East when the SDF was launched in 1990 and the wind of change opened a new page in our national life.
Mr. President, you stand accused of having systematically done everything in your powers to move Cameroon far from a truly democratic state where active citizen involvement in national life leads to citizen power wherein exercising such, state officials are held accountable as they discharge their responsibilities in national life beginning with the head of state . This has led to the collapse of our major institutions thus hampering the spirit of the Cameroon democratic revolution leading to a near collapse of the state.
1. Fix our medical health systems. The death of 31-year-old Koumate Monique and the twins is just a tip of the iceberg with regards to the mounting challenges inherent in our health system. The United Opposition Voices in the Diaspora demand justice for Monique but also call for a thorough review of our health laws and policies to ensure that our public health facilities at minimal cost can provide proper medical care and on time to the poorest of the poor of our citizens. With the lack of current data in most aspects of our national life, it is estimated that more than 48% of our citizens now live below the poverty line. These are exposed to a reoccurrence if the right root causes to this unfortunate loss of lives and the many others unreported or broadcasted are not identified and addressed properly. We demand a complete overhaul of our medical health system so we get one that adequately talks to the needs of our people.
2. Stop taking the Cameroon people for granted by changing the constitution of our country when you want, when it serves your individual interest, that of a clique and not necessarily as a result of a natural adaption to positions that will promote and increase the fortunes of our nation Cameroon. When you allegedly ordered your CPDM members of parliament to use their majority that came from highly fraudulent and badly organised elections to move the Presidential term limit from 5 to 7 years and then removed term limits for the office of the President in the subsequent constitutional change again, that amounted to a blatant rape of the Cameroon constitution and all its institutions. Mr. President, we call on you to reverse this process, by using your unpatriotic CPDM members of parliament who voted for this bill so as to serve you to do the right thing for our beautiful nation Cameroon. All Cameroon Presidents must serve a maximum of two (2) terms of office, no more, with a term not exceeding 5 years looking at global best standards.
3. Put in place credible anti-corruption mechanisms with a true intent of putting a nail in the coffin of this cancer in our society. Corruption in our country is normal practice and almost a culture these days. Where there is corruption, democratic gains fizzle out in the illicit trade of buying voices that build democratic institutions. In 1998, Transparency International classified Cameroon as the most corrupt nation in the world. This did us a lot of damage in image and investment inflows. We must win the war on this.
4. We decry the state of our infrastructure. Our roads are death traps. Our schools, medical facilities, water, electricity capabilities and more have not only failed to meet up with the need of the day but will not be able to serve Cameroonians in future.
5. On terrorism, we applaud the government for efforts in containing Boko Haram. We, however, call on the Head of State and parliament to visit the terrorism law that tramples on the constitutional right of freedom of speech and expression of our people. People cannot be protesting for legitimate reasons that will build the nation and are branded the terrorist or quasi-terrorist. We must not turn Cameroon into a police state under the pretext that we are fighting terrorism. Civilized society uses acceptable democratic practices to fight terrorism without trampling on citizen rights.
6. Put an end to the attack on the press. The press is a very important instrument of nation building. Media houses and journalists can no longer be suppressed for carrying out a constitutional mandate that is noble and legal. We have courts that can address issues of irresponsible journalism.
7. Stop the illegal arrest of politicians as they rally our people to raise their voice on issues that are pertinent to them. State perpetration of these is tantamount to state terrorism.
8. Mr. President, you have now ruled Cameroon for 34 years and are well into your retirement age. Reject the calls by the very unpatriotic CPDM members calling upon you to stand for elections again as President during the planned 2018 Presidential elections. You have changed our constitution twice to accommodate your quest to lead our country. At this moment, Cameroon needs a much younger President who can connect with the popular will of our people. Cameroonians need peace.
Cameroonians are calling on you to distance yourself and reprimand these corrupt minded CPDM members of your party and bootlicking government officials. We call on you to make a public declaration you will not be running for Head of state again.
9. Mr. President, news of an early 2016 Presidential election is rejected vigorously by the people of Cameroon. Let’s respect the constitution of our country. There is no major crisis in our country that will require such unwarranted distractions on our national plan. As the collective of the opposition, we must quickly state here that we are not scared of elections. We will beat the CPDM any day any time free, fair and credible elections are conducted in our country. But, let’s follow civilized tradition, respect the people of Cameroon and respect our constitution.
10. The unemployment situation in our country is alarming. Joblessness is made so many Cameroonians hopeless and forced many to go into foreign lands where they still have no future because of the harsh reality of surviving in a foreign land as foreigners. Home is home. It is our responsibility as leadership to create a thriving economy capable of creating jobs for our people in the different sectors of our economy. This will be a trigger for worst things to come if your government does not address this unemployment challenge in our country.
11. Cameroonians today, 26 years afterward are still calling for a Sovereign National Conference where we will conduct a national audit of our national life and like one man chat a path forward for a peaceful, prosperous and peaceful Cameroon.
12. Rural development, food security, and land reform are issues that must be given serious attention.
13. It is the right of the people to choose who they want whenever there is an election in the country. Our electoral processes are still far from what we will call minimum acceptable standard for fair elections. We call for a replacement of ELECAM with a truly Independent Electoral Commission with full autonomy and independence from the start of the electoral process right through to results declaration. For all ELECAM focal points in the diaspora, it is practically impossible for Cameroonians very far away from towns where Embassies are situated to get registered. We call on you to get the necessary institutions to make funds available for ELECAM to go to the people and get them to register to vote otherwise we will perceive this as systematic exclusion which we will always stand against.
14. Lastly, Mr. President signs the Dual Nationality Bill. You promised Cameroonians you will do that while you were in France. It is good for Cameroon, it will allow us to be more economically active in countries in which we find ourselves to survive economically and thus support our families and country. There is an overwhelming diaspora call on this bill to be signed. Mr. President signs the diaspora bill.
We trust the urgency of the now will inform your judgment to take the deep concerns of the Cameroon people seriously.
Done this Day,
22 April 2016, Pretoria South Africa
Comrade Milton Taka, Global Coordinator –
THE CAMEROON DIASPORA BLACK FRIDAY MOVEMENT & SDF SA Chairman
Com Nestor Djomatchui, MRC SA
Comrade Sofa Augustine, CPP SA