Major National Dialogue: PM Dion Ngute holds successful, most populous state event on Bamenda's Grandstand since December 2016
By Bakah Derick
The Prime Minister and Head of Government Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute has organised what unarguably is the most populous and successful event to take place on the Commercial Avenue grandstand in Bamenda since December 2016. The event on Wednesday 6 October 2021 was a public meeting with the living forces of the region being part of his peace mission to the North West region.
The last time an acceptable number of people assembled at the grandstand was on 8 March 2020 as women met to celebrate the International Women's Day. The feast featured an explosion as North West Governor Adolf Lele L'Afrique delivered his speech.
Before then, the Armed forces golden jubilee grandstand suffered a set back on December 8, 2016 just at the beginning of the metamorphosed crisis in the region till date. A political gathering organised by the rulling Cameroon's People Democratic Movement CPDM on that day was interrupted with no fewer than three youths dying from bullent wounds.
With a full to capacity grandstand and others spotted on canopies out of the civic ceremonial facility, the Prime Minister's peace mission could be the relaunch of activities at the almost abandoned facility following events around the armed conflict further worsened by the ban on public events as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
Stating that he was advised against coming to the commercial avenue grandstand, the PM said "if I will not go to the grandstand then I am not going to Bamenda. The commercial avenue is the people's place."
His coming brings some top regional administrators to the grandstand for the first time since the March 8, 2020 event.
The Prime Minister has used the groundbreaking assembly to challenge those present and beyond to rise against those he say have held people in the region by the nose here referring to non state armed groups and activists for the recognition of a new nation called the Republic of Ambazonia.
From the event's pulpit, the PM has confronted even historical facts stating that as a region that overwhelmingly voted for independence by joining East Cameroon, there is no point fighting but rather unit forces to build what they stood for. He has also hinted that the continues battle is a fight for self destruction as the region's best is gradually being exported elsewhere. From Economy, Education, technical skills and other forms of human resources, the PM said the region is now empty handed.
He has received gifts from the region's top political elite and 13 converted non state armed fighters including a 'general'. He has called on others to leave their weapons and be reintegrated into society via the rehabilitation centers under the conver of the head of state.
The Prime Minister is continuing with consultations meeting with representatives from the different divisions of the region. His peace mission ends on Friday 8 October 2021.