In a communiqué signed Friday by Nji Valentine Aben, FAKLA Secretary General and Benjamin Enow Agbor, FAKLA President, the lawyers call on government to put a stop to this bill either in its present form or any other subsequent disguised form.
“That we promise ourselves and the entire Anglophone people that we shall resist the said bill with all our might and with the last drop of our blood,” one of the resolutions read.
“That we call on all Common Law Lawyers to engage in a large scale sensitisation of the Anglophone people on the danger of this obnoxious bill.
“That we call on all Anglophone Cameroonians to stand up and resist this bill which is about to annihilate our cultural identity.
“That we call on all Parliamentarians and Senators to perceive this bill as one likely to jeopardise peace, unity and diversity of Cameroon and accordingly reject same.
“That we call on all Anglophone Parliamentarians and Senators to take their responsibility by ensuring that they act according to the general good of the Anglophone community who are about to be assimilated.
“That we commend the actions already taken by the Common Law members of the Cameroon Bar Council and adopt their position as being in furtherance of our objectives. We urge them to continue.”
Before arriving at the aforementioned resolutions, the lawyers observed that the said bill in its section 19 envisages and authorises communication by state officials to be carried out in either of the two official languages in Cameroon.
“This, without much ado, implies that Francophone Administrative officials may decide to carry out their acts exclusively in French in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon,” the lawyers agreed.
“That in view of the fact that Francophone state officials dominate the administrative services in Fako (Governor, SDO, DO of Buea, DO of Limbe, Legion Commander, Company Commander, Commanders of Gendarmerie Brigades, Regional Chief of Police, Police Commissioners, Procureur General, Taxation Officials, heads of other government services, etc) and most of the Divisions in the Common Law Regions of Cameroon, the French Language will inevitably be the standard language in this part of the country.
“That Section 26 of the draft bill allows judges and magistrates to use the French language in both the trial of Anglophones and in delivering judgements. This will not only go to further annihilate the Common Law heritage of this part of the country but will also negatively affect the local population who are predominantly English speaking and Common Law oriented.
“That the entire bill is designed to assimilate Anglophones by attacking the foundation of their cultural identity.
“That if this bill is adopted and promulgated, Anglophones will all be forced to speak French in order to survive.
“That our educational system will be affected if this bill is adopted and promulgated.
“That the bill is not only annoying, it is provocative, vexatious and inflammatory under the current dispensation in the country and intended to perpetrate the subjugation of the Anglophone people.”