By Bama Cham
Journalists practising in the South West Region have been urged to do their work well, despite threats.
The encouragement came from the Governor of the South West Region, Mr Bernard Okalia Bilai, at the close of the 51st edition of the National Youth Day in Cameroon celebrated last 11 February 2017 in Buea.
Governor Okalia hailed the press for living up to expectations in the heat of the recent crisis.
“I want to thank the press for the good work they are doing by sustaining the rights of children to go to school, by sensitising the population on their various rights, on what is good for our communities,” Governor Okalia said.
Okalia continued that “I urge the press to continue doing the good job despite the threats. I know that there are a lot of threats, there will always be threats, do your work, you are helping the nation, you are helping the communities, and you are helping the country.”
The pupils, students, youths and guests who braved the fear and threats to be a part of the celebrations at the Buea Independence Square, listened to a replay of the Head of State’s traditional Youth Day address to the nation before the special march past exercise grouping some primary, secondary and higher institutions and youth groups.
The South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, described the action by some youth to celebrate the 2017 Youth Day as a demonstration of a high sense of civic responsibility and patriotism.
He said “It is with satisfaction and joy because we have witnessed a wonderful march past despite the threats. Satisfaction because the youth, the children have taken the courage to come and participate with the rest of the youth of the nation.”
Bernard Okalia enjoined the population of the South West that “those who have been misled or those who participate in one or another malpractice, should reconcile with the entire community so that we should continue to be part of the construction of this country like the Head of State invited the youth of the nation yesterday.”
With a timid turnout by school going youths, especially as most colleges and primary schools were still gathering momentum for effective takeoff barely few days after the suspension of the protracted strike action by the All Anglophone Teachers Trade Unions, Bernard Okalia advised all that “I want us to allow our children to enjoy the right of being educated or going to school because they can’t be leaders of tomorrow without schools today.”
As things gradually gain steam, Governor Okalia urged that “those who have been misled should reconcile with themselves so that on Monday the activities in all sectors of life should continue, children should go to schools.”
“Traders should freely carry out their activities, and politicians should do their politics. Politics to politicians, school for children, business for businessmen,” he said.
He further stressed on the respect of state institutions and that “the entire population of the South West region should remain peaceful and law-abiding”, re-echoing that, “it is always said that Limbe and Buea are the cities of friendship and legendary hospitality.”
Following the meeting held last Monday 6 February 2017 at the South West Governor’s office and chaired by Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, mission and lay private schools were duly instructed to open their doors in order to allow students and pupils regain curricular activities. Defaulters, the meeting resolved, will face sanctions.
The Catholic Education Secretary, Rev Fr Sob Alexandre, among other mission schools, had declared open their school doors for students and pupils to regain classes.