* Urge traditional rulers to join them fight for their constitutional rightsBy Christopher Ambe
Common law lawyers in Cameroon have celebrated the huge success of their last week's four-day sit-in strike rather with a prolongation.The announced extension of the strike from Monday, October 17th to 21st is intended to mount more pressure on the Cameroon Government to critically look into their demands and react to them appropriately,instead of what the lawyers refer to as Government's "Divide and Rule Policy"..
Shaken by the strike, Government reportedly was trying to meet the lawyers demands but without total commitment,lawyers say. Following is the communique issued to prolong the strike:
JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CONSTITUENT
ASSOCIATIONS OF CAMEROON COMMON LAW LAWYERS.
We thankfully congratulate members of our four Associations (FAKLA, MALA, MELA & NOWELA) for their heeding to the call to protest strike and observing it across the entire common law jurisdictions of the North West and South West Regions;
After duly evaluating the strike of 11th to the 14th of October 2016, and carefully deliberating on the way forward at the local levels of our various Constituent Associations, we have synchronized the common position which provides us with a consensual platform as follows:
1. That on account to the deaf ear given to our protest strike WE HAVE UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO EXTEND THE STRIKE FOR ANOTHER WORKING WEEK BEGINNING FROM MONDAY 17TH TO FRIDAY 21ST OF OCTOBER 2016;
2. We note with regret that the Government instead of responding to our demands spice by the strike action is still employing its traditional policy of divide and rule. Consequently, we call on our members to remain resolute, determined, steadfast and focus and not to lend themselves to any Government manipulation;
3. That a crucial enlarged meeting will be held in due course to decide on the next steps to be taken should the government continue to ignore our demands;
4. That we shall be calling on all elected Public Representatives from the North West and South West Regions, to discharge their obligations to their constituencies which fall within the Common Law jurisdiction of North West and South West Regions to make their joint statements in the protection of the legal and legitimate rights of their constituents-cum-users of the Common law in Cameroon, failing which they shall be adjudged as haven compromised their representative positions vis-a-vis their constituencies;
5. That we call on the members of the North West Fons’ Union to reassert and reconstitute their Union and stand up along the South West Chief’s Conference, as one person, to protect the children of their respective Fondoms and Chiefdoms in their efforts to protect their constitutional rights to have the common Law restored and protected;
6. That we call on our sister syndicates, with similar sectoral plights to continue pursuing their demands trusting on the support of Cameroon Common Law Lawyers in any legal pursuit of their complaints, whether separately or jointly with us until such time that we would have exhausted local remedies within the national jurisdiction.
7. We shall be synergizing with SYNES, Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union –(CATTU), Teachers Association of Cameroon (TAC), Traders Associations, Taxi Drivers Unions, Bus Companies, and Commercial Motorbike Riders’ Associations, as well as “Buyam Sellam” Associations, across the North West and South West Regions;
8. We finally appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our clients and emphasize that they and us have a joint interest in protecting the common law.
It should be noted that we are not against any personnel of the courts and consequently they are enjoined to eschew any hostility against us or our clients for they are better placed to understand the legality and legitimacy of our demands as corrective and protective measures in the recovery and rebuilding of judicial integrity and performance for the benefit of all out of our diversity.
DONE AT BUEA THIS 15TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2016