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Anglophone Question: Gov’t Fears Higher Education Teachers May Join Lawyers 

By Bouddih Adams

Anglophone members of the Higher Education Teachers Trade Union (SYNES),have alleged that the Government is apprehensive that they may join Common Law Lawyers in their grievances on Anglophone marginalisation.
Sources within SYNES are claiming that the Government does not want Anglophone members of SYNES to head the Union for fear that they may join the cause of Common Law Lawyers that the Anglo-Saxon legal and educational systems are being deliberately ground down by the Biya regime.

The sources that refused to be named, say they see an underground manipulation by the Government not to let an Anglophone be Secretary General of SYNES. They say after a gentleman understanding with Francophones on two different occasions that it was the turn of an Anglophone to head the Union, their Francophone counterparts have backpedalled each time the occasion arose.

They cried foul at the way business was done during the recent assembly of SYNES that held in Ngaoundere, where Francophones short-changed the Anglophones by downplaying their candidate for the post of Secretary General at the elective assembly.

Dr. Fontem Neba had been chosen by SYNES Buea for the executive post of the SYNES National. But a Francophone, Joseph Tamesse, deceived members that he had a deal with Fontem Neba that he, Fontem would rather vie for the post of Assistant Secretary General.

Our sources said this was the second time such a raw deal was given Francophones. They recalled that when the SYNES assembly held in Buea in 2007, Anglophones observed that after a very long time of its existence, it was the turn of an Anglophone to head the Union. But on the eve of the convention in Douala in 2012, when there is usually an enlarged Executive Council meeting of about 60 delegates, where the next Secretary General is designated, Anglophones were sidelined and the meeting held at an undisclosed venue. However, the Anglophones stilled believed that the agreement in Buea would be respected.

But during the election proper, where Dr. Jonie Fonyam was Buea’s candidate, it was a Francophone, Prof Alexis Teguia that was presented. SYNES Buea protested and the late Dr. Mike Yanou (then SYNES Buea President) declared that if the situation is not reversed, SYNES Buea would pull out of the national Union. When his warning was not heeded, SYNES Buea stormed out of the assembly and boarded their bus to return to Buea. The elections were put on hold and they were followed and convinced in the bus to go back to the hall.

“An emergency meeting of representatives of all the universities held during which it was agreed that after that mandate and at the next convention to be hosted by Ngaoundere, it would be the turn of Buea, hence an Anglophone would become the chief executive of the Union,” our sources stated.
Teguia thus became the Secretary General and Tamesse his assistant, all Francophones.

But in Ngaoundere, they said, there was the same underground manipulation. SYNES Douala put up a strong argument that there was an understanding in Douala for the SG post to go to Buea, but for two nights, the issue could not be resolved.

“Even past Secretaries General, Innocent Foutcha and Alexis Teguia, made it clear that they did not want Buea and that the gentleman agreement made in Douala in 2012 was not valid,” our sources said.
SYNES Buea and SYNES Douala walked out and Ngaoundere withdrew and all their delegates left the hall during the voting.

“Hence, we have realised that there is a power sharing agreement in SYNES National to the exclusion of Anglophones,” our sources summated.

Asked why they suspect the hand of the Biya regime: “It is because it is line with the regime’s policy. It is evident in public administration, law, education and even the economy.”
The Post attempted several times in a bid to contact Dr. Fontem for comment but his phone was apparently off.

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