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Lawyers Slam Gov’t, Extend Strike 

By Bouddih Adams

common-law-lawyersLeaders of associations that make up Common Law Lawyers have issued a communiqué extending their strike action which began last week. The extension spans today, Monday, October 17 to Friday, October 21.

The first week of strike paralysed courts in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

The leaders of the associations resolved to extend the strike during a meeting on October 15, in Buea, to evaluate the strike of October 11 to 14. In the words of the legal minds, the first strike was “very successful”.

They congratulated members of the four associations: Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, Manyu Lawyers Association, MALA, Meme Lawyers Association, MELA, and Northwest Lawyers Association, NOWELA, for heeding to the call for a strike.

They also saluted their peers for observing the strike across the entire Common Law jurisdictions of the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

The extension, the lawyers note, is due to the deaf ear given to their strike.

The communique, signed by the Presidents of the four associations, resolved:

“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 spiced 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 focused 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 Northwest and Southwest Regions, to discharge their obligations to their constituencies which fall within the Common Law jurisdiction of Northwest and Southwest 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 Northwest Fons’ Union to reassert and reconstitute their Union and stand up along the Southwest 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 synergising 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 Northwest and Southwest Regions;

8. We finally appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our clients and emphasise 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.”

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