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Should Lawyers Resume Work On May 2 As Called Upon By Bar President? 

Gov’t Should First Unban Consortium, Release Our Leaders

The Bar President should allow those who started the fight to end it. How do they expect lawyers to go back to court when their colleagues are still in jail? If they want lawyers to go back to court; then they should bring back the outlawed Consortium, release those who are in prison and continue with dialogue. They have to equally know that a majority of the Common Law lawyers are in the Northwest and Southwest Regions; but look at where the decision is coming from. For me, a joint communiqué should have been signed by the aggrieved lawyers or their representatives and the Bar President. My position is that, the right people have not been chosen to handle the problem.

Barrister Evaristus Mofor, Yaounde

 

Lawyers Can Suspend The Strike, Resume If Gov’t Fails Its Promises

I think there is nothing wrong in suspending the lawyers’ strike and wait for the reactions of the Government in respect to the Common Law lawyers’ grievances. Since the conclave that sat in Buea and called off the strike intends to meet again in July, the purpose is surely to see whether Government is meeting up with its promises vis-à-vis the lawyers’ grievances. Nothing stops the Anglophones resuming that strike if the Government fails to actualise its promises

Barrister Umenjo Hiram, Bamenda

 

Lawyers Who Resume Work Will Betray Their Detained Colleagues

It is good for Lawyers to resume work, because, the strike has been for almost five months. But how can they resume when their colleagues are in jail? If they release those in jail, then, others will resume work – as easy as that. So, if they free our colleagues and others resume work, they will not feel betrayed. The Lawyers know what and how they feel and equally know what they want but when one is arrested, it jeopardises everything. If some lawyers go ahead to resume, when their colleagues are still in jail, it will be betrayal of the first order. I don’t need to advise any lawyer, because, we are all adults and everyone is working according to his/her conscience. So, I don’t know how I can advise an adult or a learned colleague, but what I know is that our colleagues were fighting for the good of all.

Barister Dorcas Nkongme

Attorney at Law, Yaounde

 

Bar President Did Not Call The Strike, He Cannot Call It Off

I got the communiqué over the radio waves that the Anglophone lawyers will resume work on May 2. From what I got, that communiqué started that the Bar Council President has called off the strike. Firstly, I was taken aback; the Bar Council never called the strike. Secondly, a word was used as a conclave that met and resolved that we get back to court. I don’t know that conclave. Thirdly, a lot a issues have not been resolved as I am talking to you. What about the detained leaders of lawyers in Yaounde?  What about the school children and teachers that are at home? What about our colleagues who are on the run? The lawyers, if you recalled, started the strike and brought in the teachers. So, what will become of their situation? Are we going to resume work, now that all the issues we presented to Government have not been resolved? I thought that the issues raised by teachers and lawyers will be resolved in a holistic manner to the satisfaction of everybody. Any honest Common Law lawyer should rethink before heading for any court on May 2.

Barrister Micheal Akum, Bamenda

 

What If They Go Back To Work And Government Expresses Bad Faith?

Lawyers are free or independent workers, but again, it is an association that is made up of highly united people. By demanding for the release of their colleagues before going to court, is one of the tenets that lawyers go by. If the cause for which our colleagues were detained doesn’t affect them, then, they can go back to court freely, but your conscience crowns it all. Lawyers have been detained before, but this issue is more particular because the cause which lawyers are down for is the same cause for which lawyers won’t go back to court. So, it is a little bit interwoven, because, there is equally the fear of the unknown. What will happen to the lawyers who are currently being detained if their friends go back to court and then the Government expresses bad faith? If there is that issue of good faith, then, lawyers should not go back to court until their colleagues are released and they bring back Internet too, because, lawyers cannot work without the Internet

Barister Taboh, Yaounde

 

Lawyers Should Resume Work, Government Is Taking Care Of Their Grievances

Lawyers should resume work, because from all indications, Government is taking care of the grievances and the majority of issues shall be addressed. On a personal basis, I would have said those arrested be released, but as a lawyer, I am tempted to say the judicial process has to take its course. Else, since we are always crying that judiciary should be independent, let us leave the judiciary to prove whether those arrested are guilty or not. If they are not guilty of the offences, they eventually will be released. But if they were arrested and accused of what they were doing, of which the lawyers did not mandate them, then, as a lawyer, I would suggest the judiciary be given a free hand to establish whether they are guilty or not. Concerning whether teachers and students should also resume school on May 2, is not for me to answer because, remember the teachers suspended their strike. Take note that the teachers and lawyers did not call the strike jointly. We started and the teachers joined one or two months later. Their grievances were different, even though there were common grounds like marginalisation of Anglophones. Some of these grievances are still there stirring at us. There are people who have entered the strike and who are neither lawyers nor teachers and these are people calling the shots. So, parents have to decide which way to go.

Barrister Jacob Ateh in Bamenda

 

 

 

 

Compiled By Kini Nsom, Chris Mbunwe & Glory Mbuwil

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