Friday, May 29, 2015

Of Exclusive French Sign Directives in Ayaba Hotel and the Abuse of Bilingualism

Few weeks ago, Anglophone lawyers met in Bamenda to decry the fact that they were told to make their submissions in the North West and South West Regions (courts) exclusively in French. At the end of the conference, a memo was addressed to government in which they (the lawyers) expressed their disgust over the attempt to assimilate Anglophones. Another incident that took the Anglophone community aback was the poor translation of police exam questions into slippery English, which public opinion held that it was a well calculated move to eliminate Anglophone candidates. Furthermore, for years now, the Anglophone community has been crying helplessly that all transfers and appointments are only read on the national station in exclusively French and that Francophone teachers are being deployed to teach in the North West and South West Regions a language they have little or no mastery. The Cameroon Teachers Trade Union-CATTU and TAC have decried it to no avail.

Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, Member of Parliament for Donga Mantung Centre and Questor at the National Assembly went on rampage a forth night ago at the Ayaba Hotel where he pulled off signs directives that were exclusively in French. The Member of Parliament we gathered started asking the management of Ayaba to place sign directive in both French and English as far back as 2013. Every time he lodged in the hotel, he would remind management of it. At one time, the Director of Ayaba, Doume Zacharie is said to have promised that he will make sure that the bilingual nature of the country is respected when renovation works will be carried out. On May 27, the MP discovered that work was over but the sign directives were still hanging there and exclusively in French. When he sorted from the Director why he had not done what he promised, Doume Zacharie is quoted to have said that he (Doume) met them like that and has no other option than to allow the sign directives in one language. Taken aback by the reply from the Director, Hon Awudu took time to remove some of the sign directives. He even promised that he would destroy any signpost in a public place that is written exclusively in one language. Using only one language, he said is a violation of the Constitution. Access to information he said is a right that all Cameroonians should enjoy. He said in Ayaba you can only imagine things around you because the word swimming pool is boldly written as piscine, toilet as toilettes, exit as sortir, suggestion box as boite de suggestions, lifter/elevator as ascensceur etc.. Hon. Awudu Mbaya said at the time he was removing the sign directives that he laid hands on if the staff decided to squeeze the life out of him, he would have died a honourable death and for a cause.
It should be recalled that when Bernard Njonga cried out on corruption in the Ministry of Agriculture, he was arrested and detained. Not long, the Special Criminal Court called him up as witness for the state. “Some of the embezzlers have been picked up and are actually in prison. Ayaba Hotel in Bamenda has been suffocating in silence. Hon. Awudu has just lashed out the last stroke that will expose the obnoxious practices in this structure”, another staff who preferred not to be named told us. “Costumers have been complaining especially those who do not read French and Management has always given a deaf ear to it. I do not understand why whereas we claim that our role is to satisfy their needs”, she concluded.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)


Joe said...

I want Hon Mbaya to understand that this is a great move that will trigger unimaginable courage from the masses to join in. This is a new approach that people have been waiting for too long. I am greatly behind you and will encourage people to do same.

Martin Fon Yembe said...

Hon. Awudu goes down in history as the one reigning MP of West Cameroon extraction to stand up and tell these frogs that "enough is enough"!!! Just know, Hon., that your name will be remembered long after. You make us proud. We will fight on and join with our lawyers to finish the race!!! Hon. Joshua Osih made a wonderful contribution on Morning Safari as well!!! Kudos!!!