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Animosity At National Human Rights Commission Over Anglophone Conflict

Yaoundé (National Times)-A bitter dispute has erupted among members of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedom (NCHRF) over the Anglophone Crisis.

Members of the rights Commission are accusing the Chairman, Dr. Divine Chemuta Banda of not consulting them before penning down a strongly worded statement to President Biya recently.

The open dispute erupted during the 26th ordinary session of the Commission, which held in Yaoundé on Thursday.

As the Chairman presented his speech wherein he challenged the President of the Republic to do more to solving the Anglophone Conflict, he was interrupted by the Vice Chairman of the Commission, James Kohbela, who was seating next to him.

Kohbela openly questioned Banda whether he was speaking in his personal name or in the name of the Commission because he has not consulted members before making such pronouncements.

“I want to know whether the Chairman is speaking in his name or the name of the Commission,” he said.

The incident quickly degenerated into a popular uproar with other members joining in and questioning the Chairman’s authority in speaking on behalf of the Commission.

Some of them argued that the statements made by the Dr. Banda are very serious in times like this. According to them, Dr. Banda was to call a session first.

In the heated dispute, Dr. Banda said, “I speak for the Commission, you can dissociate yourself after.” After some minutes of interruption, the Chairman was later on allowed to continue with his speech.

At the end, he confirmed to reporters that even within the Commission there are divisions as members could nurse the courage of interrupting his speech.

However, he said, he had a message for Paul Biya about the Anglophone Conflict, which he has already passed.

Dr. Banda’s woes started sometime last month when he addressed an open letter to Paul Biya, urging him to show good faith by solving the Anglophone Conflict.

In the letter, Dr. Banda accused Biya for rejecting their advices and which would have prevented the ongoing bloodshed.

He also said the President has turned down their request to meet him. He argued that his decision to make the letter public is because Paul Biya has never deemed it necessary to acknowledge receipt of previous letters.

It was a similar message he made during the ordinary session which did not go well with some members including his immediate subordinate.

 

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