Peter Mafany Musonge, President of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (NCPBM) has said they did not propose that the words « Anglophone » and « Francophone » be banned from public discourse in Cameroon.
In a press release dated May 3, 2019, the Former Prime Minister cum Grand Chancellor of National Orders described as « false » information circulating in the media that the NCPBM proposed the banning of the aforementioned words.
« The President of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism informs the public that information circulating in the media that the Commission has proposed the banning of the use of the words « Anglophone » and « Francophone » in Cameroon is false, » the press release signed by H.E. Peter Mafany Musonge read in part.
He notes that the Commission he heads organised a colloquium on April 24 & 25, 2019 at Mont Febe Hotel Yaounde under the theme, « Multiculturalism at crossroads between Tradition and Modernity ».
The press release reads that, « More than 20 experts drawn from diverse social science disciplines took part in the colloquium whose overall aim was to analyse and evaluate the evolution of multiculturalism in order to draw up a National Strategic Plan and a draft law on multiculturalism for Cameroon.
« At the end of the colloquium, the experts who were mainly university dons, made 62 recommendations to the Commission. One of the recommendations they made to the Commission was that the terms ‘Anglophone’ and ‘Francophone’ should be suppressed from public discourse, because they do not reflect an authentic Cameroonian identity.
« The proposal has neither been examined nor adopted by the Commission in session, let alone been submitted to the Head of State for consideration. In due course, the Commission will carefully examine all the 62 recommendations, and, in a collegial manner, adopt a position on their merits and demerits.«
The proposal to ban the words Anglophone and Francophone has since been received with a lot of negative emotion, energy, and anticipation.
Barristers Akere Muna and Ayah Paul Abine had rubbished the proposal. While Ayah said it would mean an end to Cameroon’s existence, Akere said banning the words « Anglophone » and « Francophone » will necessitate Cameroon’s withdrawal from La Francophonie – a loosely united group of nations in which French is a first, official, or culturally significant language.