Le Premier Discours De Macky Sall En Tant Que Président De La République Du Sénégal
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:20
By Fr Ludovic Lado
21 April 2012
On Friday evening, I went to Douala to participate in a debate at Equinoxe TV on the electoral code just promulgated by the head of state, speaking as an invitee from civil society. I intended to return to Yaoundé on Saturday for a press conference scheduled for the afternoon at Melen as from 15h30 on the civic campaign “I want a different electoral code” that I was about to launch. Convinced that Cameroonians deserve a better code and that the promulgated code does not represent the democratic aspirations of most of my fellow citizens, I wanted to invite them to continue to fight peacefully for a better electoral code by wearing every Saturday a T-shirt that says what they want, just a better electoral code.
But at the end of the TV Program, I was informed from Yaounde that my religious community had been visited by police commissioners to warn that they will have to intervene if the press conference was maintained. In short they did not want to hear about it. Another group came to inquire about my identity, whether I was a Cameroonian or not. For security reasons, I was asked to stay in Douala at least for sarturday. However I will return to Yaoundé on Sunday 22nd april where I will continue to invite people who share my opinion on the electoral code to work peacefully for its betterment. I will continue to advocate for a civic mobilization of people for the amelioration of the electoral law. Do I need to remind the regime in place in Cameroon that I don’t have any political ambition? Although I am a catholic priest, I am entitled, as a citizen, to an opinion that I can share in a civic way with other fellow citizen. If, by doing it I am seditious, then we are not in a democratic state. Civil society, and that is where I belong, has the right, even more the duty, to educate people on how the fight for their rights, for the improvement of political freedoms. That is my line of action!
Obviously, it is unfortunate that in a country that claims to be democratic, peaceful press conferences can be forbidden, even in private homes. Let the security forces rest assured that I will never call upon people to go into the streets because I know what they are capable of in Cameroon to hang on to power and their undeserved privileges. Already, they have started with warnings and intimidations, asking my religious superiors to contain me in my religious duties, if not they will have to consider me and deal with me as a politician. But what can they do to me apart from calumniating, violence or killing me? Some have been putting pressure on bishops so that they should dismiss me from my position as vice dean of the Faculty of social sciences and management of the Catholic university of Central Africa. But once more, let it be, sooner or later. Some are working on it!
But let me reiterate that my fight is for the respect of the voice of the Cameroonian people which is hungry and thirsty for justice, while politicians are playing games! If they are so sure of the popular support, why are they afraid of a T-shirt worn by an ordinary citizen to express its will without bothering anybody? Whatever the case, I will wear my T-shirt every Saturday as long as I am in Cameroon. I am ready to pay the price! I will not be the first Jesuit to be assassinated in Cameroun or in the world. Let me reiterate that I take full responsibility for my opinions on political issues as they do not represent those of the Catholic Church in Cameroon or of the Jesuits as a religious order. They are under pressure from the regime because of me. As a Cameroonian citizen I have the right to the freedom of speech. But also as a Jesuit, faith is inseparable from the promotion of social justice. And the issue at stake here is electoral justice! May God bless Cameroon!
Fr Ludovic Lado
Cameroonian citizen and Jesuit