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Mimi Mefo info: Buea taxi drivers front campaign against hate speech in Cameroon

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Taxi drivers in Buea are fronting a mass street campaign aimed to limit and stop the spread of hate speech in Cameroon; The campaign, which has the hashtag #StopBadMop, is geared at sensitizing the public, especially taxi drivers, on the dangers of hate speech.

To drive the campaign, dozens of taxi drivers gathered at Check Point, Buea, this morning where their leader, Eben Chu, advised them to limit the spread of hate speech in the vehicles.

They also processed to the Buea Divisional Office, where they committed to “stand against all forms” in the community, family, and workplace.

Eben Chu also said taxi drivers are committed to “address hate speech at an early stage” and “use a dialogue approach to problem-solving in our taxis”.   The commitment is being followed by an intensified push from the Cameroon government and civil society organisations against hate speech.  Last year saw the outbreak of several hate-related utterances in Cameroon, especially in the South West Region, where some elite of the Region were heavily criticised for referring to fellow Cameroonians living the the Region as “settlers” and “people we don’t like”.

One of the masterminds of the hate-free campaign, Ngala Desmond, coordinator of the #Defyhatenow initiative in Cameroon, says hate speech in Cameroon takes different forms, including coarse jokes.

His organization joined taxi drivers in Buea to create massive awareness against the ill, He said the campaign targets taxi drivers because much hate spreads in taxis based on observation; He urged drivers to embrace the peace approach in settling disputes with their passengers to limit hateful outbursts.

At the Buea DO’s office, Chief Etina Monono, a prominent traditional ruler in the city, hailed the campaign and said he and other Chiefs are working to end the use of hateful phrases such as “cam no go”, commonly used against people from North West Region.

He said the goal is to make Buea peaceful and conducive for everyone coming from any part of the country.  The campaign gathered significant support from the Member of Parliament for Buea Urban, Hon Malomba Esembe, as well as Chiefs and administrative authorities.


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