Mixed feelings as UB gets new VC

By Solomon Lyonga

Tuesday Professor Horace Ngomo Manga, former Secretary General at the Ministry of Higher Education was appointed new Vice Chancellor, VC, of the   University of Buea, UB, taking over from Dr. Pauline Nalova Lyonga, who retires.

Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga

News of her retirement following a presidential decree signed Tuesday June, 27 has come as good news to some who remember especially her misdeeds.  Dr. Lyonga, Professor of English at the University of Buea, was appointed VC June 29, 2012 and within her tenure in office she constantly had disagreements with the teaching staff that spilled over to the strike action called by Anglophone teachers in November 2016. On social media some posted derogatory remarks linking the erstwhile VC with the tribalism that has entrenched itself within the UB milieu. And some are still pointing accusing fingers at Nalova Lyonga for provoking a severe military crackdown on UB students last year who had gathered in front of the central administration to demand the respect of their rights. It is alleged that on Nalova Lyonga’s instruction students were teargased and chased right into their rooms by forces of law and order. Pictures that emerged from the November 2016 protest of UB students drew widespread condemnation from human right groups.

Nalova Lyonga, who was the fourth to lead UB as VC since its creation in 1993 will however be remembered as a brilliant scholar. She is co-editor of Anglophone Cameroon Writing (Bayreuth, 1993), editor of Socrates in Cameroon: The Life and Works of Bernard Fonlon (Yaounde, 1989), and author of numerous articles on feminist theory and literature in African countries.

The new VC, Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga, is an Associate Professor of Applied Chemical Engineering. He obtained his PhD from the University of Lagos in 1990. He hails from the Oroko tribe in Ndian Division, Southwest Region of Cameroon.

Since its creation in 1993, the University of Buea has had four VCs: the pioneer being, Dr, Dorothy Njeuma. Later, Cornelius Lambi whose days came to a quick end following a controversial entrance exam into the UB medical school. Prof. Vincent Pryde Titanji was appointed as UB’s third VC in 2007 and replaced in 2012 by Dr. Nalova Lyonga.

The challenges ahead of the new VC are enormous especially as the Anglophone cr

isis continues to affect schools in the two English speaking regions of the country.  But, if he assumes his responsibility and creates an enabling environment for dialogue he may do better. Many see the recent appointments as a compensation for those Anglophone Varsity dons who stood against the Anglophone protest and fought actively on the side of the Government to blacklist English speaking University syndicate leaders, who had risked their wellbeing calling on the Government to give Anglophones more opportunities in the country.

In the same presidential decree, Prof Uphie Chinje Melo was equally appointed Rector of the University of Ngaoundere while Edward Ako Oben, hitherto Rector of the University of Maroua becomes Pro Chancellor of the University of Buea. He replaces Prof. Maurice Tchuenté who is now holding a similar function in the University of Yaoundé II.

Security rough handles cameraman over GCE exam footage

By Ngende Esther Boh

Spectrum Television, STV’s Kumba based cameraman, Marcel Itoe Likoli’s camera was seized by security agent at the Cameroon College of Arts and Science CCASS Kumba premises demanding all GCE footages be deleted.

Reports say on the early hours of Monday June 12 when the written part of the GCE Exams started, Likoli came to the said campus to film the exam on a good fate as he explained that since it was a Government exam it was media responsibility to tell the world but this explanation felled on deaf hears as the security agent insisted that he deletes the footage film already before he could go, on ground that he had not permission.

On good fate, he headed to the principal’s office to seek for permission to continue what he has started, but unknown to him the Principal Julius Fonge refuse claiming that hierarchy had given instruction that no one was permitted to film this year’s exam. According to this camera man the principal noted” when thing are going well no more comes to film the school to tell the world but when the going get thought that’s when cameras and reporters surface”.

Not satisfied that his camera has been seized and  it footage demanded to be  deleted, Marcel Itoe proceeded to the  Divisional delegate for  secondary Education hoping the situation could be addressed, but Akwo Eyoh had the same story to tell, that hierarchy forbids filming of this year’s exams.

Disappointed with the school administration on the manner they handled the issue Marcel Itoe had to buy his camera from security by deleting the said footage.

Exams in Tight Security

The Cameroon General Certificate Examination G.C.E had smoothly kicked off in Kumba amid tight security.

At examination centers, heavily armed security men stood at the entrance and exit roads of campuses repeatedly going round to check that no one apart of those writing the exams was seen around. So far, since the kick off on Monday no major incident has been reported.

Mbonge welcomes new SDO with request for Division

By Ngende Esther Boh

The people of Mbonge Sub-Division have through their Mayor Daniel Mokambe, expressed the wish to see Government raise Mbonge Sub-Division a full-fledged Division.

The Mayor was addressing these and other worries to the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Meme Chamberlain Ntou’ou Ndongon Tuesday, June 20, as he made his maiden contact tour to the Sub –Division since he was installed in March.

Amongst the worries of the Sub-Division are; lack of roads, school, electricity, pipe borne water, health services in some villages. However, top of the agenda was the request for Mbonge to be elevated to a Division,with one Sub-Division to be created in one of the Mbonge/Bakundu villages along the Buea-Kumba highway.

According to the Mayor, Mbonge Sub-Division is the biggest in the country in terms of land mass. With a population of more than 300,000people living across the villages in a vast space of land considered too big to be a Sub-Division.

Also, the fact that villages in the Sub-Division cut across other Sub-Divisions makes it even worse. The distance people in Banga will need to cover to get to Mbonge to have their problems solved is too much, considering the bad nature of the roads.

Because of all these inconveniences, villages along Buea road in particular cannot ask of anything more than for their own Sub-Division even before Mbonge can be raised to a Division.

Elites from Bombe hinted; “even if Mbonge won’t be made a Division, let Bombe be made a Sub-Division for the villages that are found along Buea road under Meme Division are too vast.”

In response to this demand, SDO Chamberlain Ntou’ou Ndong noted: “I am aware of the distance you cover to go to your administrative headquarters, Mbonge. I am aware of the constant disputes between Mbonge and Bakundu people, while waiting for a Sub-Division, I challenge you all to work together and develop the Division.”

The SDO told the press that it’s not his position to grant a Sub-Division or to cause a Sub-Division to be raised to a Division. He added of course, that but he promised the people that their request will be forwarded to hierarchy.

He said he had informed and encouraged the people that as the father of Meme Division, his duty was to protect and secure his subjects. He said his office doors were open to welcome their problems. The visibily satisfied masses used the occasion to extend words of thanks and gratitude to the Head of State for the tarring of Kumba-Mbonge-Ekondo-Mudemba road, which they have seen for themselves as represented by the ongoing work.

Traditional council chairman arrested over sale of Forest Reserve

By Ngende Esther Boh        

No fewer than 300 women from Small Ekombe and Kake II Bokoko gathered at the premises of the office of the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO for Meme in the early hours of Wednesday, June 21, to vent their anger after being sent away from Forest Reserve land given to them by Government to plant food crops.

Kake women on protest for sale of forest reserve

Following a crisis meeting that same morning at the SDO’s office, it was realized that the Kake II Traditional Council Chair, Besingi John had sold 20 he

ctares of the Southern Bakundu Forest Reserve which is Government land, to an individual for the sum of FCFA 6milion. The SDO immediately ordered his arrest and two averred accomplices for selling state land.

As part of the quest to get to the root of the illegal sales, Samuel Mukwelle Ndome, Prince of Kake II imputed complicity to an official in Kumba I Council who might be the master mind of shady land deals in that forest but he cannot ascertain if the actions of their traditional council

chair are connected to him. The Mayor for Kumba I Council, Abel Ebako Ndoh, however denied any of his workers’ involvement in the sales of land but added that if there was proof against any of them, they would be made to face the law.

Enow Kenneth Eyong, the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife told the press after the crisis meeting that the Government is aware of the presence of the women farming at the reserve so; he sees no reason why someone should ask them to evacuate.

He said that the Government, has since 2012, planted 22, 000 trees in 28 hectares of land in the said reserve. The problem is that Government does not send money for maintenance; this is probably driven by the fact that management of the reserve has been handed down to Kumba I Council, but the council is failing because of lack of resources and manpower.

Like the Mayor, the Delegate holds that those farming on the reserve are aware that they don’t own it, reason why they don’t plant cash crops which are permanent but rather, food crops. In fact the reason why Government is allowing such activity around the reserve is to use the women to maintain the trees after they are planted because if left on their own, grass will overshadow them especially during raining season.

At the close of the crisis meeting, the SDO ordered the women to go back and plant their crops but within certain clauses contracted with the various stakeholders involved. Firstly, the various farmers were identified and the plots they occupy. They were also reminded that any tree destroyed by anyone of them will merit immediate sanctions. They were equally reminded that the reserve was Government owned and so whosoever sold the land will have themselves to blame. They were however, told to be cautious to report all illegal activities around there, not to be blinded by presence of some fake Government officials.

Buea Council in action again

By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred

Just when people were beginning to think that the Buea Mayor and his municipal police were about to give them a break, they were at it again, on Thursday, June 23, as they took unwary citizens aback and began implementing the non-tolerance of so called illegal and makeshift structures within the municipality.

Sheds ransacked by Buea Council police

The municipal police who were carrying out the exercise came out as early as 8:30am with hammers and other metallic rods in hand and made nonsense of various business counters and sheds on the shoulders of the road, especially the major boulevard.

Their action took victims by surprise in line with what they had anticipated. Though shocked enough, they promised to pick up the pieces and continue. “Why did they destroy my table? Anyway, I am going to sell my tomatoes on the ground and people will still buy,”Joan Ngu told The Rambler.

It is said the council did not take the people by surprise as some of them tried to claim because, the council had made it clear to them that such structures are prohibited along the road. This explains why one of the victims whose table was destroyed, affirmed that she is quite aware that the Council does not want tables or counters along the streets of Buea given that it makes the town look unkempt. “Dem don di tell we say make we no leave our table dem for here, but we go do how? Dem say if we put our table sell, make we carryam after selling. I no di vex because I know very well say Council no want all dis small tables for corner road. We go move and when place don calm, we go bring am back,” the woman who gave her name only as Mami Njamanjama stated.

The Council might be right in doing what it did. Some critical minds have noted that 10 months after the Buea Council bulldozed unwanted buildings within the municipality, it should instead be engaging in bigger projects and not such petit and almost irrelevant exercise at the moment. Some have suggested that the Council should engage in road maintenance within the Buea Municipality; ensure the provision of potable drinking water and ensure traffic control that is fast becoming a nuisance among others.

“The few roads in Buea need maintenance. A case in point is the road that links Bakweri Town and Sandpit. There is a portion there that in a few months to come, it might become impassable,”Jules Esatengang, a businessman in Buea said.

This act has caused some people to recall how the Mayor has failed to complete the project of a modern market he popularized a few years back and which he boasted was going to cost FCFA 2,5 billion, to be completed by the end of 2015. They say if only the project which has now been abandoned, was realized, it would have provided them good shed wherein instead of hanging along the road, they would have been there on a daily basis.

However, some city dwellers hoped the recent Mayor’s action would not go beyond the destruction of tables and makeshift structures to ‘repellent’ structures again, because they do not know how they are going to contain it.

Council resorts to brigandage, seizes phones and cameras

Thursday June 23, was a day like no other in Buea. Enlivened by the activities of goons from the Mayor’s personal and council security, hideous acts that affected business people, sparked up quarrels and resistance from an irate public. Some business people only arrived their sheds some minutes after the scene, to discover their businesses had been reduced to rubble.

The situation became aggravated, when curious onlookers who were trying to savour the scenario were left burning with fury as their phones and cameras were seized and confiscated by the council police. A victim under anonymity angrily told this reporter that, he wonders if anything exists like Human Rights in Cameroon. He cried out loud saying, there is no law which stops people from taking photos in public places and more to that a digital camera, not even a cell phone. He argued that, people’s phones and cameras are private properties and not state property, and the state would only seize cameras from users or suspects of bad deeds whose perpetrators do not want to be exposed. “If the council police know they are doing a just and clean act, then why would they be confiscating people’s phones and cameras?” he wondered.

However, the Mayor still holds that, the destruction of these makeshift structures is for prosperity and he is happy about it. It is also worthy of note that, Clerk’s Quarters, for those who are observant, is choked with multiple business places with a greater percentage of them owned by the council; and the Mayor is still determined to choke the noisy quarter more, filling up every tiny space with box-like structures intended to generate funds for the municipality’s treasury.


Wobbly security instills panic in Mbonge Gendarmerie

By Ngende Esther Boh

Panicky security operatives in Mbonge Marumba, Meme Division, overwhelmed by persistent and successful cases of arson inflicted on public institutions, particularly schools, in Anglophone Cameroon, have resorted to face-saving devices that now include arrest of hardened criminals in localities that have no bearing with the locus of crimes.

To this effect, Meme Kingsley, 24, and Okoro Peter, 26, have been apprehended by the Mbonge gendarmes for allegedly being in possession of illegal and dangerous weapons that depict them as potential mercenaries on hire in support of the current civil disobedience drive in Anglophone Cameroon that sometimes materializes in arsons.

According to the Brigade Commander of Mbonge, Ekokobe Joseph, upon being apprised of the burning down of some classrooms of Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Mbonge, which was supposed to be a special centre for GCE Candidates in that locality on the eve of examination, he went to work immediately to ascertain the gravity of the damage; whereupon he realized that the fire had consumed two classrooms; the Vice Principal’s office and the Staff Room.

Ekokobe, continued that as it is customary, investigations were opened after the incident in the course of which he got a tip-off from informants that there were two strange people in town who looked suspicious and so he immediately put a disguised circulative patrol to hunt the “criminals.”

The strategy, according to Ekokobe, yielded fruits when at night the two boys were picked up at their residence at Bekora Barombi and after serious searching and investigation, it was realized they were in possession of swords and guns. WhenThe Rambler quizzed him on if preliminary findings suggest that the bandits are connected to the fire incident that consumed GBHS Mbonge, Ekokobe replied; “I received testimonies from the Chief of Bekora Sukpa Kuru and the Estate Manager of Pamol PLC on how these suspect bandits have been harassing people in his village and how they hijacked a fruits guards in a confrontation because of fear that he was going to implicate them for theft of palm nuts.

“From eyewitness accounts and their track record of criminality, we suspect that these are the people those promoting civil disobedience in Mbonge can hire to cause atrocities including fire, like they did.We know that with ghost towns and other socio-political crises, people have been fighting the Mbonge administration but issues of fire have not been recorded. So they just used the opportunity that GCE will be written to burn the school, and they can use only such popular and harden criminals of this calibre to fulfill their mission.’’

He further sustained that, he is sure there are some big men behind that but the bandits are not willing to expose them because they are certain that when they go to prison the big men will sponsor their release. “We see this from the cell where they are kept. They consumed heavy meals which are not meant for simple criminals. However, everybody has the right to whatever meal while in cell.”

It should be noted that these two bandits are ex-convicts, barely weeks old from prison. At press time, they had been transferred to Buea to answer questions from judicial authorities of the military court who have competence to entertain matters regarding guns and other weapons.

2018 elections overload on ELECAM’s head

By Nester Asonganyi

Even as the decision to hold elections in Cameroon is a guarded secret that the President of the Republic has arrogated to himself, statutorily, five elections are in the offing come next year, 2018. In no order of magnitude, the elections include Presidential, Senatorial, Parliamentary, Regional and Municipal. Ordinarily, this would not have been any skin off the nose of ELECAM, given its antec

edents in elections management that many adjudge as, incontrovertibly, above average. Despite public outcry that this Elections Management Body, EMB, is a smokescreen for the perpetration of CNU/CPDM hegemony in Cameroon, its actual performance on the field reveals an institution that is committed to living up to its billing.

The hue and cry from the public is understandable, given that majority of its top functionaries including the Board President, Board Members and General Manager of Elections had been inveterate promoters of President Biya’s vision of governance. However, an overriding criterion for appointment into the Board of ELECAM is proven integrity. Since integrity is not sold in the market, it will be assumed that Biya is yet to err in his appointment of members of the Electoral Board, barring the snag raised by Ms. Pauline Biyong, excised from the Board after being involved in activities considered infra dig with ELECAM statutes.

This far, Board Members have conducted themselves with expected decorum. What is probably being mistaken for derogation from expected deliverab

les to stakeholders is the fact that ELECAM lacks the level of maneuverability expected from an institution of its standing. The reason for this hitch is that ELECAM lacks real independence in terms of decision making and financial autonomy – necessary ingredients for a truly independent EMB.

Ever since Elections Cameroon, ELECAM was officially committed to work in 2010; to independently organize, manage and supervise all election matters in Cameroon, it is yet to convince Cameroonians in particular, and the world at large that it is worth its weight in acceptable credibility. As earlier stated, this apathy stems from the fact that the expertise of Board Members, both at the level of conceptualization and passage into law, was not relied in the institutionalization of the Electoral Code, that many consider a fabrication of the ruling CPDM , even as in-house gurus in electoral management pervade ELECAM.

Even though it succeeded in organizing the 2011 elections, many a Cameroonian did not seem satisfied as the same complaints of election rigging and fraud at various levels were still the order of the day. With imminent major elections in 2018, ELECAM and all its stakeholders must work very hard in order to live up to the expectations of the people.

Unlike in 2011 when it was working to seal its fate in terms of credibility and responsibility, ELECAM this time around, has to be more concerned with ensuring highest registration of voters ever, transparency and minimizing fraud during the highly awaited 2018 elections.

ELECAM had outstripped its 2016 forecast on voters’ registration by more than 500 percent, as 510,000 people registered on the electoral roll in 2016 among who were 9,000 Cameroonians living abroad and more than 30,000 people with disabilities. It might be an achievement but some think that a lot still needs to be done to ensure free, fair campaigns and elections. They base their argument on the basis that Cameroon is still very deep in corruption given that Government’s efforts towards fighting it have been rather reluctant, feeble and almost futile.

Despite ‘some good works’ done in 2016 by ELECAM, the Southwest Regional Branch might not just have been working hard enough because as it stands, this Region has the least number of registered voters; just a little over 5,000. This has made many to express worries as to why the Southwest Region should be the least despite the fact that it is not the least populated Region nationwide. It would be recalled that early this year, the Director General of ELECAM, Abdoulaye Babale stated, “In 2017, our target is 650,000 new voters…We have new enrollment kits which are succeeding more.”

The Rambler was wondering whether the new kits which perform better were not being used in the Southwest, when a reliable source revealed that, the issue does not have to do with the kits nor with the resources but with the commitment of stakeholders.

This reporter gathered that stakeholders have begun accusing one another of lack of commitment; while ELECAM workers are accusing political parties

of not playing their role, the parties are indicting ELECAM staff in the Region for not working the way they should.

Nonetheless, there have been complaints that the protracted strike action on the Anglophone problem in the Region has also slowed down the rate of registration.

Expectations and hopes are however high that ELECAM would do a clean and laudable job come 2018, irrespective of the fact that most of its Board Members are one time Political Bureau and Central Committee members of the Cameroon People Democratic Movement, CPDM, the ruling party in Cameroon.

If there is one positive aspect that observers see in ELECAM, it is the seeming camaraderie that already reigns between the new Board President and the Director General of Elections.

It is hoped that they will put their cerebral aptitude together and begin fashioning out strategies to heighten accountability and credibility in ELECAM. There needs to be a huge public relations drive to rid the institution of the stigma of a haven for academic fraudsters, specialized in forging certificates. There is also need to adapt kits and generators to field realities regarding their weight and performance.

Junior parliamentarians left stranded

By Mildred NdumWung Kum

Junior members of Parliament, MPs, of the Northwest Region appeared sullen, when they returned from the just ended 19th session of children’s parliament in Yaounde, on account of a catalogue of unfulfilled expectations triggered by authorities of the Ministry of Social Affairs, MINAS.

The event spanned June 9 to 17 in Yaounde with‘Culture of the patriotic spirit and mastery of the rush of Young People towards Information and Communication Technologies: A permanent challenge and a collective responsibility,’ as theme.

Stranded due to no fares

After the 19th summit of Children’s Parliament, MPs of the Northwest Region reached their final destinations under stress. The sixteen ambassadors of the Region returned from the summit on the night of Saturday 17, and were dropped off at the Mezam Divisional Delegation of Social Affairs. The fact that the Ministry of Social Affairs failed in their responsibility to completely fund transportation cost for the children to and from Yaounde meant that some of the kids were abandoned to their own devises.

A disappointed MP, Karen Mang Wung approached The Rambler crying: “Before our departure to Yaoundé, we were told by officials of the Delegation of Social Affairs that all transport expenses would be covered by the delegation but we were rather disappointed. I used my money to pay from Wum to Bamenda in the hope that I will be reimbursed but rather we were given tooth brushes, toothpaste and towels which are essential things we already had. After the session, the bus that carried us from Yaoundé left us in Bamenda to find our way home,” she lamented.

The constitution establishing the organization of Junior Parliamentarians states that any money spent for fares by the MPs should be reimbursed was thus violated. A handful of disappointed kids benefited from the charity of Lidwina Munting Ngwanwi. As a superintendent who accompanied the kids throughout the session in Yaoundé Ms. Munting, was forced to spend money from pocket to see the kids responsibly dismissed while other kids were helped by friends and relatives who live in Bamenda. Even petty financial motivation often given to the MPs at the end of parliamentary sessions was overlooked this time. One of the junior MPs summed up the disappointments in desperation “Our year is a bad year”

MPs barred from discussing strike grounded schools

The 16 junior parliamentarians drawn from the seven divisions of the Northwest were naturally expected to raise the issue of the plight of children in the Region. However, during the session in Yaounde, they were warned by officials of MINAS not to say a thing concerning the non-functional schools in the Northwest.

MPs like Zaid Aboubakar and Grace Kongor went to Yaoundé with intent to voice their discomfiture regarding the fact that their peers in the other eight Regions are at school while they are left out but they were told to consider that schools are operational. Discussions were diverted to issues like patriotism, cybercrimes, ICTs, the rights of children, Persons with Disability and HIV/AIDS.

During a question and answer forum in the presence of the President of the National Assembly Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, the kids questioned four ministers. The Minister of Secondary Education was questioned on why there are more trained teachers in city schools and less in rural schools, plus why the lack of computer laboratories and multimedia centres in rural schools.

The Minister of Public Health was asked why children in rural areas especially in the North continue to suffer from malaria. The Minister of Post and Telecommunication was queried on how youths can use the internet without being victims of cyber criminality. From the Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, they inquired what can be done to limit child marriages. Answers from these big wigs were akin to vague explanations. “We are doing our best to make things better” was the utmost response from the ministers.

MPs deprived from touristic sites

Children MPs were initially told that they would visit at some touristic areas but it turned out not to be the case. The only area smelled was the museum where MPs were not even given the chance to go in and see what the museum stores but stood at the gatepost gazing at the museum from a distance.

All is well that ends well as MPs at the end adopted resolutions and tasks that would keep them busy when they get back home amongst which are; develop a culture of living together, cultivate a patriotic spirit, sensitize families and children on the harmful effects of cybercrimes, respect the free care of pathologies affecting children, advocate the provision of computers and qualified teachers in schools and strive for the intensification of moral education. The junior parliamentarians also agreed to meet at Divisional level once in three months. The meeting would enable them to evaluate their plans of action.


Cameroon ousted from 2017 FIFA Confederation tournament

By Claudia Nsono

The African giant has returned home after suffering a 3-1 lashing from their German super-opponents. The lions of Cameroon whose invincibility has been put to question following their German spanking, finished last in Group B with 1 point and 2 goals. Their group is topped by the World Champions with 7 points. They are closely followed by Chile and Australia with 5 and 3 points respectively.

The last appearance of the lions at the games witnessed a goalless first half. While Germany secured its position at the top of their group, with 3 goals netted during the second half of play, Abubakar Vincent saved the face of Africa, with a header, from Noumi Nicolas Ngalameu’s cross.

Addressing the press in a post-match conference in Russia, head coach of the Indomitable Lions Hugo Broos, expressed frustration at the loss, confessing he has no explanation for what transpired on the pitch. In his words, “first I saw a yellow card, and then it was a red card.” He laughs. “Don’t ask me what really happened. For me, it is something I did not understand. I do not understand for the moment either. So, I have to see again what happened on television then, maybe I can answer the question. But, I think this is something for the referee himself. He alone can explain what happened there because I do not know.”

The Video Assistant Refereeing, VAR, which has been introduced in the competition, has left football fans with diverse views. While some think it has come to wipe out any notions of injustices during tournaments, others have criticized it, saying it makes the game artificial and boring.

The performance of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions who represented the African Continent at the competition has left Africa with a single point in the tournament. No doubts critics have been quick to question whether they won the Africa Cup of Nations by chance or charms.

Their performance according to some spectators will never get better if “the powers that be do not appease the Foe’s spirit.” Bernard Wodjou stressed that “ever since Foe died, we have never performed well in the Confederations Cup. We are always removed at the early stages.”

As to what could be the problem and way forward, he stated that, “the government promised to complete the stadium Foe had begun constructing before his demise. Until they do this, I am not sure we will ever pass group stages of the Confederations Cup.”

Information not independently verified by The Rambler claims that the government and international bodies have not been able to complete the said project because the  documents of the Sports Complex bear the name of the fallen hero’s father.

It should be recalled that former Indomitable Lions midfielder, Marc Vivien Foe, met his waterloo while playing against Colombia at the Semi Finals of the 2003 at the State de Gerland in Lyon, France. He collapsed in the centre circle and died after a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen and 45 minutes attempting to restart his heart by medics had proven fruitless.  Autopsy reports concluded that he had died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Foe was posthumously decorated with a commander of National Order of Valour.

Could observers who claim Foe was accompanied to the World beyond with any chances of Cameroon ever clinching the very coveted trophy be right? Only time will tell.


France – friend or foe?

In holding Teodorin Obiang Nguema to book for alleged ill-gotten wealth, did France expect the streets of Bata to erupt with shouts of “a Daniel come to judgment?” That would have been a legitimate expectation anywhere else – not in countries where people have gotten used to half-heartedly crying rape, while wiggling to give the rapist his orgasm, and even hoping to have one of their own in the process.

The strident “back-off-Macron” calls now coming out of Equatorial Guinea, and being echoed from its Francophone neighbours, are an indication of how African populations are beginning to wrestle with the split personality syndrome born mostly of France’s duplicitous colonial policy.

These countries have been, and continue to be, led by a breed of dictators who gag their people, precisely to keep them from demanding an end to France’s choke-hold on their economic and political lives. And because they are guaranteed French support against any domestic uprising, they can, with careless abandon, pillage what is left of their countries’ economies, and stash their ill-gotten wealth in the same France and elsewhere in the West.

Their families, whether it be a first son in Malabo or a first daughter in Yaounde, are raised in the same squandermania, drawing from the same seemingly bottomless coffers, with royal scorn for the misery of common citizens.

Then, as if by a pang of conscience, France wakes up one morning and confiscates Teodorin’s hyper-expensive toys, and is dragging him to court on charges of corruption, money-laundering and embezzlement of public funds.

Teodorin Obiang Nguema has already had $71 million worth of assets seized by the US, including a $30 million Malibu mansion, a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet, a Ferrari worth more than $500,000 and Michael Jackson memorabilia worth almost $2 million.

Back home in Malabo, people who should be thoroughly revolted by the enormity of the Nguemas thievery, are instead leaping to his defense, accusing the US and France of being accessory to the crime by accepting the assets in their territory in the first place. They condone the crime itself on the frivolous premise that international law does not give France locus standi to try a foreign citizen for crimes committed in his own country.

By the way, what if we were to learn at some point that Obiang even has French nationality, considering that most Africans in power easily avail themselves of western citizenship as a safety net?

But, to complicate matters further for France, we learn that, with effect from early this year, Teodorin is his country’s Vice President, appointed by his Father. We shall not go into whether the Constitution of Equatorial Guinea provides for the VP to be appointed rather than elected. In any case we don’t recall hearing of any elections in that country this year. Which means that the appointment could well have been a father’s attempt to shield the son from litigation by giving him immunity.

And so with immunity abroad and impunity at home, the scene is set for the perpetuation of the Obiang Nguema dynasty in Equatorial Guinea, unless someone else can do something to stop it. And who can do what? The Americans have seized Nguema’s property but are still known to be his dictator father’s current backers. Do they intend to restitute the stolen wealth to the people of Equatorial Guinea, to be managed by the same regime who stole it?

And what does France really want, and how far is she willing and able to go? Short of convicting and physically putting Nguema away in jail, what can France achieve? Is regime change part of the mid-to-long-term agenda?

Presidential dynasties seem to be the new fad in Africa, especially in France’s former colonies. In Gabon, Ali has comfortably replaced his father with French aid. In Cameroon we hear of a Baongla posturing to replace the man he proclaims to be his father.

It remains to be seen if France intends to go all the way with its on-going Malabo experiment, and to replicate it in its own African “pre-carre”

With what is happening in most African countries, the time seems to have come for Western powers, especially France, to choose between their puppets and the people.

Notwithstanding the official media’s drumbeating in support of thieving regimes, there is no doubt that the masses have had enough of being ripped off by France and robbed by their own so-called leaders.

It would be suicidal, considering the current wind of radicalization, to ignore their expressions of outrage, however muted they may now seem to be.

In Cameroon, for instance, the days are long gone when nationalists were branded terrorists by the French, and hunted down by the army, with popular support. Today the Cameroonian masses know better and, in the drive to restore our sovereignty, whoever is not with us, is against us.

France must be told to seek first the friendship of the people, and access to all other goodies, including oil, will be added. If they choose to back their old lackeys they will deserve whatever they get. Old, exploitative deals that enslaved African countries to France cannot, must not, shall not be part of the new deal.