Fako chiefs, elites, lend support for Cultural Festival

By Nester Asonganyi

In keeping with their role as custodians of culture and tradition, Fako chiefs have resolved to ditch latent or manifest  differences and work together as one man with their elites for the success of the upcoming second edition of the Southwest Cultural Festival to be hosted this time around by Fako Division, in Buea, to be precise.

The resolution was arrived at on Friday June 30, in Buea during a first preparatory meeting. It was chaired by the Technical Adviser at the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, Churchill Ewumbue Monono.

The Buea 2017 edition of the festival, just like Kumba 2015, will still hold in December and will run from December 9 to December 16.

The Regional Delegate of Culture for the Southwest, Grace Ngoh Ewang emphasized the fact of culture being wealth. But she was quick to add that it would be worth nothing, if not exposed. She said many people visit Cameroon but go to those Regions where they would find artifacts, including traditional houses.The Delegate regretted the fact that the Southwest Region has never been a destination for such tourists because there is nothing besides the sea and the mountain, both of which they have already seen.

Fako Chiefs and Elite

“We have so much to offer.The Southwest Cultural Festival is a lobbying tool to get people (sons and daughters) fund the preservation of the Southwest culture. It is also an opportunity for the Southwest people to meet as a people and too, a market for our artists,” she said.

Even though the Mayor of Buea Municipality, Ekema Patrick Esunge, remarked that he was not aware of such a grand event to be hosted by his municipality, he promised the Council’s collaboration. She however, castigated what he termed ‘the hate-love’ way of life, in Fako in particular, and Southwest in general. Hear her: “I am here because of the respect I have for Churchill Monono. He is the only Fako elite who cut across. I have seen in him a good person who will bring light to Fako because we are all lost.”

But Mola Elive, a teacher and an artist pleaded that; the Fako people shouldn’t let their differences pollute their culture. “We have a lot of challenges and I am pleading with the chiefs to use their offices in helping Fako, so that, during the festival, we will come out as one man.”

After serious deliberations, it was agreed that various committees be put in place to coordinate activities during the festival.

Churchill Monono who chaired the meeting, expressed gratitude for the seriousness he had seen in everyone present. “I am very happy that we have been able to brainstorm and settle our grievances. I have taken note of the fact that communication has to be enhanced. The next meeting will be in two or three weeks’ time,” Monono stated.

It is worthy of note that, activities to stamp the 2017 edition of the festival will include: prestigious Southwest sport walk with icons; excursion to Southwest cultural and touristic sites; exhibition of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, photography and books on Southwest cultures; physical and pictorial presentation of traditional houses on the site; choral music; traditional games; dances, traditional medicine; gastronomy; conferences; fashion parades and films projection. The festival will be crowned with a musical concert and heroes night award ceremony that will also see the finals of the elected Miss Southwest Region.

NCC Chairman slams SCBC TV channel

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Rattled by the huge popularity already garnered by debutant ‘Southern Cameroon Broadcasting Corporation,’ SCBC, the President of the National Communication Council, NCC, has warned cable distributors in Bamenda against the transmission of images of the TV channel, terming it illegal, rebellious and clandestine.

Peter Essoka, NCC Chairman

Peter Essoka, handed down the warning to cable distributors on Monday, June 26, during a two-day working visit to the Region.

He insisted that the television channel based in South Africa was out to incite and destabilize Cameroon with their content. The NCC President explained that it is completely out of place to distribute the content whose legality is unknown.

“When some clandestine group of people put up images through satellite and you start grabbing and distributing them… my dear friends, you are against the law and the law has the right to get you. I can close you down; we want you to be orderly,” he cautioned.

While cautioning the cable distributors, the veteran Journalist, advised that, they should go to the Regional Delegation of Communication, Northwest and enquire the procedure to obtain their distribution licenses so as to start operating within the confines of the law.

Responding to a question on whether the Council had information on the arrest and detention of a cable distributor in Ndop, Essoka, said it was good to take responsibility for what is right and not what will put them in trouble.“We are aware, of the fact that there was an arrest in Ndop and the Council is now taking the responsibility to come up and was supposed to be discussing this with the Governor who has already taken action.”

On their part, the cable distributors raised issues of ignorance and sanctions, citing the incident in Ndop, as a vivid example.

The NCC head made it clear that everyone has the freedom to communicate just whatever they like, but should be cautious that the law is at the corner. He added that despite the fact that the organization is there to regulate the media landscape in the country; his institution was not doing censorship but regulating, reasons why they dialogue with the professionals and only sanction when they become recalcitrant.

To journalists, Essoka harped on the necessity of a good press. He urged journalists to always remain reporters and not supporters in their reporting adding that, a press is one that respects democratic principles, has its freedom, and remains honest and truthful.

“You should not look only at one side of a story. There is always the good and bad side and it’s your role to always balance it no matter what. I encourage you to practice peer review journalism and above all, practice investigative journalism,” Essoka told journalists.

He told the press corps in the Region that his coming was merely to remind them of the core values of the profession which should always be maintained.

Meeting the high cost of dying

By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred
No human being; not even the most powerful one, lives in perpetuity; not even the shoulder –raised leaders who behave like immortals, have ever peeked into the back door of life after death. But certainly, many have attended send-off ceremonies of deceased kith and kin and seen the breaking into coffers-investing more on “dead meat” rather than the fresh ones, which makes it the greatest ‘’irony of contemporary society.’’

 

Millions are lavished for the dead in most families today; be they poor or rich, to make possible what they consider “proper burials.” Keeping aside the Muslim tradition of immediate burial after death or burning and floating corpses on water as practiced by Hindus, storing the body in mortuaries is the custom. Itinerant chartered pastors seize such opportunities and become patrol men, walking from one end to the other of mortuaries, looking for mourners to pray and open the gates of heaven for their deceased ones in exchange for hard cash.

This reporter visited the Buea mortuary and met Ekaneh Eugene, one of the attendants, who revealed a lot about the mortuary. He said the main work of a mortuary attendant is consoling the bereaved, educating him or her on the rules and functionalities of the mortuary and also, receiving corpses.

With regards to the cost of preserving a corpse, Ekaneh said there are two basic ways of preserving a corpse: through dry embalmment and placing it in a fridge. He revealed that, for dry embalmment they collect money according to the size of the body. We collect FCFA 50,000 for the smallest corpse for embalmment which is done per week and the body is wrapped with a cloth and kept in a room and registered, at the cost of FCFA 7500. He furthered that on the day of the removal of the corpse, washing the corpse costs FCFA 35,000 and if the family prefers to wash the corpse, it would cost FCFA 5000.

“For placement in a fridge, formalin has to be injected into the body which costs FCFA 20,000. Extra FCFA 500 is paid every night the corpse remains in the fridge,” he said. He revealed that he receives about eight corpses per day and at the moment of the interview themortuary was already full, with no space for any other corpse. Ekaneh is not the only one making a fortune from the misfortune, from the death of others. This reporter also visited the ‘Mbah Humanitarian Service,’ a coffin shop. They said they make high quality caskets which cost over FCFA 180,000 and they that they do sell averagely three in a week. Talking to a carpenter who was decorating a coffin, he affirmed that he dresses about seven coffins a day and that he is paid FCFA 5,000 per coffin decorated.

Bereaved families are entitled to tailor new clothes “asuabi” which cost hundreds of thousands, provide food, drinks, shelter and entertainment for extended families and loved ones present at funeral grounds. Animals are slaughtered and transportation for extended families from far and near is assured and paid for. Posters are printed and posted round town and traditional groups of dancers are also paid and invited.

It is often possible for a man who, alive, could barely afford a pair of trousers to be clothed with garments costing hundreds of thousands, transported in a lavishly polished and decorated casket from the mortuary, with song, drums and cymbals in tow. Some are flanked by motorbike riders, performing deadly stunts with women on their backseat, smoking and drinking alcohol while wailing in the midst of loud horns from the vehicles creating nuisance- most of the times resulting to avoidable accidents.

Some people use these funerals as opportunities to show-off, by “spraying” banknotes, and being raised shoulder-high. It is also saddening that, during funerals,

people fight because of food and drinks, gossip and even become drunk, having no respect for the deceased, gradually turning funerals into parties and weddings as some even flirt recklessly at funerals.

These long good bye phenomena have left many families with huge debts and stress after burials. Funerals have become a huge and growing industry that stretch far beyond the deceased. They are again, the greatest ironies as individuals who never cared nor offered even a broom stick to the deceased when alive, suddenly become saints during their burials, spearheading the burials. Funerals have become more deadly as families tend to fight one another and even separate because of property and the deceaseds’ wills, which are not often respected.

The church has preached in recent times, against lavish spending during funerals considering all of it to be vanity. It is, also, a daily preaching in churches that we ought to care more for the poor and helpless when alive as exemplified in the “parable of the rich man and Lazarus’’ explains (Luke 16:19-31).  Families sometimes get the deceased into more trouble while in the grave, as they take the corpse to church, and after that, it is carried to traditional grounds, where huge amounts of money are paid to juju men to perform fetish rites on the body.

Wirba’s sudden appearance spices tribunal

By Claudia Nsono

After his recent sudden reappearance at the National Assembly from self-exile, Social Democratic Front, SDF, Member of Parliament, MP, for Jakiri, in Bui Division, Hon. Joseph Wirba Mbidzenyuy, in what is evocative of carousal emergent from unprecedented daring of the Biya regime, Thursday June 29, stormed the Yaounde Military Tribunal to spectate during the prosecution of leaders of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium together with 26 other Anglophones.

His appearance at the court session scheduled to examine the case between the leaders of the proscribed consortium and the State of Cameroon was the highlight of the long awaited hearing which lasted only for five minutes. The time was for the judge of the Military Tribunal to pronounce that the hearing had been adjourned to July 27, 2017, following the absence of a member of the prosecuting bench.

Prior to the start of the court session, Hon. Wirba drew further attention when he gave the President of the banned Consortium, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor, aka, Agbor Balla, bear hug that has gone viral on the social media. Some have wasted no time interpreting the gesture as solidarity and togetherness among “suffering” Anglophones even in chains.

Onlookers who waited enthusiastically for Mancho Bibixiy who typically “steals the show” with a song, a slogan or a costume, were somewhat disappointed when he showed up in the courtyard a little too poised for normal. He, Barrister Nkongho and Dr. Fontem Neba (Secretary General of the debarred Consortium), unlike the 26 others arrived the court premises without cuffs. Their usual smiles that complete their outfits did not leave them during the last trial which resulted in yet another adjournment, to the supposed annoyance of some bigwigs.

In his distinguishing fashion, Barrister Nkongho was speckled in chitchats with his ilk. The consequential chuckles left some watchers with the belief that the prison has failed to kill the gusto of the legal mind and his fellow prison mates as many would have assumed.

It is their sixth court appearance since January 17, when they were apprehended in Bamenda, Buea, and other towns of the Northwest and Southwest Regions of the country and ferried to the nation’s political capital. Adjournments have succeeded adjournments since their first presence in court, yet trial, nay, judgment is still being impatiently awaited.

Worthy of note is the fact that the leaders of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium: Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor and Dr. Fontem Neba; Macho Bibixiy and 25 others are charged with incitation to civil war, hostility against the nation, secession, treason, group rebellion, insurrection, dissemination of false information, revolution, contempt of institutions, looting and destruction of public property.

Talking to The Rambler after the last court appearance, Awung Daniel said that he has been paying close attention to the trials, adding…“I know they are simply trying to torture and exasperate the detainees in the hope of sending a loud unsaid warning to their fans who might be thinking of following in their footsteps.”

He is one of many who opine that the powers that be are to blame for the extension of the crisis whose end does not seem anywhere close.

Some impatient Anglophones and sympathizers of the brawl have questioned why the case is constantly being adjourned. A number of them suppose that the Government is buying time to extinguish any similar moves from the aggrieved Anglophones. The same are convinced that if the Government considers the recurrent adjournments as a measure to quench Anglophone agitations, then it is an abortive move. They quoted Hon. Wirba saying “The immediate and unconditional release of all detained and the dialogue table are the only ways. Why is the issue of going to the dialogue table abominable to the Government?” they quipped.

 

Constables deride French language dominance in training

By Nester Asonganyi

In what resonates as indictment for tardiness in falling in line with the new fad of bilingualism in the country by the administration of Mutengene Police Training College, some newly graduated constables into the police corps have faulted the dominance of French language during training.

They made the remark on Thursday, June 29, at the Mutengene Police College Campus during their graduation ceremony chaired by the Delegate General for National Security, Martin Mbarga Nguelle.“The training we had was never easy, but we thank God who saw us through. There were no real difficulties, the only challenge some of us encountered was language barrier, given that most of the training was in the French language. I understand a majority of students are Francophones but some consideration should be given to English. However, we thank God that we made it at the end,” Naan Ethel, one of the graduates said.

She added that her only prayer is for God to guide them so that they are able to serve the Cameroonian population in the best way ever.

“When I first got here, I didn’t know I will survive, given that I was not good in French and our training was essentially in the French language. I am happy that I am finally graduating today,” one of the police constables, also, noted.

To Njifuah Cedrick, another graduate, his appreciation goes first to his parents for seeing him through the training because, as he put it, it was not easy.

He said he was glad to become a full-fledged police officer. He promised to be very responsible in the execution of his duties. Njifuah, said he understands that the challenges are there and so, advised Cameroonians to stay peaceful while helping policemen to execute their duties with ease.

Njifuah stated, “It is no secret that the peace in Cameroon is being threatened, especially here in the Southwest Region. We will try our best to restore peace in the country. We hope to live up to the expectations of the populations at the level of the law.”

The Delegate General for National Security, Martin Mbarga Nguelle, had earlier on, charged the young police officers with the responsibility of serving the public with commitment and humility. He told them that the profession was a challenging but noble one, reason why, they must work accordingly, in respect and maintenance of laid down norms.

On the heels of the Delegate General, Nith Pierre, Commandant of the Police College called on the newly graduated police constables to approach their task diligently. He, also, urged the population to combine their effort with that of the police in fighting violence in the country. Nith said he was satisfied to see the students graduate promising,“We pledge our commitment to offer the best quality training to our trainees so that our national security will always be distinguished.”

The 3,000 student-police who graduated into the force as police constables following the completion of a 52-week long training, received epaulets, end of course diplomas and copies of the code of ethics of the police force.

Nigerian refugees swarm Northwest Region

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Nigerian Refugees with some Cameroonian Administrators

No fewer than 400 refugees fleeing ethnic confrontation from neighbouring towns in Nigeria have flooded Nwa Sub Division in Donga Mantung Division, Northwest Region, for safety. Many are in poor health condition and in need of food and basic hygiene facilities.

The refugees (Fulani graziers) have swarmed into Nwa Sub-Division following an ethnic clash between the Mambilas and the Fulani graziers. The Senior Divisional Officer, SDO for Donga Mantung Division, Ngone Ndode Mesape Bernard, visited the localities of Yang, Nsam, Ntim to assess the living condition of the refugees.

Reports say the refugees are mostly women and children below the ages of five. It is said that over 300 of them have taken shelter in one of the primary schools while others are in the Ardoret. Their living conditions according to what The Rambler gathered are precarious, given that they lack food and other basic necessities like medication, blankets and proper shelter.

Meantime, some of them who sustained injuries during the clashes with the Mambilas have been transferred to Kumbo for medical attention. Allegedly, one death has been recorded.

However, the Mbororo Socio-Cultural and Development Association- MBOSCUDA and the Mayor of Nwa Dr. Ngomfe Loma David have extended a hand of fellowship by providing some support to the refugees.

It should be recalled that massive influx of refugees in bordering villages of Nwa reached its apex on June 23. It is said the confrontation recorded loss of lives, slaughtering of thousands of cows and burning down of homes belonging mainly to the Fulani. Reports also hold that the crisis was as a result of the conflict between farmers and glaziers.

All dead wood must go

What’s it with this bloke called Wirba? Whence did he derive this gumption to embark on the dangerous path of resistance in the face of a steamroller regime, when the mere thought of being even remotely associated with it makes his peers cower and pee? And after barely saving his skin, having been “chased through the bushes” (his own words) by a squad sent to arrest him – or perhaps worse; what inspired the daredevilry to consciously walk straight back into the lair? Did he suddenly become suicidal? Or is he gone past the threshold of fear? Questions like these are giving sleepless nights to all kinds of people in Cameroon: first to West Cameroonians wrestling with the challenge to even stand by this fellow who is standing up for them, and wondering what extra-terrestrial pedigree he must be.  Is it some special trace element in the potatoes of Wai Nama or in the beans on the Mbve hills? Few of us can help feeling dwarfed by the sheer moral stature of this man.

The Second group is Caesar’s vassals and centurions who are all at sea over this resistance from a most unexpected source. Back in secondary school, we learnt that all bullies are cowards. They never touched a junior student unless they were sure he was safe, i.e. too weak or timid to fight back, or that he had no friend or relative who could get back at them. Etoudi may assume one of two things – either that Wirba is bluffing, in which case they may try to reach for him, at the risk of opening Pandora’s Box, or that he may be coming back with a Trojan Horse, in which case it would be safer to let him be. Not used to that level of emasculation, Etoudi must be, to use their favourite expression, “dans tous ses etats.”

The third group is the rest of the so-called Anglophone parliamentarians and senators. What are they doing outside of lining up “small things” at the Hotel des Deputes or Mont Febe? Wirba alone is left to do their collective duty – and they are all too chickenhearted to support him.

Clearly they don’t even take their parody of parliamentary immunity seriously, except, perhaps, when some of them invoke it to cover their own wrongdoings. And if they don’t have the back of their colleague who is putting his life on the line for the sake of the same constituencies they claim to represent, then does that not disqualify them as parliamentarians? In this case, don’t they deserve being recalled by their respective constituents?

In fact, in a country where people have a sense of honour, they should all tender their resignations and head home, bowed in utter shame. But knowing they can’t, The Rambler, in an earlier editorial, called for a no-confidence vote on all of them. And developments since then have further laid bare their irrelevance, and continue to vindicate our call.  Now we know they all place greater premium on their party which   gives them bonuses and a lucrative sinecure in parliament, than on the nation of which they have hopelessly fuzzy notion. They confuse a country – which is a geographical expression, and a nation which thrives on the pride of belonging.

Now that we know we have nobody representing us in parliament, we can only sink to our knees and pray, “our father who art in Etoudi, thy will be done in the West Cameroon as it is in the East.” (No heresy intended here of course!) In the meantime they continue to draw a comfortable living from our taxes.

Listen, folks, we may not all be made of the same stern stuff as Wirba. We may not all have been radicalized to the point of resolutely turning our backs on a union that’s gone rickety over time; we may not all favour a return to the “Atara” (two-lobe cola) arrangement of 1961. Whatever our inclinations may be, we all claim to be functioning under a contraption which prefers to call itself a democracy. That puts in our hands the tools to dismantle a parliament that does not represent us.  So, short of the dramatic no-confidence vote right now, we have the coming election to say our last word. Those who still believe in this union must take the broom in their hand and clean out that Augean Stable we call parliament, come next year. Tell your neighbour, “all dead wood must go!”

 

 

AS CRISES PERSIST… Educational osmosis’ revert in Anglophone Regions

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Even as the commencement of the 2017/2018 school year is still about two months away, anxiety underpinned by uncertainty, continues to dominate public debate in Bamenda. Many are those who are optimistic that Yaoundé shall hit the last nail on the Anglophone crisis soonest and a new school year shall be secured. Others hold that, the next school year is still a long way away, as many an educational stakeholder, especially parents, are still to be fully convinced that what caused the school boycott has been completely resolved.

The Governor of the Northwest Region, last week during a routine tour of some accommodation centres in Bui and Donga–Mantung Divisions to evaluate the ongoing GCE and First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, exams launched an appeal for educational stakeholders to kick start preparations for the new school year to debut come September.

After visiting accommodation centres of GBHS Kumbo, Kimboh and GBHS Nkambe and those of the FSLC in Mezam, the Governor noted that in spite of absences, it was now common truths that end of course exams are almost over, thus ushering in another school year. In the event, the need arises to start preparations regarding a smooth take-off to that effect.

Tradition has always been that upon the publication of Common Entrance results, interviews commence immediately for admission into Form One. In Bamenda, there is no mention of anything as school resumption talk less of the launch of school resumption in both the public and private schools following the intensification of ghost town operations and threats on life and business places.

If schools don’t resume in Anglophone Cameroon…

Judging by the situations of non-resumption of schools since the onslaught launched by the All Anglophone Teachers Trade Union against the “francophonization” of Anglophone educational systems, events may assume a different coloration if the status quo persists. Given that many well-to-do Anglophone parents quickly withdrew their children from schools in Anglophone Cameroon to francophone schools and they have sat for exams in the schools, things might work negatively for schools in Cameroon, West of the Mungo. The osmotic strength hitherto enjoyed by the Anglophone sub-system wherein, many schools in the Northwest and Southwest Regions received many students from Douala, Bafoussam, Yaoundé and elsewhere might change and instead, Northwest and Southwest students shall move to schools East of the Mungo, hence the domination of the French system of education, the underlying factor that constituted the grievances outlined in the industrial strike notification.

If schools fail to resume across Anglophone Cameroon, hundreds of teachers, hitherto workers under the Catholic Education Agency, the Baptist, Presbyterian and Full Gospel Missions might migrate for greener pastures in schools East of the Mungo. This might lead to the collapse of many schools in the Northwest and Southwest Regions and what the Anglophones are fighting against might lead to a situation where the hunter becomes the hunted. The economy of the Northwest Region had been buoyed in the past because the education industry has remained the live wire and the dilemma of what happens to the structures of PCHS Mankon, Our Lady of Lourdes, Sacred Heart Mankon is a jig saw puzzle.

The transport sector might see a downturn as the frequent in and out movement of students shall greatly reduce, foodstuff mostly bought from local markets shall witness a major hitch as boarding schools shall not be open to buy; electric bills shall not be paid, taxes not deducted from teachers’ salaries and the Northwest economy shall certainly bow to a degree compared to none in history.

The detention of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium President, Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla and his Secretary, Dr. Fontem Neba, the mass escape of lawyers, teachers and others seem to be more fuel on the struggle as all efforts of the regime to resolve or bring solutions to the crisis seem to be falling on deaf ears. This is seen in more burnings of public and privates business establishments and installations, hence leaving many in the dilemma of whether schools shall resume or not.

SDOs buckle under Biya’s decree

President Paul Biya

As we went to press yesterday, a presidential decree read over CRTV appointed, transferred and retired many ranking officials of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, MINATD. They included Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs and Secretaries General, SGs, of some Regions.

Some “loud names” crashed out in the process, while certain long serving administrators quietly qualified for what is often termed deserved retirement. One such name was Zang III of Fako in the Southwest Region. Renowned to be brash and sometimes tending to be unorthodox in his administrative style, Zang III spent about five years as SDO of Fako.

Charles Ivo Makoge, Inspector General in the Northwest Regional Governor’s office proceeds on retirement; so also Clement Fon Ndikum, Secretary General in the Southwest Governor’s office.

Several prominent administrators of English speaking expression were moved to East of the Mungo, among them, Quetong Konge and Peter Tieh Ndeh, who, until last night were respectively SDOs for Kupe-Muanenguba and Manyu Divisions of the Southwest Region. Simon Kwemo of Lebialem is replaced by Zachary Ungitoh, another Anglophone who, until now, was serving East of the Mungo.

OUM II, of Boyo Division in the Northwest replaces Tieh Ndeh, erstwhile Manyu SDO.

A certain Engamba Emmanuel comes in from the North of Cameroon as replacement for Zang III in Fako. Engamba takes over from someone whose antecedents would rather be forgotten in a hurry. Zang III was arguably the most controversial and high-handed SDO in the history of Fako Division. Records show that he enmeshed himself in corrupt land deals, expropriating native and other lands surrendered by the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, in complicity with other local administrative high-ups with a daredevil impunity. Empathy for this administrator also reportedly dipped in the outset of the persistent Anglophone protests that have, so far, grounded socio-economic activity in most parts of the English speaking territories.

According to political pundits, Biya’s proverbial all powerful head should be nodding in the direction of apparently jittery Regional Governors soon. Many of them are reportedly long overdue retirement and have become something of veritable sources of tyranny against the very people they purport to be looking after and a thorough embarrassment for the regime and the good governance that it purports to have put into play.

EVEN FROM SICKBED: Ayah talks tough, pricks Biya’s retirement policy

By Claudia Nsono

Former Supreme Court Advocate General and National President of the Popular Action Party, PAP, Chief Justice Ayah Paul Abine, has in an official Facebook publication slammed what he terms the double standards nature of the Cameroon Government. He has questioned why at 67, he is on retirement while his older colleagues are still “actively serving the state.”  He averred this on the eve of his 67th anniversary and in the wake of shakeups in state varsities.

“At 66, turning 67 in the coming hours, Ayah wishes to congratulate the following more elderly colleagues of his whom, despite their more advanced ages, did miraculously ward off the tsunami:  Joseph Essomba aged 80, Jean Foumane Akame aged 78, Daniel Mekobe Sone aged 72, Arrey Florence Rita, aged 70.”

According to Justice Ayah, “Their survival was more than just a feat.”

He noted that unlike others who dream of empires, death does not permit them to build, unlike those who construct such empires and hopelessly watch them disintegrate, “I am lucky that the cornerstone of my dream empire has been laid in my life time.”

The Chief Justice’s last Facebook outing featured some of his purported achievements. He claimed that Cameroon’s newly created Common Law Department at the Supreme Court which as at now exists only on paper, is the fruit of his questioning why the court could not do justice to its litigants of common law jurisdiction. He claims to have questioned the powers that be less than a year ago. He went on to claim that he had noted with disdain the intolerability of the existence of only Civil Law Judges in a dual legal system composed both of Common Law and Civil Law.

While lauding his Federal Bilingual Grammar School, Man O’War Bay, and professional senior, Justice Epuli Mathias, who heads what he calls the “most prestigious divisions of the court,” the Criminal Division, Chief Justice Ayah said that “much as those are right steps in the right direction, I still hold tenaciously to the desire that it may please the Most High to grant me the time, the means and the energy to get those steps and more Common Law values and principles enshrined in a constitutional monarchy.”

Retired Chief Justice, Ayah, who doubles as the National Chair of the Popular Action Party, PAP, stressed that, “this politics, who still doubts that, our heroes and leaders are back home, stop this joke of interim Prime Minister.”

It is uncertain to some uncompromising militants of the super scale magistrate’s party whether their icon would be released well ahead of the earmarked 2018 multiple elections. They pray that he is released soonest, to begin pulling resources prior to the elections yet to be authoritatively proclaimed.

In the meantime, while his fellow Anglophone peers were awaiting trial, the former Supreme Court Advocate General, met head-on with a malady. Justice Ayah, according to a Facebook announcement published by his son, Ayah Ayah Abine, was rushed to the emergency ward of a hospital in Yaounde. He equally disclosed that the malaise befell his father who is being detained at the Yaounde Gendarmerie Headquarters in connection with what has been termed the Anglophone crisis, on his birthday.