NGO promises global outreach for Bafut culture

The dearth of promotion outfits for Cameroon’s rich cultural diversity has always been blamed for the lack of interest by youths in stepping into the shoes of parents to ensure that cultural artifacts are sustained in perpetuity. Amid this worrisome circumstance, however, a cultural renaissance that has been materializing in the work of an NGO dubbed “The Joseph and Grace Awunti Foundation Group” is seemingly in the horizon. This NGO has taken the initiative to expose the heritage of the Bafut people of the Northwest Region so that it can compete with Nigerian, European, American and other products that are already reaping fame in the market.

The value of Bafut culture would henceforth reap international recognition based on the fact that Bafut, just like any other tribe in Cameroon has much to offer but has no avenue to exhibit its culture. This program that would enable the culture of the people to come out of its shell has been termed “the unsung heroes competition” and was officially launched on November 21, at Bafut palace under the distinguished patronage of His Royal Highness Fon Abumbi II of Bafut. The President of Joseph and Grace Awunti Foundation Group, Ghejuang Awunti, has let slip that “unsung hero means a hero that does not get his due. We know that we have very skillful performances that have not been fortunate to get the limelight. Unsung heroes’ means someone who is doing a lot but is not recognized, so this is an opportunity for that person to have a platform where their skills, talents and contributions can have a wider audience.”

He furthered that the unsung heroes competition would create an opening for Bafut songs to be compiled in CDs and then distributed beyond the nation. Through this, culture would reap economic gains and even become a means of livelihood. During the launching ceremony, varied dance groups of different magnitudes displayed their singing and dancing savvy. Mesmerized by drumbeats and body movements, audiences at the ceremony danced and applauded with cheerfulness. The “KwaKwa,” “Chiew Chiew,” “Niha,” “Mansoh,” “Wandong,” “Awombi,” “Mbane,” “Nchum” and  “Tita” juju dance groups that had performed during the official launch were just a tip of the iceberg; launching has been extended till February within various Bafut zones to mobilize all other dance groups in these zones for a competition proper where winners would be awarded prizes.

The D.O of Bafut Sub Division who was present at the launch patronized the natives to “go back and mobilize other groups for the grand competition. Even if you are forming youth groups, form groups that would give a picture of our culture. Let us not inherit other people’s culture and throw our own culture. We have a very rich culture that we throw away and if we don’t preserve our culture, who else would come and preserve our culture for us? Let’s use this opportunity to revamp our culture. Culture should not only be for cry die. We should even wear our traditional regalia and move proudly on the streets.”

The Joseph and Grace Awunti Foundation was founded by some Cameroonians in the diasporas. The NGO is aimed at promoting cultural and civic engagement. They also offer philanthropic gestures like distributing medicines to community health centres. The initiative to promote culture would also include Tubah, wherein the cultural heritage of Tubah people would also be projected. This is backed by the fact that Bafut and Tubah have a common heritage, common culture and ancestral origins. The NGO previews a future where the culture of Cameroon people would be savoured not only at funerals but at marriage and birthday ceremonies in order to replace Nigerian, Ghanaian and western cultures which are currently saturating our markets.

By Mildred Ndum Wung Kum

AU Committee Chair elect promises results-packed tenure

A clear departure from our stigma of ubiquitous nonchalance to public affairs seems to be in gestation if the current posturing of some senior civil servants is anything to go by. This assertion is represented in the credo of the Director General of Cameroon’s Customs Department, Edwin Fongod Nuvaga, who has acknowledged the workload that lies ahead of him as African Union Customs Committee Chair elect, promising in the same breadth, to do the utmost to accomplish the challenging, yet realizable tasks that go with the top job. The newly elected chairperson prided himself with a roadmap fashioned to navigate blockades that he may encounter on his journey to make the committee a force to reckon with.

He made the revelation recently, while accepting his election, at the close of the ninth ordinary meeting of the African Union Sub-Committee of Directors General of Custom 2017 in Yaounde. Speaking during the session which featured his election, the Cameroon Customs boss stated that the Pan-African common strategic vision and a clear programme of action for customs administrations on the continent, urgent need identified by the body, would only come to fruition through a strong engagement to guarantee its accomplishment.

“We need a functional unit that calls for more active engagement in the dialogue and search for solutions. Much work lies ahead of us. Let us tackle this work in mutual understanding, debating matters from our opposing points of view but constructively,” the venerated overseer pointed out.

Top on his agenda as enunciated in his acceptance speech is the craving for the continental free trade area which he maintained is a flagship project under the ‘Agenda 2063’ of the African Union Commission, to go operational. Fongod, called for joint efforts in their quest to smoothen the progress of legitimate trade and combat unlawful border goings-on on the continent. He is poised to promote the movement of goods and people across African borders, in an endeavour to augment intra-African trade by cutting down on cross border transactional costs. He equally remains confident that increased cooperation among border agencies as well as key actors in the supply chain and the simplification and harmonization of border procedures by leveraging on technological advancements, will guarantee effective border management.

Observers say they are impatiently waiting to see whether the new chair of the African Union Customs Committee will match words with action. They have charged him with seeing into the actualization of all the promises made, emphasizing that he is representing the nation and not himself at the continental office.

Congratulating him on the acquisition of another office, commentators prided that the election of the Cameroon Customs Director General to man the affairs of the strategic commissionis a victory for the entire nation and not only the Customs Department which he pilots.

Edwin Fongod Nuvaga heads the bureau which boasts of customs authorities from Uganda, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Benin and the Comoros Islands as members. He takes over office from his Zimbabwean peer who had held the position since 2016.

Meantime, the election was the highlight of the ninth ordinary session of the African Union Sub-committee of Directors General of Customs which assembled stakeholders in Yaoundé from November 16-17, 2017. The Customs administrators converged under the theme “The contribution of customs to the analysis of international trade data for securing and the boosting of intra-African trade.”

By Claudia Nsono

 

SDO promises death to insecurity perpetrators

SDO Ungitoh reading warning notes dropped in School campus

Grueling insecurity in Lebialem Division represented in persistent of acts of vandalism and civil disobedience, with the most current being the burning of GBHS Fontem, have pressurized its Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, Zachariah Ungitoh to warn that he will show no mercy to anyone caught or found guilty of extremist activities.

He sounded the note of warning Saturday, November 25, during a stormy security meeting in his office that had brought together HRM the Fon of Fontem, the DO for Fontem, chiefs and some elite following the fire incident at GBHS Fontem.

The SDO regretted that the Bangwa people are not cooperative hence, making his job very difficult since it is not easy to work effectively without the collaboration of the local population. Ungitoh said despite the height of hypocrisy in the area, he has tried to keep the place in as much calm and serenity as possible.

He stated, “You will agree with me that on September 22 and October 1, there were no human casualties in Lebialem and that is proof that Lebialem Division is not as hot as some people will like to believe. But things seem to be running out of hand now.”

The SDO disqualified the opinion of one of the youth leaders at the meeting who said the perpetrators of violence in the area might not be from Lebialem and reiterated his stance that hypocrisy is endemic in Lebialem. “The atrocities here are done by sons and daughters of this land. In Lebialem Division schools are resuming whether there is fire in GBHS or not, schools; begin on Monday.

“Anglophones might have their problems but the tools we are using are not necessarily the best. You can’t compromise education of the children,” the SDO hollered.

It is worth noting that, the SDO has been on Lebialem community radio calling for the youths who have left town for the bushes in fear of what they said was harassments and arrests, to return for life to move on normally.

HRM Fon Asabatong of Fontem, the convener of the emergency meeting, said his people will continue working with the administration to see how serenity and normalcy can return to his Fondom.

According to the DO Fontem, Said Idrissa, the chiefs have refused to come up with vigilante groups for their various villages as he requested. Idrissa, regretted that, before they could stop it, the people had boycotted the administration and set up a county court where they were doing their judgments. He said since October 1, he is not sure up to 10 cases have been reported to the State Counsel Chamber.

“What do you take us for? For one year we have been on one item; schools reopening. We are living here in fear. Do you think we do not love our families that we have left behind in order to answer national call to duty here? I am very angry, I can’t even talk,” the DO emitted.

He told the chiefs that, henceforth, if they are unable to produce or give them headway on how to get the criminals when incidents occur in their neighbourhoods, they would be held accountable.

After stormy deliberations, the SDO, Fon, chiefs and elite agreed that, vigilante groups will be formed to work in collaboration with the administration. The SDO equally called on elite to come home from time to time and join voices with theirs so that the people might be better informed and convinced.

By Nester Asonganyi

Curfews, brutal repression fuelling Anglophone fury

Many an Anglophone, it could be said, see Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, as a villain, with hardly any human feelings. The Governor’s paymasters or those he strives to satisfy on the other hand, construe him as astute and strict. Political opportunists are cashing in and reaping cheap benefits by siding with what Okalia represents.

But whatever the case, the Regional administrator’s brash utterances and actions in recent times are, to say the very least, hurting the very interests of those he purports to govern and pretty hurtful to the socio-economic life of the Region under his rule. And the fear is that the man’s high handedness and intransigence might, in the long run, beget boomerang consequences, gravely compromising a peace that has become very elusive.

Proof is: the day land and sea borders between Cameroon and Nigeria were closed at the level of the Southwest and Northwest Regions, traders were stuck with perishable merchandise at the Tiko wharf. A cargo boat that had anchored was about transporting the vegetables to Nigeria. The Governor ordered that the boat returns to Nigeria unloaded. Even entreaties to the effect that the goods be off-loaded from the trucks and sold locally were refused.

As a consequence, 700 baskets of fresh tomatoes got rotten. Thousands of water lemons also got bad and were thrown away. The owners wept and counted their losses while the Governor apparently counted the political gains he had made for the regime and his career.

Impoverished commercial bikers

Even as citizens of the Region are yet to recover from the carnage inflicted on their relatives and loved ones on September 22 and October 1, his gubernatorial edict prohibiting the movement of commercial motorbikes from 7:00pm – 6:00am has occasioned confiscation of 10 more bikes in addition to over 50 earlier seized after their owners were adjudged to have violated the law. This, in the reckoning of the Governor is in a bid to reduce what he has dubbed terrorism perpetrated against the forces of law and order by barbaric extremists hiding amongst the population.

The Governor’s edict has totally disregarded the important role commercial motorbikes perform in the community transporting people from one interior neighborhood to another and the discomforts that come with the absence of such services in the country. Since the curfew was placed on commercial motorbikes, the population of Buea has been challenged, trekking from one place to another, especially in the evenings. Even old people are forced to trek long distances at night due to the absence of bikes. Bikers, who dare go against the curfew and pick up passengers out of pity, have often fallen prey to the Government dragnet.

According to a biker at Muea who gave his only name as Evaristus, 50 bikes were seized last month and have not been released since then. In continuation of the constant seizure of bikes, Wednesday, November 22 saw another seizure of about 10 commercial bikes that were still plying the streets after 7:00pm. He stated that some Gendarmes came in mufti and pretended to be passengers.The few of his colleagues who fell for the bait had their bikes apprehended. Evaristus narrates life with and without their bikes. He also explains how he as a biker feels about the curfew prohibiting their activities from 7:00pm. Read him:

“It is through commercial bikes that we are able to pay our rents, feed, take care of our wives and children. In a day we can make a profit of FCFA 10.000. Most often we receive more customers as from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. So saying that we should halt our activities as from 7:00pm is really not the best. We are greatly affected by this. I think that 9:00pm could have been a better and more convenient time for us to stop business, not as early as 7:00pm when the business is at its peak.

“There are neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Ekona not frequented by taxis. Natives from such villages prefer using bikes owing to the adaptability and convenience of this mode of transportation. Most often they come to town to either sell or buy. When it is evening we always have so many of them scrambling to get a bike. And now with the curfew, it is worsened. Most often when we are unable to transport all of them before it is 7:00 pm, those left are found in a situation where they have to trek very long distances. We pity them but cannot do otherwise because we could fall victim and our bikes apprehended.  Hence it is not just affecting us but the whole community.

“Before now, I used to save some monies. But the curfew has dealt a devastating blow to me; I am now forced to go into my savings just to meet up with my daily needs and that of my family. I need to pay all my bills because the various companies are not interested in knowing if I am viable to pay the bills or not.

“Just this act of the Government has already corrupted the society.The number of bikes which have been apprehended is even uncountable. The lives and hope of people are lying in the cold in some institutions. The economy is already grounded. They are in their offices giving orders for bikes to be apprehended forgetting that it is the life of another.

“Worse of all is that, we don’t even know when this disturbance to our businesses will come to an end. We are dying and suffering but the Government has no interest in the life of commoners like us. We of the bike sector are plagued with so many challenges. It seems the Government is bent on handicapping us. From various controls at night demanding for money and also with various curfews placed on us.

“I am begging that the Government should look down on us with pity. Even if the Government wants to kill or execute us, at least they should give us water on our dying bed. We are soaggrieved and even feel discouraged working at such times because the time for us to work is not favourable. They themselves don’t go to bed at 7:00pm. So why do they prevent others from working at that time? It is just commercial bikes. Don’t taxi drivers and even private cars transport criminals too? They are on the contrary gradually turning some bikers to criminals since they have so many needs and yet no job to fend for those needs,” Evaristus lamented.

Even denizens have condemned the impoundment of commercial motorbikes, pointing to the devastating effects on the economy, social life of the people, insecurity, the upgrade of crime and difficulties moving from one place to another in the absence of such services.

According to Ngong Cletus businessman, there exists a very high rate of unemployment in the country. To him, at the moment when young boys in the neighborhoods have taken up the initiative to make a living out of riding commercial motorbikes to support their families, a curfew is placed for them to halt their activities by 7:00pm.

“That is when their business sector is booming. I think the authorities placing such order are not in any way doing good to the society. They just want to render our young boys hopelessly jobless. Very soon we’ll start hearing of theft here and there because they need money. It is already affecting the economy. Thieves are not transported only via commercial bikes; taxis and private bikes also play a role in transporting criminals,” Ngong stated.

Security forces as the people’s enemy

Since the beginning of the Anglophone problem, security forces have not in any way rested peacefully. The programme of those undergoing training has been halted and they have been deployed to the two English speaking Regions for maintenance of law and order. Our source, an Anglophone Gendarme whose identity we have retained for security reasons told us his experience as a gendarme at this period of crisis.

“As a gendarme officer at this time of the country when the atmosphere is tense, especially in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, I am going through tough times during this period. Those in these Regions regard us uniform men and gendarmes in particular as enemies since we are those at the fore front.

“Personally as a gendarme, I am disgruntled about all what is going on. The gendarmes have painted a very negative impression to denizens whereas, we are the ones to protect them and bring peace to the society.  It is rather unfortunate that, we are seen as a nuisance to the public. That is why whenever some denizens see us, they either run and hide or scamper into safety. It is a very challenging moment for us because some of us left our sites where we were posted some five months back and came to Buea for a mission. At this moment I am speaking to you, most of us haven’t seen our parents or family for the past six months. If things were normal, I would have been with my family. We are even prevented from calling our loved ones or visiting them. It is so challenging because as gendarmes, we don’t have that freedom.

“Moving into the neighbourhoods in our uniforms is what we cannot dare to do. We are afraid of what may befall us in the neighbourhoods. Remember that some gendarme officers were killed in Bamenda as a result of that. We now walk in Binoms (in pairs) which is not supposed to be so. We are supposed to interact and share with the people, fight for the people but the scenario has changed since this Anglophone problem. On the contrary, we now hide from the people as we cannot move freely. I am not at peace with all these, which is why I am pleading with the authorities to rectify the problem because not just civilians are dying but the military too are being killed.

“Imagine one assigned to guard a school for five days, turning around the same spot from morning to evening. We are so vulnerable, exposed to so many hazards. Many gendarme officers have lost their lives while guarding an institution. Despite all odds, we have no choice but to do it since we work for the Government.

“We have been faced with so many embarrassments in attempts to buy food. Most often, business people run away from us that we are their enemies and may want to harm them. They don’t even interact with us. Most often we have money to buy but those to buy from are either running away or not friendly while selling to us.

“My family now regrets why they enrolled me into the National Gendarmerie, because they are disgruntled about what is ongoing in the nation. At the moment, they have no choice because I am already into the service. All they do is to caution me to be very careful and avoid the malpractices which some of my colleagues engage in.

“I will say I am totally not in support of actions some gendarmes have executed like the killings and rape. I condemn such acts. When we go out as a group on mission and such things happen, I always talk to some of them. But they sometimes do not adhere to my advice. They say that they are military men and so, have the right to do whatever pleases them. The bad thing in the country is that, we do make laws but fail in executing them. In school we studied the Military Penal Code since there is a code we follow for everything we do. But we the military people still execute so many things which are not in the Code. You can’t go out to maintain peace and order, and on the contrary you kill or rape the people. In maintenance of law, a gendarme officer is not warranted to shoot and kill a civilian. In cases of riots, we are advised to use teargas and not live bullets. But there are situations which civilians have been killed. It is out of the law. Because in the military, we are permitted to use a gun only when an opponent comes armed and you know he will fire at you, then we are permitted to shoot him down. But that is not the case with the Anglophone crisis because most often they come unarmed. I think the authorities should investigate those who go about with the killings and rape. They should be punished.

We were not taught in a single day in English

“Even when I went in for training, I discovered that the marginalization up there is even at its peak. Throughout our studies and training, for almost a year, we were not taught a single day in the English language. When an Anglophone decides to ask a question using the English language, he would be told that “l’arme c’est la force francais”, meaning that the military is a French force and that English is not allowed in the military, whereas we are a bilingual country.

An Anglophone gendarme is hardly made the leader of a group.

The opportunities given to Francophone gendarmes are not given to the Anglophones. It is very difficult seeing an Anglophone made the head of a group. Anglophones are seen to be right down there while Francophones are superior.

Even as an Anglophone soldier, I play my role

Before now, I was also one of those who were against the marginalization against Anglophones. Even as a gendarme officer, I still play my role. It is not everything that I am asked to do which I do. While on the field, I cannot watch Anglophones being oppressed and I take part in it. I try to protect them, and pull them back. At times my colleagues behave like animals.

It is time for Anglophones to stand their grounds

“The Anglophone crisis has reached its peak that the authorities have to look into it because Anglophones are being marginalized in every sector in the country. It is also the time for Anglophones to stand their grounds; they shouldn’t give up and I know they may achieve their aims some day.

As a Gendarme, my hands are tied. If I weren’t with the National Gendarmerie, then I would have had the opportunity to put in my contributions to the struggle. But, now I am unable to do what I could do. Remember that you can’t bite the finger that feeds you.We were told that we don’t have a friend and made to understand that it is Government fight, so we are placed to fight the people.

I’d rather die than to be against my family. At the end of the day I am going back to my family. It is my friends and family members that will be there for me. So why should I fight the very people I may need their help someday?” he pondered.

By Relindise Ebune

 

Another fire guts 40-year old GBHS Fontem

Government inability to locate and eventually punish perpetrators of arson on public and private buildings in the last one year has seemingly heightened the criminal desire to inflict more drudgery on populations of the Southwest and Northwest Regions.

The latest in the series of incendiary occurrences is that which has just been visited on the administrative block of Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Fontem, rendering the edifice useless by burning to ashes most documents that had been carefully stored therein. This unfortunate incident has come barely a few months after a previous fire had wreaked havoc on the Francophone section of the school.

The Principal’s, Vice Principals’, Bursar’s, Discipline Master’s offices, including the Principal’s Secretariat were all reduced to ashes by the unfortunate inferno that occurred during the early hours of Saturday, November 24.

According to the Principal, Nyilua Zinkeng Alexander, he has not been able to immediately estimate the loss incurred from the damage. He has however, affirmed that only the destroyed roof can be estimated at over FCFA 10,000,000. He said lessons were timidly resuming in his school when the sadist arsonists executed the unpardonable act. He noted that the only thing recovered from his office were some certificates which were kept in a safe.

The arsonists did not end at burning the school; they also dropped warning notes against school resumption in the campuses of GBHS and Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College Fomtem. One of the notes read:

“Students and teachers are hereby advised to immediately stop schooling and teaching and wait for the appropriate time to be given by the Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. Failure to do so, you will face the consequences, I repeat, you will face the consequences. Those of you in the dormitories, we give you 48 hours to pack and go home safely. Note: no amount of La Republique forces will protect you from our action if you don’t respect this note. We love you and want the best educational system for you and not this one of La Republique… Parents take note!!! Beware and be warned!!!

The Vipers in collaboration with the ADF (Ambazonia Defence Forces)’’

The perpetrators of this act have equally named names, warned certain individuals in the community engaged in sensitization relating to schools resumption.

There was also a failed attempt to burn one of the cars belonging to the gendarmerie. It was parked right in front of the Gendarmerie office.

A day before these dastardly acts, the Bishop of Mamfe and native of Lebialem, Andrew Fuanya Nkea had sensitized the population on the importance and need for them to send their children to school during a Holy Mass service.

“I was in the US, and had the opportunity to celebrate Mass with those clamouring for schools boycott. I told them that if they were serious, they should withdraw their own children from school in solidarity with those at home,” the Bishop recalled.

He advised the people of Lebialem that, failing to send their children to school, is failing to prepare a brighter future for them and they will end up doing the most menial jobs.

Some inhabitants of Menji have been quick to conclude that, the arsonists are not indigenes. According to Denis Lekeateh, a Menji denizen, he is very convinced that the forces of law and order are not all ignorant of what is happening.

This is happening when schools were timidly reopening in Lebialem Division, after long struggles by the administration and some elite. Parents, according to the SDO, Zachariah Unghitoh had promised their children were all going to return to school yesterday Monday, November 27, 2017. The SDO regretted that the 40-year old school has been reduced to point zero, given that all records have been destroyed.

Following accusing fingers at the forces of law and order in Menji by inhabitants, the SDO has told them to prove their innocence by investigating, arresting and presenting suspects of such mischievous acts for legal proceedings to be engaged.

By Nester Asonganyi

UB urged to withdraw mayor’s fake certificate

Last week a strongly worded request was addressed to the “Procureur-General” of the Southwest, imploring the legal head of the Region to prosecute the Lord Mayor of the Buea Council, Ekema Patrick Esunge for allegedly faking his way into academic certificates. A few days afterwards, a similar request has been made to the authorities of the University of Buea, UB, requesting that the institution of higher learning redeem its good credentials by way of shaming academic fraud, its political provenance notwithstanding.

The Southwest Secretary of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, Tambe Tiku Christopher is soliciting the action just like he did that of last week. And his argument is that as an academic institution, UB was in a position to independently expose and shame acts of academic fraud.

Tambe Tiku recalled having participated in a barrage of peace talks between the students and UB authorities in times of conflicts, and that the institution, like many other universities, play an important enabling, facilitating and critically reflective role in most democratic societies. “They are often the locus for the birth and incubation of new ideas and provide in many ways, the enabling environment where a society can engage in dialogue.”

Mayor Ekema: No laughing matter

The ace human rights activist notes that the saga surrounding the certificate of the mayor has compelled his outfit to visit the equitable maxim, viz; “Delay defeats equity.” He adds that while appreciating the efforts of the varsity to put in place a commission of inquiry to probe into the allegation, it is observed that the process was unnecessarily slow.

“The decision to withdraw certificates obtained through false or dubious admission into the university should not be obfuscated with political considerations. It is a purely scientific issue.  It is either the applicant meets the criteria for admission or not. In the case of Mayor Ekema Patrick, there is ample evidence furnished by the examination authority, the GCE board. Apparent from their report is that Mayor Ekema Patrick Esunge did not pass the Advanced levels in all four occasions he attempted.”

In tandem with the nemo dat quod non habet rule, (the other side be heard) Tambe Tiku’s petition notes, “he was summoned before your Commission. In his characteristic disregard for state authority, he refused to appear. I must state unequivocally that his conduct is such as to point indubitably and necessarily to the conclusion that he has acquiesced to any outcome of the findings.”

Undoubtedly, he continues, “this matter is important to the university and to a wide range of other stakeholders. Any attempt to deviate from the truth may lead to untold consequences. The students are furious and are beginning to be suspicious. University workers dismissed for being in possession of fake certificates are incensed and think the university is vindictive. The image of the university is on the rocks. These are all early warning signs of an imminent combustion that the university cannot afford to ignore.”

“We cannot,” Tambe Tiku stresses, “underestimate the gravity of the offence of academic fraud. It impacts adversely not only on the moral fibre of the society but on the economic growth of the country. It discourages potential students from going to school and working hard, leads to loss of respect for authority and Government and is inimical to public administration. It is vital for the public to have complete confidence in the integrity and efficiency of public servants but fraud from a mayor emasculates that very trust and confidence.”

Tambe Tiku concludes with a screamer: “The mayor’s conduct is to be deplored. He did not succumb to sudden temptation and then resist. He participated in the offence in a cynical manner… The mayor unjustly enriched himself at the expense of the university. The university must reclaim all undue earnings to restore confidence in the rule of law. However, if it is a state policy to protect the mayor’s involvement in such acts, then the public has the right to be informed…”

 

UB endorses advancements for academic staff

Prof. Ako Edward; UB Pro Chancellor

In conformity with the new administration’s plan to instill greater job satisfaction and efficiency among staff of the University of Buea, UB, the Finance and General Purposes Committee of its Governing Council has peered into the Administrative and Management Accounts for the 2016 year, crosschecked and also, adopted the 2016 Administrative and Management Accounts of the University. In the process, many academic staff also had their advancement for reconstitution of career endorsed.

According to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Professor Edward Oben Ako, the reason for the meeting, was to ensure that the documents are the exact presentation of the way the accounts were managed in 2016. To him, overall, the Council adopted Management Accounts as being its true reflection of the management of the accounts for 2016. He added that, they also in the course of the Council meeting adopted the incremental advancement of certain Faculty members due to some who have academic degrees or for attaining the legal period to move from one index to another. In the opinion of Professor Oben Ako, “it has been a very successful meeting as the note of reconciliation from the Director of finance and the Accounting Officer all had some agreements and concordance which shows that the various payments were in order.

Professor Oben Ako, however, reminded members of the Council of the need to thoroughly examine the documents before them so as to uphold the integrity and credibility of the Committee vis-à-vis the University of Buea.

The Accounts, Finance and General Purposes Committee of Council of UB which held on Friday, November 17, in the Boardroom of the Faculty of Science, was the first time under the mandate of the new Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. Looking at the challenges the institution faces, the committee while congratulating them for their appointment, assured the Pro and Vice Chancellor that they could count on the Members of the Council to help tackle the challenges and help the university achieve its mission of meeting up with the aspirations of Government.

By Relindise Ebune

 

French city honours traffic jammed Douala with tramway

Confirmation relating to absentmindedness of Government functionaries on official mission abroad has been highlighted by a recent week-long sojourn in France by Douala City Government Delegate Fritz Ntone Ntone, who, despite the poor road network and by extension urban transportation in his city, used the opportunity in Bordeaux, to participate during inaugural festivities of a tramway baptized “La vIlle de Douala.”

French city name tramway after Douala

The tramway that has been plying the Bordeaux metropolitan network since its inauguration at the weekend is a means to pay homage to the city of Douala and the strong cooperation ties it has with Bordeaux, local authorities of the French city said at the inauguration of “La Ville de Douala.”

However, denizens of Douala have received the news with a lot of mixed feelings and are wondering how beneficial the tramway would be to them back in the country.

“How do we benefit from this tramway when we don’t even have roads in Douala?” a Douala resident, Francette Lanyonne, asked before wondering if the tramway will be a solution to the numerous potholes on roads in Douala.

“Douala is a very dirty and polluted city, with poor waste management, no roads, no proper urban transportation and lack of potable water, is this (the cooperation with Bordeaux) going to fix all these problem?,” another Douala city dweller Roger Louis Ebone wondered.

However, the partnership would have met one of Roger Louis’ worries after the city of Bordeaux pledged to invest at least 100,000Euros (65.5 million FCFA) to construct a network that will boost the production and supply of potable water in Douala. In addition, it will serve in building and equipping toilets

The inauguration of the tramway climaxed a one-week working visit to Bordeaux by an 18-man delegation from Douala comprised of businessmen and investors and led by the Government Delegate Fritz Ntone Ntone.

The delegation held a working visit with the CEO of Castel, Pierre Castel as well as the mayor of Bordeaux and a former French minister Alain Juppé, all in the framework of cooperation ties between both cities. The delegation also held a working session with the Bordeaux-Cameroun club presided by the chair Pierre De Gaétan Njikam Mouliom.

Still within the framework of cooperation ties, the Douala delegation visited the Bordeaux University Teaching Hospital, businessmen as well as other experts in urban development and waste management to acquire more knowledge which could be applied back home.

“It will be significant when we see this take effect in the city of Douala; for now these are just good intentions and we hope the population benefits from this,” a Douala, resident Leonel Patrick Epichom said.

The working visit spanned 12-18 November to celebrate one year of partnership between the cities of Bordeaux and Douala. This was sealed by a convention signed between the Government Delegate of the Douala City Council Fritz Ntone Ntone, Anne-Lise Jacquet, Vice President of the Bordeaux Metropolis in charge of water and sanitation, and Michel Vernejoul, councilor at the Bordeaux metropolis in charge of international relations.

By Francis Ajumane

When guilt and shame prod us on

Many things in the world are caused by human consciousness and the obnoxious. The political landscape in Cameroon has reached an all-time low. Southern Cameroons reawakening has left stooges of the ‘ancien-regime’ spellbound and reduced them to become magic consultants striving to secure a remedy. Political intimidation, serial killings, seizure from homes; harassments have become physical phantoms living amongst the innocents. But as it is, this attitude when sandwiched with justice renders man made avalanche of political mumbo-jumbo nonsensical. The fear of the unknown is not an ingredient of those who look up to justice with clean hands. When a fight is more spiritual than physical, then, those endowed with higher graces wait patiently for retribution to engulf propagators of injustice.

Ngugi and Ngugi, in their book “I Will Marry When I Want” said, “an aging hero needs no admirers.” The Biya Regime is an aged one, so need no admirers; so, they should pack their bags and leave the Etoudi Seminary premises before they are caught by nemesis. This disgraced regime with their greater ambition programme topped by bribery, has dispatched a bandwagon of corrupt supposedly free from corruption elites to Anglophone Regions to placate inhabitants with retold lies.

We don’t need such erroneous delegations as their intension to preach reconciliation has missed its track and is bound by an imminent fiasco. Accompanied by certain broadcasters and other media workers mischievously out to defile the tenets of journalism and credibility expected by the media, they have still been unable to shoot on target.This is because conscious and educated people can’t be dissuaded from their believed ideology.
The worst war one can fight is a war against an intellectually pregnant community; who know their constitutional right. Many have come to believe that wars and dissatisfaction continue to reign because the door of dialogue has been shuttered by bribery and political intimidation. The evidences of these mishaps Cameroon is experiencing.

The so called elites who claim to be agents of Biya’s lamp in the various Regions are rather using the political brouhaha as a means to line their pockets instead of seeking solutions to direct the old handpicked scorn who needs prompt resolutions to quench the quenchless fire.

A year ago if the Etoudi stooges were told that Cameroon will one day be like this, they would have held press conferences, blighted with pride to castigate such ideas. But, today, the realities predicted by those with clairvoyance; free from myopic intransigence have proven their declarations authentic. Now, I understand what Winston Churchill in his Book, “The Bodyguard of Lies” said. ‘In wartime, the truth is so precious, that it must be guarded by a bodyguard of lies.” The Biya regime is making use of this doctrine pretty well, but how can you lie the author of his used words? Only within this period, even the senseless that never thought deep or got a second thought over this saga have started doing so.

Death is now as common as the air we breathe. Accidents seem to be a movie with episodes projected everyday for Cameroonians to watch. Who is to blame? The African mind will blame it on witchcraft.
However, understand this magic which had succeeded
for centuries but now had been brandished impotent in
the 21st Century. Nowadays, you have educational vampires in the positive sense of the word and not academic dwarfs coached into certain ideologies by the “big wings.”
The love of peace is not a sure sign of weakness
neither is it the inability to pick up arms. Genuine
dialogue can ease the tension, and not the amount of blood collected to renew ungodly calabashes.

By *Ntumfoin Fidelis Bongasey

*UB Journalism student

Teachers jogged on memory of the classroom

The unceasing Anglophone crisis that has been smouldering since November last year when teachers and lawyers coalesced in an indefinite strike action that has rendered some teachers almost irrelevant due to accumulated loss of skills has found solace in a Regional Pedagogic Seminar for Nursery and Primary Education for the 2017/2018 academic year, organized yesterday November 20, in Buea dubbed, “Multi-Dimensional Pedagogy for the Socio-Cultural Enhancement of School/Classroom Practices.”

According to the organizers, the theme is timely for it has been realized that schools are often referred to as “Society in miniature,” because learners represent the entire character and composition of the society as can be seen in the differences and diversities of the learners. Hence, for effective teaching and learning to take place, educational administrators, school authorities and teachers should take into consideration factors that directly impact the school and classroom practices.

To them, these factors can be socio-cultural and economic. To this effect, they stated that, present day teaching and learning should be customized and tailored to accommodate new trends, challenges, needs and problems of the society which have a direct impact on the teaching-learning encounter but are often neglected or treated with scant attention.

The objective of the seminar is to enhance the efficacy of educational authorities and teachers in multidimensional pedagogy with the goal of improving the socio-cultural climate within the school and classroom milieu. However, in the course of the seminar, teachers were expected to master and use relevant professional concepts, skills, values and tools for the effective application of multi-dimensional pedagogy for the socio-cultural enhancement of the school-classroom process. This, according to the educational family could inadvertently improve upon the quantitative quality and effective schools as no child will be left behind in keeping with the principle of education for and equal opportunities for lifelong learning and survival.

The seminar also aimed at exposing and acquainting teachers and learners with open educational resources in a bid to improve upon the quality of teaching/learning. It sought to provide teachers with a thorough understanding on concepts of diversities in schools and classrooms, and how to manage these diversities in classrooms and in the school milieu. Also, to acquaint teachers with the concept of multiculturalism and assist participants acquire competences in the practice of multiculturalism within the school milieu.The seminar familiarized participants with the concept of multi-grade teaching; its importance, and challenges, and how it can be effectively implemented in the classroom. It aimed at promoting national languages and cultures in order to enhance togetherness. Propose measures that can be taken in a bid to enhance the psycho-social character in the present–day teacher. Acquaint teachers with steps in calculating syllabus coverage. Provide teachers, head teachers and school administrators with the criteria and techniques to select course books appropriately in schools.

By Relindise Ebune