Cab drivers, passengers hurt selves over bad roads

The Bakweri Town stretch of road in Great Soppo, Buea, which has gained notoriety over the past two years for its disgraceful and dilapidating nature, is fast becoming a point of conflict between cab driver and their passengers.
While some opportunist cab drivers have taken the opportunity to tax passengers who pave the road very high, other considerate taxi drivers have a tug of war, with other passengers who get furious when the driver takes the direction of this very poor stretch of road.
What caught the attention of the public some days back was a conflict between a taxi driver and a nagging woman, who missed a deadly blow, from the furious cab driver, after the woman considered the cab driver’s charge of FCFA 200 from Check Point, Molyko to Bakweri Town as abominable. Thanks to the bad nature of the road, even the cab driver was barely steadying himself as he made to hit the quarrelsome passenger.
Just as the road has rendered even the popular “emergency engineers” helpless, as it has gone beyond man power, many taxi drivers are also promising to abandon the road completely. One them, popularly known by drivers as “mayor Sammy” said “it has become risky using the road, especially now during the rainy season, which the gullies are fast axing all of the road.’’
While many passengers frown at the long traffic experienced on the road, inhabitants around the pot-holed road neighborhood are frowning both at the council and the taxi drivers. While a lady selling fruits hard by thinks it is normal for the council to abandon a busy road like that one, Makole Charles and inhabitant of Bakweri Town rather blames the drivers outright. He says, “taxi drivers have a union and they ought to come out in their numbers, especially on ‘Keep Buea Clean’ days and try to repair the road to their best, while waiting on the council.”
“Sometimes when I think of the Campaign Street road which was only repaired because of the coming of the president, I fear the Bakweri Town road will continue to be scraped off and abandoned for many more years.”
The accelerating decline in the usability of the road is a call for concern. It is not only replete with deep and extensive potholes, but the current situation is aggravated by threats of its degeneration into a gorge. The heavy downpours have not helped matters as accompanying erosions have left gullies running in the middle of the road while most amateur drivers end up in the gutters even in the day time.
By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred (Student Journalist)

Delegate admits tardiness in attestations award

The Southwest Regional Delegate of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Buinda Godlove Nsakabo has conceded his Ministry’s tardiness in the award of attestations to participating youths two years after they participated in a training programme, blaming such insouciance on the unavailability of funds.
He made the declaration on Thursday, April 12, as some young tourism actors in the Region trained since 2016 on the security of tourists, reception techniques, hygiene and quality of service, especially for the last female AFCON received attestations at the Buea Council Chambers.
The attestations were given to trainees of 2016 batch under the auspices of the competitive value chain project. To him, the project is aimed at training some young Cameroonians in the domain of wood and tourism so that they can be competitively operational in the open market.
Questioned why the attestations took two years before being issued, Buinda blamed it on financial constraints. He added that the project falls under the ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development in synergy with the Ministry of Tourism and Forestry. He said that they train young Cameroonians in the domain of ecotourism, forestry and wood transformation because the state is moving from theoretical education to that which can be competitive in the world.
Acknowledging the lateness in handing over the attestations to the trainees, he noted: “Some of them had great opportunities, but because they never had the attestations at hand then, they had to miss such openings.”
Going by one of the participants, Enanga Lydia, the training in 2016 was enriching as they learned how to make a bed, place things at the restaurant, and attend to clients at the reception. They also learned basic culinary skills.
Bessiring Gilbert Bertrand, another trainee, has 18 years experience as a receptionist. He said say the training was one of the best he has had so far, because for five days they were groomed on both theory and practical hotel management.
By Relindise Ebune

‘Three Corners’ Fiango PCC has new shepherd

The light of God has shined luminously on the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, ‘Three Corners’ Fiango, Kumba, with the advent of a new shepherd, Rev Bah Pius Inobus, commissioned and inducted recently as Parish Pastor. His functions are multiple and include Chaplain for Presbyterian English Choirs Association PERCA and PCC youths Pastor for Southwest Region said Rev. Johnson Bisong, Secretary Committee of PCC.
While performing the induction rituals with inspiration from 1 Corinthians 15: 50-58, Rev. Johnson Bisong Tabe in a sermon titled ” there will be a change” reminded Christians that the resurrection of Christ is counseling to the many challenges Christians in the present dispensation are facing. He assured them that God was going to come, though no one knows the hour. He reminded them that in order to see Christ, they must change from sin and start living a holy life.
Rev Bisong tasked the newly inducted Rev Bah to build hope in God’s people. “PCC is giving you the task to go beyond ‘Three Corners’ Fiango, build young minds so that there will be a change, and help them build a paradise for themselves. It is expected of you to reorganize the spirituality of all the flock under you, so they will feel the warmth of Christ. Given that God’s coming will be unannounced you should go to work immediately,” Rev Bisong added.
As a sign of gratitude to God, the Rev Bah and family built a sanctuary, pulpit and offered half a million to help in completing the house of God where they have been worshiping for the past nine months while calling of other well-wishers for help. The visibly satisfied Pastor wished for more Grace to continue God’s work.
Rev. Bah Pius Inobus was born in Fiango Kumba. He holds a degree in theology and is presently a Masters student pending graduation at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Kumba. He is married to Lum Relindis and father of children.
By NGENDE ESTHER

Repugnant dross

It played out like a typical scene in Columbia during that Latin American nation’s 50 year civil war. Cheerleaders, rented from Dschang, to perform a well choreographed theatre of the absurd for the attention of Biya the dispenser, were intercepted, taught how not to pander for a few grains of peanuts, ruffled and sent back with a clear message for their paymasters.
A similar scenario was acted out with Professor Ivo Leke Tambo, GCE Board Chairman. The old man was snatched to a hideout and subjected to indignities, including being blindfolded, stripped down to his dross and held for 48 hours. The experience was harrowing for the learned professor and others of high polish and refinement.
Tambo’s captors were predominantly carefree lads, probably unemployed and frustrated victims of the crass ineptitude and moral turpitude that has characterized governance in Cameroon over the past decades. They were youthful “Ambazonians,” ostensibly eager to tell the world, that they, like their parents before them have endured enough of criminal marginalization. They were out to prove, albeit “repugnantly,” that both their kidnapped victims and those whose bidding they do, evince revulsion, to say the very least.
Such revulsion could be traced to an incompetent, corrupt regime, manned by intractable individuals, who would rather see the nation die than forego power and the filthy lucre which they daily reap from the whirlwind of confusion and political scamming they have been sowing. The bubble had to burst, one day or the other. And even here, prudent social engineering would have meant handling the issue better than it was and is still being handled.
By protesting against a malfunctioning system, lawyers and teachers were, by no means reinventing the wheel. Pig-headed Laurent Esso and Fame Ndongo didn’t need to further fan smouldering embers of provocative marginalization. Mr. Biya didn’t need to resort to swearing, insulting, intimidating and promising Armageddon. He had to listen and empathize. But he overly resorted to employ the military in solving a socio-political problem, trusting to the fickle support (or promise thereof) of his minders.
Notwithstanding the cunning resort to unsubstantiated Tchiroma-designed propaganda, suppressing democratic protests by benevolent autocracy and legitimized cruelty, the Anglophone problem is gradually but steadily stalemating. It will likely elude a resolution for decades to come. Biya ought to beat a hasty retreat from negative imaging, belligerence, justifying and legitimizing military violence to dominate the narrative.
Biya acted in bad faith. He pretended to dialogue, while continuing to engage forces that have massacred villagers, burnt down their ancestral homes and wheeled the nation’s economy into the intensive care unit.
Instead of ranting at unarmed protesters and declaring war on a part of the country he is so eager [not] to see divided, Biya should eat this very humble pie being so generously served him by posterity … Mr. President should ask himself what, indeed, is responsible for the Anglophone disenchantment. He should halt the slaughter of some of the very [nice] people he claims voted, have been sending motions of support and keeping him in power for 36 years. He should, unconditionally, release every Anglophone detainee from prison and apologize to those compatriots that have lost limb and life in this senseless war of inflated egos. That’s what is expected of leaders worth the name.
Only the free can dialogue/negotiate (dixit Nelson Mandela). Let him check the intractable looting machine oiled by his cohorts and rampaging security operatives. The occasional charade of selectively keeping away “suspects” in Kondengui won’t help Cameroon. It would, at best, only briefly extend Biya’s tenancy at Etoudi.
Biya ought to acknowledge the prevailing moral confusion in the nation, conceive and openly define his options. Let him know that many of his appointed officials, especially local administrators are irresponsible; stealing openly from local peasants, taunting and calling them vulgar names. The slipshod intellectual design of his policy content has set the nation adrift. What is evident is an unspoken transfer of political responsibility to the military.
Cameroon is sick. Her so called leaders are living in denial. Somebody just has to give up! “Sparrow Hawk” and other political shooting of the breeze notwithstanding, the nation is running on the oxygen of corruption. Look here! Security is not only about threats in insipid, coughing guns and pellets. Radicalization is staring Cameroon in the face.
Last line…
There is a definite human angle to the question, and this, Mr. President, is glaring in the Tambo kidnap saga; a euphemism for what barely hides what is so repugnant about Cameroon’s corporate dross. To have a happy family, you must have a conversation…

Proposal paper on the short and long term peace strategies: “Anglophone” crisis (V)

By Maxwell N. Achu, Diplomat,
(Peace Advocate, Conflict Transformation Researcher,
Academia, MA. International Relations) 2

• What are the drivers to ensure effective accomplishment of these short-term peace proposals?

The drivers that guarantee success in the implementation of these short-term peace proposals are collaboration, commitment and cooperation, which substantially legitimate its effect with time. The type of stress Cameroon is facing requires components that address political, economic or social inclusion. The case of Cameroon is internal divisions between social or geographical groups, which are the major factor in mobilization of violence.
Additionally, the type of problem facing the nation is somehow institutional. Cameroon has “fairly strong” capacity but inclusion is weak, reform action needs to draw marginalized “Anglophones” into decision-making and ensure they benefit from national growth, service delivery and welfare improvements
As highlighted above, commitment, coordination and cooperation are three core functions of institutional actors that are needed to ensure that peace accords and expected results are made possible.13
• Commitment: this enables the GoC and “Anglophones” to rely on the credibility of the dialogue resolutions so they can calibrate their behaviors accordingly. The case of Cameroon is most premised on commitment. The GoC with its people must reach credible agreements; first, to renounce violence and endow the state with the monopoly on the legitimate use of force – see the case of Somaliland wherein commitment was achieved by establishing institutional arrangements that provided sufficient incentives for all key actors to work within the rules. The bottom line is that, the commitment to deal between the GoC and the people must be credible, so that all parties stand to lose if any party reneges on those arrangements. When commitment to deal lacks integrity, contending sides (GoC and the “Anglophones”) walk away from the bargaining table and violence prevails.
• Coordination: beyond credible commitment is coordination. Independent credible watchdog institutions MUST regulate implementation commitments as well as coordinate the GoC decisions with the expectation of its people and other conflicting parties. This is very sensitive because coordination problems can occur at many levels of the peace process.
• Cooperation: herein lies the core to successful and effective peace plans; both at the long and short-term periods, as it requires the political will of the GoC and the “Anglophones” willingness to cooperate. The “Anglophones” must be willing to comply and cooperate. Cooperation is enhanced by credible commitments.

Enabling commitments, inducing coordination and enhancing cooperation are therefore essential institutional core functions for making peace policies effective. There must be an aggressive political will in the national arena. This is because; decision makers – elites-14 may have the right peace plan and objectives, such as this, and yet may still be unable to implement the right peace policies because doing so would challenge the existing equilibrium and the current balance of power. Thus, the balance of power in conflict and violent societies may condition the kinds of results that emerge from commitment, coordination and cooperation.
Ultimately, how peace resolutions through dialogue are effective depends not only on what resolutions are chosen, but also on how they are chosen and implemented. Peacemaking resolutions and peace agreement implementation both involve bargaining among different actors. The policy arena-the setting in which governance manifests itself, can be found at the local and national levels of Cameroon. Interested groups in Cameroon upheaval should be empowered to take part in the shaping of peace agreements – this would be a fundamental enabler to pacific agreements effectiveness. There should be an equal distribution of power in the bargaining process, as this power symmetry will definitely influence peace policy effectiveness. Power asymmetry is not necessary harmful, but negative manifestations are reflected in political clientelism as well as social and economic exclusions. Power 13

asymmetry excludes individuals and groups from the bargaining arena, and can be particularly important for peace and security, such as in Somalia. A cross country statistical analyses using the Ethnic Power Relations data set from 1945-2005 indicates that states that exclude portions of the population based on ethnic background are more likely to face armed rebellions.16/17
• Dialogue Procedure

Before nose-diving into this part of the proposed peace agenda, it is worthy to recall that violence is just a symptom reflective of discontentment. Just like unemployment, which is a symptom to a failed economy to grow enough to absorb all employable labour, violence as well, is a result of various economic pressures, rising job complexities, high levels of inequality, and even digital disruptions. Whether or not such discontentment are justifiable is usually immaterial, as long as lives are lost there is need for concern. Let Cameroonians remember that, the private sector, which is the engine of job creation, needs long-term view of the credible direction of the GoC’s peace and economic policies to be able make long-term investment decisions. Ultimately, any of such inconsistencies or impairments like violence only exacerbates economic downturn and lowers productivity. Consequently, it is a perfect breeding ground for protest from disgruntled citizens.
Most importantly, the “Anglophone” crisis is just as far-gone, because the discontentment of some frustrated “Francophones” can spark unrest, which tied with the present crisis, can plunge Cameroon into a full-blown civil war with unimaginable and maybe irrecoverable effects. During such circumstances, marginalization18, fragmentation19, and segmentation20 just to name a few, which the “Anglophones” condemn, might not be the same motives of the Francophones. Regime change, job creation, economic boom, equal distribution of political appointments, infrastructural development21, request for decentralization service provision, hassle-free border relations,22 other related Economic, Financial23 and Political risk might be at the forefront of such conflict-risk query. Such scenarios can easily be forecasted, especially as Cameroon’s growth experiences more volatility than the regional average. By this, this paper calls for the inevitable peace through dialogue between conflicting parties.
(To be continued)

Kamto, SDF coalition for 2018 presidential tottering

The Chairman of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement was plebiscited as the party’s flag bearer for the 2018 Presidential elections as rumours continue to swell over a possible coalition with the Social Democratic Front.
Maurice Kamto was unanimously voted by delegates from all the 10 Regions of the country during the party’s convention that took place from April 13-15, at the Yaounde Conference Centre.
A convention that almost did not hold, after authorities of the Yaounde Conference Centre threatened to throw the party out of the venue for attempting to pull down pictures of the Head of State in the hall.
Delegates who had arrived on Friday morning found it abnormal for the picture of the Chairman of the Cameroon’s Peoples Democratic Movement to be lording over their convention.
Some even accused authorities of the Conference Centre of adding more pictures of the Head of State in the hall as a mark of provocation.
“We rented this hall and we want to use it without the pictures of people who are not part of us. This is not normal (for the pictures to be in this hall),” Barrister Emmanuel Simb, vice-president of the party argued.
His argument was however waved away by the Director General of the Conference Centre present on the scene.
“We are not in political considerations here. The Conference centre is a public building. These photos are those of the President of the Republic, Head of State, and not those of the President of the CPDM. We must make a difference. Either these photos stay, or they (Cameroon Renaissance Movement) are free to leave the place and hold their convention elsewhere,” Christophe Mien Zok said.
After being reminded of the “difference” between Biya the Head of State and the other Biya, Chairman of the CPDM, the delegates of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement had no other option but to reluctantly accept and proceed with the convention alongside the “Lion man in the hall.”
Most of the incidents occurred in the absence of the party’s Chairman Prof. Maurice Kamto who was seen opening the convention before later disappearing only to later resurface late in the night for the election of the executive members of the youth and women arms of the party.
What kept the party’s Chairman busy was the question all at the hall could not answer but we gathered that he was busy on the sidelines of the convention with a secret meeting with Joshua Osih, flag bearer of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, on a possible coalition for the upcoming election.
We equally gathered that Maurice Kamto had earlier in the week, met with a delegation from the SDF, led by the party’s Secretary General Jean Tsomelou still to discuss on a possible coalition.
These events follow a letter Maurice Kamto had earlier this year addressed to the Chairman of the SDF for a possible meeting to discuss a possible Presidential coalition.
However, some of the party’s supporters who were present at the convention voiced their concern as to the success of any coalition if not led by them. They believe their party has done a lot of work to be implanted in the 10 Regions of the country for the past five years and deserve to lead any possible coalition.
The Convention of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement was an opportunity for the party to elect members of the Women and youth wings as well as set up the various commissions of the party.
As such, Awasum Mispa from the Northwest Region was voted as the President of the Women’s wing of the party while Nestor Menwosela from the North Region was voted as the President of the Youth wing for a five-year mandate each.
By Francis Ajumane

Reinstated Soppo market resurrects old risks

When Senator Charles Mbella Moki, the immediate past Mayor of Buea conceived the idea of moving the Great Soppo Market to a more convenient location in Bokwai, the explanation was that its previous location around Cameroon Opportunity Industrialization Centre, OIC, was a drag to free flow of traffic in the city of legendary hospitality. However, a new phenomenon that is materializing in an even more promising market has been inching its way into the physiognomy of the town directly opposite where the transferred market was located.
Soppo market was posing a lot of challenges like traffic congestion, risking the lives of market goers and pedestrians alike,as buying and selling in the market advanced almost to the centre of the main road. It was therefore in the spirit of curbing these threats that the market was transferred to a safer place dubbed the “Buea Central Market.” But today, despite the motive for that decision, another market opposite COIC, has been established with the same threatening features.
The market which started just with locally cultivated crops has now turned into a complete market or super market with many Buea inhabitants flooding in and out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Rambler took interest in this worrisome phenomenon and decided to seek reasons why the current circumstance came into being.
According to Desmond Mua, a trader at the newly established market, it is related to land grabbing and not just congestion.
He added that many people prefer the current market in Soppo because it is in the centre of the town. Going by him, those from Buea Town and Molyko can easily access or visit the market, which is less costly and less stressfully but, that the present Buea Central Market is at the outskirts of the town. Here, he said, many face challenges just getting there to purchase one thing or the other.
Mua like his counterparts applauded the initiative of establishing another market that could replace the old Soppo market. He advised, “The market is even getting smaller and with time if nothing is done, some traders would place their business items at the centre of the main road just to sell. Already, we are experiencing little fights here and there on each market day just because of space to sell goods. I would advise the Buea Council that, if it is possible to demolish some private homes or residents around the market to create space, it would be better and would go a long way to solving the issue of space we now face.”
Though the market is gradually but surely posing a challenge of general chaos, traffic congestion besides being the ultimate death trap to denizens, it seems authorities have decided to be blinded over this issue. All attempts to talk to competent municipal authorities pertaining to this issue were futile.
By Relindise Ebune

Murdered student laid to rest

The mortal remains of Emmanuel Galega student of Saint Benedict Comprehensive College Widikum, SABEC, who was brutally assassinated in school on March 27, was recently laid to rest in his native village of Bali Nyonga. He was interred after a requiem Mass concelebrated by the Archbishop of Bamenda His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua and 16 other Priests at Saint Francis Xavier’s Parish Church Bali.
The funeral was a moment of sorrow and grief for the students and staff of SABEC, family members and friends who could not hold back their tears. They were wailing for a young student and child who died as a result of the socio political stalemate in the two Anglophone Regions of Cameroon. But what exact circumstances led to the death of this student?
“This student was killed not because there was no security but he was killed by those who had come into the college and wanted to burn down the college and the students were running for safety but they continued to pursue them and one of those who wanted to burn down the college and who was pursuing the students was recognized by the late Emmanuel as a former student who has been a drop out. And they shot him,” Archbishop Esua narrated. In his homily during the Requiem Mass, he heralded the significance of education.
“I think the message should go home. If children are not educated, they would become like the one who killed. Therefore, we have to choose, we have to stand for the truth and justice. That is why we shall continue to do our best, to continue to educate the children in order to guarantee their future tomorrow and we ask our parents to collaborate with us. Violence does not solve any problem and we have to do everything to avoid violence. It doesn’t matter whether we are right or wrong.”
It was yet another moment for the Bishop to insist on the need for frank dialogue so that things could return to normal. “We want to seize this opportunity once more, to call for a genuine and inclusive dialogue with all the stakeholders. A dialogue which is frank and fair and we call for the respect of human life. Human life is sacred because man was created in the image of God. The divine injunction thou shall not kill, Exodus Chapter 20:13 remains valid even in our prevailing situation and it applies both to the forces of law and order and to civilians. I think the situation in which we are living now demands for each and every one of us a lot of reflection and prayers on getting our bearings right. Therefore, while we are trying to find solutions to our problems, we must make sure we continue to live and carry out the responsibilities we are supposed to carry out,” he ruled.
The late Emmanuel Galega was described by his Form Three mates and teachers as a jovial, lively and promising student. They spoke of him as one of the holy innocents and martyrs brutally murdered in the face of the ongoing crisis where people are being arrested, tortured, and kidnapped and the indiscriminate burning of villages and houses rendering its inhabitants refugees in and out of their country. In consoling words, the Proprietor of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, enjoined the bereaved to accept the tragedy with faith in the Risen Lord and pray for the repose of Emmanuel’s soul.
Late Emmanuel Galega was born on the December 14, 2002, in Kumba, to the family of Ba Tita Mac Nelson Galega and Ma Rose Bekuna. He attended primary school at Chrub Bilingual Primary School Kumba where he obtained the FSLC. He went to GBSS Batibo and later to Saint Benedict Comprehensive College, Widikum.
By Mildred Ndum Wung Kum

Lawyers buy time as death sentences dangle over Anglophone detainees

Lawyers defending Mancho Bibixy and seven others in the case between the State and the Anglophone activists opted for an adjournment in a day that could have proven crucial in their fate.
On Friday, April 13, the Yaounde military court had no option but to bow to the request from the defence counsel and adjourn the case to April 24 when the latter will have to plead their case before a judgment and probable sentence is passed.
“I hope you come prepared that day,” Abega Mbazoa epse Eko Eko, President of the Yaounde military court told the defence lawyer in strong, sarcastic tone.
She wasn’t taking any prisoners after opening the court session on Friday, April 13, in the heaviest way possible by slamming an 11 year 9 months- sentence On Joseph Ngalim, with a FCFA 250.000 fine after the court found him guilty of non possession of a National Identification Card, Secession and hostility to the fatherland. If he fails to pay the fine within three months, nine months will be added to his jail term.
This strong opening was warning enough for the Defence Counsel to anticipate a tough day ahead for the other eight Anglophone detainees who had to step next into the box, including Mancho Bibixy and Tsi Conrad.
It was normal, according to the lawyers, to adopt a cautious approach as they found it too risky to plead their case on grounds that a death sentence was hanging over the heads of Mancho Bibixy and Co. So they could not venture without adequate preparations.
“We asked for an adjournment because we think we are pleading for persons who risk a death sentence so it is important, if not a question of responsibility to better prepare our defence before engaging the court,” Barrister Claude Assira, one of the lawyers of the defence team said at the end of the session.
“We know that there are a lot of consequences on what we are going to say, that is why we cannot just jump into any defence without a proper review,” he added.
He also pointed out the fact that they want to prepare themselves “materially” in order to ensure a proper defence of the accused, given that most of them had different testimonies in court when given the opportunity to talk in previous sessions.
The defence team was, from all indications, equally playing the delay game, employed during the last session by the civil party who claimed not to be fully constituted to present their case.
However, they came this time around fully armed to the teeth as a team of close to 10 lawyers- three Anglophones included- for three-and-a-half hours tore into the Anglophone detainees with their various “evidences” to prove their case.
Prominent amongst them was Barrister Achu Julius who dismissed the notion of Anglophone or Francophone, stressing that “all are Cameroonians.” He buttressed his point from a history by tracing the Cameroons as far back as 1884 before telling the accused that they were ignorant of what they are fighting for.
“Most of you were not even born when the plebiscite took place (in 1961) apart from my learned colleague on the other side (Barrister Ben Muna, lead counsel of the defence team), so stop all this your Ambazonia nonsense,” he defiantly told the accused before warning them to leave politics to politicians.
“I hate to hear the word Anglophone or Francophone, this is not a historical nor political matter,” he said, while telling the detainees that a country is constructed by the will of the people and not the constitution.
Quoting section 237 of the Cameroon Penal code which provides a 10 to 20 years imprisonment for depredation by band, and which could even extend to a death sentence, Barrister Achu Julius prayed the court to apply the law because the facts, according to him are there for all to see.
Facts, which he took time to outline, pointing out that the accused have messed up themselves by inciting the crowd to revolt against the state. The Government Delegate of the Bamenda City Council would have been dead by now, if security forces did not intervene to rescue him from the crowd incited by Mancho Bibixy, Barrister Achu said.
On each count, he quoted the punishment set aside by the law, which he prayed the court to strictly apply so as to serve as a lesson to others.
He told the court to pass a judgment equal to the damage their acts have inflicted on the population of the two affected Regions adding that this can only be done by way of a heavy sentence.
His point was buttressed by Liliane Manka’a, another Anglophone lawyer who was a member of the Civil party who tasked the court to do justice to the suffering masses because many children are out of schools today, with some families displaced because of their (the accused) actions.
The heavy tone employed by the civil party flowed from that of the State Prosecutor at the Military Court Col. Engono Thadée, who pointed out the 2014 law on terrorism which provides for a death sentence if found guilty of causing death or destruction of property. “The Anglophone ‘terrorists’ are guilty of all these after causing the death of at least 20 security forces as well as the destruction of public and private property, Engono Thadée said.
The ball is now left in the hands of the defence as dark clouds hover over the heads of the accused, who, barring a miracle are most likely to get heavy jail terms.
That was the case with Penn Terence Khan who was slammed a 12-year prison sentence earlier on Tuesday, April 10 by the same court. The former Vice Principal of CCAST Bambili later delivered a long and emotional speech in court in which he described his trial as politically motivated, and stressed that only a political solution can be found to the problems plaguing the two-English speaking Regions of Cameroon.
By Francis Ajumane

Kamto seeks SDF’s endorsement for presidential bid

The Chairman of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement and the party’s flag bearer at the upcoming Presidential election has called on the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Presidential candidate, Joshua Nambangi Osih to join him in a presidential coalition.
He made the call at the weekend during the party’s Convention in Yaounde that brought together delegates from all 10 Regions of the country.
“To the SDF presidential candidate, Honorable Joshua OSIH, I reach out (to you for a coalition) after various considerations, but also in the name of the support I offered your party’s Ni John FRU NDI during the 1992 presidential election,” Kamto appealed, as he read out his acceptance speech to run as the party’s candidate for the 2018 Presidential election.
Justifying why the SDF should rally behind him for a coalition, Kamto said he had offered his support to the main opposition party in 1992 and thinks the time has come for the party to return the favour.
“Twenty-six years ago, when the country was caught in a historical political fever and most youths lined up behind the ruling party to avoid a political crackdown, I, for one at the time risked my career and safety to support the wind of change by backing the SDF Chairman, whom I did not personally know and who himself did not know me,” Kamto argued.
His call for a coalition did not come as a surprise to many, given that information had already filtered that Kamto was holding talks with Osih on the sidelines of the Convention.
“We started some talks and I am confident that by the end of the day, we will be able to come together to do something. I will not comment a lot on this, but I am hopeful that I will be able to convince Hon. Joshua Osih again,” Kamto told a press conference at the end of the Convention.
We also gathered that Kamto had earlier in the week, met with a delegation from the SDF, led by the party’s Secretary General Jean Tsomelou still to discuss on a possible coalition.
These events followed a letter Maurice Kamto had earlier this year addressed to the SDF Chairman, for a meeting to discuss a possible Presidential coalition.
The CRM candidate also made it clear that his coalition platform was open even to “patriotic members” of the ruling party who might be disappointed with the system but are unable to express themselves.
He also extended a hand of fellowship to other opposition political parties while regretting the fact that all attempts at getting the NUDP on board have so far been futile.
He also extended a hand of fellowship to members of the clergy as well as the civil society as he closed the party’s Convention that took place from April 13-15 at the Yaounde Conference Centre.
A convention that almost did not hold after authorities of the Yaounde Conference Centre threatened to throw the party out of the venue for attempting to pull down pictures of the Head of State in the hall.
Delegates who had arrived on Friday morning found it abnormal for the picture of the Chairman of the Cameroon’s People Democratic Movement, CPDM, to be lording over their convention.
Some even accused authorities of the Conference Centre of adding more pictures of the Head of State in the hall as a mark of provocation.
“We rented this hall and we want to use it without the pictures of people who are not part of us. This is not normal (for the pictures to be in this hall),” Barrister Emmanuel Simb, vice-president of the party argued.
His argument was however waved aside, by the Director General of the Conference centre present on the scene.
“We are not in political considerations here. The Conference centre is a public building. These photos are those of the President of the Republic, Head of State, and not those of the President of the CPDM. We must make a difference. Either these photos stay, or they (Cameroon Renaissance Movement) are free to leave the place and hold their convention elsewhere,” Christophe Mien Zok said.
After being reminded of the “difference” between Paul Biya the Head of State and the other Biya, Chairman of the CPDM, the delegates of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement had no other option but to reluctantly accept and proceed with the “Lion man in the hall”.
The Convention of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement was an opportunity for the party to elect members of the Women and youth wings as well as set up the various commissions of the party.
As such, Awasum Mispa from the Northwest Region was voted President of the Women’s wing of the party while Nestor Menwosela from the North Region was voted President of the Youth wing for a five-year mandate each.
By Francis Ajumane