Kumba still cut off from Buea

Routing the Ambazonia militia from their stronghold near Ekona in Fako Division must have been pretty good news for the regime. Freeing certain important abductees, including a Police Superintendent would have been equally relieving to the regular forces and their paymasters. But somehow this seeming edge over the separatist fighters may turn out to be but a pyrrhic victory for the Government or at the very best, a good joke in bad taste.
Vehicular traffic from Kumba, Meme Divisional chief town, to the Southwest Regional capital, Buea has, for almost a week, been completely disrupted. The dislodged militia is said to have blocked the highway with heaps of sand and other obstacles, totally disrupting movement to Kumba and vice versa.
It is also alleged that the Amba boys went haywire, and have since been physically stopping every single automobile from getting into or leaving Kumba. Consequently, thousands of visitors who entered Kumba from Fako Division are all stranded here. Others who came in from Mamfe, hoping to proceed to Muyuka, Buea or Victoria are reportedly still stuck in this Meme chief town. The same goes for those that were trying to reach the popular K-town from Yaounde, Douala or even from abroad.
A source informed The Rambler that the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC, Moderator Emeritus, the Most Rt Rev, Nyansako ni Nku is one of those stuck in the small village of Bombe. He was said to be on his way to preside at a memorial service for a prominent PCC Christian in Victoria when he was caught up in the melee. We were told that the army opted to improvise some means of getting him out of the seeming captivity and enable him carry out to his Pastoral duties but that the former Moderator would rather be holed up with the rest of the stranded crowd in the tiny village.
By midday on Tuesday, June 19, bulldozers, escorted by heavy military tanks left Kumba, ostensibly to clear the road and make for traffic to start flowing. But by nightfall, on the same day, not even a single automobile had arrived Fako from Meme or vice versa. Hundreds of anxious passengers were still eagerly waiting on both sides of the divide.
Elsewhere on the streets trucks carrying foodstuff destined for other parts of the country from the agriculturally rich Meme Division were stranded, packed in long lines on the highway. Some of the foodstuff was, of course, rotting away.

Digression from matters of the moment

Penultimate week, the social media was awash with reactions to what has now come to be termed the Messanga Nyamding challenge. The substance of this gibberish is the self-acclaimed Biyaist’s contention that Southern Cameroonians are supposed to be grateful to President Biya whose so called magnanimity has permitted them to enjoy the luxury of elite professional schools whose doors would ordinarily not have been opened to their dim-witted tribe. My take on it is to refer all those who feel their feathers have been ruffled to the anecdote in one of Chinua Achebe’s novels that throws up the scenario of a mad man in rags who went into a stream where villagers usually bathe and carried away the hanging clothes of someone who had gone into the steam. The narrative continues that instead of reflecting for a while on the issue so as to come up with a palatable solution, the victim jumped out of the stream and set out behind the mad man in his nakedness.
The account continued that, the madman ran into a crowded market with his pursuer valiantly behind him. Note that in African mythology the simple act of a mad man entering a market automatically renders his affliction incurable. To aggravate issues, mad man was known all over for his weird attitude but, the victim whose clothes he had taken from the improvised hanger at the stream had been known to be a rational being. However, his appearance in the market in Adam’s suit conjured up no other explanation than that he too, had suddenly gone mad to the point where he had entered the market and cannot be cured. The lesson here is that when somebody who is supposed to have been educated up to a certain level suddenly opts to rant using statements that cannot withstand the cannons of incontrovertible data especially, if such a person more than usually associates himself with the CPDM, the conclusion is that very little rationality should be ascribed to him.
Not being inclined to waste useful time on worthless name-droppers and mean attention seekers like Messanga Nyamding the suggestion here is to redirect our energy to more poignant issues that foretell grave danger to Southern Cameroonians if requisite attention is not brought into play. The issue is of course, is Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo’s revelation on Radio France International, RFI, that the CPDM party is ready to discuss federalism with the aggrieved component of Cameroon. Straight-out nonsense! What a cheap form of digression! Where has the indivisibility of Cameroon been consigned? Are they now willing to negotiate with terrorists? Or, like the Southern Cameroonians who have opted for separation as worst case scenario in their quest for greater autonomy they too, are giving the impression of embracing federalism to entice moderate Southern Cameroonians.
Without subscribing to the extremism of those who want out of Cameroon, the temptation nevertheless arises to query the sudden capitulation? And, why is it that it is coming from the ruling party and not the Government even though such a distinction is irrelevant in our skies underpinned by politics of next of kin. If there is any realism in Fame Ndongo’s claim, then it must be borne out of avowed impossibility of imposing their will on Southern Cameroonians. Should this be the case, then its import must be relied upon heavily in the event of any negotiations for a federal system of Government in Cameroon. They shall be negotiating from a position of weakness and so must not be accorded the privilege of dictating the pace of deliberations. The worst case scenario of a return to the status quo antes 1972 but, without the one party system instituted by Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1966 must be relied on as our pathfinder.
While conceding that this might be the first step towards an armistice in the current mutually devastating hostilities, the fact that this is coming so suddenly and more than half a year since President Biya declared war against unseen terrorists, floats the perception of weary warmonger pretending to be inclined to peace when the reality is that underestimation of the opponent has occasioned a drastic reversal in fortunes. In the event, what Southern Cameroonians had begun clamouring for since the late 70s, and followed up in the 80s and 90s is now being proposed on the airwaves of a foreign radio.
Our president is too big or has surrounded himself with an aura of inflated importance such that he cannot address the nation on the issue. A lesser being must be the one assigned to talk down on people he still considers second class citizens. How unrepentant and daft!
Granted that a modicum of seriousness can be ascribed to Government intention to discuss federalism; did it have to take so much loss of lives and property for the regime to be jolted to reality? How are the mighty fallen! Fame Ndongo, of all people in Cameroon was the one saddled with the announcement that the regime is disposed to engage in discussions on federalism after he had derisively posited that “Southern Cameroonians are just two cubes of sugar in a basin of water, ” meaning their grieving voices do not count. Nevertheless, circumstances including resilience of Southern Cameroonians and pressure from the international community even though not enough is rubbing off on the abysmal callousness that the Biya regime has brought to bear on governance and conflict resolution in Cameroon.
When international observers voice what trenchantly reflects its modus operandi of their governance, the regime opts for trading insults with an organization that will still do the same thing the next time the opportunity arises. Driven by a disposition that sees every issue as being susceptible to quick fix provided a reasonable wad of money comes into the fray they had hoped Amnesty International would succumb to fleece bait. Unfortunately, for them, not having their umbilical cords buried in our skies, the same indicting reports with corroborating evidence have kept rearing their heads to the chagrin of an irredeemable regime mired in ruthless abuse of the rule of law.
The desperation is clear. What is certain is that the country is down and out! Stone broke! But this does not seem to mean anything to an old man whose very close association with an avaricious wife has induced puerility and outright freebooting into his mind-set. And, so no matter the hue and cry out there, he is steadfast to clinging onto power until his dying day. He wants to see the stadium named after him go operational like a kid anticipating new dresses at Christmas. A man who chooses to host Africa in a sports fiesta whose alternative is many more hospitals, schools, houses and improved livelihood for every Cameroonian is certainly not in tune with the prerequisites of android-age governance. He wants to be adored, venerated and even pampered. Too bad, the nimbus clouds are gathering and soon the storm will appear with a ferocity whose end will be difficult to determine.
Oh yes, the diversionary tactics will not change what God has reserved for those who have wholeheartedly embraced the devil and are occasioning avoidable pain on ordinary citizens whose only request is an enabling environment for peaceful living. Nemesis has decreed retribution and the price shall be incalculable.
By Ngoko Monyadowa

Amnesty International’s fallacy

Conflict reporting that draws criticism from opposing parties is often assumed to be objective and balanced. The recent Amnesty International, AI, report on the Southern Cameroons crisis is a perfect example of how misleading such an assumption can be.It is by no means a dependable report just because it got the Yaounde regime’s ‘vuvuzela’ blaring so loud in protest as usual, while at the same time drawing salvos of censure from Southern Cameroonians.
If anything, this report seriously dents Amnesty’s image in the eyes of those who are looking up to it as a faithful watchdog on whose probity and integrity the world can count when it comes to conflict reporting and resolution.
This editorial would be far longer than that report itself if we were to itemise and comment on all its half-truths and omissions. Suffice it to say that if Amnesty International were a media outfit, a great part of this report would qualify for yellow – even armchair – journalism.
Whether all those truncated facts and all those errors of commission or omission were just the result of sloppiness or a deliberate act of misinformation, the report raises a crying need to set the record straight.
Let’s begin with the identities of the actors. In total superficiality the report echoes and amplifies Yaounde’s image of the conflict as being between the State of Cameroon and some band of secessionists. One would have expected AI’s reporter to dig up background information on this struggle. Such information, available at the UN if nowhere else, would have told AI that the parties to this conflict are two states, each of which had had an executive, a legislature and a judiciary, and one of which had made a sovereign decision to join a sister nation.
AI would thus have been able to qualify the present conflict appropriately as a reversal of that first decision – by seeking to relinquish and sunder a marriage that has proven faithless, loveless and hopeless after half a century of groaning. Amnesty would have helped the world to remember that Senegal and Gambia tried a union in the same circumstances and when it proved inconvenient, they were sensible enough to sunder it and remain good neighbours.
Coming to the nature of the conflict, it is most unhelpful on the part of AI to stop at saying there are acts of violence on both sides. Undeniable as this is, it is a half-truth. If AI had carried out a credible investigation it would have found out that there is no chicken-and-egg question as to who is responding to whose violence. Violence started, not the first day when somebody was killed, but the day the regime started trampling on the dignity of Southern Cameroonians in all those socio-political acts of marginalization that have been enumerated times without number since this crisis began. It increased when, over a period of more than 50 years the complaining partner was ignored or bullied into silence. The regime’s “what-can-you-do” attitude was sheer provocation and a call to another form of violence. With restraint, Southern Cameroonians responded with peaceful protests which gave the regime the pretext to crank up multiple forms of violence – arrests, rape, extra-judicial killings etc. Violence begets violence. When young people who have seen these bestialities visited on their kith and kin take up muskets and machetes and start fighting back – yes you can say there is violence on both sides, but one side is fending off an aggressor.
Even as an embedded reporter, AI would have seen that while the armed ‘restorationists’ direct their fire and fury at the instruments and agents of Government, the security forces are indiscriminate in their murderous repression. Soldiers or ‘restorationist’ fighters who are killed in combat will have died serving a country or a cause they believe in. But killings are reported every day of people who by their age and condition are manifestly non-combatant. Some are too young or too old to know anything about this conflict. One would expect all non-combatants suspected to aid or abet the insurgency to be arrested and tried, with due process respected, not summarily executed. Actions in the field show a level of impunity which the modern world cannot, must not, tolerate.
The report also indicated that both parties attack the civilian population. At this point one would challenge AI to actually go to the surviving towns and villages in Southern Cameroons and ask the frightened population who of the two forces they consider as the aggressor and who as their protector.
Amnesty is a well-known and respected human rights pressure group whose reports are expected to inform the international community’s conflict prevention and resolution action. The shortfalls of this report trigger three levels of alarm. The first is the beclouding impact it could have on the understanding of the Southern Cameroons conundrum by those who, over the years have come to rely on Amnesty’s probity. The second is the fear that this report bespeaks a break from that probity and a slump into unusual sloppiness. The third and highest level of alarm is the fear that Amnesty may have willingly allowed its reputation to be compromised by some interest one can’t put a finger on. This gets the more disturbing, knowing the Yaounde regime’s own reputation for undermining the credibility of whoever it does business with. Could AI also have been infected by the equivocation virus that has reduced the UN, the AU and the Commonwealth to shadows of themselves, or even quislings? If organisations like AI also start speaking with forked tongues, on whose account of anything can the world now rely?
Conflict reporting that draws criticism from opposing parties is often assumed to be objective and balanced. The recent Amnesty International, AI, report on the Southern Cameroons crisis is a perfect example of how misleading such an assumption can be.It is by no means a dependable report just because it got the Yaounde regime’s ‘vuvuzela’ blaring so loud in protest as usual, while at the same time drawing salvos of censure from Southern Cameroonians.
If anything, this report seriously dents Amnesty’s image in the eyes of those who are looking up to it as a faithful watchdog on whose probity and integrity the world can count when it comes to conflict reporting and resolution.
This editorial would be far longer than that report itself if we were to itemise and comment on all its half-truths and omissions. Suffice it to say that if Amnesty International were a media outfit, a great part of this report would qualify for yellow – even armchair – journalism.
Whether all those truncated facts and all those errors of commission or omission were just the result of sloppiness or a deliberate act of misinformation, the report raises a crying need to set the record straight.
Let’s begin with the identities of the actors. In total superficiality the report echoes and amplifies Yaounde’s image of the conflict as being between the State of Cameroon and some band of secessionists. One would have expected AI’s reporter to dig up background information on this struggle. Such information, available at the UN if nowhere else, would have told AI that the parties to this conflict are two states, each of which had had an executive, a legislature and a judiciary, and one of which had made a sovereign decision to join a sister nation.
AI would thus have been able to qualify the present conflict appropriately as a reversal of that first decision – by seeking to relinquish and sunder a marriage that has proven faithless, loveless and hopeless after half a century of groaning. Amnesty would have helped the world to remember that Senegal and Gambia tried a union in the same circumstances and when it proved inconvenient, they were sensible enough to sunder it and remain good neighbours.
Coming to the nature of the conflict, it is most unhelpful on the part of AI to stop at saying there are acts of violence on both sides. Undeniable as this is, it is a half-truth. If AI had carried out a credible investigation it would have found out that there is no chicken-and-egg question as to who is responding to whose violence. Violence started, not the first day when somebody was killed, but the day the regime started trampling on the dignity of Southern Cameroonians in all those socio-political acts of marginalization that have been enumerated times without number since this crisis began. It increased when, over a period of more than 50 years the complaining partner was ignored or bullied into silence. The regime’s “what-can-you-do” attitude was sheer provocation and a call to another form of violence. With restraint, Southern Cameroonians responded with peaceful protests which gave the regime the pretext to crank up multiple forms of violence – arrests, rape, extra-judicial killings etc. Violence begets violence. When young people who have seen these bestialities visited on their kith and kin take up muskets and machetes and start fighting back – yes you can say there is violence on both sides, but one side is fending off an aggressor.
Even as an embedded reporter, AI would have seen that while the armed ‘restorationists’ direct their fire and fury at the instruments and agents of Government, the security forces are indiscriminate in their murderous repression. Soldiers or ‘restorationist’ fighters who are killed in combat will have died serving a country or a cause they believe in. But killings are reported every day of people who by their age and condition are manifestly non-combatant. Some are too young or too old to know anything about this conflict. One would expect all non-combatants suspected to aid or abet the insurgency to be arrested and tried, with due process respected, not summarily executed. Actions in the field show a level of impunity which the modern world cannot, must not, tolerate.
The report also indicated that both parties attack the civilian population. At this point one would challenge AI to actually go to the surviving towns and villages in Southern Cameroons and ask the frightened population who of the two forces they consider as the aggressor and who as their protector.
Amnesty is a well-known and respected human rights pressure group whose reports are expected to inform the international community’s conflict prevention and resolution action. The shortfalls of this report trigger three levels of alarm. The first is the beclouding impact it could have on the understanding of the Southern Cameroons conundrum by those who, over the years have come to rely on Amnesty’s probity. The second is the fear that this report bespeaks a break from that probity and a slump into unusual sloppiness. The third and highest level of alarm is the fear that Amnesty may have willingly allowed its reputation to be compromised by some interest one can’t put a finger on. This gets the more disturbing, knowing the Yaounde regime’s own reputation for undermining the credibility of whoever it does business with. Could AI also have been infected by the equivocation virus that has reduced the UN, the AU and the Commonwealth to shadows of themselves, or even quislings? If organisations like AI also start speaking with forked tongues, on whose account of anything can the world now rely?

Cavaye dribbles MPs on elections delay bill

Against a backdrop of effervescent anticipation from the public in general and lawmakers in particular emergent from a Presidential edict to Senate and House of Assembly Speakers urging them to facilitate postponement of parliamentary and municipal elections, Speaker, Cavaye Yegue Djibril took lawmakers and the lone Government Minister in attendance on Tuesday during deliberations at the National Assembly complex completely off guard when he instead announced the lone item on the agenda to be a bill authorising upward review of the 2018/2019 budget.
The surprise evoked by failure or deliberate eschewal of discussion on the much anticipated bill stems from the monumental import it ill will eventually have on Cameroon’s political landscape and, more significantly, the fact that Government statutorily had up to yesterday midnight to table the bill to the national assembly for eventual deliberation and promulgation into law. This is in addition to common knowledge of the eventuality of such a discussion, given that it had already been posted on social media and by that token would be accorded priority.
In the event, pundits are lost in contemplation as to whether a regime not known for respect of constitutional provisions will keep to its requirement that the head of state consults the National Assembly and Senate presidents for such an issue to be discussed and eventually given quietus for enactment into law.
Cameroon’s constitution, the supreme law of the land provides for postponement of elections under special circumstances including palpable insecurity and acute treasury malaise that may impinge on hitch free organisation of the ecercise. In the event that the constitutional provisions are met, the head of state has the prerogative to postpone elections for up to 18 months. And, this must be done 40 days before expiry of current mandate of the body whose mandate is to be extended or abridged.
This currently being the case in Cameroon, it is not surprising that the head of state had to write to the Presidents of the Senate and the National Assembly intimating them of his intention to postpone parliamentary and municipal elections for a period of one year, predicating his decision on the impossibility of organising three elections of universal suffrage within a month.
However, badmouths have been adroit in gainsaying the president’s inclination on grounds that he was very much aware of the task ahead of Government and confirmation of this is his allusion to it during his end of year’s message on December 31, 2017. How come it is only now that he is realising it shall not be possible?
They further contend that Biya is just a trickster who is seeking legality to perpetuate his stay as head of state after being convinced by prevailing circumstances in the country that he has lost legitimacy. More so, they continue that given the intensity of the crisis pitting his regime against Southern Cameroons separatists, Boko Haram insurgence in the Northern Regions and dire straits financial standing of the national treasury, he ought to have also, postponed the presidential poll.
The general impression is that postponement of the elections although justifiable at face value is a ruse to keep afloat a moribund regime that has been disavowed by the citizenry. They give teeth to their contention with occurrences like the invasion of the social media by a memo from the presidency that was yet to be acted upon by those to whom they were directed.
The president is said to have even been dumped by staff of his office who are supposed to have maintained a level of confidentiality commensurate with its stature and status. It is upon realisation of this uninviting turn-around of events and his avowed determination to cling to power until death that he has resorted to the current election roguery.
By Sampson Esimala

Cameroonian entrepreneur uses digital archiving to boost local economy

Philippe Nkouaya returned from France a few months ago after studying and established a digital service company in Douala, Cameroon’s capital.
His company, Philjohntech specializes in electronic archiving and has created an application that allows digital archiving of documents. His digital services make it possible to safely store documents using software.
Nkouaya tells Africanews correspondent Lambert Ngouanfo that it is high time Africans joined the digital revolution.
“Today in Cameroon and Central Africa as a whole, there are many companies that have archiving problems… For instance, it takes one to two weeks to find documents. Now with this application, you can directly locate archives and files and in just one click and within three minutes you can directly find the document…It saves time and satisfies all customers’‘, Nkouaya said.
The advent of digital technology has had a significant impact on the way documents are handled within companies. Nkouaya says beyond physical archiving, companies must now consider electronic archiving.
Many Cameroonian companies are opting for digital archiving. Only a few years ago, banks and insurance companies started digitization projects. Today, SME’s, town halls and even individuals are opting to archive electronically.
Line Lobé is Director of Maya Marketing
“We now use digital archiving because in time past, it was very difficult for us to find documents. It took us days, sometimes even weeks to find a document. So now that we have the solution, it is easier for us to find a document, it only takes one click to find a document and print it,” Lobé said.
Industry players say digital archiving is the next challenge of the 21st century. This digitization was also the focus of a forum for insurance professionals held on May 15, in Douala. Participants reiterated the need to secure data through digitization to avoid loss.
The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, is fully supporting the project here. In late May, it organized the first international conference on the development of the digital economy for Central African countries in Yaoundé.
“Digital archiving is a necessity now and any serious entity must devote itself to ensure maximum efficiency. It is also to avoid the mistakes that can be made by the lack of memory,” said Vice Rector of the University of Yaoundé 1, Prof Jean Emmanuel Pondi.
At the end of the session, African countries were encouraged to utilize the opportunities offered by the digital revolution.
Culled from Africanews

Akere sees Esso’s hidden hand in Muna family feud

It is certainly not what the venerable Honourable Solomon Tandeng Muna would have loved to be happening. Unfortunately, it is the case. But, thank God he did not live to see it.The media is awash with news of Akere Muna accusing the Government of attempting to foil his presidential ambitions by prodding his younger sister, Ama Tutu Muna to engage in a succession battle over their father’s estate.
Akere, who has declared to run for the Presidential election, was dragged to court earlier this year by sister and former Minister of Arts and Culture.
The former head of the Cameroon Bar Association, Akere, has since denied charges of forgery and attempts to side-line his sister in the partition of property left by their late father, one of the architects of Cameroon’s reunification, Solomon Tandeng Muna.
In a press conference to give his own version of facts on Thursday at his Bastos residence, Akere Muna didn’t pull any punches in addressing his sister.
Akere does not believe his sister would have engaged in such a battle after the family stood by her in all difficult moments, paying her debts and saving her from going bankrupt on several occasions.
He, also, dismissed the notion that he and his brothers are ganging up against their sister to side-line her from the family property.
“All the family has done is to assist her in her business, pay her debts all along, the only person who has benefitted to that degree from the estate is her (Ama Tutu Muna),” Akere said.
“She has risked two buildings to be sold; my brother, Humphrey (Muna) sold his only property…to pay her debt, my brother Humphrey was put to ridicule in Dakar (Senegal)…Hussiers (bailiffs) came to her house and carried all the things outside to sell because of her debts.
“So to think we will be ganging up against her is unfair and untrue,” Akere cried out.
However, the former Bar Council President feels the ensuing legal battle today is the handiwork of the Government through Justice Minister Laurent Esso, who wants to foil his presidential ambition.
“I am a declared candidate for the presidency, the Ministry of Justice is campaigning for another candidate (incumbent Paul Biya) If I am sentenced to jail (then) I am disqualified to be a candidate. I can only assume that if I am sentenced to a prison term, it will serve the other candidate, hence his surrogate,” Akere lashed out.
“So I don’t think there is any doubt about the fact that this matter is being handled from somewhere else and I can only see the Ministry of Justice.”
He went ahead to reveal the case has l taken a heavy toll on him financially as well as in his various legal battles but has vowed not to give up and even promised a “tsunami” if he was to be disqualified from the presidential race as a result of the succession battle.
Ama Tutu, last born of the Munas has remained tight-lipped since her brother’s outing but, a close aide who was contacted by The Rambler dismissed all claims made by Akere and promised to retaliate at the “appropriate” time.
By Francis Ajumane

Mr. Biya, embrace zero tolerance accountability!

Those who have worked with projects where accounts have to be rendered to donor agencies are quite familiar with the title of today’s missive. What this means is that deliverables are known through planning workshops and outcomes can easily be monitored through well set out monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that eventually lay bare reasons for successes or failures and in the event of the latter corrective measures are evoked pronto. Even as this is conceptualized at the micro level, no insurmountable impediment bars it from being transposed to the macro realm. This way, the maneuverability that engenders corruption is profoundly marginalized.
What is being marshaled here is the fact that we are afflicted by our current woes because of absence of proper planning, monitoring and evaluation in the course of managing our economy. Our approaches have been ad hoc at best and, not surprisingly, our outcomes are anything but reliable or reflective of inputs in terms of human and material resources. In the event, bread and butter issues like food, health, housing, electricity and education have become luxuries instead of necessities.
We have found ourselves in this quagmire on account of abysmal disregard for human suffering. Some say it is inherited from Jacobin fixtures traceable to Napoleonic France while others parry such inclination by positing that France wherefrom such philosophy is deemed to have emanated had since moved to governance that tallies with current technological and managerial realities whiles we are still ensnared by medieval European feudalism. Our quest for undeserved comfort reflects unbridled profligacy that has eaten deep into the internal fabric of the ship of state to the point of boring holes that are now threatening it with possible capsize.
Even so, the horror of imminent Armageddon does not seem to impel us to embrace caution through eschewal of unwarranted provocation and wanton acts of misrule. After mismanaging the economy of a potentially very rich country like Cameroon for the past 36 years, President Biya and his coterie of CPDM political gangsters still think that they ought to be given another chance. Ordinarily, there would have been no axe to grind with such a decision, given that it is a constitutional right for every eligible Cameroonian to aspire to the highest office in the land. However, 36 years of profligacy and callousness in governance have reached the limit of tolerable indecency. Fortunately, Francophone Cameroonians are beginning to clean the cobwebs from their faces and coming to terms with the essence of Anglophones’ clamour for imperative constitutional reforms that would bail us out of impending descent into hell.
Not surprisingly, as if hit by some demonic affliction, Mr. Biya and his regime are still to see that we are all in the same boat in the middle of the ocean without life jackets. This means if the boat were to capsize, there would be no survivors, including those of them at the forefront orchestrating disaster. The atmosphere is still that of business as usual, despite immutable signs of regime end. We are still deluding ourselves of our invincibility even in the face of a tough adversary like the United States of America. In our delirium we see ourselves crushing every obstacle along the way to eternal bliss at the helm of state. We have hired chiefs, some inconsequential in terms of their chiefdoms and the legitimacy of their suzerainty over their subjects to sing lullabies, all in a bid to console ourselves that we are still in charge.
While this revelry in utopia lasts, our children are dying on a daily basis. Indeed, youths who are derisively referred to as “leaders of tomorrow” are the greatest victims. Whether on the Government side or separatists, the story is the same. Young men between 18 and 30 are sent to die in a senseless war that would have been averted if we had not allowed our bloated egos to have the better part of us. This does not mean anything to a regime blinded by inordinate focus on perpetuating itself in power despite glaring signs of having been disavowed by the citizenry and by extension total loss of legitimacy.
At the last count, no fewer than 40 youths were slaughtered in what will henceforth be remembered as the Menka-Santa carnage. As usual the barbaric act has been justified by the regime’s Joseph Goebbels as retaliatory action against terrorists who had been kidnapping Government officials and killing law enforcement agents on official assignments.
Whatever the stigma that is attached to the slaughtered youths, nemesis is bound to catch up with the perpetrators. This is so because power is always ephemeral and no matter the length of time it spans, there is always a beginning and an end, given that change is the only immutable fixture on planet earth. While we deceive ourselves by sending a few who have deprived the rest of us of water, light, food, housing and healthcare facilities to Kondengui Central Prison, we should be preparing our way to the International War Crimes Tribunal and eventually to hell as retribution for condemning whole generations to eternal misery through acts of commission. We have over the years watched how an avoidable conflict was degenerating to intractable internecine war. And, because we were not prepared for what we have foolishly embraced out of bravado, our otherwise valiant soldiers have needlessly fallen prey to more determined separatist forces with a genuine cause to defend.
This is in no way an extolment of the puerile bravado of the separatist forces that have taken up arms against their fatherland. Far from it! On the contrary, this exuberant youths who hardly master the stakes of the cause they are supposed to be defending must be told that world history is replete with cases of intransigence that has led to decades of senseless bloodletting. While admitting that the process of courting peace had been mismanaged by the regime, there is no excuse for the callousness that has taken hold of an otherwise commendable initiative to bring to world attention the excesses of the Biya regime as concerns alienation of the Anglophone component of Cameroon.
We are all culpable: that is those that have taken arms against a legitimate Government no matter their grouse against it and a Government that embarrassingly sees no fault in its decision to embrace bloodletting instead of dialogue with a component of the state that has every merit to be aggrieved, judging by the decades of misrule that adorn Mr. Biya’s Governance report card.
If his CPDM cohorts and he are driven by the illusion of invincibility to think that they can begin crying Uhuru then they must have their brains examined by a neurosurgeon. This is no time for bland rhetoric like not negotiating with terrorists. It is not time also, to worry how we found ourselves in this avoidable miasma. On the contrary, before it becomes too late, let this whole frenzy over perpetuating himself in power through elections whose outcome is already determined despite unmistakable signals of having been disavowed by the citizenry not stoke the embers of an already looming genocide. We still have time to trim and even prune our bloated egos for the good of our country. No one can claim greater allegiance to a “one and indivisible Cameroon” than the other. We are merely failing to see the pitfalls to such a desired vision. Once more, Mr. President retrace your steps and save the country from imminent cataclysm otherwise, you will have to render account to posterity and face retribution that may inexorably, bring your children on board.
By Ngoko Monyadowa

Fallen cop posthumously decorated

As Government’s last respect preluding transportation of the homeward-bound corpse of Chemu Mbange Denis, First Grade Police Inspector shot and killed in Ekona on May 20, Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, on Friday, June 8, in Buea decorated the lifeless body of the fallen hero with a bravery medal.
The event started with procession of the remains of Chemu into the police Mobile Intervention Unit, GMI, premises by his colleagues. The national flag was placed on his coffin and Okalia proceeded to decorate it with a bravery medal. He and some other dignitaries in the presence of the family members consoled the late police’s widow while the remains of Chemu Mbange were then taken away in an ambulance to be ferried to his native Balengou village in the West Region.
The 38 year old deceased was admitted to be a police constable in 2,000 and in 2,004, wore the grade of Police Inspector till his death. He had worked in the West Region, Maroua and lastly in Buea where he met his end.He was married and father of four little boys.
When The Rambler met with Tchoumjou Jean, brother of the deceased, he stated in agony that his late brother has left a very big hole in his heart adding that he doubts the person who can feel it. He pointed to the four little boys which Chemu left behind with his young widow.
Chemu Mbange died in active service in Ekona on May 20 according to the Southwest Governor by separatists.
By Relindise Ebune

GCE Board sloppiness exposed in massive exam leakages

Wonders they say will never end. Contrary to the much vaunted preparedness to organize, supervise, mark and release results of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education, GCE, Ordinary and Advanced Levels certificate exams even in the face of pernicious variables underpinned by the tense socio-political environment in the Northwest and Southwest Regions and a new management team yet to master its act, cracks have surprisingly begun appearing on the wall of this year’s management of the much revered examination.
As if shortage of answer sheets for multiple choice questions was not incriminating enough the GCE Board has yet again allowed itself to be dragged into the mud of leaked questions. Yesterday, students could be seen returning to classrooms to rewrite English Literature which they initially wrote on Friday, June 8. Also in the fray of leaked subjects are Advanced Level Geography Paper 3 and Ordinary Level History, which are supposed to be written later this week.
According to the GCE Board officials, the subjects already written by students were cancelled because it was only discovered that the questions were leaked when students were in the middle of writing. To this effect, a notice was pasted informing students of the cancellation of the papers and a date scheduled for the re-sit.
The question many are asking is, how come and what sort of negligence has the new management team displayed in their teething months in office. Others are pondering how the questions were leaked out and students sat for the exam without the knowledge of the Board.
Despite the negligence displayed by the team, the question is yet, what becomes of those in remote areas who are not aware of the changes or those who had sneaked into the big cities due to the insecurity and have since returned? For those who were not aware of the changes and consequently didn’t sit the rescheduled exams, will their results be cancelled or will the Board rate them on the supposed question papers which were leaked?
This has caused so much commotion as in the early hours of Monday, June 11; some Ordinary Level students could be seen running helter-skelter following a rumour that Ordinary Level Mathematics had also been cancelled for similar reasons. The high level of unpreparedness so far exhibited by the Board has caused many to raise eyebrows, leading to loss of trust in the Board.
Candidates who thought that they were done once and for all with the exams had to and against their will rush back for the rescheduled exams. Many have lost faith in the Board while others are determined not to sit for any subject the second time this year.
According to Ashu Bright, an Ordinary Level candidate who took part in this year’s exams, her programme has been disrupted. She stated that her uncle who in an invigilator of the exams advised her to be very alert and cancel any trip because if the board has started cancelling Advanced level subjects, it could also lead to the cancellation of some Ordinary level subjects.
By Relindise Ebune

PNDP Donates Generator to Nguti Council

The Mayor of Nguti Council, Tong George has on behalf of his municipality received a generator donated by the Southwest Regional Coordination for the National Programme for Participative Development, PNDP.
The generator intended to beef up electricity supply alongside their giant solar panel was handed them earlier in the month at the esplanade of the Kumba City Council during the close of a meeting which brought together three Councils in the Southwest.
Mayor Tong George Enow, speaking to the press shortly after receiving the generator said: “I am a happy Mayor, because amongst us all that ought to be here I was chosen and given a generator. This will go a long way to beef up electricity together with our solar panel.”
PNDP presents Mbonge, Konye, and Nguti participatory survey report
The meeting that brought together Mbonge, Konye and Nguti Council executives, PNDP staff, and members of the civil society amongst other persons aimed at presenting the scorecard of the different councils as discovered during their research.
According to Dr David Nken, PNDP’s coordinator for the Southwest Region, “our meeting here today was to present to the population of Mbonge, Konye and Nguti a participatory survey that is PNDP’s agenda with the Councils.”
This activity which he said is known as citizens report card is a joint partnership with PNDP and the Councils where civil society organizations are recruited to carry out a participatory survey to get the perception of the population on the services provided by the Mayor and the Council at large. It also includes their appreciation and level of satisfaction in the sectors of health, education and water, Dr Nken explained.
The coordinator noted that the programme began in April last year with the selection of the civil society, then eventual work which rounded up in October 2017, with the draft reports validated earlier on in Limbe.
From the findings presented, each Council had different results in different areas sampled. That notwithstanding, the recommendations for the three Councils in relation to their Mayors are similar. For instance, in Mbonge Council area, findings on education sector revealed that more schools and hospitals need to be constructed closer to the population. But that the population is not aware of the activities of the Council. A similar situation also obtains in Konye.
Quizzed on how he thinks such programmes review will help in the management of the Council, the Coordinator said if the three Councils will follow recommendations provided by the report just like the Idenau Council is faring well now after following their own recommendations, then most of these problem posed by respondents would be a thing of the past.
One of such recommendations the Mayors must put in place is a mechanism to ensure that the population understands what the Council is doing in their interest. The recommendation suggests that it is the role of the Councillors after every seating to go back to their various constituencies and present to the local population what decisions were reached at the Council sessions. But such recommendation is coming at a time when even Mayors are not in their areas of command.
Another recommendation is that Mayors should encourage participatory development in all respects. They should try to discourage the attitude of expecting everything from Government but rather mobilize financial, material and human resources to support Mayors in development.
Participants like the Mayor of Nguti said “the survey was very important, because it presented a picture of what we are. From here I think it will help us evaluate and improve on our services.”
By NGENDE ESTHER