Curious matters arising from the ‘national dialogue’

The much parroted Major National Dialogue has come and gone. But its reverberations are still making the rounds throughout the country. This is not so much because of its much acclaimed success as to the fact that it has set even as much confusion as it set out to relinquish. While it is true that no one can gainsay the passion and “espirit de corps” that was brought to bear on the event, the fact that the organizers were reading from answer to question was very evident. For example, while participants would have preferred that team leaders of the various commissions be elected, they were instead faced with ready-made lists from the government bench. However, this can easily be countered by the zest and fervour that was brought to bear on the debates in the various commissions. The question that readily comes to mind is whether that take-away from the Major National Dialogue which is “special status” for the two Anglophone regions is the magic wand to infuse the much elusive peace into Cameroon’s governance apparatus.

True, the special status may be a herald of good tidings like John the Baptist before Jesus Christ. In the circumstance can one be anticipating a new Cameroon modeled along the lines of Canada where minority Quebec is on the same footing with the rest of the country? The answer to this question reposes on what Dr. Simon Munzu referred to as the ‘content of the Special Status.’ According to him, the success of the Major National Dialogue will be judged by the content of the special status accorded the Anglophone regions in the final resolutions of the decentralization commission. What are the ingredients of this newfound mantra? If the special status will not take Cameroon to where officials from president through governor to municipal councilors are elected for specified periods then taxpayers’ money would have been wasted. And talking about taxpayers’ money brings one to where some people feel aggrieved. Did we need to spend all the money flying people from abroad and making Yaounde hotel owners richer only to end up with ‘Article 62’ that was already enshrined in the Constitution?

Another sore point is why the President had to wait for the Dialogue to end before releasing potential resource persons like Christian Penda Ekoka. Worse still, is the fact that the presidential clemency did not extend to Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and the Nera Hotel abductees from Nigeria currently languishing in Kondengui. Their continuous stay in detention certainly bodes rough times for those traveling on the axis between Kumba/Mamfe and Mamfe Bamenda axis as well as Kumba/Mundemba. They are the ones to feel the pinch. Government may be consoling herself with the possibility of an all out invasion of the strongholds of the separatist forces but that will certainly not be the solution as piecemeal solutions are completely out of place in this circumstance. Acute and chronic problems require drastic and all encompassing solutions, not the half measures embedded in the current resolutions of the much acclaimed Major National Dialogue.

Below is what people expected from the Dialogue after consultations at regional level and the Prime Minister’s. Whether their hopes were taken on board remains a moot point but what is certain is that it is a cocktail of variegated opinions that certainly make interesting reading. Exclusively from the Rambler stable…

Mrs. Njomo Omam Esther:

 We did serious mapping of who the key stakeholders are if we want the crisis to come to an end. We concluded that women are one of the key stakeholders with the power to reckon with. The Southwest and Northwest women task force was created in 2018 with the objective of seeing how the ongoing crisis in the regions can be addressed for a possible end through a peaceful dialogue.

Acha Rita Agum, for ‘People with disabilities’:

We the people with disabilities think that it is but indispensable for our preoccupations to be taken into consideration because we are not represented in any decision-making sphere at the national level be it at the Senate, National Assembly or at the level of municipal councils. We think that it can start by bearing reasonable accommodation by applying all the legal texts that are related to the promotion and protection of people with disabilities; mainstreaming disability in all state departments, in all ministries and let it not be just an issue of the ministry of social affairs  but really to have policies and programmes taking in to consideration people with disabilities in all stages

It is indispensable for people with disabilities to be part of the consultation meetings in relation to the upcoming national dialogue. This is because we represent 15 percent of the people living in the Cameroonian society. The number of people with disabilities is on the rise because of the Boko Haram crisis in the Far North region and the Anglophone crisis.

Akere Muna: ‘Dion Ngute can negotiate dialogue if given the right tools’

Dion Ngute can do the job if given the right tools. I met with the Prime Minister whom I know very well, open and frank. I think that given the right tools, he can negotiate this call in our country. …the Prime Minister is part of the dialogue and cannot be the judge of a case which he is a party to.

This is pre-dialogue and if you want to know, we are bringing to the dialogue, then come to the conference center if we are invited. So far, I don’t know if we are invited or not.

The dialogue depends on many mistakes which have to be seriously looked into, to ensure that the dialogue is successful. It is a serious matter, to my understanding; the dialogue is intended to produce results and therefore it is important that before it starts, everybody should know what it is all about. Personally, I don’t have a clear vision of where we are heading to.

Barrister Agbor Balla Nkongho Felix:

It was a very frank and interesting discussion with the Prime Minister. We did appreciate the fact that he was open to receive us. We talked about the number of persons who are supposed to attend. The Prime Minister assured and re-assured us that out of about three hundred delegates, two hundred will be Anglophones. It is something which is very assuring because if you follow the social media, there is a perception, and most people believe that francophones will outnumber Anglophones during the dialogue.

We also talked about the fact that the human rights violations that have been committed by either parties, should induce a measure of accountability into such action because we don’t want a situation where such a thing will happen again in this country.

We equally talked about the issue of amnesty taking, into consideration the fact that it might be too little too late to have amnesty for the time being but that during the dialogue, the participants should raise the issue. We also asked the Prime Minister to ensure that those who are coming from the diaspora, those whose view is separation be guaranteed, that when they come, they will not be arrested. In the African tradition, you don’t invite somebody to your house and you arrest the person afterwards. These are things that were assuring because some of us are in the frontline. We talk to our friends who are in the separatist movement, to those who believe in federation and we talk to those who have appetite with regards to the process so that we can be able to explain to them. To be honest, I think we should give dialogue a chance. It will never be perfect. It will have shortcomings but I think those of us in particular in the Northwest and Southwest, we have gone through hell for three years. Kids not going to school, the economy has been destroyed; CDC is not functioning, business is no longer working. There is general insecurity in those two regions and so it is high time that all of us put our heads together and find a solution. I know people argue that it is not just about peace but it is also about justice. But I think that one step at a time because if we don’t have peace we cannot be talking about justice.

Eric Chinje: former CRTV staff and development consultant.

In the meeting with the Prime Minister, we talked about a number of things. First of all and most importantly, we talked about the upcoming dialogue. What is the purpose of this dialogue? I think we need to have a full understanding of what it is. My take is, the purpose of this dialogue is to determine the price of peace in Cameroon. The purpose of this dialogue is to determine what needs to change and how are we going to deal with the change. Are Cameroonians, 25 million and more of us willing to accept change in every one? We need to know. Ask and answer this question. What will it take? How do I need to change and in what ways do I need to change for the greater good. I think Cameroonians sometimes feel change has to come from Yaoundé. That change has to come from the President; change has to come from some government officials. It is far more individual than that. The police officer who is taking bribe from people, does he know that he is taking bribe from people who pay his salary? The minister who is misusing and embezzling public funds, does he know that he is taking money from the same people who are paying him for doing the job of minister? Every single one of us has to know what it needs and takes to change.

I had a meeting with the Director of the World Bank and he told me he is about to complete a 1.3 billion dollars in funds that go to Angloa. And I said why? Cameroon should have double that…but we cannot with the current system.

The dialogue is about the Cameroon we want. The question now is what is the Cameroon we want? Everyone one of us should ask and answer that question. What Cameroon do we want? And when you ask yourself imagining that you were part of the Cameroon and didn’t make things happen.

Also we talked about how we can define the success of this dialogue. The fact is, I was telling the Prime Minister that this is a historic moment akin to the Foumban Constitutional Conference of 1961. It is a historic moment and when we come out of this, and the historic changes that took place at the Foumban Conference, people cannot sense that something momentous as that has taken place, then we might have missed the goal.

 Bello BoubaMaigari: President of UNDP

Our party is coming in the spirit of solidarity. First of all, we are here as the majority population of this country totally committed to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation. But this national dialogue that has been convened by the President of the Republic, to succeed must be inclusive and to achieve this, our party came with the proposal that the most active and articulate groups be invited to attend and express their worries during the national dialogue. They must be assured and re-assured that they can come and depart freely. Our party has always put forth decentralization. We have been proposing decentralization but the most extensive decentralization be organized in such a way that the elected representatives of our decentralized communities be responsible and answerable to the people who elected them. And this action must not be impeded by an extensive hand of administration.

Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union, Camccul President, Musa SheyNfor:

The first thing we brought was to remind the Prime Minister about our status as the largest network of microfinance, credit unions created in 1968 and by this more than 53 percent of all the financing of the population of these two regions is carried out by our structures which means, we are actually very historic and nostalgic. By that, we focused our proposals on economic and financial recovery because we know that through this, they will be able to handle things like education, agriculture and all other things.

We took advantage to also present to the Prime Minister, the already devastating economic impact of the crisis as a result of this. And now, be reminded that we are structures that do not only focus on the finances that we get but are very concerned about the loss of lives. And therefore, we are very concerned about anything that can make peace return to the NW and SW regions so that we don’t only do economy and money but above all, our very dear lives that we have the opportunity to contributing in protecting. And in all, we gave a very concrete proposal on recovery, reconstruction, stabilization and sustainability because anything that is put in place now, let it have a bit of what makes it sustainable for the entire population. We also brought with us part of the micro finance sector even though it was a Camccul delegation, a delegation of credit unions.

Dr Peter Louis Ndifor, Deputy Secretary General of the Cameroon Medical Council:

We are here representing the arm of the Cameroon Medical Council, platform of medical orders of Cameroon medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses and dental surgeons. One of the main reasons we are here is to table our problems and challenges faced by health professionals in this very difficult setting of the Northwest and Southwest regions. All of you know that the other professionals; teachers and lawyers have complained but medical professionals have concurred to continue providing help because of our oaths and the Geneva Convention that says we don’t take sides in any conflict situation. Given this, most medical professionals have actually paid the big price. Some of them have died, most of them have been victimized for taking care of wounded people from either side. Some of them have actually been traumatized, assaulted and kidnapped. These are the challenges that medical professionals face practicing in these very difficult conditions.

One of the other effects of the crisis in these areas of Northwest and Southwest regions is the difficulty in providing private healthcare services. For example, the follow-up of systemic medication. Those who are displaced in the bushes, how do they receive their vaccination? How do the primary healthcare activities occur?

Apart from this, there are other challenges that we face within this regions. Most of us have mentioned the fact that there is the absence of career pecks and profile.

The other one is the poor financial package that they get at the end of their profession. By the time they compare their salaries with others, it is a bit small amid the risk they take in providing services in these conflict zones. Also, the other problem is the absence of referral hospitals in the Northwest and Southwest regions. The absence of Teaching Hospitals too, came up for discussion. We actually applaud the creation of the Faculties of Medicine in the University of Buea and the University of Bamenda. They should also follow this up with the creation of Teaching Hospitals. You know a Teaching Hospital is where students actually learn, gain knowledge to be able to practice and where their teachers teach them at the bed side of the patient.

Professor Abangma James Arrey, President of SYNES University of Buea:

There is something I want to say. Most of the opinions on what is going on places the state on a very high platform and then the accused persons on a very low platform which is why we feel that the state cannot commit errors and that only the opponent can commit errors. We need to go back to the roots of things; how violence started. We realized many people have distorted views on how violence started and got to this level but we are living witnesses, from people marching with leaves before we found helicopters shooting from the air and all of that.

We are saying the highhandedness of the state must be checked because some people prefer to die when you feel only force can solve a problem. They too feel that they better die than give up. We have to put all these things in to consideration.

It is that governance that dictates the arrogance of doing things. The arrogance of some state actors has to be checked and it is that arrogance that has brought us to this level. So, the current public governance system has to be done with. And it is the idea of it is our time, this is our time and all of that. Something has to be done for some people to feel that it is their time and must do what they want to do. For us teachers, we feel that the two systems of education have to be preserved and none has to be tempered with. So far, for many years now, there have been moves to distort the Anglophone system of education but has met with resistance from the people.

Christian Cardinal Tumi:

I summarize it as this: We are aiming at peace. That is our goal and for that to take place, we think that we should all know that it is God who governs us and the world, and everyone of us will render account of his or her actions. We are convinced that during this dialogue, the truth should prevail. By the truth I mean that whatever everybody will be saying should be in agreement with what he or she is thinking. That is truth. If you are telling somebody, something that does not correspond to your thoughts, then you are lying. So, we must be open to one another. What I have to say is, whatever we have to say as far as the political life of our country is concerned is we should have opinions. Opinion is an affirmation that one holds with the fear that the opponent or contradictor’s opinion might be the right thing to accept but we should come into this dialogue with what I call intellectual honesty; when you are convinced that what the other person is saying is good for our country, you have to bow down.

 We handed over two documents to the PM. We sent out a questionnaire and about a thousand people reacted all over the world and we summarized it so to say. It is in a book. The book has about 400 pages but that book is summarized for those who are lazy to read it fully so that they can go through it and have an idea on what is elaborated in the book. So we have given all these documents to the PM. It is left for them to exploit it. We have been invited to the meeting and we accepted. We are praying now as religious leaders that our country should return to the peace it enjoyed before because hundreds of thousands of our people are dying and suffering in the bushes. Some are dying of hunger and some are dying of sicknesses. These should not continue.

Compiled by Beng Humphrey Fang

The new addiction dubbed mobile phones

By Buma Bronhilda Wasa*

The effect is palpable even if ominous. The victim is usually seen in front of a television screen, or near a radio set and sometimes even in conversation with an interlocutor. However, their attention is not on what they are watching or listening to but on their mobile phone which they unconsciously manipulate sometime to the knowledge of the person with whom they are supposed to be conversing. This new addiction is causing people to indulge in sometimes abominable actions like conversing while driving or concentrating on the phone while engaged in a supposedly important dialogue.

Looking around the world today we will notice that people are not only dependent on their phones but have grown emotionally attached to them. Phones are the first things we get hold of when we wake up and the last thing we check on before we go to bed. They have become a basic element in our day to day life. Statistics have shown that a new phone owner is more attached to his or her phone more than one who has owned a phone for more than a year. Many people cannot imagine living without phones due to how attached they have become to these gadgets.

The Smartphone is hardly the problem. The problem of attachment to smart phones are the applications, internet and games it connects us to. Communication between people physically has become a thing of the past. Families now sit together in the same milieu but all heads and attention are buried on their phones. Even during religious services, people cannot resist the temptation of not touching their phones. We have seen couples sit in restaurants and snacks paying attention to their phones and ignoring each other. Due to the availability of phones almost everyone has access to the internet. Staying connected is now a national obsession. Libraries are no longer visited because with one option on your phone you can access any book or article you want. We have witnessed accidents that happened because the driver was manipulating his­ phone while driving. We have witnessed people fall into pits, holes and even hit themselves on objects on the road because they had their heads buried on their phones while walking.

Also, people have died or gotten wounded because they go as far as using their smart phones while charging them. For the advantages of access to internet on the smart phones, people can shop online, advertise businesses, access banking apps for easy financial transactions. When faced with a situation you can easily reach out to someone for help. We get entertained from the funny videos, the talent shows, the pranks. We get educated due to the easy access of information and interactive content.

However, as the adage goes, all that glitters is not gold. As the phone technology gets smarter, the price for the phone has experienced upward mobility. Also smart phones are a great distraction. Instead of studying, we get entangled with funny video or uncensored programs like pornographic videos. More so, much attention on phones affects the eyes because phones have HEV lights which can damage the eye retina. With all this we will conclude that a phone is a necessity in our day to day life but should be handled with much precaution.

*UB Journalism student on internship

‘Mount Mary’ Hospital treating, consoling war victims

By Baliki Marie Eta & Nembo Jenifer Nagai*

When the diocese of Buea created the Mount Mary Hospital in Lower Farms Buea, little did it know that this otherwise private and secluded health outfit was to become a source of succour to aggrieved Cameroonians. However, with the advent of the crisis pitting Anglophone separatists against the government, many have found a place to rely on even when there is no means to absorb the shock of hospital bills. Such desperation has found solace in the partnership that ‘Doctors Without Borders’ aka, ‘Medecins Sans Frontiers’ have struck with Mount Mary Hospital.

This explains why thousands of internally displaced persons, IDPs faced with diverse health challenges resulting from the ongoing socio-political crisis, in the two English speaking Regions of Cameroon find the Mount Mary Hospital of great importance. Despite the fact that they don’t stay there, they have been welcomed and treated with much hospitality.

According to the Matron, Mah Cecilia, every day, they are faced with different IDP’S in desperate need of medical attention even as most are without funds for treatment. They have numerous cases of orphans, widows, widowers and physically challenged people whose wellbeing is being taken care of by the parish. The Matron told The Rambler that  the impact of the crisis is most evident in teenage pregnancies, adding that “teenage girls are either sexually assaulted or exploited.”

 The crisis has an agonizing and heartbreaking effect, most especially on pregnant women who had to run into the bushes for safety. In the event, they were not opportune to attend antenatal or go for regular medical checkups.  The most pathetic part of all is women who are afflicted with the pain of parturition or bearing their children in the worst unhygienic conditions which may further endanger the health of both mother and child.

 The Matron further stated that they have received no help from the government regarding the welfare of the IDPs and that they do not intend to request for such help, not now or the in the nearest future. Nonetheless, they have been assisted by an international NGO, ‘Doctors Without Borders,’ who have greatly supported them financially and materially.

 She appreciated donors who have sponsored the health requirements of cases that needed surgery such as the case of baby Alex

[child of an internally displaced woman]

, who was born in a bush in Munyenge with a health challenge that greatly affected its head. She encouraged people to be humane and assist the needy as this is a vital necessity for national growth.

A close investigation by The Rambler team proved that IDPs at the Mount Mary Hospital are indeed well treated with much hospitality and generosity.  They are provided with good medical care and their feeding is taken care of.  Though they may have nowhere to cover their heads, they can always turn the hospital for help. It was evident on the faces of the people that they are satisfied with the help which they are getting from the hospital and other sources that have aided. The hospital hereby looks forward to promising days ahead.

*UB Journalism students on internship

War and divorce: Two sides of a coin

By Buma Bronhilda Wasa*

Cameroon is presently fighting a war against secession as a result of which thousands of families have been split, divorced so to speak. Countless women are found in the bushes, cut off from their spouses and in certain cases children and wards. The war has pushed men into inadvertently fleeing into the hands of “new/emergency” spouses to the chagrin of their legal partners. The children and wards are the worse for it.

A case in point is this case of a family of eight that fled the war in Ekona in Fako Division to Loum in the Mungo Division of the Littoral in search of safety.  A local television programme portrayed how the woman was crammed into one dingy room with all the kids while the husband was off to God knows where, trying to do odd jobs for them to survive by daily eating tapioca (garri) soaked in cold water. But this is not as touching as the woman’s claim that she may have lost not only the typical warmth of a bed with a man on it but also her husband to a woman of easy virtue whom she is so sure has seized the legal father of her eight kids. By her own account, her marriage to her man is like over because the war has divorced them, so to speak, giving a hawk of a complete stranger wreck a union she nurtured for close to two decades.

 This is divorce inadvertently triggered by typical poor governance that begot the war in the first place. Many of such cases abound today especially in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon. Some people we interviewed attested to the fact that many conjugal unions have been broken as a result of the ongoing war. The worst hit is workers of the now completely ravaged Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, who have not been paid for the past two years, thereby stampeding some spouses into abandoning their husbands for who can see to their upkeep financially. Unverifiable information is to the effect that a similar trend is taking place in PAMOL.

Elsewhere in the two war ravaged regions, marriages have crashed alongside business enterprises. This is to say little of members of militias, aka, “Amba boys,” some of whom have abandoned the wives they were legally married to, for cozy relationships with younger, “vibrant” girls they cajoled and now have as mistresses.         

Come to think of it. Ordinarily, marriage almost always initially brings about lots of joy and exuberance.  But then, every social activity that is not properly nourished and nurtured is bound to face diminishing returns and ultimately crash like a deck of cards. By the same token, conjugal relationships often start off with desire and promise. Promise to paddle it or to swim to the ultimate safe shores of matrimony even if those involved have imbibed little knowledge of swimming as it were. Couples are blind to realities, ready to sink together. And then the bitter truth sets in, undressing both couples and exposing the true pimples that were conveniently ignored at the onset.

We are thinking here of issues like infidelity which would have been initially swept under the carpet at the on start. And what brings about infidelity? Like the saying goes, money touches everything. Lack of money to provide needs for one’s spouse and children can cause lots of stress in the mind of the spouse which might push her to get the money through any other means and if this means has to come from a man, she might have no option than to go for it which will result to infidelity and hence a divorce will happen.

 Poor communication between couples, resulting in avoidable arguments and quarrels is another potential divorce reason. Communication between spouses is very important especially being able to communicate on time. This is especially so in this time of stress, induced by a silly war. Hence, avoidable squabbles.

           Inequality between couples can cause a divorce. When one of the spouses feels that he/she needs to always be heard or any decision taken has to be final, it may cause resentment in the relationship, if you are unable to deliberate on any issue with your spouse and keep on taking decisions on your own there is bound to always be disagreement in the relationship which may lead to a divorce.

The crisis has really taken its toll on homes according to our findings. Some wives have been forced to look elsewhere for support because their men were economically and socially impotent.

When a wife starts getting obese on account of lack of activity, losing shape, looking shabby around the house, maybe dresses differently, or the husband starts developing a pot belly, looking unkempt, maybe he becomes disabled due to an accident it might result to less physical attraction by the couples. And when there is lack of physical attraction there is lack of intimacy which might lead to a divorce.

As already indicated above, living at different places, staying apart for a period of time, not eating together, having no sexual relationship and sleeping in separate rooms may result to a divorce. A couple ought to stay together, eat together, sleep together, to keep the relationship fun. Staying away from each other can result to lack of communication attention and intimacy which may lead to a divorce.

Getting married at an early age or without adequately preparing one’s mind on what one is getting into, might lead to a divorce. When couples get married at an early age, they always get into financial issues early because they didn’t plan well and also because they were not yet established in their careers. When financial issues begin to pop up, things start falling apart which can lead to a divorce.

A sudden change of feeling can spark up a divorce too. A spouse may all of a sudden stop having the same affection and feelings like they had before getting married. This may come as an effect of physical changes like size and a change in style. Passion changes over time which may cause a divorce.

*UB Journalism student on internship

Dion Ngute’s rendezvous with fate

 By Ngoko Monyadowa

Like his father with whom he shares everything except skin complexion; God has not endowed Cameroon’s Prime Minister Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute with towering physical presence. However, what he lacks in terms of stature is vastly noticeable in out-of-proportion intelligence and sense of humour that make him good company any time, be it in University amphitheatres where students acclaim his brilliance in imparting elements of the Law of Tort or conversation when hors pair infectious and affectionate bonhomie and camaraderie illumine otherwise drab moments. Indeed, nature and nurture have conspired to implant greatness in him. This explains why barring a short spell in Presbyterian Boys School Kumba Town, where he cut his teeth in the turbulent enterprise of purposeful learning, he has always been a child of providence or living on public till.

By the tender age of 12, he had wriggled his way into one of the early badges of illustrious youths admitted into the Federal Bilingual Grammar School in Man-O War Bay, Victoria. This marks the period when the seeds of “one and indivisible Cameroon” began taking root in him since many of his school and classmates had come from the other side of the Mungo. The grain of “living together” continued to blossom as he trudged on to the University of Yaounde, where students from the entire country had to exhibit mettle in distinguishing themselves as crème de crème, regarding academics with the possibility of becoming mentors of the next generation. Of course, the big brain that he is endowed with easily came into play as he emerged among those recommended for further studies in European and American Universities.

Five years later, he returned with the worthy feat of being holder of a Doctorate degree in Law. In the event, he went to the University of Yaounde as Lecturer, the obvious choice at the time, even as his former masters were still the only cocks that crowed. He, nevertheless, made another distinction shortly thereafter, by attracting the attention of the Head of State, Paul Biya who was on the lookout for competent and morally upright Cameroonians to assist in materializing a nascent dream of Cameroon swimming with the tides of newfound credo – rigour and moralization.   In the circumstance, Dion Ngute, was catapulted at the tender age of 32 to Deputy Director General of ENAM. He was to be adjudged four years later to have absorbed enough of President Biya’s governance ethos and appointed Director General of ENAM.

Nine years at the helm of ENAM may be said to have been years of mixed blessings. While being devoid of latter-day admission scandals that have rocked the erstwhile elitist school in the aftermath of his departure on promotion as Minister, its products have not done much to project the moral uprightness highlighted during his stay as head of the prestigious institution. Badmouthing alludes to the putrid pottage served to Cameroonians by those who have had the privilege of going to ENAM at the time Chief Ngute was Director General. Take it or leave it, they are managers of today’s Cameroon in all spheres of national life. Some may say they are at the receiving end, merely executing orders decided upon at higher quarters. Unfortunately, that is not what reaches the eyes of ordinary Cameroonians. They are seen daily at Divisional Offices, Treasuries, Taxation and Customs. Their services reek of acquisitiveness and sleaze!

Furthermore, as Minister Delegate in Charge of Commonwealth Affairs, his undisclosed assignment consisted in dousing the embers of Anglophone irredentism that had begun rearing its head in the early 1990s. The climax of this trouble-shooting assignment was during the seizure of the African Court of Arbitration in Banjul, Gambia, by the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC and other groups advocating better governance in Cameroon regarding respect accorded the 1961 Foumban agreement. Of course, the services of a brilliant lawyer with international exposure readily thrust itself on government and the choice advertently or inadvertently fell on Dion Ngute. His “brilliant” performance in postponing the current political turmoil in Cameroon evoked the semblance of a “done deal.” Unfortunately, the verdict was not respected. The court had asked the Biya regime to dialogue with the leaders of aggrieved Anglophones. This, incidentally, was ignored because they were termed terrorists. Today, Cameroon is politically marooned!

In the circumstance, it is not surprising that being a chip of the system and having transmitted same to his students, the choice of Prime Minister had fallen on Dion Ngute on January 4, 2019. His emergence on the political scene at this critical moment is timely. Timely, in the sense that he needs all the savvy inherent in his big brain to convince Southern Cameroonians that what he had embarked on, 11 years ago in Banjul, has ceased trailing him. Yes, there has to be concrete evidence that he will not bring the government bias he took to Banjul to bear on his current assignment as Chair of the recently decreed “Major National Dialogue”. He must per force, induce confidence in Anglophones that they are not just going to Yaounde for a Safari trip-that there is much in stock for them in terms of improved governance. Indeed, he has to dispel all alienation traceable to the Foumban and Tripartite accords- cris de guère of Anglophone irredentism.

Such improvement, ipso facto, includes a complete overhaul to cordon-off the current over-centralized system of governance by complete devolution of power through transparent elections for President, Governors, Mayors and Councilors. This should, also, be preceded by a recant of the current electoral architecture by taking on board independent candidatures and proscription of the list system in favour of individual candidatures. Moreover, a two-round Presidential election characterized by limited mandate of five years renewable once, should be considered in tandem with revenue generation and allocation benefiting from autonomy at the regional level such that only an agreed percentage goes to the central government while the remnant stays to foster development at the grassroots level. On top of this, revenue allocation being the fulcrum on which development revolves should respect the principle of derivation. This means each locality that generates revenue by whatever means, deserves an agreed percentage of same for livelihoods improvement.

Another thorny issue that must be uppermost in the mind of the Prime Minister is land tenure. The current system that ascribes land ownership to government instead of Chiefs and local communities should be considered moribund. The icing on the cake in this case, will be once and for all trashing of the issue of dual nationality in favour of current victims of unwarranted vilification.

On the whole, the task is daunting even for someone with acclaimed intellectual prowess and intimidating trouble- shooting capacity.

However, despite the exceedingly faulty premise underpinning the Major National Dialogue, it is the conviction here that Mr. Prime Minister’s big brain can handle all of this and even more. The view that he is merely fulfilling a coordinating role without final say is acknowledged but given the aura of urbaneness that surrounds him, it is possible to convince Mr. Biya that a change in the governance architecture of Cameroon has become a categorical imperative. This is an opportunity to have his name written in gold just like failure to live up to expectation will obviously relegate an otherwise brilliant career of service to the nation to the repository of turncoats whose disservice to Cameroon  remain indelible.

Death snatches Anglophone socialites

During the past three years, thousands of precious Cameroonian lives have been lost to a foolish, avoidable war. But last week death came naturally to a good number of socialites and elder statesmen. Barrister Bernard Acho Muna, son of Solomon Tandeng Muna, one time West Cameroon Prime Minister and Vice President of the Federated states of Cameroon, died on Sunday, October 6, in Yaounde.

Ben Muna

Ben Muna was once an SDF party chieftain. He was also a two term President of Cameroon’s Bar Council. He was an outspoken critic of the regime and strong human rights crusader. Until recently when his health began to fail him, Barrister Muna who had a stint at the United Nations Human Rights Court for Rwanda in Arusha-Tanzania in the late 90s was very regular in the courts, defending arrested activists of the Ambazonian project. One of his siblings, Akere, also an erudite lawyer with international credentials partnered with the deceased at the Muna and Muna Chambers, Yaounde. He was 79.

Justice Moma Che

The death also occurred last weekend of Mr. Justice Moma Che Macaulay. Moma was a judge of repute whose career spanned several decades, mostly in the Southwest and Northwest jurisdictions. He retired as a Supreme Court judge.

Mr. Chia Kiyam Barth, a retired civil servant died at age 95 in Njinikom, Boyo Division. He was a retired member of the ruling CPDM party. He served as Section President of the said party for many years. CK Barth as he was fondly called was a prominent player in Southern Cameroons politics. He passed on at the Njinikom Catholic General Hospital on Saturday, October 5.


Mr. Chia Kiyam Barth

End to the Anglophone crisis? A contribution to national dialogue addressed to the Right Honorable Prime Minister

By Daniel M.Ojong

Dear Sir,

 I most humbly address to you in the pages that follow my modest contribution to the Dialogue, based on my personal experience as a long serving senior civil servant, a senior corporate employee, a retiree, senior citizen and Consultant at 81.

Rt. Honorable, your task is a herculean one but you are up to it. Thank God.

Yours respectfully,

Daniel M.OJONG

Residence, GRA Lower Ext. Buea. Phones: 677 69 78 98/ 677 60 39 63

  1. The mood and expectations

the mood was so tense, the silence in the hall we sat was that of a graveyard, then as the hour of eight in the evening struck on that long awaited day of September 10th, 2019 came the National Anthem, “O Cameroon…… land of promise……”

The population was rife with guesses, surmises, affirmations as to what to he would talk about, but the president after three years of hue and cry from Cameroon and the rest of the world, finally spoke out.

  • the speech

The president to the happy expectation of all and sundry opened his speech with the Anglophone crisis of the Southwest and Northwest region. Good, frank and honest talk ending with the announcement of the dialogue at the end of this September 2019 (applause). It was a thirty minutes speech, recounting truly what had been the problem of recent; Lawyers and Teachers’ strife.

  • surprise

Unfortunately, what truly surprised anyone who had knowledge over this Anglophone issue is the president’s outright denial that there has never ever been any marginalization of the Anglophones. To substantiate this denial, he went ahead and cited his act of appointing Anglophone Prime Ministers. With due respect, Mr. President has contradicted himself badly. In his honesty, he had long admitted that there is an Anglophone problem unlike some dishonest personalities who have affirmed now and again that there is no Anglophone problem. One cannot eat his cake and have it or say yes in one breath and say no at the same breath. Here is the multi dollar question, “if there has never been marginalization of the Anglophones, what then gave rise to the Anglophone crisis? Here is the truth: the Anglophone crisis is the result of pent up feelings over donkey years, dating especially from when the president and his predecessor president  Ahidjo, systematically and methodically moved the nation from the dispensation of a Federal Republic of Cameroon to that of a  United Republic of Cameroon and finally to that of Republic of Cameroon. These were cunningly planed acts by Mr. Ahidjo and Mr. Biya. Remember this is what one well known Francophone lawyer said during a debate in one of our electronic media; “Ahidjo a trompe’ les Anglophone, Biya les merprise!” (Ahidjo deceived the Anglophones, Biya undermines them).

  • indelible facts

Here are indelible facts of marginalization for any one pretending not to know:

  1. When Ahidjo was president of the Republic, Foncha (Anglophone) was Vice President. He was later demoted to the post of Grand Chancellor (in charge of issuing medals) by Ahidjo. The Vice Presidency was thus abolished in one fell swoop.
  2. Muna (Anglophone) was appointed Speaker of the House therefore Second in Command to the President.
  3. Then, Ahidjo resigned and appointed Biya as President. (One would have rightly expected his next in command to be his appointee).
  4. In frustration, Muna unable to see the President to whom he was assistant for several years, resigned.
  5. A new Speaker of the House, Cavaye Jibril having been installed became Second in Command.
  6. With time the president of the Senate, Niat was appointed and became Second in Command, while the House Speaker moved down to Third position.
  7. The Prime Minister, an Anglophone was appointed and was now fourth in command. The game is clear to see. The president of the republic himself is the ‘Maradona’. From the above manipulations, the Anglophone is distanced from the presidential palace constructed with funds from the Anglophone Region oil wells.

Oh boy! If this is not a well-planned scenario never to let an “Anglo” rise to the position of President or even be his Vice in a Republic that was unified by two distinct states, then you tell us how!

  • More Proofs

Here are more proofs: At the time Mr. Biya assumed office as President of the Republic, the following statutory corporations or parastatals were fully functioning:

  1. The National Electricity Corporation, SONEL, (2). The National Petroleum Corporation, SNH, (3). The National Ports Authority ONPC, (4). The National Investment Corporation, SNI, (5). The National Railway Corporation, REGIFERCAM, (6). Cameroon Radio and Television CRTV, (7). Cameroon Shipping Lines CAMSHIP, (8). International Telecommunication, CAMTEL, (9).Cameroon Airlines CAMAIR, (10). National Petroleum Corporation, SNH, 11). The National Housing Loan Fund, CREDIT FONCIER, (12). Cameroon Housing Corporation, SIC, (13). The National Water Corporation SNEC, (14). The National Refining Corporation SONARA, (15). The Cameroon National Office for Basic Produce ONPBC, (16). National Petroleum Depot CDP.

These are or were sixteen top economic power houses, how many of them were headed by an Anglophone or Assistant DG? The answer is NONE.

  • Appointment of Anglophone Prime Ministers

The appointment of Anglophones to the post of Prime Minister sounds truly big if they indeed had executive powers. But as it is, it creates the unfortunate impression of yarns being spun over the eyes of the Anglophones. Highly qualified and experienced and hardworking as these appointees are in administration etc, they are not more than toothless bulldogs so to speak. They are appointed by presidential decree, the ministers supposed to be under the PM’s authority are no appointed by him as done the world over, but also appointed by presidential decree. So who of them cares of PM or no PM? They arrogantly behave as though they are answerable only to the president, the head of state, not the PM, the Head of Government. Now and again you hear a minister on tour announcing, “je suis envoye sous les hautes instructions de son Excellence le President de la Republique MR. Paul Biya……………” No mention of the Prime Minister! Recent example: the Prime Minister makes an official Policy Speech; the Minister of Interior, Mr. Atanga Nji goes out of the country and makes a deliberate speech contradicting the Prime Minister. The world gets the impression that, in all his outings, speeches, threats from the date of his appointment as minister of territorial administration and not from the government, where there is a head of government in the person of the Prime Minister but from the state where there is a head of state. One gets the impression that this particular Minister is not under the Prime Minister as Head of Government. The Francophone ministers are the cheekiest and most arrogant. That’s the lot of the Anglophone Prime Ministers.

  • Endless proofs of marginalization

Let’s look at the administrative set up in Buea, capital of Southwest Region (Anglophone zone) : (1) Governor, Francophone, (2) SDO, Francophone,  (3) DO ,Francophone , (4) Military Commander, Francophone,  (5) Gendarmerie Colonel, Francophone  (6) Financial Controller Treasury, Francophone  (7) 1ST Assistant Controller, Francophone (8) 2nd Assistant Controller, Francophone.  (9) Procureur general, Francophone, in a Common law system. What more? Now listen to the meaning of ‘Marginalize’: Make feel as if they are not important, cannot influence decisions or events. Put in position in which they have no power. Reference: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Hear, hear all ye Cameroonians!! Most of these officials are long time sit tight tired retirees! While qualified, Anglophone youths and majors are on the dole.

  • Deliberate dismantling of engineering productive structures

If what is detailed under this sub-heading is not systematically planned wanton acts of destabilization for the purpose of causing wholesale dependence of the Anglophone Regions on the Francophone Regions, by the powers that be, then let any Engineering Expert from any part of the world challenge me and give satisfactory answers to the common Cameroonian. I speak in my proud capacity as one of the first Cameroonian Chartered Engineers amongst a number of others, who manned these installations.

 Question number one, why were the electrical power installations  (clean energy) of Muyuka-Yoke-Malende dismantled during the early years of independence and re-unification. These modest installations generated a minimum of 4.5KVA. Upgrading was possible. This system with proper arrangement could have been hooked to the National grid?

Question number two, why were the huge twin thermal production units in Mamfe Town, Manyu Division dismantled and vandalized. They supplied a good steady amount of electricity to all the services and homes of the town and the surrounding villages? There should be no fictitious reasons or explanations of fuel consumption cost. At the times these installations existed, Cameroon was not yet producing petrol. We lived on imported fuel from the pumps of Texaco and Agip. The cost 1.000 FRS gave you 20liters of super grade petrol or more on premium grade less than 90% octane level. Compare today that we are petrol producers 1.000 FRS cfa. Would give you less than 2 liters.

Whereas these thermal units in the Anglophone zones were closed down, dismantled and vandalized, those of the francophone towns of Nkongsamba and Bafoussam were constantly maintained and running full time until later years that these towns were hooked to supplies from Edea and Songlulu. Yes one would argue that today Mamfe and Bamenda are connected to this same grid. But boy O! Boy, go to Mamfe and taste what we call epileptic supply; blackout for weeks, sudden supply for hours, the sequence continues no factory however small like wood working workshops can thrive, same thing for Kumba.

Question number three: Why were the installations of Limbe-Bota wharf port dismantled. The derricks were dismantled and carted away, the mini dry dock for repairs of tug boats and barges abandoned? The Limbe-Bota Port did a swelling business. Business magnates came all the way from Bafoussam and Nkongsamba for importation, produce from Fako and Meme Divisions were exported through this port. The ocean liner docked a distance away, the Stevedoring Services of the Bota CDC Marines, undertook link-up with the ship captain and crew, the tug boats waters and bringing back imported goods thus contributing immensely to the economy of the Nation State or Cameroon as a whole.

Question number four: Why was the first ever deep sea port in Cameroon-Tiko Port, abandoned in exclusive favour of the Douala Port, forever a dredger port? Even if the Tiko Port berths a ship at a time, should it be abandoned to adventurers? Think of the Kribi Port in the Francophone zone decades back before the advent of our new deep sea port, it was a child’s play. But it was well maintained and exploited, so what’s so wrong with the Tiko deep sea Port on the Anglophone zone?

Question number five: Why are the airports in Bessong-Abang, Mamfe and Likomba, Tiko abandoned and left destitute? These were international airports. The British Overseas Airway Corporation, BOAC, planes landed and took off from here to Ikeja in Lagos and continued to other parts of the world. Some of us flew off from here decades ago, studied and worked for years abroad, came back home and landed on these same facilities. The Bali Airport in Bamenda has fallen into oblivion. The situation is so bad and cannot get any reliable meteorological data for research or development purposes from the weather observatory of these facilities. The equipment is obsolete, outdated, many not available. Yet there is the Ministry of Transport. Oh Cameroon…… why this abandonment in the Anglophone zone?

Question number six: Why have the touristic sites in Fako and Manyu divisions been abandoned and dilapidated? In the whole of Cameroon there is no structural steel Jetty, like the one in the Ambas Bay in Limbe, projecting from the shore of the Atlantic Front to about 100meters into the ocean. It’s dilapidated; the rate of oxidation is near 100 percent. No scrap monger can be interested!! The famous Bimbia slave enclave of no return in Limbe, has any thought or form of serious maintenance ever been undertaken? the Mamfe German grave of war  heroes is fading out , the German built foot suspension bridges over the Manyu River confluence and others on the Akwaya trail are neglected, the floor boards destroyed and flung into the river, some accuse our military truly or falsely, of doing so as a measure to keep away the so called Amba boys. There is a whole Ministry of Tourism whose principal duty is to look into these structures, revamp them and exploit them for the benefit of the nation. But many are they who believe that because these valuable structures or artifacts are in the Anglophone zone, nobody cares a hoot about them?

Question number seven: The Government Technical High School, OMBE, was one of the four technical institutions established by the British Government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when Southern Cameroons was a part of that dispensation in 1951/52 to be precise. This author was a pioneer student. They were then designated Government Trade Center. This school OMBE is on record and known nationally and internationally to have produced the finest crop of engineer technicians, administrators, educationists, medical doctors, police commissioners, military officers, lord mayors, business moguls, reverend pastors, secretaries general in the Cameroon administrations, university lectures, principals of colleges, Proviseurs du Iycees, journalists, editors, national and international media house moguls…you name it. The other entire three sister institutions created in Nigeria at about the same time, have since long become university colleges of technology etc. What has become of Ombe in Anglophone Cameroon? A crumbling edifice of workshops with obsolete, devastated and vandalized machinery, derelict classrooms devoid of tables or chairs, empty main store for study material, no telephones in principal’s office or general office, no ICT systems. Yet there is the Ministries Education. Now surrounded by bushes, OMBE is a glowing hulk. Poor Anglophones! Is there any such institution in the Francophone zone treated same way? Being Anglophones, our Government is waiting for the Islamic world to rebuild OMBE. This educational institution rather than diminish to the dwarf it is today, would have long since become a giant like her sisters for the betterment of the peoples of Cameroon

Question number eight: Has any official of the Ministry of Tourism ever bothered himself to visit the beautiful sprawling hills and plains of Kupe Muanenguba in the Anglophone zone and see the wild horses? What national wealth! Boy oh boy, get in touch with British diplomatic missions, invite them for visits to see the natural breed of powerful racing horses and the tycoons of the prestigious British Royal Ascot would be so interested. Why this neglect of the Anglophone zone?

  1. “Put down your guns and come out of the bushes.” These words were the exhortation of President Paul Biya to the belligerent ones. “Lay down your guns come and be integrated in the society, in our military or any reformatory of your choosing” he assured. Really? Let the following information be investigated, if found true, it will only go to add to the permanent truth that as concerns the Anglophones, their lot is marginalization. Here goes the information: in around the second Sunday of September 2019, after church service in one of the churches in Buea, some elders of the church, some top Government Christian officials belonging to that church and the pastors men of God, sat down behind closed doors for a church meeting. Before long, to their greatest surprise and shock, appeared before them unarmed young men who are part of the Ambas or separatists or terrorists or whatever you choose to call them, who had surrendered following the president’s exhortation and were lodged in the Borstal institute in Buea. In a peaceful manner they laid their complaints.
  2. Complain number one: They were famishing with hunger. A piece of bread with sardine was their daily ration.
  3. Complain number two: All they had with them was the clothes they had on their backs the day they gave in.
  4. Complain number three: No signs of programmed reformation or integration as promised by the president. End of complaint. Whoa!!Then they concluded with this sad question, “is this not too much punishment and intense provocation for us to go back to the bush and continue our fight?” The information continues that the Governor of the Southwest Region was contacted the top military brasses were contacted. So the authorities that be are in the know. That’s the plight of the Anglophones, lots and lots of them believe so. What if it was so?

The three sets of variables

Cameroon is a democratic nation state we all know and agree. We have the National Assembly which is the Lower House and the Senate which is the Upper House. These two entities form our parliament, so arguably we are a Parliamentary Democracy. The laws that run our nation state come from there. That’s it in theory and even in practice. We are therefore supposed to be governed by these laws. But we have a Republican President who is all powerful. So powerful, he can set aside a law or laws by power of his Decrees. In this respect we now have Governance and rulership. When the president ordered that the opposers, separatists, terrorists, whichever you choose should be gotten out of the way (hors l’etat de nuire) and finally eliminated (eliminer) it was an outright declaration of war coming from a rulership stance, not governance  because it did not go through parliament. This then spells out clearly that the President of the Republic from his rulership stance can order the start of a war as he has done, just as he can order a stop, if he so wishes. In the Nigerian/Biafra war, General Gowon brought an end to it with the words, no winner, no vanquished. President George Bush through Congress declared an unjust war in Iraq. The very him declared an end to the war and America is still pulling out. The same thing goes with Afghanistan. These are not signs of weaknesses on the side of the various governments; rather it is a strong effort for peace to reign. This brings us to three sets of variables on the sub-heading J above. No mathematics involved, just simple clear truth. There are three set of variables in our case. Variables are sets of facts or objects that are varied and don’t go together just like the Yam and the Knife as one set of variables, the Carrot and the Stick as a second set of variable, the Olive branch and the Clenched fist as a third set of variables. In our Cameroon of today and by our rulership pattern one personally holds these three sets of variables. That personality is the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Mr.Paul Biya. He can cut the yam for all of us to eat, he can offer the carrot and drop the stick, he can hold out the olive branch and unclench his fist and like the magician who holds the wan, say, “Hey Presto” and there shall be peace. This is reminiscent of the words from the Holy Scriptures, “By one man the world was destroyed, by one man the world was saved.” In Cameroon this one man is no other than President Paul Biya. Oh yes he can.

We were all there when we heard him say to Eric Chinje in a televised interview, “with the flick of my head (demonstrating) you are no longer there. “Oh yes Paul Biya can. No man is perfect. We were all born in sin. The President of the first Republic of Cameroon, Mr. Ahidjo, in spite f his deception towards the Anglophones, nevertheless handed this  blessed country of ours to the President of the second Republic, Mr. Biya in a platter of gold as the saying goes: a thriving economy, a buoyant treasury, tons and tons of peace and a happy-go-lucky people, we were the jealousy of our neighbouring countries, a good meal a bottle of “jobajo” and life swings, with appreciable justice system especially on the Anglophone zone. But taking stock as of today what do we find?

A country at war with itself, a war declared by the very flagbearer of the nation state. A war that’s tearing the country into shreds, creating artificial scarcities and shortages, causing a great number of her citizens to survive on handouts, a land flowing with milk and honey now flowing with bullets and blood. Take this humble thought from me as author, ‘The development of a nation state is dependent on the flow of the frond of its citizenry not from the flow of blood from their veins because this is Gods created physical world not Satan’s demonic, spiritual world with the proverbial vampire that would cease to live if there’s no more blood to suck so therefore the war can’t stop. The world is no longer living in Napoleon Bonaparte’s type of France in which he said, “A man such as I am cares less about the lives of a thousand men.” But how did he end up? In exile, dying as a hermit in the lonely island of Corsica.” God save our blessed Cameroon.

WAY FORWARD

  1. AMNESTY: Our President Paul Biya and the ruling party which we all helped metamorphose from  CNU to CPDM (yes I say we, as one of the proud founders, still keeping my Carte d’Adhesion and Carte de Cotisation, Section Bassa II dated 18/11/85 in which I happily contributed following my grade as a Director, the sum of 250,000frs) shall go down in the annals of history as heroes, if he, the President, flicked his head and order those in the bushes to come out as he has already done, also order our military back to the barracks, policemen and gendarmes take over peace keeping duties as usual, declare a general amnesty to his political “enemies” sit down on a prescribed dialogue on a one on one, this would  be a magnified act of Heroism and Greatness not of Weakness, he will truly merit the title of ‘Mendiant de la Paix’ which he has attributed to himself but failing this, Mr. Biya will be looked upon by the rest of the world as one playing the same rigmarole of years past. On the contrary Cameroon shall thus return to its original glory and remain a land of promise. Please, Mr. President, listen to us the Senior Citizens, Octogenarians, who gladly put you there, so that peace could return to this blessed land of ours.
  2. FORM OF STATE: The President is a diehard as concerns his stand on the un-touched ability on the form of state. His passion, stance and honour on this issue could be understood and appreciated. As stated on sub head C above page 1, Mr. Biya and his predecessor Ahidjo, have transformed Cameroon from one dispensation to another to what we have today ‘decentralization’ whose application is crawling at snail speed and only the President himself and his cohorts can tell why. However unsatisfactory anyone can feel about this, the deed is done. When one listens to the explanations and arguments of the former Supreme Court Judge, the legal pundit Justice Ayah Paul, who suffered terrible injustice, one but feels sorry for Anglophone Cameroon from the days of Southern Cameroons. Who will carry our case now to the United Nations? Britain, the former Trusteeship Keepers? Forget it.  Which member of the International Community will start a fight for us and for what benefit? It’s a done deal. Ahidjo, the deception, Foncha, the “honest one” and Muna, the “cunning one” capped finally by Biya the finesse one have brought Cameroon to where it is today. We should therefore use the opportunity of this much yearned for dialogue to correct what could be corrected and sail on. All is not lost.
  3. PRIME MINISTERSHIP: We see for ourselves now, and from the past years, that the post of Prime Minister is without doubts the reserved domain of the Anglophones who must never ever dream of being the landlord of the ‘Unity Palace.’ Therefore to avoid tendencies of marginalization, the PM must as a matter of democratic practice be fully executive, i.e. hold full executive powers. All ministers must be answerable to the Prime Minister who is answerable to the President of the Republic. No more arrogant Atanga Nji and the likes ranting of ‘I have been directed by the Head of State…’ The President shall liaise directly with the PM and the PM shall issue instructions to his ministers, hold cabinet meetings with them as per his scheduling and liaise with the President. The Anglophone PM will then pay special attention to the Anglophone problem. Yes, he is Prime Minister for Cameroon but nothing shall prevent his strides for the Anglophone cause. Ahidjo said to SENGA KUO, “I made you Secretary General but take care of your Douala people.”
  4. REHABILITATION OF PRODUCTIVE ENGINEERING STRUCTURES: The PM shall as a matter of urgency set up appropriate commissions for the rehabilitations of the dismantled, abandoned, dilapidated engineering productive structures which were of economic importance to the nation, thus recreating jobs for the trained and untrained Anglophone youths roaming the streets.
  5. Bring pressure to bear on the Ministries of Education for the serious updating of the Government Technical High School, OMBE, and also pressure to bear on the sleepy, sleazy, Ministry of Tourism to refurbish and publicize our touristic structures.

L. Conclusion

No so called developing nation state in this world wishes for emergence (Take-Off) such as Cameroon in 2035 can ever succeed when it is at war with itself. When the trained and untrained youths, who are the intellectual and physical workforce are in the bushes, manipulating triggers, severing human heads, drinking human blood in dastardly cult and burying women alive while our well educated and well trained military are practicing their art in the destruction of their own country, by razing down villages, deliberate and indiscriminate outburst of their gunfire by trigger happy soldiers oh no! We can never get to Emergence that is Tak­­e-off; we shall remain in the unprogressive agrarian society, fumbling with the advancement of the 21st century technology infested by brazen face public thievery and embezzlement of public funds with impunity. it is quite possible to get there at the desired time but we must change drastically and proceed the way the other countries that got there, even if we can get to the threshold, then we are sure to be there otherwise Emergence 2035 would just remain another political jargon like Renouveau, Democratie Advance Hopefully the Anglophone Inclusive Dialogue has come in to solve the Anglophone crisis and the Right Honorable Prime Minister is in charge. But now we hear it is a National Dialogue.  Is this the same thing? Are the Anglophones sure to have a fair deal? Hopefully when the PM shall be done with the Herculean Task, he shall forward the volume to the president and the result shall be anxiously awaited. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for lasting and peaceful solution not the usual, “Je vous ai ecoute.” (“I have heard you.”)

*1st Cameroonian factory Mills Engineer, CDC, Bota, and Limbe

1st Cameroonian Area Engineer, CDC, Bota, Limbe

Chief of service, programming, Ministry of Transport, Douala

Ingenieur Controlleur Principal, EDC, Douala, today SONEL

Director of Equipment, REGIFERCAM, Douala, Seconded from Ministry of Transport

Why the gamble to leave Cameroon is growing

*By Akateh Prudencia, Nana Marinette, Ewange Njenge Brenda, Sone Nelly, Ashu Pertra,  Akoh Maxsmile, Oteh Chantal, Tambia Roline and Che Vanisa

Millions of Cameroonians, leaders included, are ready to run away for one reason or the other. They are seeking comfort, safety and economic security abroad. Recently, safety in every sense of the word has been elusive, giving vent to speculations that everyone else is on their marks, frantically getting set to flee the fatherland. Pundits argue that fleeing failed nations to the relative safety of Europe and North America has become the hallmark of both leaders and those they lead.

Top African government brass are most likely to head to foreign countries for relaxation, to spend what loot they have stolen from the public treasury. Others head to Europe and elsewhere on medical tourism to benefit from facilities which they have failed to install in their home countries. The head of state himself spends far more time visiting foreign countries and patronizing their hotels and cuisines. He is most likely to spend many months in a year in well developed European cities than visiting just a single Cameroonian town for one day in many years.

Whereas government big necks have big money to splash abroad, millions of ordinary Cameroonians toil and moil to leave the country for foreign sanctuaries. Parents borrow, they save for years and decades, they sell land and gamble, just to have their children and wards leave for greener pastures and in more recent times for safer shores. Whereas money mongers spend looted cash just to relax abroad, the commoner is most likely to cut corners outright or gamble. Many of them are known to have died attempting to trek through vast deserts or drowned in the Mediterranean attempting to make Europe. In the local lingo, it is “falling bush.” And this is where the now famous American Lottery easily comes into play. Cameroonians, especially those of youthful age are investing heavily in financial and spiritual terms for this yearly gamble.  

With the dire times especially in the two English speaking regions, thousands are prepared to do whatever it takes to go abroad and the DV Lottery is one big option.  The American DV Lottery is a US government programme for receiving a United States Permanent residence card. The Immigration act of 1990 established the current and permanent diversity visa (DV) programme. The lottery is administered by the Department of State and conducted under the Immigration and Nationality Act, INA. The DV lottery for 2019-2020 has been modified, unlike in the past when no specific qualifications were required. The recent modifications made are; a valid passport, an Advanced level certificate and two years working experience. Tens of thousands of Cameroonians are scrambling for the relatively few places afforded by the lottery.

The raging war ongoing in the two English speaking regions aside, many still think that they can only make it abroad. As already hinted above, the massive rush to leave the country is traceable to acute lack of jobs, low capital income, poor educational and healthcare delivery systems, insecurity, unemployment, and brazen corruption.

Based on random samplings carried out, Cameroonians blame the current insecurity for the big urge to leave the country. They quote the wanton destruction of life and property and soaring unemployment. Other social reasons like seeing their peers sending back money to their families and erecting beautiful mansions propel them to also “fall bush.”

Yet, many more are simply disgusted with the poor governance manifested in marginalization, graft and inept leadership. At least one respondent was of the opinion that the Ambazonia separatist leaders living abroad must have been pushed to extremes by these ugly entrenched factors.    

The American DV lottery is a US government programme for receiving a United States Permanent residence card. The Immigration act of 1990 established the current and permanent Diversity Visa, DV, programme. The lottery is administered by the Department of States and conducted under the Immigration and Nationality Act, INA. The DV lottery 2019-2020 has been modified unlike in the past where no qualifications were needed. The recent modifications made are; a valid passport, an Advanced level certificate, and a two years working experience.

*UB students on internship

National Dialogue Rounds Up: Biya’s verdict awaited with baited breath

By Charlie Ndi Chia

Government is too good in entering into agreements that it will never fulfill. This is the perception of Cameroonians across the board. The perception is fueled partly by government’s inability or guileless resistance to implement laws adopted by a parliament dominated by the ruling party, years and sometimes decades after such laws were promulgated. It is even driven by the fact that at a given point in time, the regime was selectively applying only those sections of the constitution that appealed to its parochial interests.

It is the case with ‘Article 66’ of the 1996 Constitution, which provides for the declaration of assets by appointed officials. So too it is with the decentralization clause that crawled on all fours, at the snail pace of regime barons for over 23 years, but who only started clutching rather frantically to it when separatists and federalist propagators went to town.

Following the Dion Ngute brokered talks, English speaking Cameroonians, at least the moderates, are hanging onto, waiting with baited breath for what may just be a thin thread of hope that Biya would accent to the proposal exempting the two regions from the contraption of what is being touted as accelerated decentralization.

With Biya’s vow that the constitution will stay politically virgin as it were; given the fact that he can singlehandedly accept or throw overboard the dialogue proposals, including the famous Akame Mfoumou special status proposal, public affairs commentators have been suggesting that Cameroon is operating a government of men rather than of laws. In which case the constitution (supreme law of the land) no longer originates with; that it is not controlled by the people.

Whatever the case and as Dr Simon Elvis Munzu noted after the dialogue, the mooted idea of a special status for Anglophones is a good step. Munzu notes further that what would be of ultimate importance is what would eventually be introduced or put into the “special status” maybe by way of a functional clause.