Kamto, SDF coalition for 2018 presidential tottering

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

Lawyers buy time as death sentences dangle over Anglophone detainees

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

Kamto seeks SDF’s endorsement for presidential bid

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

FAKE CERTIFICATE SAGA: Mayor seeks legal protection

The Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, is not new to controversy. He has, within the period of his visible political career regularly had controversy and squabbles spun all over him like cobwebs. The trending controversy now is a certificate racket involving him. He is kicking back, pretty hard and legally. The municipal head is said to have surreptitiously slithered into the University of Buea, UB, eventually obtaining a Bachelor and Masters of Arts Degrees in History, in 2006 and 2013 respectively.
A recent deliberation of the UB Senate decided that Ekema fraudulently misled the University Board into admitting him to the History Department and ruled that his degree certificates be withdrawn. The institution was acting on the report of a committee set up by the Vice Chancellor, VC, sequel to the instructions of the Minister of Higher Education. But just about when the public thought Ekema’s fate was sealed, given cast iron exhibits provided by the GCE Board to the effect that he was academically deficient as and when he slipped through varsity portals, the battle mongering mayor has turned on the legal heat on his alma mater and former employers, UB.
According to documents The Rambler procured, the embattled Ekema is, seeking temporary and perpetual injunctions that should, hopefully, restrain his alma mater and the state of Cameroon (First and Second Defendants respectively) from interfering with his academic degrees.
The Buea based VERITAS LAW OFFICES, are authors of the document. Acting on behalf of the Mayor, they first mooted the matter in a correspondence addressed to the Registrar of UB. Dated April 12, 2018, the head of the law offices, Barrister Emmanuel Nkea wrote inter alia:
“…We have thoroughly read through a headline article on The Rambler newspaper of April 10, 2018, captioned ‘UB halts mayor’s academic fraud! Withdraws degree certificates’ wherein it is alleged that our client’s degree certificates have been withdrawn by Senate of the University of Buea on grounds of fraud. This is highly injurious to the reputation and integrity of our client, and we intend to institute legal measures to restore same. In this regard, it is necessary to ascertain from you whether or not Senate took these purported decisions.”
Ekema’s Counsel say their client insists that he was regularly admitted into the University of Buea; that he effectively pursued studies therein and was duly issued with Bachelors’ and Masters Degree certificates in History.
The advocates claim that their client was never heard during the Senate meeting in which these “purported decisions” were taken. Referring to “the highly inflammatory and defamatory nature of the said publication, and the urgent necessity for remedial legal measures,” they demanded a confirmation within 24 hours whether or not such decisions were taken by Senate of the University of Buea.
“Should you fail, neglect, or refuse to act as afore stated,” the mail to UB stated, “we shall assume that the afore stated article in The Rambler newspaper is based on information provided by the University of Buea, and we shall, without any further notice on you, legally challenge these decisions as being manifestly illegal, unjust and unwarranted, selectively biased and politically motivated.” Apparently, UB either opted to ignore the 24-hour ultimatum or “The Place to be” simply did not fathom the potency of an impending court action.
A day later, the advocates fired yet another legal salvo; this time, an ‘application for writ of summons.’ In it, the Plaintiff (dixit Ekema) claims against the defendants the following reliefs:
– A declaration that Plaintiff was duly admitted into the Department of History, Faculty of Arts of the University of Buea.
– A declaration that Plaintiff is entitled to a statutory and equitable right to retain the academic degrees awarded him by the University of Buea.
– A declaration that any purported adverse decisions issued by the University of Buea to rescind the degree certificates of the Plaintiff are arbitrary and capricious and null and void.
– A perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants jointly and severally, their servants, agents and workmen from any interference with the academic degrees awarded the Plaintiff by the University of Buea.
Ekema’s solicitors submit inter alia, in the ‘application for writ of summons’ that from time to time, the First Defendant’s faculties fix the entry requirements for their programmes and invite prospective students to apply for admissions thereto. That the First Defendant enjoys and exercises some prerogatives on the entry requirements into its degree programmes… that at all material times, the Plaintiff never concealed or otherwise misrepresented any fact or facts relating to his academic qualifications at the time he applied for admission into the University of Buea and that the Plaintiff shall at the trial, require the Defendants to prove the contrary.
Ekema’s solicitors claim that the Plaintiff was never given notice of the Senate meeting, neither was he invited to make representations or to be heard by Senate before “the purported decisions were taken.” The Plaintiff, the Solicitors claim, did not receive any notice of the charges against him, neither did he receive notice of the possible consequences of such charges nor were his rights ever communicated to him with respect to “the purported Senate meeting.”
Ekema’s Solicitors construe the First Defendant’s actions as constituting a breach of its policies and procedures, negligence, negligent or intentional misrepresentation, and breach of a duty to act in good faith, and have caused the Plaintiff enormous psychological pain, and damage to reputation.
“Wherefore, the Plaintiff claims against the Defendants, jointly and severally:”
– A declaration that Plaintiff was duly admitted into the Department of History, Faculty of Arts of the University of Buea.
– A declaration that Plaintiff is entitled to a statutory and equitable right to retain the academic degrees awarded him by the University of Buea.
– A declaration that any purported adverse decisions issued by the University of Buea to rescind the certificates of the Plaintiff are null and void ab initio.
– A perpetual injunction, restraining the Defendants jointly and severally, their servants, agents and workmen, from any interference with the academic degrees awarded the Plaintiff by the University of Buea.
Attached to Ekema’s legal file are facsimiles of the two degree certificates which he risks losing should his prayers to the court go up in a haze. Plus his academic record duly signed by UB authorities.
Pundits hold that ordinarily, Ekema ought to have long resigned from public office, sequel to the grave charges of certificate fraud in which he is mired. They wonder why criminal proceedings have not been opened against the Mayor, based on what is said to be overwhelming evidence of certificate fraud after the GCE Board released Ekema’s results and which results did not qualify him to be admitted to the University of Buea, UB. Plus, they are asking if the mayor is some sacred cow who simply enjoys selective impregnable political protection that prevents him being prosecuted each time he is accused of contravening the law.

Senate described as house of regime lackeys

The duplicate character of the Senate to the Lower House of Assembly, particularly going by the fact that their existence is perceived by many as mere formality to reward regime sycophants, has attracted public condemnation. Some observers bluntly posit that the relevance of the Upper House has never been felt since it came into being in 2013.
They have questioned the role of the Upper House of Assembly or the Senate in the Cameroonian context. According to them, they have never felt its presence since it was put in place
They complained that, it belongs only to the CPDM, given that it is grossly dominated by CPDM lackeys.
“The CPDM can have the entire senate; after all, it is a group of hand clappers whose impact we have never felt. I must say the structure is just consuming state funds for no job done. I do not really care about what goes on in this country anymore. I had said I will not comment on politics in this country, but I just can’t help it. Tell me what the Senate has done to impact the lives of Cameroonians,” Aloysius Akambi, retired civil servant wondered.
According to him, the house is not only dormant; it has no powers to do anything. As he puts it, it is a mechanism put in place by the executive arm of Government so that it can wholly have an edge over the legislature in order to easily manipulate the country the way it is doing.
For, Njualem Silas, an unemployed university graduate, all Senators should have been elected for it to have some independence; but since some are appointed, it takes away a lot of powers from them. His major problem with the Senate is age.
“From their ages, you do not need to be told that the place is more like an old people’s home. Most of them are very old and ought to be enjoying their old age in their homes; but they are appointed to make laws that would govern a population dominated by the youths. It is not funny,” he noted.
Njualem continued that it is common sense for one to understand that with age, one tends to start reasoning like a child and so it is practically impossible for them to create any impact anywhere.
As he put it, there are fresher, younger, trendy and smart minds that can better work for the growth of the country. He regretted that the attitude of always sidelining the young from decision making positions has caused a lot of brain drain and fine Cameroonian minds are left with no option but to travel and work for other nations. “If things don’t change in this country soonest, then, Cameroon is doomed,” he stated.
“I don’t know what the Senate is supposed to be doing in a country like ours where there is no democracy. The institution does not fit into our Cameroonian context and so, I expect nothing from them because they have nothing concrete to offer. Whatever the case, it is already there but I must say it is worth dissolving,” a person who begged for anonymity said.
These reactions were gathered when this reporter sought to know the opinions and expectations of the common man from the newly elected and appointed senators.
By Nester Asonganyi

Ekema benefits from temporary court relief

Just as we were going to press, yesterday, Monday, a Buea High Court judgment granted Buea Mayor, Ekema Patrick Esunge’s interim injunction filed days earlier.
Ruling in open court, His Lordship Mr. Justice Kenneth Ako Tanyi found in the matter between the Buea Mayor and the University of Buea and state of Cameroon, as follows:
“That upon the viva voce submissions of Counsel of applicant in moving the court; after very keen gleaning of the motion paper, its accompanying affidavit and annexures;” the court came upon findings to the effect that exhibits, including a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Arts in History and a student academic record are all certificates issued by the First Respondent (University of Buea).
The court stated that by a publication of The Rambler newspaper of Tuesday, April 10, the said certificates were withdrawn by First Respondent.
That by correspondence of April 12, 2018, addressed by Counsel of Applicant on firm instructions of Applicant, seeking confirmation of the said publication in The Rambler newspaper, the First Respondent has not deemed it necessary to grace the Applicant so far with a reply.
Upon these findings, the court observed that there was a serious breach of the right of the Applicant in that the equitable principle of “Audi Alteram partem” was never respected. The court noted that at no time has the Applicant been heard on “any such purported proceedings leading to the purported publication in newspapers such as The Rambler.” The court noted that it would not be accepted by any court of law and in equity for any person to be condemned unheard. “This is not only inequitable but also a breach of natural rules of justice.
Citing Section 113(1) of the Evidence Ordinance, Mr. Justice Tanyi noted: “in relation to every document purporting to be a certificate such is presumed to be genuine, provided that such a document is substantially in the form and purport to be executed in the manner directed by the law. To this court, the said exhibits ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘BI’ above fulfill these said conditions. The onus is on the First Respondent to here to demonstrate otherwise. This has to be done in full regards to the right s of the Applicant here.”
The judge stated further: “interim injunctions are the rule where there is a serious issue to be tried by the court as stated in Colito (Nig) Ltd Vs Dailso (2010) 2 NWLR (PT1178) Page 213. Such an interim injunction is not a resolution of the main conflict as the court does not go to the merit of the case as stated in Globe Fishing Industries Ltd Vs Chief Folarin Coker (1990) 7 NWLR (Pt 162) page 265. For, it is possible for an Applicant to obtain an order for interlocutory injunction even though he does not make out a case for perpetual injunction.
“Bearing in mind that an injunction should not finally dispose of the matter between the parties but rather restrain any mischief complained of, this court believes this is a fit and proper case to grant the prayers of the Applicant here.”
Consequently, the court declared that “an interim injunction for a period of 48 hours is hereby ordered within which the Applicant here will be required to submit a motion on notice between this same parties, while the Respondents jointly and severally , their servants, agents, and workmen are enjoined from making any public statement or revoking of the Academic Degrees awarded the Applicant here pending the hearing and determination of the suit now pending between the parties before this honourable court.”

Senator says public contracts belong to the brave

Whether he has conjured up criteria for determining bravery in contractors before awards or it is a just euphemism to jettison merit and institutionalize discretion, Senator Mofa Andrew Otte, Meme Divisional Chair for the Participatory Follow up Committee for Public Investment Projects has cautioned Mayors and other stakeholders involved in the execution of public projects that only contractors capable of braving the ongoing war to deliver results would be awarded contracts.
He was speaking Friday, April 13, 2018 at the Kumba City Council Hall during the first Divisional participatory meeting for the execution of public investment projects for 2018.
Projects execution in Meme mostly concerns Mbonge, Konye and to a lesser extent Kumba III Sub-Divisions, which have been affected by persistent gunfire exchanges between regular soldiers the “Ambazonia Defence Forces” fighting for supremacy in the Division.
According to him, selecting contractors during this crisis time should strictly depend on those who have proven their worth, companies of calibre and those who have the population at heart. “Only those who can brave the storm should be given contracts else, execution will be very low. Meme is like the centre of violence in the Region, and we know it is not going to be easy but, all we need is results and not procedures.”
He said that anything short of these, the Division could risk abandonment of projects by contractors like what is happening to the ongoing road construction from Kumba to Ekondo.”
He pleaded with the communities and populations concerned to be receptive. “We call on our brothers and sisters that those who are doing contracts should be tolerated, accommodated and accepted, else we miss our own share of our taxes put for the development of our localities. Let’s give Government the opportunity. We can be angry about everything but not development,” he added.

By NGENDE ESTHER

Subverting the sovereign will

There is a popular aphorism that decomposition in a fish begins from its head. What this means is that the head is always responsible for every evil or good that befalls us, be they self afflicted or of external provenance. Also, the brain with which humans engage the thought process is in the head. Although some are inclined to posit that the brain only executes what is in the mind, truth is that it has the ability to sift in such a manner as to separate grain from chaff.
To that end, the human brain is to the head what leaders are to nations. The reason for this myopic approach to governance is criminal derogation of the rules of social contract. In this regard, when the commonwealth is persistently tossed in preference to callous individualism and, by extension nepotism and opacity as governance credo, the upshot is unrelenting irritability in the majority that inexorably, feels dispossessed of a common heritage.
The unwary might begin to wonder if this is a treatise on philosophy. Oh no! It is a very suave manner of pondering the current misrule in Cameroon. Since Government is now dictating the process and content of commentaries on issues of national importance, it has become relevant for patriotic citizens who see it as their bounden duty to edify public opinion to persist in their assignments without being amenable to the susceptibilities of unscrupulous administrators who have taken advantage of the simmering Anglophone crisis to settle scores with perceived enemies of a “united and indivisible Cameroon.” In other climes, discussions on the form of state receive very high premium on account of their being the very essence binding different communities that have surrendered their individual rights to independence to sovereign wills.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with our beloved Cameroon. Over the years, a few people whose only interest is the wellbeing of their families and their erstwhile colonial prompters have snatched the fate of the nation. By some twist of fate, this cabal is constituted mostly by either ex-seminarians or men owing obeisance to the Roman Catholic Church.
In the event, it becomes mindboggling that people from such sacred backgrounds would be the ones propagating all the ills that have institutionalized misrule in Cameroon. From the head of state down to majority of his ministers, there is pronounced proclivity to care very little or not at all about the plight of their compatriots. Their perception of less fortunate Cameroonians is that of creatures undeserving of humanity- dogs and rats as some derisively refer to them. Little wonder that they are being haunted and persecuted like a cursed race.
Indeed, this absence of concern for fellow compatriots has engendered a pristine penchant for freebooting that has taken the country hostage in the last quarter of a century. This, in any case, is not surprising in a country governed by an individual who has over the years displayed crass insensitivity to the plight of his compatriots. A head of state who at 85 derives much pleasure from being nattily dressed and spending time malingering in Europe only to turn around and put the blame of a crumbling system of governance on his copycat ministers. Maybe Mr. President, ought to have been reminded that governing a state is akin to managing an enterprise or a project. By this token, close supervision is of the essence even as this should not translate into micromanagement of supposedly trusted appointees. However, their odious admiration for profligacy supported by state coffers, inexorably, infuses the tendency for such to be replicated by his entourage that sees no difference between what accrues to them naturally as public servants and what ought to be used in serving the public.
In the event, excessive centralization reflective of medieval monarchies becomes the overriding attraction as mode of governance. All the resources generated in the country are channeled to a central pool in Yaounde, where the Manor Lord decides how to allocate them to the various Regions supposedly inhabited by serfs. The process of allocation knows no laid down criteria as the divisor’s whims are brought in to play at each moment to the extent that a sparsely populated Region like the South, gets more funds than the aggregate for Northwest and Southwest. This explains why there can be no persuasion of the current regime into conceding the superiority of federalism to the current amorphous system whose only strongpoint is that its promoters are current tenants of the corridors of power.
Not surprisingly, we have now advertently regressed into a failed state. Law and order has broken down to the point where Government and rebels loyal to separatists are barefacedly announcing the numbers of those whose lives have succumbed to gunshots on either side as if they were referring to inanimate things. Oh yes! That is what we have become-promoters of hate just so that we may maintain the status quo. Our being part of the same country whose independence and sovereignty we swore to guarantee means nothing to most of us as lives of easy virtue that go with unearned surplus income and access to free landed property in choice towns and neighbourhoods have converted us to leeches that prey on our compatriots. Instead of sitting down and discussing with our aggrieved brothers, our minds are sharply focused on the possibility of missing uncontrolled access to oil from Bakassi, cocoa from Meme, Kupe-Muanenguba, Manyu and Fako and food crops that nourish neighbouring countries like Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
We have now forced our brothers to renounce affinity with the current configuration of the country but, instead of trying to see how appeasement can be brought forth, we have resorted to the barrel of the gun since in our warped minds and jaundiced thinking, might is right. We are prepared to fight our brothers, even as Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in the northern part of the country. Our current circumstance leads us to begin wondering if those at the helm of authority in Cameroon are not suffering from some demonic affliction that bars them from seeing the drudgery they are deliberately imposing on their compatriots. When this war of attrition would have raged for the next five years, maybe the impact will infuse empathy on those who now feel insulated from the ravages of a senseless internecine squabble.
Ngoko Monyadowa

UB halts Mayor’s academic fraud! *Withdraws degree certificates

An overwhelming decision to withdraw the certificates of Ekema Patrick Esunge, Buea Council Mayor and one other was taken on Friday night, April 6, by the 73rd Senate of the University of Buea, UB. A lone Ekema sympathizer objected to the verdict. His argument was that the withdrawal process was initiated only after “Ekema’s detractors staged a demonstration.” The contestation was considered lame, inconsequential and of no effect.
Unknown to the Ekema ally, the University had, before the demonstration saga, discretely investigated and found Ekema and a few dozen others to be of doubtful academic credibility. It was a matter of time and strict procedure before the bubble burst. And even though it was proven that Ekema fraudulently acquired an academic qualification, the UB Senate, by its terms of reference, hadn’t the mandate to hand him over to the competent quarters for criminal prosecution.
A committee that was set up by the resent Vice Chancellor, VC, of UB, on the instructions of the Minister of Higher Education had found inter alia:
That in the 2003/2004 academic year, Ekema Patrick Esunge submitted an application and was eventually admitted to the Department of History. Then, the GCE Board was consulted and it was found out that the said candidate had registered for the Advanced Level, AL, seven times and effectively wrote four times. On each of these occasions he passed only the History paper, with an “E” grade.
The committee was perplexed. Its members imagined that since he was a UB staff, he could have been influenced by the academic environment to sit for and obtain other qualifications without its knowledge. The committee wrote to Ekema, giving him a fair chance, a considerable length of time to appear before it and defend himself. Ekema snubbed it.
The committee proceeded to finding out if it could identify any accomplices to what appeared very much to be an Ekema racket. For example; who could have keyed in the information that led to Ekema being unusually admitted to a university degree? It was pretty difficult because from time to time, the admissions office destroys files that are older than five years for want of storage space.
Undaunted by the lack of hard copy, the committee have resorted to soft copy to find out who keyed in, and, or verified the credentials Ekema would have surreptitiously slipped in to solicit for admission. It is here that the fraud stared them in the face. Entered against the current Buea Mayor’s name as requisite qualification was “AL French-C and History E.”
This didn’t add up to the relevant section relating to admission in the Decree No 93/035 of January 17 that created UB. The Decree in question prescribes that candidates must have earned a minimum two papers in one sitting or two papers in two sittings with ‘C’ grades at the very least. Ekema didn’t have two ‘Cs’ even if it turned out that by some rare twist of providence his Advanced Level French was genuine, valid. He didn’t meet the cut off points for admission into UB for that particular year.
As a support staff of UB, it was imagined, his performance might just have provided a build up for special consideration as one that should be able to survive the stress of acquiring a degree. It wasn’t the case.
Ultimately, the committee considered that Ekema “probably” misled the UB admission board into admitting him to the History Department. Ekema did not fulfill conditions for admission and therefore, his certificate should be withdrawn was the verdict.
Another victim of certificate withdrawal was a lady, whose exact identity The Rambler couldn’t immediately establish with certainty. With just two ‘E’ grades at the AL, the Vice Chancellor’s committee found out that she had fraudulently misled the university into admitting her. Her forged qualification was to the effect that she possessed four AL papers with 13 points, qualifying her to read the much sought after Journalism and Mass Communication, JMC.
The then Registrar, Professor Abangma worked in tandem with the GCE Board, following a whistle blower’s claim and found out that she didn’t meet the admission criteria. Unfortunately, the Registrar did not to take the appropriate action to have her sanctioned and she effectively “earned” a UB degree. The whistle blower of the admissions department in question was reportedly issued death threats and advised in her own interest to shut up. She fraudulently misled UB into being admitted. A unanimous vote withdrew her certificate.
That wasn’t all. The data bank of the UB system, inasmuch as she is concerned has been blocked, such that she can’t access it with the intention of benefitting from any further academic favours.
It would be recalled that the Southwest Secretary of the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms, NCHRF, Christopher Tambe Tiku had on several occasions drawn the attention of public and judicial authorities to the fact that transparence and justice in the Mayor’s certificate scam was being unduly blurred by a silence that looked suspect.
But even if political cover up was being introduced into the fray and slush funds employed to compromise academic principle, the UB authorities were apparently carrying out due diligence; working prudently and steadily within laid down universal norms. This is probably why instead of resorting to treating the issue executively, the Vice Chancellor elected to set up a committee, and which committee eventually submitted its findings to the UB Senate. In the final analysis, it was the Senate that found Ekema Patrick Esunge and one other, unworthy in character and withdrew their degree certificates.
Postscript:
At press time, we were informed that criminal charges are very likely to be pressed on Ekema, after a commission established that he scammed his way into university degrees. Judicial police are said to be investigating the mayor. Plus, human rights activist, Christopher Tambe Tiku, who has since been on the mayor’s scamming trail, has been invited by the cops to record his statement on what he knows about the “Ekema certificate gate” as well as other issues of impropriety relating to community land grabbing and selling.

Can Atanga Nji’s mission to Regions calm Anglophones?

Can Atanga Nji’s mission to Regions calm Anglophones?
When the Anglophone uprising reared its ugly head, Paul Atanga Nji, declared with measured conviction that no such thing existed as English speaking Cameroonians being marginalized. Even when certain Francophone Cameroonians acknowledged and worried about the fact that Anglophones had been systematically subjected maltreated, Atanga Nji still swore during several media outings that the Biya regime was practically pampering and giving Anglophones unearned concessions.
Tempers boiled. While Prime Minister Yang Philemon was out in the two Regions shooting trouble, the likes of Atanga Nji, Laurent Esso, Issa Tchiroma and Jacques Fame Ndongo were in Yaounde, rousing the rabble and stoking the fire of Anglophone anger. Not quite done with just ranting from a distance, Atanga Nji marched to Bamenda, aiming to cajole, grab and consolidate political recognition for the ruling CPDM.
Though he barely escaped being lynched by an irate mob, he was undaunted. His bravado paid off recently with Biya naming him to be Minister of Territorial Administration, MINAT. Then, Atanga Nji promptly went to work, issuing ministerial orders, barking warnings and brandishing symbolic peace plants…with intent. Ironically, by assigning him to the MINAT portfolio, his paymaster had, by and large, imposed on appointee, the Herculean task of solving the very problem Atanga swore did not exist.
After last week’s whirlwind tour of the two restive Regions, Anglophones have been assessing him. Read what they think of Atanga’s mission to the Northwest and Southwest Regions in our inner pages. Fascinating, all the way…
It is mere propaganda
What kind of peace is he preaching? What has happened to the people they captured from Nigeria? The people have just been asking them to make them be aware that those 47 people they brought from Nigeria are still living but, they are adamant. How do they expect people to be quiet? What type of peace are they preaching? To whom is he preaching the peace? They are the people to call for peace talks and negotiation but they are not doing so. It is said strike the iron while it is hot, but he cannot come and be beating around the bushes and say he is preaching peace. That is not the way they are supposed to go. Let them call the people they refer to as secessionists – the people are not terrorists as they claim; they are Cameroonians, and have their reasons for thinking the way they are thinking and doing what they are doing. Let them call them for talks. Let them sit on a table and talk, and stop going around fooling people, spending state money in the name of preaching peace; it is not peace and will not solve the problem.
They know the Anglophone leaders who I can say are heading the Anglophone movement; they should hold talks with them one-on-one. Out of 100 percent of the Anglophone population, I can say 99 percent is angry. Let them not be going around doing nothing while people are lamenting in suffering and death. I am sorry for the military people because they are the ones who are being targeted. What the Minister is doing is mere propaganda. I heard he went and gave money for bikers to drink instead of working and creating jobs for them, and he will go around and stop them from riding. This Cameroon is a total hell. God save us!
Antoine Lebga, Businessman, Buea
It is of no significance
He came and had talks with chiefs and all the like. Are they the ones causing the problems? Who is he preaching peace to? There is a belligerent faction, so if he wants peace, then he should preach that to his opponents who are Sisiku Ayuk and Co., in their keeping. Talking to people like us, I don’t think it is of any significance.
Logonje Denis, Teacher Buea

He is not meeting with the right people
All what he is doing is just hypocrisy and pretence. Imagine that immediately he left Kumba, just in the same town around Baipanya there was serious shooting. It shows that the population is not happy and he is not meeting with the right people. Friday, March 30, morning, I received calls from my village in Manyu that the “Ambazonia boys” came looking for a certain native who is a principal there. Without seeing him, they burnt his house and left a message that they will search for him everywhere. This shows that the problem is escalating and the Government is doing nothing in meeting the right people. I just pity precious military lives which are being wasted by the day as a result of Government’s indecisiveness.
Ayuk Raymond, shop owner Buea
The problem is likely to escalate
I’m not even interested in anything he is doing. What he is doing is, moving around and lavishing taxpayer’s money in the name of peace missions. He is the one who said Anglophones have no problem, so what peace message is he moving around preaching? They know the right people to meet, how to meet them and what to do, but they choose to deceive the population as though they are really interested in solving the problem. The truth is, if they continue this way, the Anglophone problem will keep escalating from one level to another, to the extent that they won’t be able to contain it. It has been said several times that they should all meet on a round table and dialogue, but they have those to dialogue with in their keeping and moving around deceiving the public.
Sebastian Kum, Buea

He is making lousy noise in the name of peace
Atanga Nji’s peace patrol all over the Anglophone Region cannot help in resolving the present Anglophone crisis. To be precise, he is the main and unforgettable backbone who fuelled the present crisis. He is the same person who brought total confusion in the two English speaking Regions by speaking rubbish to the hearing of the entire nation. He is a coward and just because he has now been made a minister, he has the effrontery to make lousy noise in the name of peace. His deeds still remain in the minds of so many Anglophones. He is not even aware that the post given to him serves as a trap and sooner than later, he will fall into it. To be frank, it is a trap that will catch and land him in Kondengui.
Yanick Oben, worker Douala
If they are willing, they’ll find a solution
It won’t resolve the issue because even the traditional rulers and some administrators whom he met with, do not have a grip of what is happening. It means that even their decisions do not influence the situation on the ground; it is beyond their own capacity. It is no news that some of them have even fled their homes and administrative units and are seeking refuge but in other localities so, I am not seeing the visit as a possible circumstance that can bring solution to this crisis. I think that in this issue, the Government knows who to meet and where to meet them. So, if you come to meet traditional rulers, administrators and the like, who do not have a grip of the situation, it does not lead to any solution.
Of recent, they had crisis around the Kumba area where two Tunisians where kidnapped. How did they get back these Tunisians? It means that they know where to get the solutions to these problems; where they got these men is a possible ground for them to have started negotiations from that end. If they are willing to get the solutions, they will get them. All what is going on I will not say it is pretence but, that they do not want to hit the nail on the head. Meeting local authorities is not the way out. They are the very people who, since the onset of the crisis have been consulted and there has been no solution till date.
Oben Toh, Accountant Buea

Atanga’s peace mission was meant for his collaborators
It is obvious his peace visit was meant to bring peace not to the down trodden Anglophones but to his collaborators. I understand that he came to create a working relationship with his new subordinates, and not to make any peace with the masses, especially, those with opposing views to his. Atanga Nji is not fit to solve the Anglophone problem because he is a problem on its own. Remember, he is one of those who swore on radio and television that there was no Anglophone problem. How then can he solve a problem that does not exist? How can he solve a problem he is not aware of? It is rather unfortunate that the wrong people are heading the right offices in this country. The office he is heading is qualified to resolve this problem to an extent, but his personality is not fit. If you were dreaming for a second that he will resolve this crisis, wake up and tell yourself it is a bad dream.
Mbain Julius, Buea city dweller
Compiled by Nester Asonganyi & Relindise Ebune