Ekema draws jeers at UB commissioning

By Shing Timothy

Buea Mayor, Patrick Ekema might not have stolen the show but was very much at the limelight at the commissioning of the two recently appointed officials of the University of Buea, UB, yesterday.

When an irate student mob greeted his arrival with placards, saying ‘UB is a place to be only with Advanced levels certificates, not Ordinary Levels’, ‘Ekema, take note!’ ‘We thank the hierarchy for scouting certificates in UB!  VC, investigate all administrators in UB’

Prof Ako Oben and Dr. Horace Ngomo Manga were yesterday, July 10, commissioned as Pro Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea respectively, following their recent appointment.

Higher Education Minister and Chancellor of Academic Orders, Jacques Fame Ndongo was on the UB campus for the first time in three years to officiate the commissioning.

In his speech the minister urged the Vice Chancellor to pursue dialogue in the institution. “You must promote permanent dialogue between your office and the entire university community.  This will consolidate solidarity and conviviality between the university community and the administration”, he said.

However, not everybody followed the script with the purported atmosphere of celebration.

When the Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema arrived, conspicuously garbed in his mayoral attributes, he drew a raucous salvo of jeers from students. This follows recent declarations by Christopher Tiku Tambe, the regional secretary of the national Commission for human rights and freedom for the Southwest, confirming allegations that the mayor fraudulently gained admission in UB.

Students carried banners saying “UB is a place to be only with Advanced levels certificates, not Ordinary Levels, “Ekema, take note! We thank the hierarchy for scouting certificates in UB!  VC, investigate all administrators in UB”.

The students were venting their frustration with the school administration for dragging the name of their prestigious university, “the place to be” in the mud by admitting cheats.

The mayor was visibly broken and hiding among the officials to press questions. Neither he nor any of the officials took any questions from the press. With characteristic arrogance, a member of Jacque Fame Ndongo’s entourage claimed his speech was elaborate enough and therefore there was no need for press conference.

However with pressure from students with banners against fake c

ertificates, minister Jacques Fame Ndongo said “we have heard your problems. You have to trust your government, your Pro-chancellor and Vice Chancellor. I will look into the problem”, he concluded.

Students lamented their trials before gaining admission into the university. According to Orzende Hans, a level 400 student of the Department of Law, cheating is a violation of Human Rights and discrimination. He pondered why high standards are set for particular students then others are admitted with only three O levels papers.

When quizzed on the issue of fake certificates, Senator Mbella Moki Charles said “I don’t talk about crooks. I focus on important things”.

It was a heavily attended, high-profile event celebrated with a wide variety of southwest traditional dances.

Did Cavaye change bureau agenda?

By Claudia Nsono

House Speaker, Cavaye Yeguie Jibril may have buckled under social media pressure to change the agenda of a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Bureau.

Frowning at Social media reports that he convened the meeting at government’s behest to strip Hon. Wirba of his immunity; the speaker said the meeting was called to discuss ways of improving parliamentary administration.

It is widely believed that government would like Wirba’s immunity stripped to allow for his arrest for declarations he has made both on the house floor and in the media.

In the just-ended parliamentary session, Speaker  Calvaye warned the Government to stamp out corruption and the barbaric extremist sect, Boko Haram, if it nurses any hopes of attaining its much vaunted 2035 Emergence Vision.

Speaking at the close of the June parliamentary session, the Speaker urged his fellow MPs to continue advocacy for harmonious living together.

Garnishing the list of nine bills adopted by the close of the sitting, was the Common Law Department at the Supreme Court which has been introduced at least on paper.

Also adopted during the just-ended session were: a bill authorizing major reforms on the Economic and Social Council, another on the military code of justice, as well as a bill to promote investment among others. The bills now await promulgation by the Head of State.

A major highlight of the session was the audacious comeback of the MP for Jakiri, Hon. Wirba Joseph, who had been away for six months following after being served a warrant of arrest in the heat of the Anglophone crisis.

Meantime, some “Wirbalised” Anglophone Cameroonians are still to get over what they fondly refer to as his “triumphant reappearance”.  Though they fear for his safety and freedom, their consolation is in the hope that his reappearance will boost the Anglophone struggle.  The much talked about MP who had rubbished attempts at having him thrown into the Yaounde fiery furnace, has written to the British High Commission in Yaounde. In his letter christened “Grave Concerns for my Safety”, he reveals the regime is devising new tactics for his apprehension.

 

Another highlight came when the House Speaker clogged a fellow MP from speaking for supposedly being “inappropriately dressed”. Critics of the regime have lashed out, querying whether there is a customary costume for the putative representatives of the people.

The Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism which now has office space and a running budget to commence work, expected by many to comment on theses issues.

The just-ended session also hosted the Children Parliamentarians to mark the Day of the African Child. The Finance Committee also sat in session with the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court to examine issues relating to the adjustments to the state budget.

EVEN FROM SICKBED: Ayah talks tough, pricks Biya’s retirement policy

By Claudia Nsono

Former Supreme Court Advocate General and National President of the Popular Action Party, PAP, Chief Justice Ayah Paul Abine, has in an official Facebook publication slammed what he terms the double standards nature of the Cameroon Government. He has questioned why at 67, he is on retirement while his older colleagues are still “actively serving the state.”  He averred this on the eve of his 67th anniversary and in the wake of shakeups in state varsities.

“At 66, turning 67 in the coming hours, Ayah wishes to congratulate the following more elderly colleagues of his whom, despite their more advanced ages, did miraculously ward off the tsunami:  Joseph Essomba aged 80, Jean Foumane Akame aged 78, Daniel Mekobe Sone aged 72, Arrey Florence Rita, aged 70.”

According to Justice Ayah, “Their survival was more than just a feat.”

He noted that unlike others who dream of empires, death does not permit them to build, unlike those who construct such empires and hopelessly watch them disintegrate, “I am lucky that the cornerstone of my dream empire has been laid in my life time.”

The Chief Justice’s last Facebook outing featured some of his purported achievements. He claimed that Cameroon’s newly created Common Law Department at the Supreme Court which as at now exists only on paper, is the fruit of his questioning why the court could not do justice to its litigants of common law jurisdiction. He claims to have questioned the powers that be less than a year ago. He went on to claim that he had noted with disdain the intolerability of the existence of only Civil Law Judges in a dual legal system composed both of Common Law and Civil Law.

While lauding his Federal Bilingual Grammar School, Man O’War Bay, and professional senior, Justice Epuli Mathias, who heads what he calls the “most prestigious divisions of the court,” the Criminal Division, Chief Justice Ayah said that “much as those are right steps in the right direction, I still hold tenaciously to the desire that it may please the Most High to grant me the time, the means and the energy to get those steps and more Common Law values and principles enshrined in a constitutional monarchy.”

Retired Chief Justice, Ayah, who doubles as the National Chair of the Popular Action Party, PAP, stressed that, “this politics, who still doubts that, our heroes and leaders are back home, stop this joke of interim Prime Minister.”

It is uncertain to some uncompromising militants of the super scale magistrate’s party whether their icon would be released well ahead of the earmarked 2018 multiple elections. They pray that he is released soonest, to begin pulling resources prior to the elections yet to be authoritatively proclaimed.

In the meantime, while his fellow Anglophone peers were awaiting trial, the former Supreme Court Advocate General, met head-on with a malady. Justice Ayah, according to a Facebook announcement published by his son, Ayah Ayah Abine, was rushed to the emergency ward of a hospital in Yaounde. He equally disclosed that the malaise befell his father who is being detained at the Yaounde Gendarmerie Headquarters in connection with what has been termed the Anglophone crisis, on his birthday.

Mixed feelings as UB gets new VC

By Solomon Lyonga

Tuesday Professor Horace Ngomo Manga, former Secretary General at the Ministry of Higher Education was appointed new Vice Chancellor, VC, of the   University of Buea, UB, taking over from Dr. Pauline Nalova Lyonga, who retires.

Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga

News of her retirement following a presidential decree signed Tuesday June, 27 has come as good news to some who remember especially her misdeeds.  Dr. Lyonga, Professor of English at the University of Buea, was appointed VC June 29, 2012 and within her tenure in office she constantly had disagreements with the teaching staff that spilled over to the strike action called by Anglophone teachers in November 2016. On social media some posted derogatory remarks linking the erstwhile VC with the tribalism that has entrenched itself within the UB milieu. And some are still pointing accusing fingers at Nalova Lyonga for provoking a severe military crackdown on UB students last year who had gathered in front of the central administration to demand the respect of their rights. It is alleged that on Nalova Lyonga’s instruction students were teargased and chased right into their rooms by forces of law and order. Pictures that emerged from the November 2016 protest of UB students drew widespread condemnation from human right groups.

Nalova Lyonga, who was the fourth to lead UB as VC since its creation in 1993 will however be remembered as a brilliant scholar. She is co-editor of Anglophone Cameroon Writing (Bayreuth, 1993), editor of Socrates in Cameroon: The Life and Works of Bernard Fonlon (Yaounde, 1989), and author of numerous articles on feminist theory and literature in African countries.

The new VC, Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga, is an Associate Professor of Applied Chemical Engineering. He obtained his PhD from the University of Lagos in 1990. He hails from the Oroko tribe in Ndian Division, Southwest Region of Cameroon.

Since its creation in 1993, the University of Buea has had four VCs: the pioneer being, Dr, Dorothy Njeuma. Later, Cornelius Lambi whose days came to a quick end following a controversial entrance exam into the UB medical school. Prof. Vincent Pryde Titanji was appointed as UB’s third VC in 2007 and replaced in 2012 by Dr. Nalova Lyonga.

The challenges ahead of the new VC are enormous especially as the Anglophone cr

isis continues to affect schools in the two English speaking regions of the country.  But, if he assumes his responsibility and creates an enabling environment for dialogue he may do better. Many see the recent appointments as a compensation for those Anglophone Varsity dons who stood against the Anglophone protest and fought actively on the side of the Government to blacklist English speaking University syndicate leaders, who had risked their wellbeing calling on the Government to give Anglophones more opportunities in the country.

In the same presidential decree, Prof Uphie Chinje Melo was equally appointed Rector of the University of Ngaoundere while Edward Ako Oben, hitherto Rector of the University of Maroua becomes Pro Chancellor of the University of Buea. He replaces Prof. Maurice Tchuenté who is now holding a similar function in the University of Yaoundé II.

Mayor’s fake credentials expose UB racket

By Nester Asonganyi

The Rambler has learnt that one of the very first actions a newly appointed Vice Chancellor or Rector of a state university takes is to quickly flood the place with their relatives and cronies. They often include cleaners, clerks, drivers and messengers. The VC’s and Rectors do this without recourse to immediate labour imperatives, needs and the negative impact on programmed resources and social legislation. Many of such hastily recruited staff, The Rambler has learnt, lack requisite qualifications. Some of them contribute practically nothing to the sustainability of these tertiary institutions. But, they hasten to the bank at every end of month to cash checks they are hardly entitled to.

The news has gone viral on the social media and other gossip forums of the fake credentials of a mayor in Fako Division. The said mayor allegedly sneaked into the employ of the University of Buea, UB, with just one Advanced Level paper, an act considered preposterous when it comes to the standards supposedly set by this institution said to be functioning on Anglo-Saxon precepts and standards. Employed as a support staff here, the said mayor eventually gained admission into “The Place To Be.” Then he was admitted to both a Bachelor and afterwards, a Masters degree. He is reportedly pursuing a PhD and was poised to land it any time soon, had some whistleblower not alerted authorities higher than the compromising ones that have been criminally propping the mayor’s fakeness. The Rambler learnt that the mayor in question could have been [surreptitiously] spared the disgrace of being exposed, but for his characteristic rant and cant; but for the fact that at a recent council session, he insulted his councilors, a good number of who are bona fide teachers at UB, his “alma mater.”

The mayor reportedly damned their degrees in particular and scholarship in general as nothing but empty concepts that couldn’t withstand the rigours of real politicking. He referred to a retired United Nations, UN, senior executive as being very close to his grave and even told a Member of Parliament, MP, of how she was a victim of menopausal disorder.

All that notwithstanding, this reporter learnt that the Ministry of Higher Education, MINESUP, had, initially, ordered UB authorities to investigate and hopefully, uncover and sanction employees with doubtful credentials. The exercise was reportedly selectively carried out, such as to protect certain untouchables. But not satisfied with the outcome, MINESUP stepped in from Yaounde and with backing from the Labour Ministry and the police, something of a thorough probe was effected. Invited to present the originals of their certificates were 148 support staff. Only 68 of those summoned, turned up to defend their status while the rest have simply vamoosed, apparently admitting the fakeness of their papers and assuming the outcome of the probe. This was just weeks ago, and the exercise, we learnt, is going to be extended to academic staff in the days ahead.

The snag in all of this is said to be the Vice Chancellor’s, VC, driver, said to lack the basic requisite qualification of a First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, but whose name, by some mystery, didn’t feature on the list of those that were probed. Equally affected are some recently recruited 20 security guards, who didn’t quite show proof of possessing the minimal qualification. They are, we were informed, likely to be shown the door.

The bad news is very likely to drown certain support staff almost at the verge of retirement. They have, allegedly, been working all this while with fake certificates to show for why they were employed in the first place. The probe team headed by officials of MINESUP, The Rambler learnt, also uncovered cases of fake ages. At least, one of them would have acquired his Advanced Level GCE when he was barely eight years old.

As preposterous as this sounds, we couldn’t independently ascertain the veracity of it; however, it is alleged that the mayor in the fray of fraudsters, who was initially recruited with one Advanced Level certificate to work at the Students affairs Department, smelt a rat and has since resigned from the employ of the varsity. This, ostensibly, to avert any ignominious dismissal from the institution besides the imminent withdrawal of the degrees to which he was admitted based on an inadequate, compromisingly tenuous entry qualification.

The Rambler couldn’t also establish whether MINESUP is still inclined, despite the glaring scam, to provide subvention to UB; a subvention that should make up for a shortfall in staff salaries accruing from the protracted Anglophone crisis that has greatly dipped not only  the institution’s source of income but also dimmed the credibility of its output.

 

 

Hon. Wirba pops up in parliament, rattles house speaker

By Nester Asonganyi

For something like four months Hon. Joe Wirba, Parliamentarian, MP, from the Jakiri constituency in the Northwest Region was reportedly in hiding, following a tip off of an imminent arrest. This followed his passionate call for justice for marginalized English speaking Cameroonians which he made in parliament on December 2, last year.

This morning, and when it was least expected, the MP not only abruptly appeared in parliament; he seized the rostrum and addressed the house in the exact forceful manner he last did before going under months back. A visibly confused House Speaker, Cavaye Yegue Djibril, sought to stop Wirba from putting across his message to no avail. Overtaken by the MP’s sheer resolve and eloquence, Cavaye resorted to insinuating and insisting outright that Wirba had abandoned parliament for months and opted rather for the marquis.

Undaunted and determined to make his point for justice for Anglophones Wirba screamed on:

“Where else should we say these things? If we belong to the National Assembly then Mr. Speaker, you must hear me out. Mr. Speaker, you will hear me out. With all due respect Mr. Speaker, I have been chased through the bushes for the past three months. I cannot come here and you are discussing…

“Our children are out of school, our lawyers in jail and all that is happening in West Cameroon means nothing to you. Where is your standing order to suspend for us to discuss issues that have to do with the people of West Cameroon? You tell me because you don’t seem have an agenda for us…

“Mr. Speaker, I am now telling you that the person who ordered for my arrest… tell him I am here; he can come and take me out of this National Assembly and the people of West Cameroon will know that they don’t belong here…

“The representatives of the people have the power to say it as it is at any time. I mean, we come here and you shut us down… what should we do? I should have waited for them to bring my head to you. That’s what you would have wanted. I simply say NO!

Mr. Speaker, can you now on this floor, give us where this National Assembly can discuss the issues that have to do with the people of West Cameroon? Because it is more important than anything you have discussed in this Assembly from independence. Can you tell us? Because if we cannot to talk about these things here, where are we supposed to talk about them for God’s sake?  “You keep humiliating us like this, every time, it is the same thing. Get to the church leaders, we are humiliated, get to the lawyers, we are humiliated. We come here to represent our people and you tell me that I cannot talk about my people then, you will need to shut my mouth with death.

Can I have the time when we will talk about the problems of our people? If you have no space here for that it means that the country completely excludes us from its programme and I do not want that to be. You are supposed to make sure that we come here and represent the people, talk about their problems so that you understand the problems.

“I am happy that I am coming here when the Minister of Territorial Administration is here and I am wondering because Mr. Minister I said here on the 2rd of December that the reign of terror over in West Cameroon is bringing down the country and nobody seems to listen and then I come here and we are told that we cannot talk on behalf of those people? It is the right of the MP to represent his people, Mr. Speaker.

“I am not bringing any disorder. If you let us talk on our problems, nobody will be wasting this time because I have a full file here to discuss about the problems of my people, so can you give me space to talk about it? If I don’t have it, then you are saying and with the order on my head that I should be arrested for representing my people. You are saying that the last remnants of anything we call democracy has died in this country. If an MP cannot talk, who else? And if an MP for the country is not safe, who else is safe in this country…?”

Observers who saw Wirba pop up at the Assembly, likened the MP to a modern day Sumanguru, the war lord, who, following his perceived defeat after being shot with an arrow with a white rooster crest – the only weapon to which he was vulnerable disappeared. But when his enemies least expected it, Sumanguru reappeared.

But whereas Sumanguru reappeared with mystical powers, Wirba returned with oratorical powers, practically setting parliament in confusion with House Speaker, even more confused and just babbling inanities, unable to contain the persistence and eloquence of the SDF MP.

 

Kumba-Mamfe:Tarred highway to robbery and accidents?

After many decades of neglect, lying, fake promises and ruthless advocacy genuine construction work on the Kumba-Mamfe
road saw the light of day. About three years ago, work effectively took off on it. This stretch should be ready for commissioning
by the end of the year. Before now, travelers from say Fako or even Kumba to Mamfe were compelled to crisscross at least, two Regions and many other towns before reaching this chief town of Manyu Division in the Southwest Region.

At a particular point in time, it was considered both economically prudent, physically and mentally safe for one to get first to Bamenda before starting out afresh on the Mamfe segment of the trip from Ndian, Meme, Fako in the Southwest including
most other parts of the Littoral. But with the catastrophic stretch between Babadjou in the West Region and Bamenda in the Northwest, people bound for Bamenda prefer making it first to Buea and eventually using the Kumba-Mamfe road still under construction to get to Bamenda. Ninety percent of the tarring is complete. But many hazards and other hitches seem to have been just waiting in the wings for the project to reach completion for them to set in. Vehicular traffic on this road has, in the past few months more than tripled. In the past few weeks countless accidents have occurred, especially between Kumba and Buea. The Buea-Kumba stretch, commissioned slightly over half a decade ago is deteriorating at a rather alarming rate. Logging interests have taken advantage of the relatively good road network and embarked on what is by all means imprudent timber exploitation in the Region. So also are unprecedented highway robberies beginning to be perpetrated, especially between Mamfe in Manyu Division and Batibo in Momo Division of the Northwest
Region.

Security imperatives misdirected?

With the regime overly concerned mostly with puncturing a civil disobedience campaign kick-started in the English-speaking Regions of the nation some eight months ago, security priorities and imperatives appear to have been redesigned, reconsidered and targeted at political goals like forcing parents to send their kids back to school. Huge logistics have, as a consequence, been deployed to see to this, with many basic life protection concerns left unattended.

Highwaymen and other hoodlums have been quick to cash in on the apparent lapse, resorting to waylaying unsuspecting,
helpless and hapless travelers; holding commuters and other road users at gun point and relieving them of their valuables. Such was the case some two weeks back between Mamfe and Batibo, when armed robbers harassed, manhandled and subjected
passengers of travel agencies to intense stress in the dead of night.

Hundreds of them lost valuables that included cash amounting to hue millions. Many others victims of the hold-up involving more than 10 70-seater public transport buses were manhandled by the marauders, for many hours. The bandits had opted for a point far away from any village, and knowing that help couldn’t easily be got. They reportedly took all the time in the world to ransack individual luggage and handbags for cash and trinkets. Security forces, we are told, are yet to identify, let alone bring the thieves to justice. The immediate concern of the regime is dousing the Anglophone anger and ensuring that it comes to naught. Special protection for influential timber interests and corrupt Government officials.

A latest phenomenon taking place on the road currently being tarred from Mamfe to Kumba and beyond is the scores of heavy duty articulated trucks competing for space with earth moving equipment, graders, passenger vehicles and other automobile.

These trucks transport timber of all sizes and quality from Manyu Division through Meme and Fako Divisions to Douala where they are shipped overseas. Behind this highly lucrative and often shady business we learnt, are Chinese, Lebanese and French interests. Persistent claims have been established as to how most of these logging companies flout laid down forest exploitation legislation. Their harvesting habits are said to be largely callous, destructive, haphazard with wildlife turning out the worst for it.

While the locals barely exist; while only a few of them effectively eke out a living, these foreign Shylock interests make and casually get away with tens of billions monthly, often with the connivance of overly corrupt top Government brass. Their harvesting methods are haphazard, with reforestation completely nonexistent. Only natural reforestation accounts for what any hopes of any regeneration of Cameroon’s timber, which is ripped by the hundreds of thousands of hectares yearly.

The normal instinct that readily tickles one’s mind when they see such quantum of forest products emanating from their communities is the economic benefits of the logs to the nation’s economy, particularly, the municipal administration of the affected community. However, it is ironical to be faced with the fact that very little or no benefits at all accrue to the people of Manyu Division as the case ought to be.

The Rambler investigated this timber exploitation process and unmasked the evil behind the seemly economic booster. In fact, its nefarious consequences to the population of the Southwest Region out-weigh its benefits to the exploiter and the state. The exploiters and a few cheats in big Government offices reap from what is, in short, an official racket.

Is the Southwest in Sangmelima?

To begin with, strong rumours persist that those logs of timber are all stamped to give the impression that they are harvested from a forest in Sangmelima, in the South Region. This, therefore, implies that any benefit accruing from the exploitation would be directed to the Sangmelima municipality rather than the suffering farmers of Upper Bayang and Eyomujock, whose cocoa farmlands suffer in the process of felling and transporting of the timber. Maybe, just for the sake of this exercise, there is now a short cut that links Sangmelima to Kumba then to Douala? However, The Rambler couldn’t independently ascertain this claim. Someone gave to believe that what looks like Sangmelima that is stamped on the logs is actually the name of the exploiting company. The dicey issue here now is, why would the name of an exploitation company be conveniently stamped on timber logs?

To worsen it all, the articulated heavy duty trucks conveying the timber are always heavily escorted by either police or gendarmes, ostensibly to prevent them from being routinely checked at different check points and secondly to prevent the truck drivers from attacks by disgruntled villages who feel cheated. These are security operatives paid monthly by tax payers money to safeguard the lives of Cameroonians; but they are seen more to be protecting the pecuniary interests of private moneybags colluding with local Government brass. A victim of the holdup along Mamfe-Bamenda road wondered if it wasn’t more prudent for security details to be accompanying and protecting ordinary Cameroonians exposed to highwaymen at night instead of big necks that do nothing but thieve timber, ruin forests, destroy the ozone layer and bring about untold hardship to locals.

Climate change challenges

F u r t h e r m o r e , Cameroon has in recent years joined the international community to fight against climate change which of course, is gradually becoming a global crisis. One of the causes of climate change we are told by scholars is deforestation. That is exactly what the Manyu Division is experiencing. Timber trees which take approximately 200 years to grow to full maturity, are mercilessly harvested, pulling down at least 100 other smaller trees each time one of them is felled. In the process, no programmed concomitant replanting exercise as prescribed by legislation is effected. Reforestation suffers and precious timbers are exposed to extinction.

Crushing punishment, accidents on new road Also, given the heavy nature of the trucks and the timbers combined, road engineers have been arguing that the lifespan of the new Kumba-Mamfe is most likely to be very short. The consequence is that while local inhabitants will very quickly resort to suffering the effects of bad roads, the exploiters and their henchmen would be most likely enjoying in highbrow neighbourhoods in either the economic or political capital. As if that is not bad enough, the truckers hardly even respect the recent law restricting heavy duty automobile to circulating only at night. These truck drivers have repeatedly caused accidents and frequent congestion experienced on major highways elsewhere in the country. The phenomenon of recent, has been drifting to the Kumba road, ostensibly because of the high presence and recklessness of these timber truckers.

In fact apart of money paid to the Government by these timber exploiters probably another economic gain which one can advance from the activities of the truck drivers is that they get into sexual markets with prostitutes, which of course is a double edged sword as the result of such activity is unwanted pregnancies and spread of diseases and all that goes with it.They thus, endangering the lives of those living along the road corridors.

Biya’s decree rehabilitates disgraced Hayatou

A presidential decree on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, appointed former Confederation of african Football, CaF, President Issa Hayatou, as pioneer Chairman of the Board of directors of the National Football academy, ANaFOOT, in what many see as combined consolation and compensation for a job well done as CAF president for 29 years and, disgraceful exit after a hitherto unknown Madagascar senator floored him in an election that gave the latter landslide victory.

Hayatou’s appointment has come barely a few months after he was defeated as CAF president by Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar, in a landslide victory, ending an era of over 29 years of monopoly and even monotony, spanning 1998-2017. The septuagenarian who doubles as   former FIFA Acting President is to head the organization, supervise young people  in the practice of high level football, impart expertise and  develop football related trades and promote professional football in Cameroon.

Hayatou was appointed alongside Cameroon National Women’s football team cum Colombe Sangmelima coach, Carl Enow Ngachu, as General Manager of the academy. Hayatou however revealed that, his defeat on the race for CAF president by Ahmed Ahmed did not cause any regrets
or pain. He explained that he went in for the race because Cameroon was to host the 2019 CAF competitions and by his reckoning, if he had won the CAF presidency, he would have resigned after the event.

ANAFOOT was created in 2014, by President Biya and has not been operational till the present moment. The current appointees would be the first in this organization. Professional football in Cameroon in recent years has been crippled by Government appointed officials, who have been adept at embezzlement and mismanagement of funds. Young footballers in Cameroon have received little or no support and encouragement.

Players in local football leagues have been left in terrible living styles and playing conditions. While some are hailing Hayatou’s appointment as timely, given his experience as former FECAFOOT president and later CAF president and Acting FIFA President, others are quick to counter
that it is just a confirmation of President Biya’s aversion for the youth. Those bruised by the appointment are hard put to fathom how a man in his seventies will be preferred to much younger technocrats to head an organization whose raison d’etre is rejuvenation of local football in the
country that has been in free fall during the past two decades.

As for Enow Ngachu, many agree that he is a square peg in a square hole; although they are quick to add that in normal circumstance and but for the current agitation by Anglophones for fairness and equity, he would have been relegated to the deputy position always reserved for Anglophones. They see the current face-off between Government and Anglophones as the joker of his appointment. His sterling qualities as award winning coach is certainly what has endeared him to the minds of football lovers in Cameroon, thereby compromising the usual second class positions often reserved for people from his cultural extraction.

Molyko Stadium may ‘lie fallow’ until 2019

The new look Molyko “Omnisport” stadium hosted its first southwest division two Championship games since its refurbishment in 2016 on   sunday, May 28, 2017 putting paid to speculations that the edifice was just an ornament meant to embellish Buea Municipality.

The narrative that had gained currency within Government circles was that the refurbished stadia will be accessed by local teams only after the 2019 AFCON games to be hosted by Cameroon. This, by their reckoning, is because they are to serve as training grounds for teams that will eventually qualify for the final stage of the competition. The first match pitted Catholic University Sports Academy against Dynamic Football
Club and ended in a 2-0 score in favour of the former. Later in the day, legendary Prisons FC lost 1-3 to visiting Maumu Youths. The two games were part of Day Two of the Southwest Regional league and pulled crowds from Buea and its environs; with families at the stands watching the games, something hitherto unknown in playgrounds West of the Mungo.

This is coming at a time when coaches and players, surprisingly, complain about the poor state of pitches on which they play games, which have negative bearing on their performances. According to them, they ought to have been granted unlimited access to the two renovated stadia in Buea; Buea Town and Molyko arenas. The Secretary General of FECAFOOT Southwest, Mayebi John, in an interview said the pitches cannot be used fully till the end of the 2019 AFCON. “We cannot sacrifice these pitches for now, till after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. For now, we are just negotiating with the Stadium Director, to use the fields,” he held.

By implication, teams hosting matches of the Southwest League in Buea don’t have guaranteed access to the refurbished sports grounds. It is noteworthy that Southwest Division two teams in Limbe have been playing matches at the Middle Farms Stadium. The irritating point with regard to the use of these stadia is the fact that Limbe teams enjoy unfettered access into the Middle Farms stadium while Buea teams are condemned to the whims of the stadium Director who has to be begged before the Molyko facility is opened.

It is this discrepancy in according access to stadia built at the same time and for the same purpose that many in Buea have perceived as injustice being perpetrated by some highly placed Government functionaries who think that they own the Region.

‘Cold’ fire that didn’t burn the GCE Board

A few facts are sacrosanct here. A fire broke out in one of the of fices of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education  Examination, GCE Board, headquarters, Buea, last Sunday morning. It was
quickly put out. Damage done was absolutely minimal. Fire extinguishers belonging to the Board were largely used in dousing what could have graduated to an inferno. Some support came from a fuel pump station  situated directly opposite the Board building. Even so, the Board’s own extinguishers still hang on practically every strategic wall of the building. Some of them, with the tabs broken, as at Monday afternoon, were half empty, having been employed in the fire dousing exercise.

An upholstered chair was burnt to its skeletal frame by the fire. Window curtains were burnt to ashes. Only one or two window shutters were  cracked by the ensuing heat from the fire. When this Reporter visited the place, charred remains of the only air conditioner in the room had been taken away by the gendarmes, ostensibly to help in the forensic  investigation of what could have ignited the fire. Its remote control hung on the wall, behind the main occupant of the office, one and a half metres from the floor. Books on a shelf and two wooden tables were not affected by the mysterious fire. Neither was the ceiling, constructed with laminated  plywood boards and barely centimeters above the air conditioner which reportedly caught fire was hanging.

Every scrap of paper that was lying on the two tables in the room was safe. So too was a spiral of khaki paper that was strewn on the floor. A brand new printer installed barely a week earlier, was conspicuous on one of the tables. Only sooth from elsewhere had settled on it. From all indications, it would eventually be dusted up, reconnected and its printing attributes put to back to use. Fluorescent tubes on the ceiling had exploded, their cages were all burnt beyond recognition, but again, the ceiling, built with very combustible material was spared. The door, The Rambler was informed,
was only forced open for the exigency of putting out the mystical fire. It now carries a “No Entry” sign, preventing even its regular occupant, the man in charge of communication at the institution from entering. He has
been given refuge in a different room hard by. Gendarmes would have to complete their investigations; the room would need quite some rehabilitation before this regular tenant is cleared to reenter it, dust up files, books and other pieces of paper and return to regular duty.

The task of the investigating gendarmes, no doubt shall be facilitated by surveillance cameras that were strategically installed here some time ago. They reportedly work round the clock and should provide useful forensic clues to what must have sparked the Sunday morning fire. While this is being established, the rest of the building stands, safe; but for the lone  occupant of the affected room currently having “refugee” status hard by, every worker else in the building was busy at their posts. Plus, this Reporter also learnt that disaster would have been ‘spelled here in capital letters’ had the fire spread beyond the ill-fated room to engulf other parts of the  structure. This is because, beyond the fact of absolutely valuable  documentation and other equipment being preseved in the building, tons of material relating to the about to be written GCE examination are stacked  here.