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.