Sani Abacha: Anatomy of a sadist, dictator

“I quietly walked in and saw the body of General Abacha wrapped in white cloth and laid in a small private sitting room in the residence. And I said to myself, “vanity upon vanity.” His death to me was as dramatic as his ascendancy to power, equally evoking tragic memories of a nation that was unsafe of itself.”
Ogbonaya Orji, a seasoned broadcast journalist who covered ‘Aso Rock,’ Nigeria’s Presidential Palace summarises the ephemeral nature of power in the above statement after he watched the lifeless body of the tin god being exposed like the cadaver of a disease-ridden animal declared unfit for human consumption by veterinarians.
Like Abacha, other “natural leaders” in Egypt, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia refused to come to terms with the transient nature of power and fell from it like overripe, nay, rotten mangoes. The lure of power and perks that surround the authority it generates derailed them into the erroneous belief that such reverie could last for eternity.
Abacha incarnated the very essence of power. He participated in several coups d’état before he actually ascended the Supreme Commandership of the Nigerian Armed forces in 1993. His stay in the army up to the time of his swearing in as Head of state was a product of serendipity. Like other cunning, sneaky political spiders elsewhere in Africa, the not so brainy Abacha schemed, bided his time.
Sheer bravery and commitment to purpose endeared him to his superiors and, in particular General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, then Army Chief of Staff, who, through a special dispensation permitted him to ascend the rungs of senior officer. As head of state, Abacha looted billions of dollars from the state treasury. He hanged human rights activists and jailed everyone with a dissenting voice for life. Obasanjo, who became first civilian head of state following his demise, served time in Abacha’s gulag.
His reign of terror will remain indelible in the minds of several generations who saw in him an unrepentant and irredeemable autocratic dinosaur.
When he died, Nigerians mourned him on dry cheeks; in fact, they poured into the streets in celebration. The story told in our inner pages reads like the “anatomy or framework of a sadistic dictator.” It is a collector’s item.

Malingo Street man electrocuted

The cobweb of cables criss-crossing the average Buea neighbourhood took toll on at least one unfortunate resident last weekend. The victim, popularly known simply as Pa Collins, was electrocuted after he came into contact with a live high tension cable. An aluminum ladder which he was struggling to bring down from a story building at the popular Malingo Street caused the electrocution.
Eyewitnesses reported that the deceased couldn’t differentiate ordinary domestic cables which are normally insulated from the domestic ones directly supplying power to homesteads. Hence, his electrocution.
Pa Collins was reportedly with his son, carrying out some work at the uncompleted building. According to eyewitnesses, who claimed to have been drinking hard by when tragedy struck bar, they said, they saw the late man and his son were struggling to bring down a ladder which appeared to be too large and long to pass through a narrow door. They said the deceased decided to push the ladder away from the building in order to have ample space, for it to go through the door. But little did they know that the said ladder was leading him to death as the high tension cable, came into contact with it and killed him instantly.
In an attempt to save his dying dad Pa Collin’s son also received a heavy shock. He fortunately survived, but is now battling for his life in hospital. The military arrived with weapons some few minute’s later, which was of no use for the liberation of the victim, while ENEO arrived almost an hour later, to liberate the already dead man.
According to Paul Ndze who identified himself as a Malingo landlord certain people opt to construct their homes with scant regards for safety. According to him, buildings are supposed to be built at least six meters away from high tension lines. But this isn’t the case in a town like Buea where both residents and the electric power supply company are corrupt and careless, hardly respecting building regulations.
By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred


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SWELA urges Les Brasseries to employ more Anglophones

The deputy secretary for the Southwest Elites Association, SWELA, in charge of Meme Division has urged the authorities of Cameroon’s leading brewing company Les Brasseries du Cameroun in Kumba, to employ more Anglophones in the enterprise, so as to make them feel the presence of the economic giant in their midst.
Prince Daniel Nasako made the call on Friday, March 23, 2018, during a handing over awards ceremony in recognition of the support the company has been contributing towards the promotion of culture, peace, education, sports and humanitarian work.
He acknowledged that the company has proven its worth in the support of education and other activities, especially to the youths but regretted that Anglophones working in the company could be counted within seconds.
“We of SWELA acknowledge that much work has been done, but urge you to recruit more Anglophones to break the imbalance that exists and also in a way resolve the vexation of youths who often complain that companies in their Region recruit more of Francophones.”
In response, the laureate Ms. Nchinda Evelyn Ngwe Tita, Chief of Commercial Services, Kumba, while thanking the association for recognizing their efforts especially in the promotion of education and humanity, said the worry of employing more Anglophones is already being taken care of by management.
“I am so overwhelmed by such recognition. This award is coming to Meme, which means it is coming to us here. It is very symbolic to us because it is not easy to give your all and see people who come back to say thank you. With regards to their plea, it is is already in line with the strategy of the company. The General Manager himself acknowledges the fact that more Anglophones are needed for a balance. It will obviously come but in a gradual process.”
She, however used the opportunity to advised youths to drop their applications at the company website so that when need arises they could be called up to be employed.

CPDM will win in Meme – Otte

Just a week to senatorial election in Cameroon, political parties and individual candidates are busy fine-tuning campaigns to secure victory come March 25, 2018.
To this effect, Senator Andrew Otte Mofaw was in Meme Division over the weekend to meet up with his partners as regards coming elections.
In a press briefing Saturday March 17, he told pressmen that the CPDM team is going to win the election.
According to him, CPDM has majority of councils in the region; of the 31 councils, CPDM are in control of 27. In terms of the number of councillors he said CPDM alone has over 700 of the across the region which is already a sign of victory. “As a party therefore I think we are set. Personally as a senator, I have been meeting with my people and to the best of my knowledge they will vote us on that day.”
Quizzed whether the ongoing crisis will not affect the election, Otte said, “The good thing about this our election is that, it’s a college election, which means it’s for a selected few. It’s not a general election where you need street campaigns and debates. Constitutionally, it’s very clear we are representatives of a decentralized institution. For our elections, only councils are concerned and as such we already know our electors. So we know how to get to them directly. The most important thing is that we have been in touch with them throughout the years. Though the region is faced with insecurity, specifically, councillors can go through if we have to push through with our democratic process in line with the electoral calendar.”
Other issues raised were the shortcomings of the present regime and the senate’s inability to aptly represent their people. In response Otte noted that as far as he is concerned, they intervene for their population. He was quick to mention that it is thanks to them that the Ministry of Decentralization has been created and that councillors and Mayors now have salaries.
“As a senator, I have spent more than FCFA 20 million in donating household, sporting and school materials to the communities. I have contributed in the construction of many public projects across the division; registered more than 50 students into competitive entrance examinations. With all this put together, I am confident that we shall win the division and in the region at large.”

Our Dearest Mbamba Mai,


Adjournments of case against prelates breed cynicism… *Prospect of schools resumption shaky

By Nester Asonganyi

Government insensitivity to the aspirations of Presbyterian and Catholic Christians in particular and, Anglophones in general, has once more been displayed via  the Presidents of  Magistrates Courts in Bamenda, Kumba, Buea, Kumba and Mamfe, by way of a second adjournment to the case against Catholic Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province and the Moderator of Presbyterian Church in Cameroon; a situation that most Christians have opined, might jeopardize schools resumption in the Northwest and Southwest Regions come September.

“We know the Government too well. It is looking for ways to cajole parents and Christians to send their children back to school, come September. Don’t be surprised that they adjourn the matter again on September 25,” Nju Tolefeh, a parent and retired teacher posited. According to him, it is not good for Government to keep dragging issues. Judgment, he thinks, should have been passed immediately, to let everyone know their stand.

The Rambler has it on good authority that an almost uniform action was embarked upon on Friday, July 21, by the Presidents of the Magistrates Courts in towns where Diocesan seats and the Synod office of the PCC are located, hinged on similar communiqués, informing the embattled clerics that the case against them has been unilaterally adjourned to Monday, September 25, 2017 in lieu of Monday, July 24, as had earlier been programmed.

This explains why neither of the parties was in the Magistrates court in Buea, particularly, that had already been inundated by presence of security operatives who barred entry into the premises as early as 6 am.

Tabot Helen, a pupil lawyer and a catholic Christian, observed that, the adjournment is like adding salt to injury because, the people are still annoyed that their leaders are being dragged to court and the adjournment of their trial only raises eyebrows. She posits that it might be that bad fate awaits the clergymen and Government wants the people to go back to school before they are sentenced. “What awaits them from the courts might not be good and they know the people would definitely refuse going to school if their spiritual leaders are put behind bars,” she said.

To Ndong Lucienne, an MSc student at University of Buea, it is a delaying tactic by the powers that be so that, the case can die a natural death. She said this was because she had learnt that, even during the first hearing, the accusers did not show up and the presiding magistrate had even threatened throwing out the case. As she puts it, her only fear is that, the uncertainty on the fate of the pastors of souls might also bring uncertainty on school resumption.

Another twist to the Government of Cameroon, Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda and Moderator of the PCC saga emerged after the last adjournment on July 5, when upon being derided for incompetence by colleagues defending the clerics, the Counsel for the prosecution proceeded to suing the Bishops at their various Diocesan seats where their courts actually have jurisdiction unlike the first suit that lumped all the Bishops in the Buea Magistrates Court and by that token, wreaked of failure to grasp elementary principles of common law practice.  This means that unlike in the first summons wherein all the Bishops in the Southwest were to appear in a Buea Magistrates court, each of them will now be appearing before the president of the Magistrate Court in the town where the seat of their Dioceses are located

It would be recalled that during the first trial of the clergymen at the Buea Magistrates court on Monday, June 5, both the ‘Consortium of Parents’ and the prosecuting magistrate had tactically avoided the trial. Even so, one of the lead Counsel, Barrister Etta Bisong Junior had qualified the case as ‘not ripe.’ Would it mean the case is still ‘not ripe’?

He had stated, “The matter is not ripe; the people who have brought the Bishops and the Moderator to court have not fulfilled conditions precedent for the matter to be ripe before the court. We never asked for it to be adjourned; it is the prosecutor who asked for it to be adjourned.”

The presiding Magistrate, Beatrice Ntuba Nambangi, would also frown at the attitude of the accusers, whom she noted were behaving as though the matter they themselves had brought before the court was a joking matter. “You can’t summon people here and you are absent or enjoying the comfort of your home,” she had snarled.

Another rather frustrated senior Barrister told The Rambler: “the sinister tactic of the official face behind this mask of so called Parents’ Consortium is to balkanize the defense, weaken their force, so that lawyers will no longer concentrate as they ought to, and won’t attract popular action.

“The ploy is to divide the strength of the population, so popular attention isn’t attracted like was the case on the first day. It is a particularly strange phenomenon, adjourning court matters by way of radio announcements…”

Strange enough, none of the radio communiqués pinpointed any particular reason for the [uniform] adjournments. They were all surreptitiously bland, yet peculiarly uniform in tone and temper.



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.