Friday, October 25, 2013

Paul Ngabir: Perseverance is King

Mayor-elect of Nkambe council in the Donga Mantung Division, Ngabir Paul Bantar has shown that perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. It is the first time the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) party will run the council after 17 years.
Paul Ngabir (in suit) receiving the Nkambe council keys
Forty-three years of adherence to the CPDM, starting off with Cameroon National Union, CNU in 1969, he joined the youth wing of the party, while he served in Oku as a cooperative staff. When the CNU mutated into CPDM in 1985, he remained a member of the Oku subsection with late Honorable John Tatah (Native of Oku) as the president of the Bui section. Remember at the time Bui division was a section and sub divisions were sub sections.
Mr. Bantar was transferred to Njinikom in 1988, as a faithful sympathizer of the party; he joined the Fundong subsection under the guidance of Bobe Francis Chia Ngam, the then subsection president. 1990 was the true test of his faithfulness to the party; multiparty politics was introduced and a band wagon of CPDM militants left to join the party of Ni John Fru Ndi, the Social Democratic Front, SDF. Worse, when President Paul Biya National President of the CPDM came to Bamenda in 1990, Mr. Bantar and other sympathizers who had moved to Bamenda to welcome him were stoned and jeered. He refused to heed to the pressure from the opposition. “People cannot force one to join what you do not want”, Mr Bantar said to himself.
By 1996, Ngabir Paul Bantar was working and living in Bamenda, and for the first time, he was member of the CPDM campaign team deployed to his native Nkambe for the presidential elections. “It was the first time I started speaking on behalf of my party”, he says with a beaming face. It marked a long journey of a resource person for the party.
In 2002, Mr Bantar contested as legislative candidate for the Donga Mantung constituency. He represented Nkambe. Other candidates came from Ako, Misaje and Nwa. He failed to enter the National Assembly but the score moved from 18-41%-a remarkable progress in an SDF fief.
With his eyes fixed on the MP seat, Mr Bantar refused to listen to his political mentor, Late Honorable S.N Tamfu, asking him to run for council not parliament. And, in 2007 he failed again but the score moved to 42%. At this time the population of Nkambe had started seeing the need for a switch. “Elite started coming on board,” he says, and “as we explained to them our difficulties, they federated forces to seek solutions.”
The score in the 2011 presidential election is eloquent proof the incessant decamping from the SDF. And, the icing on the cake was the takeover of the Nkambe council from the opposition after 17years; the CPDM party paralyzed resistance with persistence. But according to the mayor-elect, the militants in Nkambe are sad as the legislative candidate who toiled with them lost his seat to the legal and illegitimate candidate of the opposition, Awudu Mbaya Cyprian.
Nkambe and Ndu councils make up the Donga Mantung Centre constituency. Because the votes from Ndu were overwhelming, the SDF candidate was pushed into the National Assembly although he lost in Nkambe. “Our party hierarchy needs to look at this situation,” Mr Bantar pleads. After the victory, the councilors need to tighten their helmet chord. And, show proof of why they have been castigating the opposition.

Source: L’Action N° 928 of 14 Oct. 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Misaje Council: Dumbu Zone Indigene to Succeed Nkenda?

After battling it out at September 30 elections with the SDF and NUDP in Misaje, the elected councillors of the CPDM party are busy pondering over who to be Mayor.
Nkenda Simon-Incumbent
However three names are very prominent on the lips of every Misaje man. The three bets for the top job are Alhadji Yougouda of Akweto in Mbessa area, CPDM Section President Sammy Mbgata from Bebekete in Dumbu area and the incumbent Mayor Nkenda Simon from Kamine in Mbessa area.
The question as to who shall be elected mayor of Misaje council that started way back before the September polls has caused untold hatred and divisions among families and sympathisers of both Sammy Mbgata and Nkenda Simon.
Many had dismissed the idea of having Alhadji Yougouda as Mayor for fear that the rumour that Alhadji Baba Danpoulo may come and chase away grazers in the area and set up a private cattle ranch. The choice now is between the CPDM Section President Sammy Mbgata and incumbent Nkenda Simon.
A school of thought holds that the Mbessa zone has enjoyed the position of mayor for too long by producing three mayors consecutively. Nchane area handed the baton to Mbessa and now the people of Dumbu zone are demanding that this is their turn to produce a mayor.
Both Nkenda Simon and Sammy Mbgata, were pioneer Deputy Mayors under Mayor Ngande Elias when Misaje council was just created in 1993.
Nkenda Simon has enjoyed the office of vice Section President for Donga Mantung IV under Section President Maigaji Yougouda(Now RIP) and has been mayor of Misaje council for six years now.
Meantime, lobbying indicators point to the fact that Sammy Mbgata has since his election as Section President for Donga Mantung IV, enjoyed the support of Minister Fuh Calistus Gentry.
As for Nkenda Simon, the Mbessa caucus is holding tide to the fact that Fon Michael Fuma was mayor for about twenty years before handing over to Mayor Ngande Elias. With this, they see no reason why Nkenda Simon should be ousted in just six years in office. While Dumbu people are holding tide to a certain gentleman agreement that this is their turn to produce a Mayor.
Sammy Mbgata personally funded the grading of the Dumbu Sabongida road and the payment of teachers’ arrears for GSS Dumbu and donation of computers and power generators to GSS Dumbu and the Health Centre and many other generous donations and contribution to the development of the municipality. With all these to his credit many see him to fit squarely with their choice of a mayor and they are mobilizing to celebrate if their wish is granted come October 16 2013.
With all said and done the question now is shall an indigene from Dumbu zone succeed Nkenda Simon as mayor?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kumba: Basic Commodities Now Too Expensive

Cocoyams Now too Expensive
The price of basic commodities in Kumba is said to be hitting the sky. Housewives in the chief town of Meme have complained that they have to pay exorbitant amounts much to put food on the table.
Your reporter went to one of the food markets in Kumba and found out that basic commodities like onions that were hitherto sold at FCFA 50 now costs FCFA 100. Households could purchase three glass cups of rice for FCFA 200 but now the same quantity costs FCFA 250.
An egg that cost FCFA 50 is now sold at FCFA 100 while a bunch of plantain that was sold at 3000 now cost 3500; cocoyams that were sold at 3000 currently cost more than 5000 and the situation is the same with vegetables. No official reasons have been given for the hike.
It should be noted that the dramatic rise in the prices of basic commodities, especially foodstuffs sparked great upheaval in Cameroon in 2008. Although that crisis was eventually resolved, no one can predict what would happen if the current situation of skyrocketing prices.
Furthermore, amid all the talk of peace and tranquility in Cameroon, it is clear that the current price hikes are taking their toll on all in society, especially the masses who can afford very little. Ultimately, it is in addressing the situation of the overwhelming majority of people who are poor that the situation can be redressed. Seven years ago, following the dramatic increase in the prices of foodstuffs, the president of the republic Paul Biya issued ordinances aimed at assisting commoners by scaling back prices. While such a method could be used a second time, the inefficacy of the president’s announcements in 2006 leave many in despair as the contemplate a situation that looks set to get much worse before it can get any better.

Entrepreneurship: Cameroon to Host International Summit in November

Gilbert Ewehmeh, Director of YES
The towns of Yaoundé and Bamenda will this November play host to an important summit on entrepreneurship and job creation that is expected to group participants from over 6 countries notably the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, United States and Canada. The event was announced in Yaoundé, Friday October 4 in the presence of the Turkish Ambassador to Cameroon during a press conference organized by the Youth employment Service (YES Cameroon).
For four days (Nov 18th-22nd) participants including government officials, policy makers, diplomatic missions, business executives as well as leaders of civil society organizations will acquaint themselves with innovative job creation initiatives and share best practices in delivering skills for cost effective job policy measures.
Presentations at the summit will focus on issues such as how millions of jobs can be created in the next decade,the role of entrepreneurship and social enterprise in the society as well as how to ensure participation and empowerment of the youth and a lot more.
Speaking at the start of the press conference, the Executive Director of YES Cameroon, Gilbert Ewehmeh said the purpose of the summit is to inspire young people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self –starters and innovators in their communities. The Executive Director noted that participants at the summit will benefit from the various presentations to be delivered by experts from some foreign countries - knowledge which he maintained will greatly impact their lives in the areas of job creation. Mr. Ewehmeh was categorical that young people need to be educated on how to create jobs for themselves and not to sit on their laurels and wait on government to offer them jobs. He said the theme of the summit which is “Improving and scaling up initiatives towards youth employment” was carefully chosen to shape the minds of youths who rely only on government for employment.
Gilbert Ewehmeh recounted that since 2007, his NGO has been instrumental in the field of capacity building with immense successes recorded. However; he said the support of other stakeholders like the government is indispensable in the process: “Since we started in 2007, we have been able assist young people financially and with productive skills in many fields. We think with the support from our partners like the Turkish embassy and the British High Commission, we will go a long way. Our achievements are evident”, he noted.
On his part, the Turkish Ambassador to Cameroon, Omer Faruk Dogan noted that Cameroon is a blessed country with abundant resources which if well harnessed, will create thousands of jobs for the country. He gladly said his country through the embassy in Cameroon is ready to fight youth unemployment through the win-win relation they share. To him, ongoing giant construction projects like dams and seaports are avenues that can create jobs for young people and with the fertile nature of Cameroon’s soil that supports the growth of many crops and plants, it becomes easy to put an end to the rising rate of unemployment in the country. Omer Faruk equally hailed YES for bringing up such an initiative in organizing a summit on entrepreneurship which to him will play a great role in supporting the efforts of young people to become self-reliant.

Ngala Gerard Vows to Revamp Support for CPDM in Nkambe

As militants of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) brace up to reorganise the basic organs of the party, Taa’Nformi Ngala Gerard has taken over the reins of the Donga Mantung I, Nkambe Central section.
Ngala Gerard, Interim CPDM Section President
Paul Ngabir, who was until October 16, 2013 president of the Donga Mantung I, Nkambe section of the CPDM handed over the baton of command to Mr. Ngala in Nkambe as the former was elected mayor of the Nkambe council on the ruling party’s ticket.
Mr. Ngabir said his new stint is so hefty that he alone cannot bear. This explains why he decided to cede his position of section president to the man who achieved the daunting feat of winning the Nkambe council for the ruling CPDM for the first time in more than two decades.
As Mayor, Mr. Ngabir says he wants to work for the people of Nkambe irrespective of their political affiliations. He said if he clings on to power, he would fail in either his duties as mayor or section president.
CPDM diehard loyalists in Donga Mantung I, Nkambe Central have hailed the new mayor for such a decision as Ngala Gerard is celebrated within and without party circles for having reinvented the game of politics in the division.
Ngala Gerard, taken by surprise by the former section president’s announcement, said: “I feel privileged, but as you know I am the acting section president pending reorganization of the basic organs of the party”.
While waiting for the event where his position of interim section president will be made permanent, Mr. Ngala’s first challenge in his temporary post will be the organization of the celebration of the 31st anniversary of President Paul Biya’s coming to power on November 6th.
“When I am given the chance to prove my competence I always do it, you’ve seen it in past activities that we’ve carried out here in Nkambe and I want to tell you that the November 6th wouldn’t be different”, the acting section president said.
Sizing up the party’s clout in the next five years, the acting section president was categorical that it would make greater inroads. “I will continue revitalizing the party in Donga Mantung I, and I will boost the number of militants of the party and the number would definitely increase given that I will be working together with a mayor of the CPDM and other elite from this section who are also loyalists of the party.”
Ngala Gerard was the CPDM candidate for the September 30 legislative elections in the Donga Mantung Centre (Nkambe-Ndu) constituency where he defeated SDF incumbent, Hon Awudu Mbaya in Nkambe. However, with the constituency made up of two subdivisions with Ndu being a stronghold of the leading opposition, the SDF, Hon Awudu was rescued as votes from the sub division in favour of the SDF outweighed those of the CPDM in Nkambe.
Though the Douala-based business mogul will not go to parliament, he remains in the annals of history as the only CPDM parliamentary candidate who defeated Hon Awudu in Nkambe after about seventeen years.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi