Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Address: Biya’s Lingering Legacy Of Unkept Promises

Yaounde, Cameroon—Like with the past years, Cameroonians will today again be glued to their TV and radio sets as from 8PM to listen to the Head of State in his traditional New Year address, which is usually presented on the eve of New Year.
Paul Biya

Most Cameroonians who have been listening to the octogenarian Head of State, at least for the past four years describe his New Year messages describe as prattle.
On the 31 of December last year, (eve of 2014), President Biya in an angry mode chastised the Philemon Yang led government for what he described as poor execution of the public investment budget.
The Head of State opened his address on a note of optimism saying Cameroonians have all reasons to feel satisfied with 2013 which has paved the way for excellent future prospects.
Given that Cameroon witnessed the first ever senatorial elections in 2013, a year in which the current municipal and legislative authorities were also elected; Mr Biya explained that “having put in place the Senate and local and regional authorities, the establishment of the Constitutional Council within a reasonable timeline will complete the institutional structure enshrined in our Constitution”. One year on; Cameroonians have been waiting for this promise to be fulfilled.
The Head of State noted that the Cameroon economic growth which was projected at 6.1% could only heed a dismal 4.8% which according to him is not however dramatic though calling on all and sundry to redouble efforts.
Still in the economic domain, President Biya noted that Private investments that can boast the economy remain inadequate. “We still need to improve the business climate….”. One year after, economists say the situation hasn’t changed.
Cameroonians doubted the fate of the Yang led government when the head of state vented anger on them for failing to execute public investment projects, hear him “…But, how come then that in some sectors of our economy, State action often seems to lack consistency and clarity? Why is it that in many cases, decision-making delays still constitute a bottleneck in project implementation? Why can’t any region of our country achieve a public investment budget execution rate of over 50%? Lastly, one can rightfully question the usefulness of certain project monitoring committees which are unable to take any decisions”.
The above statement left many Cameroonians wondering whether Mr Biya after the address will continue working with the failed government.
More so, when the president after reprimanding his own government maintained that it will be absolutely imperative “that we address the causes of our weaknesses by removing sticking points, areas of dispersion and duplication”
 One year after, Mr Biya seems to have given more confidence to the failed government than ever; giving them new directives to be implemented in three years.
With the above promises and others, which Cameroonians are still waiting for its maturity, many are asking the question, what will Mr. Biya say again this year?
However, Mr Biya hasn’t failed in all his promises to his fellow compatriots. On the eve of 2014, the president announced that the country’s health map will soon have three additional referral hospitals, namely the Yaounde National Emergency Centre, the Douala Gynaecological, Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital and the Sangmelima Referral Hospital. These have been realized.
After venting anger on the Yang led government for failing to ensure public investment budget is executed properly, Mr Biya said “What we need in the coming years is a real contingency plan. With the GESP, we have a trend chart. Now is the time to act”. This plan has been launched with Cameroonians awaiting its impacts before or by the year 2018, though the realization rate of public investment projects has rather dropped as decried by the Speaker of the National Assembly during the budgetary session of the house last November.
After Cameroon of greater ambitions, Cameroon of greater realizations, Vision 2035 and now the contingency plan-all plans aimed at developing Cameroon, most Cameroonians see Mr Biya as a Head of State of slogans and promises.
Nevertheless, what the Head of State will tell his fellow compatriots on the eve of New Year 2015 is still a matter of wait and see.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ngala Gerard quits bachelorhood, ties nuptial bond with Viannie Tah

Bamenda, Cameroon—The church was filled to the brim by guests who trouped in to witness the wedding of the latest couple in town on Saturday December 20, 2014
The long wait for the ceremony to commence was made short by saintly voices of choristers who thrilled those who had come early.
Groom awaiting bridein Church
It was worth the wait. About thirty minutes behind time, a black land cruiser prado, adorned for the occasion, cruised into the St John Catholic Church, Foncha Street, Bamenda.
The groom, Ngala Gerard, as neat as a new pin, stepped out in the company of the best man, Patrick Ngimndoh. The crowd rose to its feet and joined them as they danced their way to front of the church where they took their seats.
Then the wait for the bride began. Moments later, a brown lexus jeep drove into the precincts of the church. It was carrying the bride Viannie Tah who was draped in an immaculate white gown. In the company of the maid of honour Achidi Ma Neh, the bride took her seat beside the visibly elated groom.
Rev Father Robert T. performing rites of marriage
Gerard and Viannie’s journey into a new world ensued at the St John Catholic church with Reverend Father Robert Tantoh, assistant Secretary General of the National Episcopal Council in Yaounde leading the solemn wedding mass.
After several marriage rituals, the church was thrown in a joyous mood when the groom declared, “I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, Gerard Ngala, may not be joined in holy matrimony to Viannie Tah”.
In a show of unanimous approval of the union and acceptance to stand by the couple, the declaration was followed by a thunderous round of applause from the congregation.
The congregation would not sit when the bride said, “I Viannie Tah, do take thee, Gerard Ngala, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse..., till death do us part”.
Gerard, take this ring as a sign of my love....Viannie
After declaring their consent before the church, the college of clergy then took turns to pray for God to bless and protect on the couple He had joined together.
In his homily, the Reverend Father Robert Tantoh stressed on the need for the couple to perfect each other in faith. “Through marriage, you become the man and woman God created you to be, so be committed to each other. Communicate the secrets of your hearts to each other, forgive each other,” Rev. Father Robert Tantoh urged the newlyweds.
With the 'big boys'

The grand reception

From the St John Catholic Church at Foncha Street, guests joined the couple at a reception at the Ayaba Hotel which was chaired by Dr Fuh Calistus Gentry, Minister, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development.
Newlywed arrive wedding gala venue
Successive speakers at the reception like Dr. Vitalis Ngala who spoke on behalf of the groom’s family, Mrs Tah Emilia and Mr Louis Mougbaram who both spoke for the bride’s family hailed the newlyweds for taking the bold leap in life. They pledged to always lend their support and experience to Gerard and Viannie.
Dr Fuh Calistus Gentry said Gerard’s wedding couldn’t be taken lightly because he (Gerard) is an asset to the Donga Mantung community. Besides being chairman, Dr Fuh announced he was also sitting in for several other people like Shey Jones Yembe who were unavoidably absent including.

CRTV top presenters as MCs

Highly sought-after CRTV ace talk show hosts Jimla Nene Shadzeka and Ivo Partem, who emceed the reception, gave their names and reputations a good representation as they served guests with the same expertise they are noted for on television.

Njang and makossa on stage

One of the most interesting parts of the wedding gala was the live performance of renowned music stars like Richard Kings, Narcisse Pryze, Sergio Polo and Papa Zoe. While Richard Kings thrilled guests with the Njang and his charming voic, Sergeo Polo and his popular hit, Solantine, got everyone on his feet. The groom who almost removed his wedding coat as he danced ‘spoiled’ the musician with bank notes to an extent that Sergio Polo himself almost missed his dance steps. ‘Farotage’ from Gerard and Viannie Ngala at the wedding gala almost got all artists unable to perform their own songs.
Gerard and his princess’ is a longstanding love story. Before Viannie and her prince charming said their ‘I dos’ they had been together for about eight years. Their union has been blessed with two kids. 
By Ndi Eugene Ndi, just back from Bamenda

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Senator Jikong Forever!

Yaounde, Cameroon--The remains of the late Senator Professor Jikong Stephen Yeriwa who died on November 15, 2014 have been coffined at the Yaounde General Hospital mortuary and conveyed to the University of Yaounde I for academic honours. He was 67.
The coffining took place in the presence of state officials and political personalities. Amadou Ali, Vice Prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies led members of government. Others were CPDM central committee members, fellow senators, fellow university dons, Donga Mantung elite, as well as family members. He will be laid to rest on Saturday December 13 in his native Jator Village in Nwa subdivision (See photos).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MTN Has Lots of Everything on Offer at PROMOTE 2014

Yaounde, Cameroon—Cameroon’s leading mobile telephone service provider MTN has been ‘spoiling’ its customers and visitors at an imposing stand it erected at the heart of the  ongoing international  exhibition fair for enterprises, SMEs and partnerships dubbed PROMOTE 2014.
MTN Cameroon CEO Welcomes UIT Central Africa Representative
Present at PROMOTE for the 6th consecutive year, MTN officials say in showcasing their know-how, they are at their customers’ beck and call with a golden digital world to brighten their lives on offer.
The mobile telephone service giant’s connected home service is the most sought-after by customers. 
“It’s interesting to know that with your mobile phone you can control appliances in your home from your office.”
“Let’s say you go to your office and forget to turn off your TV, you can turn it off with your mobile phone and wimax technology. If you have your video surveillance camera you can rotate the camera and monitor what is happening in your house,” Massey N. Bongang, MTN Cameroon’s Corporate Communications Manager said.
Young people have repeatedly troupe around MTN’s stand and experiment with top notch services like M-health and M-education (M=mobile).
Massey Bongang explains that with mobile health, the user is able to control his/her health using the mobile phone. Meanwhile, mobile education offers users the chance to learn from just about everywhere with their mobile phones.
Customers enjoying connected home service
The MTN pay way kiosk, which at first view could be mistaken for an ATM, is a crowd puller as this reporter’s tour of the MTN stand with the company’s Corporate Communications Manager carries on.
“It is a mobile money pay way kiosk where customers recharge their MTN mobile money accounts without any assistance,” Massey explained.
With lots of everything on exhibition, MTN gives visitors and customers the opportunity to test certain devices and smart phones even before deciding whether or not they want to buy them. And what’s more, digital experts are on hand to advise them on the different types of phones and devices.
Perhaps the novelty this year is the MTN treasure home through which several visitors have already backed home different types of gifts.
Visitors test smart phones, other devices at MTN stand
 “MTN is offering all visitors to PROMOTE an exciting treasure home where interested customers participate where visitors who are able to gather the clues to a treasure, win great prizes that are given to them after a raffle draw at the MTN stand at 4:00 pm every fair day,” Massey said.
Though only four of the 80 that are permitted to take part in the draw go home with great prizes, all participants are compensated by MTN.
“Even if you don’t win one of the big prizes because you are not one of the four people who were drawn, as long as you participated right up to the end and got the right answer, you will go home with something from MTN”, the Corporate Communications Manager explained.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Anti-terror law will not curtail civil disobedience—Hon. Mbah Ndam

Yaounde, Cameroon—Many Cameroonians think the recently adopted law on the suppression of acts of terrorism by parliament deprives Cameroonians of their right to voice dissent. But reputed lawyer, legal adviser of the SDF, MP and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Joseph Mbah Ndam says that is not the case. Cameroonians need not be glum about the law as it does not restrain civil disobedience, strikes and street protests, he argues.
Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam

With Cameroon being threatened by recurring Boko Haram onslaughts, Hon Mbah Ndam says the law will be a great boost to the fight against the terrorist group. Though he censured President Paul Biya for not acting on time to prevent terrorism, the MP thinks the law will undo the mess that the dreaded Nigerian sect has made of some parts of northern Cameroon.
The MP spoke to our reporter Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde, read on
News Watch—Hon.Most Cameroonians are of the opinion that the recently adopted law by parliament on the suppression of acts of terrorism has killed their freedom. What is your take on this?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—I  think Cameroonians are justified in their apprehension because when you look back into the history of our nation, certain events have occurred which when you talk about any law on terrorism, it causes ghost pimples on the hands and faces of Cameroonians. We know of the 1962 ordinances, the 1972 ordinance on suppression of terrorism. These laws frightened Cameroonians when they think that they are about to be brought back because it is only when the SDF broke the ground in 1990 and launched another political party that we were able to have the liberty laws of that very December 1990 that abolished these dangerous laws in our nation. Prior to 1990, the military tribunal was a kind of tribunal because during the 6th April 1984 attempt to take over government by force, the military tribunal was a tribunal of exception; it tried people in the morning and executed in the evening and it sufficed for you to have been taxed of subversion before even 1984 for you to disappear. There were those laws that were used to crush the nationalists’ movements towards independence. So haven come out of that situation, everybody feels that this law is exactly that very situation, I want to beg to differ.
News Watch—What therefore is the content of this law?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—The content of that law is not what it is that Cameroonians are taking. It has not deprived Cameroonians of their right to public manifestation; it has not deprived political parties of holding public rallies and manifestations against evils committed by the government. It has not limited the right of anybody, so if this government misbehaves in torturing Cameroonians, or to suppress Cameroonians of their rights, it will not be because we voted this law. It will be that it is acting in its usual characteristics manner that it has cause Cameroonians to suffer over 32 years. When you read Section 1 sub section 2 of this law it says that the provisions of the penal code, the criminal procedure code and the military justice code are still applicable so far as they are not repugnant to this law. This means that it guarantees virtually all due process. Secondly, the military tribunal that exists in Cameroon today is no longer that murderous military tribunal of old.
News Watch—How is the military court of today different from that of old?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—Let me give an example, when we were clamouring that these laws should be repealed by Ahidjo, he never wanted until he was tried by them and he had to run Cameroon and die outside. Our fight since 1990 brought liberty and freedom and now if you were to be charged of offences provided by this law and you are to go before the military tribunal, one guarantee you have there first is that they are trained magistrates even though they are military people who are sitting there. Secondly any decision of theirs is subject to appeal to the regional court of appeal where you will have civil magistrates sitting. Any decision by that civil magistrate or the civil appeal court that does not satisfy you, you have the right to go to the Supreme Court and even if you are condemned to dead after the Supreme Court decision, there is still there is still the application for grace, for mercy by the head of state, so I want to say it is due process that exists. Secondly if you were to be arrested that you were marching, it must be proven that you were carrying out a terrorist act and what constitutes a terrorist act is a question of law, of international law. It is not just a mere murderer that becomes a terrorist; you must be proven that you have committed a terrorist act as defined by international law.  And all the terrorist organizations in the world are known, somebody must show that you belong to one of those terrorist movements.
News Watch—How does this law relate to Boko Haram?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—Book Haram has recently been recognized as a terrorist movement, so for you to be prosecuted in Cameroon, it must be shown that the acts you have performed are terrorist acts and that you belong to Boko Haram. So when I will wear my sache from here and ask my colleagues for us to go out into the streets and march against the rejection of our private members’ bill we will not become terrorists for that is not what terrorism means. So you see that if you and I agree, politics aside, that what is happening in the Far North region where terrorists are carrying incursions into the country where schools have not yet resumed, villages have been displaced, if we love our people, then those who are carrying out those acts should be punished and you cannot punish them when you don’t have a law.
News Watch—Are you insinuating that the law will rather serve us in the fight against Boko Haram?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—It will serve us greatly. For example, if I was to open my laptop, I will show you the world map for you to see how the world is fighting terrorism and that all indications of where terrorists are found are the concern of the world. Cameroon is not yet included because we had not yet ratified the conventions, as lazy as Biya is, one of the conventions dates to 1999, he has only sent it to us during this session because the shoe has pinched him. He thought that terrorism was an affair of other people. And we are not included in the realm of those who can seek international assistance in terms of fighting terrorism because we had no legislation for it. Times have changed, for us to fight that movement that is going up North, it will cost us a lot and this government is responsible because when we used to say that this country should developed equitably, they decided to concentrated resources only in certain areas. What is happening is that your illiterate brothers and sisters and the youths of the North who have been put under abject poverty; when you get into the Far North, you discover that fellow Cameroonians are living like animals. You find people whom all they own in their life are the small mat they hold in their hand that they can put somewhere and sleep. You find areas that they do not even know that they belong to Cameroon. But you have these big guns who come from there and parade here whereas the background is rottened. So when Boko Haram came and lured the people with a few francs, they have all drained into Boko Haram. And so we are fighting ourselves, we are fighting the children that we failed to educate. We are sending our army to go and kill or get killed by some us who have now joined Boko Haram. This fight can go on for years for it is not a conventional war, they are attacks by ambush. And for how long will that last; so if you don’t make laws that take care of terrorist movements like that so that it is a consummate; world action and assistance, this thing can destroy the whole of Cameroon.
News Watch—Are you saying with the voting of the law, Cameroon will now benefit foreign support in the fight against Boko Haram?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—Absolutely yes, the first benefit is international investigation. To be able to identify the culprits, the organizations, we need a police force that is better than the micro thing that we have in Cameroon. You must be able to go across borders and see how Boko Haram is linked to the other terrorist organizations and to Al-Qaeda, which we cannot do. Therefore at what point can you break the link in order to know to what extend you can fight. You need international cooperation, it is not that fanfare that you saw Biya and the rest go to France and see Hollande…it is far beyond that. Cameroonians shouldn’t become cowards for this law does not stop civil disobedience, it does not stop strikes. This law punishes terrorist acts and terrorist acts are known in the world. It is not because we will fight on the ballot box that somebody will be treated as a terrorist. It is not because we will fight as a result of somebody frauding at an election that you will be termed a terrorist. The law does not qualify to try such cases; those are electoral malpractices which are in the law not this law.
News Watch—So will you tell Cameroonians that this law has not come to mess their freedom?
Hon. Mbah Ndam—The law has come to stop the mess that Biya has created for us over 32 years and not to mess them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gas explosions put Yaounde in panic mode

Yaounde, Cameroon—Calm is gradually returning to Yaounde after a clandestine cooking gas warehouse caught fire on Saturday November 22, 2014 leading to explosions that left inhabitants of some neighborhoods of the town in a state of pandemonium.
Inhabitants of Etoudi-Abatoire, near the presidential palace-scene of the explosion say the cooking gas vendor whose names we could not get at the time of this report, was manipulating the 12KG gas bottles, reducing its contents and filling other empty bottles before it caught fire. The fire that lasted several hours before being masterminded by the firefighting brigade has left serious material damages.
The explosions left inhabitants of the capital city wondering as most of them considered it as a terrorist attack given the insecurity that currently prevails in the Northern part of the country.
Neighboring inhabitants to the cooking gas retailer; mostly Muslims told this reporter that when the explosions started, they immediately rush to a church in Etoudi for solace as they thought it as an attack by the Nigerian sect, Boko Haram.
Beside houses, vehicles and other valuable materials that were damaged, the explosions burnt down electricity cables and poles close to the warehouse that was completely consumed by the flames leading to blackouts in most neighborhoods of the capital city.
According to some eye witnesses we met at the scene on Sunday November 23, 2014 the incident left about 11 people dead. Some neighbours however say several people sustained injuries and were rushed to the Yaounde Gynaco Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital in Ngousso. At the time of this report, our efforts of getting the hospital officials comment on the issue were fruitless.
Roland Kintari an inhabitant of the Etou-Abatoire neighborhood told this reporter he immediately thought about the Burkina Faso scenario when the explosions started.
The area has been put under military surveillance since the Saturday and workers of the electricity company are working to replace the burnt cables while specialized services are also on the field to establish the real cause of the fire as well as the level of human and material damages.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Saturday, November 22, 2014

If we don’t close ranks in Donga Mantung, we’ll still remain in the backyard—Mayor of Ndu

Nkambe, Cameroon—The SDF mayor of Ndu in the Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest Region, Mr Bunyui Emmanuel Nyugab has called on Donga Mantung politicians to close ranks and work for the development of the division irrespective of their political leanings. Besides, the SDF mayor has also condemned in strong terms the attitude of some politicians who spend time talking about their opponents than thinking on how the division can move forward-describing them as those without ideas. To Mr. Bunyui, those who spend their time talking about individuals are myopic in their thinking and parochial in outlook.
When our reporter Ndi Eugene Ndi caught up with the SDF mayor in Nkambe amidst celebrations marking President Biya’s 32 years in power on November 6, 2014, he first wanted to know what he thinks of Mr. Biya’s 32 years at the helm of Cameroon. Read on
Mayor Bunyui (R), talking to Ndi Eugene Ndi

News Watch--You are in Nkambe for the celebration of president Biya’s 32 years in power. What is your appraisal of Mr. Biya’s 32 years in power?

Mayor Bunyui--Well, it has been a mixed bag because they have the positive and the negative components. In 82, 84, there were a lot of expectations, the economies have changed significantly  and there has been increasing unemployment, there has been the idea that we thought corruption could be stopped and chasing of files could be stooped as well, but unfortunately it has not been. It requires a paradigm shift from individuals. I don’t want to call it a celebration, it is a commemoration, a reflection because Mr Biya, as head of state wants to see Cameroon emerge by 2035, but such emergence may not take place if there is no change in paradigm; change in paradigm means people must change attitudes because it is not just at the level of policy, it is the level of implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reevaluation and refocusing our activities. You can understand that Cameroon like most third world countries is blessed with resources, infact no African country is blessed with the resources we have, but we have a problem of human dynamism and changing situations. What I am simply saying is that Cameroon can emerge in 2035 on condition that you put your foot on the ground and say during this during this commemoration, my take on it is that the Biya regime has got to put things straight. First we have to go straight to declaration of assets, because when you talk corruption, how do you ascertain corruption. Somebody must be able to know what you have before you got into office. If you cannot ascertain what somebody had before getting in an office, you cannot talk about corruption. And Corruption is a reflection of poverty and so when there is generalize poverty, there is a problem. Secondly, we may talk about unemployment; when government decided to employ some 25.000 people, that was a good idea but you cannot employ 25.000 into the public service. A country with a bloated public service is an unproductive one. We need to see a shift from the public service into the private sector. Because the private sector is very productive, how can when government wants to employ 25.000 people and well over 250.000 people apply, it tells you there is a problem. So we must change our educational policy directly to techno-vocational in a bid to make people be job creators rather than job seekers. Anything short of that, we are definitely going to get into problems. So again I am saying that, this is a commemoration and reflection on what we should do to move forward.

News Watch--Lets come back to Donga Mantung, there is this tendency that whenever an opportunity is given to a politician of one party, no matter the venue and event, he or she goes straight into throwing insults on other political opponents. What is your take on that?
Mayor Bunyui (SDF) chatting with Ngala Gerard (CPDM)

Mayor Bunyui--That is immoral, infact we need to mature, we need to get out of it. What I simply mean here is that there is no CPDM road, there is no SDF water; development is development. And therefore we need to close ranks. We need to find out what others have been doing elsewhere to move to where they are. People have given us negative names, some say Donga Mantung means “donkeys and monkey”, we can move to “Doctors and Masters” by changing our perception of issues because when you get into a situation like this; I was just coming from Ndu, as mayor I was expecting to have an invitation from the CPDM in Ndu for this occasion, but I did not have, that is not correct.  Because I would be able to say what I think the party should be doing. When we talk about party it is a question of ideas not individuals; individuals come and go but parties can remain if they have a strong policy, well articulated and people buy the ideas because when we go for elections, we’re selling ideas, we’re not selling individuals. If I am not mayor tomorrow, somebody will be mayor, it depends on the ideas he sells. So I think that in donga Mantung, we should stop this insultive language. You know when you start being insultive, when you start being provocative; it means you don’t have ideas. When you have something upstairs, you talk ideas, you don’t talk people. When you talk individuals you are very myopic, you are parochial in your outlook. So I think that we should learn from what is happening elsewhere, to close ranks in Donga Mantung, if we don’t close ranks in Donga Mantung, we will still remain in the backyard, we will still be peripheral. That is why when there is an occasion like this; one stops around, it is to tell people that we can always close ranks.

News Watch--Thank you very much Lord Mayor.
Mayor Bunyui--Thank you also

Friday, November 21, 2014

Akwaya Chiefs Urged to Back CPDM

Mamfe, Cameroon—In the build up to the 32nd anniversary of President Biya’s accession to the supreme magistracy of the state, the Akwaya sub divisional chiefs conference under the aegis of its president, Dr  senator  Chief Anja Simon met in Akwaya from November 4-5, 2014 to chart a way forward for the area’s development.
Chief Anja, Akwaya Sub divisional chiefs conference president

Created in 1963, Akwaya which according to the traditional rulers is the oldest sub division in the country is made up of 99 villages with a population of over 85000 inhabitants. Yet, the sub division is still inaccessible from the divisional headquarters-Mamfe. Access to the cocoa, coffee, oil, and mangoes rich sub division is either through Wum on the Northwest region or Biajua in neighbouring Nigeria’s Cross river state.
While thanking the Head of state and government for work done already in the sub division, the chiefs pleaded that government should link Akwaya to the divisional headquarters by an all season road, electrify the sub division as a way of improving the living standards of the people as well as consider raising the sub division into a full fledge division.
Besides counting on government, the chiefs were implored to engage their people in community work. According to the president of the Akwaya sub divisional chiefs conference, “this is the time for all of us to use our minds to think of how to develop ourselves and our sub division before asking the government to intervene.” Chief Anja said. The traditional ruler further cautioned his colleagues to encourage education in their various chiefdoms so as to fit in the globalization trend. The senator also underscored the importance for his people to throw their weight behind the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM if they want to move forward.
Akwaya in the past few years has been the theatre of several inter-tribal wars. This, chief Anja said is partly due to administration which is far from the people. “If we were a full blown division, we would dispose of services that come with such and consequently would contain certain situations that often escalate into wars among our people,” Anja said. He added that neighbouring Nigeria often comes preying on Akwaya because they know the area is cut off from mainland Cameroon.
While lauding the government’s efforts to fight the deadly Ebola virus and Boko haram insurgents, Chief Anja reminded his colleagues to federate their forces and collaborate with government because they are auxiliaries to the administration. He also pleaded with them to ensure impartiality in the settlement of disputes.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi with field reports

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Anglophone Senator, Jikong Stephen Dies

Yaounde, Cameroon—At a time the second senator, Francis Nkwain who died in active service was being buried in his native Njinikom, in the Boyo Division of the Northwest Region on Saturday November 15, 2014, another Anglophone senator still from the Northwest region died in Yaounde.
Prof. Njikong Stephen Yeriwa

HRH Senator Prof. Jikong Stephen Yeriwa, 69, and traditional ruler of Jato-Gwembe village in Nwa subdivision of the Donga Mantung Division died at the Yaounde General Hospital shortly after midday, family sources told News Watch.
According to a family member, Godlove Jato who this reporter met amongst mourners at the deceased’s residence in Damas Yaounde a few minutes after the senator’s demise, Prof Jikong had been sick even before becoming a senator but he was shocked that death took him too early.
Mr. Jato explained that about six weeks ago, the senator was in the United States and when he came back, he (Godlove Jato) accompanied the senator to the hospital where it was established that he had a kidney problem.
But Senator Jikong attended the opening ceremony of the senate on Tuesday 12 November, took part in the corpse removal of senator Nkwain the following day.
 “When we came back from the corpse removal on Thursday, he complained of tiredness, we went to the hospital on Friday and he died on Saturday at about 12:40pm”, Mr. Jato explained.
 The demise of the Donga Mantung senator has not only left a vacancy at the upper house of parliament but also

Uncompleted Plans

During the campaigns for the senatorial elections in Donga Mantung, Prof Jikong had always told the population that “I promise to be at your service constantly and faithfully”. This statement has remained in the minds of many Donga Mantung denizens who are wondering why the cold hands of death took away their senator just over a year after he was voted.
In August this year, the senator started a scholarship program for the division which he promised will run for as long as he remains in the senate. During a civic reception in Nkambe, he offered CFA 2million F to the Nkambe and Misaje councils to revamp the council scholarship fund. Many a Donga Mantung man is now questioning what will become of the scholarship scheme.
Family sources say before his demise, the Professor of English language and French Sociolinguistics at the University of Yaounde I, part time Lecturer in the English department at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, USA and author of several books was writing a book titled “A Higher Ground for Human Existence”. The family and education community in Cameroon and the USA is thus wondering why death did not permit him accomplish this work.
Senator Jikong at the lauch of scholarship fund in Nkambe
Before death snatched him on Saturday 15 November, Senator Jikong, this reporter is aware, was due to grant an audience to the Donga Mantung Divisional bureau of the Cameron National Youth Council on Tuesday 18 November. This was going to be a period of familiarization for both elected officials. The youths of the division are reportedly wondering why he died so early and as a father, teacher, and politician

He will be greatly missed

After his retirement from the Public Service in 2011 and while in the USA, it was rumoured that Prof. Jikong had died but the rumour mongers were put to shame when the senior citizen came back later in 2013 to be elected amongst the 70 pioneer elected senators of Cameroon on the CPDM ticket.
During the campaigns to the senatorial elections in Donga Mantung last year, Dr Fuh Calistus Gentry, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development and elite of the Division described Prof Jikong as “the best senatorial material”. He will certainly remember Senator Jikong as his colleagues at the Upper house of parliament will be missing him.
Godlove Jato who described senator Jikong not only as a father but a mentor remembers the late senator as “a man that loves to do his things straight, a man of integrity”.
His mother, wife, children and other family members will remember the late senator as a loving father as students he taught at the University of Yaounde I will remember him as a good teacher. His subjects of Gwembe village will miss their charismatic traditional leader, just like Christians of the Etoug-Egbe Baptist church in Yaounde.
His death brings to three, the number of senators who have died since the upper house of parliament was set up last year. Senator Fon Fontem Njifua of Libialem who was also questor of the legislative institution died on April 2, while the former chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the house, Francis Nkwain who died in October was being buried same Saturday that Njikong died.
Though the third to have died since the putting in place of the Upper House of parliament in Cameroon last year, many still wonder

Who is Prof. Jikong

This reporter had a chat with the deceased senator when he was campaigning in 2013. Born on February 2nd, 1945 in Jator, Gwembe village via Sabongari in the Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest region, the father of six and grandfather of many is a teacher by profession. Jikong Stephen Yeriwa holds a postgraduate in combined English and French from the Federal University of Cameroon, now the University of Yaounde I. after his graduation from the said University in 1974, the CPC Bali ex-student was recruited to teach in the same University where he offered courses in English, French Sociolinguistics and communication until he obtained his PhD in 1995. He taught and supervised students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels until his retirement in 2011 with the rank of Associate Professor.
Besides teaching, Prof. Jikong Stephen was also chief of service for National scholarships in the Ministry of Higher Education (1991-92), Secretary General in the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms (1992-95) and later, technical Adviser to the Prime Minister incharge of Culture, Communication, Youth Affairs and Sports (1998-2011)
The one time president of the Association of Students of the Faculty of Letters and Social Science of the Federal University of Cameroon was a militant of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM and became member of the Central committee of the party in 2011.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

CPDM Honours its ‘Prison Graduate’

Nkambe, Cameroon—A CPDM militant of the Donga Mantung I section in Nkambe, Nfor Evaristus popularly known as ‘Jecajeeh’, who was sentenced to six months in jail last May, regained his freedom last Friday November 14, 2014.
'Jacajeeh' was injured on the head during the fight

Nfor ‘Jecajeeh’ who was found guilty of physically assaulting an SDF militant, then market master of Wat, Mr Ngwayi Ivo aka ‘Ajento Baba’ during the campaigns for the September 30, 2013 twin elections was sentenced to six months in jail in May 2014 by the Nkambe Magistrates’ court (of first instance).
Following his release, Nfor ‘Jecajeeh’ was offered two new motorbikes by local CPDM party officials in Donga Mantung I, Nkambe who named him their hero. Nfor was advised to use the motor bikes to generate income and to be law abiding as he leaves the prison cell.
The ‘prison graduate’ who thought he was going to be lessen to the CPDM party when he leaves the prison cell, expressed joy over the offer, promising to remain loyal to the party and institutions of the state.
Mr Nfor told News Watch that when his case was still in court, he and other CPDM party officials had called ‘Ajento’ for reconciliation but he resisted.
“But after I was sentenced and one day that I came out of the cell and went to town, he came to me and confessed that he was misled. ‘Ajento’ bought me two bottles of beer and said I should forgive him, some people said I should not drink, but I am from a Christian family, I drank the beer to show that I have forgiven him and went back to the prison, knowing that one day I will be out like today”, Nfor said.
Though militating in the ruling party, Mr Nfor said he respected the ruling of the court and served his prison term. “The law found me guilty and I admitted, the CPDM respects the institutions of the state and we could not break the law or call for intervention”, Mr Nfor said.
 On his part, Ajento admitted he was contacted by Mr Nfor Evaristus for reconciliation; however he turned down the demand. But he later realized that it was important that he and his brother be greeting each other whenever they meet.
“Greeting your fellow brother when you meet him in the morning is very important. I just thought it will be good that we remain brothers, but it was not reconciliation. He has been offered two bikes now, they are jubilating, where am I. I will not accept any reconciliation for if I had died it would have been a great loss to my family. Now I am not more market master, I lost my job but he has been given two bikes by the CPDM and they are jubilating and I see it as a mockery”, Ajento told News Watch on phone.
The former market master of Wat explained that he sees the offer of two brand new high jack motor bikes to Jacejeeh by the CPDM as an encouragement for the act he committed.
But Ngala Gerard, interim CPDM section president for Nkambe argued that the gesture is in no way an encouragement to violence by CPDM militants. He explained that Nfor Evaristus was not perpetrator of the violence but a scape-goat. Mr Ngala revealed that the CPDM had decided to place Nfor Evaristus on a monthly salary for the six months he has in jail before the offer of two brand new motor bikes.
Nfor Evaristus was accompanied to his family residence by militants of the CPDM in Nkambe, including the Mayor, Ngabir Paul Bantar.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Monday, November 10, 2014

CPDM, SDF Celebrate Biya’s 32 Years in Power in Nkambe

Nkambe, Cameroon—The  SDF Mayor of Ndu, Bunyui Emmanuel Nyugab and some of his militants in the Donga Mantung Division last November 6th 2014 joined militants of the Donga Mantung I section of the CPDM in Nkambe to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of President Paul Biya’s accession to the supreme magistracy of the state.
CPDM Section President, Ngala Gerard Welcoming SDF Mayor of Ndu

Speaking at the celebration at the Nkambe community hall, the WCPDM section president for Donga Mantung I, Muring Felicia Balery, acting CPDM section president, Ngala Gerard, the Mayor of the Nkambe council, Ngabir Paul Bantar and the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung, Ngone Ndodemesappe Bernard, all hailed president Paul Biya for the peace and stability that Cameroonians have enjoyed during his 32 years in power.
According to the interim CPDM section president for Donga Mantung I, Nkambe, Ngala Gerard, Cameroonians witnessed a momentous historic event on the 6th of Novemebr 1982, a peaceful, democratic, constitutionally legal change of not only leadership, but also of regime. “And so, it is because of the historical value, historical significance, because a lot has been done since 1982 that we believe that it is useful for Cameroonians to remind themselves, to recall, to commemorate and why not to celebrate”.
Talking about the theme of the celebrations, “all behind President Paul Biya for the fight against insecurity, the safeguard of territorial integrity, the preservation of peace and the consolidation of national unity”, Ngala Gerard told CPDM militants in Nkambe that they have all reasons to stand behind president Biya for ever since the President ascended to the supreme magistracy of the state, he made the preservation of Cameroon’s territorial boundaries, the safety and security of Cameroonians and most importantly the preservation of peace his major challenges through his New Deal policy.
Cross section of militants at the Nkambe Community Hall
But the celebration of the 32nd anniversary, the section president noted is taking place at a time Cameroon is faced with several security threats with the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram in the Northern region and the Seleka rebels in the East Region aimed at distabilising the peace and stability Cameroon enjoys under the statesmanship of President Paul Biya.
“We have to remain steadfast behind H.E Paul Biya who has declared total war against the dreaded Nigerian sect and has reaffirmed his determination to eradicate the sect from the Cameroonian territory”.
Reiterating why Nkambe should celebrate the anniversary, Ngala Gerard, maintained that Nkambe is in Cameroon and has not been left out of the new deal policy of the Head of state, President Paul Biya. “Within his 32 years of statesmanship, no one will argue that president Biya ushered in multipartism, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and most importantly the emancipation of the woman. 32 years ago, fewer women could be seen in political arenas, today we have more women Ministers, senators, parliamentarians, and mayors like our own Hajara Danjuma here, this is thanks to president Biya”
The acting CPDM section president reminded militants that 32 years ago, students had to trek for hundreds of kilo meters to school; “a student had to leave Wat, Tabenken, Binka, Mbot….to come to Nkambe for secondary education, but today, we have GHS Mbu-Warr, GHS Tabenken, GHS Binka….and the list continuous. Secondary, primary and Nursery schools abound in almost every village, health centers too; something we did not have 32 years ago”.
Again the interim CPDM section president added, “32 years ago, mothers could easily lose their children to malaria. Not only the treatment was difficult to come by, it was expensive, but thanks to president Biya, the treatment of even severe malaria cases in children is free all over Cameroon; Nkambe inclusive”.
The 32nd anniversary of President Biya’s 32 years in power was being commemorated in Nkambe just over a year after the CPDM won the council that was had been controlled by the opposition ever since the advent of multiparty politics. This CPDM victory according to the section president has was proof that Nkambe is ready to stand behind president Biya.
CPDM section president, SDF Mayor, chatting Mbum dev't
“By voting the CPDM at the last elections, we reaffirmed our determination to stand behind the head of state, chairman of the CPDM party. You are witnesses, just a year after the elections, we have already started reaping the fruits; tarring of streets in Nkambe, opening of roads, construction of markets…..and the best is yet to come”.
Though the CPDM won the council, the section president revealed that they are rumours from the opposition in Nkambe aimed at derailing CPDM supporters. Mr. Ngala urged his militants to shun such diversion and consolidate their victory.
“The Holy Bible teaches us in the Book of Proverbs 26: 27 that if you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead. I urge you to stay away from those setting traps for you”.
Through songs, choral music, traditional dances, militants joined their voices to that of the section president and other party officials to thank President Paul Biya for bringing them from darkness to light.
The presence of the mayor at the celebration in Nkambe he said was to show that they can close ranks in Donga Mantung and work as one. “, if we don’t close ranks in Donga Mantung, we will still remain in the backyard, we will still be peripheral. That is why when there is an occasion like this; one stops around, it is to tell people that we can always close ranks”, the SDF mayor said.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi