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