Friday, October 30, 2015

CPDM Reorganization: Who’s who in Donga Mantung? (II)

Nkambe, Cameroon—The coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal of the executives of basic organs and specialized organizations of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM party in the Donga Mantung division has reminded subsection commissions of the need to respect electoral prescription as outlined in circular N0. 001/CPDM/NP of July 27, 2015 relating to the exercise.
Hon. Njingum Musa made the appeal at the Nkambe community hall on Friday October 16, 2015 as he officially launched the reorganization process in the division.
The CPDM central committee emissary to Donga Mantung told the militants and aspirants that the renewal of the party’s basic organs is meant to strengthen the party at the grassroots and not to stir division.
“Let’s use our intelligence to ensure there is peace [during the reorganization period],” Hon. Njingum said.
Who’s who, where?
We examined chances of aspirants in Ndu and Nkambe in our previous write-up ( part one). Here is part two as promised. 

Ako: Kuta-Mbembe acrimony feared

In Donga Mantung III, Ako, there are fears the reorganization may spark bitterness as the pre-process is already creating tribal divisions between the Kutas and the Mbembes.
Hon. Ntoi Joseph, outgoing section we gathered is bent on handing the command baton to his son, Ntoi Eugene. The Ntois are from Kuta same like current member of parliament, Hon Abe Michael.
Outgoing YCPDM and aspiring CPDM section president, Mvenya Ernest had reportedly worked out a plan with the current MP for Kuta support as the latter is from lower Mbembe. But Mvenya’s hopes were almost dashed when he realized that Hon. Abe wasn’t in his camp but that of his ‘Kuta brother,’ Ntoi Eugene.
But supporters of Mvenya’s candidature in Ako argue that the latter is a heavyweight in local politics in the Mbembe land and will crush Ntoi Eugene at the polls.
Meantime, Kuta and upper Mbembe pro Ntoi Eugene militants are also reportedly determined to push the Kupe Muanenguba divisional delegate of MINEPAT into his father’s shoes.
Observers thus hold that the reorganization exercise in Ako could thus turn into a Kuta-Mbembe ‘war’ if care is not taken.
The central committee supervision team to the border CPDM section headed by veteran journalist Adamu Musa is therefore expected to reconcile the different lists should the election take place in a tranquil atmosphere.

Misaje: Nkenda against ‘Yaounde mafia’

The absence of the former mayor of Misaje, Nkenda Sonde at the official launch of the reorganization exercise on Saturday October 17 has made the situation of the Donga Mantung IV ‘complicated.’
No one could say whether his absence meant he had decided to throw in the towel or preparing a bombshell. Yet when this reporter accosted him, he simply said he wasn’t aware of the event. He declined further interrogations.
Meantime, we gathered from other sources that Nkenda has vowed that not even ‘Yaounde mafia’ will stop him from becoming section president.
The incumbent executive bureau made up of Sammy Mbgatta, Bolame Bridget and Gariwa Lawrence took over the council as Mayor, first and second deputies respectively in 2013.
We gathered that a man whose only name we got as Nyako is already bracing up to succeed Sammy Mbgatta following a gentleman agreement while a former SDF militant, Abubakar Babayo will head a YCPDM list.
We also learnt that though overseeing the reorganization process in Ngokentunjia, Dr Fuh Calistus is ‘at work’ to make sure tempers are calmed in his base.
Just like he does with tender files in the University of Yaounde II, Soa, Yerima Peter, head of the CPDM central committee supervision commission to Misaje, thus expected to scrutinize the files of the candidates without fear or favour.

Nwa:  ‘Do or Die’ for Dr. Ngomfe

Incumbent section executive of the Donga Mantung V section made up of Hon Mbucksek Genesis, Bobey Ndagha and Meyong Lawrence as CPDM, WCPDM and YCPM would still run for office, we gathered.
But the current ‘landlord,’ (mayor) Dr; Ngomfe David who we learnt had earlier planned to sponsor a certain Pastor Damien had decided to run for the section;
An attempt by the divisional coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal exercise in the Donga Mantung division, Hon Njingum Musa in Nkambe to reconcile the MP and the Mayor failed.
Sources told us that Dr. Ngomfe vowed that he was not part of any consensus; “let’s go for the election and we will know who’s who,” Ngomfe reportedly told the central committee team in an indoor meeting.
We learnt that one young man from Nwa based in the nation’s capital could profit the division and pick his ‘crown from the gutter’ should his list sail through the committee.
The director of exploration at the National Hydrocarbons Corporation, Simon Tamfu who is head of the Central Committee team to Nwa is expected to be very discreet in validating voters to avoid physical confrontation.
 By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Palm Oil Scheme Imperils Lives Of Indigenous Communities

Kribi, Cameroon—The new drive by Cameroon to boost economic growth and become emergent by the year 2035 has ushered in a disturbing land grabbing phenomenon where multinational companies are rushing to purchase parcels of land for their investments from governments.
The leasing of land concessions by government to mostly foreign agro-industries for development has been described by activists as a mixture of blessings and bruises—as it has in most cases met with stiff resistance from local communities who consider the land to be theirs.
A case in point is that of the inhabitants of Kilombo, an indigenous community located south of the Cameroonian sea resort town of Kribi, where the locals have continued to oppose the development of a palm plantation project by palm oil producing giant, SOCAPALM.
SOCAPALM Kienke plantatio (south view)
SOCAPALM, Cameroon’s biggest palm oil producer is a subsidiary of the Socfin Group, in which French business mogul; Vincent Bollor√© is the largest shareholder (38.75%).
SOCAPALM’s Kienke palm plantation that covers 7,459 ha of land is the country’s largest palm plantation and also one of the youngest of the five plantations of the agro-industrial company -only 15 years old. Four other oil palm plantations of the agro-industrial company include Mbongo, Eseka, Dibombari, and Mbambou.

No compensation for land

Since it was privatized in the year 2000, SOCAPALM has continued to scale up the rejuvenation of palm groves depriving locals of their farm and hunting land.
The surrounding communities of the plantation area argue that the privatization process has never benefited the community, nor has any compensation ever been made for the loss of their lands and heritage.
SOCAPALM nursery on 'Bakoume's grandfather's farmland'
“Where you see the SOCAPALM nursery was not supposed to be a palm nursery, it is our farm land. That is my grandfather’s farmland,” Ngo Bakoume Solange of the Kilombo community in Kienke said.
“SOCAPALM told my grandfather that it will use the land and compensate him by sending his children to school and recruit some in the company. But they have not respected the promise and have instead increased the nursery even more than it was supposed to be,” Bakoume Solange explained.
The Kilombo community activist said they had confronted the company’s management repeatedly but have only been consoled with promises.
We have even written a complain which we have submitted to the director of SOCAPALM calling on him to help our children go to school, he promised coming to the village here for us to talk about it,” Bakoume Solange said expressing pessimism over the latest promise.

Prevailing anger

A study by a civil society organization, “Reseaux Pour L’Action Collective Transnationale,” ( ReAct) showed an underlying anger prevails among the local communities neighboring the five SOCAPALM plantations across the country.
It showed that in 2010, residents of Kienke attacked with machetes, employees of SOCAPALM who had come to take measurements for the expansion of the plantations. A similar incident had taken place a year before and was escalated by the intervention of security officers two of whom ended up with severed limbs.
Same year in Mbongo, one of the company’s plantations, people from several villages attacked the company offices after having been the victims of abuses by the security company Africa Security. Several offices were vandalized and houses burnt.
“These trends toward the development of land concessions seriously hold back the development of Cameroon,” said Samuel Nguiffo, director of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), an NGO in Cameroon that advocates for the protection of the rights, interests, culture and aspirations of local indigenous communities from the forests of Central Africa
The rights activist blamed authorities who focus exclusively on the investments’ macroeconomic fallouts, and do not commit enough to reducing local social and environmental costs, which are compensated neither by fiscal measures nor by jobs creations.

Polluted water, source of diseases

The agro industrial company had not only deprived local communities surrounding their plantations of their customary habitat and farm land. The indigenous communities surrounding SOCAPALM’s Kienke plantation area who are mostly hunters, fishermen and gatherers complained that the destruction of the forest drove away wildlife and the pollution of rivers with chemicals—their only source of drinking water has killed many of their family members.
Bakoume Solange showing their coloured drinking water
Ngo Bakoume Solange said they were over 50 people in their community [Kilombo], but only 35 are left. Most of them, she lamented, have died from water-related diseases. They drink ‘coloured’ water from a small river below the SOCAPALM nursery.
“I lost my mother on the 15th of July, she had diarrhea for just two days and died. I took her to the SOCAPALM dispensary since her situation was deteriorating, but we did not have the needed money that we were asked to deposit,” Bakoume Solange said blaming her mother’s ailment on the polluted water by the oil palm company.
Officials of SOCAPALM did not welcome proposals for comments on the issue from this reporter. But a ‘hostile security guard’ of the company said he does not care about what happens to the locals.
 “I do not live here and I don’t care about those who drink the water,” the security agent said. He had earlier threatened to cease this reporter’s equipment for coming into the plantation’s concession ‘without authorization.’
He admitted that that intoxicated water from the nursery runs into the lone stream that serves the local community.
“There is a warehouse-full of the products inside there [pointing at warehouse from the nursery] that will be used to spray on the young palms against pest,” he explained.
Environmental rights activists say the pollution of the lone source of drinking water by the local community could have been compensated for with a borehole.
“SOCAPALM could have provided a borehole for the community as a substitute,” said Apollin Koagne Zouapet, regional coordinator of “Verdir,” a project to protect the rights of communities and community leaders who practice environmental protection in the Congo Basin.
Apollin Koagne blasted the palm oil producing giant for feeling to meet up with its corporate social responsibilities and respect for environmental standards.

Conflicts amongst local communities

The SOCAPALM Kienke plantation area is surrounded most by the Bantus, although there are also a few “pygmy” Bagyeli communities.
 The company had also stirred up internal conflicts amongst the neighboring communities by using the dominant Bantus to override the Bagyelis.
“The head of the Bantu community said we don’t have any right to be asking for anything from SOCAPALM without his knowledge. We want a Bagyeli community head here too who can channel our problems to the company and the administration. Our plights are not well presented to the company by the ruler of the Bantus,” Bakoume Solange said.
“When I went there to see the director [of SOCAPALM], he said the Bantu chief said if he has not accorded, the Bagyelis should not be listened to,” Bakoume Solange added.
Solange is the lone native “pygmy”of the Kilombo community of the Kienke palm plantation area with a First School Leaving Certificate.
 “It is[referring to the conflicts] a growing phenomenon in Cameroon and because we are expecting more investments in the natural resources sector, we can also expect a lot more conflicts if a clear action from the state is not taken to prevent this type of conflicts,” Samuel Nguiffo said.
“It is clear evidence that something is going wrong with the type of development path that we have chosen. We cannot aim at developing a country for the benefit of the people and then destroy the livelihood of the people in the development process. We cannot claim that we are aiming at developing without having the appropriate safeguards that will protect communities of their rights, health, and of their livelihood,” Samuel Nguiffo explained further.
Industrial Palm Oil plantation expansion in Cameroon according to the ministry of agriculture is estimated to cover over 80,000 hectares while that of small and medium-sized plots- has reached over 58,300. 
Officials of the Cameroon Ministry of Agriculture and Rural said the country is on course to change its current status; from importer to exporter of palm oil in the nearest future.
Like Cameroon, most West and Central African nations had planned to improve palm oil production to an industrial scale. Greenpeace International 2012 figures indicated that there are about 27 palm oil projects in Central and West Africa.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi (First published in Eden Newspaper N°928 of Monday 26 Oct. 2015)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

CPDM Reorganization: Who’s who in Donga Mantung? (I)

Hon. Njingum (standing) calling on coordinators, candidates to respect guidelines
Nkambe, Cameroon—The coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal of the executives of basic organs and specialized organizations of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM party in the Donga Mantung division has reminded subsection commissions of the need to respect circular N0. 001/CPDM/NP of July 27, 2015 relating to the exercise.
Hon. Njingum Musa made the appeal at the Nkambe community hall on Friday October 16, 2015 as he officially launched the reorganization process in the division.
The CPDM central committee emissary to Donga Mantung told the militants and aspirants that the renewal of the party’s basic organs is meant to strengthen the party at the grassroots and not to stir division.
“Let’s use our intelligence to ensure there is peace [during the reorganization period],” Hon. Njingum said.

Who is who, where?

 Nkambe: ‘Buttered bread’ for Ngala Gerard

The name Ngala Gerard is ‘synonymous to’ the CPDM in Nkambe. The interim section president, we gathered may stand unopposed in the Donga Mantung I section. Ngala who is considered to have brought back to the party to life after what most observers termed as ‘dead and lying in state’ in the hitherto opposition fief parachuted to the post of interim section president two years ago following the election to the post of Mayor of the municipality of the former section president, Paul Ngabir.
The central committee team to supervise the reorganization in Nkambe is headed by Ngi Christopher with Nfor Frederick Budi, Ndukong Gerard and Shey Nfor Musa as vice presidents. Three members of the team include, Ngwayi Pius, Kilah Godlove and Ngwani Charles while Chuyeh Mbunkur, Hajara Danjuma and Yembe Emmanuel are ‘charges de mission,’ (liaison officers)
The supervision team according to some observers may not have much work. Yet we learnt that Kilah Godlove, a member of the commission would run for YCPDM. As per instructions from the Central committee of the party, he has to step down from the commission not to be considered as ‘player and referee.’
Another candidate who would challenge Kilah if his resignation is approved is Tangong Oliver. The incumbent YCPDM section scribe, according to what we gathered may put up his candidature.
Ever since the CPDM ‘regained life’ in Nkambe, the WCPDM president, Felicia Baleri has made sporadic appearances at public rallies. Yet, we were informed another ‘young woman’ is being groomed for her position.

Ndu: Abdou Borno against two

Alhaji Abdou is outgoing YCPDM section president for Donga Mantung I, Nkambe. He contested at the 2013 twin elections as head of the council list of his native Ndu subdivision. Though, the list did not sail through, it is believed the ‘encouraging’ score recorded was thanks to him.
Until the official launch of the reorganization exercise last Friday, Abdou was lone candidate for the post of section president in Donga Mantung II, Ndu. Incumbent Hon. Tarla Kwalar, we learnt will not be running for office.
The CPDM central committee team to Ndu is headed by Dr. Mpoche Kizito with Fai Takop, Nfor Lazarus and Fai Njilah Ngotong as vice presidents. Adamu Mejama, John Ndi Ngala and Nfor Njingti are members while Tamfu Avitus, Tangin Victorine and Nfor Kenneth are ‘charges de mission.’
However, there could be three candidates for the post of section president in Donga Mantung II. We gathered that John Ndi Ngala, incumbent YCPDM president who by virtue of his age cannot run for same office would resign as central committee member to the section and run for office.
Yet we learnt another candidate has reportedly be moving round recruiting militants to run on his list since the process was launch in that section last Saturday. We could not independently confirmed information that the candidate is backed by a member of the central committee delegation.

Emma Bongnjo missing in action!!

Though we could not confirm whether they were just fanatics or registered militants of the CPDM, most young people we talked to in Ndu said they had wish Alhadji Abdou should run for section president while Emmanuel Bongnjo Kwalar, son of the incumbent section president runs for ‘Y’.
Though they said they have not heard from Bongnjo vis-√†-vis the “people’s call” to run for office of YCPDM section president, they expressed their readiness to support Abdou’s list… be continued.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: The Crowd Pulling Funeral (News in Pictures)

The former first deputy Mayor of Nkambe was laid to rest in his native Tabenken village on Saturday October 18, 2015.
Over half a thousand mourners were at the burial.
Corpse leaves the Church after funeral service

Wife of the deceased being consoled
Crowd of mourners
Some councilors of the Nkambe council
"Taa'Sheys" paying their last respect to one of them

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: The ‘Fundraising Funeral’ (News in Pictures)

The deceased first deputy Mayor of the Nkambe council, Shey Emmanuel Yunwe had planned a thanksgiving service and fundraising to renovate the Presbyterian Church Bondu in Tabenken.
Informed by Church authorities, mourners who the Church Pastor said would have been the deceased Mayor’s special guests at the thanksgiving raised about 400.000 FCFA for the church renovation project.
CPDM emmissary, Hon. Njingum opened the fundraising with 50.000 and five tins of paint

Donga Mantung SDO regretted the demise of the mayor before donating

Mayor of Ndu donating 

Ngala Gerard donating

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: ‘Multi-party’ Funeral (News in Pictures)

The burial of the former first deputy Mayor of the Nkambe council was attended by politicians from different political parties.
At the Mortuary

Mayor of Ndu (SDF), Scribe of UCCC Northwest delivering eulogy  
Martin F. Yembe, First Dep. Mayor of Ndu (standing), consoles Gerard Ngala, CPDM section president
CPDM envoy, Hon. Njingum Musa addressing mourners in church  

PHS Nkambe Principal Pledges More Excellent Results

Nkambe, Cameroon—The new principal of Presbyterian High School (formerly PSS) Nkambe, Mrs. Belinda Yaya Bame Wanyu has pledged to continue striving for excellent results for the school at public examinations.
The principal made the promise following her official installation at a special church service in Nkambe on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Mrs. Belinda Wanyu speaking in presence of her husband, Wanyu Eric Sunjo (in suits)
Mrs. Belinda Wanyu was appointed at the helm of the lone post-primary institution of the PCC in the Donga Mantung Division two years ago.
During her two years as tenure as principal prior to her official installtion, PHS Nkambe recorded best results in public examinations in the Division.
Out of the thirty-six GCE centers of the Division, PHS Nkambe scored 94.12% at the 2015 session of the GCE Ordinary level to emerge first, and 88.89% at the Advanced level to be ranked second.
“It’s an overwhelming experience for me to head PHS Nkambe. It’s like a storm in a tea cup,” Mrs. Belinda Wanyu said paying glowing tributes to students of the school who she described as industrious.
“I have been assigned by God through you to serve,” she added.
Donga Mantung Presbytery authorities hoped for more positive results from the new principal.
“Her [referring to the new principal] zeal and hard work, coupled with her stringent management of financial resources will yield more positive results for the school,” Mr. Tume Michael Samari, Donga Mantung Presbytery chairman said.

Herculean Task

The Education Secretary of the PCC, Mr. Njie Kale Samuel said in other to accomplish her missions, the new principal will have to ensure all texts [Presbyterian Education Authorities and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon] are applied appropriately.
“She has a herculean task of rallying all forces, all stakeholders for the development of the school; partner with state officials, ensure staff cohesion and to properly manage the human and financial resources under her care,” Mr. Njie Samuel urged.
However Presbyterian Education Authorities in the Donga Mantung Division say Presbyterian Christians do not make use of the school as most of them do not send their children there.
According to the new principal, the school is a treasure that the population of the presbytery is yet to discover.
“What I will tell parents is that, what they go looking for out there is found here at PHS Nkambe. They should bring their children here and they [children] will be transformed,” Mrs. Belinda Wanyu said.
The Bachelor Degree holder in Mathematics is the first female principal of the school since creation in 1990.
The induction service at Presbyterian Church Nkambe town was officiated by the Presbytery Secretary for Donga Mantung, Rev. Eyakwe Joseph in the presence of the PCC Moderator’s representative for the Northwest Region, Rev. Jum Ignatius and other Presbyterian Education Authorities.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi, just back from Nkambe

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Boyo To Host Second NUDP Youth Steering Committee Meeting

Fundong, Cameroon—Steering committee members of the youth wing of the National Union for Democracy and Progress, the NUDP party would meet in their second steering committee meeting for 2015 in Fundong in the Boyo Division of the Northwest region.
Ndansi Elvis
The two days meeting; from October 23-25 will take place under the theme, “Youth Empowerment Through Vocational Training.”
“The concept of vocational training is not just about going to a vocational training center. You can identify skills in people who have not had the opportunity to go the university or other higher institutions of learning and empower them,” the national youth president of the NUDP party, Ndansi Elvis said.
The meeting would also be an occasion for the youth wing of the opposition party to evaluate its grassroots’ following ahead of future elections.
“All local party officials of the region from Mezam, Ngokentunjia, Bui, Donga Mantung, Menchum and Momo have been invited. It will not be limited to the bureau of the Youth Movement for Democracy and Progress [as the youth wing of the party is called],” Ndansi added.
The choice of Fundong was agreed upon during the first steering committee of the movement in Tignere in the Faro and Deo division of the Adamawa region earlier this year.

Plans to ‘capture’ Momo in 2018

The party recently restructured some of its basic organs in the Northwest region. In the Momo division, Walter Mudoh who was elected NUDP divisional Federation president pledged his readiness to challenge any other political party in upcoming elections.
Speaking following his installation recently in Guzang, the new Momo federation president of the NUDP party promised to launch a ‘rigorous fight’ with the party in power in the division as well as any other political party intending for contest for future elections in the division.
Walter Mudoh did not expatiate on his strategies to win all elections in Momo for the NUDP party, but was hopeful that the youths of the division, who according to him were being threatened by the ‘old guard’ to support their stay in power will be heed to his call.
“The result registered by the NUDP list at the 2013 municipal election is indicative that the party is on a good footing in Momo,” Mudoh said.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cameroon: 11 Die in Logone River Boat Wreck

Yagoua, Cameroon—Administrative and municipal authorities of the Cameroonian town of Yagoua in the Northern region of the country confirmed that rescue teams recovered 11 bodies a day after a locally fabricated boat capsized on the river Logone on Thursday evening.
The boat that had not less than 14 people, most of them women was returning from in a periodic market in the locality of Bongor in neighboring Chad, local French Language daily, Le Jour reported Monday quoting official sources.
“One of the victims was a seven-year old child whose mother survived,” the mayor of the Yagoua municipality, Mr. Fissou Kouma said.
The Northern region of Cameroon and particularly the Benue plain has registered several wrecks lately.
Not less than 37 people died two months ago when two boats collided on the river Benue following a thunderstorm.
As a first measure to prevent such a disaster from repeating, the governor of North region, Jean Abate E. banned night travels by boat along river Benue.
Over 500 small boats move between Lagdo and Rey Bouba area on some days, especially market days, according to official statistics.