Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"President Biya’s challengers have failed to demonstrate what they can do for Cameroon"

-Dr Ernest Molua, CPDM campaign team member and Lecturer, University of Buea

He spoke to Recorder Editor Christopher Ambe yesterday after a village - to- village campaign in Buea subdivision for CPDM Candidate, Paul Biya, for the coming October 9 presidential poll. Below are excerpts:

Dr.Ernest Molua, you are member of the CPDM campaign teams in the Southwest region, especially Buea subdivision. Campaigns are almost coming to an end. What is your assessment of the general conduct of the exercise this far?

Dr.Ernest Molua: Believes much in Biya Administration
We of the CPDM believe very strongly that we have to take our campaign message right to the grassroots .So since the commencement of campaigns for the coming presidential election we have organized ourselves in such as way that, various parts of the regions have been divided in to zones and resource persons have been assigned to these zones. And they have gone down to serious work. That means meeting family heads, grassroots militants and sympathizers and taking the message to them and also encouraging them to talk to their neighbors, friends, families, groups etc on the importance of re-electing President Paul Biya.

What particular message is the CPDM taking to the electorate?
First, the consolidation of peace in Cameroon. No prosperity can be achieved in war, and Mr. Biya since assuming office as president of Cameroon in 1982, has ensured that his primary focus on governance is peace. In addition to ensuring constant peace, he has put in place laws and policies that allow Cameroonians to freely express them. So, there are two things we take to the people for them to be able to appreciate Cameroon vis-à-vis other countries in the sub-region: the peace that we have enjoyed in Cameroon that have allowed them to excel in what ever they are doing; the development has taken and the potential s Mr. Biya has to achieve more in the coming years.

Cameroon is naturally endowed with natural resources, but corruption and unemployment are common. Many blame President Biya for not doing enough to curb these vices .As a CPDM diehard, what is your take on that?
     Corruption, just like adultery and fornication, is a natural vice. We are all guilty of it in one way or the other. Therefore, we must fight to eradicate it. It not a secret that President Biya has demonstrated publicly that, he is willing and ready to fight corruption. You are ware that some of his closest collaborators found guilty of embezzlement and corruption have been jailed .This is a clear indication that Mr .Biya stands firmly against Corruption.
Take note that the fight against corruption is not the sole responsibility of the president. Every Cameroon must make it a duty to fight against corruption.
In some European countries, peer pressure and strong institutions have been used to fight Corruption.
But what is lacking in Cameroon is peer pressure.  Could you imagine, someone knows that his brother, his friend, his relations are stealing from the state, that they are corrupt but he does not expose them.
In fact, Cameroonians by nature have tolerated corruption.Then, this becomes very difficult for the police and the law courts to be able to check it. It is unfortunate that while Mr.Biya is struggling hard to wipe away this ill, many Cameroonians lack the will-power to look at people who are corrupt and say  ‘you are not going to be my friend because you are corrupt or this is not the kind of uncle or brother I wish to have’
We tolerate corruption when it favors us and strongly criticize it when we are not the beneficiary.

What makes you personally think that Mr.PaulBiya is the best out of the 23 presidential candidates as you claim in your campaign speeches, when he has ruled Cameroon for close to 30 years and all, many agree, is not well?
    The very first thing to appreciate is the opportunity offered to the 23 candidates. Cameroon is one of the countries word-wide where freedoms of expression and the press exist. There is freedom of communication and now freedom to aspire to assume the highest office of country.
Second, among these 23, Mr .Biya is the most experienced; one of the most educated among the 23 candidates.
Third, Mr .Biya has a track -record of what he has done for Cameroon and Cameroonians to show; and what he can still do more for Cameroon when reelected
Fourth, his challengers have not lived up to expectation by demonstrating what they can do for Cameroon. A good case is the SDF presidential candidate. He squandered the glorious opportunity to show Cameroonians what he can do. Assuming that he was the Mayor of Bamenda Council, he would have used that office to demonstrate to Cameroonians how he can manage an office, a country and bring in development. He failed to present that to the public and to convince Cameroonians that he can lead them to prosperity.
In brief, the other 22 candidates are no match to Mr.Biya in terms of experience, educational qualities, relationship, and loving peace.

How would they get the presidential experience when they have not had the opportunity?
   In other countries, when people begin to aspire to higher offices, they start doing things in their municipalities or communities at the grassroots that people look at them and say ‘Whoa, look at what Mr. A or B is doing for us. We are proud of him. Therefore we can push him higher and give him a higher office with more responsibilities’.
But unfortunate, that is the not the case in Cameroon.
After presidential elections, the socalled candidates disappear for years and only resurface at the eve of another election to invest a small fee and reap much from the state. This is very unfortunate for the kind of Cameroon we are trying to build-a prosperous and modern Cameroon.

By law the State is supposed to give financial subvention to presidential candidates for their campaigns. You should be ware that the CPDM government, many pundits hold, has not been fair to some presidential candidates   by delaying their disbursements. This negatively affects the campaigns, while the CPDM rides on smoothly with its campaign. What is your reaction?
   Firstly-there is a lot of bureaucracy when it comes to money, checks and balances. These are some of the good things that the Biya Administration may have in place. So, it takes time to get this money out. But I am sure before the Election Day all candidates would have received the firs tranche of their money
Secondly, I am so surprised that some body aspires to occupy the highest office of the land and he relies solely on the state to fund his campaigns. That means such a candidate is unprepared and lacks a solid financial base from which to get funds and get going, while waiting for state assistance. It is quite unfortunate.
You cannot be running for the highest office and you want popular support from about 20 million Cameroonians and you rely mainly on state subvention. You need to raise a lot of funds from friends, sypathisers, and families-within Cameroon and from the Diaspora.
Personally I think some of the presidential candidates are disingenius.They may have a lot of money but keep it very close to their chest. They may not want to spend the money to stimulate the Cameroonian economy. A good leader should be able to sacrifice.

Do you have any fears about the coming presidential election?
   I don’t. It is clear that President Biya is the people’s choice -the only choice. Cameroonians are peace-loving people and want a conducive environment to live in.Mr.Biya is the man who can offer that opportunity of peace and tranquility for them to operate.
I am convinced Cameroonians on October 9 will show their gratitude to Candidate Paul Biya for modernizing Cameroon, by overwhelmingly reelecting him. I am confident he will win with a wide margin.

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