Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hon.Ayah Paul Abine :There is acute need for elections to be postponed

Hon.Ayah Paul Abine
Outspoken Member of Parliament and Leader of the People’s Action Party (PAP), Hon. Ayah Paul Abine, has advised that municipal and parliamentary elections be postponed, instead of rushing things to give the CPDM another occasion to rig elections. The PAP leader, who just returned from a thank-you tour of five of the six divisions of the Southwest Region, says he will be a happy man if Cameroon goes biometric, to ensure clean elections.
Hon .Ayah spoke to  RECORDER’s Christopher Ambe  in Buea  earlier this March
Honorable Ayah Paul ,  we understand you just returned from a tour of the Southwest region in your capacity as President of People’s Action party(PAP).What special message did you take to the various people you visited? 
The first thing is that I did not do the whole region. I toured southwest to the exclusion of Fako Division because Fako has several all-weather roads. So I will do that later. The message was simple: just to go and thank the people; they gave us so much support during the last presidential election. I did not have the time and means to tour and yet we had the kind of tremendous support they gave us.Inspite of all the rigging we did so well in the Southwest; we were in a comfortable position. So the message was to just thank them and let them know that our salvation lies in saying NO, where there is need to say so. I say the greatest word on earth is NO. It is NO that helps you not to fall into temptation; it is NO that helps you to set standards, that gives character. In the world you have several examples of people who said NO and toady they are icons. Is it Gandhi? Is it Rosa Park? Is it Martin Luther King? Is it the four great men who abolished slave trade world-wide? Is it Mandela only yesterday? So people must learn to say No to bad situations instead of sending what is called in Cameroon motion s of support. One of my messages was for people to turn over a new leaf because there is little or nothing that the CPDM can show for being in power for the past 30 years.
At the various stops how were you received by the population? 
I have already said the support we had was tremendous; It was not only in casting the vote, we were overwhelmed in almost the places went to; even villages. When I went to kagifu I saw the huge number of people who came out. Just the crowd that followed me from the end of the town to the hall was massive. The photographs we took speak for themselves. In fact, there were areas that we felt so small, that the crowd we had before us we were therefore small children that we are.
With the impressive turnout you witnessed are you already foreseeing PAP victory in the coming municipal and parliamentary elections? 
In fact, all we need is clean election. The word clean covers everything. If we have clean election there is no doubt that we may come out with a minimum of 50% being at the Parliament or council level
How far have you gone with the implantation nation-wide? 
You know that is a thing that takes time. It is true that our party was registered in1991.but until I came in January 2011 the party was more or less morrbund.Now the time factor, the lack of resources make it so difficult for us to implant nation-wide. But we are planning what to do between now and the next election. As it is rumored that election will be postponed if that happens within the next six months PAP will be actively on the ground everywhere at least in five regions of Cameroon.
I understand that you have thousands upon thousands of sympathizers’ nation-wide. How do you treat them now that the party is yet to be implanted everywhere? 
We are going progressively-not progressively as used by the CPDM because everything in Cameroon today is going progressively. We are going progressively within our resources –both as to time and money. We are not going to fail our people anywhere. Where we cannot go as a big team, we will send representatives two or three.
There is rumor about the postponement of elections. If it comes true, would you be happy as a party leader? 
There is acute need for elections to be postponed, because nobody can tell me that between and four months ELECAM will be able to import machines for the biometric system, which I hear, will be adopted, that ELECAM will be able to study how to operate, that ELECAM will be able to register people, then have those machines sent to the polling stations where they have to test people’s identity and train people who will man this operation. If anybody tells you that that is a thing that can be done in two months then it is a big lie-because from the time the electorate is called to the polls registration stops. And so will it be, which is to say that in two months ELECAM is supposed to have done all the things I have just mentioned. That is impossible. Look at this opportunity. If it’s  true that we are going to go biometric we should take all the time necessary to organize good elections, clean election so that when somebody does make it  one should be honest enough to congratulate the winner. We should not rush things and give the CPDM another occasion to rig election. 
 And if we are going biometric is that pleasing to you? 
In the last election the things that were done, moving people from town to town in big buses openly with arrogance; people who died ten years still being on the electoral roll and people voting for them. If we go biometric where somebody has to be accurately identified we can only thank God that eventually Cameroon is moving towards clean election. I will be a very happy man.
The National Assembly is in session. What are your expectations? 
What can I expect? We have a Parliament where bills are tabled only by government. And until those bills are tabled you can not pre-judge. The fact, however, is that everybody is now talking about electoral code. And there should be a bill to postpone the present parliament. If we don’t do it this time ,then what are we there for?. So those are our expectations-essentially on the electoral system. 

What is your appeal to Cameroonians concerning the coming elections? 
The point is that we have suffered enough. Somebody said that actually the Jews were supposed to come and settle in Cameroon. But toady it is the very Cameroon -a land flowing with milk and honey that is the core of hell-where everybody is suffering. We have suffered enough. Those who have the illusion that money could make them happy realized that it is all vanity.So it is time for us to turn to GOD and do the right thing for once, so that posterity will say at a certain moment the people saw the light and thank God that He gave them a country with all the natural endowments we have.
What is this right thing you want Cameroonians to do?
 They should be honest in choosing their leaders. People should not choose their leaders because they are brothers; they should not choose them because they give them money. In the last election, the CPDM had more than 19 billion Francs. What the rest of the people had was less than 700 million francs. That is out of 23 candidates one man had 19.3 billion and the rest shared 0.7 billion Francs. Can you imagine it was not up to one billion for 22 people while one man had 19.3 billion Francs? So if we are honest to ourselves we should know that we have tried an experiment and it has failed woefully. And that it was time Mr. Biya gave Cameroonians a chance; and if he does not Cameroonians will take their destiny in their hands and do the proper thing by rejecting money. Even if they accept the money they should vote according to their conscience.
             (First Published In The RECORDER Newspaper ,Cameroon,of March 23,2012)


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