Saturday, June 21, 2014

Succession politics in Cameroon: Beware of McCarthyism!

By Asonganyi Tazoacha
Joseph McCarthy was one of the most corrupt politicians of his time. He exploited the scare about the prospect of communist subversion against the United States with the claim that he had a list of people in the State Department who were known members of the American Communist Party. He engaged in witch-hunts against innocent citizens he accused of being communist subversives. Today, “McCarthyism” refers to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations of political adversaries and rivals; it also refers to public attacks on the integrity, character or patriotism of dissenting citizens.
Mark you, in Cameroon there is a succession cold war being fought within the ranks of people of power – people of the CPDM regime. Regime powerful daily circle one another, knife in hand, looking for the least opportunity to “finish them.” They buy one journalist or the other, one press organ or the other, to do their dirty work against their perceived adversaries, or “enemies,” or rivals. They use tracts, signed and unsigned letters, motions of support and other foul means to express their loyalty and worries, and to accuse and counter-accuse friends and foes. The most used weapon of blackmail is succession politics around their aged president-in-perpetuity, known to have a strong aversion for any thought about his succession.
Further, there is a Boko Haram scare in town! And we have started hearing noises about unnamed collabos. When we start hearing such noises in a regime that is one of the most tyrannical, most corrupt and repressive in the world, we have to beware of McCarthyism!  Those making such noises about suspects only known to them should be watched closely. True, the fight against Boko Haram should involve a lot of secret strategies and tactics, but we should never lose sight of the possibility of regime barons turning such secrecy to a weapon of destruction against their perceived political adversaries, “enemies” or rivals.
Those who still doubt the tyrannical and repressive nature of the regime should ponder the recent arrest and detention in Fundong on 2nd April of members of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union (CATTU) for the simple act of distributing tracts to sensitise their members about an impending strike, or the way in which Jean Michel Nitcheu, an SDF member of parliament, was recently harassed on 20th May for the simple act of carrying a banner that expressed an opinion that the regime did not like. They can also check the mindless act of ordering the release of a corruption suspect – arrested by the same regime – with the flimsy excuse that he is a member of government, while at the same time destabilising the football association (FECAFOOT) by arresting and locking up its elected president when an important event like the World Cup was in the offing!
And so there is the imminent return of the Lions to town. It is no longer news that we suffered a football debacle in Brazil. Rather than being an occasion to examine the lack of purpose, of shared vision, and of strategic vision that rendered all our strategic planning for the World Cup worthless, there are emotional people all over the place, shouting the names of those whose heads should fall!
Football is not an old boys’ network where you get ahead because of money or connections – like is the case in all domains of Cameroon society today. It is a world where victory comes from talent and performance. By the end of the football fiesta in Brazil, those who do the right analysis will realise that the victors will be those who combined talent and preparation. Such preparation is not about those fruitless friendly matches played just before the World Cup. It is about providing infrastructure for identifying talented children early and honing their skills to ensure that they meet the magic number for excellence in football,like in any other profession, of ten thousand hours of practice before they become real stars. They will realise that those who will go home with the cup are those with players that have practiced the most in their lifetime, continuously from childhood to the professional level. They will confirm the old saying that achievement is talent plus preparation, with preparation playing a greater role.
Our players may have enough ability to get into top football clubs abroad, but their performance differs from that of other players from countries like Brazil at crucial moments, because of the low number of hours they spent developing their football skills from childhood. Ten thousand hours of practice before young adulthood cannot be achieved by the individual alone. It needs a family that encourages, and a government that provides infrastructure and opportunities for practicing the art of football right from nursery school. I will not blame the team for our debacle in Brazil. I will blame a regime that refuses to provide opportunities all over the country for selecting and nurturing football talent right from childhood through to young adulthood. I will fault a government that refuses to fund club football in the country and depends on foreign clubs to nurture and exploit the talents of our players at a late stage of adulthood.
We can only hope that the journalists that went to Brazil, and CRTV that bargained for exclusive coverage in Cameroon only in the French language, went beyond enjoying football matches and took some time to lookout for why Brazil is a football nation. We have to invest seriously in football by providing appropriate infrastructure in every school, every village, every subdivision, every division and every region for nurturing and promoting talent in the game of football. Otherwise, we shall remain a country that wishes to reap where it did not sow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Southern Cameroon Passport Saga. Ebenezer Akwanga on why a SC passport is necessary

Southern Cameroons Youth League (SCYL) president and human rights activist Ebenezer Akwanga caused a diplomatic furore recently when he appeared in a photograph proudly displaying a copy of a Southern Cameroons (SC) passport.

Most SC activists welcomed the gesture as another front in the fight for the independence of English speaking Cameroon but critics were quick to point out the passport was baseless because it could not be used for any kind of travel.
 Security forces in Cameroon are now on high alert on a look out for any kind of trouble from the SCYL and other affiliated organizations it regards as secessionists movements that might want to use the passport issue to cause problems.
Francis Ngwa has been speaking to Ebenezer Akwanga now living in exile in the USA after escaping from a 20 year jail term from the Kondengui maximum security prison for his SC activism

Q Before we begin, we just learnt SCNC chairman Chief Ottu Ayamba has died. Any comments?
Ebenezer Akwanga
 A- Let me first extend to Prince Lawrence Ayamba and the entire Ayamba household the deepest condolence from GoSC, the SCYL Family and my own family for the passing away of Southern Cameroons Chief Ette Otun Ayamba. He stood for a good and just fight and would be remember for this. For the purpose of this interview the President would be okay.

Q The talking point in Cameroon is a new passport for Southern Cameroons that has been seen across Cameroon and various news organizations have carried the story. What is the passport all about?

A-According to a GoSC press release issued on June 10 from Washington, DC, “The creation and institutionalization of distinct symbols of statehood entrenches and solidifies the concept of nationhood borne out of a common history and common territorial space. While the physical occupation of the Southern Cameroons still remains a sad reality, a sense of difference and distinctiveness is constantly being strengthened by the Southern Cameroons flag, anthem and the map.
So, while the Southern Cameroons passport adds to other statehood paraphernalia, it indicates a radical departure from a past characterized by group membership and allegiance to Movement ideology. The Southern Cameroons passport shifts membership from different groups to citizens of the State. It also challenges the constructed identity imposed on our people and imbues a sense of pride and hope in a people robbed of their identity, their homeland and their values. It is a solid physical evidence of who we are as a people and galvanizes the inner feeling of anyone who owns a copy to rededicate themselves to the call in the Liberation Oath: “Southern Cameroons Must Win This ‘War’!…’I Will Fight; I Will Endure; I Will Sacrifice and Do My Utmost As If The Issue of the Whole Struggle Depended on Me Alone”. “So Help Me God!”

 Q. How many passports do you personally have?
A-I am the owner of two national passports – the passport of the United States of America and the passport of the Republic of Southern Cameroons. 

Q. I understand you don’t have a Cameroonian passport though you were born and bred in Cameroon. Is that one of the reasons you have decided to produce a passport for Southern Cameroons?
A-The refusal by the annexationist regime of La Republique du Cameroun to issue me a copy of their little green book in 1995 which ruined my study of divinity in South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand became more than a blessing in disguise. By their action, they were not only telling me that you are not ‘one of us’ which of course is true but that I am a citizen of the country they have dehumanized for decades. The Southern Cameroons passport is however not an answer to my personal ordeals with LRC but a radical reawakening of our revolutionary nationalism which would settle for nothing except total independence. 

Q Southern Cameroons legally does not exist. It is not a UN recognized nation. How come you are producing a passport nobody or state authority will recognize?

A-Our fate is in our hands! Who we are has nothing to do with UN recognition. Let us be realistic and stop this tingling game with a road to nowhere. Look around history and you find visible reasons not to pose such a question again. And by the way, if the flag and anthem were securely locked up somewhere in a shelf, you of course wouldn’t have been aware of it. The fact that it is brought up for discussion means, they are visible, tangible and public symbols that are taken seriously. On another note, the flag and the anthem were not invented in the Diaspora. They have simply been made more prominent by Diasporas’ using the social media with its outreach. In real terms there is a country call Southern Cameroons. This country is simply under physical occupation by LRC. The act of occupation does not in any way extinct statehood especially when there is public opposition and resistance against that occupation. History presents itself as a good template for us to view events. And the history of occupation has been such that very few occupiers have successfully maintained occupation without the consent of the occupied. Colonialism has been the most acute form of occupation. At a time when movement and opportunities for the colonized was strictly determined by the colonial authorities, resistance against colonialism prevailed. Since the All Anglophone Conference (AAC) of 1993 and 1994, the level of consciousness and awareness of our plight and the vestiges of the occupation has been on the rise. The single story narrative of ONE CAMEROUN which has been forced and peddled by Yaoundé has been challenged in courts of law, academic writings and the street. The Southern Cameroons quest for statehood is no longer a taboo subject and most importantly our fate as a people does no longer depend solely on how Yaoundé acts or think. The passport only makes this case more visible and concretizes in a small but significant way both the concepts of nationhood and statehood. 

 Q Why a Southern Cameroons passport now and what point are you trying to make?

A-Is there a fixed time in history for a people to re-escalate their identity of oneness? Or do we need permission from somewhere to take a dramatic shift in our pursuit for external self-determination.

Q. How many people own a Southern Cameroons passport now?

A-About fifty as of today 

Q. Lastly, where do we go from here after the release of a S C passport?

A-This question has been asked every time that there is a shift in our struggle and the responses have been more flamboyant than realistic. The annexationist regime has been at war with our people for decades. And in this war, we have made substantive progress, won and lost some battles. So, to you and to all the people of goodwill out there, it is necessary for me to say that anyone waiting for the United Nations or the African Union to intervene in our struggle in any form whatsoever based on our aspirations is dreaming a dream they would never woke up to its realization. It is regrettable to say that the only reason Ukraine has become a focal point in East-West relations is because blood has been flowing on the streets; and the people of Taiwan and Kosovo or the Palestinian Authority did not walk their way to their present status by simply talking, organizing meetings and conferences in and out of their homelands or participating in numerous forums online. They did this through blood and iron and this is certainly where we have to go from here. However prepared I am for this sacrifice, I can certainly do it only if each one of you out there, keep away their cloth of group-thinking, wear the cap of true radical nationalism and throw your support behind me. You might not like the man Akwanga, but now is not the time to put your fate and those of millions of others in those you like – instead you must now commit yourself entirely to your people and country, and to one person you know deep in your hearts that you can trust at this critical juncture of our struggle to deliver the goods of freedom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cameroon's Colonel Hans Anagho: A Loyal Soldier Without A Fatherland

 Colonel Hans Anagho served in the Nigerian Military and helped foil coup d'états. He returned to Cameroon and was very instrumental in crushing the April 6th 1984 coup d'etat. However, in spite of all these services, the Retired Colonel deeply feels he did not receive commensurate compensation because "I was in Nigeria, I did things I was not promoted, they were promoting by tribes I had no tribe, I came to Cameroon, since I am an Anglophone from Bamenda, what I did on the 6th of April 1984 in other countries they will have given me the rank of General, because I single highhandedly handled this issue of 6th April 1984."
  Full interview below.

 Colonel can you present yourself?
His Highness Colonel Hans Anagho
 I am His Royal Highness, DR. Col. Hans Anagho, Fon of Ngwo. I joined the Nigerian army on 16th September 1958. We did basic military training in Ghana before going to Britain, and General Mutala Mohammed was my classmate in Accra Ghana.

How came that you served in the Nigerian army?
 I was born in Ngwo, Bamenda Division, Southern Cameroons, Nigeria. So I was born a Nigerian. And in 1958 we were still part and parcel of Nigeria. That is why I joined the Nigerian army. There was no other army around me. 

Can you recount some memorable moments of your career in Nigeria? 
  After my training I was sent from England to Ibadan. After Ibadan I was sent to Katanga in Congo. They had independence in June and there was chaos so the United Nations asked Nigeria, which just got independence, not up to a month to send troops to Congo, and I was part of that battalion. I returned to Kaduna where I was instructor and Gen. Sani Abacha was my student. I was sent back to Congo and was back again later to be special adviser of Mobutu for ten days before returning to Nigeria. During the first coup d’état in Nigeria I was the one commanding Lagos, the second coup I was in Ibadan, I disarmed the coup plotters. I worked very closely with Gen. Yacubu Gowon when he was president for two months and then I told him I wanted to return to Cameroon. He did everything to convince me to stay. He even wanted to send me to Britain as military attaché. I told him my father was sick and I had to go and take care of him. He knew my father because when he was sick he came and stayed with us in Ibadan for four months. 

 And finally he let you go to Cameroon?
 I was back to Cameroon at the end of 1966. General Gowon gave me three months leave, paid me six months salaries up front, plus six months pocket allowance. He sent a message after three months that we should come back; I was with Colonel Nkweti who is of late. The message went straight to Yaounde, but it was a plane that was sent to Bali to pick us. I said I was not going by plane, that I had my car, we drove through Douala to Yaounde. When we reached Yoaunde they sent us straight to the tailor, sewed army uniforms and we were made Captains.

 And what was your first assignment in the Cameroonian army? 
 I was transferred to Nkongsamba, Kweti was transferred to Bafoussam. From Nkongsamba I was detached to Mbanga to see how the Cameroon army worked in the French style. I was there with the Late Col. Epanyack, we were both Captains. We shared an apartment for three months. After three months the Biafra war started and I was sent to Buea with Col. Kweti as my assistant to look after the frontiers from Nkambe right up to Ndian. At that I successfully did. I was replaced by the now famous Col. Etonde Ekotto and sent to France for nine months to perfect my French.

 You worked in Nkongsamba and so one can assume that you were part of the squad that crushed the rebellious "marquisards"? 
  About the marquisards, for the three months that I was learning how to work with the French system in the army, every week we were in the bush with Col. Epanyack fighting them. Eventually, when I came back from France I was transferred to Bangangte as Company Commander. I was there for ten months and every month spent at least twenty days sleeping in the bush. I cleaned the whole Bamilike forest from "marquisards". The good thing about "marquisards", even with the Boko Haram is that, they are not angels or devils, they are human beings like us and they work with people. And you have to be friends with people to succeed. And that is what I did in Bangangte. Since I am a graffi man (from the North West grass field Region), I understood them because I understand the Bali dialect that was similar to theirs. So I knew how to get them. I left Bangangte without killing people. So many of them surrendered their arms to me and the traditional authorities and whenever they came I looked at their ages and gave them identity cards and sent them to their parents and not sent them to BMM. When you catch a boy returning from school and forcefully make him a "marquisard", what crime has he committed? So those young people, I sent them back home.

 Is it true that the "marquisards" had some supernatural forces?
 They used no black magic. In Congo, 13 January 1961, the rebels came claiming that they had black magic and we killed all of them. There is no question of black magic when a bullet is concern.

 You were in Cameroon during the April 6th 1984 Coup d’état, what role did you play to foil it? 
 That is a good book! The book I am writing is called "A LOYAL SOLDIER WITHOUT A FATHERLAND". I was in Nigeria, I did things I was not promoted, they were promoting by tribes I had no tribe, I came to Cameroon, since I am an Anglophone from Bamenda, what I did on the 6th of April 1984 in other countries they will have given me the rank of General, because I single handedly handled this issue of 6th April 1984.

 Explain it to our readers.. 
  I was staying in the guesthouse, I just came back from America and my family was still in the U.S. I was chief of Army Intelligence. Early on that morning, I heard gunshots and I said this is what I predicted will happen in this country. The presidential guard should be the people shooting those guns. I saw soldiers passing, I asked "C’est qui", "moi je connais pas". Finally one of them told me that it was the presidential guard. I said by 12.00 noon we are beating them!, still in my pajamas. Then I went to my room and put up my uniform. I did not have the correct fighting outfit. I went straight away and occupied the office of the Commander of the army and started giving orders. I was the only person who had seen a coup d’état. So I knew about coups, we teach officers how to plot and fight a coup. The worst thing I saw was that in the commander’s armory, there were no corresponding bullets for the riffles and that and it was the Northerners who had planned that. So that if they attack, you take a gun they will be no corresponding bullet and the gun of that bullet is somewhere else. So I detailed one of my toughest officers, a Bassa boy, Col. Mang Syvester, he has been my assistant many times. He went to the police and met the present delegate (Martin Mbarga Nguele) and brought a load of weapons and ammunitions and brought it to my headquarters and that is what saved me. When he was bringing it, they rebels attacked them at the Post Office, they abandoned the vehicles there. I sent a Beti boy to go and get the weapons and he escaped. I sent a Bamenda boy who came from Douala, because I had ordered the Douala contingent to come and help me and he brought these weapons and it is from there that I was able to send a detachment to save my own Minister of Defence, Gilbert Andze Tsoungui. He was brought to my headquarters in my civilian vehicle. Before he died he told his family "C’est un anglo qui ma sauver" – (It was an Anglophone who saved me.), and that they should always help me when I am in difficulties. From that instant when the Generals came, most of them in civilian clothes I handed over to them. They now sent me to Quartier General (Military headquarters) to mobilize soldiers. I took the Commander General Asso, he was Colonel then, I told him I don’t master his elements, sowhen there is a mission you detail them for me. I stayed there and Samabo went to the radio station to announce that we had taken over. Before then, I told the minister that by 12 O’clock we will be through and before 12 O’clock we were through. 

You were Cameroon’s military attaché in the U.S for ten years; that was very long? 
They wanted me to be hidden so that I could not cause "trouble", I don't know which trouble they meant. They just fabricated things that I was very popular and since coup d’états were all over in Africa, if there was any in Cameroon, it may be me. I was very popular with the soldiers because I did my work right and I never planned at any time in my life to destabilize my country, never! After the ten years I had to beg to come back to the country. I was made Fon when I was in the U.S and had to come back home. They did not send me a ticket. I paid my ticket back home.

 With all this military knowledge,are you a consultant with the Cameroon Military Academy in Yaounde? 
They fear me, because if I were a consultant I would  tell them, "Don't steal money!". Pa S.T Muna once told me that, if you go to somebody's always house and each time you go you tell him that your shirt is dirty, will the man like to see you in his house? A lot of us in Cameroon here will like to work in pure obscurity, in pure darkness so that we should steal. God shall sought us out one by one.

 Now that Cameroon is threatened by cross-border insecurity especially in its Northern and Eastern borders, has government consulted you for some intelligence savoir-faire? 
 Those are highly confidential things. I have a lot of secrets about Nigeria, because I was positively vetted. I was chief of Cameroon's military intelligence, we don't speak things like that things like that. Whatever our country is doing to bring the situation under control we leave it in the hands of the Almighty. 

 You are retired but certainly not tired Colonel, how does your day look like?
 I am 78 years young...I am a busy person; I am building a Government Secondary school in  Ngwo. We have built six classrooms. We are moving to Form Five in September 2014. That is the only secondary school in Momo with a modern computer lab, powered by solar energy. I am planning to build a science lab, a music center, create a school farm that will feed the children and by September the children should have one free meal a day and stay in the dormitory without paying a single franc. There are many people willing to help me. So I am a busy man. 

 His Royal Highness, why is that the Union of North West Fons is always disunited? Why are the traditional rulers always quarreling? 
 We behave like Cameroonians. Cameroonians like to eat and drink and talk big. They are not committed as nationals. A lot of them are not educated, they cannot handle their villages. They beg everything. You cannot be a successful leader with people like that. If you hold a meeting they will not come, if they come they come just to eat and drink. I have even made written suggestions, but who cares, who listens, they say every Fon is a king in his own kingdom. 

 Any advice to your junior colleagues serving in the Cameroon military? 
 You are serving God first. Second you are serving your nation, a nation you vowed to defend to the last drop of your blood. Third, you are serving for your end on month pay, if you don't work well you would not be promoted, you will not be sent for training, they will not pay you, your serve yourself last, and this country will have a beautiful army, and excellent army and we will be sure of our defence. 
Courtesy of The Fomunyoh Foundation,TFF; Interview by Mokun Njouny Nelson

Monday, June 16, 2014

Nouboue Nee Monguen Alice: An Assiduous Finance Controller

                                                   By Christopher Ambe
       Nouboue nee Monguen Alice can be likened to an ambassador of assiduity, transparency and stringency; and above all, she is a great patriot.
Mrs. Nouboue Alice
     Ask her goal for Cameroon and she won’t hesitate to tell you: “To put my experience and competence at the service of my country”
   This soft-spoken Cameroonian, born in Ndoungue-Nkongsamba in 1964 and educated up to university level where she studied statistics and economics, is one of many Cameroonian women of tiber and caliber, who, despite their high status in society, choose to remain humble and helpful.
    Mrs. Nouboue-who is bilingual (fluent in English and French) has been the Southwest Regional Finance Controller for a year now; but in all, she has dutifully served in that capacity for about 10 years in different regions. In 1998, Mrs. Nouboue served as Interim Finance Controller for the West Region, then Regional Finance Controller for the Northwest for seven years (July 2006 – May 2013) before his appointment to Buea in the same capacity.
    This 50-year old financial expert/statistician says the work of a finance controller is very exacting. The Regional Finance Controller, among other duties, ensures the strict regulation and implementation of the state budget at the regional level.
“Although the job is very demanding, I love it. Sometimes we leave the office in the night. That is when you have enough time to concentrate on certain files. In the day, the coming of service users/visitors makes it difficult for somebody to concentrate”, Mrs.Nouboue told The Recorder. 
     As a finance controller, she says she is not afraid to be controlled by hierarchy. “As Controller, I am also an authorizing officer, a civil servant and I am obliged to respect regulations in force in the performance of my job. As a human being I am not perfect and would like to be controlled too. Controls have their positive aspect in that, they make workers sit up”
                                                      Success Secret
    A devout Catholic Christian, Mrs. Nouboue does her work with the fear of the Lord. “Before I start my day, I humbly ask the Almighty God to direct my actions. When I have a heavy work load, I always invite God to help me do it as required”, she says, noting that Jesus in the Bible book of Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
     Her open door policy makes her very friendly to both her colleagues and service users.
“My boss is not only time-and duty-conscious. We have observed that she is open-minded and motherly”, said one female worker when I tried to find out whether the Finance Controller is bossy. Other service users (contractors and state employees) met in the waiting room of the Finance Controller all agreed that Mrs. Nouboue is very welcoming to all.
   “The public is free to appreciate our services and to meet the right source for whatever information they want,” Mrs.Nouboue says, adding that her office also has a public suggestion box. “We are not perfect but are working hard daily to improve the quality of service we give out. I make sure no file lasts more that 72 hours in my office. If it does it means the file needs special attention”
   Mrs.Nouboue is skilled in the following areas: economic and financial statistics, macroeconomic projection, management and the analysis of public finances, as well as budget preparation and implementation
    She has been occupying the sensitive office of Regional Finance Controller for more than 10 years now because she masters her job well and does it both to the satisfaction of hierarchy and the public, The Recorder was informed.
Mrs.Nouboue graduated as an Application Engineer of Statistics from ISSEA Yaoundé in 1986; graduated as Statistical Engineer/Economist from ENSEA in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) in 1993; In 2004, she earned a Diploma in Management from the Advanced School of Public Management, Yaounde and in 2006 she did an internship course on the “Elaboration and Evaluation of Public Policies at ENA Paris, France.
                                                 Professional Experience
Before her current post as Regional Finance Controller for the Southwest, Mrs. Nouboue  held and or headed several other offices  ,which include Representative of the Minister of Finance at Boards of Directors of  MIDENO –Bamenda and UNVDA(from 2006 to 2013);Specialist Finance Controller ,University of Bamenda(July 2012 –May 2013).In the 1990’s ,she headed different services in the Ministry of Finance, and served as an exemplar to many.
                                                Sociopolitical status.
Mrs. Nouboue, who is a mother of four children, is a member of the ruling CPDM and official of several social groups. For example, she is vice president of the Association of Women of Elites of Bandjourn .She enjoys doing sport because she holds that “sport keeps one fit and healthy”
                                                No State Medal
Although a workaholic, who has put more than 25 years at the service of the nation, Mrs. Nouboue is yet to receive a state medal as another form of recognition of her commitment to serving the State.  Why? It is not because she is not qualified for medals. She is quite qualified but the Cameroon system demands that a worker should  apply for a state medal, a thing Mrs. Nouboue finds unreasonable to do.
 “Honestly, I think that when you want to congratulate somebody, it should not be that person to apply for it. For my more than 25 years of service, I have not received a medal from the State -simply because I have not bothered to apply for one,” she told The Recorder. “As Finance Controller in the Northwest I recommended hard working colleagues for Letters of Congratulation to the Minister. But I cannot apply to be congratulated, but I would continue to be patriotic and serve my country to the best of my abilities”

Cameroon GCE Ends Hitch-free

Registrar condemns toll -gate classes for misleading candidates!

 By Christopher Ambe 
 A strong warning by the Cameroon GCE Board before the start of the 2014 GCE against exam malpractices has paid off as the exams ,which started smoothly last May have just ended hitch-free. The GCE Board had put in place a network to root out any form of malpractices and get perpetrators prosecuted.
Sir Ekema Monono
    Sir Humphrey Ekema Monono, Registrar of the Cameroon GCE Board told The Recorder on June 12 in Buea that, the exams started well and ended well. “2014 has come to an end in the manner we started it. It was a serene 2014,”he stated. 
    A total of 164,789 testees sat for all the exams the GCE board ran, which included GCE General and GCE Technical in both the ordinary and advanced levels. This gives an absolute difference of 9,876 this year compared to the number of candidates in 2013 and a percentage increase of 6.9,
    Against a background of alleged exam leakage and banking on the findings of police investigations, the Registrar confidently dismissed claims that certain GCE question papers leaked. He added that he had ordered Police in Buea to interrogate some examiners of a subject, whose questions were purportedly leaked. “When you have some noise about the integrity of the exams, you have to make sure that decorum is restored and that all of us have the same information. That is why some examiners on Commerce were interrogated”, he told The Recorder. “ People suspected that some questions of Commerce had leaked but we have verified using all the means at our disposal to know that nothing of that nature happened, and that exam was conducted as it had to be conducted .I don’t think the teachers have a problem. Any time you go to the police does not mean that you are a criminal”
    However, Sir Ekema Monono condemned the phenomenon of toll-gate classes during the examination period. “This is a cankerworm that is eating deep into our examination system,” he remarked.
    He narrated how some schools-without boarding houses, brought back their Forms Five and Upper Six students to start teaching them every night. “It is unfortunate that some candidates have missed their exams because they overslept-they were taught till about 5 or 6:00 A M and they had little or no time to actually have a good day’s rest; they missed the exams. “Others have come to the examination room very disappointed, unable to continue writing because all what they have been lectured over night has nothing to do with the question paper in front of them. This is the wrong time to teach and I think it is the wrong kind of psychological preparedness we are giving our children.
    The Registrar urged that toll-gate classes should be condemned totally warning that henceforth schools caught in such malpractice “will have to be suspended as centres of examinations. “If caught, they will lose their status as accommodation and or registration centres because they mislead our candidates. Not only that, they give room for every other person to suspect that they are cheating or that they have access to the questions”, he said. 
     The Registrar even cited a certain college in Muea. Hear him “They registered students both internally and externally and when they started organizing this toll-gate(mid-night classes),those who were registered externally wanted to attend the classes but they were sent away. What do you think those candidates have behind their minds? That something is happening. They even went as far as informing us that their principal has moved office; that he is now officiating from his house where all the GCE questions are found. “I don’t think the GCE Board operates with individuals and the security measures we have in place are such that if any of that kind of thing happens, we must know” 
   The Registrar continued, “Imagine our questions in Muyuka CBA where I had to order the destruction of a save, because the superintendent has misplaced his own key.In front of the forces of law and Order, the destruction was done serenely and we discovered that our questions were highly secured. “So, this is the kind of information that goes about and that makes for the health of the examination. People trying to teach, I don’t know what they teach at that time. They put the candidate’s off-balance. We should condemn this kind of practice; let the candidates be allowed to write like others
    In yet another twist, Sir Ekema Mono talked of another practice. “The Purchase of examination question is another practice that came from Ekombe.I bet you I went up and bought the questions, hand written. “Imagine somebody who is selling a question on religion that cannot spell St.Luke.So what kind of GCE question is that? 
   The exam official faulted parents who encourage their children to buy so-called questions and attend toll-gate classes, stressing that such parents are also not doing their children justice. “They should use this money to buy the candidates the books they need, than buying so-called GCE leaked questions and paying for toll-gate classes” 
   As the marking of the GCE will soon commerce, the Registrar said the publication of results would be as scheduled. “If our machines don’t break down, we are ready to do even better...”

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why the SDF Made a Mistake in Walking out on the Speech of Soro Guillaume, President of the National Assembly of Cote d’Ivoire.

By Nfor Susungi
Nfor Susungi
Let me start by telling you a true story.  In 1996 Chairman John Fru Ndi travelled through Abidjan to Mali to attend some socialist meeting there with President Alpha Oumar Konare and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (who is now the President) (both of them socialists).  On his way back he got stuck at the airport in Abidjan because he did not have a visa to Cote d’Ivoire.  While killing time at the airport he was noticed by an Ivorian policeman because he was wearing his trademark traditional dress.  When the Chairman explained his visa status to the policeman, the officer reported the matter to his boss.  Before long, the matter had been transmitted through channels to the highest ranks of the police to the Minister of the Interior and finally to President Henri Konan Bédié.

President Bédié reacted by giving instructions that the Chairman should be given a visa and brought into Abidjan as a guest of the Ivorian government.  He was lodged at Hotel Ivoire.  Before long the Chairman was brought to President Bédié’s home in Cocody where he was received by the Ivorian President.

During his meeting “en tête a tête”, with Chairman John Fru Ndi, the Ivorian President called Laurent Gbagbo ( at that time President of the FPI) and said: “Hey Laurent, j’ai  ton ami  Fru Ndi avec moi dans mon bureau.  Je te l’envoie après”.    In spite of the fact that Henri Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo were political adversaries, the strange camaraderie between them illustrates the fact that politics in Cote d’Ivoire was still being played at a certain level of parliamentary honour.

I speak as a witness to these events and to the fact that the FPI and the SDF are close political parties and that the relationship between the John Fru Ndi and Laurent Gbagbo has been close.   President Laurent Gbagbo came to power on 26 October 2000 following the presidential elections which were organized by Robert Guéi.  But the traumatic events which were to trail  Cote d’Ivoire for ten years started with the attempted coup of 19 September 2002 which gave rise to a rebellion that resulted in the country being split into two.  There is no question about the fact that Mr. Soro Guillaume Kigbafori was a central part of that rebellion.

Following a series of conferences and peace talks in various African cities, a Union Government was formed at the head of which Mr. Soro Guilllaume was named Prime Minister and head of a government by President Laurent Gbagbo himself and he occupied that position from 4 April 2007 to 4 December 2010.   This is the government composition which went to the contested presidential elections of November 2010 following which Soro Guillaume resigned as Prime Minister in the ensuing electoral dispute.  After Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as President on 6 May 2011, Mr. Soro Guillaume resumed the position of Prime Minister which he occupied till 13 March 2012 under Alassane Ouattara.
It is dangerous for us as foreigners (non-Ivorians) to go back to the question of who won and who lost that election of November 2010 because it is a historical fact that the electoral dispute was finally adjudicated  only after the French army pounded the residence of Ivorian President for over two weeks until President Laurent Gbagbo was taken out alive on 6 April 2011.   He was finally sent to the Hague to face charges at the ICC after the current President Alassane Ouattara had been sworn-in as the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire.

Subsequent parliamentary elections resulted in the emergence of Mr. Soro Guillaume Kigbafori as the new President of the National Assembly.  It is very dangerous for us as non Ivorians to go back to labeling anyone as “rebel”.  I need not remind you that for a long time certain countries called Nelson Mandela a “terrorist” because of what he had to do at a certain stage of his life.  This brings us to the question as to the moral and political justification of the position of the SDF in response to the invitation to the National Assembly in Cameroon.

The Visit of Soro Guillaume to Cameroon
I am of the opinion that the SDF made a mistake in taking such a public position against the visit of Soro Guilllaume in the capacity of the President of the Ivorian National Assembly and instructing its deputies to walk out on the speech of the Ivorian leader.  To characterize Soro Guillaume as a “Chief Rebel” is a mistake.  He is now the President of the National Assembly and an integral part of constituted authority in the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire.   This does not call on anyone to like him or to love him.  It calls on everyone to acknowledge and to respect the office because Cote d’Ivoire is a nation that is above Soro Guillaume, Alassane Ouattara, Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo or any other person who might,  at one time or another,  be called upon by political circumstances to occupy any of the constitutional offices of the land.

It was not necessary for the SDF NEC to pass a resolution distancing itself from the visit of Soro Guillaume to the National Assembly.  There are certain political situations which call for a response at a statesman level rather than at a streetsman level. The SDF could have intervened with Cavaye Djibrill the President of the National Assembly to negotiate for a private visit to the Chairman by Soro Guillaume as a condition for the SDF MPs to remain in the Assembly Hall during Soro Guillaume’s speech.    This visit would have enabled Mr Soro Guillaume to brief the Chairman John Fru Ndi on the purpose of his visit and it would have also given the Chairman the opportunity to let Mr. Soro Guilllaume know what the SDF thinks about the events that took place in Cote d’Ivoire.  It would have been a very suitable occasion for the SDF to call for the release of all political prisoners in Cote d’Ivoire and to summon the Ivorian authorities to do more for reconciliation.  If all of this had been done, Mr. Soro Guillaume would have left Cameroon with a completely different view of Cameroonian democracy and the SDF would have emerged the real beneficiary of the visit of Soro Guillaume to Cameroon. Cameroon/ Cote d’Ivoire relations would have been put at a completely different level.

But the SDF decision has put them in a corner and they have emerged gaining nothing out of their approach in handling this event.   In fact they are the big losers.  I can state with full authority that Laurent Gbagbo will be of the opinion that the SDF made a mistake in handling the matter the way they did.   If consulted, Laurent Gbagbo would have encouraged Chairman John Fru Ndi to receive Soro Guillaume who is a mere 42 year old young man, holding a very important position in his country.  He wants to reach out and talk to people in a country like Cameroon where most senior positions in the country are still held by much older people.  That is why more and more Ivorian leaders are coming to Cameroon.  If the Chairman had remembered the way that President Henri Konan Bédié received him in 1996, I am sure that he would have handled the Soro Guillaume visit in a different way.

How to repair the damage
There are certain mistakes which are difficult to correct and we should strive to avoid making them.   But any mistake can be corrected once it is acknowledged that it was a mistake.  The SDF needs to move quickly to repair the damage.  If anyone is interested in knowing how to repair the damage, let them contact me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Prophet T.B.Joshua and the Advent of This Century

By  Yangange  Martin  Wose* 

Prophet T .B. Joshua  is one  of  the  great men of God of our  time.  I may attempt  to  qualify  him as a Christian  in respect  of  the  so  many  dispensations  of  our  time.  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  is  lord  and his  works  are  spiritual,  supernatural  ,omniscient  , omniscience and  omnipresent  that  is  why  in  an effort  to  show  his  greatness  the  Nigerian  singer  Agatha  Moses  described  him  as  Dr.  Jesus.

Others  have  called  our  Lord  Ancient  of  Days,  Elohin  ,Yeweh,  Jehovah Jiereh,  Jehovah  Nisi,  Elshadai,  Mokonzi,  Zambe,  Nkosi,  and  Father  of  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. Biblical  books  are  superfluous  in descriptions  on some  of  this  issues  which  confirm  the  abstract  infinite  knowledge  of  the  realm of God Almighty.

In  our  timethere  are  several  men  of God  and  so  many  denominations  dispersed  in  all continents  of  the  world. I  might  not  be  in  a  position  to  determine  and  even  discuss  their  practices as  men  of  God  in  respect  of  the  scriptures  they  profess.

Africans mostly  fall amongst the  peoples  of  the  world  who  have had  teachings   and  education  about  Christianity  from  their  colonial  peers. I dare  say  we have  no  option  on  this  matter  because  it came  side by  side  with colonialism ,  politics  and  economics. Our  issue  here is  Christianity and one grew up to  see Jesus  Christ in books  as a  white man. 

 The  Jews  are  white and  there is  no  problem  about  colour though detractors may  use that as a  fact  to  give  Christianity a  negative  imperialist  outfit. Whatever the  negatives  Christianity extols concrete values like  other religious  bodies  with some  variations. Therein ,  we find   values  like  peace,  love and justice  for  all  men.  These  values constitute  the  basis  for  all  humanity’s  sustainable  effort s   which  the  whole  world  emulates  .  The  coming  of  prophet  T. B. Joshua  is  worth- emulating  when  a  birds-eye-view is pecked on   the  SCOAN,  Emmanuel  TV and  the  outreach including  Anointing  Water  and  Stickers .

The  Miracles  that  have  been  happening  at  the  SCOAN , Synagogue  Church Of  All Nations  have  been  accompanied  by  testimonies  of  the very  beneficiaries  from  so  many  countries  all over  the  world and  from  amongst  all  the  races  of  the  world.  The  Television  has  never  been  known  to  make  caricatures  of  men  in  such  diversity  and  quantum  thus  confirming  this  as true.
Wonderful  happenings  have  taken  place  far  beyond  the borders  of Nigeria  in  this  connection .   

  A  man  was  shipwrecked  in  Delta  State  and by  supernatural   effort  held  a  jug  to  his  body  and  on him  was  anointing  water  and  a  sticker  . The  jug  kept  him afloat  scientifically but  how  he  sustained  the  grip  on  the jug  for  three days  on the  cold  wide  Atlantic  ocean  with  such  consternation is  a  matter  for the  Holy  spirit.    Cures  for  chronic  sores and highly  disenabling  ailments  have  achieved  on - the - spot  solutions  by  prayers  and  intervention of  the  Holy  Spirit.

A  Ghanaian  girl  died  and  came  back  to  life  because  a  recorded  Mass  Prayer  recorded  on her phone  was  replayed to  her  ear.  When  she  revived  she  confessed  having seen Prophet  Joshua  on her  bed  side.  People  from all  continents  of  the  world  have  received  deliverance,  breakthrough  and  blessings through  prayers.

If  all kinds  of people amongst  almost  all the  races  of  the   world  come  to  a  prophet,  and  if all  of  them receive  their  hearts’  desireby  faith,  then  it  must  be  certain  that  the  Lord  God  has  decided to  send  his  servant, a  likely   flag bearer  of  our  lord  Jesus  Christ.  In  our  time Prophet  Joshua  has  attached  elaborate  charity  to  his  works  and  he  donates  food  and  money  to  as many  under -privileged  people as  he  can  touch. In short   Charity is a major feature of His Ministry.

There is no room for detractors today.  The Word of God is happening in Africa.  To   buttress  this argument   there  is  a  black  US  president(Barack Obama)  and  Madiba  Nelson Mandela(first-ever democratically elected black South African President-now late) has arguably  been  the  most  popular  human  being  of this century.  Pope  Francis  and   Prophet  Joshua  have  the  same  position  on the  beleaguered  Syria.

My proposal  is  very  simple.   Any   Thomas   on   this   issue will have to prove the contrary. In  any  casethe  world  has  accepted  the  fact  that  colour  in  not a  barrier  and  the  prophet  himself  in  his  lavish  mass prayer  calls  out  ‘ Touch  the  screen wherever  you  are ,  where can  you  go from  his  presence…’  and  you  will  have  deliverance,  breakthrough by  faith.

The  SCOAN  is  located  at  Ekotun in  downtown  Lagos.  When   I  visited it,  I  noticed  a  chapel  of  wondrous  capacity  perhaps  a  stadium  capacity,  filled  to its  tether  and  an overflow  congregation  out in  massive  canopies ; if put  together  would outnumber  the  interior  membershipand  even  then  packed  to  capacity.  Men  and  women of all nations keep  a  gushing  incessant  traffic  like  the  Atlantic  ocean  taking  positions  for  an  unintended  tsunami.

Long  live Prophet T.B.Joshua  and  the Synagogue  Church  of All  Nations.

NB: Yangange  Martin  Wose is a Cameroonian Freelance journalist and Fellow, London School of Journalism   Email: