Thursday, September 25, 2014

Federation Is Solution to Cameroon’s Political Crisis!

    By Bara Mark B *
 The idea of 'regionalisation' or decentralization of Cameroon political system only came into being when the All Anglophones Conferences in 1993 and 1994 which called on the Biya's regime to revert to Federalism of two states-the original idea why Southern Cameroon gave their intention on 11th February 1961 to join the French over the Mungo.     
      In his paper: Because we were involved (Reflections on the All Anglophone Conference ten years after), by senior citizen Mwalimu George NGWANE, he declared “Whether the Anglophone problem is considered a forgotten scar of our collective memory or an open sore of our collective survival, it will continue to prick the conscience of the Cameroonian body-politic". Over the years the Government of President Paul Biya has been involved in decentralizing powers, changing the names of the provinces to regions. The Cameroun/Cameroon people have largely seen this as a smokescreen because nothing works in truth. The issue of decentralization or changing of names from provinces to regions is just a matter of semantics.
        Any political grouping in Cameroon that seeks change away from the current status quo by adhering to the Government of 'Regionalisation' or Decentralisation is just a lesser evil to the Biya's administration.
     Personally, my take is that any change to Cameroon political system without considering the reasons why Anglophones wanted to join the French would largely see a new form of Biya or Francophone government in another style or form. Cameroonians -and Anglophone youth especially, should recall that in the former federal constitution during the federal government, Anglophone MPs had the power of veto -meaning that any decision which the House (Parliament) took without the backing of absolute majority of the Anglophone MPs , such decision could not be accepted. This protected the minority rights of the Anglophone people.
Any proposed change to Cameroon system should state clearly how the Anglophone people shall be protected in the larger Francophone country. This issue of 'regionalizing' the government does not work; it's just a lesser evil of Biya's decentralization; it does not solve the Anglophone problem. 
 As an Anglophone political activist, I caution that Anglophone youths engaging in any political change should know where they are coming from; they should know the true history of Southern Cameroons, and above all they should not run from the issue.
Remember the original reasons why Southern Cameroonians voted to join French Cameroon was the idea of two states of equal status with alternating powers of all arms of government between the two Cameroons in a federal government.
In 1972, President Ahmadou Ahidjo- against the spirit and letter of the Constitution’ pushed through a new document that abolished the federal system, renamed the country the United Republic of Cameroon, and granted the president greater powers.
After assuming the presidency in November 1982, Paul Biya again in their assimilation style pushed through a revised Constitution in 1984. This document changed the country's name to the Republic of Cameroon- the name French Cameroon had at independence on 1st January 1960, thus completing the colonilization and assimilation of Southern Cameroon. Needless to mention the issue of Reunification as historians and constitutionalists of both Cameroons confirmed the illegality of the Union when they agreed in Yaounde on April 5, 2013 that no legal documents were established at the time of reunification between the two Cameroons to bind them in a union.
         It is interesting to note that my political friend from the other side of the Mungo (Francophone), a former Unionist, comrade Alain Ngono had this to say "On our nation, there should be no taboo. We shall be ready to listen to others. Whether we are against or in favour of SCNC, is not a big deal at this stage. The truth of the matter is that it is an issue that our generation will have to address. So we need to have the best possible understanding of it. We should not look at it with passion, favour or ignore it". This is the type of Cameroonians I am looking for, this is how our brothers from the French side should look at the future Cameroon .He stated it clearly that it is a problem our generation will have to solve and by inviting leaders of the SCNC movement on the table, a lot of things could change for the good of the entire Country; yet the Biya's government has ignored the calls for dialogue from the Banjul African Court.
       Another former student Union leader comrade Tata Mbinglo from Nkambe constituency corroborated comrade Ngono when he declared "We the youths are positivists. Let's hold each other's hand and walk through this gate to our destination. That which God has shown to us. It takes some time but we must get there as activists, politicians, scholars, civil society, youths, as SCNC, as religious organizations; one thing is certain we are getting there as a people! Each night before we go to bed, let's reflect on this, on where we started; it was Faith that brought us to this point, it is faith that will take us there". Comrade Tata has embodied all components of the Cameroon society to seek a new Cameroon. These are the new breed Cameroonians I am looking for in my quest to see a new Cameroon; people who cknowledge the problems of our people and are prepared to get involve in honest and sincere solutions.
      That said, personally I think the best form of Government that could address Cameroon political landscape is a federated state  with federal parliaments, independent structures, greater autonomy to both Cameroons to manage their affairs. It could be a two-state or ten- state solution transforming the regions to states or better still it could be the four- state solution as proposed by the SDF. Whatever form we want, all major actors must sit on the drawing board to map a new road for Cameroon. Let us not forget this as youths and most especially those of Anglophone extraction. We should always have in mind where we are coming from and what type of Cameroon we want to leave for our Children.
      I recall  that sometime in 2008/2009 in one of my write ups I defined Cameroon bilingualism as "the ability to read and understand French, whether you read and understand English does not matter so far as you speak and understand French, the job is largely yours." Thus, in my quest for a new Cameroon I do not want my children to fight through marginalization to succeed, I do not want my children to speak a particular language to succeed as we have seen in the military, police, government offices, national team etc. I want my children to live in a society where peace and justice is seen to be done for both cultures wherein they will succeed not because they are seen to speak French or they come from a particular area but based on meritocracy they are seen to succeed. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.

*Bara Mark B is Cameroonian political Activist and freelance writer .He holds an M.Sc in Environmental Sanitation from the Faculty of Bio-science Engineering, University of Ghent, Belgium. Bara Mark is a former Student Union Leader UB and is currently the black student representative in the Faculty of Bio-science Engineering Council, University of Ghent.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cameroon :Chief Ayamba, the SCNC, and the CPDM Regime

By Tazoacha Asonganyi in Yaounde
        The CPDM regime wrote a “Vision-2035” in which it considers its first challenge to be the consolidation of democracy and the enhancement of “national unity” in a “united and indivisible nation enjoying peace and security.” “National unity” is said to be a “permanent and ambitious goal” in a country where “threats, risks and obstacles” include the management of the “dual Anglophone-francophone heritage,” having succeeded to ensure “original cohabitation between the English-speaking and French-speaking systems…” Although there have been “divergences as seen in the violent representation of remote identities as well as outbreak of tensed or even irredentist conflicts,” they were contained by a “pro-active and strong state, capable of containing centrifugal forces and enhancing national solidarity…”
     The “consolidation of democracy” is said to imply “the existence of a constitutional state, (and) promotion and respect for individual and collective freedoms.”
     It is within this backdrop of the declaration of intent in the so-called “vision-2035” that we recall a cardinal principle of modern international law, binding on all nations, especially members of the United Nations: the right of self-determination, or the right of a people to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status.
     Although consensus on the type of groups  or “peoples” that can claim the right to self-determination is not well defined, Anglophone Cameroonians - Southern Cameroonians as they are known - enjoyed the status by their treatment as an entity, as a League of Nations Mandated Territory and a United Nations Trust Territory. Further, their walkout en masse from the Eastern Nigerian House of Assembly in Enugu in 1953, their self-governing status in Buea from 1954-1961, and their participation in a UN-organised plebiscite in 1961 more than defined them as a people that enjoys such a status. In addition to all these, the recognition of persons of Southern Cameroons origin as “a people” with the right of self-determination by the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights was a reflection of these historical acts that marked them out as such.
    Of course, the decision to gain independence by joining the Republic of Cameroun in 1961 did not abrogate this right. Unlike the Americans that sat down in 1789 and hammered out the conditions for a “one and indivisible union,” the Southern Cameroons delegation refused the use of the word “indivisible” in Foumban, leading Ahidjo to state in his concluding remarks that: “in order to avoid a certain confusion that might arise from the word ‘indivisible’, we admit that it should purely and simply be omitted.”
  Indeed, it is because such union status did not always abrogate the right of self-determination that many other such unions in history ended in reversals. In this wise, the September 18, 2014 vote on independence in a referendum in Scotland after a 307-year union in the United Kingdom, is an example of the continued right of self-determination of peoples that join such unions. It will be recalled that Ireland opted out of the UK arrangement since 1922, through a similar independence referendum. No need to mention Quebec in Canada, and many other peoples in similar unions.
      The ban in Cameroon on the creation of political parties that “threaten national unity,” is against the spirit of international law. The consequence of the ban is the emergence of organizations like the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC). The constant confrontations with the security forces of the Cameroon “nation state” as recently occurred in Mamfe at the burial of the Chairman of the SCNC Chief Ayamba, is an affront to the right of self-determination of a people that consider themselves oppressed in the Cameroon union. Indeed, the slogan of the organization that professes “the force of argument, not the argument of force” is a disarming slogan that exposes the “pro-active and strong state, capable of containing centrifugal forces” as an oppressive state that uses totalitarian methods.
    Those with a good knowledge of human nature like Malcolm Gladwell usually say that endurance and survival of the trauma of constant brutalization by security forces has a liberating effect which gives birth to courage. Excessive use of force creates legitimacy problems, which give birth to defiance, not submission. Defiant persons can be killed or maimed by brutal use of state power, but invariably, it only leads to the appearance of more defiant people.
     It is usually said that some revolutions are started not by revolutionaries in the first place, but by the stupidity and brutality of regimes. The “pro-active and strong state, capable of containing centrifugal forces” in Cameroon should worry about what organizations like the SCNC think about the regime because, like it or not, their opinion counts! When unjust laws are applied in the absence of legitimacy, it leads to disobedience, not obedience. Power is not just physical force; it has many forms.
    The CPDM regime should reflect deeply on the consequences of the constant arrest, torture and detention of SCNC members. The regime should reflect on the consequences of their standoff with the organization in Tiko following the demise of Martin Ngeka Luma some years ago, and more recently, in Mamfe following that of Chief Ayambe Ette Otun in Mamfe - both leaders of the “irredentist” SCNC.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cameroon: Presidency Disappointed as Buea Council Bars Accredited Editor from First Lady's Event

Chris Ambe:RECORDER Editor
The Presidency of the Republic  is  said to be disappointed at  news  that, the CPDM-run Buea Council  Municipal Police,  reportedly acting on firm instruction from  Mayor  Ekema Patrick Esunge, chased away  the  editor of  The RECORDER newspaper, who was officially accredited to  cover  the  “AIDS-free Holidays” campaign, an initiative of First Lady ,Chantal Biya,which took place  at the  Buea Council
        Armed with an invitation from Jean Stephane Biatcha , Executive Secretary of African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering, to cover the closing ceremony of “AIDS-Free Holidays” and  already seated in the hall taking down notes ,the Buea Council Police having failed to persuade  your  editor  leave the hall  while the event ,chaired by Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai ,was going on, employed the services of  a police man.
The police officer entered the hall and politely told the editor that the latter’s attention was needed outside the hall. When the editor stepped out he was confronted by several municipal council police security men, who insisted that he should leave the Council’s premises, without any justification.
         Your editor’s attempts to bring them to reason (by showing his formal invitation and insisting on his legal right to have access to the council office, which is public and not private property), failed.
          Even when a senior superintendent of police intervened and asked them to produce documentary evidence showing that your editor was a persona non-grata of the Council, they rather looked confused and could not show any document.  Waiving aside the invitation shown to them, they insisted that they could not take the risk of letting your editor re-enter the hall, for fear of losing their jobs.
“We have received instruction from hierarchy to send you out,” they said, calling your editor by name, indicative of the fact that it was not a matter of mistaken identity.
One of the council guards then rushed into the hall and brought out your editor’s bag, which contained his journalistic gadgets and handed to him.
       When your editor made it abundantly clear to the Council guards that their uncalled-for hostility was doing a disservice to the First lady, who wished to see the event extensively reported by the media, the mayor’s men reiterated that  they were simply executing hierarchical instruction.
         The Senior Police Superintendent(name withheld), in the heat of  the argument asked your editor to go stand by the open door of the hall and perform his journalistic assignment, since the Governor was already addressing the large audience. Even when your editor stood by the door, he was “guarded” by the Council’s men in uniform for fear that your editor could dash into the hall against “instruction from hierarchy”
          Immediately the ceremony ended and Mayor Ekema was out for a group picture, the number of guards monitoring your editor increased, and your editor  was later escorted out of the council, as on-lookers and other journalists present were at a loss to understand what was actually happening.
“Is this the Change  Has Come to Buea slogan in action ? ” an observer who witnessed the drama, wondered aloud, before recommending  that the CPDM Party hierarchy should urgently  call Buea  Council authorities   to order.
Your editor is not the only one reportedly blacklisted by Buea Council.
        Even Ayang Mc Donald, young but critical reporter  of the Eden newspaper whose reports like those of your editor are considered too critical of the Buea Council, has been molested and chased away on several occasions  from the Council by the Mayor’s men, some of who have been threatening journalists with a penchant for hard news.
          The Recorder gathered that only journalists or those passing for journalists who, for selfish reasons, avoid or don’t even know what is  critical and investigative reporting are allowed access into Buea Council.
A council policeman confided in your editor that because he (editor) is a close friend  to Senator Charles Mbella Moki who reportedly has a personality conflict with Mayor Ekema, the latter suspects that the former must be encouraging critical reporting on the Council management and officials.
     Unfortunately, the Buea Council’s hostility towards certain journalists is being exercised not long after the CPDM Central Committee organized a seminar for all CPDM mayors in the Southwest at CNPS Hall, emphasizing the great need for them to adopt a more open door policy and transparency in the management of councils, to show that the CPDM remains the leading party in the promotion of democratic tenets.
A senior official at the Presidency of the Republic who learned of the molestation of your editor by a CPDM-run council in a telephone conversation last Thursday, expressed shock at what happened during the ceremony in Buea
 “It is unbelievable. This is an embarrassment to the Presidency. You don’t joke with the activities of the First lady,” remarked the official, who did not want to be named, because he was not officially  mandated to publicly react to the unfortunate incident.
(First published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon,of September 15,2014)

New Book Suggests Solutions to Cameroon's Perennial Problems

   The  man in his words

AUTHOR: Mokun Njouny
(Tel :+237 77 57 88 79)
PUBLISHER: Editions Veritas
Edition: 2013
Reviewer: Claris Dud

       This book is particularly innovative; first ,in its form (the manifesto of a candidate standing for a major election, the programme of a reformist party or the cry of a patriot that was deeply attached to his native land and impatient to see how his country could explore its enormous human and natural resources), followed by its presentation in a bilingual format (English and French), expression of a great concern for inclusion, accessibility to all and a consideration of Cameroon’s specificities; and finally the approach: devoted collaborators and an author, apparently of great  humility, who simply limits himself to putting together the ideas and entirely allowing the person at the centre of this editorial project to express  himself. Far from presenting Dr Christopher Fomunyoh to us from his own perception – that may be biased and distorted, the author leaves the latitude for everyone to make his own opinion, through a clear, concise and coherent presentation of the words of this Cameroonian, soldier and sentinel of democracy, committed to serving Africa and the world.
      The author, in this eleven-chapter book, not only presents the vision of Christopher Fomunyoh on the socio-political, economic and diplomatic development of Cameroon in particular, but also for Africa and the world in general. The themes discussed relate to various aspects of national and international life, with a patriotic focus and constant desire to see Cameroon prominent position and play a leading role in the world, equal to its abundant natural and human potentials.
     All through the book, it  is clear  that political debate in Cameroon is excessively polarized, in a logic that is partisan and outdated; a situation that hinders the putting in place of credible democratic institutions that could play an educational role for citizens and as a consequence has given way to contested legality at the detriment of democratic legitimacy. Similarly, the constant disagreement over the establishment of the electoral register and the permanent challenge of institutions in charge of assuring democratic legitimacy is a reflection of the poor management of the transition since the early 1990s, despite the existing sham political and media pluralism.
      On the future of the opposition, Christopher Fomunyoh posits that for a real change to take place in Cameroon, there is need for an all- inclusive approach: “a broad coalition that will include not only the opposition parties but also those who, though militants of the ruling party, want things to change and that the management of national wealth benefit all Cameroonians."  Despite "the restrictions to freedom, interference by the executive and the administration in the mobilization efforts of parties, the malleability of our Constitution and various laws that distorts the political game and equal opportunities for political stakeholders," he suggests ten points which opposition parties could work on to attract both national and international audience and visibility in terms of votes from the electorate. These range from self-criticism or self-assessment to establishing professional relationships with major international bodies, through liaising with civil society and the Diaspora, the revision of recruitment strategies at the grassroots and the indispensable renewal of leadership.
     In the book,Christopher Fomunyoh addresses the Anglophone problem courageously and  objectively ,inviting both Francophones and Anglophones  to consider Cameroon as their common good and home, where everyone should deploy all the necessary energy beyond cultural divides, victimisation and recurrent lamentations. This applies too for the future of the country, for according Dr Fomunyoh, after President Biya’s thirty years in power; it is natural to start envisaging the transition.
    Legitimately, every citizen who feels competent can nurse presidential ambitions and ensure that there is “a global consensus over the person who has the required capacity, expertise and vision to be the country’s flag bearer."
    Is Christopher Fomunyoh nursing presidential ambitions? His answers keep the reader waiting, despite the fact that there are persistent calls to this effect. While expressing his availability and demonstrated interest in anything that can move the country forward, he does not see himself as the corner stone: "I am open to all those who are fighting and working for a better Cameroon. Of course, I respect everyone's ideas and I do not fail to share my ideas with everyone, whatever his affinity ... Within the framework of my work, I have gathered a lot of experience and expertise that I plan to share with the entire Cameroonian community."  He hints, "In the years ahead, I will continue to connect with fellow patriotic democrats, militants of political parties across the board, the civil society, women and youth, as well as the grassroots, especially in rural areas, to ensure that our country finds the place that should be hers among the emerging democracies of the continent and the world."  Such is a veritable political declaration and the expression of a strong desire to see it succeed.
     Ultimately, this book is consistent with the convictions of Dr Fomunyoh; a lot of tolerance, a fervent determination, great expertise and long experience in transition mechanisms or democratic change. How then can one imagine that Cameroon would not make full gains from such an exceptional know-how that one may have the luck to find once in a generation?
     This book is a well-polished piece of work! It is  not by coincidence but an art of mastership in the rule of law, democracy, elections and others that for over two decades the speeches, interviews and write-ups of Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh have been focused on all sectors of Cameroon's life - a mark of people-oriented leadership.
   The publisher is to the point when it notes that; “There are values to be cultivated. There are experiences to be shared. There are ideas that deserve to be recorded in a book of records.” This should be the motivation for Mokun Njouny Nelson to have come up with this thrilling book of our time, with must-read contents on Cameroon's political life, the economic situation, organization of elections, the Senate, the Opposition and its future, the Anglophone problem, Diaspora, Democratic transition in Africa, President Paul Biya, Challenges ahead, Diplomacy, Profile of next president, Presidential aspirations and Hope in a whirlwind.
    Easy to read and accessible to the general public, Mokun Njouny Nelson, offers the public an interesting synthesis and civic contribution that is likely to inspire stakeholders and influence the socio-political evolution of Cameroon.

NB: Dr Christopher Fomunyoh is one of the most respected voices speaking for democracy in Africa. He serves as the Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa at the Washington based National Democratic Institute, NDI.

Cameroon:First Female Regional Delegate for Communication Appointed

By Christopher Ambe
Muma Achu Rosette Bih
Muma Achu Rosette Bih, who was serving as interim Southwest Regional Delegate for Communication was, on September 8, confirmed as the regional communication boss by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari.
    Muma Achu’s confirmation as regional delegate was among other appointments made by the minister in the Ministry of Communication.
    Muma Achu, aged about 40, is now on record as the first ever female to occupy the post of regional communication delegate in the country.
“To the best of my knowledge I am the first female to be appointed as regional delegate of communication in the Southwest Region since independence. The appointment came as a pleasant surprise to me. I am thankful to the Minister for the confidence he has in me,” she told The Recorder, shortly after her appointment. “Before being confirmed as the regional communication boss, I served here as Interim Delegate for a little over one year”
    Muma Achu, who is a career journalist with about fourteen years of journalistic practice, told The Recorder that she would do her best to bring sanity into the journalism practice in the Southwest.
“Many journalists practicing in the southwest are not trained and as such don’t understand the media law and Government’s communication Policy”
    Muma Achu had before held other duty posts in the same Ministry of Communication such as Divisional Delegate of Communication for Manyu and Fako Divisions .She had also headed the Communication Unit of the Southwest Provincial Technical Group for the Fight against HIV/AIDS.
Muma Achu  holds a First Degree in English from the University of Yaoundé 1 and is a graduate of the Advanced School of Mass Communication (ASMAC) Yaoundé.
(First Published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon,of September 15,2014)

Cameroon:Chief A.S. Ngwana laid to rest in Bamenda

By Christopher Ambe
The mortal remains of Chief Albert Samba Ngwana, 77, were on Saturday September 6 buried at their family compound in GRA up-staion, Bamenda,after two requiem masses were said at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral,Akwa,Douala and at  St Joseph Cathedral Bamenda ,in honor of the fallen patriarch and patriot.
    Both masses were attended by hundreds of mourners from home and abroad especially Christians since the deceased was well-known to be a committed Catholic faithful.
Chief Ngwana also described as an out spoken politician, before his demise was the National Chair of the Cardinal Democratic Party (CDP) with head quarters in Douala.
This British-trained banker who became the pioneer Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cameroon Bank (defunct), died on August 17 in a hospital in Douala after a brief illness.
                                      The Last Journey
     After the corpse removal from the Garnison Militaire Mortuary, Douala last September 5 in the afternoon, it was taken to the St.Peter & Paul Cathedral in Akwa Douala, where a requiem mass was said from 7:30, lasting over an hour.

    Officiating at the divine service at Akwa, were three priests Clement Aboundi Nova, Fr. Christopher Gey Kum and Rev. Hontanon.
     Rev. Aboundi Nova described life and death as the greatest mystery, noting that Chief Ngwana was a devout Catholic Christian, who never missed the Holy Communion, which gives life and not death.The presiding priest likened Chief Ngwana to an angel.

“It is very important for angels for angels to bury us than for people to make all types of preparation.
“Chief Ngwana is an angel; let us bury him in quiet”, remarked the priest. “No Matter what happens Papa Ngwana is in the kingdom of God”
The Douala mass ended with mourners filing past to get a view of iconic Chief Ngwana.
Kinspeople pay last respects
    Accompanied by a long convoy of mourners after the Douala requiem mass, the hearse drove to Carrefour Music in Bonaberi, where Chief Ngwana was laid in state fo
r more more tributes .His tribes people who had converged there paid tributes, sang and danced in honor of the departed Beba man, whom they said, was a rallying force and great source of inspiration to all and sundry. “Pa was everything to us here”, one woman in tears told this reporter 
Requiem Mass at Mankon Cathedral   
When the hearse arrived Bamenda on September 7, another requiem mass was said at St.Joseph Cathedral Mankon, officiated by four priests: Rev. Prieto (vicaire Regional de l’Opus Dei), Rev.Humphrey Tata Mbue, Rev. Kizito and Rev. Paul Njokikang .
In his homily, Rev.Tata Mbue stressed that, death is a moment for deep reflection. To make his homily more interesting, the priest explained the meaning of every letter of the word “Death.”
     He said the D in death stands for definition. According to him, death has defined human beings; that it shows that human beings are limited-that is there is a beginning and an end. He noted that death is the clumsiest diplomat that does not know how to discuss with someone .The priest advised that “we should always pray for a good death, so that people can come and sit together when it happens.
     He said the E in death stands for equality, meaning all human beings are equal before God and are only different in their different assignments; that E also represents eternity, since mankind was made for eternity. Justifying the letter A in death, Rev. Humphrey Tata, said it stands for acceptance, implying “we must learn to accept the reality of death”
     The letter T, the priest continued, stands for truth. “The only lie you cannot tell is that you cannot die”, he noted. He described late Chief Ngwana as a principled man, who was ever ready to die for his principles.
     The letter H in death, according to the Minister of God, stands fro humility.”Many of us fear to accept who we are, the humble background we come from”, he noted.” Pride goes before fall. And there is nothing we are supposed to be proud of-even our lives”
In summary,l eulogies from family members, friends and others described late Chief Ngwana as a God-fearing man who did his best to contribute to the development  of mankind and the society.
    For his part, Albert Agha Ngwana, son of the deceased, was thankful to all those who sacrificed in one way or the other to support his family in giving his father a befitting funeral and burial.

           The Life & Death of Chief Ngwana,the Patriot

                                         By Albert  Agha Ngwana*
    Chief Albert Samba Ngwana was born circa 1937 in Babaji, now known as Beba, in Menchum Valley Sub- Division in the Northwest region of Cameroon. He was born from a Catholic family. He attended primary school in Okoyong,Mamfe from 1943 to 1949, then proceeded to St. Joseph College, Sasse,Buea from 1950 to1954.  He was admitted into the seminary but later was told by the Rector that he could no longer continue his studies in the Seminary and sent to attend regular classes, in spite of passing his final exams. He obtained the senior Cambridge overseas School Certificate. He then joined Barclays Bank, where he was one of two Africans sponsored by Barclays bank DCO for managerial training in London. He worked and studied in London from 1957-1960 where he qualified in banking and obtained the ACIS in 1960 and became the first Cameroonian qualified banker. He is a life associate of the British institute 0f bankers.
Professional career
    Upon the completion of his studies in England, he returned to Nigeria, where he worked with Barclays Bank. He was later directed by the bank to man its operations in Cameroon.  However, after attending a course on balance and payments methodology with the international monetary fund (IMF) in Washington DC, on his return home, he was appointed the first and only Managing Director and Chief Executive to the newly created State bank he founded in conjunction with his then employers Barclays Bank, by Dr. John Ngu Foncha, the then Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon and Prime Minister of West Cameroon government.
    After he created Cameroon bank Ltd, he made it flourish from 1961-1966. During his tenure at Cameroon Bank, he was offered a top job by the IMF, in Washington, D.C., however, when he submitted his passport to obtain a visa for the job, the passport “disappeared” and did not resurface until 3 years later when the job opportunity had gone, as the government of Cameroon withheld it to restrict his movement for being suspected of financing Anglophone businesses and the Anglophone opposition. From that moment he decided that his future was no longer safe in Cameroon and looked for any opportunity to exile himself.
    He accumulated functions as vice chairman in charge of finance in the Cameroon Chambers of Commerce from 1964 to1968. When he could not meet up his aspirations, he resigned his post for private business and used the opportunity to lead a banking delegation to Spain to leave Cameroon, and lived in exile until 1978, at which time he re-surfaced in Cameroon sporadically and attempted to re-integrate business life in the country, without real success due to the political climate and his stands against the government of Cameroon.
    After his departure Cameroon he worked in conjunction with multinationals in the import and export industry in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin and England: countries in which he operated and opened offices.  During this period, he then also established a flourishing foreign exchange business, until 1976, when the Nigerian authorities froze all his assets to restrain his activities. From that point on he became a serial entrepreneur and consultant in various business.
Chief Ngwana ,the devout Christian.
    As stated earlier, Chief Ngwana was born into a catholic family and in his early academic years was a seminarian at Sasse College.  After being made to leave the seminary, he continued a very strict religious life and his love for the Church and its teachings grew stronger, year after year.          Although a prominent businessman, he decided to put God before anything else in his life and made prayer his strongest tool in this world.  His philosophy was that acts of charity were Godly and that a devotion to the Virgin Mary and a dedication of his professional/vocational life to Christ was the ultimate joy.  Compromising with any aspect of religion, or the doctrine and dogmas of the Catholic Church were not matter for compromise.  His life and all he did became in the name of God and material things became worthless to him if not for his bare survival.  He thus spent a lot of time catering to the needs of others and sacrificed the pursuit of  material wealth.
    Upon becoming a member of Opus Dei, he found the perfect path to heaven.  His life totally changed and the practices he had developed by executing his daily plan of life found the perfect Chanel to heaven.  Everything he did became tied to his daily apostolate, acts of charity and quest for closeness with God.
He became an advocate for family in the catholic and Christian manner, for marriage and for life.  As such he wrote many articles and books on population and development, the ills of abortion and contraception, the joy of marriage, the virtue of living a pious life.
    He spent most of his life doing doctrinal teachings, to all he met, without discrimination and also trying to make sure that as many people as he knew could say the rosary or at least say it once with him and if they are not baptized , direct them towards that path.  As such he had many unwed couples marry and bring up their families in the catholic way.  One of his mottos was”pray, pray, pray and pray some more”. “Never get tired of praying, keep praying, as God always listens to his children.”
    While working closely, with the Church, he engaged in philanthropic activities which resulted in the construction of secondary schools, a university to take care of children, church building and aid to priests wherever they were located.
    He sponsored many people who needed help in furthering their career or life. Some of the people are now doctors, priests, engineers, pilots, Lawyers and directors of companies.
    Chief Ngwana was a member of the Catholic Men’s Association (CMA). He equally belonged to and patronized several Christian groupings and had a very strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
          Chief Ngwana,a family man.
Chief  Ngwana married the love of his life, Elizabeth Nyamsi Ngwana in 1960 and stayed married and in love with her until his death on August 17, 2014, fifty-four years later. They have five children, eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  All his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are practicing Catholics.
    His love for his wife was exemplary.  After she had been diagnosed with a neurological condition and became helpless and totally dependent and speechless and near paralyzed, he stood by her and took care of her over the years, giving her personal attention and making sure she never lacked anything, from medical to spiritual care.  He loved her unconditionally and with the same love he had for her the first day he fell in love with her.
Chief Ngwana, the politician
Chief Ngwana founded the Cameroon Democratic Party (CDP) to fight the dictatorship government of a one party authoritarian State in Cameroon. The CDP was launched in Douala because we knew it was the same pattern of government which was going to continue. During the launching, there were mass arrests of party militants. The party instructed 24 of the country’s best lawyers to register it, but, the government could not allow another party to run alongside the only existing party in the country the CNU.
    Even though multiparty reforms were being instituted up in Cameroon, the government decided to make sure he remained in exile by withholding his passport when he submitted it for visa renewal at the Cameroon embassy in Lagos. However, as a staunch catholic, he held tight to his faith.
    His political philosophy grew out of his love for his country Cameroon andhis belief in one sovereign and indivisible Cameroon. He preferred a federated Cameroon and was a very strong supporter of all progressive Anglophone causes which furthered equal status and autonomy through federation.
    Chief Ngwana changed his party’s name to the Cardinal Democratic Party, after the government registered another party in his party’s name and stated it was registered before his.  The name Cardinal Democratic Party was chosen personally by him to make sure that his political mission was godly and really not to be confused. 
His mission as a politician was purely a continuation of his apostolic work on earth.  He used his political platform to spread the word of God and especially act as a warrior of Christ combatting evil, as he believed good can never be defeated by evil, no matter how popular evil had become, so long as valiant warrior of the Church stood up against it and fought to remind everyone of the will of God.  He thus made sure he was a shameless advocate of the word of God and defender of assailed principles of the Church.
    As a catholic, a family man, a politician and a philanthropist, he always put God first and lived his life for God and to further the legacy of Christ on earth.  He ended his life as a simple and humble man who touched the lives of many and who left the mark of Christ in each he touched. At the end of his life, he became selfless as the spirit of God had completely invaded his soul to replace temporal matters and earthly longings. 
    A memorial website has been set up in his memory for testimonies and tributes and images and photos of this memorable soul at
    *Albert  Agha Ngwana is son of late Chief A.S.Ngwana
(Fiist published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon,of September 15,2014)

CPDM Delusional Politics of Motions of Support

By Tazoacha Asonganyi 
    Government is a service industry that is responsible for delivery of services to society.  Politicians are the “experts” that provide the raw material for the services, while public servants – in the civil service – and other co-opted agents are the vehicles for delivering the services that they use the raw materials to manufacture. Government’s promotion of the private sector is usually in this realm.
    Political parties are organized groups that seek to control state power, and form governments to provide these services to society in ways usually defined by doctrines, and visions packaged under various universal labels – socialist, social democrat, liberal, conservative, Christian democrat, you name them. Some people usually claim that Africa does not need these labels, as if to say that Africans do not have scales of values.
    These doctrines are ideas articulated by people and implemented for society. Interestingly, there seem to be no doctrinaire CPDM people in Cameroon because the politics of the party is centered on one man and implemented for one man through motions of support. This has seemed endless, for 30-some years and still going. The politics has seasonality - like locusts - coming and going with society’s mood.  As described by one of them in the heat of recent conflicting motions-of-support, “they are made to sign these motions of support at night, with torches, often on blank sheet”; and they are always told that their One Man agrees with them.
    In the nature of all human effort, there comes a time when even the best intentioned use of a fraudulent tool begins to backfire. And when it backfires, there is always cacophony. That is what the fate of the CPDM is today!
    For all the emphasis on stability, the end-of-reign mood in Cameroon has been jittery for some time now. This is probably why Cavaye Yeguié Djibril tried to exploit our scare about Boko Haram by making the unsubstantiated declaration from the tribune of the national assembly that “…Members of Boko Haram are among us, some acting in the dark while others act as hypocrites, pretending to help (the regime) but actually hiding their intention to set the country on fire…” Many CPDM militants cheered, with Guillaume Sorro looking on in deep reflection about North-South divides. At that time, my good friend of communication who usually fumbles the vital job of providing information to Cameroonians about how the power they have delegated to government is being used, was quiet. With probably Marafa and other supposed candidates for succession in mind, the silence was spent in celebration of the Cavaye bluff.
    Well, the elite of Lekie Division probably reasoned that if “members of Boko Haram are among us,” they must be within the ranks of people of Adamawa, North and Far North, since the perception daily distilled to us is that the people of those regions want to destabilize “their” One Man, and takeover his power – “their” power! And since Cavaye Yeguie Djibril has been using all subterfuges to claim leadership of the “Northern Block,” he felt obliged to react on behalf of the Block in spite of his previous grandstanding about Boko Haram. And then this time around, as if from a deep slumber, my good friend of communication rushed in to tell us that “there is no Cameroonian Boko Haram.” Good Job!
    This is all like CPDM politics, except that when a similar declaration was made in the past about “enemies in the house,” no leader of the Block against which the declaration was made emerged from within the CPDM regime to counter it. It is the fault of the Block, not that of any one else. It shows the Block – again - as the weak link of the politics of the united Cameroon – of the CPDM!
    In a system where decentralization is not forthcoming, the CPDM has based their motion-of-support politics on decentralized motions of CPDM barons that they claim, represent the voice of the nation. This is attested by the volumes of motions of support published by the public corporation, SOPECAM. Paul Biya agrees indeed with the politics and lives by it. He has used motions of support in the past in lieu of his party convention to declare himself candidate for the presidency.
    CPDM militants have learned to deceive themselves convincingly using motions of support. Motions of support have become a powerful protective vaccine that gives the money-hungry, me-firsters in the CPDM the energy to embezzle public funds and engage in all types of self-serving maneuvers against national interest, with impunity.
    The CPDM may sing itself hoarse, or write their pens dry, or spend precious time on their keyboards writing motions of support. That will not change the reality that no one will ever finish the job of President of the Republic. Not in Cameroon; not anywhere in the world. Ahidjo did not finish it; Biya will not either.

CAROSAF & Buea Council Are For Accident-free 2014/15 Academic Year,says Edwin Minang

The Cameroon Road Safety Foundation (CAROSAF), a Buea-based NGO noted for its road safety campaigns has, in partnership with the Buea Road Council, launched a two-week road safety campaign within the Buea municipality, to ensure an accident-free 2014 /2015 back- to- school. The Recorder caught up with Edwin Minang, CAROSAF CEO for an interview.
Below Excerpts:
Edwin Minang
Recorder:Mr. CEO of CAROSAF, why are you so involved in road safety campaign?

 Mr.Minang:  Thank you Mr. Editor for always having interest in our activities, which are very people-and development-oriented.
    As you know we advocate road safety and highway injury prevention; and in line with our objective to raise awareness on road safety we thought it very necessary to re-awaken roads users on safety measures as they use the roads during this period of schools re-opening. You know during this period, there is a lot of movement of people and vehicles - thus increasing the traffic rate on our roads.

I have learnt that this campaign is being carried in partnership with the Buea Council. What role does the Buea Council play here as a partner?
     Sometime in August 2013, the Buea Council and CAROSAF signed a memorandum of partnership, which is intended to ensure in the implementation of road safety measures within the Buea municipality. Within the frame work of this partnership, we are carrying out the school traffic controllers’ project .This project contributes to efforts geared towards protecting vulnerable road users, especially school children. Trained traffic controllers are stationed at selected locations within Buea Township to help cross school children and other road users at traffic peak periods in the morning and afternoon during school days. One year down the line of this partnership alongside the school traffic controllers project we decided to carry out this “Accident – free 2014/2015 Back to school Road Safety campaign which started from the 1st day of school reopening, During this campaign, amongst other things we organize sensitization sessions with Buea township taxi drivers during which road safety stickers will be put on all taxis circulating within the Buea Township; Sensitize inter-city city bus drivers (Agencies de Voyage) and the regular bus drivers who run Buea – Douala – Limbe – Kumba – Tiko. Stickers on Road safety will be placed on their dashboards as a reminder of what they are required to do or observe;walk  along the major roads within Buea municipality .We advise  drivers on the speed limit recommended by Government (90km/h highest) and also place road safety stickers on their cars; Visit driving schools within Buea municipality and discuss  road safety issues with them

What are you particularly emphasizing on during this road safety campaign?.
    I must say speed. Respect for  speed limit is the main aspect that we are emphasizing ,because if speed is respected then the other  aspects of road safety such  drunk– driving, driving  and  telephoning, over-loading ,non- use of seat belt) would have been minimized ;In  an event of an  accident the causality on the cars and persons is minimized. The stickers that we are distributing addresses speed. Those for taxi drivers carry the inscriptions “Taxi drivers, respect speed within the town – 30km/h; those for highway drivers have “Respect speed limit – max. 90km/h”.

What are some of the road safety activities that CAROSAF has been carrying out? 
    We  have conceived developed and are implementing the school traffic controllers’ projects in the Buea and Limbe. Since 2010, we have carried out yearly celebrations of World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims.
    In collaboration with the Buea council, we served as the technical partner to the administration of the Southwest Region in the organization of the landmark special road safety campaign for the celebration of 50 years of reunification of Cameroon.
    CAROSAF started a pilot school road safety club project in some schools within the Buea municipality.We also get involved in periodic road safety sensitization and syndicates within Fako Division
It would be recalled here that CAROSAF organized road safety sensitization workshop within the Cameroon Development corporation(CDC).We are doing quite a lot ,which we think is being appreciated by the public and the Local administration.

Sir can you tell us about the way forward?
    We intend to broaden the scope of the school traffic controllers projects to cover the entire Southwest region; expand on the school Road safety clubs projects to involve all schools within the entire region situated along major highways and within proximity to crash hotspots,
There is no doubt that CAROSAF will start a program of capacity strengthening of township taxi drivers in the major townships of the Southwest region.
    Let me add here that,in collaboration with the councils, CAROSAF  start a project of road safety crusaders at major motors parks within the Southwest Region; organize a yearly road safety award ceremony. This award recognizes achievements and innovations and I think such will improve road safety within the community.

Is CAROSAF just a Buea –based local NGO on road safety or you have affiliations and international connections?
    Well the headquarters of CAROSAF is in Buea where our office is, precisely the FAKO SHIP Plaza Building. Created since 2008, Cameroon Road Safety Foundation is affiliated to the following organizations:1) Global road safety partners – GRSP; 2) Africa road safety NGO network (here the coordinator of CAROSAF is the 2st secretary general; (3) global road safety  NGO network;(4) COALIROWE  ( a coalition of road safety NGO in Cameroon).

Has your NGO had the opportunity to take part in some international conferences?
     Of course! CAROSAF has participated in several international road safety meetings and conferences. For example, from November 9-11, 2011 CAROSAF was present during the second African road safety conference in ADDIS – ABABA Ethiopia during which the African Action Plan for the Decade of Action for road safety was declared. From July 16-18, 2013, CAROSAF attended the expert review meeting on the implementation of the Amity Program of Action concerning and small island in Africa – Addis Ababa
Again in 2014 (i.e. from 17-19 June) CAROSAF was present at the Africa road safety management work shop in Ethiopia and also attended the Regional Forum on Cross – Border Transport Infrastructure in Africa, Ethiopia

 From the balance sheet you just presented, it seems your NGO has come to stay?
    CAROSAF is a problem-solving NGO, and so long as the problems we try to resolve are there, we shall stay on. We are determined to leaves our foot prints on the sands of time, by contributing our quota to development and the promotion of long live. Life is so short, so we must all be very careful as we try to get the best of life.    
(First published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon ,of September 15,2014)

Chantal Biya Urges Youth to Intensify Fight against HIV/AIDS

                                          By Christopher Ambe
      First lady Chantal Biya has implored Cameroonian youth to intensify the fight against HIV/AIDS in order to be free from the deadly pandemic.
     The First Lady made the call  ,last September 10, at Buea Council premises,through Jean Stephane Biatcha, Executive Secretary of African Synergy Against AIDS and suffering, who represented her at the closing ceremony of a two-week “AIDS-free Holidays” campaign, chaired by Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai.
      The “AIDS-free Holidays” is an initiative of Madam Chantal Biya, Founding President of African Synergy, for an AIDS-free generation.
       According to official sources, Madam Chantal Biya created and launched the AIDS-free vacation campaign in 2003, conscious that mostly young people are victims of HIV/AIDS.
“AIDS-free Holidays”, according   to a leaflet distributed at the ceremony, “is a sensitization campaign for young people (school-going or not) organized during holidays.
 Twelve years since its inception the encouraging results have made the campaign a national activity, involving several partners who are actors in the fight     against AIDS.
     The Recorder learned that since 2003, about 6000 peer educators have been recruited and trained in the 10 regions of Cameroon, with more than nine million people sensitized; about 1.3 million educational talks organized; some 2.5millon condoms distributed and more than 200,000 people screened.
The theme for this year’s campaign was “Youth, the fight against HIV/AIDS Continues”
     At the Buea closing ceremony, Dr. Tchatchoua , Southwest Regional Coordinator for the Technical Group for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, revealed that  41 out of 2031 people who screened for HIV/AIDS tested positive, giving a prevalence rate of 1.8% .
     Mr. Biatcha considered the very low prevalence rate as satisfactory and lauded the sensitization efforts of the peer educators.
Governor Okalia  Bilai while commending  the initiative of the First Lady, reiterated the need for young people to intensify the war against the pandemic.
    Ivoline Mbinkar, one of the 100 peer educators in the southwest region, said it was exciting helping young people to stay to healthy. She said they sensitized their target population for two weeks and encouraged them to go for the HIV test so to know their status.
“ I call on the youth to do the AIDS test so to know their status. If they know their status, they would adjust their lifestyles”, she said.
    Gifts (didactic material and foodstuff) from the First Lady were handed to the peer educators.
     The well-attended ceremony was animated by cultural dances and musicians such as Tata Kinge. 

(First Published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon,of September 15,2014)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fako Land Scandal: Defunct Villages re-emerging to benefit from land surrender

*Is Buea Mayor a land grabber as alleged?
By Christopher Ambe                                                                                              
Buea Mayor Ekema Patrick
More villages ,said to be extinct are re-emerging in Fako Division  apparently to benefit from the hectares of land being ceded by the Cameroon Development Corporation(CDC), headquartered in Limbe, to indigenous communities in need of settlement space, The Recorder has learnt.

    It is now public knowledge that some Fako chiefs and some elites of certain villages that have so far benefitted from the CDC land surrender have become suddenly rich from the proceeds of “abusive” land sale, while less influential villagers have little or nothing, causing them to protest against the violation of their land rights.

   The Southwest Regional Office of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF), headed by University of Buea law don, Christopher Tambe Tiku, has many complaints from villagers about the violation of their land rights.

   So serious are the protests that the Cameroon government and the National Anti-corruption Commission (NACC) are already probing into the allegations of land-grabbing by some traditional and administrative authorities, and the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure, Jacqueline Koung A Bessike,has signed an order suspending any further CDC land surrender.

    As we went investigating into the resurrection of the defunct villages, the Divisional Officer for Buea,Kouam Wokam Paul, told The Recorder,  Friday August 22, in his office that, at the time he took over as the administrator of the subdivision, the handing over note from his predecessor showed that Buea had 59 villages with organized people whose chiefs were alive or dead. He added that these are villages he has visited.

    Mr.Kouam confirmed reports that some people have been storming his office to indicate their readiness to resuscitate defunct villages. He cited some of the re-emerging villages as Maungu and Liwo (after Lysoka).in Buea subdivision, adding that there are several more.

   The DO said when faced with such as a situation, he has to consult the archives to know whether such villages ever existed in the colonial (German) maps.  Mr. Kouam said once it is established that they existed, the applicants must prove that they are descendants of the villages in question, before development committees are set up by the administration as part of the village revival process.

   One of such villages said to be extinct was Wonjoku-near Bulu village. But with the revival of Wonjoku village on-going, it has applied for hectares of CDC land surrender and it is impatiently waiting. The Recorder gathered that tens of hectares of CDC surrendered land near Bulu Village meant as a layout for Wonjoku in Bova II have allegedly been sold out by those who applied for the land surrender with the apparent connivance of local administrators.

    When this reporter asked the DO for Buea who is said to have installed a development committee recently in Wonjoku if it is true that the village benefited from CDC land surrender, Mr. Kouam quipped, “I installed a development committee in Lower Wonjoku village, which is different from the Wonjoku with the surrendered land.” Mr. Kouam said he came and met the Wonjoku with the surrendered land, but quickly added that “I think that they would not have surrendered land if the Administration was not certain that it is a real village”
  Wonjoku: Quarter in Bova II   or full-fledged village?

Further investigation revealed that there is another Wonjoku in the Bonavada area. While the Chief of Bova II village, Nyoki Isume, claims that this Wonjoku is a quarter in his village, residents of Wonjoku boast that it an autonomous village with all rights and obligations.

This is the Wonjoku from where the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, reportedly hails, and it is alleged that it is he who applied for CDC Land surrender for his “village” and they were allocated 50 hectares called Wonjoku layout, near Bulu village, incidentally where the other Wonjoku village is found.It is alleged that Mayor Ekema has sold a chunk of the contoversial Wonjoku layout

    A team of inquisitive reporters from three media houses last Saturday August 23, went to the Palace of Chief of Bova II, to get clarification on the status of Wonjoku( said to be  a quarter in his village) and to find out if at all Bova II also applied for CDC land surrender. Unfortunately, Chief Nyoki Isume was not in. But we left our contact addresses and introduced the subject of our visit.

In search of facts,we now decided to meet the Chairman of Bova II Traditional Council to see if he could answer our questions. That led us to Wonjoku, where -luckily for us -its “Traditional Council” was meeting to look into a problem the DO for Buea had asked them to resolve, we were told.

 Also present at the “Traditional Council” was the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick,but who did not accompany the Traditional Council Chair,Bwembe Ndima Paul and his notables such as  Bwanonge Liombe when they were  answering our questions.

Wonjoku defends its Position

The Wonjoku Traditional Council boasted to us that Wonjoku is a full-fledged village (not a quarter in Bova II) that had applied and was allocated 50 hectares of CDC land Surrender, which, they claimed they have already shared it out without any complaints registered anywhere.

Chairman Bwembe declared that it was he and his notables who applied for the land surrender and not Mayor Ekema Patrick as allegations strongly hold. The allegations also hold that, it is Mayor Ekema,who had applied for the 50 hectares of land, posing as the Chief of Wonjoku;that he had sold out a good chunk of the land for his personal aggrandizement.

 The notables told us that Mayor Ekema Patrick is a member of Wonjoku, adding that he is from the royal family,a possibility that he could become a chief.

 Asked who the Chief of Wonjoku is, they told us that he is of late and that he was called Chief Likuka. But the Traditional Council failed to say exactly which year he died, when we further inquired. As to when the new chief of Wonjoku would be enthroned, the Traditional Council said the process was underway and journalists would be in informed at the appropriate time.

The Recorder did not succeed to independently verify the claim that it was the Traditional Council Chairman and not Mayor Ekema,who had applied for the Wonjoku land surrender. Our sources at the Limbe SDO’s office said the file was a sensitive one that it is  kept jealously.

Chief of Bova  II Speaks out.                

Several hours later after we had left Wonjoku,Chief Nyoki Isume, telephoned The Recorder to indicate his readiness to clear our doubts.

In an exclusive telephone interview (recorded) with Recorder Editor, the Chief Nyoki insisted that Wonjoku is merely a quarter in Bova II. Following are excerpts of our conversation:

Recorder: Your Higness, knowing your open-door approach to issues, we want to find out whether Wonjoku-the one near you is a village of a quarter under you?

Chief: It is a quarter under me.

Recorder: Is this Wonjoku different from the one behind University of Buea-near Bulu Village?

Chief: You know those people came from that area (Wonjoku near Bulu).There was much witchcraft there and the villagers ran to come here. There is another quarter in Lysoka also called Wonjoku.These people escaped from witchcraft and came here. They were staying inside the bush and my other people of Bova joined them there; that is why the quarter is called Wonjoku.

Recorder: What the Chief is saying here is that Wonjoku is a quarter in Bova II, not an autonomous village?

Chief: Yes!

Recorder: Who is the quarter head of Wonjoku?

Chief: The quarter head there is Paul Bwembe.

Recorder: Did Bova II apply for land Surrender?

Chief: Yes. We have surrendered land .But we have not yet developed it. The people who signed the request for our (Bova II) land surrender include the quarter head of Wonjoku.

Recorder: How many hectares of land were allocated for Bova II?

Chief: We have been allocated 35 hectares. The allocated land is around Bulu. We have the ministerial decree on our land surrender near Bulu. Now, if the minister does not approve, a prefectural order would not help you… We are still to share the land allocated to us.

Recorder: We learned the ayor of Buea Ekema Patrick is the one who applied for the land surrender and is posing as the chief of Wonjoku. What is your reaction to that?

Chief: I don’t know. If you go to the DO, they would tell you who signed as chief. 
Plight of Lower Wonjoku                                                                                      

When The Recorder contacted Mola Otto Ewumbue, Chairman of the Development Committee of Lower Wonjoku Village (near Bulu) and Vice-President of the village’s Traditional Council,he regretted that since his village applied for CDC land surrender fours ago, it is still awaiting it, whereas what he calls “ a fake Wonjoku village-which is supposed to be a family in Bova II” was allocated several hectares of land as a layout  near them.

“We applied for 35 hectares of land, fulfilled all the conditions but up to date we are still awaiting. It seems as if our portion of land was the one given to the fake Wonjoku- which is a family under Bova II.

“We are now called Lower Wonjoku because by the time we were applying, they said we had already applied which was not true,so to distinguish between the Wonjoku in Bova II,which had first applied we had to adopt the name Lower Wonjoku”,Mr. Otto told The Recorder .He disclosed that by November some consultative talks will be held so to select a new chief to replace, Chief Ngange Joseph Jaombe,who died some 24 years ago.

   Government May Convert Wonjoku Layout to GRA

The Recorder learned on good authority that, embarrassed by the land surrender imbroglio, the Government is planning to convert the controversial Wonjoku Layout into a purely Government Residential Area (GRA), implying that those who sold out hectares of land there may have to refund the money to the various buyers.

    The Power of the Media

It is thanks to the now suspended CRTV Buea “Press Club” that the Fako land surrender scandal was exposed. The crack team of seasoned journalist-panelists and their erudite guests Christopher Tambe Tiku, University of Buea lecturer, ELECAM Board member and Human Rights campaigner, and Ikome Ngongi, retired UN legal Consultant, dissected the land crisis, citing some alleged land grabbers such as Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai and Fako SDO,Zang III.

     An angry Governor Okalia later confessed in a newspaper interview that he was the one who pressured CRTV Station Manager, David Chuye Bunyui to ban Press Club, which was rated as the flagship programme of the radio station.

    In a related developmet,as we were preparing to go and print this edition, we received a copy of a petition written by and reportedly signed by some 17 Molyko elites and family heads against their chief,Etonge Mathias. The petition addressed to the chief and copied the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure, the Southwest Governor and the Southwest Office of the NCHRF, among others; accused their chief of unfair distribution of the 68 hectares of land surrendered to the Molyko.
They threatened him with legal action if he did not revisit the plot allocation scheme. Contacted for his reaction, Chief Etonge boastfully told The Recorder, “You can publish what they have given you. I don’t entertain journalists in my palace”

(This article was first published as lead story in The RECORDER Newsaper, Cameroon, of  August  27, 2014)