Sunday, January 15, 2017


By Nicholas Ogbe Keme*
Lawyer Nichlas Ogbe Keme
 The Governor of Southwest Region of Cameroon,Bernard Okalia Bilai, in a bid to distinguish himself as the ‘Game Changer’ went ahead to issue salary suspension threats to teachers who failed to resume classes on the 9th of January, 2017.  But in reality today, that anti-ghost town venom instead has turned to hunt the ‘hunter governor’.
   Not only were these threats of Okalia Bilai very insensitive and provocative, they also served as an incontestable proofs as excellently argued by Hon. Wirba that, an average La Republic’s administrator serving on the West of the Mungo regards the Anglophones as his slaves, infidels, second class citizens or sub humans and can do and undo with impunity.            Furthermore, when read in context with the soft landing appeal from his counterpart Adolf Lele Lafrique of the Northwest Region, one may be quick to conclude that Gov. Okalia’s threat once again vindicated some repeated criticisms that his prolonged stay in the office even after due retirement is a calculated strategy by the regime to have him deliver the ruling CPDM party in the region from the upcoming presidential polls in 2018 and nothing more. Because if not so, then why should the ‘tough spoken lion’ of the foot of Mt Fako be spitting fire and unleashing terror on teachers when his Northwest counterpart resorted to absorbing appeals for peaceful resolution of the same issue created by similar circumstances. 
    Again, if Okalia Bilai is not a calculated strategist for presidential polls in 2018, why is it that at the same time that he was pounding on teachers and displaying the purported incidents files of potential so-called culprits to the media, neither the Prime Minster nor the Ministers of Basic and Secondary Education could issue a disclaimer to such an aberration from the Gov. even when  they were still  in the field soliciting for peace in Bamenda as was done in the case of the infamous Atanga Nji. ?  Why? Or is it because he is not an ‘Anglo’ who can easily be contradicted even by his own spy-driver.
   However, looking at Gov. Adolphe Lele L’Afrique’s administrative style and that of Okalia Bilai, one therefore wonders, what really inwardly moves or controls Gov. Okalia Bilai that he usually perceives things in a rather strange manner like Adolf Hitler of Germany who finally became the ‘hero-of-a victim of his own  misfortune’. How can Gov. Okalia dismiss or suspend salaries of teachers he never employed? – Legally, no  person, including himself can  take what he cannot give,  neither can  he give what he does not have; better expressed by the most cherished Latin maxism  ‘Nemo dat non quod habet’. This, in simple terms graphically explains why his dictatorial voice and threats of suspending the salaries of teachers who fail to resume classes on the 9th of January, 2017, fell on a concrete retention wall of an unprecedented non partisan teachers’ solidarity. And that being the case, the venom of such threats had to naturally splash back at him as the school establishments remained conspicuously shot-down and even till date despite the media-dramatic hunt of defaulters.
   By now, he should have probably come to terms that, just as teachers are not UB students, the Region is not the VC Dr. Nalova Lyonga that he can manipulate freely or vice versa. The Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, through its esteemed leadership, has erected a very formidable solidarity wall across English speaking Regions of Cameroon as an indication to Mr. Okalia that the Anglophones are not as divided as he thinks, or they are no longer as divided as the regime and politics suggest-A movement which Madiba of South Africa aptly described as a ‘Creative Nonviolent Revolution against the Oppressor(s)’. 
   Even if  Mr. Okalia Bilai be the Ministers of Education, he cannot claim the monopoly of suspension of teachers’ salaries in an atmosphere of a deepening professional rancor occasioned by some apprentice annexationists(his masters) of  la Republic, who ought to be answering treasonable charges in competent tribunals for gross violation of section 1(2)(3) of the 1996 Constitution, for attempting to nocturnally and unconstitutionally restructure the bilingual, bi-jural and bicultural characters of the country so as to transform the Anglophones as their conquered slaves. Such nefarious plot is now belated.
   Also, one needs no seminal at the governor’s office to understand that various Ministers of Education are heavily represented by their various Regional Delegates and not Mr. Okalia Bilai. It has become very imperative to advise Mr. Okalia to endeavour to learn to separate purely administrative issue from professional issues. Neither the Ministries of Education nor teachers are an appendage of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization which he represents at the Regional Level.  He perhaps, can only ensure the control of Divisional Officers, Subdivisional Officers, and Mayors. As a professional corps, teachers understand the dynamics of a legitimate industrial action especially if so declared by their syndicate leaders as it is the case today.
  No nation can ever claim of adequately rewarding its teachers commensurate to their services. As opposed to politicians who bring nothing to the table but take almost everything therefrom, because of their ability to manipulate the people of saying there is no problem even when they are standing on the problem.
    Gov. Okalia perhaps should take notice of the fact that under the English subsystem of Education which he is aiding and abetting for a complete eradication, teachers teach us how to identify and solve problems. But politicians counsel or manipulate us to deny knowledge of any problem as a way of solving it. Thus, such unprovoked threat was not only excessive, but equally unnecessary and sounded reminiscence of the words of the last surviving colonial despot considering the general tempo at the time and the government’s effort in resolving same.
  This partly explains why, irrespective of the massive media projection and coverage, it was not possible for any underserved distinction as the solicited ‘game changer’ which the Gov had probably hoped for, maybe as a pre-requisite for extension of time to vacate the office and give way for the next ‘hero’. To navigate freely in the UB campus with troops to torture and rape students, tele-guide the brutalization of lawyers and seizure of their wigs and gowns, instigate the investigation of leaders of SYNES UB and so forth, might just have been few achievements of yesterday but not a guarantee of continuous heroic achievements in the Southwest Region at the expense of the peoples’ inalienable rights and quest for happiness again.
    Everybody now aspires naturally like (him) to become the hero of his own struggle-reason why the classrooms or school gates are still conspicuously closed-a situation that has offered yet another opportunity for a critical appraisal of our administrators, their stability, mental capacities and understanding of the dynamics of the world. 
   Finally, Mr. Okalia Bilai cannot be seen to lay claim again that he was pushed by the VC to so issue such salary suspension threats as he attempted to do in the case of rape, torture and assault of the UB students by the troops he dispatched to brutally crush a peaceful protest of the UB students who had embarked on a peaceful strike to unravel a highly sophisticated corrupt machinery put in place by the VC, Dr. Nalova Lyonga. Ref : Post No. 01782, p3. 
   Everything as well as every person has his own time, including Atanga Nji-the victim of zero Anglophone Problem of old. The Anglophone struggle….

 NB:*Nicholas Ogbe Keme is an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Cameroon and Nigeria,Litigation Officer,Shalom Legal Consultants,Buea-Cameroon.He is also a PhD candidate,University of Buea.

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