Cameroon

ARE WE UNITED NOW?

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ONCE UPON A TIME: JUNE 9, 1990 – J.N. FONCHA RESIGNS FROM THE CPDM

Foncha: blamed or famed?

Dr. J.N. Foncha’s Resignation Letter:

Yaounde, 9th June 1990

Your Excellency,

RESIGNATION FROM THE CPDM

I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that after careful consideration and careful thought, I have decided to address to you my resignation from the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) and my reasons for resigning are as follows:

The CPDM which elected me as its first National Vice President is the party which forms the GOC and has been responsible for shaping government policies.

As the National Vice President of the party, I have found it impossible to use my exalted position to help in any way shape or influence the policies of the party and nation because:

1) Demands by me for audience with the Chairman (President) of the party to discuss issues have been systematically turned down.

2) Several memos and representations I have made in writing on several important national issues have been ignored.

 

[ndlr. Culled from one of mine on another media platform. Take it with a grain of salt until you are satisfied otherwise.]

During my political career which spans over forty years, I headed the group that campaigned for and got the peoples of the then Southern Cameroons to vote for unification, after which I went from village to village in the then East Cameroun at the risk of my life to calm terrorism which existed at the time. I even housed some Cameroonians wanted in East Cameroon. I successfully had them reconcile with the Ahidjo government. I missed being shot down on my way from Bafang on peace making mission.

After unification, a lot of Cameroonians had confidence in me and when the first Presidential elections were coming up, many people urged me to stand against President Ahidjo. I decided to go for the Vice Presidency instead in order to avoid unnecessary conflict and further bloodshed.

When President Ahidjo decided to get rid of me as the Vice President, a lot of Cameroonians sympathized with me and urged me to make an issue out of it, but for the love of peace, I came back quietly to live in my village as a private citizen.

After settling in my village, I was occasionally consulted on some national issues and I accepted to serve the people of Cameroun in whatever capacity it pleased the powers that be to put me. When the leadership of Cameroun changed hands and Your Excellency became the President of the Republic and eventually head of the CNU, I assured Your Excellency that I was at your disposal and ready from my experience to give you advice you may need on national issues.

1) Unfortunately this was not to be as it became clear to me that I had become an irrelevant nuisance that had to be ignored and ridiculed.

– I was to be used now only as window dressing and not listened to. I am most of the time summoned to meetings by radio without any courtesy of my consultation on the agenda.

2) All projects of the former West Cameroon I had either initiated or held very dear to my heart had to be taken over, mismanaged and ruined, e.g. Cameroon Bank, West Cameroon Marketing Board, WADA in Wum, West Cameroon Cooperative Movement.

3) Whereas I spent all my life fighting to have a deep sea port in Limbe(Victoria) developed, this project had to be shelved and instead an expensive pipeline is to be built from SONARA in Limbe to Douala in order to pipe the oil to Douala.

4) All the roads in West Cameroon my government had either built, improved or maintained were allowed to deteriorate making Kumba-Mamfe, Mamfe-Bamenda, Bamenda-Wum-Nkambe, Kumbo-Bamenda inaccessible by road. Projects were shelved even after petrol produced enough money for building them and the Limbe sea port.

           5) All progress of employment, appointments, etc. meant to promote adequate regional representation in government and its services have been revised or changed at the expense of those who stood for TRUTH and justice. They are identified as “Foncha man” and put aside.

6) The Anglophone Cameroonian whom I brought into the Union have been ridiculed and referred to as “les Biafrians”, “les enemies dans la maison”, “les traites’ [traitres], etc., and the constitutional provisions which protected this Anglophone minority have been suppressed, their voices drowned while the rule of the gun has replaced the dialogue which Anglophones cherish very much.

7) The national media has been used by the government through people who never voted for unification to misinform the citizens about Bamenda, deliberate lies have been told over the mass media all in an attempt to isolate the Anglophone Cameroonians who voted for unification and subject them to hatred and more discrimination and harassment from other Cameroonians.

8) Embezzlement of Public funds in all forms and illegal exportation of our currency by the privileged class seems to go without reprimand but is rather condoned.

9) The constitution which I have held and preached as the supreme law of the land is in many respects being ignored or manipulated… Let the CPDM not move towards the direction where it will find itself collapsing faster than many of the “strong” governments that have collapsed in recent memory. My resignation is effective from today the 9th June 1990.

Thank You.

I have the Honor to be

 

Yours Respectfully,

Dr. J.N. Foncha


John Ngu Foncha: Short biography and important links with the history of Cameroon

June 21, 1916: born in Nkwen, North West region of Cameroon

1942 – 1957: Union activist with the Union of the Catholic professors of Bamenda and the president of the Bamenda section of the Nigerian Union of Teachers;

1953: Head of the Bamenda section of the Kamerun National Congress of Emmanuel Mbela Lifate Endeley E.M.L. Endeley];

1955: Leaves the Kameroun National Congress due to disagreement on the issue of reunification and founds the Kamerun National Democratic Party (KNDP) with Augustine Ngom Jua;

1957: The KNDP gets 5 of the 13 seats of the Southern Cameroon House of Assembly

1959: the Kamerun National Democratic Party obtains 14 of the 26 seats in parliament and wins the election against the Kamerun National Congress, which favours integration with Nigeria;

1 February 1959: John Ngu Foncha becomes Prime Minister of British Southern Cameroon.

11 February 1961: referendum on the future of British Cameroon. Foncha takes sides for reunification with Cameroon;

1961: KNDP obtains 28 of the 37 seats in parliament;

October 1, 1961: Southern Cameroon is reunited; Foncha becomes Prime Minister of the Federated State of West Cameroon and Vice-President of Cameroon;

May 13, 1965: Foncha leaves the primacy, succeeded by Augustine Ngom Jua;

1966: End of the multiparty system. The KNDP becomes part of the CNU, President Ahmadou Ahidjo’s party;

1970: Foncha leaves the post of vice-president.

In the years 1970-1980: Ngu Foncha approaches the secessionist movements that advocate an independent state of Ambazonia;

1990: Foncha leaves the CPDM, the presidential party (ex-CNU), because of the discrimination against Anglophones that this party would show;

1994: led the Southern Cameroon national council delegation to the UN to demand more autonomy for the English-speaking provinces;

10 April 1999: death of John Ngu Foncha

Source: Wikipedia

 

#notonudes: Join the Movement against ‘Sextapes’ and Etc.

Barely a week after the #Epiesaga seemingly died down, another sex tape was on the air. This wasn’t the first, of course; but we can put hands on deck for it to be the last.

CLIQ EMPIRE and TEAM237MAG will be hosting a Chill & Talk sensitization campaign: #notonudes, on June 17, 2017 in Buea, South West region – Cameroon. Join them; and invite several others in Cameroon to be part of this sensitization programme targeting young girls who are often party to these sex tapes, nude pics and videos and the likes of them.

According to Prince Michael Enobi, CEO of Benchmark Africa Productions, and one of the lead organisers of the sensitization campaign, “It’s a chill and talk time, where we’ll all share ideas to seek common solutions to this whole disturbing trend. We need to dig into the remote causes and see how we can stem it”.

50% of the Solution is to put your hands on the problem” –Ahmed S.

Hashtags like #Epiesaga, #Epiedemie, #FindEpie and the likes were spread mad amongst Cameroonians, especially those of the predominantly English speaking regions; and their contacts in the diaspora. The civilian manhunt may continue, with blames apportioned to the offenders and offended, but the future lies ahead. While others continue to vow and yearn for the arrest of the principal offenders in the nude tapes or the principal authors of such heinous ideas; we believe the problem must be tackled from the roots.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, we need change. We can start by a step; we choose to start by a step. First we replace the saga hashtags with #notonudes #notosextapes and erasers.

Girls who fall prey to such molestation also have their fair share of the responsibility. Some also sometimes do willingly film themselves and send to their “lovers”, who, when the love grows sour, may decide to punish them by posting the nude pics and tapes online.

Information is power!

Do not underestimate what the right information can churn in a young girl’s spirit. If young girls commit to shun frivolous lifestyles, such #Epiesagas will be farfetched. And this shunning, starts with information.

LEARN from yesterday, LIVE for today, and HOPE for tomorrow” – Madeline.

 

You can join the movement by:

  • Sharing the poster on your social network platforms with the hashtag #notonudes
  • Changing your profile pictures with a #notonudes frame
  • Inviting your contacts to be part of the Chill & Talk sensitization campaign billed June 17, 2017 in Buea (Buea Council Hall)

DEAR FADA 02

Dear Fada

Are you back from your trip? You know I wasn’t also around, so, seems I’ve lost track of who’s in and who’s out. I remember the last time you were going on one of your private trips which so deprive home of you, I almost cried. Not just that I knew how extensive the short private visit would take, you know, but, I just kept wondering why you’d allow your children to suffer so much just because you have to move.

The taxi I took dropped me off at a good distance; and he collected the full fare. Can you imagine? And I had to cross the central town on foot. The traffic was horrible. I had to guard my feet from slipping, and my bag from your rebellious sons. I thought that was all, but getting another taxi was what we call “hélélé”. I was rushing to honour my appoint with our biggest Father. Oh, Fada, thanks to you, I erred. That distance would have cost me at the most 150FCFA. Do you know what the cabdrivers requested? 250FCFA or nothing else. That may perhaps not mean much to you, considering my sister spends exorbitant sums of money out there. Anyways, I had to give them Fada. I had no choice. Big Father was already present. He’s always present when you are absent.

But, their peers along the other road could not get a franc from me. Do you know that …,? I mean, I know that you know that that is what they do. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder. Don’t you pay them Fada? Or is the problem the fact that the pay is not enough? I feel so ashamed and vexed seeing how debased they become when they start asking for a ‘bottle of beer’. I even wonder whether they’re supposed to take alcohol while on duty. And who would even dare question them? Is their boss not sitting behind waiting for his share at the end of the day? So you understand Fada, I feel so ashamed. They’re disgracing us; they’re disgracing your name Fada; our name.

So, let me recount to you what happened huh! I have decided none of them would ever get a dime from me. Never, never ever, and I pray the Big Father helps me.

I was with one of your brother’s children. She had come visiting, and forgot to bring along her vaccination certificate. Her arrival was peaceful; her return was shameful.

Mr. Soldier was doing random checks. He took her passport, and asked for her health certificate. She said she didn’t have it on her. He said nothing. He strolled out of the bus. We waited for some time and we didn’t see him coming back towards us. I asked your brother’s daughter to stay in the bus and I went down. “Bonsoir”, I greeted. Fada, I can’t even remember whether he answered or not. He said something I didn’t understand, or rather, didn’t want to understand. Calmly, he called the already impatient Mr. Driver of the public transport bus to help me understand and stop wasting their time.

“Si tu as même un petit jus, donne leur on part. Il fait déjà bien tard”.

I told Mr. Driver I did not have “shishing”. Mr. Driver didn’t budge. Mr. Soldier didn’t budge. Trust me Fada; your daughter didn’t also budge. Then Mr. Soldier asked the driver to take my bags down because I refused to ‘act mature’.

Timely enough, one true son of the soil showed up. He was a commander, or so, he presented himself. He asked Mr. Soldier if “my” passport was good and the latter answered “yes”. Mr. Commander then asked what the problem was, and Mr. Soldier replied that he was trying to tell me that I need to walk with my complete ID documents “I’m just trying to do my job, and that is what I’ve been explaining to her ever since’, he explained. Mr. Commander prompted that if at least the passport was valid, they should let me go, and before Mr. Soldier obeyed, he scrutinized the passport, pointed his torch at my face, and then at the passport, and finally handed it back to me.

Fada, during all this so called ‘scrutiny’ and ‘just-doing-my-job’ time, Mr. Soldier hadn’t noticed it wasn’t my passport. Fada, do you know that I and your brother’s daughter look no inch alike? Our complexions are also different. I speak like a typical child of yours, but you can imagine that your brother’s daughter would speak like children that are typical of her own father.

I just imagined how mean he could have been, had Mr. Commander not given his timely ‘command’. I also tried to imagine how many hoodlums and ‘terrorists’ such Mr. Soldiers have allowed to enter the house because they failed to do their work properly and amply, paying attention to the least detail, and not only at the ‘bottle of beer’ they can make out of it. I know that you know what these Mr. Soldiers do out there, Fada. Would you let them go on? And by the way Fada, did he have the backing to demand the vaccination certificate where he was? I thought specific authorities were mandated to check that. Anyways, at home, everyone does what he/she wills. Right, Fada?

Just like you; and my siblings of “Air-Peut-être”. Can you imagine the name they’ve been given Fada? Even the meanest of your brothers, who is sometimes not able to put food on his table, is confident enough when he calls them that. And what can I say Fada. The last time I tried to defend, “Air-Peut-être” covered my face with shame. I decided never to talk again; perhaps just to pray, and hope things get better.

The number of bosses they’ve had is way more than the number of aircrafts they have. And I think too their ancient hostesses may soon be competing with you for longevity of service. No doubt they’re unable to keep standard. Fada, imagine my embarrassment when I had to dust off breadcrumbs from the seat I was allotted. And when they decided to serve me fruit juice and something else, breadcrumbs on the folded table didn’t look like yesterday’s. It looked as ancient as the hostesses. I don’t eat pork. You know it’s possible I am allergic to it, or many others could be. They had only pork. No tuna, no veggies, just pork. And whosoever didn’t eat pork could have as well gone to he… And those seats Fada. I almost thought I’ll incur the wrath of one of the fiery ancients trolling the aisle when I failed to put up my seat as her ancient colleague intoned overhead. Miss. Ancient didn’t budge. She very well knew that seat couldn’t be raised up.

Hahahaha Fada, it’s like all the rats in the former house we occupied visited the airplane. They had entered into a love union with the chair arms and backs. The remains of the remains were awfully shameful. As shameful as the dirty wagon those trains use to travel up north.

Before the sad fate hit Eseka, it was much better, though much more unsafe with the unreliable ‘Shinshong’ wagons. The seats then smelled good. They sometimes smelled fresh. We’d have the luxury of a hot meal or a cold drink, a clean seat or a semi-cozy bed. There were many wagons then, and it seemed fine. I feel sad for those who perished last year with the ‘Shinshong trains’. I thank God that it has kind of saved us from a likely fate with the mobile death trucks. But, I feel great pity for us who have stayed behind to endure the measureless semi-measures psychedelically upped by commissions that amount to nothing.

Ohhh Fada, who would take us out of this sham? I thought you would when you ascended. Yes, ascended. It’s more like the throne of our forefathers. I understand why you’re still there. But like our forefathers, they have become fore. You too will. I will become; and I too will have fore appended to me, someday; one day.

Take care Fada!

Your daughter,

Sally.

 

“POLITICS” DEFINED

A little boy goes to his dad and asks “what is politics?”. As reply, his dad says, “well son, let me explain it this way: I’m the breadwinner of the family, so call me capitalism. Your mum is the administrator of money, so call her the government. We’re here to take care of your needs, so we’ll consider you the people. We will consider the nanny the working class, and your baby brother, we’ll call him the future. Think about this, my son, and see if it makes sense.

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what his dad had said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying. He gets up to check on him, and finds out that he has seriously soiled his diapers. He goes to his parents’ room and finds only his mum, sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her up, he goes to the nanny’s room, finds the door locked, and when he peeks through the keyhole, he sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes to bed.

The next morning, the little boy says  to his father, “Dad, I think I now understand the concept of politics”. “Good son,” his father replies “tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about”. Then the little boy says: “While capitalism is busy screwing the working class, the government is sound asleep; the people are being ignored; and the future is in deep shit”.

(Mbiatem )

DEAR FADA 01

Dear Fada,

The other day, I watched PM Trudeau and Presi. Trump granting a press conference over Cable News Network. How I wished I could be seeing you standing and talking in place of Trudeau. Do you know he started in French, and then switched to English, and then back to French and then to English right until the end of his speech. It was so beautiful, seeing the ease with which he flowed with both lingos. I just so wished I’d be seeing you standing someday speaking to the entire world in languages you say are ours. Yours and mine!

Fada, never mind! I’m also so conscious that that could be a long long long deep deep deep dream; but, not impossible though; because if Martin’s dream could come true, how much more mine? I’d keep dreaming. One day, who knows? Just maybe, one day, someday soon enough!

You know, I’m past 20, and since I breathed my first on this earth, on this side of the globe, you’ve been there. Perhaps I’ve been watching TV or listening to radio for the past 15 or so years, and I sincerely can’t remember  ever hearing, I mean, NEVER ever hearing you so adorn your speeches with OUR family lingos. But then, I also remember you saying they are ours, right? So, I’m just wondering how come you never have, if you’re so proud of it, as you’ve asked me to believe? How?

Well, dreams do come true, or rather, they almost do. Someday, I thought mine was about coming true. That was same month 3years ago. I was in the town of Legendary hospitality. You were there too. On that day, I was so happy, just so happy; and as I told my friends in Yaounde and my family back in Mamfe, I too would want to tell youths, like Ngoh would tell us in “The Place To Be”, that “I was there”.

Yes! I was there. I braved the scorching heat; and with the shiny green chasubles the organizing committee gave us I was busy telling my juniors to keep moving. I failed to even buy sunscreen with the… was it 2000Fcfa ‘encouragement fee’! Lol J But nevertheless, I was there! I still want to tell my brothers and sisters to KEEP MOVING! Forward ever!

It was during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our “union”. Well you said it was 50. With the little Arithmetic I did in G.B.P.S Yaounde, 1961 – 2014 would make 53, not 50. But still, maybe the arithmetic I learnt wasn’t the right one after all. Maybe that’s why the teachers are saying they rather not teach while they watch others “unteach” their progeny.

Sorry Fada, I seem to go ‘off-head’ some days. And you see, it makes me forget that the norm for our house is that things move backward. I always seem to forget we’re getting very good at that. It’s the trend! Like in the North West and South West regions for the past weeks! Well, I’m sure people lived in the dark ages when it was really dark; so, why wouldn’t they live thus now that it’s not. Lol! You really are something else, Fada!

Anyways, on that day, my ears picked some familiar sounds. But then, before I could sit them in, they had gone as swiftly as they had come. Let’s say the other times I have heard such are when you say “I do so swear”. You know, I sometimes wonder what you really so swear to. Is it to what we think you are swearing to, or to what you have in mind that you’re swearing to? How I’d like to know whether you really do believe in what you have so often sworn to. And then, how come the same persons make you swear to the same things you swore to the last time you did swear. Oh, sorry, that was just swearing. It wasn’t really ‘meaning’. Right? Perhaps wrong. I stand to learn better, and be corrected if need really be. I think you should also swear to that. How about that? Huh Fada?

Each time our uncles visit and we visit them, be it at our home or in theirs, I’d thought you’d let them; and their neighbours, as well as ours, who peep through those small beautiful cracks in our wall. You know, when they peep through and see the bookshelf, it is so orderly they know we’re gurus. Hahahaha, poor them! If a fairy could just whisper in their ears we’ve never really glanced through a handful of those, well, you know what I mean. Anyhow Fada, I always wonder why you never let our uncles, or the peeping neighbours and even the “Amebohs” know what you so sing in my ear that I should imbue in me. Why don’t you tell them, or rather, SHOW them it is imbued in you. Once in school, I was told that experience is the best teacher. Show us, and we’ll follow you. Ohhhhhh; Fada, wait! Are you of the school of those who say “Do what I say and not what I do”, noooooo! That’s not good. Fortunately, a wise teacher told me once whenever people say such; really, they are what they do and not what they say. Was he right Fada?

Would you rather I do what you do and say what you say, and be at peace with you? Or do what you say and don’t do what you do and be at peace with you? Or what else? Please Fada, come straight sometimes. Please! It helps me understand you; what you like, what you don’t,  what you want, what you don’t want, what you want me to say, and what you wouldn’t like to hear me say, even if I have to.

Reminds me of some of my friends. I think they really didn’t know what you wanted them to say. Or better still, they didn’t say as you said. I think that was their crime. You know. They said what they said because you told them they had the right to say it. But then, they failed to understand that they were not supposed to do what you say, but rather, they had to do what you do. Ahhhh, they aren’t your true children right? Adopted, perhaps? Imposed, perhaps? Whatever!

Ooooppps, we’re past St. Sylvester, St. Valentine, and soon St. Spring will be bouncing in. I just hope it wouldn’t be the spring my cousins in the dessert cassock led some few years back. Ahhh no, no, no, no. That Spring was a spring to reckon with. Noooo, though it ushered in some fresh air, water, mixed with … Perhaps we really need spring! What do you think Fada?

Well, we’ll soon be in May too. It’s somehow our national month; you know; though the way it came to be is a matter for another day. Let’s see how we plan that feast in the house.

Ohhh Fada, Little strokes fell great oaks!

Perhaps the binding cords are far more resistant than the heat of May; don’t you think? I can see a will. A will to be. Do you have that will to be Fada?

A surfer once said, and I paraphrase “If you see snakes, kill them; don’t create a commission on snakes”.

Dearest Fada, if you are proud of your lingos, show it; don’t create a commission on them. You’re our Fada. We are yearning to learn from you. Do, so that we can do.

Remember Fada, little strokes fell great oaks!

Ohhhh, goodness me, ouch, I forgot. Well, but then, not a big deal, is it? Since at home we’re good at the backward move, it’s not so bad after all, right Fada? Happy birthday in arrears!

Your daughter,

Sally.

WHEN I LOOK AT THINGS…

When I look at things, I observe that they have to change. They have to change for the better, cuz it’s already so bad out there and so bad in here.

How can it change? How can they understand it has to change?

In trying to pass this across, I realize my drift is SOOOOOOO much toward God. It is so embedded in the man Christ Jesus; the one referred to as the “man who went about doing good”.

I want to tell my friends things have to change, but I’m afraid it’ll push them away.

I want to tell the world things have to change but I’m afraid they’d take it wrong, because we don’t share the same views.

The more I try to bring in legalism; the farther I drift from hitting the nail on point.

The more I try to fit the square peg in the square hole, for things to fit, the more I find myself in what people call “religion”. The more I find myself in what’s been termed by the acclaimed ‘liberal minds’ “Christianity”.

The more I find myself in what I call LIFE.

Then, I come to one realization: there can be no change without this life. There can be no change without this Christianity. There can be no change, no change at all.

Nailing it, there can be no change without the one who was nailed on the cross: Jesus. It’s that simple!

Refusing this is being like the cynical hermit, burying its head in the dust when its feathers are on fire.

In what’s been [tried to be] said about His being here on earth, and His stay, and His instructions; and His teachings, and His life and His all, no one has presented him as a bad man. Some say he wasn’t bad but was not perfect. But to them, I’d still do what He asked, for their good; I’d have to pray for them to be forgiven. He Himself did. One of the last things He showed us how to do was to pray for those who do not know what they are doing.

Bishop Chris quotesIn the midst of the turbulence, His instructions apply. For the degraded morals, for the debased man, for the debauchery, for the manslaughter, for the selfishness, for the hatred, for the deceit, for the exploitation, for the phobias, for the every, for the all; His instructions apply. Sound instructions, giving out sound meant to mold one soundly.

For oneself, for the neighbour, for the friend, for the foe, for the parent, for the sibling, for the stranger and the passerby, for the baby, for the spouse, for the unknown, for the seen; for the wealthy, for the wretched, for the miserly, for the proud; for the high, for the low, for the fat and for the slim; His instructions apply to make it go a-peace.

Where would the peace run to, if we so ardently seek it? Where would the love hide if we so willingly manifest it? Where would the talents be buried, if we so encouragingly share it? Where would the world be falling, if we so collectively care for it?

A servant of His once said the world is so gone bunkers because Christians speak so much but do so little of what they speak. If only they could!

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is only in doing things His way, that things are really gonna change. If I want change, if I really do want change, then I know what I have to do.

I have to shout it from the rooftops, hard as I can, loud as I can, fastest as I can, plainly as I can, always as I can. Only then can I be fully able to “can” something out of this existence. Until then, no change; no betterment; nothing!

“A nation can never be better than the state of the church within it”, Bishop Chris would say.

“The world can never be better that the state of the church [Body of Christ] within it”, I’d expand.

TO MY DOORSTEP

babyIt’s crazy hearing them again,

Hearing how they screamed and cried, how they begged for life;

It’s tearing seeing them again,

Seeing how they’re smeared off life, and caused to sleep like lice;

It’s disturbing considering again,

This is done with rice, and food we slice and dice;

It’s nerve-racking knowing again

They were not considered better or worthier than mice

It’s heartbreaking imagining again

How another would beg, would hope and really be so nice

For just this beauty wasted about by sons of cowardice

 

I’m wondering if it wouldn’t sound well, their footstep;be

I’m asking the sower and bearer if it was just a misstep;

I’m thinking why not bold up to a counterstep;

I’m pleading; please bring them to my doorstep;

 

THE SICK HOSPITAL SYSTEM

 

Eboa Leo has been injured by a collapsed wall surrounding the Government High School, Akwa in Douala. He is a mentally deranged man. He is bleeding, and from what obtains, it could be an internal bleeding that has found its way out via his bottom. He is bad; the sight of him is disheartening. His lips are wounded, and he barely manages to lie on the floor.

Eboa, on collapsed wall near fire fighter

Eboa, lying on ruins of the collapsed wall

According to bikeriders who witnessed the collapse, Eboa was sleeping at a spot he usually occupies when the wall broke down. They succeeded in pulling him out, before calling the fire brigade. Elements of the fire brigade have tansported him to the Laquintinie hospital, but one of them returns to the scene really pissed off. “I have taken the man to the hospital, he is between life and death, and the people there have refused to attend to him. He is lying there on the stretcher, and they have not even touched him, even though it is an emergency” he angrily spoke out.

Remains of Eboa's belongings by the collapsed wall

Remains of Eboa’s belongings

And so, I decide to move to the Laquintinie hospital, and true to the fire fighter, Eboa is stil on the stretcher, groaning lowly in pain. He has not been attended to; hs clothes are still bloody. I am speechless. I ask to see Eboa, and a hospital attendant to whom I ask if he has been attended to, says “They have just come and left him here, that who should take care of him. It is not because this is a public hospital eh. What should he be treated with. We need money.” And there he lay, poor unfortunate Eboa.
As I turned to leave, the hospital attendant called me back, ” You see there,  they would try to at least clean him and change his clothes. But truly, if they don’t pay, nothing can be done”, he told me.
And so I left, wondering how it could be that  the the walls of a government institution, that the school is, crumbles on a human being; he is transported by a government car by the elements of the national fire brigade; to a government health institution, the Laquintinie hospital; yet, prompt medical attention is denied him because of “money”.
This is just Eboa’s case, and I am sure that several other such cases are recorded and reported day after day in our public health institutions.
Wake up C.G.

BAN ON NON-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS: THE WRONG WAY FORWARD

Since April 24, 2014, the use of non-biodegradable plastics has been banned in Cameroon. Anyone using such plastic bags does so illegally. In markets, pharmacies, supermarkets, shops, grocery stores, fish stores and everywhere else requiring their use, local alternatives are being sought, like the use of old newspapers, cartons, clothes, cement bags, etc.

If you happen to find yourself in a fish shop without some container to carry your fish, then be sure to find it deposited on your cloth, because as you would be told, “il n’y a pas de plastics”, meaning “there are no plastic bags”. If you question why they have no plastic bags for packaging, the response will be “on n’a pas de plastics biodegradables. Les plastics qu’on avait, n’est-ce pas ils sont venus les arrachés? Vous voulez qu’on fasse comment?” (“We have no biodegradable plastic bags. The bags we had have been seized, so what do you want us to do?”)

And so it goes that a stroke at a time, non-biodegradable plastic bags may soon be history. And the reason advanced for this remains that they have negative consequences on the environment, and the health of its inhabitants.

Of course this is true! And I will add that there are even more non-biodegradable plastics to be seized from rivers and streams in the nation’s capital, Yaounde, which often are cause for flooding in the central town; and often causes unhealthy standing water at the backs of homes and even hospitals – a true danger to persons already in danger on hospitals bed.

Typical of Yaounde - Water courses as dwellings for plastics

Typical of Yaounde – Water courses as dwellings for plastics

I will also add that there is even more glaring waste, harmful to the environment and the inhabitants, in the short as well as the long term, like overflowing trash cans, and roads turned to dustbins.

And I will further add, that liquid waste, ensuing from suck-a-ways and overflowing toilets are like streams in prominent markets, like the Acacia market in the Biyem-Assi neighbourhood, Yaounde.

Imagine a lady dressed in trousers, and told that such a dressing is indecent. She is immediately stripped off her garment, and told to get on an acceptable one. Is she expected to remain naked while the alternative is sought? Though the likening to a lady may not avail much, it suffices for me to say before non-biodegradable plastics were to be officially banned in Cameroon; biodegradable alternatives should have been at the disposal of the people.

I do not expect the government to provide the biodegradable plastic bags, neither would I say they shouldn’t do it, if they can. But I think they could have as well spurred actors in the market that could produce such plastics, and ensure their availability in the market before banning those at hand. That, I think, should have been the good government that we expect of it.

CAMEROON RANKS 131st IN 2014 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX

The Reporters Without Borders 2014 world press freedom index has placed Cameroon at the 131st position, a drop from last year’s, which stood at 120.

Free the press

Free the press

According to Journalists Without Borders, which released the world press freedom index, press freedom in Africa is in a decline. Reporters Without Borders explains that “the climate for the media is getting tougher in Cameroon”. In its report, it reveals that “Security grounds are used when needed to defend increased control over the media or the repressive status quo”. The disclosure is exampled in that the “National Communication Council is trying to penalize coverage of the government’s cooperation with Nigeria in combating Boko Haram”.
However, like most countries in Central Africa, defamation laws are promulgated to keep media liberty at bay, and “corruption under wraps”.
Apart from central Africa where the index shows a decline, West Africa presents a much more worse and hostile atmosphere for the press. JWB holds that wars and terrorist threats have weakened the media in West Africa, with media control seen as a “strategic goal in conflicts”. In the Horn of Africa, poverty levels and authoritarianism make of civil liberties, the media inclusive, collateral victims.
Glaring examples abound in Somalia, with the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab which has “always targeted journalists as unwanted witnesses of its terrorist methods. With seven journalists killed in 2013, Somalia is Africa’s deadliest country for media personnel.” JWB further explains that “in November, Al-Shabaab deprived an entire region of television by seizing satellite dishes on the grounds they carried images that did not respect Islam. Information is seen as threat”.
Reporters Without Borders further elucidates that “this persecution is nonetheless also indicative of the immense power that journalists still wield as watchdogs. They make it possible for the population to see and hear, and they make sense out of scraps of information, fashioning it into something intelligible to all and thereby maintaining their importance, all the more so in time of war.

DEATH OF MARAFA SECRETARY BLAMED ON BIYA REGIME

A local English daily, The Guardian Post, reports that French media have blamed the Biya regime for the death of Christiane Soppo, Personal Secretary to one time Secretary of State at the Presidency of the Republic, Marafa Hamidou Yaya.
According to the Guardian Post’s Monday, April 7, 2014 edition, the French daily, Liberation holds that “the Cameroonian president jails opponents who are a threat”. The leftist French newspaper continues that the conditions of arrest and detention of the former Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Marafa, prove he is not an ordinary prisoner. The paper reiterates that 55-year old Christiane Soppo’s death was orchestrated by the Biya regime to bury salient truths that could put his administration on rugged grounds.
Another French newspaper, Le Canard, clearly observes that “in Cameroon, no one seems to doubt the political motivation behind this murder, because for 25 years, Christiane Soppo has been personal secretary to Marafa, who was for long close to the current president”.
Whether this be true or not remains a debate, but according to a recently published US report on human rights in Cameroon, Marafa is believed to be indeed a political prisoner considering that some laws were violated during his trial.
According to lecamerounaisinfo, Marafat himself states that Christiane was assassinated for political motives. Cameroun24.net recounts that Christiane was assassinated probably after a phone call from her daughter, on Friday January 24, 2014.
Currently serving a 25-year jail which was slammed him in 2012, Marafa is detained at the State Secretariat for Defence, same place where Thierry Michel Atangana, also rumoured to have been a political prisoner, was detained for 17 years, before being released in February 2014 after presidential clemency.

LOCAL RAFFIA WINE CLAIMS 7 LIVES

The choice is solely yours

The choice is solely yours

Settling on whether to drink whatever, is a personal verdict one passes on self, though we often do not decide to bear what follows slightly or lately after. Such was the case with seven persons on New Year’s night, who decided to drink distilled raffia wine, commonly called in Cameroon “Fofo”.

In Djohong, Wina Sub-Division, Mayo-Danay Division of the Far-North Region of Cameroon, 7 persons are said to have consumed the liquor after the burial of a relation. Few minutes after, six are said to have breathed their last, while the seventh, who offered them the drink, was rushed to the hospital with chronic diarrhoea. The quick rush to the Wina dispensary did not stop this other soul from departing the body, bringing the number of deaths to 7.

According to the 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) report on alcohol consumption in Cameroon, unrecorded alcohol consumption in Cameroon is estimated at 2.6 litres pure alcohol per capita for population older than 15 for the years after 1995 (estimated by a group of key alcohol experts), while the recorded consumption stood at above 7%. This could lead to addiction, which is another serious ailment related to alcohol consumption, a difficult situation to deal with.

 Even as speculations abound as to the kind of drink that ravaged the lives of 7 persons in less than an instant, the fact at hand remains that it is alcohol. While most consumers back up with expert views that one beer a day is needed for good body functioning, there are even more real facts about alcohol that everyone should get to know first. It is no lie that even a drop of alcohol can impair judgment for a few seconds, as well as for a lifetime.

NEW YEAR, NEW HOME FOR FATHER VANDENBEUSCH

Glad to be free

Glad to be free

Father Georges Vandenbeusch is to begin the New Year in an entirely different place from the abode he has occupied for the past seven weeks. The French priest who was kidnapped in Cameroon on November 17was released early Tuesday, December 31, 2013 according to an official statement from the French President. . He was welcomed back in France by President François Hollande, in Paris, on New Year’s Day.

The French cleric was abducted by Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram near Koza in northern Cameroon, close to the border with Nigeria. According to his bishop, “around 15 gunmen burst into the compound in Nguetchewe where the priest worked”. President Hollande paid tribute to the “bravery” of the cleric, who was abducted from his parish by gunmen and moved to Nigeria.

Circumstances under which he was freed are still unclear, but the French Government insists no ransom was paid for his release, even as the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius added that there had been “discussions”.

The 42-year-old priest revealed he lived under a tree for almost a month and a half, where he had no access to reading material or radio. This, he said, was “terrible boredom sadness and anger because I’m very fond of the parish where I worked”.

Earlier, he told reporters in Cameroon: “I am in great shape, very grateful to all those who worked to free me.” At Villacoublay air base, Mr. Hollande thanked Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, for his help in securing the cleric’s freedom.

The Islamic Boko Haram Group, which has been designated a terrorist group by the US had earlier this year abducted seven members of a French family called Moulin-Fournier – four of them children – in northern Cameroon and held hostage for two months.

REUNIFICATION CELEBRATION: WHY THE DELAY?

One people, one nation, one future

One people, one nation, one future

The hopping deadlines for the completion of works in Buea, prior to celebrations marking Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of reunification is no longer news for Cameroonians. The latest of December 19, issued by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Jean Claude Mbwentchou, has equally not been respected.

With speculations on the increase as to the reason for the delay, some believe it is because President Biya expects to be awarded a PhD Honoraris Corsas (according to a local French daily), or a Doctorate Degree in Political Science.

Whatever the reasons, plans seem to be on hold for the sole cause of the celebrations. As per Bouddih Addams in his column “Roughshod” on The Post Newspaper, No 01490, December 23, 2013,  “ the town of Buea has been taken hostage by the wait for President Biya’s coming for the celebration of the Re(Unification) of Cameroon”.

Addams continues that if “X-mass were also dependent on the presidential visit, it would have been postponed. We have proved that if international celebrations were dependent on us, like the World AIDS Day…there is no doubt that all of the days will not be celebrated on the designated dates”. This is perhaps not open for debate as the graduation ceremony of the University of Buea for 2013 has been postponed to a yet-to-be-announced date, still dependent on the president’s visit to Buea.

Down memory lane, President Biya had scheduled his eminent visit to Buea to definitely be within 2013, as per a statement granted State TV, after last September 30’s  twin Legislative and Municipal elections in Cameroon. Barely two days to the end of the year 2013, speculations still roam the air as to whether January 2014 will see president Biya in Buea.

52 years since the event that shaped the life of the nation, renowned historians give stunning revelations that could make or mar the whole idea in the minds of Cameroonians. Despite the roughshod nature of the celebrations on every other important activity in Buea, majority still eagerly await the festivities with “blood in the eye”.

CAMEROON TO WAGE STRONGER BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION

According to the Corruption Perception Index 2013, Cameroon still maintains its 144th position out of 177 countries concerned, with a score of 25/100. This signifies no change from the same position occupied last year, and therefore ought to make greater strides to stamp out the cankerworm. issues of bribery are still on everyday Cameroonian lips.

According to the national bilingual daily, Cameroon Tribune, the Transparency International classification results were disclosed on December 3, 2013 during a conference in Yaoundé, by the President of Transparency International, Barrister Charles Nguini.

With the corruption survey focusing on the public sector in all concerned countries, Barrister Nguini stated that Cameroon’s classification stemmed from information furnished by 8 professional sources.

Cameroon occupied the 34th position out of 48 African countries, with the Central African Republic, Iran, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Ukraine also on the 144th position.

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, scored 8/100, placing them at the top of the list, while Denmark and New Zealand scored 91% to be apparently the least corrupt countries.

WOBBLY PRESS FREEDOM IN CAMEROON?

The recent suspension of two local newspapers in Cameroon, have sparked up questions, as to the nation’s regard for freedom of the press.

Bishop Befe , NCC president: the priestly ombudsman told to tamper justice with mercy

Bishop Befe , NCC president: the priestly ombudsman told to tamper justice with mercy

Last Thursday, November 21, the National Communication Council (NCC), the media watchdog in Cameroon handed down to The Guardian Post and Ouest Littoral, three months suspension from publication, for the papers as well as for their publishers. According to the media supervisory body, the papers were found lacking in “ethics and professional conduct”, and charged with using derogatory words against personalities, who have complained to the NCC.

The NCC decision has sparked up a wave of bitterness amongst local publishers and editors, who among others say they doubt the process that led to the taking of the decision. As per a communiqué, Cameroon newspaper publishers on Wednesday November 27, 2013 in Yaoundé demanded the sanctions be “uplifted immediately and unconditionally”.

Is our freedom threatened?

Is our freedom threatened?

The NCC on her part stands its ground to say she is out for utmost respect of professional ethics by the media in Cameroon. After gaining regulatory rights in 2012, the council, moved from an observatory body to a “sanctioning” one. Earlier on in September, it handed down sanctions on some papers, for their lack of professional ethics and conduct, amongst them The Guardian Post which very recently gave a face-lift after its two-month suspension.

The wrangle goes on, as some pressmen question the authenticity and independence of the NCC which was created by presidential decree, and which has dealt sanctions after supposed hits on some of its officials by the sanctioned newspapers. Others simply believe it is a political arm to muzzle the press. But as it is often said, “who polices the ombudsman?”

HONOUR FOR REUNIFICATION DAY?

This day marks exactly Fifty-two (52) years, since the reunification of Cameroon; the reunion of former British Southern Cameroons, with former East Cameroon. (1 OCTOBER 1961)

Infrastructure for reunification celebrations

Infrastructure for reunification celebrations

Cameroonians pride themselves in the soon-to-come celebrations marking 50 years of reunification, but fail to honour the actual date when the foundation for the celebrations was laid.

52 years after John Ngu Foncha of former West Cameroon, and President Ahmadou Ahidjo of former East Cameroon put their signatories at the historic Mountain Hotel in BUEA, giving birth to a reunified Cameroon, Cameroonians are still bustling with preparations for the celebrations of 50 years of reunification, and one wonders what becomes of the remaining 2 years.

The new reunification stand

The new reunification stand

According to an interview granted President Paul Biya to State TV, the celebratios for 50 years of reunification, will effectively take place before the end of this year 2013, as he awaits technical irregularities to straigthen up.

Even as the day rides away, no mention of the date’s importance is hinted. Could you wait until you’re 80 years to celebrate your 78th birthday.  You may though, as that’s the reality soon to come to fruition.

THE FUTURE: FOR AGED PERSONS

Today is celebrated the world over, the International Day of Older persons. In Cameroon,  the day is celebrated under the theme: “The future we want: what older persons are saying”.

The theme of the 2013 commemoration, “The future we want: what older persons are saying” has been chosen to draw attention to the efforts of older persons, civil society organizations, United Nations organizations and Member States to place the issue of ageing on the international development agenda.

Activities marking the celebrations, will be launched in Cameroon on October 8, 2013, at the Yaounde “Cercle Municipal”, under the patronage of Catherine Mbakang Mbock, Minister of Social Affairs.