Cameroon’s 2011 Presidential Elections: Democratic Ideals or Complacent Politics of Disappointment By Frank Oben:North Africa: Nod Africa or ‘Not’ Africa?

North Africa: Nod Africa or ‘Not’ Africa?

Egypt’s victory has become an impetus to the eradication of dictatorship. The world was watching as it took 18 days to cause a dictatorship to abandon his favorite sit. We all applaud the trials and tribulations of Egypt. There is a heightened concerned that this effect might trigger a domino effect or geometrically leap into countries governed by dictators, or oppressed by an authoritarian ruler. Indeed, while Tunisia lit the torch light, Egypt blew Africa’s trumpet to the rise for democracy.

This bold step in Egypt has stimulated some Cameroonians, especially the youths and other ‘democratic fanatics,’ to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to send messages for riots even before the elections take place in October, just because of the Egyptian victory. Others are advocating for a post-riot in case a fraud is declared. The day and locations have already been selected. Online discussions are going on, some youths say they are ready to spill blood, sighting the University of Buea riots which to them proved functional in delivering some results, the recent one which took place on the 11th of February in Buea, South-West province of Cameroon. We should not forget that, practically all silliness of conduct ascends from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble. Imitation can be viewed as a serious form of flattery. However there are no two snowmen that are identically similar. But every snowman is a unique design on its own from its creator

Let me make some points clear, and if you are interested, you can carry out your own investigative research. Firstly, the demonstrations in Egypt were triggered months ago in 2010, due to complaints about the 29-year government-imposed state of emergency which has been used to curb protests and freedom of expression, knowing fully well that 2011 was an electoral year and also calling for political reform. The other riot was around President Mubarak’s birthday, May 3-4, this time by political activists and members of parliament who were more roughly treated than the protesters in April 2010. The Western media just ignored these demonstrations, and the plea from Amnesty International was futile.

Secondly, Egyptians were not affected by what happened in Tunisia. Tunisia is the country which carried the torch light in that region. The reason for the Tunisian uprising was primarily corrupt government and deeply rooted nepotism, which was gradually eliminating the middle social class in that country. Egyptians were rioting against Western imperialism to which the government deemed more necessary than the basic needs of the Egyptians themselves, and yet all progressing businesses were seized by the government or asked to pay high dividends. Issues such as the Egypt’s Nile water rights, the persistent housing crisis, unemployment, injustice and poverty were always brought to the table and ignored by a government which preferred trading in billions with America over military and war- related products and services.  Both Tunisia and Egyptian riots were fueled by provocative postings on social media sites, not in Arabic, but in English and French.

While Tunisia is ruled by the sirens of a police regime, Egyptians are under the boots of the army. The Egyptian army is more valuable, well trained, well-funded and better paid than the Tunisian army. This is just to name a few. Cameroon has a ‘soft’ presence in the international scene, not ruled by a General, and it has witnessed almost similar riots which resulted in a decrease in food and beverage prices – the carrots the government uses to appease its citizens. We have never heard of Cameroonian parliamentarians rioting, the national assembly is a dead as the graveyard.

Cameroonians should not forget that Arabs and Muslims have different motives and aspirations. We might have slippery mouths in declaring that it all boils down to democracy. True, but since democracy is not possessive but reflective of the society in which it seeks to operate, different cultural societies have different demands to prompt a ‘democratic supply.’ You can be happy for Egyptians but tell yourself this; their struggles have just begun. Their country is still ruled by the military, military officers who have no abilities or capabilities of state administration. Administering the affairs of a country is not similar to fighting war. It is similar to asking the best taxi driver to fly a plane because he has a good command of the wheel. There is a great difference between driving a taxi and piloting. There is a difference between controlling the military and governing a country.

The Way Forward – Definitely not the road that leads to Rome

We all know that to win, to become a meritorious champion, you must train. Look at heavyweight champion lifters, successful tennis players, football players, and athletes. There is constant training and training, determination, dedication, motivation and DISCIPLINE. Yes, discipline. Every champion has a coach and a supporting team. This is a fact, not a fable. Candidates should earn their stripes

Fellow Cameroonians, we live in society where it can be proven that working together is different from working with each other. We should understand that the only thing that supports our reality and constant struggle is our belief in it. We are experiencing a transitional period where change should reflect a substantial effect as to the quality of the transformation. This quality of the transformation would primarily be determined by our ways of lives, then our relations with others and our environments.

But where will the ideas and knowledge come from? Certainly not from the same architects, congress, men or parliamentarians, public relations officers or journalists, doctors, professors, scientists and priests of the old system. Not from the same strategies and implementations copied from neighboring countries, and neither from the good talks from developed countries. It is the poor, the people tagged as debtors in this democratic process, who are demanding more for excellence, not the rich nor the ‘better-offs.’ The money-makers are bent on their business, wanting to live in luxury, sometimes becoming physically or mentally idle, suppressing their ability to be exposed to pain while they welcome pleasure. They are much more concerned about making money, not for excellence.

Designs, knowledge, ideas and creativity and hence understanding will originate wherever creative and critical thinking flourish within the mind of the Cameroonian individual, societal relationships, the common place, the platform for constructive debate – wherever common people strike a balance between who says what, where, when and why, its ramifications, implications and consequences to them as individuals and to their society in general. Change shall be effective where Cameroonians struggle to discover and exploit their individuality and surroundings, their ability to assimilate and articulate ideas that are already of conscious times, embedded in everyday life. Thus, the form of change implied should be one whose outcome should maintain the functioning of active systems of communities, and at the same time sustaining continuous changes in it.

Educate people from villages to cities. Educate people on the necessity of change rather than on its obligations. Education must not necessarily  come from the classroom but from common places of acquaintances; village meetings, gatherings, symposiums, rural conference, family meetings and socialization, ex-student associations, conventions, church announcements and support groups. Yes, all the pieces of the pizza put together would form the whole.

What do I think the new president should do? Gradually revamp the old systems. I would suggest two methods for guidance and gradual progression: clear and concise action planning and communal motivation. We should collectively diagnosed the mistakes of yesterday, plan for today and prepare for the joys and odds of tomorrow. Communal participation stimulates the growth of trust. It ensures that everyone is involved from villages to cities, and willing to execute the missions. Other issues worth considering and acting upon are:

  • Cultural values should be preserved and respected. There is no culture which is more dominant that the other.
  • People should merit their jobs. An effective analysis of performance should be established in all industrial sectors. Decentralization of job-tasks should be encouraged.
  • Boost the private sector by encouraging investments and entrepreneurship.
  • The banking sector should be regulated. Client savings should be a priority. Banks should set up supervisory and executive bodies, committees for constitution and laws, to control monetary policy, local and foreign investments, financial stability of institutions, payment transactions, and banknotes and coins.
  • Business partnerships should be re-evaluated.
  • Syndicates, think-tanks, brain trust teams should be formed in every community, even the least. There should an osmosis effect, where the strong, hardworking, intelligent and creative minds pull the least of such. The diffusion of knowledge should be encouraged through communal participatory methods.
  • Encourage economic, sociology and scientific research in universities. Problematic topics should be carefully studied. National issues should be prioritized; economic issues should be listed in scale of preferences.

There should be no rush in trying to clean the old systems. No need to draw hasty conclusions out of unusual situations.

Dear Cameroonians let us open our eyes and fall short from being excited about October 2011. Do not forget. We might talk of a wind of change, but you must ask yourself how many winds of change were actually winds? Most swiftly became whirlwinds, and tornadoes, and guess what, many did not survive. Only the strong survived and only the lonely died slowly.

With the radical emergence of Honorable Ayah Paul, and the current ‘bold’ leap into the ‘Change Camp’ of the other presidential hopefuls, some Cameroonians think at last their cries in the wilderness have been heard. And who knows if upcoming cries in the wilderness might be the coming of a sand storm? It could be our ruin.

We are not looking for a truck or tractor driver to show us his expertise in commanding the wheels of these heavy automobiles, nor are we looking for a ship captain who does not know what nautical miles are, neither are we looking for the best Formula 1 speed racer nor a straight 5 A’s A-level genius, or the good doctor who is always ready to prescribe medicine to his patients. No. Cameroon like any country needs an ear which listens to the people, a mind which thinks about and alongside with the people and their societal relations, a man who is not by the people, nor who is there for the people but the leader who is WITH those citizens who think and bleed for the betterment of their country.

Think again, Dear Cameroonians:

Remember Benjamin Franklin, who said, he that cannot obey cannot command.

a) We are not looking for a leader who would spend time listening to our wants and needs. Nor are we looking for those who would promise to build bridges where there are no rivers, because no matter the intensity of the rain, it cannot change the spots on a leopard. If you want to change the spots on a leopard, cross breed it. Easy. So we need a leader who can cross-breed ideas and take us to where we have not been.  Leaders do not promise. The only way to keep your word is, don’t give it up.  Change comes in small doses, but we expect the wind of change to sweep across the territory.

b) We are not looking for leaders who would follow a path for guidance but those who can go where there are no paths and leave a trail.

Methinks, this is the time whereby the opposition should sit down, design strategies to gradually restore confidence to the people that as soon the presidency is changed, Cameroon would be back on track for gradual democratic development and progression.

Indeed, fellow readers, it is a long way to go, and we have to start small. It is not a matter of time; it is a matter of alertness, awareness – heightened consciousness. It is a matter of pre-preparation, organization, of momentary ideas and decisions, of looking forward while acting on feedback. It is not a moment for lamenting about problems and finger-pointing, not a moment to curse, neither cry nor being rash in behavior. We all should think together. There is no stupid proposition. The only stupid proposition is the one which was not proposed. During this journey, we shall make mistakes. Making mistakes should not be automatically viewed as a guarantee for failure. Immediate steps should be taken to correct our mistakes and transform them into successful experiences.  Given certain time-frames, issues should be ranked and taken into consideration. Not family issues but issues which hinder the propping up of the society in which we live.

We live in a world where everybody wants something. No one wants to be the last to know…so, do not be the last man standing. I do hope our aspiring leaders do not become much ado about nothing persons, but persons who are serious, focused, tactical, dynamic, dedicated, disciplined and smart.

And please do not say God is in control, because I would ask you where he was when the last elections were taking place.  We can pray to God and trust in God yet we would always pay cash. You can trust in God but you have to lock your car.

We do not need to imitate any other society; nor do our leaders imitate any other leader. We need to be supportive to ourselves and our leaders and uphold our cultural values as we internally cleanse ourselves. Methods, strategies, decisions and policies placed on the table and ready for implementation after considerable thinking would determine our direction. We cannot see a leaf falling and know which direction the wind is blowing. This is not about liberalization; this is about waking up from slumber and taking each horse by the reins.

Every dog has its day. Unfortunately we are not dogs. We just want to be like dogs with no tails.

Our visions of a democratic society would become clearer when we search the memory of our minds. When we spend time looking outside and expecting any form of external aid, we are dreaming, but when we look inside, we would awaken. We would grow and advance when we desire sleep in the absence of dreams.

We all hope and would be willing to participate for the development of a better Cameroon

May passion and not pedigree triumph.

Notes: I am sorry for taking off much of your time. I deemed it necessary that we know the actual issues of our Country and our own conditioning as Cameroonians. Not the big talk or big words going on in the press or from intellectuals or from the international community.

I stand reasonably corrected and very open-minded to debate and questions. Sorry for spelling errors. Sorry if you thought I offended your opinion. I am not inclined to any candidate. I am just asking Cameroonians to THINK AGAIN.

To all those who have the same thinking of ‘another Cameroonian babbling from abroad’; I very much respect your opinion. If you need to know what I have done, what I am doing and what I am planning to do for Cameroon, please mail me.

We are human beings who can think and act. Such childish thoughts should be eradicated. We should be mature.

My e mail: frank4b@hotmail.com

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Educating Will Power. By Arturo Ramo

In educational environments it is often said that the Pedagogy of effort is fundamental for learning with effectiveness and being successful in one’s academic life and life in general.

Various research studies concerning education conclude that the “wanting to study” is more important than intelligence when it comes to academic performance. Payot asserts that genius is, above all, a long process of patience: scientific and literary works that honor human talent the most are not at all due to the superiority of intelligence, like it is generally believed, but instead to the superiority of a will power that is admirably owner of itself.

Campaigns against drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, tobacco and violence are promoted from different sectors of society. In all of these campaigns, the youth is taught to say “NO” to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc., but for this to happen it is necessary for these young people to have a strong will power.

This is why it is crucial to educate one’s will power, which in other words means to educate one’s self.

However, what is will power? It could be said that it is the soul’s potential that moves someone to do or not to do something. Will power moves one to do or to achieve the ideals of the youth as well as the objectives that we propose to ourselves in order to improve society and become a well educated individual. Will power also moves us to not fall for or look for drugs, tobacco, and many other vices that jeopardize human beings. We must especially reject the tendency of only doing that which we fancy and like as well as what our body asks us for. Our will power is shaped by not giving into these little things: i.e. doing at every moment what must be done even if it is difficult to do so. “Do what you must, and be in what you do”, as our grandparents used to tell us.

There are two factors that favor and facilitate will power: motivation and illusion. Motivation consists of having reasons or causes or even motives to do something. These reasons or motives will drag us with force to reach our ideals and goals. Illusion is the hope that is caressed by our imagination, which provides us with joy and good spirit in order to make it till the end of our set purposes.

Personal struggles that move forward through small but constant efforts are at the base of educating will power. Will power is not accomplished by carrying out a heroic act at a given moment, but by achieving small wins with consistency one day after another without giving up.

That is how holistic and integral individuals are educated; those who overcome fatigue, frustration, unwillingness, and the thousands of difficulties that life brings about. A strong will power is essential for success in life and it is one of the best decorations of one’s own personality.

Arturo Ramo
Independent Forum of Opinion

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Paul Biya and the Art of Confessing Political Sins. By Boh Herbert

Widespread killings, hostage takings and acts of terror by Boko Haram militants in the Far North Region and violence wrought by armed bandits and/or rebels on the border with the Central African Republic (CAR) may pose a growing security threat to Cameroon. However, no one expects Boko Haram to overrun Cameroon. That is why Cameroon’s stalling economy may be its most difficult short- and long-term problem. President Paul Biya admitted as much in his end-of-year address to the nation last night.

Mr. Biya was not this blunt, but Cameroon is sinking into a spiral of soaring defense, security and war spending. It is ripping out its wallet to foot a capital goods spending spree about which President Biya, in the speech last night, said he can do nothing.

No special gift is needed to know that the growing lists of non-concessional loans Cameroon is signing will jeopardize its debt sustainability. Failure to industrialize and an appetite for importing even things we can produce are some of the “bad habits” Mr. Biya blames for widening Cameroon’s balance of payments deficit. Wasteful administrative spending; poor execution of investment budgets; and a deepening recession linked to stalling growth, a significant dip in oil prices, an over-reliance on a few commodity exports and a failure to launch certain promising projects have left Cameroon’s economy headed south.

This explains why Yaounde – almost in secret – adopted and is rolling out a three-year “Emergency (recovery or rescue) Plan” targeting, in Mr. Biya’s words, to “jumpstart our growth”. GDP growth has been robust of recent, but with no increases in per capita incomes. In short, Cameroon has such a tall economic problem that a bail-out program worth CFAF 1,000 billion has become an urgent necessity to help “achieve visible progress and measurable improvements”. Even Yaounde has had enough of its own “blablabla”. The Plan will help “meet the most urgent needs of our populations nationwide… in vital areas such as urban development, health, agriculture, roads, energy, low-cost housing and security”.

News coverage of Mr. Biya’s address that I have seen so far is dominated by the “Boko Haram overkill” angle. Aspects of the speech about the slump Cameroon faces have been buried. “It was our hope”, said Mr. Biya, to devote an election-free 2014 “primarily to reviving our economic growth”. Alas, he admits, “such was not exactly the case”. He blames rebels on the border with CAR and emboldened Boko Haram attacks in the Far North of Cameroon, where the sect was allegedly “buoyed by their grip on north-eastern Nigeria”. Yaounde owes no blame for the ransoms that whet the sect’s appetite for more hostage takings!

Mr. Biya is not shy to admit that his government lacks the resolve to reform a public sector that continues to suffocate the economy and stifle private sector growth. “Investment,” he says “has so far been largely initiated by the State”. Mr. Biya decries “the resistance to structural reforms which is stifling our growth revival efforts”. He acknowledges that some of the resisted reforms “concern our governance, particularly public finance”. In other words: “chop broke pottism” still runs amok and it has not helped that parliament, in 2013, “adopted major incentives to private investment”, agreeing that “the latter (private sector) still seems unable to take over from the State”. Cameroon can’t improve private sector development when it remains so poorly ranked (168th out of 189 economies) in the 2014 Doing Business report, down from 162nd place in 2013.

The president says he is “compelled” (poor man!) to make “these remarks” because of “the difficulty we are facing moving from a State-dominated economy to a more liberal system which is now the rule… We suffer the disadvantages of both systems”. It seems Mr. Biya is admitting the total failure of his socialism and/or communism-inspired “Pour le Liberalisme Communautaire”? It would be about time he did!

The speech does not share the findings of “the recent triennial appraisal report on the implementation of the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper”, except to explain that “we can and should do even better”. We could not agree more! Surely Cameroon can improve its weak governance; improve its ranking (144th out of 177 countries in the 2013 Transparency International corruption perception index. He adds that “there seems to be progress” – key word, “seems”! The president deplored the slowdown in project implementation, explaining that he has decried “underutilization of budgetary appropriations”. What are citizens to do if even the president decries – can’t crack the whip?

Whatever exactly is happening, one thing is clear: Yaounde is having an epiphany. “We do need an industrial policy”, the president told fellow citizens in the prime time address.

Hellooooo! Is Yaounde just finding this out in the 33rd year of Mr. Biya’s reign? Well – better late than never! Yes, Mr. President, “there can be no great country without industry” and – YES – that goal cannot be attained when you sign off your country’s right to industrialization to the French-led European Economic Partnership Agreements. And – YES – this would include industrialization of the agricultural sector. YES, it won’t happen if Mr. Biya readily finds an excuse for the foot dragging involved in the implementation of projects such as “our major iron and bauxite mining projects”. The excuse: “such projects are complex”, he says, stressing that “there is no plausible reason for our slowness in developing industries to process our agricultural commodities”. YES – you can say that again, Mr. President!

By not acting or acting too slowly, Cameroon is passing off benefits “in terms of value added and employment” and further hurting “our foreign trade which is (not only) showing a structural deficit” but “is characterized by a significant import surplus against exports which largely depend on the sale of three or four commodities whose prices are unstable”. Cameroonians should expect the structural damage to deepen. Mr. Biya explains why: “it is difficult for us to restrict our purchase of capital goods”. Simple!

In the lone sentence of the speech where he claims that “significant progress has been made” Mr. Biya announces a four-part austerity reform that Cameroon needs in order to ensure “budget sustainability” (now in jeopardy); reduce subsidies (higher fuel prices are coming); and review the tax base (please, read widening the tax base). Even Mr. Biya – who is not an “oppposant” in any shape or form – admits that Cameroon would “benefit by streamlining its procedures and… cutting down on its spending”. Give me one politician who confesses his policy failures once a year and I will give you – well, Mr. Biya.

ENDS

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2015: The Rest of the Lord and Life Abundantly. Prophet Ntemfac Ofege

2015: The Rest of the Lord and Life Abundantly
A very Merry Xmas to you all and the very best in 2015,
Why did Jesus come to Earth?
The man himself gives us the answer.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Have life and have life more abundantly!
If you live in poverty and misery and ill-health and disease and suffering and adultery, and fornication, and uncleanness, and lasciviousness, and idolatry, and witchcraft, and hatred, and variance, and emulations, and wrath, and strife, and seditions, and heresies, and envyings, and murders, and drunkenness, and revellings, you are not having life more abundantly.
If fact you have death more abundantly!
Jesus came to give you abundantly life
So why is it that many not living that life abundantly?
You see, for a time, God gets angry with most of us so he causes us to struggle…but then.
Because they do not know that there is a place called the rest of God…where the flesh cannot reach but God can…even while you are still in the flesh.
By Divine Revelation 2015 is the Year of the Lord’s Rest and those that he knows by name CANNOT NOT enter into his REST.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
The rest of the Lord is that place of his presence, his peace, his supply, his grace, his favour, his joy, his fortitude, his supreme peace and the presence of the El Elyon himself.
His works about you were finished even before you were born and he looked at you and said: VERY GOOD.
Every Christ-ian is supposed to live in this place called the rest of God or the place called VERY GOOD.
If you believe in Christ, you live in the REST of God….a place called VERY GOOD.
No more struggles in Jesus Name.
Enter his gates therefore with hymns of praise…
Amen.
Happy New Year 2015 Hot Colors On Black Backgrounds

The making of an SCNC leader and why it should change – See more at: http://cameroon-concord.com/news/item/1932-the-making-of-an-scnc-leader-and-why-it-should-change. By Boh Herbert

You would be forgiven for understanding the Guardian Post editorial, under the penmanship of Ngah Chris, as an enthusiastic endorsement of Hon. Ayah as the next SCNC Chairman. Yet, the title (“How Justice Ayah Paul was Catapulted to the SCNC Chairmanship”) suggests that the election is a done deal. Welcome to the making of an SCNC leader!

Upon further scrutiny, it seems an SCNC leader is yet to be elected or “selected” – the exact word used by the Guardian Post. The paper says “a reinvigorated and united SCNC executive is about to be elected” at an “Elective General Assembly” where Hon. Ayah “will be selected [nice choice of verb] to replace the deceased Chief Ayamba”. The sales pitch for Hon. Ayah describes him as having an “unblemished profile and record… the right candidate” for the “uphill task” of “enormous complexities” at time of “sweeping allegations” of the Biya regime buying leaders over.

The editorial is partly aimed at discrediting everyone else who might threaten Hon. Ayah’s rise to the helm of the SCNC. Without verification, the paper relays accusations that Nfor Ngala Nfor has tried to “usurp leadership” whereas, as the paper claims, Nfor Ngala Nfor is a “government agent”. The other potential troublemaker is Ambassador Fossung, who lives in exile in the USA. He is dismissively portrayed as claiming to be the “legitimate leader” whereas the paper paints him as providing lame leadership via tracts and videos online.

To its credit, the Guardian Post acknowledges that Hon. Ayah cannot seek to become president of “La Republique” while also fighting to restore the independence of Southern Cameroons. Smack down! The paper could go further. It could add that Hon. Ayah cannot also fight a regime on whose Supreme Court bench he plans to sit under oath to defend. Reportedly “on good authority”, the paper announces Hon. Ayah’s upcoming resignation from PAP (the political party he founded) to satisfy “hawks within the SCNC” (also known as secessionists) who asked for and obtained no less of Prince Ndoki Mukete before that. Stepping down, says the Guardian Post will make Hon. Ayah “an unquestionable candidate for leadership” of the SCNC.

Democracy and Meritocracy Managed by Dictators

Even as they have clamored louder for democracy and meritocracy, Cameroonians – of all political stripes, sadly – have grown increasingly complacent, comfortable – even resigned – to dictatorship dressed in this kind of rave reviews of politicians, steeped in intellectual dishonesty and the manipulation inherent in the spiritual vote cast in this editorial by the Guardian Post. Endorsing Hon. Ayah would make sense for a newspaper like this if at least two candidates were running for the position. The paper would endorse one, providing reasons to readers (also voters) why the paper has done so.

There are no known rival candidates in this case. In fact, we do not even know if Hon. Ayah is even running or is just being manipulated into running. This is the old-time, one-party “Ahidjo versus Ahidjo” ballot! We get no explanation why Hon. Ayah may be better suited for attending to the Augean task of unifying fractious factions; of infusing new blood; or of building a movement more capable of standing up to the attacks expected from the Biya regime.

We, as a people, will not get competent, qualified leaders of integrity until we set rigorous selection criteria and abide by them in electing – not selecting – our leaders. The process needs to become more transparent, inclusive, competitive and democratic. The health of our democracy is dependent on that. So far, though, from grassroots movements to the Top Job in the land, dictatorship is in our DNA. Far too many dictators are in training at the helm of political parties and other grassroots movements like the SCNC for Cameroon to hope to enthrone democracy without a genuine reawakening.

Everyone mentioned for a position in Cameroon is almost always invariably praised as qualified for it. Yet, anyone old enough to breastfeed knows what qualifications would make a good SCNC leader, for example. The movement has a clearly defined goal. It suffers currently from a number of setbacks, not the least of which is lack of seriousness, professionalism and unity of purpose at the helm. These are problems that democracy and meritocracy can fix. However, our movements dodge democracy; shun meritocracy; and continue to wallow in some Ahidjo-invented concept known as “regionalism”. Steadfast leaders will not emerge if past betrayals and the likelihood of recurrence are overlooked and if lack of support a movement and a people still qualifies the holder of the curriculum vitae to lead it.

Unlike for Rome, not all roads will lead to the achievement of the goals the SCNC has set out for itself. As shaky leadership to, during and immediately after the Foumban Conference proved, it is easy for the regime in Yaounde and their French masters to take Anglophone leaders for a ride. Southern Cameroonians cannot afford such a misstep in the aftermath of the landmark Banjul Ruling and on the eve of the sun setting on President Biya’s current seven-year term. It may matter more now and in the near future who leads the SCNC than it has ever mattered at any time in our history. And, on that count, it is my opinion that Hon. Ayah is woefully unqualified to lead the SCNC.

Excuses, World Without End…

Apologists for Hon. Ayah, like the Guardian Post, have been scrambling to find excuses for his past and even future shortcomings, in the hope of remodeling him away from his CPDM past (and future?). They have tried to find the right words to shoehorn him into the position of SCNC Chair. Good luck with that!

The Guardian Post says of him that he was “a lone voice in the wilderness” during his two terms as Member of Parliament in Cameroon’s National Assembly. Not true! The SDF spoke louder, but never – even once – benefited from the support of his voice or vote.

The one time Hon. Ayah is credited with voting against the CPDM was when he was not there and never voted. Hon. Ayah was “no show” when parliament voted to give President Biya constitutional authority to lift presidential term limits. The vote did not only forgive all crimes committed by any president while in office but granted immunity from prosecution to all past presidents once they leave office. Hon. Ayah, quite honestly, cannot take credit for what he neither did nor for a vote he never cast. Significantly, he did not find it important enough to be in parliament to express his opposition at a time when hundreds of Cameroonians were being killed by security forces stamping out street protests against what MPs were approving.

Unlike Hon, Ayah, the SDF parliamentary group can take credit for walking out of parliament in protest. The five members of parliament who stayed through the deliberations and then voted against the amendment can take credit for what they did. But, Hon. Ayah…. Please!!! Hon. Ayah knows that by his absence he provided proxy to the CPDM to cast his vote alongside other dictatorship likeminded MPs of the party in power. That vote was in April 2008. Not once since then and in January 2011 when he resigned from the CPDM did he caucus with the SDF or vote along with them. Even as he complaint of “fearing for his life and of family safety” in early 2011, Hon. Ayah was acting emboldened – not frightened – going on to put up one of the most disgraceful showings on a presidential ballot ever!

A Lone Political Wolf

Remarkably, he continued to be Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly – not ever once stepping so much as out of line with the ruling CPDM. Tied to the hip with the CPDM, it is not forlorn to imagine that Hon. Ayah has never been his own man. It is CPDM appointments and decrees of its Leader-President Biya that made him magistrate plenipotentiary. For all the legal heavyweight paint him to be – and he may well be – his legal prowess did not associate with other legal luminaries like Prof. Carlson Anyangwe in defending the Southern Cameroons cause before a national court (such as Bamenda or Buea) or an international tribunal (such as Banjul). As the patient legal dog, Hon. Ayah ultimately got fed one of the fattest Supreme Court bones. We are told he could use that position to advance Southern Cameroons, but for that to be aligned with his past performance how about they allowed us to read just one landmark ruling he handed down as a magistrate of the bench. Just one!

The SCNC needs a leader who connects well with the grassroots. One forumist, Bens Awaah, offered advice where the Guardian Post editorial failed. “When the Southern Zone militants assemble to elect the next SCNC Chairman”, Ben Awaah wrote, “they should elect a young, energetic and visionary man or woman, whose sole interest is to take us to independence. He/she must be a people person, able to build bridges and to bring more people from the region to the cause. Northern Zone people and Mola Njoh Litumbe have always been there, working and waiting”.

Forget many aspects of those basic qualifications! Hon. Ayah’s past suggests that he is neither the leader the SCNC deserves nor the one it has been waiting for. His role as CPDM-appointed, regime-obedient Supreme Court Justice denies him the potential to grow into that role. He is seen as a “lone political wolf”; not without some justification. For example, he announced his bid for the presidency via email and followed it up with phone conversations to media editors, even as most aspirants spoke to monstrous crowds. A Cameroonian blogger once pondered thus about him: “maybe he needs to connect more with the grassroots. The same people who are the silent majority, invisible yet always present”.

While some of the wordings used by the blogger to describe Hon. Ayah cross sacred family lines, they are worth being shared three years after they were first posted. “What is most lacking for the Hon. Ayah Paul,” the blogger wrote “is traction. He says just the right things, has the right ideas, is married to a Francophone from Douala (no fear of secession), and has the academic and professional credentials relevant for the presidency of Cameroon”. The blogpost remains unchallenged to this date by Hon. Ayah.

The Market in Illusions

There is no shame in Cameroon these days of selling illusions to the highest bidder. The Guardian Post has one on sale. It argues that the tough issues opposing “La Republique” to Southern Cameroons can be thrashed out amicably “through internal dialogue without resort to international arbitration, the consequences of which is (sic) difficult to predict for now”. The Guardian Post is also an oracle teller, predicting – we have to presume – less consequences if internal dialogue was adopted! The last time we tried that via street protests in February 2008, a few hundred civilians were shot dead and thousands more, including the now late Lapiro de Mbanga, were thrown in jail. By comparison, the proceedings before the Court in Banjul had a casualty figure of exactly “zero mort”! So, too, did Bakassi!

The Guardian Post informs us that the Biya regime spent taxpayers’ money to sponsor “some blacklegs within the movement to The Gambia and Senegal to pose as leaders” during the Banjul Hearing. If that is true, could the Biya regime be up to the same bunch of tricks with Hon. Ayah?

Admitting – without confessing to the sheer violence that the regime visits on dissident movements – the Guardian Post offers the following advice: allow SCNC members to “hold their assembly without interruption by security forces so that in the end, Yaounde will be able to know who to dialogue with for the interest of ‘national unity and integrity'” Holy smoke! If dialogue is for the interest of “national unity and integrity”, how can that dialogue be at the service of the SCNC and its followers?

ENDS
Boh Herbert

How Yaounde Has Terrorized the Church. By Boh Herbert.!

Congratulations are in order to SCNC Chair-elect, Hon. Ayah Paul!

But so, too, a few questions to our faith-based organizations are in order:

So, it is true that Yaounde has so terrorized every Cameroonian, including the once bold and courageous leaders of our faith-based organizations?

So, it is true that the Catholic Church no longer has the stomach to save souls by standing up to Yaounde’s insatiable appetite to take life?

Are these things happening in the year 2014 or in the pre-1960 times?

Times were when the then very young Catholic Archbishop of Yaounde Jean Zoa could openly challenge Ahmadou Ahidjo over the persecution and massacre of Bassas and Bamilekes. He was courageous enough in those dark days not only to condemn from the pulpit but also in editorials in the Church’s “L’Effort Camerounais” newspaper. In one such editorials, Mgr Zoa denounced the deaths by asphyxiation of dozens in what became known as “Les Wagons de la Mort”.

Times were when the Churches offered protection, a safe haven and even a place to escape death to the persecuted across Bassa and Bamileke lands. Remember the late Mgr. Ndongmo? He put himself on the line to the point of being condemned to death, then forced to live and die in exile, returning only in a casket to Cameroon.

Times were when the Catholic Church that is in Cameroon would not hesitate to offer Mount Mary in Buea as a venue for the people of God that are in Southern Cameroons to discuss how to restore their dignity, return to self-rule and agree strategies for defending themselves with the force of argument against the terrorists in power in Yaounde and in colonial control of Southern Cameroons.

Times were in the early 1990s when the Presbyterian Church that is in Cameroon did not hesitate to provide the premises of the Presbyterian Center in Bamenda, month after month, so that God’s children could agree the best non violent ways of ending one-party dictatorship and finding ways of unseating the Evil that misrules them out of Yaounde in the name of Government.

Times were when Cameroonians had so much confidence that citizens almost to a person sincerely hoped that one of the Church’s highest official in Cameroon, Christian Cardinal Tumi , would play Moses instead of just being a Shepherd of Souls.

Those times were clearly before Yaounde went from one-party dictatorship to the hardline terrorists that have now so intimidated our Church leaders that apparently none dares to speak up or speak out; and none wants to be seen offering even a venue for those who are still willing to risk all to speak out in favor of self-rule.

Whatever happened to the bold, courageous Catholic Church that is in Cameroon? Does it not see the example set by its global leader, Pope Francis? Must it call for a bowl of water to wash its hands every time the terrorists in power in Yaounde come calling?

Truth be told: the Churches are less terrorized right now by the terrorist of Boko Haram than it is by the terrorists in power in Yaounde.

Biya Paul

SCNC Elects New National Chairman – Ayah Paul is New SCNC Leader. Curled from Cameroon Daily Journal by Mbom Sixtus

Cameroon Journal, Kumba – Former two-terms CPDM MP for Akwaya who is also Chairman of the People Action Party, PAP, Ayah Paul Abine has been elected new leader of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC. He was given the confidence to lead the group during a gathering held in Kumba yesterday.

While accepting the confidence bestowed on him, Ayah, however, did not say if he will resign his position as PAP national chairman or not.

The meeting, initially scheduled to hold at Kumba Catholic School Hall was held in a private residence after the church officials refused to allow the activists use the hall. The move, our reporter was hinted, was fuelled by government’s refusal to grant the meeting organisers authorisation to meet.

Even though the Kumba gathering was boycotted by most North West SCNC members, Nfor Ngala Nfor, former vice chairman to the late Chief Ayamba sounded rather excited that Ayah Paul will now sit on the movement’s hot seat. “Ayah Paul’s election as national chairman is good news for the Southern Cameroons’ independence struggle,” Nfor told our reporter by phone last night.

Ayah Paul who himself was present at the elective assembly told delegates that his priority assignment will be to undertake a trip to the United Nations and Europe early next year to speed up the Southern Cameroons independence. He is equally expected to reconcile all the various factions and put in place a dynamic national executive; comprising activists from both the North West and South West regions. It was announced at yesterday’s meeting that Ayah Paul’s policy statement would be made public only later today, Dec. 16.

Anglophone mayors, parliamentarians, senators and diplomats invited to the meeting all stayed away. Fon Martin Yembe who was among front-liners for the post of the next SCNC national chairman rather reacted angrily when his opinion was sort; on the eve of the Kumba assembly. “I have heard of the SCNC elective general assembly in Kumba but that does not interest me…,” Yembe who is also first deputy mayor to the Ndu SDF-run council told our reporter.

It should be recalled that since the creation of the SCNC, only South Westerners have led the group. The first was Sam Ekontang Elad. He was succeeded by retired Ambassador Henry Fossung. He was forced to exile abroad and was replaced by Prince Ndoki Mukete.

Mukete abandoned the movement when in 2000; Justice Ebong Frederick seized Radio Buea and declared the Southern Cameroons independence. Mukete who was a FECAFOOT official in Yaounde might have feared he would be linked to the Buea radio seizure and resigned his position as SCNC national chairman.

Logically, he was replaced by another South Westerner, Justice Ebong who had championed the CRTV Buea independence declaration. When he was arrested, detained in Kondengui and later freed, Ebong took refuge abroad and so was replaced by Chief Ayamba who had also participated in the independence declaration on CRTV Buea.

According to an unwritten arrangement that has stayed on since its creation, the offices of the SCNC first vice chairman, treasurer and secretary general among others are reserved for the North West. It is however, not clear if North Westerners who boycotted the meeting will maintain the arrangement.

The SCNC first emerged in Buea as All Anglophones Conference. It witnessed the cream of who is who from the North West and South West regions. It had in attendance, among others, the late John Ngu Foncha and Solomon Tendeng Muna. Its intention then was to address the Anglophone issue in the 1996 constitution that was being revised in Yaounde.

The meeting later continued in Bamenda as AAC II before transforming into SCNC after the Yaounde authorities failed to give an ear to Anglophone marginalisation and the abrogation of the federal system of government on which union between Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun was founded in 1972.

SCNC’s vision, according to organizers of the Kumba assembly, remains the same and is guided by the motto: “The force of argument, not the argument of force”.

Curled from Cameroon Daily Journal by Mbom Sixtus
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