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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Cameroon’s Media Council is a Cure Worse than the Disease. By Herbert Boh.

Cameroon’s National Communications Council is in the news, again – and for exactly all the bad reasons!

If you have not heard yet, please be informed that the interim president of the Council, Mr. Peter Essoka, and his colleagues have once more successfully charged, judged, and found a sizable group guilty. Half a dozen journalists, the Council has ruled, are guilty of allegedly failing to respect professional ethics and/or reportedly “insulting” an official of the Cameroonian Presidency.

Flash back! This was the same charge levied against Celestin Monga and Pius Njawe in the early 1990s. So, if you were in doubt, here you have it: Mr. Essoka & Co. are taking all of us back to the future!

The latest most gruesome crimes committed by the pen are so heinous that the Council even ruled to ban journalists from “exercising their profession”. Journalist Jacques Blaise Mvie is banned and his newspaper cannot publish. By that decision, the Council has extended the punishment to everyone who works for Mr. Mvie’s newspaper. They have all been put out of work. By order of Peter Mr. Essoka & Co. the journalists concerned and those who work for Mr. Mvie’s La Nouvelle newspaper are banned from earning a living. If you have the misfortune to work with or for Mr. Mvie, you are automatically guilty by association with your employer.

Talk of killing a mosquito with a nuclear bomb!

The abuse of power inherent in these decisions smells to high Heaven. The jurisprudence they would represent, if allowed to stand, authorize the Council to even chase investments away from the media sector. In the future, this decision aiding, the Council will have authority not only to sanction someone like journalist Severin Tchounkeu of Equinoxe or Charles Ndongo of CRTV for doing whatever Mr. Mvie did. They will henceforth have authority to put anyone who works with Mr. Tchounkeu at Equinoxe or Mr. Ndongo at CRTV out of work by also shutting down the media outlet for which the “criminal” journalist works.

We have to count our blessings! It has to be heartening to note that even the most abusive administrative or judicial authorities that serve the Biya regime have ever handed down such gross injustice to journalists or media outlets!

Not surprisingly, news reports cite Mr. Essoka as stating “toute honte bue” that the Council is independent and that it does not do the bidding of the Cameroon government. Really?

Well, if you believe Mr. Essoka, then maybe we can conclude that the director of Kondengui Prison would be right to claim that s/he is not doing any bidding of the regime by holding prisoners like ex-Premier Inoni and the likes of Marafa and Mendo Ze on behalf of the regime You would have to believe that the Ministry of Territorial Administration organizes elections so that the ruling party can lose. Or, you would have to believe that the Supreme Court does not do the bidding of the regime when it looks the other way when electoral fraud is perpetrated or when the president stages a constitutional coup to extend his stay in power.

Mr. Essoka & Co. are pleading “zero collusion” with the regime even as they abuse the extensive powers Yaounde has laid at their feet. Consider the extent of power: the Council can take and hold any journalist prisoner. The Council has powers – listen up, Supreme Court! – these fellows of the Council have powers to play prosecutor, defense counsel, judge and jury all together; all at the same time; and all without being in any conflict of interest. These fellows can charge and punish journalists for “crimes” that they don’t need to prove in a court of law or for “crimes” that could have been committed by radio or television producers – not the journalists themselves – or by the media network, shooting and/or airing what the Council describes as “shocking pictures” for instance. Yes, these fellows have powers to “execute” (kill and bury) any media company whatever the investments, as they are now bent on doing in the case of Mr. Mvie’s La Nouvelle newspaper.

On a previous occasion when my twin, Ntemfac Ofege, and I have commented – sorry – lambasted some past and no less abusive sanctions by the Council, we notably argued that this institution is a worse enemy for a free press, independent journalism and freedom of expression in Cameroon than the old-time, Soviet-type administrative censorship and any rulings by some of Cameroon’s “two for five franc” courts at the service of powerful few.

Mr. Essoka certainly knows but would not like to admit. So, here is a news flash!

The Biya regime clearly does not like the newborn baby to the media sector in Cameroon called independent media. Not unlike King Herold, the regime wants the baby dead. It recalls that it tried censorship and courts of law to abort its birth. The regime all but gave up. Until Mr. Essoka & Co. came along. Now, the regime must be chanting Daniel come to judgement!

Cameroon’s Communications Council is like the woman who claims by day to nourish, nurture and protect the child (media), yet is really the mother who is itching to abort the baby or is in the employ of an unwise King Solomon bent on dividing the newborn child. Even better than the regime ever hoped for, the Council is working to make this a perfect crime: ensure that the King has no blood on his hands.

There is no need to search hard to find what constitutes “mortal media sin” in the eyes of the Council. They share a number of attributes. All the journalists, radio and television programs that have been ordered off the air share the sin of being critical – how dare they? – of the Biya regime. They are critical of the regime whose image (when it comes to press freedom) that the Council was set up to launder. All the programs sanctioned by the Council just happen to air on one of Cameroon’s infant independent media outlets. Yaounde does not want the blood of these networks on its hands, and what relief it must be for Yaounde to see that Mr. Essoka & Co. are stepping up to the plate! The Council in as many words is designed to play the media hangman of the republic. Quite simply! Which must explain why Mr. Essoka sounds so lost in the Council’s work. The VOA quotes Mr. Essoka as saying the Council has “the right to sanction freedom when it goes into excesses”. Did he say sanction? “Haaabaaah!”

The tragedy quite simply is that the Council seems to sincerely believe that the sanctions it hands down constitute “just punishment” for “mortal sins of the pen”. Members of the Council – all of them, very learned and respected ladies and gentlemen, who raised plenty of hope when first appointed – do not seem to comprehend why the procedures of their institution fall way short of even the minimum standards of fairness, neutrality and due diligence.

The Council seems infatuated with one goal: that of emphasizing, rightly, that journalists have a duty to present news dispassionately, with fairness, accuracy, and balance. What the Council members, sadly, would like us to pay no attention to is the fact that this institution is a cure worse than any disease that afflicts the Cameroonian media. A political institution – which is what this regime-created, regime-manipulated, regime-teleguided Council is – will never – (let me say that again) – this Council will NEVER ever be an acceptable replacement for the self-regulatory body that journalists have a right to set up and run without interference from presidential appointees.

ENDS

Essoka Lamentation

No Better than Paul Biya

The sorry thing about clamours for change in Cameroun is that those braying for change are no better than Biya. They do not proffer an alternative that is credible or better. All we have here are a bunch of fools (fellows who systematically repudiate knowledge), hardened criminals, con artists, mad men, fugitives from the law, and other heehaws braying very loudly: Clowns parading for our general entertainment. All these dastards want is for Biya to remove his foot from their necks so that they place their own elephantine feet on the neck of others, for Biya and his clique to stop stealing so that they get their own grubby paws into the state treasury. It is much unfortunate. See what the SDF, that we all believed in and slaved for has become.
My firm conviction is that a day will come (very soon) when one
wearing the mantle of genuine change would emerge. Only then will the Camerounese people wake up from their stupour and stand up for change.
Prophet Ntemfac Nchwete Ofege


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Fru Ndi’s New Mentor. By Prof. Tazoacha Asonganyi

Following his famous shaking of the hand of Paul Biya in Bamenda, Fru Ndi went out boasting that those who had left his party were rushing back into the party, probably because he had become the wiser after meeting with Paul Biya! His multiplication of the handshakes in Unity Palace, and probably soon in Ebolowa, seems therefore to be meant to multiply the returning effect! In a way, Paul Biya has suddenly become the mentor of Fru Ndi!

Since the main bone of contention between the SDF and the CPDM, or between Fru Ndi and Paul Biya has been the fraudulent manner in which elections are organized in Cameroon, Fru Ndi started off by giving the impression that since he handed his demands on ELECAM directly to Paul Biya in Bamenda, things would change since he probably has not been getting the resolutions and messages they have been sending to him through intermediaries. During his 31 December 2010 message to the nation, Paul Biya talked about the need for citizens to enter their names in electoral registers, the citizen’s right to vote, his trust in ELECAM, and the necessary support of the administration and political parties to ELECAM. He concluded by saying that he has “reason to believe that ELECAM will be able to put finishing touches to its mechanisms on the ground in the coming months;” and that “we will have the opportunity to revisit all these issues.” Then everybody jumped onto the commentary box, telling us that he meant that he would revisit ELECAM; such truncated commentaries were all meant to goad Fru Ndi! And he has continued to trudge on like the proverbial man that follows a ram around, hoping that the scrotum would fall off at any moment!

Fru Ndi seems to have engaged in his contacts with Paul Biya like a political virgin. If not, then he is fully aware of the political engagements other political leaders have had with Paul Biya, which ended only in their exhaustion and dumping; and the political engagements he took with the entire nation,  which he has failed to respect. He probably has forgotten about the “council of state” which he was supposed to move from house arrest to Chair in 1992, but which ended in nothing but internal conflicts in his party, and the eventual expulsion of the Secretary General, Siga Asanga. He most probably remembers well the Tripartite, the constitutional engagements that came out of it, and Paul Biya’s single-handed, and self-serving changes he has effected on the constitution. He also most probably still remembers his regular visits to the Prime Minister’s office to put his views on NEO and ELECAM, and what use the views served. He probably is carrying all these along with him in his mind as he follows his mentor around the country, probably hoping that he would be treated differently this time around.

Many people make sacrifice in the religious realm, with the hope of heavenly reward. For a long time now, many Cameroonians expected Fru Ndi, from his position of strength within the opposition, to make some sacrifice by ceding the position of presidential candidate to some other person,  in the expectation of the victory of the opposition, and his ultimate victory following a transition period during which “a level playing field” would be created. He refused to budge. Now he has accepted to make an even higher sacrifice: giving the impression that he has reneged on his lifelong struggle for change; that he has capitulated for personal interest, not for the general good.

Looking at the present state of the SDF, the compromise seems to be in resigned acknowledgement of defeat. Like the UPC pre-independence struggle against colonialism that ended in defeat and the institution of neo-colonialism in Cameroon, so too has the SDF struggle against neocolonialism ended in defeat!

While the silent majority racks their brains to think of what to do next, one can only speculate on what the defeated SDF is likely to do next.  Although nobody asked Fru Ndi not to go to parliament, he has always mourned over the fact that “the people he sent to parliament” go around with diplomatic passports and armed guards provided by the state, while he has none of these. Now that the constitution of the SDF prohibits the National Chairman of the party from being a government minister, he is likely not to be too warm to make other diplomatic passport carriers guarded by state security while he remains in his helpless state. He will most probably beg his new mentor to create the “leader of the opposition” outfit, which is no threat to his Chairmanship position, and affords him a diplomatic passport, armed guards, and financial gains too. Or maybe beg him to hurry up with elections to the Senate, where he might find a foothold, even if it is ELECAM to oversee them!

And the 2011 presidential election: to go or not to go? Judging by Fu Ndi’s propensity for proclaiming himself No.2 of the Republic because of his no. 2 position in presidential elections, he is likely to block the way to his succession as no.2 by any of the many candidates that are declaring their intentions to run. Or he may try some populist posturing to indicate that he has not yet completely sold out. He may decide to boycott the poll on the excuse that no good can be done by ELECAM in its present state, since Paul Biya is showing no signs of wanting to change it. Remember he had been telling everybody before he found his new mentor that “there will be no elections in Cameroon under the present dispensations of ELECAM.” Following the boycott, and the generalized low turnout that is expected, the politics of the nation would still be too timid to provide Paul Biya the grand exit following or during his last presidential term. This may set the stage for another round of the SDF/CPDM talks we witnessed following the 1997 boycott, and the final entry of the SDF in a “coalition” government, or a government of unanimity, provided Fru Ndi already has his own niche carved out for him, like being in the Senate, or the “official” leader of the opposition!

In politics, every action has its rationale. Some may be convincing, others may not. Fru Ndi could have chosen to remain in his previous position, and allowed Paul Biya to continue to stew in the juice of his political mess until the end of his reign. He did not: he chose to embrace him. From his posturing about his party coming alive following the embrace, it is possible that he knew he had descended so low that such an embrace could only provide him some energy for a rebound. But I think that Fru Ndi needs much more than the energy provided by the embrace to cause a rebound that has any significant effect on the disposition of the political chess board as it is presently laid out. Except, perhaps, he sees the future more clearly than I do.

 

Tazoacha Asonganyi

Yaounde

Cameroon Media in the Loop. By Fon Achobang

In flames?World Press Freedom day celebrations are dedicated to reflections on what the role of the media should be in society. On the eve of the 2010 manifestations, the Cameroon media was bereaved as one of its members, Bibi Ngota, was allegedly tortured and abandoned to die in pretrial detention at the Kondengui Central Prison. Cameroon media was also shocked beyond rationale when the Minister of Communication, government regulator of the sector, Issa Tchiroma Bakary went out of his way to make a public statement that Bibi Ngota was HIV positive and died from opportunistic infections. Against this background, Cameroon media is in mourning and reflection on the challenges that face the sector.

Citizens cannot make sound decisions on issues put before them without the free flow of information and public opinion. This information and opinion helps them to make informed decisions during elections and on which projects to support. 2011 is a critical year in Cameroon and the media cannot allow itself to fail. They must create the atmosphere for debate and free flow of information to educate and sensitize voters.

Cameroonian voters should be given a limitless supply of information sources; newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books, mailed communications and pamphlets. Hundreds of newspapers are reported as registered in Cameroon, and according to government that is an alibi for press freedom. How does the Cameroonian press provide coverage of all important local, regional, national and international developments?

The Prime Minister of Cameroon, Yang Philemon just completed an economic and image charming trip in the United States of America. The Cameroonian people are left to consume only the coverage of Cameroon Radio Television and Cameroon Tribune, both government public media. A vast majority of the bourgeoning press was left out of the trip. Of course, government media concerns are limited and will fail to report the all important trip from all perspectives. By the end of the trip few Cameroonians will be informed of the necessity of such a trip and the its fallouts.

As a committed sector to impartial and unbiased reporting of facts, the mass media, as an ideal should enable voters to make intelligent decisions. As such the media should analyze the meaning of developments, and in clearly identified columns and broadcasts, express editorial opinions supporting or opposing the decisions of public officials. In the current dispensation, the Cameroon private media has been seen as weakening government action in acting for the public good. This is because the private media has been the one reporting the various allegations on Biya’s Ill-gotten Wealth and the suits against the Head of State in the diaspora.

As to the choice between the media and the government, let us remember what Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence in America said. In 1787 he declared:

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Over 200 years ago, that is what one of the founders of the American modern nation thought of the media. As a source of informed opinion, it should occupy the priority position. The Cameroon media should offer debates on public issues and interviews with persons who support or oppose specific actions. The Cameroon government has indicated, perhaps it has become its hallmark, that it is opposed to any opinion opposing its actions. In the 1980s when the economic crises started biting the country, lots of journalists of the English expression tried to debate issues in the country. They were whisked off the news programme, Cameroon Report and taken straight to the Kondengui Central Prison. The name of the programme had since been changed to Cameroon Calling but each time the spirit of Cameroon report reared its ugly head, the anchor was taken off. As such the Cameroon media lost some of its best practitioners in the English language.

Today, the Cameroon media is confronted with all sorts of problems caused by amateurs and people who barely have the tools for reporting. The 1990 communication regulations try to define what a journalist was. According to this profile, a journalist was somebody who went through a school of journalism; somebody with a postsecondary education and should have spent at least a year practicing in a media house; and thirdly if the practitioner does not have a postsecondary certificate, he should have spent at least four years in a media house. These criteria notwithstanding, there is no watchdog to screen those currently on the field.

Some government institutions and authorities have, therefore, taken advantage of this lack of regulation to impose their personal stamp on what they imagine to be against them in the media. It is in this light that the very powerful Minister of State, Secretary General at the Presidency, Laurent Esso used his position to bypass all judicial procedures to get Bibi Ngota detained. Recently, I was dragged to the Kumba High Court to answer charges proffered against me by the powerful Judge of the court. He felt defamed when I publicized one of the swindling sagas he is involved in. if I had been found within his jurisdiction, he would have detained me. My belonging to a different jurisdiction did not prevent him from crossing his judicial boundary to accost me with a summons, which I of course used as evidence of his abuse of power to petition the President of the Republic, Chair of the Higher Judicial Council.

Reporters are expected to know their rights and responsibilities and operate within the ambit of such rights. If I didn’t know my legal rights, and knew how to analyze the data collected from the Meme High Court, that legal jurisdiction would have messed me up like Bibi Ngota. Today, it is the judge running away from his shadow and resorting to arson to erase damaging evidence against him.

The treatment of information by those who gather such information leaves much to be desired. An uncle of the Cameroon media, Sam Nuvala Fonkem observed that there were lots of assumptions in the columns of our newspapers and broadcasts. His advice was never to assume, but to elucidate and clarify a news story as if the reader knows nothing at all about it. Here publishers and news editors fail to do justice to reports as they transform themselves into butchers, cutting chunks of valuable information indiscriminately. This might be an overstatement because the cutting of valuable information is premeditated.

Some publishers have personalities to protect. Every time such personalities are highlighted negatively, the story is either killed or edited in such a way that the news is killed. Sometime in 2009, a seminar on corruption held in Buea. The participant from the American embassy declared that he was ashamed to call the Honourable Rose Abunaw such because she was a disgrace. This was because she was behind the many visa scams for which Dr Fonkam Azu Simon was accused on the private media.  Even though there was enough evidence to pin down Rose Abunaw as the culprit, this newspaper publisher decided that the story be censored.  What about the publishers/editors who will call the culprits reported in an article to come and buy off the story?

Selling of stories to culprits might even be more profitable than selling papers on the streets. No Cameroonian paper sells 3,000 copies per edition. Cameroonians prefer to save their money for beer and other mundane concerns than buy a paper which does not articulate their anxieties and propose solutions. Government too has censored the papers by making them unaffordable to the common man. At FCFA 400 for 16 pages, most folks find it a waste of scarce resources buying a paper. Publishers, therefore, resort to unpalatable strategies to make money; smear campaigns, selling stories and blackmail.

Some news organs have simply transformed themselves into griots or praise singersfor some powerful elite. You cannot blame them as most are unable to put food on their tables nor keep their issues in school. You need to see how some news gatherers fight over food at conferences to which their news organs were never invited. such events provide them the unique opportunity to have a balance meal. They will heap food on their plates till you cannot see their faces from across the table. With many months of unpaid wages, it is enough to turn them in any direction with as little as FCFA 5,000.

Government can reverse this negative trend by throwing its weight behind the media and supporting them in every material way possible. This though runs the risk of transforming some publishers into band boys of the government dimabola chorus. In this election season, more seminars should be organized to drill reporters on reporting and the media laws. Government should be lobbied to support media house financially. This may help check some of the abuses noticed with private media corporations. The public services should also avail media houses of information. 

 
Fon Christopher Achobang
Department of Linguistics
Faculty of Arts
University of Buea
P.O. Box 63 Buea

(Senior Translator),
English-French- English
Expertise; International Business Translation; Literary Translation, Medical Translation; Editing; Proofreading.

(Senior Reporter)
P.O. Box 1095 Limbe
The Cameroons

Tel, 237 99365954

Changing the System or the Incarnator

Changing the System or the Incarnator

By Ntemfac Ofege

In reply to Ateba Eyene and the Taliban of Communications aka Comical Ali.

Comical Ali

Several things: Point one. The fact about the matter is that Bibi Ngota hails from Mr. Biya’s Bulu-South province, Laurent Esso is from Deido- Douala…hence, per Ateba Eyene, the Bulus would want the Duala-Deido to account. This is preposterous! It shades the trees from the forest. I find Abeba Eyene subtle tendency to methodically tribalize, if not localize+regionalize: and hence trivialize, political issues parochial, suspect in very bad taste.

Now a certain cynicism would even demand most folks (like me) abstain from taking sides in this matter…after all, a CPDM Minster-Secretary General by decree has (mis)used the much decried instruments of torture and repression inherent in every quasi failed state cum dictatorship to murder a member of the ‘Pays organisateur’ in Ateba Eyenespeak. Dog eat dog. After all, Mr Biya’s tribesmen (even journalists from the South Region especially those at Cameroon Tribune and CRTV) and their political accomplices from the Centre and the East have always formed a bulwark whenever Camerounians have shouted from the rooftop that the system is wrong. Members of Bibi Ngota’s home region are not only supporters but the systematically vote for; they defend their frère de président and the monstrous system he incarnates. These often parochial cum ego-centric folks have often confused the ardent desire to modernize and democratize Cameroon with the case of changing Mr. Biya for foibles more real than imagined.

The problem, dear excellent colleague, is about terminating a dictatorial, clientelist, gulag created by one man for the benefit of one patron and his clients. This is a system wherein so-called top civil servants invented by clientelist presidential decrees no longer perceive themselves as ordinary. They are now omnipotent yet the lack omniscience or basic wisdom. These persons now confuse respect for constituted authority with fear of constituted authority. In this system government is not defined as the provision of services but the display of power and authority. M’as tu vu? This is unfortunate.

Were I to use your own imagery, Mr. Ateba Eyene, I would have said that we are in a restaurant and the time has come to pay the bill. You are also now paying for what you consumed and knowing what other Cameroonians have known before. After savaging and murdering Cameroonians of other strains and ideals, the ‘revolution’ is now turning its own homicidal rage on its own supporters of yore with equally murderous vengeance.

But no! No, my dear excellent young colleague, Ateba Eyene! The furore within other Camerounians about the Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota murder is not motivated by ethno- regional (hence tribal and trivial) considerations. In fact, Bibi Ngota’s origin is irrelevant. The fact about the matter is that like many others in the far–off and recent past, the murderous system in Cameroun has claimed yet another victim – one too many perhaps. That other journalists, members of the Beti Supremacists who hold sway in the government-controlled media (crtv and Cameroun tribune), have even voted with their feet and are keeping mum in the wake of the inane and cold blooded murder of one of theirs is not a deterrent. It will not deter us simply because tyranny anywhere is tyranny everywhere.

Point two. Like Mathias Owona Nguini, I also openly denounce Ateba Eyene’s sophistry and hypocrisy. This young man, who has tribal affinity to Mr. Biya’s home province and allegiance to Mr. Biya himself – an unmistakable supporter – systematically vomits the hackneyed ‘Biya has nothing to do with it’ ad infinitum ad nauseam. Per Atebe Eyene, everybody and everything else is wrong while Mr Biya is right. Rubbish ! Mr Biya is the problem…he created the contemptible system and he incarnates the system, he sustains the system and he defends the system. What was Mr. Biya’s take on the fact that his Secretary General was directly involved in the murder of a Camerounian? The president’s stand was that Bibi Ngota was not arrested for a press crime or delit the presse. In other words this young man was a common criminal, arrested, tried, sentenced and murdered for an ordinary crime like theft, forgery etc. Lord have mercy! Defending the system, right? Obstructing justice, right? Whereas on March 2, 2010, the local press reported that Mr. Biya had suspended Mr Esso’s signature on official documents. 

Who will receive the copy of the so-called Commission of Inquiry instituted by Mr. Biya to look into the murder of Ngota Ngota? Who will read its findings for his boss? Laurent Esso, the very one indicted by popular verdict for murder most vile. Mr Biya must think we are all fools! And, in every political system, Commissions of Inquiry were invented to sweep scandals under the carpet. Ask the Americans and the British.

Mr Ateba Eyene’s tendency to denounce all around Mr Biya while proclaiming that the president is a saint is illogical and suspect. This is the prototypal vintage Area Eyene – His Master’s Voice and a notorious two-timer.  At best, this is base native and tribal all over again. Mr. Biya is either the greatest thing that ever happened to Cameroun is he is the most unfortunate thing to have happened to Cameroun. Take your pick Mr. Ateba Eyene.

The Ngota Ngota Murder in Kinescope

Let’s survey the facts and the issues again.   

  • Mr Biya’s Secretary General, as Board Chairman of the National Hydrocarbons Corporation, SNH is involved in a dyadic network of Jacob Zuma style kickbacks and graft following the purchase of a luxury ‘Hotel-ship’ for SNH. Whatsoever SNH wanted a ‘hotel-ship’ for is irrelevant but since the taxpayers are paying for the stuff who cares.  Mr Biya himself attempted to siphon SNH money to a dubious Camair account (far away from the eyes of the World Bank+IMF) to wards the purchase of an airplane – the Albatross. That this other nebulous deal was mismanaged and Cameroun lost anything between circa 31 and 71 million dollars is neither here nor there. Atangana Mebara etc are sitting smug in jail over this other heist.
  • Word about this unorthodox transaction, plus a list of beneficiaries of the cuts and takes, was leaked to a collective of Yaounde publishers with Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota among them. Serge Sabouang (La Nation) and Robert Mintsa (Le Devoir) also had the documents. Whosoever leaked this document is also immaterial. As Mr Biya’s reign ir-recoverably grinds towards the inevitable end, and as rumours of another cabinet shake-up looms, the crocodiles are eating the dogs. That too is understandable in all dictatorships.
  • Like any good journalist Ngota Ngota tabled a questionnaire to the omnipotent Secretary General in the presidency Laurent Esso, who is also Board Chairman of SNH. Crime de lese majeste! How dare a mere journalist question the Sec Gen in the presidency about anything let alone rackets and kickbacks! The Secretary General owes his allegiance and accountability to one man, you see. The one who appointed him, period! What Ngota Ngota forgot was that while the Sec. Gen may have no direct control over the police and the gendarmes, this man is a super magistrate (magistrate hors hierarchie) who has titular control over the DGRE…direction general de la recherché exterieur – the country’s counter terrorism+espionage outfit. In an obtuse case of abuse and misuse of power and authority, Laurent Esso caused the Directorate-General of External Intelligence (DGRE), to arrest Ngota Ngota, Harrys Robert Mintya of Le Devoir and Serge Sabouang of La Nation.
  • It has now filtered that Ngota Ngota did not even have the 100.000FCFA demanded by the source to acquire the indicted document!
  • During their February 5-12 detention at the DGRE, the journalists “were submitted to a number of barbarous acts of torture.’ And indicated by Cameroon’s Syndicate of Journalists. They were tied up and beaten nightly with metal bars, deprived of sleep and food and held naked in icy cells.
  • Ngota, a sickling (asthma+hypertension+hernia) was thus savaged tortured…not because of the authenticity of the document, but to state his source! By law, a journalist can only release his source in chambers before a judge. If this was a common law crime, like Mr. Biya says, why was this poor boy not arrested by the police or the gendarmes? Why the DGRE? Was Ngota a dangerous terrorist or a spy?
  • Having discovered his error of mis-using the DGRE to arrest and torture Ngota the first time, Laurent Esso now causes the Judicial police at Elig-Essono to re-arrest Ngota and prepare a case file against him based on statements and documents tortured out of Ngota.
  • Ngota Ngota’s wife, Mrs Colette Angèle Ngota told a local Radio station, TBC on the programme ‘’ Dans la ligne de mire’’ that she was one and a half months pregnant when the DGRE came for her husband. She says that she was punched in the stomach occasioning a miscarriage some days later. She says the she was bleeding profusely when the judicial police came to arrest her husband who was also on treatment.
  • Under duress, magistrates of the Mfoundi Court now expedite the trial of Ngota Ngota and the boy was despatched to the Yaoundé Kondengui gulag and thrown into a hellion unit called Kosovo.
  • Per Ngota’s wife, her husband was subjected to several tests before being thrown into jail by a certain Dr. Ndi. The HV test was among them. Ngota’s wife, who says she actually saw the medical record, says Ngota was positively diagnosed for hypertension and hernia but he was not HIV positive.
  • Issa Tchroma, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications; a man whose pronouncements border on the fringes of lunacy, a man who has a Taliban’s views to free speech, governance and government communications, a man who in his more mercurial moments is spokesman for the regime, says the DGRE intervened because by attacking the Secretary General in the presidency, the journalists wanted to bring down the government and the  state! Tchiroma says it was not Laurent Esso who was being questioned but a major institution of the state called the President’s General Secretariat – PGS!
  • In violation of every decency know to all cultures, especially the African culture of respect for the dead, no matter the circumstances, Tchiroma now goes public to say Ngota died of AIDS. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Mixing grapes and oranges. Let’s just reason with this revolting persona. What if Bibi Ngota was actually HIV positive .Was he arrested for being HIV positive? Was he tortured occasioning death for being HIV positive? Is Tchiroma now saying that government policy is to torture HIV infected persons to death? This is what the government of Cameroon now has as spokesman! Comical Ali!
  • After a brief release by the DGRE following which Ngota checked into the Yaounde Biyemassi Hospital for treatment Laurent Esso caused Ngota to be pulled off a sick bed on February 25. He was dragged to court and accused of forgery and using forged documents. Mr Esso’s accomplices and compradors in the magistracy unleashed expedite and thus jungle justice on the boy. He was despatched to Kondengui – speedily! I defy anyone to prove that Ngota actually forged these documents. Remember that the boy did not even have the 100.000FCFA needed to acquire the documents when they were leaked!
  • In Kondengui, Ngota was heaved into the section for common criminals amid the filth and the stench.
  • Ngota’s ailing (hypertensive) poor mother, Ngoulou née Edima Geogette, did bribe an official of the Kondengui prison (30.000FCFA) to get the boy move to better quarters. The official received the money but refused to move the boy.
  • Mrs Ngoulou Edima Geogette pleaded with the prison registrar for her son to be hospitalised. For fear of incurring the wrath of the man above, the registrar refused.
  • Mrs Edima managed to get 150.000FCFA for the boy to be hospitalised an operated upon. That failed and Ngota died April 22, 2010. This boy’s body would not even be given decent treatment after death. Issa Tchiroma, the Taliban, Minister of Communications told some lies, Tchiroma caused journalists to attend a fake autopsy, etc etc.
  • The press has just leaked a segment of a letter written by Bibi Ngota to Laurent Esso stating clearly that he never forged nor did he use the document… « (…) En toute franchise, je n’ai ni fabriqué, ni exploité le document, Je mets quiconque au défit de me prouver le contraire (…)»Mr Ngota wrote before his death. 
  • Consequent upon the death of Ngota Ngota, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the Cameroonian Syndicate of Journalists, the French Foreign Ministry, etc etc, roundly denounced the Biya regime….and note, Ateba Eyene, not Laurent Esso. If Mr Esso was such a liability why has he not been fired! Birds of a feather…
  • On April 25, 2010, the Committee to protect journalists sent this missive to Mr Biya. Your Excellency, we hold the government of Cameroon responsible for the well-being of the three newspaper editors currently held in state detention facilities, namely Mintya, Sabouang and Lewis Medjo of the defunct weekly La Détente Libre. Imprisoned since September 2008 at New Bell prison in the commercial city of Douala, Medjo’s health has deteriorated while in custody. He lost hearing in his right ear as a result of a severe ear infection while serving a three-year sentence over his coverage of a presidential decree, his brother Michée Medjo Gatheu told CPJ.

But this is my grouse with Ateba Eyene. The Camerounian problem is not a quarrel with individuals. It is a quarrel over political systems, their structures and functions. Any undemocratic, clientelist, dictatorial system with entrenched patron-client structures, networks and one based on the personalization of power, one man rule, etc., would show all the tractions, transgressions and contradictions that led to the death of Ngota Ngota.  

See the system (1) A Biya decree invented the-full-of-it Laurent Esso, an ordinary man and a dubious magistrate. Because of that decree Mr Esso now sees himself as omnipotent. He Who Not Only Cannot Be Questioned By The Press But He Who Must Be Obeyed. (2) To add insult to injury, Mr Biya made Esso Board Chairman of SNH…when all the country’s money or most of it emanates (3) the Sec Gen controls the DGRE (4) public contracts within this system are never transparent; the SNH is runned like a Ngumbah house one in with zero transparency (5) the courts and magistrates are avenues for clientelist networks and the magistrates can be influenced by the executive. The magistrates not only recognise know their own and one of there is Sec Gen in the presidency and this position is the president’s ears. This Sec Gen holds the key to upward mobility in the profession (6) these journalists were kidnapped and tortured and these practise remain a given in Cameroon especially for those suspected of attacking politicians (7) Cameroun’s magistrates still use evidence obtained via torture as evidence (8) Cameroon’s prisons are hell on earth. (9) the system operates on fear from above hence the prison authorities are zombies (10) the system does not have a Freedom of Information Act or an Official Secrets (11) Every idiot created by decree is accountable to none save the president. (12) Only the system would do itself the kind of disservice of appointing an Issa Tchiroma into government as spokesman. (13) etc. etc.

All of that as Mr Biya presides. Ateba Eyene’s suggestion for journalists to jump-start a massive inquiry into the management of their petroleum and its spill-overs is a non-starter. Without revisiting the inane pronouncement of a Biyarite, the late Jean Assoumou Avebe, that petroleum matters are too sophisticated for the common man to understand, democratic systems with even a modicum of transparency operate under the FREEDOM of Information Acts and Charters. Such systems volunteer information to the press and by inference the public. In such systems, journalists are not killed because the send interview protocols to the president’s secretariat. What makes Ateba Eyene think that as a matter of causality – the same causes producing the same effects – and given the stakes, another journalist would not be killed for proceeding with this kind of investigation?

One thing is clear. Camerounians of every creed, tribe and colour wish for their country to become a modern, democratic, transparent country, with checks and balances, free and unfettered press, etc. Mr Biya and his regime have neither the will, nor the savvy or even the ability to change their ways, their system and reach for these ideals. In fact, Mr Biya and his regime are in the way of a modern Cameroun. At best, Mr Biya owes Camerounians one favour – clean the Augean stable he created before he leaves – a Herculean and exalting and interesting task.

Consequently, Mr Ateba Eyene, dear young and excellent colleague, you cannot eat your cake and have it. We cannot have any more deaths. So, between changing the system and/or the incarnator, the choice is not Hobsonian. The choice is clear.

 

Of Gramophones and the Talibanization of Government Communication. By Ntemfac Ofege.

Basic. The prime duty of government is to provide services. Whenever government fails to provide services, the citizenry resorts to all manner of ways including criticisms on radio and in newspapers, uprisings and coup d’états to abrogated predatory and failed governments.

Basic. The gramophone. Described as a willful artifact capable of producing sound of often dubious quality. A trademark of the gramophone: His Master’s voice. Whenever the pin of the gramophone got stuck, the instrument produced plenty of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The production of plenty of sound and fury is called noise. Cameroon’s current Minister of Communications, the esteemed Issa Tchiroma Bakary sounds like the final gramophone.

Basic. Talibanization should be defined as this extreme state wherein those who rule make believe that their point of view is the absolute. Talibans prescribe death to refuseniks who do not subscribe to their skewed rhetoric. Under the pretext that such deviants are perturbing public order. Off with their heads. Death to radio stations, for example.

Cameroun came very close to being a Taliban state when Ahmadou Ahidjo lorded it in these parts. Issa Babary Tchiroma, Cameroon’s new Minister of Communications is a pure product of the Ahmadou Ahidjo School of dictatorship, high-handedness and vile tyranny. Since he became Communications minister some months ago, Issa Bakary Tchiroma’s pronouncements lead many to dread the return of Ahmadou Ahidjo and the talibanization of communications in Cameroon. Proof, of that? The man has just shut down Sky One radio.

One of the conditionalities for creating a private radio and tv station in Cameroon is that ALL programmes of the radio and tv must be approved by the Ministry of Communications. Did the Ministry approve or did it fail to approve the Sky one programme, Le Tribunal? Who failed to provide vital services and who is today blaming the victims?

Accusing Sky one of not respecting professional norms and of defaming some Cameroonians is disingenuous – giving a dog a bad name. This is lynching. This is abuse of power. The Minister is not qualified to adjudicate on journalism. His Chief of Judicial Affairs is not qualified to adjudge on defamation. Only the courts can rule on defamation.

In pure democratic tradition, the Union of Journalists, UJC should have been consulted before the extreme closure of Sky one.  What if for the sake of solidarity all radio stations in Cameroon create programmes similar to Le Tribune du Peuple?

I have explored the format of the Sky one programme. This is another case of the people versus government. Had the Sky one journalists gone into investigating and interpreting the facts as brought to them by the public, the programme would have had more teeth. What is so wrong with having a Judge Judy format on radio?

Last June, a catholic cum French outfit published a document stating that Mr. Paul Biya may have swiped some 46 billion FCFA from the commonwealth.  Ever the Machiavellian, Mr. Biya moved fast to shuffle his cabinet, distract attention from the publication and make people like Issa Bakary Tchiroma minister.

Now Issa Tchiroma can be described as a political prostitute. He was UNDP yesterday, He was ANDP, then he was SDF (Sans Domicile Fixe) and today he is the spokesman of the CPDM government! This minister hails from a culture not only associated with talibanism but also associated with griotism. That is why the man makes the perfect town-crier for Mr. Biya. It is Mr. Tchiroma’s legitimate right to go on all fours behind Mr. Biya, but it is also the right of Cameroonians to refuse that route. Only a Taliban would think differently.

Even time he has operated his routine electoral coup and has been sworn in as president, Mr. Biya has sworn to uphold the constitution. Article 66 of that constitution says, some public officials must declare their assets. Cameroon’s existing law on stealing public money prescribes LIFE JAIL for anyone who so much as swipe, misappropriate, or sidetrack only 500.000FCFA. Name one public official, from the District officer to the president, who has not distraire 500.000FCFA? Dixit Lapiro, they all belong to Kondengui, you see.

Had Mr. Biya declared his assets, we might not have reached the current wahala wherein political touts are parading up and down the country bleating Motions of Support like lost sheep. What has the president to say for himself? Did he take out 3.2 billion from the now dead SCB bank to build himself a country house with an attendant golf course? Did he dole out taxpayers money in the millions to his favourite Rose Croix sect? Did he, etc, etc? Sue CCFD, if you can!

One of Mr. Tchiroma’s dirges has been for Cameroonians to forget all these stolen funds and focus on creating wealth (la creation des richesses) so that itchy fingers can continue stealing.  This is ludicrous!

Government’s newest gramophone says that the solution to the kyrie of problems faced by the private media in Cameroon is to provide more government subsidies. This is truly asinine. Government subsidies are never timely nor enough. Moreover such bribes violate the SIGMA DELTA CHI Code of Journalism ethics as prescribed by UNESCO. And this money goes into the deep pockets of the owners while workers suffer. The private press in Cameroon has just reached a collective bargaining agreement with government.  To help the private press, government should respect its own engagements in the Convention Collective.

Government should also respect the treaty it signed with UNESCO as remove all taxes on media raw materials. And, government should begin respecting its own Law by handing out their due share of the AUDIO-VISUAL tax to private radio and television stations. The AUDIO-VISUAL tax was never intended for CRTV alone. Existing and future private radio and television stations ought to sue government.  And, ministers (Biyiti and Tchiroma) should desist from scaring away investors in the media with their misuse of a dubious concept called public order.

Mr. Issa Tchiroma hails from the North of Cameroon. He passes around for an eminence grise of the northern barons. Mr. Tchiroma’s action creates acute wariness of the return of the Northern merchants. Cameroonians can live with a gramophone in the Ministry of Communications, but surely not a Taliban.  Or is it a neo-Taliban?

Introducing Peasant Economists, PEECAS, and its Dream: From Us, For Us and By Us

Critical question. Where will Cameroon be in 50 years time? What future are we preparing for our children, and the children of our children? Who shall build us schools and hospitals, build bridges over our rivers, electrify our towns and villages, tar our roads, and supply clean drinking water to our poor villages? So many questions, but very few answers. Unfortunately. We believe that Peasant Economists is the answer. In fact, we believe every one of us is the answer to these questions. We, the Peasant Economists, believe the future of our country lies in our hands. The marginalisation, isolation and neglect we face in our own country today is not, must not and can not be accepted as an explanation of and a justification of indifference. The hard times should instead be seen as a challenge and a call to immediate action. The solutions to our numerous problems can only come from us, for us, by us. Politicians, claiming to have answers have led us down, again and again. They have lied again and again; cheated us, stolen from us, broken many promises while we stand by, arms folded, and watch our degenerate. Cameroon has gone from failing to a near-failed state. So much so that many citizens given up hope and fled, never to return. In the midst of all the misery we face today a lot of talking is going on, some are talking of a revolution, some talk of war, while others talk of independence. We, the peasant economists, hate talking. We are nation builders. We believe that the time has come for concrete action on issues concerning the future and development of our country. On 20th January 1961 John Kennedy, during his inauguration as president of the United States challenged his fellow citizens when he said: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ President Barack Obama on the day of his inauguration as president reminded Americans, that it will take everyone’s involvement to solve the huge financial crisis facing his country. That means even in the richest countries on earth, the governments cannot do it alone. The happenings of recent times remind us clearly that the will of man is the strongest force on earth. We have seen a black man tell Americans ‘Yes we can’ and become the president of that county. We have seen militia groups, either defeat or survive the onslaught of one of the most modern and ruthless armies in the world. The Peasant Economists do believe its time for us, to believe in ourselves, organise ourselves, put our hands together to build and to develop our country. Our government has not, cannot and will not do it for us. After crying, grumbling and complaining and blaming each other for many years, the time for us to come together is now, not tomorrow. The great Chinese leader Mao Tse Tsung once said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.’ JFK also said ‘Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.” The question we must ask ourselves is, ‘Have we taken that first step yet?’ We need schools, we need roads, we need hospitals; playgrounds we need electricity, we need water, we need intellectuals and experts, we need food, we need jobs, we need industries, we need banks and we need a beautiful country. We, the peasant economists, strongly believe that from us, by us and for us, together we could make our country a better place. All this will not be finished in one day, nor will it be finished in the first one year, maybe not in our generation, nor even perhaps in our lifetime. But let us begin.

“It’s time to walk away” By Ntemfac Ofege Revisited.

Reaction to the July 22 heavily-rigged Elections

“I leave Cameroon with the impression that there is only one Cameroon, multilingual and multi-ethnic. I encourage dialogue of these stakeholders. In every country, there are problems of marginalisation. The way it has to be solved is by dialogue and not by walking away.” Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on the Anglophone Problem. .2000AD

“It’s time to walk away” Ntemfac A.N. Ofege

Chronicle: Mr. Ntemfac A.N. Ofege, two years ago you prophesized that the CPDM will gerrymander, rig the elections and collect 7-10 seats from the SDF. You also said that the CPDM would take at least 15 councils room the SDF. You must be pleased with yourself now that everything you said has come to pass.

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Pleased? No, not at all, Mr. Motomu, it gives me no pleasure at all. Rather I’m truly saddened by what is happening. You may see only the gerrymandering aspect of the rigging, but the CPDM did more than that. Once again, Mr. Biya’s government and party used all election-fraud strategies known to man to give themselves another moonslide victory. They ethnically cleansed English-speaking Cameroonians especially from the voter’s register; they created fake registers; they registered themselves in hideouts; they refused to give English-speaking Cameroonians especially voting cards; they registered foreigners; they refused to publish voter’s registers; they chased away opposition observers; they stuffed ballot boxes; they asked known or suspected opposition hands to produce birth certificate, bank statements, driving licenses, residence permits, ID cards before voting; they sent the voting cards and registers of known opposition hands to wrong polling stations; they ferried themselves to vote left, right and center; they caused children to vote; they gave CPDM cards to militants days ahead of the election, they refused to produce indelible ink; they voted many times; they confiscated ballot boxes; they corrupted voters, even the prime minister bought and sold votes; the decreed shortage of opposition ballot papers; they bought votes; they sold votes; they used state resources to campaign; they hijacked the public media; they disqualified the lists of opponents; they created ghost polling stations; they declared fake results; they created fake result sheets; they cancelled votes; they announced the result of past fake results; they even created their own Election Observatory to…observe the rigging, etc. They gerrymandered and invented fake constituencies. Like Mr. Biya and his regime did every time they won the World Corruption Trophy, “They bribed, they threatened, they issues veiled and real threats, they looted, they embezzled ballot papers and boxes, they ransacked polling stations, they exploited, they pilfered, they shook down, they play bikutsi tunes on ballot boxes, they brought in muscle, etc.” In fact, they did everything a president and his party had to do to be world champions in election fraud.  The purpose of this exercise was to eternalize the system by giving themselves the means (vast majority) to maintain the chairman of the board for life. I’ve heard that some so-called international observers have issued reports saying that the elections were “peaceful, calm, free and fair.” Rubbish. These observers are operating in the blind. All elections in Cameroon are rigged even before they happen.

Chronicle: Was there any new method of fraud in these elections?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: There was and this one is most devilish. The CPDM gave its militants CPDM ballot papers three days ahead of the election. All CPDM militants had to do was walk into the polling stations with hundreds of ballot papers into their pockets to stuff the envelopes and then the ballot box. Who knows Mr. Biya probably had some ballot papers hidden away in his coat pocket under his bulletproof vest.  This poses a new problem for the future independent election commission. Like they search for “cartouches” in the University of Yaounde, ELECAM would have to search handbags, pockets and private parts of voters for ballot papers in every election. Did the so-called international observers, who were fed, lodged and brown-enveloped by the CPDM, know that? 

Chronicle: Before these elections, the American Ambassador said any elections with less than 8.000.000 registered voters would not be credible. The observation is that the turnout was very low. Given this low turnout can these elections be credible?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Take it from me. The Minister of Territorial Administration is even now doctoring the books to up the turnout. You will hear that 80% of the fake 5.000.000 figure that the minister announced turned out to. The truth is that there are less than three million Cameroonians actually registered and out of this figure, there were less than 1.5oo.000 who actually voted. The actual valid votes are less than 1.000.000. Ethnic cleansing of known opposition names from the voter’s register is the key parameter of election fraud in Cameroon. Take the figures. By every extrapolation, Cameroon has a population of circa 17.000.000. By African standards, at least 70 percent of that population should be registered since Africa countries tend to have a young population which is easily mobilized for elections. There should be at least 10.000.000 Cameroonians on that register; the best-case scenario is 11.900.000. Our voters register has less than 3.000.000 and less than 1.000.000 Cameroonians actually voted. There were less than 500.000 Southern Cameroonians out of 6.000.000. What this means concretely is that 90% of Cameroonians are excluded from the electoral process. Since 1992, Mr. Biya’s score, on the average for every seriously flawed (massively rigged) presidential election, has never been beyond 1.500.000 votes. This is less than 10% of the population and less than less than 15% of the potential electorate of 10.000.000. You see, we are dealing with some unrepresentative governance created by fraudulent and hence unrepresentative and illegitimate processes.

Chronicle: The SDF has 14 seats, barely enough to form a parliamentary group. What do you think the SDF and its Chairman should do now?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: There is no point giving any advice to people who are very hard of hearing. Or rather people who are blinded by the vast sums the have been collecting from the regime for themselves. I told you that Mr. Fru Ndi is now the CPDM sub-section president of Ntarikon. The SDF that he runs is no longer the SDF that children died for and that people gave their sweat, time and energy for.  It is a CPDM sub-section. The good people have since left the SDF because the principles are no longer there. It is saddening that very old and retired men like Pa Nicholas Ade Ngwa and Lucas Tandap should be the ones doggedly manning the trenches and fighting the enemy…with bayonets when the enemy has bazookas, computers and cruise missiles. The fault is in the miss-leader ship of one man – Mr. John of Ntarikon. You see Mr. Motomu, there is a definition of leaders and leadership that I want to share with your readers. Pastor Myles Munroe defines leadership as “The ability to influence others through inspiration, generated by a passion, motivated by a vision, produced by a conviction, birth by a purpose.” To agree with Munroe, most characters passing around for leaders in Africa fall short of all of the above terms of reference. Mr. Fru Ndi never had any vision for a political party, let alone a vision to be president. The only conviction Fru Ndi now has, like the Baforchu businessman he is, is how to use this position to make money and wheel and deal.  This man is the victim of circumstances – opportunity miss road. Fru Ndi sees the SDF as a limited liability company, a tool to use for wheeling and dealing. Unfortunately. This is now a business, an NGO with Fru Ndi as chairman of the board. He has been acting out his role in full; pretending to oppose the government so that more money should come. Give me one good reason why those that Fru Ndi has been misleading for 17 years should not now brand him a traitor and then do what they do to all traitors. String him up! Give me one good reason why the any of those who actually founded and believe in the SDF should not string Fru Ndi, Mbah Ndam and Yoyo up.

Mr. Fru Ndi is not even a manager. Managers maintain. Leaders lead. Managers are concerned about keeping the status quo. Leaders innovate. Mr. Biya has proven that he is a neither a leader nor a manager. Same for Mr. Fru Ndi who confuses the maintenance of his own stomach and personal provision store with that of the SDF. That is why the SDF capital has been depleting since 1992.

Also, Mr. Fru Ndi and his party continue to show an ignorance of the Cameroonian reality that is mortifying. The SDF trump card is that it is an Anglophone party. I painstakingly explained that reality to Fru Ndi and his NEC members in 1997. That was when they had 43 parliamentarians and were excited about going to parliament to “change Cameroon.” On that day, the SDF had to decide whether to go to parliament or not, I told Fru Ndi to take that NEC meeting to Buea and hold it there. The argument was that it sent the right signal to Biya. The man said something about not wanting to bring bloodshed to Cameroon. Rubbish. He held the meeting at his Tower Restaurant in Bamenda. Biya sent helicopters and Alpha jets to fly over the building to intimidate Mr. John. The Francophone spies in the meeting came in with warlike–talkies to report to proceedings to their paymasters. The long and short of it was that Pa John panicked as sent unprincipled characters like Mbah Ndam Yoyo and Akonteh to parliament. My friend and brother, Fai Emmanuel Visha, has just reminded me that when we pointed out to Fru Ndi the stupidity of not anchoring on the Angophone base and that of going to parliament he called us “blind radicals.” Now the blind radicals are laughing all the way to the bank.  Let me shout it out: change via parliament/elections is impossible! Article 9 of the current constituent says that the head of state – Mr. Paul Biya defines all policies in Cameroon. Even if the SDF had 100 seats in parliament, the head of state will still define policies because of the constitution and the fact that he is also elected by universal suffrage. The standing orders of the National Assembly make it quasi impossible for any opposition or private member to table a bill in parliament. Only government bills are allowed. Mbah Ndam and the rest of the dishonest people in the SDF know this very well. Anyway, they are hunting dogs, you see. They spend their time arm-twisting Gregoire Owona and others for money for themselves and their chairman. Fru Ndi now has 14 fresh, starving (ravenous!)  hunting dogs – German Shepherds. These new boys will charge into parliament with gusto and then collect some more money for their own vast stomachs and for their chairman. What can they change? Let them not pretend to represent anybody because they do not. I was most amused to hear my elder brother, Simon Nchinda Fobi, now MP for Bamenda-Bali, tell Bafreng (Nkwen) people that Fru Ndi was sending him to parliament to vote the budget and change laws. I laugh.  How will he do that? With 14 Mps? Fru Ndi is a pretender.  He is paid to pretend: The Great Pretender. Fru Ndi came from the CNU-CPDM, for God’s sake! He cannot be different. The man knows that change will not come through the ballot box. He knows that change can never come through parliament. It’s as if Mr. Biya planted an inside man, a front CPDM man and a spy, within the opposition system. Biya now sleeps with two eyes shut tightly because Fru Ndi is there. Your readers must understand this. Well you must know Fru Ndi’s methods by now. He waits until election money comes from Biya, then he does a grand safari around the country and like a stuck gramophone, he comes singing this dirge about suffering natives in Bertoua, Garoua. Then he pockets the rest of the money and goes into real estate (houses), caterpillars, 40-wheelers, farming, etc, while waiting for the next elections to bring more loot. This is no longer politics, this is no longer the art of the possible, and this is armed robbery. This is a scam. These con artists should not deceive people, especially Anglophones, again. Fru Ndi failed in 1992, not so much because of the rigging but because he failed to listen to sound advice. In 1997, Fru Ndi, some Anglophone prisoners of hope, gave Fru Ndi another chance. 2002 and now 2007. What song does he have to sing now? You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice, shame on me. You fool me three times; I must be Jack the Ass himself.

Chronicle: Should the SDF now join the government?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Interesting question. Mr. Biya opened the door to that eventuality when he told CRTV on Election Day that he expected other Cameroonians (of the opposition) to join his administration. There is a problem here. The problem is what Mr. Biya stands for. The regime in Yaounde is identified with fraud, tyranny, dictatorship, trickery, thievery, pilfering, hegemony, Pedes, nepotism, Freemasonry, occultism, witchcraft, kleptocracy, tribalism, oligarchy, corruption, extortion, election-fraud, subterfuge, graft, tribalism, colonization, annexation, incompetence, confusion, underachievement, subterfuge, grand larceny, autocracy, violence, etc., etc. This system was created by the French “Code de l’indigénat,” a body of French-enacted laws that made the government system of La Republique du Cameroun not only corrupt, but also vicious, barbaric and savage. In the July edition of his newspaper, the Star, ‘Enoh Meyomesse, leader of the National Renaissance Party, Parena, likened it to a man being infected with AIDS, prostrate cancer, hypertension and diabetes at the same time. When you live in the bush for long with baboons, you will start barking like a baboon. In 1990, the SDF claimed to be different. How different? The current SDF has been identified with some of the above, no? Your newspaper has exposed the negatives in Fru Ndi and the SDF for one year, no? Today the SDF baboons look very much like the CPDM chimpanzees. Seen in this light the SDF baboon should join its twin brother, the CPDM chimpanzee, in government to continue stealing. Speedily. Birds of a feather flock together. Fru Ndi should officially merge into the CPDM and stop pretending that he is only asking for a salary. He should do that fast and stop distracting Anglophones from the real issue. The SDF is already part of the government machinery anyway i.e. in councils and in parliament. I would be most interesting to see how exactly Mr. Biya builds a government of national unity out of all these CPDM clowns who have rigged the elections and want instant gratification and then some so-called opposition folks. We may have a 200 member cabinet with Bernard Muna being Minister of Lawyers and Simon Fobi being Minister of Architecture. Don’t laugh, the French say le ridicule ne tue pas. Greed.

Chronicle: You are neither for the SDF nor for the CPDM. Who are you for?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege (laughs): Must I be for the SDF or the CPDM? Let’s just say I’m independent, neutral. If you look at it closely, the independents are the majority in Cameroon. The independents are the nationalists, the intellectuals, the educated, the wise and the knowledgeable class. Unfortunately, Cameroon’s current system does not allow independents to run. Maybe the independents will save Cameroon someday, who knows. Political parties operate like joint-stock companies or like ngumbah houses with strict and often stupid rules. You either toe the line of the blind man leading you or get out.

Chronicle: But you are a known sympathizer of the Anglophone independentist movement the SCNC. What will happen now that it is proven that the regime in Yaounde does not want Anglophones?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: The question warms my heart. When he visited Cameroon in 1996, the then Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan said. “I leave Cameroon with the impression that there is only one Cameroon, multilingual and multi-ethnic. I encourage dialogue of these stakeholders. In every country, there are problems of marginalisation. The way it has to be solved is by dialogue and not by walking away.”  Mr. Biya is not interested in dialogue. I mean the kind of consensual dialogue that is normal in a consociational, fragmented and multi-national (multicultural and multiethnic) state. In such a contraption, because there are irreconcilable symbolic and real boundaries between the stakeholders, all parties agree on an innovative power-sharing mechanism to suit their situation.  You see, Mr. Motomu, in all situations, elections are always a conflict-resolution and/or power-resource sharing machinery. People place their hopes in elections because they are a means of curbing raving greed, violence and man’s inhumanity to man. You place your hope in your elected official to speak for you and get something from the commonwealth for you. Overt rigging breeds frustration and frustration breeds violence. The same people cannot continue stuffing their elephantine bowels and vast mouths through corruption for 45 years while others watch. And when challenged by a peaceful means called elections, these fraudsters rig the thing. I hope you have heard everything that the so-called elite – did in Santa. It’s a pity that so-called leaders would transform to petty thieves. Also these elections were supposed to adjudge the perpetual conflict of values between the Francophone led CPDM and all that it stands for and the Anglophone-led SDF and what it stands for. It did because rigging, fraud and corruption won. However, this is one rigging too many. Elections are by nature divisive, especially in a fragmented state. Rigged elections are even more divisive. In the absence of a genuine power-sharing mechanism and in the absence of dialogue to establish one, the time has come to walk away. If you don’t walk away, you condone rigging, fraud and corruption. Eventually, you will become part of the system.  Walking away is an imperative. It is a must. It is a matter of survival. It is a matter of fleeing ethnic and economic genocide and cleansing. It is a matter of fleeing the deaf, dumb and blind subjugation of Anglophones. The regime has always operated on the typically Francophone myopia that it is untouchable, Le chien aboie et la caravane passé. It has to stop. The long walk to freedom has to start somewhere, no? In fact, it started on May 26th 1990, the same day Anglophones got together and constituted themselves into a political party. Those who hijacked that party and thought they could use it for their own agenda have failed. Now is time to get down to basics. You see Mr. Motomu, even if the SDF took power in Yaounde Anglophones would have walked away. Only faster.

Chronicle: You seem to simply the entire issue to the conflict between the Anglophones and Francophones.

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Absolutely. The entire Cameroonian tragedy is solidly grounded on this conflict and the manner in which it is resolved or not resolved. I just told you that Mr. Biya is not interested in dialogue. Before him, Ahidjo was not interested in dialogue. Let me explain the gravity of the situation to your readers, especially the Anglophones among them. I hope they understand it once and for all. There are 6.000.000 Anglophones. There are circa 6-7 million Bamilekes. That is about 13 million. An Anglophone-Bamileke axis will win every election in Cameroon, all things being equal. That scares Biya just as it scared Ahidjo. Ahidjo never wanted Southern Cameroons to join La Republique because of this threat. He wanted Northern Cameroons, which he could use to counter the Anglophone-Bamilke-Bassa-Ewondo threat presented by Andre-Marie Mbida. Biya is also scared of the threat. In any free and fair elections, the Anglo-Bami candidate will always win because, unfortunately, polyarchy (Lincolnian democracy) is a game of numbers. That is why it is difficult to apply polyarchy in a multi-state, multicultural, fragmented, multi-national or multi-ethnic state. Except you operate a form of the Canadian consensus wherein the prime minister comes from the minority. All Francophone presidents will always see Anglophones as threats even Francophone leaders from the North. They must be kept out of the system. The only way to keep them out is disenfranchise them – ethnically cleanse them out of the voters’ registers. Secondly, Anglophones stand for everything that Francophone-led regimes do not stand for. I have told you that the system over which Mr. Biya presides is a corrupt, kleptocratic, visionless, barbarian, incompetent, underachieving governance that can only survive through massive election fraud. Since he knows that he will always be beaten in any free and fair elections he gets the administration to rig the thing. What is happening is a facet of majority-minority interaction. The majority French-speaking is afraid of the minority but it cannot let the minority go because that minority has the oil. So the majority designs all tricks, including election fraud, to keep the minority down as slaves. In minority-majority interaction, prejudice is an attitudinal phenomenon and often involves an intense emotional component. The dominant group goes forward to elaborate mechanisms to keep “the troublesome presence” in subservience. The dominant group operates on the foundation that what unsettles culture is “matter out of place”– the breaking of our unwritten rules and codes.

Name-calling, ethnic and economic cleansing, economic genocide, election fraud, intellectual and actual terrorism and violence are just some of the methods used by the dominant group to maintain its illicit position of prestige, privilege and power. For example, a Southern Cameroonian must never hold the position of any of the “ministries of sovereignty” – finance, home affairs, foreign affairs and defense. They must always be relegated to symbolic and inconsequential (faire valoir) positions. Even when they have been prime ministers, they have been only in name. The system also creates other structures and positions to water down the powers of a prime minister when a native Southern Cameroonian is involved. In the early 1990s, Sardou Hayatou benefited from the full plenitude of prime ministerial power and prerogatives in Cameroon. When a native of Southern Cameroons (Achidi Achu) came into the job, Mr. Biya created a Vice Prime Minister and an omnipotent secretary general to hem in the prime minister. Ditto for the current Southern Cameroonian native, Inoni Ephraim, who has to contend with the minister of justice, Amadou Ali, as vice prime minister.

Chronicle: Can a government of national unity work. Could this save Cameroon?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Mr. Biya should have thought of that before he started this blind, deaf and dumb rigging of the elections. I’ve told you that elections are by nature divisive. More so when they are rigged. It does not suffice to appoint a few un-representative Anglophones into government. Only a genuine authentic representation and sharing of the national cake and power would do. There are 6 million Anglophones, right. This is about 35% of the population. Let’s just take 30% as the working base. Whether Mr. Biya knows it or not, Cameroon is a consociational state, one in which only a consensual application of consociational paradigms would do. When Kofi Annan suggested dialogue rather than walking away as a solution to the Cameroonian drama, he meant a one-on-one discussion on an equal sharing of power, positions, prestige, privileges and resources. No taxation without representation. The minimum representation in the National Assembly that should pacify Anglophones is 54. This will guarantee that laws passed by the National Assembly have some Anglophone flavour. Anglophones must also get 30% of the councils…even councils in Diaspora areas like Bonaberi and Obili-Biyemassi. Read meaning in the fact that the lone SDF seat in the Diaspora is the seat in Bonaberi Douala i.e. where Anglophones live. The local people, not the un-elected Divisional Officers and Senior Divisional Officers, must define policies within these councils. Then 30 percent of the budget must be invested in Anglophone Cameroon and 30 percent of the cabinet positions (including the so-called sovereign ministries) must come to Anglophones. This is even minimalist agenda. Also an Affirmative Action program should be established to make up for years and years of rape, marginalisation an un-equal sharing. Then a Federal Character must be established to permit, the South West, for example, use part of its revenue from CDC and the oil for its own development. Anglophones gave Mr. Biya the Buea Peace Initiative (BPI) ages ago. The man continues to ignore it. Shoving a few obscure Anglophone obscurantists into obscure assistant to the assistant of the assistant of the assistant positions of power, privilege and prestige will not do.

Chronicle: Do you see Mr. Biya accepting sharing?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: He has no choice. The alterative is that Southern Cameroons nationalism will be pushed to the logical conclusion – armed conflict. You see, Mr. Motomu, the Cameroon drama is anchored on one reality. That reality is how to deal with the Anglophones be they in the SDF or in the SCNC. Nfor Susungi once wrote that this situation will inevitable build up to an armed conflict. That armed conflict, he said, would be triggered by the SDF trying to fight its way out of the antechamber of the republic to the core (center of the republic) or the SCNC trying to fight its way out of the republic and all it stands for.  The Anglophone leadership of the SDF has manoeuvred itself into the position of losers. So we now know who exactly will trigger the armed conflict.  I say, walk away. Unfortunately, where there is no vision and inspiration, manipulation sets in. Mr. Paul Biya, president of La Republique du Cameroun, is a professional Machiavellian manipulator.  He is the hand that holds the hands that rig elections. Mr. Biya continues to believe that he can keep Anglophones be they in the SDF or the SCNC under by rigging elections, and state-sponsored terrorism. It will not work. The situation needs vision and innovation because the price is implosion. Unfortunately, Mr. Biya can only manipulate elections, manipulate people, divide and rule, and preside over corruption. Development is not his thing. He cannot innovate. When Mr. Biya was asked what his vision for Cameroun is, the man says, “I have Grand Ambitions for Cameroon.” When asked to translate “Grand Ambitions” into bread and butter, the man remains daft. The man’s disciples have used their own blindness to attempt putting flesh to Mr. Biya’s dry bones. In vain. When Mr. Biya was asked what he expected from the elections (which he has rigged), the man said he expected his party to garner a give him a vast majority to continue the policies he has commenced. Which policies? The artistic miasma of corruption, election-fraud, incompetence and Grand Ambitions, naturally. Blind man leading the blind. So goes the leader, so goes the organization. Rather than inspire people, a man anchored on miasma and fumes of “Grand Ambitions” can only be a manipulator. He can and will always rig elections to survive. Grand Ambition is not a vision, neither is it an inspiration. Instead, the slogan comes from the profound darkness of a hollow mind and a dark spirit. Would you submit your time, energy, life to a thing called “Grand Ambitions?”

A leader can only move a people from where they are to where he has been. Mr. Biya condones, he lives in and he thrives in corruption and election fraud because he lives in the field of those tares. That is the quintessential and essential Biya. He can only lead people into corruption. Mr. Biya represents continuity and the externalization of a mindset and system, which mindset and system believe that real and symbolic boundaries could be obliterated by shouting “National Unity and Integration” from every rooftop. In 1984, in a fit of maladroitness, Mr. Biya signed a law ending the tie between Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun by re-creating La Republique du Cameroun. The symbolism of this act is clear: The real and symbolic boundaries between the founding components of the Federal and the United Republic no longer exist. Southern Cameroons now has every right to restore its independence, preferably under a new name. For one thing, the difference is clear. Real and symbolic boundaries are eternal. They Scriptures cannot be broken so also the real and symbolic boundaries between Anglophones and Francophones.

Chronicle: What about the CPDM Anglophones or Anglophone CPDM. Don’t they represent Anglophones?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Ntumfor Nico Halle, ONEL representative for the North West province, repeated this statement again and again during the campaigns for the just ended elections for the benefit of Mr. Biya and his ilk. “When you rig elections everything else is rigged; appointments are rigged, contract-awards are rigged, etc.” Would you want to be represented by a fraud? A man who rigs elections or who benefits from rigged elections is worst than a thief. Do you think the population would be supportive of a council or parliamentarian created by fraud? The entire population, even members of the CPDM, would consider such individuals and councils as fraud, illegitimate and a joke. For one thing, the population knows how the got there. So goes a leader who rigs elections so goes the entire administration. Should anyone be surprised that corruption reeks at all levels of this Francophone-invented and led system? Does Inoni Ephraim represent you? Is he speaking or you? Does he know you problem? Can he address your problem? The CPDM was maybe born in Bamenda but it is a foreign party. The CPDM can and will never speak for you and me. In sociology and political science, we say that there are real and symbolic boundaries between Anglophones and Francophones, between the SDF and the CPDM. 

Chronicle: Do you mean there is no way Anglophones and Francophones can live together?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: I just told you. By an application of a genuine, innovative and consociational power-sharing mechanism. That is just one step. The next step would be to revolutionize the system – a forceful application of the system that worked in Southern Cameroon on the Francophones. That, unfortunately, is not as easy as it seems. Mr. Motomu, I’m always scared of these luminaries who think that they can foist their own beliefs or pattern of values on others. The SDF thought that it had a mandate to liberate Cameroon by forcing Southern Cameroonian system and values of the Francophones. George Bush thought that he had a mandate to impose the American system and values on Iraq. Who send you? A drowning man and system can only drag you under with it. What if the Francophones believe in and massively support their CPDM, its president and all that they stand for? Mr. Motomu, since the biblical Tower of Babel, boundaries (be they symbolic or real) have been very powerful in maintaining separation between nations and individuals.  Boundaries between individuals and nations can be either real or symbolic. Boundaries are those frontier points recognized, legalized and legitimized by national and/or International law, attitudes, behaviour, customs and mores. Boundaries often have their own history and anthropology some of which are contentious. In the specific context of Cameroun, symbolic and real borders became an issue once historically and culturally different Anglophones and Francophones were lumped together into a dubious state by the UN with the pious hope that a nation-state could be forged out of the wedlock. It will not work. Real and symbolic boundaries are eternal. They cannot be broken. A real boundary is that recognized national/international frontier post separating a recognized or legitimized state with a collective of individuals and groups who identify with that state. Whether you like it or not the Southern Cameroons state was one of the states that made up Cameroon.  A symbolic boundary is that moral code, that spiritual thing, that convention that makes of its adherents the “we” versus the “them” non-adherents and unbelievers on the other side.

‘Real and symbolic boundaries are central to all culture. Marking “difference” leads us, symbolically, to close ranks, shore up culture and to stigmatize and expel anything which is defined as impure, strangely attractive precisely because it is forbidden, taboo, threatening to cultural order’

Whenever the heathen culture starts reaching out for freedom and independence, the symbolic or boundary marking “difference” leads the majority, to close ranks, shore up culture and to stigmatize and expel anything that is defined as impure, taboo, forbidden or whatever it is that threatens the cultural order. Francophones are Francophones. Anglophones are Anglophones.  La Republique du Cameroun is La Republique. Southern Cameroons is Southern Cameroons. The majority of Anglophones still live in their territory while a majority of Francophones live in their territory. There is a middle of the road zone made up of bastardized entities – those who have married into either cultures but that zone is a minority. An absolute minority. What I am saying is that after45 years of a live-and-let-live mutual disdain; after decades of a strange monster called national unity-integration, reality has now set it. Oil and water cannot mix; real and symbolic boundaries cannot be broken.

Disparate cultures and histories will always create a process of purification legitimizes exclusion, intolerance, tribalism and racism. They would always allocate marginal identities to individuals who do not conform to the values and perception of the norm – the majoritarian view. Southern Cameroonians have been called Anglofous, Anglo-fools, Biafrans, Anglos, l’enemie dans la maison, etc. In fact, a francophone CPDM parliamentarian once called Paulinus Jua, a Southern Cameroonians representative of the opposition SDF Party, a Biafran. We have called them frogs, no?

Chronicle: The attitude of the Francophones in this thing is interesting. Why do they seem to support Biya and his regime?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: It is their system. They created it. They support it; they glorify it; they thrive in it and they live in it. A frog can only live in the swamps, the mud and the muck. Frogs can only croak (die) in the swamps, the mud and the muck. Remove a frog from its natural habitat and it will no longer croak. Biya does not want to change the system; it is his system. He knows it and he thrives in it. French-speaking Cameroonians, (East Cameroonians) may disagree strenuously with the severity of one, or all, of the items that symbolize their side of the symbolic boundary, but facts are facts and truths are truths. Francophones dare not quarrel with this depiction after all the socio-political system in Cameroon is created and sustained by the majority. Robert Bierstedt says, “Within every polity, it is the majority, which sets the cultural pattern and sustains it, which is in fact responsible for whatever pattern or configuration there is in a culture. It is the majority, which confers upon folkways, mores, customs, and laws the status of norms and gives the coercive power. It is the majority, which guarantees the stability of a society. It is the majority which requires conformity to customs and which penalizes deviation…“except in ways in which the majority sanctions and approves. It is the majority which is the custodian of the mores and which defends them against innovation. And it is the inertia of the majorities, finally, which retards the processes of social change.” The best case scenario is that Francophones support their corrupt system because they have never known better. They are also afraid of the unknown.

When a culture and a people, especially a large group of people, are afraid of an unknown culture and people, they rig elections. As a last resort, the majority culture resorts to state-sponsored economic cleansing and other genocidal practices to get rid of the unwelcome and troublesome presence. And violence is used to keep the slaves in their proper place of subservience. In extreme cases (and the Cameroonian scenario is extreme by all definitions) genocidal practices (ethnic and economic cleansing, intellectual terrorism, war and violence) against the troublesome presence starts at the initial level of conflict. The most intense conflicts between majority and minority have resulted when “the subordinate minority group has attempted to disrupt the accommodative pattern or when the super ordinate group has defined the situation as one in which such an attempt is being made.” You see that in this case, my suggestion of an application of consociationalism (consensual power sharing) is only a stopgap measure. The system is now caught between a rock and a very haaard place. In the long run, the differences will tear the thing apart. Nations and people live together by desire, not by force.

Chronicle: What role will the South West play? The SDF has zero parliamentarian and zero councils in the South West.

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Do not be deceived. Politicization of ethnicity (Divide and Rule) is a strategy for every manipulator. Mr. Biya is a manipulator. Mr. Biya operates by divide and rule or politicized ethnicity. He gets the elites in the South Westerner to believe that a good score will eternalize the post of prime minister. Then he gets the North westerner to believe the same thing. These poor devils go about outsmarting each other in rigging.  The elites of the South West are so desperate to be in the good books of the regime that they get the SDOs and DOs to disenfranchise North Westerners or SDFers (Cam-no-go) from the voters register. The orders to rig came from the office of the prime minister. It is a pity how low the Anglophone elites and the intelligentsia would stoop to collect crumbs from the slave master’s table. The DOs, SDOs, directors, ministers and prime ministers rigging elections are fathers and grandfathers who are supposed to be role models. Now they have transformed into petty thieves. Some years ago, Mr. Inoni was chased by a mob in Victoria. He was ferrying a ballot box to a hideout. Politics is a game of numbers. Reality is that 55-60% of the South West province is made up of North Westerners. The regime may disenfranchise the voters but it does not mean the mumbers are not there. Add the 55-60% North Westerners born in the SW to the die-hard independentists, SCNC militants, like those in Meme, Ndian, Lebialem, Manyu and you get the picture. Shared values, the values that are shares by Anglophones go deeper than politicized ethnicity. Those who think the post of prime minister could mean anything to them are just a misguided handful of tribesmen and elite and even then. Even then…

Chronicle: You say Anglophones should walk away. How?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: The first thing is to accept is that Fru Ndi should just shut up and keep quiet for now. He should stop being a distraction. Or else we string him up. He should enjoy the money he has gotten out of Biya and get the hell out of the way. He has failed. Woefully. Hear Fru Ndi on July 26, 2007: “We did not get in into this unification business to learn election rigging, fraud, embezzlement, corruption, homosexual acts.” Has Fru Ndi seen the light at last? No. Be careful. This is a businessman and a politician. He’s only saying this to up the stakes in his future negotiations and deals with Biya. Don’t forget that before the elections Fru Ndi called on Biya to arrest all SCNC members because he thought, they were the people telling Anglophones to boycott the elections. The SDF is not Fru Ndi. Vice versa. We all created the SDF. By the way, Mr. Fru Ndi and his generation are on their way out. Our generation must take over. The time is now. We have a better plan. Not the Muna plan though (laughs). We have the trump card. The time has come for our creation to work for us. What do we have in hand? What is the rod of Moses? We have a very good starting point. We now have Biya and Fru Ndi just where we want them – by their arrangements. Now we squeeze tight. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The rest of the strategies are unprintable. Our generation, my generation, must now deal with the problem directly. There will not be another chance.

Chronicle: But how can Anglophones free themselves when they have no leader? All we see is a confusion of SCNC groups, groups that cannot agree on anything? There are no encouraging signs as far as liberating Anglophones is concerned.

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Quite the contrary Mr. Motomu, quite the contrary. The cacophony of groups and voices instead shows buoyancy in the various liberation movements. They do not disagree on the objective – liberating Southern Cameroons. Rather they disagree and quarrel over strategies. In that kind of situation, some groups and individuals have a better strategy than others. One group is in Banjul, the Youth League is carrying out demonstration and sensitization is all European capitals, another group is working with UNPO, another group has now identified the UN as the source o and the solution to the problem…brief, something is happening. Your newspaper, like others, must have published reports denouncing Ambassador (rtd) Fossung’s SCNC and so on, right? Wrong. Fossung has been working. Let me unveil to your readers this excerpt of a letter from the UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs to Ambassador Fossung as recently as 12 February 2007: “I write to acknowledge your previous correspondence on the above subject and to inform you that, as you rightly know, the issues they raised are sensitive and they require a great deal of careful, full and fair evaluation and consideration. Please be assured that this is being done at the moment…. I will encourage you to continue to use your good offices as Chairman of the SCNC to continue to pursue the dialogue and non-violent approach to addressing all outstanding issues. We all engage in the search for a peaceful and just resolution of this important matter.”

The UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, a key Advisor to the Security Council and the Secretary General, knows the political implication of the non-respect of the UN Charter and Resolutions regarding fundamental issue like decolonization, membership, etc. Diplomacy and the UN system are slow machines. Let’s hope they are effective machines to avoid the bloodbath that looms. I believe that all liberation movements should focus on the ball, on the key issue. The so-called Anglophones, I rather call them Southern Cameroonians, do not have a problem with Mr. Biya or with Francophones for that matter. Ahidjo and the Francophones did not initiate the Trusteeship, the Plebiscite and unification. These were imposed on Southern Cameroons by the United Nations, but under conditions that were enshrined in a plethora of UN Resolutions and the UN Charter. In fact, Ahidjo did not want unification with Southern Cameroons for reasons I’ve already explained. Those shouting “we must unite withi we brada” were the likes of Dibonge, former UPC refugees who had discovered and enjoyed the freedom of Southern Cameroons. UPC refugees also infiltrated Foncha’s party and started clamouring for unification. Anglophones have a problem with the UN and the UN system which failed to apply its own charter and almost all resolutions it took on Southern Cameroons especially:

1)      Article 73:  Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories;

2)      Article 76.b on the basic objectives of the trusteeship system;

3)      UNGA Resolution 224 (III) of 18 November 1948 on the Administrative  Unions Affecting Trust Territories;

4)       UNGA Resolution 226 (III) of 18 November 1948 on the Progressive Development of Trust Territories;

5)      UNGA  Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960  Declaration on the  Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; and;

6)      UNGA Resolution 1803 (XVII), 17 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No.17) at 15, UN. Doc. A/5217 (1962) on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources.

I am especially grateful to Professor Chia Martin and Dr Arnold Boh Yongbang who opened my eyes to the meaning of the next thing I will tell your readers. For there to be any union between La Republique and Southern Cameroons, UN Resolution 1608 (XV) of 21 April 1961 that voted for the independence of Southern Cameroons required that a “TREATY of UNION” be worked out between the Governments of the Federation of Nigeria, Northern Cameroons and the United Kingdom as Administering Authority of Northern Cameroons Trust Territory before 6 June 1961; and between the Governments of La Republique du Cameroun and of the Southern Cameroons with the United Kingdom as Administering Authority of the Southern Cameroons Trust Territory  before 1st October 1961. No such treat exists simply because there is none. I hope you understand the meaning of this. Had there been such a treaty, the Northern Cameroons Territorial Assembly and the Parliament of the Federation of Nigeria would have ratified it on the one hand, and by the Southern Cameroons Territorial Assembly and the Parliament of La Republique du Cameroun on the other. The TREATIES should have been registered and copies deposited at the Secretariat of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization in application of Article 102 (1) of the Charter of the United Nations. That Article states: Every Treaty and every international agreement entered into by any member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it.”

Article 102 (2) reads: “No party to any such Treaty or International Agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.”

The non-application of Article 76b of the UN Charter and the non-application of the above resolutions mean one thing: the UN is still the Administrating Authority of Southern Cameroons.

Come back sometime and I will give you copies of all of these resolutions to publish for the education of your readers. The treaties were to protect the interests of both the Northern Cameroons and the Federation of Nigeria on the one hand, and the Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun on the other. There is no such treaty. None whatsoever. Anglophones have been (1) free since 1961 or (2) the UN has to see Article 76b on the “emancipation” (de-colonization) clause to the finish. In this and in the absence of a Treaty of Union between the Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun, La Republique du Cameroun had no right to claim that Southern Cameroons is part of its territory let alone applying its policies like rigged elections, fraud, corruption an Grand Ambitions thereon.  La Republique had no locus standi in taking the Federation of Nigeria to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the Southern Cameroons Territory of the Bakassi Peninsula. Consequently, the ruling of the ICJ over the Bakassi Conflict on 10 October 2002 was misleading and null and void ab initio in international law. The trouble is they do not know it. There is a Bible principle is this. Jesus Christ set man free and man does not know it. Take it from me, one of these days, the leadership issue in the restoration movement will be addressed and then the end will come. Anglophones have now woken up from their slumber. It is now time to walk away.

Chronicle: The last word?

Ntemfac A. N. Ofege: Anglophones have no business being part of this mess. Fraud ad infinitum ad nauseam we abhor. The hegemonistic paranoia of the Francophone led, invented sustained regime in Yaounde must be halted for a very good reason. Allowing Francophones and their regime to be rampant would only mean the acceptation and the spread of slavery, corruption, fraud, thievery as well as other intoxicating, viral and hence catching tares. We are different. We are not grounded within the internationally defined and recognized real and symbolic boundaries. We have a different anchored on the same pattern of norms, customs and values. For 25 years, Mr. Biya has proven that he has neither the capacity nor the will to dialogue. Why then should people having different knowledge base, people trained in a different perception of public life and people with a different set of values continue along this path to the precipice? Therefore, an unknown quantity is leading you to an unknown place called “Grand Ambitions?” And another unknown quantity called Fru Ndi is pretending to lead you to a promise land that he has not seen? And you are trundling behind him like a goat to the market? God forbid. Myles Munroe says it is illegal (a sin) to lead people to nowhere. The leader you follow will determine your destination.

Since 1972, the date of a contentious referendum, rather than knuckling under, our “difference” values, nationalism are rather on the ascendancy. It is just a matter of time before that buoyancy translates into implosion.

Paul Biya and 2010. By Tazoacha Asonganyi. Yaounde

Paul Biya delivered his 28th consecutive New Year Speech to the nation on 31 December 2009. Although it sounded just like the previous 27, it reminded me of Mongo Beti’s novel, “The Poor Christ of Bomba” first published in 1956. The high point of the novel is the failure of Rev. Father Superior Drumont to properly manage and supervise the women’s camp where girls who were being prepared for Christian marriage were lodged in the mission. The failure resulted in the local churchmen using the girls for their own immoral purposes. Importantly, when the scandal of the women’s camp became public knowledge, Rev. Father Superior graciously took full responsibility for the failure in these terms: “The guilty party in this whole affair is me…the last time I set foot in the women’s camp is almost twenty years ago now…I told one of my catechists then to make the rooms more comfortable and I suppose that he had done so…”

The problem with our own Rev. Father Superior is that he never accepts responsibility for his failures. Speech after speech, he talks about inertia, corruption, embezzlement of public funds, laxity…as if his poor leadership is not the principal reason for the shortcomings. He talks about imaginary projects – roads, buildings, power supply systems, mines and industries – as if mentioning them in every of his speeches would bring them about! As Barack Obama would put it, he deploys high-flying words in the service of cynical aims, and subverts the noblest sentiments in the name of power, experience, greed or intolerance!

Much of the speech was just a listing of the ordinary things that every government does: the daily struggle to add value to people’s lives. Rather than waste time and energy analyzing the projects mentioned in the speech for the umpteenth time, it is proper to just turn our minds to an example that ridicules such pompous announcements. South Korea which in 1961 had a per-capita income of less than $100 – slightly lower than Cameroon’s that had just become “independent” – is today world leader in iron and steel production, shipbuilding, chemicals, consumer electronics, and more. This is because instead of making empty speeches year after year, their leaders went to work and quickly caused the building of giant steel mills, shipyards, factories, a superhighway system… We just need to compare their GDP with our own today to understand the shame in the pompous announcements! !

We are told that ELECAM will be readjusted! After all, ELECAM is his thing: he can do what he likes with it, when he likes! Like it or not, he says it is a big plus for our…democracy! Never mind what you understand by democracy: we have our own standard of freedom, our own standard of democracy, our own standard of free and fair elections… !

Before the speech, the Minister of communication had acknowledged the “complicated” nature of the history of Cameroon. The minister had said that the independence day of the Republic of Cameroon is registered in official documents as 1 January 1960, as if the independence day of Southern Cameroons is not also registered in official documents as 1 October 1961. Every schoolboy knows that the “complication” in our history was introduced by law n° 84-1 of February 4, 1984 that changed the name of the United Republic of Cameroon back to the Republic of Cameroon, the original name of one of the two parties that formed a united country on 1 October 1961. The change was in the hope that by a stroke of the pen, the identity of one UN Trust territory would disappear in that of another!

The minister’s noises seemed to be an effort at spin doctoring to prepare the ground for Paul Biya’s speech because it was effectively announced in the speech that 1st January 2010 is the 50th anniversary of “Cameroon’s” independence, without as much as blinking, and without as much as adding a nuance! And then he added further “complications” : 2011 will see the celebration of 50 years of reunification! What was not mentioned is that 2011 will also mark 50 years of the independence of one part of Cameroon!

Paul Biya has stated before that he hears the appeals and motions of support sent to him, and that they are the most eloquent signs of encouragement addressed to him in the discharge of his responsibilities at the helm of State. His lieutenants have since published the “motions” in a book titled “The People’s Call”. In the New Year speech, he promises to carry out many projects and to spend billions on one group or the other, including scholarship to students without adequate accompanying measures to provide opportunities for employment at the end of the studies! In the end, it all sounded like a reiteration of his intention to seek another term of office. There is no doubt that like in the past, he will consider “The People’s Call” as a nomination and exploit his constitutional amendment to turn the Presidency of Cameroon into his permanent home. And we will continue to hear the same promises, and continue to stand still as other peoples move
further and further away from us, like South Korea has since done!