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

Committee to Protect Journalist Demands Untainted Investigation into the Ngota Ngota Affair

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 | Phone: (212) 465-1004 | Fax: (212) 465-9568 | Web: http://www.cpj.org

CPJ seeks untainted Cameroon investigation of Ngota death

May 6, 2010

H.E. Paul Biya

President of the Republic of Cameroon

Yaoundé, Cameroon

Via facsimile: (237) 22 20 33 06

Dear President Biya,

The Rio del Rey. the Boat for which Ngota Ngota died

We are alarmed by investigations that appear to be flawed and marred with political interference into the April 22 death in prison of journalist Germain Cyrille Ngota. We hold Cameroon’s government responsible for Ngota’s death and the well-being of three other journalists in the custody of the administration. We call on you to address these concerns, along with allegations of torture of journalists by a security agency accountable to your office.

Mr. President, we were heartened by an April 26 statement issued from your office stating that “with a concern of objectivity and impartiality, the President of the Republic has wanted to assign this case to a body independent of the Executive and its parties, namely the judicial power, in view of the establishment of the truth.”

However, the same statement asserted that Ngota’s case was “not a matter of restriction of freedom of the press but of submission of every citizen to the rule of law.” In fact, agents of the Cameroon intelligence agency DGRE first arrested Ngota—while he was receiving home medical care for high blood pressure—with three other journalists investigating a document that implicated presidential adviser Laurent Esso in corruption. The administration has not addressed allegations that DGRE agents used psychological and physical torture to force the journalists to reveal sources for the document. 

The president’s statement further asserted that Ngota died only of poor health and not because of poor medical care at Nkondengui prison. However, in an interview with weekly La Météo, Ngota’s mother, Georgette Edima Ngoulou, said her son had complained of being trampled while sleeping on the floor of his cell and of exposure to rainwater. She said the prison warden “categorically rejected” a written plea for his medical evacuation, which his mother said had been endorsed by the prison doctor.

We are troubled that on April 28, the minister publicly disclosed that Ngota had been tested positive for HIV and died from infections arising from this condition—a claim refuted by Ngota’s widow. Local anti-AIDS activists and Cameroon’s national medical association have condemned the public disclosure of Ngota’s HIV status, raising concerns of violation of privacy and medical confidentiality rights enshrined in Cameroonian laws and the U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS. The minister’s statement was based on an autopsy he said would be held “in the presence of independent personalities” and Ngota’s family, according to Agence France-Presse. However, Ngota’s younger brother, Bruno Ntede, and Félix Cyriaque Ebolé Bola, a local journalist who was invited by the minister to represent the independent press at the autopsy, said they were not present, according to press reports.

Mr. President, you tasked Cameroon’s judiciary with independently investigating this matter. Yet, we are troubled that the integrity of the probe may have already been compromised by a series of assertions from the administration that are at odds with claims made by family and friends of Ngota. In the interest of transparency and safeguarding the integrity of any judicial investigations, we call on your leadership to address these concerns, including allegations that DGRE intelligence agents used physical and psychological torture to force four journalists to reveal sources of the document at the basis of their arrests. We finally ask that you release all journalists held in Cameroonian prisons.

Thank for your attention to these important matters. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Joel Simon

Executive Director

URL > http://cpj.org/2010/05/cpj-seeks-untainted-cameroon-investigation-of-ngot.php

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org.

Bibi Ngota: Sinking Ship, the Plot Thickens.

It has now filtered that Ngota Ngota and company did not get the first information about kickbacks in the purchase of a ‘Hotel-ship’ and huge sums – from a leaked conversation. The press got the the tip from the very authoritative Africa Confidential way back in 2009.

Article lu dans Le Confidentiel Africain — N° 105 — 1er octobre 2009

Scandale à la SNH

La puissante Société nationale des hydrocarbures (SNH) présentée comme la « caisse noire des recettes pétrolières » du régime du « renouveau » est en passe de faire exploser l’un des plus grands scandales financiers qu’ait jamais connu le Cameroun dans les tous prochains jours. Il s’agit de l’« affaire Rio Del Rey », le nom de baptême du bateau hôtel acheté à 17 milliards de F.CFA par la SNH que dirige un des rarissimes hommes de confiance du président Paul Biya, le très discret Adolphe Moudiki. Ce Sawa, ancien directeur adjoint du Cabinet civil, ancien ministre et actuellement administrateur directeur général de ladite société dont la gestion relève de l’exclusivité de la présidence.

En 2008, la SNH spécialisée dans le partenariat de recherche des puits pétroliers off-shore et on-shore, ainsi que des quotas de production et de transport du brut tchadien à travers le pipeline Doba-Kribi avait couronné une année faste en chiffre d’affaire par le versement de la somme record de 651,217 milliards de F.CFA au Trésor public. La bonne santé de la SNH en 2008 s’expliquait, selon nos sources, par trois découvertes et la signature de trois nouveaux contrats de partage de production avec le consortium Glencore/Afex et avec les sociétés Addax et EurOil, respectivement sur les blocs Matanda, Iroko et Etindé. Toutes choses qui avaient permis des versements des primes de rendement à son sélectif personnel, ainsi que les encouragements spéciaux de son PCA statutaire, le secrétaire général de la présidence, Laurent Esso, tant le ministre des Mines n’en assure qu’une transparente tutelle administrative. En 2008, la SNH avait confirmé la commande d’acquisition d’une barge hôtel d’une capacité de 132 lits : « Cette barge, dénommée Rio Del Rey, et qui a coûté 17 milliards de F.CFA environ représente le premier investissement de cet ordre jamais réalisé par la SNH, sur fonds propres », s’en était d’ailleurs félicité l’ADG auprès du président Biya à qui Adolphe Moudiki rend prioritairement et exclusivement compte du vrai tableau de bord des recettes pétrolières…

Le problème aujourd’hui repose essentiellement sur les mécanismes de cette transaction opaque ainsi que les caractéristiques futuristes de la barge Rio Del Rey (RDR) équipée d’un héliport et dont la SNH était peu disert sur le pays et l’usine de fabrication de ce « bateau hôtel flambant neuf ». On sait que le RDR a été fabriqué par « Aksoy Gelibolu Shipyard » en Turquie, dans le même chantier naval ayant monté la barge « Elisa ». Le RDR fabriqué et mis à l’eau le 28 septembre 2008 dans le port de Gelibolu (situé dans le détroit de Dardanelles à 250 bornes d’Istanbul) aurait dû être livré à la SNH au mois d’octobre 2008, via la firme suisse « ABC Maritime » que dirige Robert Rohrbach. Seulement la barge RDR n’est jamais arrivée au Cameroun, nonobstant le dernier versement du solde des 17 milliards le 26 novembre 2008. Les traces du RDR remontent plutôt au mois d’avril 2009 où la barge fut utilisée par Total Genève et une expédition aux larges de Dakar au Sénégal le 12 mai 2009. Depuis lors, le Cameroun attend sa barge achetée à pas moins de 17 milliards de F.CFA. Pis, la transaction pour l’acquisition du RDR aurait connu des intermédiaires occultes. Nos sources s’interrogent – entre autres – sur l’attribution d’une somme de 480 millions de F.CFA représentant 3 % des commissions sur les 17 milliards de F.CFA versés à Dooh Collins, directeur général de « Petroleum Advising Services » (PAS). Cet argent fait jaser les personnes proches dudit dossier. La presse camerounaise est en passe de se saisir de cette affaire…

The Scary Sums that led to the death of Ngota Ngota

YAOUNDE – 05 MAI 2010
© La Nouvelle
 4 Réactions
 
L’integralite de la lettre du DP de “Le Devoir” au DG de la SNH dans le cadre de l’affaire du bateau-hotel…
 
En date du 9 octobre 2009, le directeur de publication du journal Le Devoir, actuellement incarcéré à Kondengui adresse une correspondance à l’administrateur directeur général de la SNH, Adolphe Moudiki. Voici l’intégralité de cette lettre qui porte en objet “vérification de l’information“. Même comme on peut observer qu’il va dans tous les sens, le journaliste qu’il est, n’a-t-il pas voulu procéder à la critique des sources en adressant cette correspondance à l’Adg de la Snh ? Lisez plutôt.Monsieur,Je viens par la présente, vous tenir informé de ce qui suit: je suis journaliste depuis 25 ans, puis directeur de publication, j’ai le souci de donner à mes lecteurs, la bonne information, recoupée et vérifiée.

A cet effet, vous connaissant mieux pour vous avoir côtoyé depuis 1986, j’ai trouvé en vous, et sans flagornerie aucune, un homme très honnête. Cerise sur le gâteau, je viens de boucler une enquête; à l’issue de celle-ci, je vais vous faire part de mes préoccupations, bien avant la publication de ma prochaine édition. Et il y a quelques mois, si j’ai publié des informations concernant la Snh, sans recoupement et sans procéder à la critique des sources; c’est juste parce que j’ai été menacé par votre épouse Nathalie et votre chargée de la communication, Cécile Epondo Fouda. Et dans un morceau bien choisi de chez nous, on dit: le temps passé ne revient plus…

Monsieur l’Adg, voici mes préoccupations:

1.-/ Annoncé à grand tapage médiatique, la grosse affaire de la SNH à savoir l’achat du yard pétrolier baptisé (Rio Del Rey) sent du roussi. Pouvez-vous aujourd’hui dire aux Camerounais toute la vérité et rien que la vérité telle qu’à une époque révolue, vous avez eu à demander aux accusés d’en faire en levant la main droite ?

2.-/ Courant décembre 2008, vous avez selon des sources généralement bien informées, envoyé votre charmante épouse Nathalie Moudiki en Hollande pour l’inauguration et l’appréciation dudit navire qui, excusez du peu, aura coûté plus de 17 milliards de francs CFA. Question monsieur l’Adg: pourquoi elle et non quelqu’un d’autre ? Est-elle spécialiste en la matière ?

3.-/ La bonne affaire, (votre Rio Del Rey) selon les mêmes sources, n’a passé que 7 jours au Cameroun; alors l’opération Epervier qui sévit sur l’Albatros ne vous a pas encore suffisamment instruit, dans la mesure où celle-ci, négociée par le truchement de la société écran dénommée Gmbh, n’est rien d’autre qu’un gros détournement ?

4.-/ Par correspondance (confidentielle) de monsieur Laurent Esso ci-devant Pca de la Snh et Sg de la présidence du 20 juin 2008 sous le N°007/Prc/Sg/D-06 ayant pour objet je cite “dossier Rio Del Rey”; avez-vous au terme d’un entretien téléphonique d’environ 45 minutes, diligenté l’opération de paiement de la somme de 1 342 000 000 FCFA, en prenant soin d’écarter monsieur Mendimi qui est le directeur financier, préférant travailler (les besoins de la cause) avec un certain Menyu Paul Debauger et d’autres cadres de la maison dont une dame ? Alors monsieur l’Adg, combien d’opérations du genre avez-vous fait pour préparer votre retraite qui frappe déjà à la porte ?

5.-/ Dans cette affaire, vous êtes au nombre de cinq: à savoir Laurent Esso, Dooh Collins, Antoine Bikoro Alo’o et Dayas Mounoume. Ce bonus qui en guise de commission a été entièrement payé bien que cela se soit fait en deux tranches selon les ordres de virement. Honnêtement, Dooh Collins reconnaît avoir perçu 470 millions. Quant à vous, pouvez-vous nous dire ce que vous avez eu réellement ?

6.-/ Les mauvaises langues, si jamais elles le sont, disent que vous avez écarté des circuits, votre ancien complice de détournement des 1,342 milliards pendant les quelques jours de maladie qu’elle a passés à l’hôpital de la CNPS, au profit de Essama Ndi Naomie et autres Menyu Paul, monsieur l’Adg: jusqu’à quand allez-vous continuer à jouer ce jeu dangereux ?

7.-/ Les mêmes mauvaises langues déclarent que vous êtes déjà entrain de tout faire pour éliminer la jeune dame, parce que croyez-vous, c’est elle qui a vendu la mèche. Qu’en est-il exactement ?

Très haute consideration

 
 http://www1. voanews.com/ english/news/ africa/Cameroon- Investigation- into-Journalists -Death-is- Challenged- 92778184. html

Death of Cameroonian Journalist: Local Unit of Commonwealth Journalists Reacts

Death of Germain “Bibi” Ngota.  CACOJ Statement

  The Cameroon Association of Commonwealth Journalists (CACOJ) hereby condemns in very strong terms the diversion and manipulation that Communications Minister Issa Bakery Tchiroma has been carrying out following the death in detention of Journalist Germain “Bibi” Ngota.

Despite the creation of a commission of inquiry to examine the cause of his death, Minister Issa Tchiroma disregarded all medical ethics and released suspicious results of an autopsy carried out on the body of the late journalist.

This CACOJ considers, is a total disregard of the rules of decency and the well established respect of the death that is a hallmark in African culture. By releasing Bibi Ngota’s suspicious medical records, Minister Issa Tchiroma showed how insensitive he and the government he represents are and what lengths he will go to defend a regime that will hang onto power at any cost.

A family has just lost a husband, father, son, uncle and brother in the most atrocious circumstances and instead of giving them some solace, Minister Tchiroma goes ahead to rub salt into injury by releasing his medical results without consulting his family. CACOJ considers this a violation of the rights of Bibi Ngota’s basic human rights and that of his family.

CACOJ is now calling on Communications Minister Issa Bakary Tchiroma to use the same medium he earlier used to apologize to the family of the late journalist. The minister should also apologize to the press family in Cameroon for being so insensitive and provocative. The Minister should be reminded he does not need to be this impolite to prove Bibi Ngota died from natural causes in detention. The simple truth is he died in preventive detention without getting a fair trial and there is evidence he was tortured in detention. A high profile member of the government Laurent Esso, Secretary General at the presidency of the Republic ordered  their arrests and the commission of inquiry should also examine if the allegations against him were true.

CACOJ hereby calls on the Minister to desist from further provocative and manipulative statements concerning the death of Bibi Ngota and to wait like all like minded Cameroonians for the Commission of inquiry to release its findings.

CACOJ also calls on the government to release the two other journalist who were arrested in connection with the case

CACOJ supports the call for a demonstration by journalists and all like minded Cameroonians in front of the Prime Ministers office

CACOJ finally appeals that the government takes its responsibility and pays compensation to the family of the bereaved journalist

Our hearts and prayers are with the bereaved family at this difficult time. We extend our heartfelt condolences to them

3rd May 2010

Francis Ngwa Niba

For and on behalf of CACOJ.

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.

 

The Pied Piper of Exotic Southern Cameroons upon Ambas. Translation by Ntemfac Ofege

Southern Cameroons upon Ambas,
Below the soaring Fako Mountain;
The Atlantic Ocean, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Forty years and nine  this day,
To see the people suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

Frogs!

They swarmed the land by daylight,

And sneaked in by moonlight,

Conned Old Man Foncha with sweet talks of unification,

And took over the government,

And spread their nature of infamy, fraud and corruption,

Split up the land into provinces, divisions and districts,

And became the occupier,

Named vile tyrants or pro-consults in charge.

Brought in gendarmes by the truckloads,

To spread terror and mayhem,

Murdered the trusting citizens at Santa and Ebubu,

Slaughtered the country’s strong democratic culture and institutions,

Fired Augustine Ngom Jua who protested,

And named two-face Solomon Tandeng Muna in his stead

Corrupted the entire civil service with paper money,

And savaged the territory’s once buoyant economy,

They took over CDC and killed POWERCAM.

Buried the thriving Victoria Seaport underwater,

And tossed the Tiko Wharf into the Muck,

Erased the Bali, Tiko, Besonabang airports.

And turned our towns into ghost towns, when not war zones,

They stole the oil by the tanker-loads,

And lapped up minerals from the mines at lowly Bafaka,

And ate of the proceeds until they dripped with fats,

They placed a bomb within agreeable Lake Nyos

Causing horrendous deaths in the thousands.
Wasted a nation’s education organization,

And roared in mirth as the children to foreign lands escaped.

Gave the themselves choice spots in the administration,

Turned the good natives into beggars,

And called then fools or enemies in the fold when they protested,

And even spoiled the people’s open chats,
By drowning their speaking
With Merde! and croaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body
To the Mount Mary Maternity came flocking:

Led thereto by Munzu, Elad and Anyangwe,
“‘Tis clear,” cried they, “our leaders are noddies;

Yawning when not snoring!
And as for the stooge of a Prime Minister —shocking
To think we make regular complaints,
To dolts that can’t or won’t determine
What’s best to rid us of frogs!
You hope, because you’re old and rheumatic,
To find in your cricket coats ease?
Rouse up, Sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”
At this the leaders of the people,

Pa Foncha and Solomon Tandeng Muna twain,
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

At having been found out.

Three days they sat in council,
At length, Pa Foncha broke silence:
“For the old British Southern Cameroons crown I’d my robe of office sell;

Grand Chancellor availeth me naught.

These people do have short memories,

They forget so soon,

That I was from my lofty positions as Vice President dumped,

Er yes, and as perpetual Vice Chairman of the Party too,

These people are like elephants,

They do not see my mighty efforts.
I wish I were a mile hence!
It’s easy to bid one rack one’s brain— 
I’m sure my poor old head aches again
I’ve scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for some guns, some guns, some guns!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
“Bless us,” cried Pa Foncha and Muna in unism, “what’s that?”
(With the Council as he sat,
Looking old and as skinny as a lath;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his appetite grew mutinous
For a plate of achu and goat-meat)
“Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a frog gendarme
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”

“Come in!”—Old Foncha cried, looking bigger:

Ay yes, and taller too!
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of Human and half of Peoples Rights;
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in— 
There was no guessing his kith and kin!

But like a dispenser of justice he looked!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire:
Quoth one: “It’s as Old Abendong!
Starting up at the Ntamulung grave
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!”

To wreak justice upon they that murdered him.

 

To be Continued…

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