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“Manyu Is Not For Sale”, Manyu Leader In US Says

The Chairman of the Manyu Elements Cultural Association (MECA) in the United States of America has said Manyu Division is not for sale. Dr. Peter Ako made the declaration in an opinion paper circulated to all Manyu people at home and abroad, a copy of which the WEEKLY POST got.

 

Dr. Ako drew the attention of Manyu people to the beggar status that “Manyu elites” are selfishly dragging Manyu into noting that every legitimate government has a duty and responsibility to provide her citizens without eroding their dignity and reducing them to praise singers.

 

Reacting to the despicable public rebuke of one of theirs for expressing the desire to run for the highest public office in Cameroon by CPDM office-holders from Manyu, Dr. Ako asked whether ‘Manyu people cannot go beyond Assistant Secretary Generals and Technical Advisers? Are we not good enough to be President and Prime Minister too?’

 

The full text of the MECA USA president’s correspondence reads:

 

The past few years have witnessed so much political posturing, maneuvring, and sometimes even “dogfights” in Cameroon. Manyu Division, aka Land of the Intelligent, has not been spared. In fact our beloved Division has been promoted to the revered position of the shrine and/or mint of the most sophisticated “Motions of Support” for a president who for almost 29 years has very actively treated Manyu Division and her people with contempt, disdain, abandonment and relegated them to the unenviable position of second (sorry third) class citizens in their own country.

Manyu people are politically very complex. Unfortunately, many mistake our liberal political views/thinking for weakness and then plunge in to exploit it to their own selfish motives. Incidentally the latest motion of support by some Manyu Elites has triggered so much political debate and left many tongues wagging, both inside and outside of Manyu Division.

As a loyal citizen of Manyu, born/bred in the ghost town that is Mamfe; former Bolo Boy (aka Bacha Boy) at Manyu River; Community Leader and an Ekpe Chief, I feel compelled by the dictates of my conscience and the guidance of the spirits of my ancestors to speak out and draw the attention of Manyu people (both at home and abroad) to the beggar status that “Manyu Elites” are selfishly dragging Manyu into.

It is my belief that every legitimate government has a duty and responsibility to provide for her citizens without eroding their dignity and reducing them to praise singers. We do not also have to publicly rebuke one of ours, and intimidate him/her from expressing his/her political opinion. I am talking about the shabby treatment meted out to another Manyu son, Hon. Justice Paul Ayah, by his own fellow “Manyu Elites”, simply because he has expressed an intention to aspire for the highest office of the land. So Manyu people cannot go beyond Assistant Secretary Generals and Technical Advisers? Are we not good enough to be Presidents and Prime Ministers too?

Manyu Political giants like Hon. Sampson George, Dr. A.D Mengot, Hon. WNO Effiom, Hon. E.T Egbe, Gov. Enow Tanjong, Hon. Kima Tabong, Hon. Ntui Ogork, Hon. Etta Jerome, etc. stood tall amongst their contemporaries from other regions of the country at their own time. They did not have to reduce themselves and their people to mere hand clappers in the political enclave called Cameroon. They had the president’s ear and enjoyed the love of their people at the same time. Manyu was united then. Is this what we see today? Far from that!

Manyu, tell me what we, as a people have gained from the Biya administration, even when we have become the second Mvomeka of Cameroon and are fighting and tearing down ourselves for his sake?

Manyu elites should help me answer these questions: Are we churning out motions of support and thanking Mr. Paul Biya for our bad roads, no running taps, very frequent power outage, no single gas station in the whole of Manyu? Or are we thanking him for the decaying infrastructure (Besong Abang Airport, Gendarmarie barracks, army camp, GRA, Highways Dept, etc)? May be we are happy that the two giant standby electric generators by Baku Bridge (near the General Hospital) have been moved to somewhere else so we can enjoy perpetual darkness. I guess we are very happy too that we have to pass through Nigeria to go to Akwaya. Sorry, probably we are celebrating the fact that our natural forests are being destroyed by logging companies without any compensation offered to our people. May be too that we should all join our “elites” to sing Haleluja to Mr. Paul Biya for the very high unemployment rate in Cameroon, especially amongst Manyu youths. What a shame!

My people, Manyu is not the land of fools. We must stop our greedy politicians from destroying our Division, if their conscience would not tell them to rethink their old fashioned political strategies. They can go ahead and enrich themselves with ill-gotten wealth from Biya’s corrupt administration. They must, however, remember that Manyu belongs to all of us, and we (as a people) deserve better. We cannot be beggars in our own country.

TELL OUR “ELITES” TO STOP THIS CRAZINESS OF MOTIONS OF SUPPORT. THE KING IS DANCING NAKED IN PUBLIC. They should tell him the truth - MANYU PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF BEING NEGLECTED BY BIYA’S GOVERNMENT! Our “elites” should TAKE OUR MOTION OF DISATISFACTION WITH THE BIYA GOVERNMENT FOR NEGLECTING MANYU TO THE PRESIDENT. They should also remember that nobody elected them to speak on our behalf. Our parliamentarians (whom we elected) should be those to speak for us. Of course, they (THE PARLIAMENTARIANS) know what will happen to their portfolios should they go against the will of the people.

The wind of change is blowing across the entire world. Manyu cannot be an exception. All hands should be on deck to bring that much needed development to our BELOVED MANYU. After all, we have no other home but MANYU!

Dr./Sessekou /Bolo Boy/ Bacha Boy Peter Ako

Chairman, MECA USA

The Indomitable Lions: When A Political System Is Taken Hostage By Corruption, Nothing Can Be Achieved

 

By Chief Bisong Etahoben

Several years ago, when Cameroon was Cameroon and the Indomitable Lions the pride of all Cameroonians, the day of an encounter between the national team and another national team was like a national carnival. Crowds of happy Cameroonians paraded the streets, singing patriotic sons and dancing to encourage their beloved Lions. In the national capital Yaounde and all over the national territory, all activities came to a standstill during the 90 minutes of the encounter and in some social outfits, one could virtually hear a needle drop during the peak of the match. Urban centres became silent as transportation was grounded whilst their owners and occupants went home to watch the Lions play. And then most times, the entire nation would burst into celebration after the match, because, it was almost mandatory that the Lions would win.

 

Long before the arrival of TV, when Cameroonians listened to matches between their national team and other national sides on the radio, sports casters like Peter Esoka, Zachary Nkwo and Abel Mbengue became household names because of their ability to bring the matches to virtual reality in various homes and outfits.

 

When TV came in 1985, the homes of the few individuals who could afford the new luxury were invaded by enthusiastic Cameroonians who gathered at such homes and bars to watch the national team play.  Beer parlours that could afford the luxury of TV then made brisk business before, during and after each national team encounter. Lions matches were both social and economic bonanzas.

 

The national team, the Indomitable Lions, brought so much happiness to the Cameroonian masses and constituted their brief shining moment during the 90 minutes that each encounter lasted in those glorious years. And during the rare moments it lost, the sorrow of the national commonwealth was palpable. Mondays after such rare defeats were like national days of mourning and work in offices slowed down to a virtual standstill.

 

Could all this be said to still prevail today? Certainly not. In fact, during the Cameroon-Senegal match on Saturday March 26, Yaounde from where I write this was still bustling with economic activities and most Cameroonians went about their daily chores as if nothing was happening. All the panellists on the Canal Presse programme of Canal2 on Sunday March 27 confessed that they did not watch the match. I did not watch the match myself because watching the Lions play these days is like submitting myself to punishment during the ninety minutes of each match. And this because each failing of the Lions, each goal they concede is like thrusting a sword through my heart.

 

This is strange for a country in which soccer was once a sort of opium to its people. What is happening to the compatriots of Roger Milla, Stephen Tataw, Abega Theophile, Emmanuel Kunde, Cyril Makanacky, Omam Biyik and Ndip Akem? Why are Cameroonians no longer interested in watching the national team play?

 

It is said that a political system taken hostage by corruption and greed loses the ability to achieve anything for the people and nation. This is what is happening to our Indomitable Lions who are fast becoming Domitable Sheep. Corruption and greed permeate the whole national strata to the extent that everything Cameroonian is being taken hostage by gridlock. The national wheel is grinding to a halt and even the Indomitable Lions who constituted our last national resort and solace have been contaminated by this debilitating cholera!!!

 

Just the other day, in allusion to the several armed attacks on financial institutions and individuals by heavily armed bandits of recent without the intervention of the security forces, one national newspaper (Mutations) quoted a security official as asking: “For what should I risk my life by confronting the bandits?”

 

The security official should have a reason for asking such a question. Why should he put his life on the line for a pittance while the security bigwigs hobnob with bandits and even finance and open the national armoury to them to use in killing those the security forces are paid to protect.

 

Yes, this is the extent to which the sense of national belonging has dropped. It is now but a question of everybody for his/herself and God for us all.

 

No wonder, soccer international star Samuel Eto’o Fils shines for his club sides and barely scores to make the national team win. He surely should be asking the same question the security man quoted above asked: Why should any ordinary Cameroonian man or woman in the street stick out his/her neck for any national cause that would in the end only help to further swell the pockets of the civil service/political bandits in white collars who have been sacking the national treasury with reckless abandon?

 

Like the April 6, 1984 attempted coup leaders said, “They are behaving as if they are in a hurry to steal as much as they can”. Yes, most Cameroonians no longer see national pride and patriotism in anything they do. They only look at what they would stand to gain by putting up their best for the nation.

 

With a national team that has only been serving as a milking cow for get-rich-quick sports administrators, the win-for-national-glorification aspect of the team has been lost in the dark smoke of conference rooms where the loot is shared.

 

And with so many millions to share each time a new coach is recruited, soccer administrators in the country have been changing them like beauty queens change their attires during a pageant. And so, everybody is good enough to coach the national team – even septuagenarians just good enough to make some big people in Yaounde earn their cut from the contract signing fees and then slide into the grave that nature prescribed for them.

Cameroon is really in the final throes of an impending failed state. Long Live The New Deal!!

 

Thousands Mourn Commissioner Nkongho George

 

By Our Security Affairs Correspondent in Yaounde

Six-star Police Commissioner (Divisionaire) Chief George Ojong Nkongho was Saturday April 2, 2011 laid to rest in the village of Mbinda-Tabo, Obang, Manyu division where he was traditional ruler for ten years before his death.

 

Commissaire Divisionaire Nkongho George, it would be recalled died  March 4 in the Yaounde Reference Hospital of natural causes.

 

Born July 17, 1957 in Bayib-Assibong village in Eyumojock sub-division of Andrew Epey Nkongho and Sophie Oben Nkongho all of blessed memory, he attended Lala primary school in Mamfe and obtained his first school leaving certificate from Council School Akwaya before proceeding to St. Joseph’s College Sasse where he graduated in 1973. He worked briefly with the Ministry of Post & Telecommunication in Buea until 1980 when he obtained the GCE advanced level and proceeded to the University of Yaounde to read public law. Whilst in the university, he passed the entrance examination into the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) and the Advanced School of Youth and Sports. He chose to enter ENAM and graduated from the elite school in 1985 after having earlier graduated from the University of Yaounde in 1984. In 1985, he passed the entrance examination into the National Advanced Police School in Yaounde and graduated as a superintendent of police.

 

He served in Maroua for a year before being posted to the Police Training Centre in Mutengene as Discipline Master. From 1990 to 1997, he served as Chief of Judicial Police for the Northwest and from 1997 to 2003 was the Commissioner for Public Security in Mbouda.

 

Between 2003 and 2004 Commissioner Nkongho served at the Central Police Station in Douala and from 2004 to 2006 he headed the Central Police Station in Nkongsamba.

He was appointed Assistant Regional Delegate for National Security for the Eastern Region in October 2006 and served there until his death on March 4 this year.

 

DISTINCTIONS AND HONOURS: During his long years of service to the nation, Commissioner Nkongho received two congratulatory letters from the Delegate General for National Security in 1991 and 2000 as well as the Public Force medal in 1997 and the medal of Knight of the Cameroon Order of Merit on May 20, 2009.

 

A TRADITIONAL RULER: Commissioner Nkongho George was the reigning chief of Mbinda-Tabo village before his death and served in that position for ten years during which time he demonstrated a very high level of knowledge of the Mbinda people, their culture, traditions and origins. His subjects cherished his presence whenever he visited them.

 

A FAMILY MAN: Chief Nkongho George was a father, a pillar of the family, a force and a centre figure to the Nkongho Oben-Atem family. He was a family man who loved peace, stood for objectivity, justice and fairness in all he did.

 

A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN: He was a devout Christian with Presbyterian roots and became a born-again Christian later in life.

 

AN AVID SPORTSMAN: Late Commissioner Nkongho loved sports. He played soccer with Prisons Buea Football Club and PWD Bamenda. He also briefly played for the national team.

He leaves behind his wife and five sons as well as several brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and above all many friends to mourn his untimely loss.

 

Ondo Ndong’s Jail Brings Good Governance To FEICOM But Anglophone Councils Discriminated Against?

 

By Our Yaounde Staff Correspondent

 

The 2007 annual report of the Special Council Support Fund popularly known by its French acronym FEICOM published last week shows a drop in annual revenue and paradoxically, an increase in expenditure. If the 20% drop in revenue is explained away by government’s decision not to give any subvention to FEICOM, the increase in expenditure can only be explained by the fact that the new management of FEICOM has learnt a lesson from the punishment inflicted on its former General Manager Ondo Ndong. In effect, the new FEICOM management has been doing everything to ensure that the outfit invests money it derives from the 9% council tax paid by Cameroonians on viable and visible projects that would benefit the ordinary Cameroonian.

 

Thus, FEICOM distributed 29 billion FCFA to the various councils in the country in 2007, an 11.02% increase from the 2006 fiscal year. Of this amount, over 60% was spent on community projects and in the completion of projects that were not completed during the 2006 fiscal year, the continuation of current projects and investment on new projects geared towards the amelioration of council presence in the various areas.

 

Of the total amount invested, 15.5 billion francs was spent on the provision of pipe-borne water or construction of wells, the payment of salary arrears, the construction or extension of electricity networks, purchase of benches for schools and the construction of health centres.

 

Contrary to the exorbitant amounts Ondo Ndong spent on the running of FEICOM, this time around, 7.2 billion FCFA went for running costs including salaries and wages.

 

The annual report shows that 237 projects were financed at a cost of 12.6 billion FCFA out of the 321 envisaged and of these, 159 have already been realised and 78 are still being executed.

 

The worrying aspect of the FEICOM annual report is that it does not clearly state where the projects mentioned therein were or are being undertaken especially as some provinces have been complaining that they are not receiving their deserved share of FEICOM financing.

 

Nevertheless, the outfit envisages financing 87 new projects on the basis of conventions signed with various local councils.

 

In spite of the rather buoyant picture painted by the report, which shows an improved and most efficient tax collection since the 198/99 fiscal year, revenue dropped by 934 million FCFA from 64.092 billion FCFA to 56.878 billion FCFA. This should give cause for the raising of eyebrows because tax collection cannot be said to have improved yet there is a drop in revenue.

 

The report insists that FEICOM has this current fiscal year, 2008, been putting an accent on the fight against poverty in rural areas adding that this year would be capital in the pursuit of commitments towards the attainment of the missions assigned to FEICOM.

Is Brasseries du Cameroun Afraid Of Lapiro By Deciding Not To Give Evidence Against Him?

 

By A Special Correspondent in Nkongsamba

 

The trial of popular musician Lambo Pierre Roger alias Lapiro de Mbanga took a spectacular turn in the Nkongsamba High Court Wednesday August 27, 2008 when Barrister Zacharie Wappi, the lawyer for Brasseries du Cameroun, one of the alleged plaintiffs in the state’s case against the musician, declared that the brewery had no case against Lapiro and that Brasseries du Cameroun as well as one of its affiliates Société des eaux minérales du Cameroun had never filed a complaint against Lapiro de Mbanga.

 

After the declaration, several of the lawyers and witnesses in the case started advancing the theory that Brasseries du Cameroun had decided not to prosecute Lapiro for fear that his boys, who are alleged to have been responsible for the destruction that was visited on Mbanga during the February uprisings, may re-visit havoc on their installations and agencies should they insist on having the musician tried.

 

It should be recalled that during the cause of the trial, some evidence was adduced to the effect that the company now claiming the sum of one billion (1.000.000.000) FCFA for damages from Lapiro, Société des plantations de Mbanga (Spm) had earlier paid a large sum of money to “Ndinga Man” in order to buy protection for their plantations, which were eventually seriously destroyed.

 

Giving evidence for the prosecution in the Nkongsamba High Court presided over by their Worships Efoula Ndongo and Obama, Mbanga sub prefect Nkwenti Simon Ndoh (he was once a D.O. in Limbe and was involved in a land-peddling scandal) said Ndinga Man held an illegal meeting with motorcycle riders on February 25, 2008, the day the uprising started. The Mayor of Mbanga, Mbonjo Jacques who held that there was no doubt whatsoever, corroborated this evidence that Lapiro de Mbanga orchestrated the uprising.

 

In his own evidence, the chief of Balong, Mukete Ngoh Magellan revealed that on the day in question, he met some youths armed with cutlasses, clubs and other weapons who claimed that Lapiro had armed them.

 

After adducing all this evidence, the state counsel declared that there was no doubt Lapiro was guilty of all the accusations levelled against him namely, “accessory to group destruction, destruction of goods, voluntary arson, obstacle to the public highway, destruction of public property etc.”

 

Appearing for the defence, Barrister Lewis Ndeffo pointed out the shortcomings in the charges against his client saying that according to the new criminal procedure ordinance, Ndinga Man was supposed to have been told his rights before being questioned. Lapiro’s lawyer declared that his client was not told that he had a right to remain silent until his lawyer was present and by taking a statement from him on March 19, 2008, the Mbanga gendarmes violated his rights.

 

Lawyer Ndeffo said his client was interrogated for ten minutes without a defence counsel and even so, the date and time on which he was interrogated were not indicated on the written statement. In view of these procedural shortcomings, the learned gentleman called for the discharge and acquittal of his client without further procedure.

 

Another counsel for the defence, Lawyer Réné Manfo chipped in to say that the evidence against the accused was given by individuals who were not present at the scene of the events because of which Lapiro is charged. Lawyer Manfo who was brought in to defend Lapiro by the NGO Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture popularly known by its French acronym ACAT, said one of the reasons the state prosecutor gave for holding Lapiro responsible for the uprising and destruction of February 25 was the fact that he was seen filming the actions of the furious youths who carried out the destruction. According to Barrister Manfo, there is no law against taking pictures during an insurrection.

 

Closing submissions for the defence, Lawyer Mbami asked why the state counsel had not charged all those who were physically involved in the destruction but decided to charge Lapiro whom nobody had given evidence attesting to his having personally taken part in the uprising and destruction.

 

“This trial is pure witchcraft”, Lawyer Mbami declared in conclusion.

 

The case has been adjourned to September 23, 2008 while Lapiro who had earlier been transferred from custody in Mbanga to Nkongsamba was ordered returned to Mbanga his place of residence where the offences were committed.

As Sierra Leonean Leader Sets The Pace:

What Is Biya Afraid Of By Not Declaring His Own Assets?

 

By Chief Bisong Etahoben

 

On January 18, 1996, President Paul Biya signed into law the second constitution of Cameroon. Article sixty-six of the said constitution stipulates as follows:

 

“The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, Members of Government and persons ranking as such, the President and Members of the Bureau of the National Assembly, the President and Members of the Bureau of the Senate, Members of Parliament, Senators, all holders of an elective office, Secretaries-General of Ministries and persons ranking as such, Directors of the Central Administration, General Managers of public and semi-public enterprises, Judicial and Legal Officers, administrative personnel in charge of the tax base, collection and handling of public funds, all managers of public votes and property, shall declare their assets and property at the beginning and at the end of their tenure of office.

 

“The other categories of persons to whom the provisions of this article shall apply and the conditions of implementation thereof shall be determined by law”.

 

More than sixteen and a half years after signing the said constitution into law, President Biya is yet to set the ball rolling as is expected of leaders who must lead by examples.

 

We have visited this constitutional provision because of the example President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone set Monday September 1, 2008. That day, in signing the law on asset-declaration in Sierra Leone, President Koroma set the ball rolling by personally declaring his own assets.

 

As he appended his signature on the law, President Koroma declared: “I believe this is a clear indication of our commitment as a government to fight corruption. What we are doing today is unique not only within this whole region but even in Africa”.

 

Unique indeed but it would not have been the case if President Biya who signed our own constitution containing an asset-declaration article had demonstrated his government’s serious intentions to fight against corruption and embezzlement by sending a clear message to Cameroonians by way of declaring his own assets. He should have been more than sixteen years ahead of the Sierra Leonean leader. But helas!

 

Over the past several months, the Cameroon government has been arresting highly-placed individuals in and out of government in what is supposed to be an anti-corruption campaign. The move by the Biya/Inoni government has generally been welcomed, although many Cameroonians are now beginning to think that its recent intensification is mere window dressing intended to steer attention away from the vexed constitutional amendment, which cleared the way for Biya to remain in power until death takes him away.

 

Another school of thought, which is gradually making its voice heard of late is that which holds that by targeting his past and present close collaborators, Biya might just be wanting to steer attention away from himself.

 

Enlightened opinion holds that arresting and detaining big time thieves who have turned a richly-endowed nation into a highly indebted poor country, without getting the money they stole repatriated back to Cameroon, could just be another way of closing the door when the fox has already gone away with the chicks.

 

Who is that Cameroonian who would not readily steal if he knows that the only punishment he will incur would be some time in prison from which he would return to become a billionaire?

 

In 1997, the Messi Messi-SCB scandal broke. Messi Messi, the former General Manager of SCB in interviews granted to the media abroad alleged that Biya and his late wife Jeanne Irene siphoned over two billion FCFA from the bank which they used in building their Mvomeka’a palace.

 

Besides the Mvomeka’a palace allegations, which may not necessarily be true, it has repeatedly been mooted that Biya has some property, (in fact some people say it is a hospital), in Baden Baden, Germany.

 

All these allegations may not be true, but how else do the Cameroonian people know the truth if Biya himself does not come out openly to declare his assets by telling us what he actually owns. There is talk now about he building his retirement house in Tsinga and most Yaounde residents who pass by there would always point it out: “That is Biya’s retirement house”. His close collaborators have not been reluctant in saying that it is the only modest investment he has.

 

All these are speculations. What is Biya really afraid of? Why would he not declare his assets and open the way for other members of his government and political cronies to follow? Or may there be some hidden motive for his silence?

 

Biya needs to convince Cameroonians and the world that his anti-corruption campaign is serious. He needs to demonstrate that seriousness and until he does so, there would always be those whispers that his close collaborators he has been getting arrested are actually individuals he fears are gunning for his position.

Bakassi Holds About 10% Of The World’s Petroleum Reserves!

 

By Our Economic Affairs Correspondent

 

With the total hand-over of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon by Nigeria effective August 14, 2008, Cameroon may now be sitting on part of the 10% of the world’s petroleum reserves that the peninsula is reputed to harbour.

 

According to a 2003 report of a study commissioned by the World Bank, “the amount of petrol in this maritime zone on the border between the two countries (Nigeria and Cameroon) is of great quality contrary to the heavy petrol sold by Cameroon …”

 

The report adds that the 1000 square kilometre zone, which is situated in the Gulf of Guinea is also very rich in fisheries and other maritime life.

 

Cameroon’s petroleum output has been depleting very fast and unlike in the past when the Yaounde authorities were sort of lukewarm about further exploration and subsequent exploitation in the area, probably because it is in Anglophone Cameroon, the government has been showing increasing signs of opening up to exploration and exploitation activities in the area.

 

It is estimated that Bakassi holds about 156 billion cubic metres of gas, which does not include the one daily burnt into the horizon by exploiting companies in the area. In fact, oil companies operating in Bakassi yearly evacuate about one billion cubic metres of gas into the atmosphere. If exploited, the gas alone could virtually double Cameroon’s annual GDP and breathe a new lease of life into the impoverished inhabitants of this country.

 

A recent international report puts the gas potential of Bakassi at about 266 billion cubic metres and this, if exploited, could last for over thirty years.

 

Local petroleum experts hold that the technology to harness this gas for economic purposes is readily available and Cameroon should do well to start exploiting it sooner than later.

 

Even environmentalists insist that instead of burning the gas from petroleum exploitation activities and polluting the atmosphere, as is the case now, the government better hurries up to exploit the gas and derive revenue for the development of the nation.

 

Many foreign observers have over the years doubted why the Cameroon government was very reluctant to exploit this enormous wealth. Political analysts have been hinting that the majority Francophone government has been concentrating on finding petroleum in Francophone Cameroon in order to sort of balance an imaginary equation which the Anglophones have always, according to them, been throwing into their face holding that over fifty percent of Cameroon’s budget is derived from oil revenue emanating from the exploitation of petroleum from the Southwest province in Anglophone Cameroon.

 

With revenue from petroleum royalties dwindling by the day, the Yaounde government has no other option than to look more seriously into concentrating efforts on exploiting the vast petroleum and halieutic resources of Bakassi now that it is fully Cameroonian once again.

 

Cameroon’s National Hydrocarbons Corporation popularly known by its French acronym of SNH estimates Cameroon’s gas reserves at about 300 billion cubic metres and a source at SNH hints that negotiations are advancing for the exploitation of the gas reserves which could bring a sizeable amount of money into the national coffers.

 

Some petroleum prospecting companies which have already discovered large quantities of petroleum and gas reserves in the Southwest province have since been pointing out that while tapping the petroleum for export, the gas could be used in the generation of electricity, a process which is far cheaper than the current one whereby electricity turbines are run by gasoline.

Did Catholic Priest Misuse Money Intended For Akwaya Tribal War Victims?

Manyu North America Donors Call For Balance Sheet

By A Special Correspondent in North America

The recent publication of an open letter to the Prime Minister and Head of Government from Hon. Ayah Paul Abime, Member of Parliament for the Akwaya sub constituency in Manyu division has been raising a lot of dust within the Manyu community in North America. The Manyu people in America are especially concerned with the part of the letter talking about the way money donated for assistance to the warring communities in the recent Akwaya civil unrest was distributed by one Rev. Fr. Formanka David.

The part of the Hon. Ayah Paul’s letter that has been worrying the Manyu community in America reads thus: " It would be shameful for the government to deny that they have had information that the local priest, one Rev. Formanka David, one of the government agents who fancies himself sitting by the right hand of Jesus at the throne of justice, received money from the United States of America, of which the figures have remained a mystery of the Trinity.

"Possessed of the fact that the Yives were hiring mercenaries, he still gave FCFA 100.000 to 3.000 Yives; and that money was used to hire mercenaries who burnt down Ehembado, shot and wounded several persons, and burnt a blind woman alive. Even from the Seat of Wisdom, the seven thousand displaced Olitis were given only FCFA 40.000 in accordance with heavenly mathematical calculations, and even then, only after lengthy arguments."

In effect, most of the money Rev. Fr. Formanka is accused of having inequitably distributed was contributed by Manyu people in America and today, some of them are worried that their money might have been abusively used to finance the hiring of mercenaries from Nigeria to fight against the other faction in the dispute.

In a strongly worded comment on manyunet, the Chapter Chief of Manyu Elements Cultural Association (MECA-USA) in New England Mr. Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai declares: "I was just wondering (someone correct me if I am wrong) if the said Rev. Formanka David is the same contact person for the NOMA & MECA-USA Akwaya relief fund project. And whether the same Reverend Formanka is the same person who collected a generous donation from MECA-GA for the same purpose. If he was not, then Thank Goodness.

"But if he was, then in the light of these troubling allegations, there is a case to answer. First of all, who authorized him to share the monies between the warring factions in the way he did? And if he was the contact person, is Justice Ayah Paul now holding MECA-USA & NOMA vicariously liable for inadvertently aiding and abetting the alleged activities of ‘mercenaries’ "Yives...who burnt down Ehembado, shot and wounded several persons, and burnt a blind woman alive." How can Manyu children in the Diaspora be seen to be taking sides in a conflict that is purely an internal affair, worse still fuelling the conflict by supporting one side?" It should be noted here that NOMA is a sub-divisional outfit of Eyumojock indigenes resident in North America.

According to Mr. Ekinneh, "…NOMA & MECA-USA might not have had any prior knowledge of the way donations sent to the Reverend would be spent, let alone sanction the way the funds were disbursed but that, in my view, does not exonerate us. It appears we failed woefully to exercise minimum oversight and accountability, limiting our role to making the funds available to the Reverend in Mamfe and then counting on his discretion and ‘sense of good judgment’. The whole thing just sounds outrageously disingenuous and there are some hard lessons here.

"Again, if this turns out to be true, then we have to at least offer an explanation and an apology to the Akwaya people for the sin of omission that has made NOMA & MECA-USA accessories to mayhem and murder. This is completely unacceptable. The Chairman of MECA-USA and the Administrative Officer of NOMA indeed have a case to answer. And the earlier they do so, the better."

Yet in another reaction to the disturbing news of the abusive distribution of their money by a Catholic priest the Manyu people in North America thought they could trust, Mr. P.A. Hamilton Ayuk, popularly considered by the Manyu people in America as their own conscience because of his religious sermons and writings, has suggested that the Manyu people should ask Rev. Formanka to present a balance sheet of how the money they donated was spent.

Insinuating that Rev. Fr. Formanka might have misappropriated the money entrusted to his care, Mr. P.A. Ayuk writes: "… Hon Ayah Paul is known for speaking his mind … Perhaps if the accusations of Hon Ayah are true then Rev Formanka and all others will learn that in times of crisis the people need raw goods and not money because they could misappropriate it. Secondly, if the money was unevenly and unjustly distributed then the same people who donated the money should make another donation".

The despicable behaviour of the Rev. Fr. has forced the Manyu Community in North America to start thinking of never donating any funds when such unfortunate events occur in future. According to P.A. Ayuk: "… it should be our collective principles that when there is a tribal war, MECA or NOMA should not send any help no matter how many people die. That is not a natural disaster; it is a man made disaster and people should be left to face the consequences of their own self-inflicted calamity. What perhaps we should have done would have been to send emissaries to resolve the crisis. Those that lost an eye would just have to live as monoblepsists since it is usually awkward to give aid without it seeming biased after factional or intertribal wars. For example, the Yives and the Olitis do expect to receive equal amount of aid though they have different demographics".

Mr. P.A. Hamilton Ayuk finally tendered an apology to the Akwaya people for the behaviour of the Rev. Father in question.

Last minute information the WEEKLY POST has received shows that Rev. Fr. Fomanka did actually render an account of how the money was spent to MECA-USA. It was contained in an e-mail dated March 19, 2008 sent from akwayaparish@gmail.com addressed to one Dr. Etta and it reads as follows:

Dear Dr. Etta,

LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND GRATITUDE

On behalf of the Christians of Akwaya parish, I acknowledge receipt of 557.903 frs from MECA-USA via Fr. Anselm Lungla, Secretary to the Bishop of Mamfe. I am glad this initiative was taken and is already producing fruits. The money was presented to the people of Akwaya and immediately, the St. Vincent de Paul group chaired by Mr. Jacob Atigi, distributed it as follows: 200.000 frs for the educational rehabilitation, of which half of the sum would benefit Yive and the other half Olitis. 200.000 frs for food. Indeed, this amount has been disbursed already by Mr. Paul Vende, member of MECA and now Principal of GTC Akwaya in the presence of all the negotiators who were present at the most recent peacetalk on 13th March 2007 at Yive. 100.000 for health. The Rev. Sister of the Health Centre received 50.000 frs of this sum to take care of the Olitis while the Akwaya district hospital prepared a first aid kit to be sent to Yive who are rather homeless. 7.903 frs is reserved for correspondences. We remain grateful to all of you and look forward to more assistance as the Lord would provide.

God bless you.

Fr. David Fomanka, on behalf of the Social Welfare Commission, Akwaya parish.

SPECIAL PAID WRITE-UP

The Ministry of Forestry And Wildlife: Tree Regeneration For Future Generations

By Chief Bisong Etahoben

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

The WEEKLY POST Newspaper

Not since the independence of Cameroon, almost half a century ago, has the forestry and wildlife sector of the country been brought to the forefront of national life through the sensitisation of the masses to their obligations to the conservation of the nation’s forestry and wildlife as it is being done now.

In effect, although the government of Cameroon has over the years been doing its best, (which best has earned it so many kudos) towards the fulfilment of its obligations towards international conventions on the conservation of forestry and wildlife, it is only recently, with the advent of Prof. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle to that ministerial department that sensitisation of the national population taken such a front seat in the durable management of our forestry and wildlife.

If mass education did not take that much of priority in the execution of our forestry and wildlife policies, it was not because there were no laws and conventions making such education obligatory.

In fact, the 19th Principle of the Final Declaration of the U.N. Conference on the Environment popularly known as "The Stockholm Declaration" of 1972 insists on the "… education of the young generations as well as adults on environmental issues in order to develop the necessary basis to enlighten public opinion and give individual and groups a sense of their responsibility in matters concerning the protection and improvement of the environment in all its human dimensions".

Also, the 3rd Principle of the June 14, 1992 Rio Declaration on the Environment stipulates that "… the right to development must be realised in such a way as to equitably satisfy the needs related to development and to the environment of present and future generations".

Again, Principle Nine of the said Rio Declaration in part, states that "…the best way to handle environmental issues is to ensure the participation of all the populations concerned" adding that "…states must facilitate and encourage the sensitisation and participation of the public by putting information at their disposal".

The Treaty Related to the Conservation and Durable Management of Forestry Ecosystems of Central Africa in its Article One calls on member countries, which include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Burundi, Rwanda and Sao Tomé and Principe, to "… put in place measures aimed at harnessing favourable action towards conservation and durable management of the forestry ecosystems with development policies in other sectors notably re-aforestation, transport and agriculture".

It is partly in fulfilment of these national, regional and international obligations that the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife under the personal indefatigable leadership of Minister Elvis Ngolle Ngolle has embarked on a massive forestry regeneration drive that has taken the minister to almost all the cardinal points of the nation.

The aim of this mass sensitisation and practical tree-planting campaign launched by Prof. Ngolle Ngolle is both to ensure that our forests are durably managed leading to economic development and sustainability and to halt the advance of the Sahara Desert in Cameroon.

As the minister himself writes on the ministry’s website: "…the ministry engages to freely, through its new forestry policy, ensure a rational management of the forestry resources guaranteeing for all future generations, the qualitative and quantitative perenity of the forest to ensure that it always plays its economic, social, ecological and environmental role."

The accent of Prof. Ngolle Ngolle since coming to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife has been on ensuring that the future generations of this nation benefit their own quota from the rich natural resources bestowed on their fatherland. And this can only be through replacing harvested trees by planting new ones.

It cannot be otherwise because, there must be a symbiosis between the two attributes of his ministry namely, forestry and wildlife but the existence of the other, i.e. the wildlife component of the ministry, depends largely on the sustenance of the other, namely the forestry component. For, without the forest, there can be no wildlife.

One of the regions most threatened by desertification is the Grand North i.e. the three Northern provinces of Far North, North and Adamawa, reason why the minister decided to launch the campaign there. And because of the proactive way the minister himself has been engaged in the campaign, the populations of the areas concerned have been giving him their wholesale support.

In Kousseri on August 2, the Mayor of the municipality declared that "the Extreme North would be the entry point of desertification if nothing is done" and the Minister was there to physical demonstrate government’s determination to ensure that something is done.

"Government has decided to act and I come here dressed as a farmer to demonstrate government’s determination to act", Professor Elvis Ngolle Ngolle declared.

It is envisaged that over 240.000 trees would be planted this year in the Northern provinces with the collaboration of municipal authorities, NGOs and voluntary associations.

The minister later visited a tree nursery in Kousseri to best appreciate the groundwork already covered in anticipation of the massive tree-planting exercise planned.

Earlier in Maroua, the minister had outlined his ministry’s yearly plan and planted some trees in the Maroua stadium. The yearly plan involves the planting of one million trees!

The minister later visited Garoua and Pitoa in the North province where he called on the population to "be tree planters all of you". And unlike in other places later visited down south, i.e. Yaounde and Douala, in the Northern provinces, tree-planting is already a habit with many adherents.

According to one happy tree planter, Mal Moussa Ledoux of Samakale on the Kousseri-Logone Birni road, the ‘neem’ tree has already won the battle against desertification in the area as it has totally transformed the locality.

Moussa Ledoux revealed that in the 1970s, Samakale village was one of the localities most threatened by desertification in Logone Birni. The people of the area had never known the shadow of trees until the launching of "Operation Green Sahel". After testing several tree species, the ‘neem’ tree was found to be most adapted to the area and its success story there is today history. And the minister’s campaign envisages total victory not only in the Grand North but in all Cameroon.

Commenting on the benefits to be derived from tree planting, Moussa declared: "It has completely changed the biodiversity of this area. The forest of Samakale has become the sanctuary of several species of birds and other small ruminants. And too, we best appreciate the importance of forestry regeneration…"

Trees do not only bring revenue by way of timber exploitation. They also contribute to a healthy living, which is why many municipalities around the world make provisions for green parks, gardens and tree-lined streets. For, it has been scientifically proved that trees purify the air that we breathe. It is in this regard that the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife has not failed to appreciate the efforts of the various cities that have been opting for greenery by supporting them physically, materially and otherwise.

Recent cases in point are the cities of Douala and Yaounde where Prof. Ngolle Ngolle personally went to town along with Government Delegate Dr. Fritz Ntone Ntone in Douala and Ntsimi Evouna in Yaounde to plant trees and assure them of his support and that of the ministry he heads to their efforts.

The Douala City tree-planting programme envisages the planting of over ten million trees while Yaounde City has almost an identical tree-planting programme.

Before embarking on the tree-planting campaign, Prof. Ngolle Ngolle was guest at a forum held at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) - where he was Director of Studies before being appointed minister. Prof. Ngolle Ngolle used the forum to emphasise the strategic stakes, threats, potentials and realities of the forest sector to the world, the Central African region and Cameroon in particular in this 21st century. He pointed out the link between the forests and climate change as well as international security.

The minister spoke at length on Cameroon’s forestry policy and the country’s position vis-à-vis international preoccupations on forestry exploitation. He also stressed on the menace on our forests and the contribution of income from forestry exploitation to the well-being of our local populations.

Overall, with the massive awareness now raised within the Cameroonian masses through the dynamism of the young and energetic Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Prof. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle and his immediate collaborators especially Secretary of State Joseph Roland Matta, it may not be preposterous to state categorically here that the well-being of Cameroon’s future generations is already assured.

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WEEKLY POST: KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE