Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Reaction to President Biya’s Call: CAMCORE (UK Diaspora) Storms Cameroon, Makes Own Contribution to Consolidate Peace & Unity

* Proposes House of Chiefs to Consolidate Peace & Unity
Emmanuel Fuh Neba, Jeffrey Townsend Honoured
The Cameroon Council for Reunification (UK)-CAMCORE has reacted positively to the November 3rd 2011 call from President Paul Biya for the Diaspora to put their intellectual and technical expertise at the service of their country. “The President’s invitation is a challenge CAMCORE has embraced and is committed to working towards a Cameroon fit for the 21st century”. The two-man delegation which was made up of Emmanuel Fuh Neba, CEO of CAMCORE and Jeffrey Townsend, UK Parliamentary Researcher had a meeting with the North West Fons Union on August 30, 2012 in Bamenda to seek ways and strategies to consolidate peace and unity.
 In his address to North West Fons, Chief Executive Officer of the Cameroon Council for Reunification-CAMCORE, said that their mission to Cameroon steams from the fact that they have embraced wholeheartedly the clarion call from President Paul Biya to make their own contribution so that Cameroon remains one and indivisible. Emmanuel Fuh Neba said CAMCORE was created and launched in the House of Commons (UK Parliament) by a group of UK based Cameroon diasporas.
He emphasized that “though based in the UK, CAMCORE is currently developing and establishing a robust network within Cameroon.  We believe through our combined efforts, we can make our dearly beloved country a place all can proudly call home”.
Ambassadors of Peace being decorated by Fon of Nso and Bafut
Harping on their mission statement, Emmanuel Fuh Neba reiterated that “CAMECORE will seek to create opportunities for diverse communities to dialogue and collectively work on specific issues with efficiency and effectiveness, to achieve greater influence, with the object of promoting sustainable development”. He argued that “the solemn task of keeping our nation united, peaceful and prosperous is not the responsibility of one section of our society alone, but a lengthy community consultation task that requires a degree of prolonged and sustained effort from Cameroonian traditional rulers as well”.
To Emmanuel Fuh Neba, President Biya’s 2011 call for the Diaspora to play an active role in nation building was deeply appreciated and keenly felt by all. The call he said came at the most propitious time of Cameroon’s history – a time when the challenges facing the nation are real, serious and many. He noted that “Cameroon’s economy is badly weakened, businesses are shuttering, youth unemployment is souring, and graduates are fleeing Cameroon and realizing their potential abroad.
The arrest of senior government officials in connection with the Albatross scandal is creating a major fragility in the regional and ethnic alliances which Cameroon's much-vaunted stability rests.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary celebration of Reunification, there is an invigorating discontentment amongst Anglophone Cameroonians at home and abroad, prompting the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) to embolden its clamour for secession. 
Extreme poverty, democratic deficits and social inequalities have made some of our neighbourhoods a possible fertile breeding ground for Boko Haram, which may further plunge our nation into a sectarian mayhem.
These are indicators of serious crisis, a consequence of our collective failure to act, and an inevitable nagging fear that our nation might be another Zaire, Rwanda or Liberia.
Drawing his inspiration from the Holy Scriptures, as recorded in the synoptic gospels; Matthew, Mark and Luke, he said that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. 
Emmanuel Fuh Neba was very frank to tell the fons in their faces that “Cameroon’s traditional authorities - fons, chiefs, sultans and lamidos (emirs) were once the indisputable custodians of the nation’s tradition, culture and identity. They represented a true reflection of the legitimate aspirations of the Cameroonian people. They discharged their functions and delivered judgment with neither fear nor favor and were seen as embodiments of wisdom and character”. But he regretted that 50 years after independence and reunification, Cameroon’s once revered traditional authorities are helplessly watching their power progressively shrinking and their institutions teetering on the brink of collapse. “Their powers are eroding, palaces collapsing, and there are virtually little or no stipends for them. In fact, they have been shamefully relegated to the hallmarks of ‘royal beggars’.
Emmanuel Fuh Neba also lamented that “in a bid to survive, many traditional rulers have chosen to scheme, abet fraud and betray their subjects - even at the detriment of their people and country. We have witnessed venerated sultans and Lamidos humiliated by their people, once respected fons pelted with rotten tomatoes, some burnt to dead, others arrested and jailed for murder, theft, embezzlement, drunken fights over alcohol and women and illicit land sales. Some palaces have been ransacked and set ablaze.
Many traditional authorities have been used as toys by politicians, making them to desecrate their throne, and to be ridiculed and openly challenged by their people. Cameroonians even called for the abolition of traditional institutions”.
Creation of the House of Chiefs
In presentation CAMCORE CEO proposed that “despite the raging debate on the role of traditional rulers in Cameroon, Cameroonians cannot help but believe that our nation can tackle rural poverty and emerge from the current dark era of stale political arguments if traditional authorities can make a genuine effort to embody a new spirit of service to their people and nation”.
To achieve this, he summarized, “traditional rulers must chose unity of purpose over discord, and must embrace the vision, hard work, and persistence of giants like Chief Sakwe Bokwe, HRH Achirimbi II, HRH Njimoluh Njoya, HRH Bouba Ahmadou and many others who acted so boldly five decades ago to integrate our diverse ethno- regional groups into the Cameroon state, and ensured that their kingdoms were the bulwark of food production”. Accordingly, he revealed that given the insurmountable challenges facing Cameroon today, the institution of a ‘House of Chiefs’ will add impetus to Cameroon’s advancing democracy and help the National Assembly to stand as a beacon to find vital solutions. “Through the ‘House of Chiefs’, traditional authorities will be able to work together, learn from each other, foster mutual respect and trust and promote a greater sense of belonging. They will develop Benchmarks and strategies to safeguard Cameroon’s diverse heritage, partner in development, champion tribal conflict resolutions and enforce customary laws”.  
This he added, will enable them to represent a true reflection of the legitimate aspiration of Cameroonians in the Senate, and also debate key issues like sustainable economic growth, agricultural revolution, industrialization, energy production, and transportation / telecommunication infrastructure in rural parts of Cameroon. Cameroon, he concluded should remain one and indivisible.
On his part, the Representative of the Governor of the North West Region, Nji Joseph in his speech saluted the presence of CAMCORE delegation and added that government is aware of the role of traditional rulers in fostering peace and national unity. He called on the traditional rulers to continue in their efforts in maintaining peace and concluded that the resolutions of the meeting shall be handed to the right quarters. On his part, HRH Fon Teche Njei NOWEFU President exploded with joy that the idea of the House of Chiefs was very impressive. He said NOWEFU stands for a one and indivisible Cameroon. “Even if we have our problems, they should be solved from within” and that the House of Chiefs will provide an appropriate avenue for problem solving.
One of the key speakers during the meeting was Rt Hon. Simon Achidi Achu. In his presentation on National Unity, he said when he was appointed Prime Minister and Head of Government; one of the ideas that came to his mind was create an instrument of unity for traditional rulers. This, he said gave birth to what is today known as NOWEFU. The Rt Hon. Achidi Achu, used the occasion to call on everyone to support NOWEFU and President Paul Biya. To Simon Achidi, Cameroon remains a one and indivisible nation. Other speakers included the 2nd Deputy Mayor of Bamenda III, HRM Fon Abuhmbi of Bafut, Fon Fobuzie, Fon Anneng etc …… who all saluted the contribution of CAMCORE.
It should be noted that at the end of the meeting, in move to encourage CAMCORE delegation for their efforts to consolidate peace and unity, North West Fons honoured them with a red feather. Emmanuel Fuh Neba and Jeffrey Townsend were honoured as Cameroon’s Ambassador of Peace in the Diaspora while Ma Yah Achidi Achu Judith was conferred the title of “mafor”.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa


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