Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bernard Njonga Emerges Again as ACDIC President

 By Fai Cassimando
Members of the association for the Defence of Collective Interest-ACDIC meet in a General Assembly in Yaounde. The 2012 AGM which took place at the Faculty of Theology at Nlongkak in Yaounde gave members the opportunity to take stock of past actions of ACDIC and also to adopt new orientations. Coming at a point in time when the Permanent Secretary General Jacob Abongaha and Deputy Secretary General Tarkang Yvonne left for greener pastures, there was also an urgent need for new impetus into the national bureau. ACDIC which was created in the year 2000, with Founding Fathers like Njonga Bernard, Jacob Abongaha, Fai Cassian Ndi, Isaac Njifakwe, Dr. Atahanas Bopda, Roger Nkabong,  Doh Kehbila, etc etc…., the association today has over a hundred thousand members spread over the national territory. Yet, it founding fathers are aghast with Bernard Njonga for transforming the association into an extraordinary affair and a family estate. In other words, Bernard Njonga during the past years succeeded in manipulating the Chart of the Association and redefining who is supposed to be a founding member to suit his caprices. An action that angered many founding members who endorsed the birth certificate of ACDIC to the point that some does not even care to attend meetings like the General Assembly.  Bernard Njonga started scheming ACDIC founding members when he masterminded that a vote of no-confidence be passed on the first President of ACDIC, a former national Coordinator of FIMAC in an extraordinary General Meeting. Little did others new that the very illness that would kill coffee is the same that will attack cocoa.  When he was finally handed the Presidency of ACDIC, all those who questioned certain actions were pushed out of the scene to the point that ACDIC finally became an extraordinary affair. Since then, Bernard Njonga consolidated his grip of ACDIC. His re-election doesn’t come as a surprise to many. As a matter of fact, ACDIC is just like a hill that looks greener from afar.
However, as a lobbying and advocacy association, ACDIC has stood the taste of time in addressing burning issues. The fight against the importation of frozen chicken is one of the successes of the association as well as the study unleashing corrupt practices in the Ministry of Agriculture, such as scandal surrounding the distribution of Indian tractors, the embezzlement of funds allocated to maize farmers etc. Several of its actions have led to the arrest of members. In 2010, this reporter was also arrested and detained in Yaounde alongside other ACDIC members for participating in a protest march urging government to create a farmers bank. Even though the bank was created two days after, it had never gone functional.

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