Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Striking Students Call on President Biya to Rescue UBa


The student body issued a clarion call yesterday January 21, 2013 calling on the Head of State, President Paul Biya to rescue the University of Bamenda from collapsing. The body known as Movement for peace, unity and against the Decentralization of UBa in their clarion call condemned the Prefectoral Order signed by the Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, Ngele Nguele setting up a commission to move the Chancellery of the University from the main campus to Bamendakwe. In the release, the student body also stated that “we say no to the destruction move of the Vice Chancellor which is out to partition and destabilize the smooth function of the university”.  They are accusing Prof. Tafah Edward of masterminding the moves and manipulating the Minister of Higher Education. More so, they also decried tribalism and corruption as well as occultism and witch craft practices in the university.  They warned that if their grievances are not addressed with immediate effect, they shall all move to the street calling on the sacking of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Tafah Edward.
It is not surprising that since Monday, January 08, 2013 most of the University workers have been gathering in groups discussing these developments. All efforts by this reporter to get to Prof. Educat Tafah Edward could not yield any fruits. However, as it is, a fragile peace exists in the University as many of the academics and other affiliated staff are worried about the level of injustice and ethnic chauvinism either manipulated or not.
It should be recalled that in a speech presented by Fon Awemo 11 of Bambili to the SDO for Mezam during his maiden tour in which he did not hide his emotions, he told the SDO, Nguele Nguele Felix, that the Head of State President Paul Biya, created the University of Bamenda with Bambili as its legitimate seat. He questioned why the Chancellery of the University of Bamenda (UBa) is planned to be set up rather at Bamendankwe, Bamenda 1 Sub-Division, as he has been reliably intimated.
According to Fon Awemo, the Chancellery is the heart of any University and must be located at the seat of the University. Beside, he disclosed that his Fondom, Bambili, and other neighbouring villages of Tubah have already allocated over 1000 hectares of land for the extension of the University. The said land is far more than the land owned by any of the state universities of Cameroon. Moreover, the fons of Tubah said they were ready to add more land if came to that.  
Confirming the rumour, the SDO disclosed that he saw a file to that effect on his table two days after his installation as the new SDO for Mezam. He promised to go through the file before deciding on what to do.
In spite of the SDO’s response, the Tubah elite were overheard cursing the Vice Chancellor of UBa, Professor Educat Edward Tafa, as the architect of the plans to locate the University’s chancellery at Bamendankwe. Some of the elite including the Fons of Tubah intimated this reporter how the Vice Chancellor openly hates Tubah elite including the fons.
They cited the case where Tubah Fons wrote to Prof. Educat Tafa indicating their plans to accord him a reception when he was just appointed as the pioneer Vice Chancellor to UBa. Hear them; “Professor Educat snubbed our request saying that he had no time for such an occasion because of his busy schedule”. They regretted that a week after, the same Educat received his Momo fons in his residence in Bamenda III during which his fons gave him a traditional title.
Visibly incensed, the Tubah elite said all the support staff of UBa hail from Educat’s village, Oshie, in Ngie, Momo Division, even though the youths of Tubah applied long ago before his appointment.
It was because of the show of hatred to their land that the Tubah elite intimated that they had no choice than to form a union dubbed, Tubah Union for Peace, Progress and Prosperity (TUP3) to fight for their rights shortly after the installation of Prof Educat. Former Minister Abety has also been accused of masterminding the problems at the University of Bamenda yet many have asked whether students are so dull that Abety could manipulate them to the point that they go down the street?
However, if the chancellery is constructed some 20km away, it won’t be within the trekking distance and it would be difficult for students to use some of the services attached to the chancellery. The University they say is like a one-stop shop and transferring the chancellery away from the main campus will defeat that notion. But what are the reasons of transferring the university chancellery. Notwithstanding confidential sources hinted that the SDO for Mezam recently signed a Prefectoral Order appointing members of the committee for the inspection of the site to construct the Chancellery and the Vice Chancellor’s Residence at Bamendankwe. Prefectoral Order No 03 o/E.29/712/S2 of January 8, 2013 setting a site Board Commission for the selection of a parcel of land for the construction of the Chancellery and Residence of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bamenda appoints the SDO of Mezam or his representative as Chairman. it also appoints the Divisional Chief of state lands as secretary, while other members include: The Divisional Officer for Bamenda I, The Divisional Delegate of state property, Divisional Delegate of Housing and Urban Development, Vice Chancellor, Divisional Chief of Service for Surveys, the Mayor of Bamenda I, the Fon of Bamendakwe and two notables

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