Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meet Ateh K Thomson Pepeah: The Youngest Parliamentary Candidate

Ateh K Thomson Pepeah: The Future of  Cameroon Politics
 Fai Cassian

If there is anyone who is actually demonstrating that politics is a way of life, it is Ateh K Thomson Pepeah, PAP Parliamentary candidate for Bamenda/ Bali. Born on June 6, 1986 in Mezam Division of the North West Region, Ateh K Thomson is the youngest candidate in the upcoming Municipal/Legislative elections. Commentators have averred that the young dynamic rising politician is an icing youth who has exceptionally distinguished himself as an extraordinary politician. If there is any candidate in Mezam that the SDF fears most, it is Ateh.  Ateh K Thomson’s trappings in leadership positions make him a fit, Expressionists have confirmed. The very school of thought holds that his candidature should not be neglected because since politics is the art of the impossible, PAP’s candidate for Bamenda-Bali could spring surprises. Although Ateh is still very young, he is one of the rarest candidates who has been questioning government actions. Talking to this reporter in Bamenda ahead of Sunday’s official opening of political campaigns, Ateh K Thomson said the reasons that pushed him to run for Parliament are multi-dimensional. Accordingly, he revealed that the pivotal reason is to vote better laws including the complete revision of the supreme law- the constitution as well as enable him to better control government actions. Harping on how his candidature is one of hope and seeks to inspire future leaders, Ateh added that “it is no doubt that after so many years, Cameroon’s democratic process is still creeping”, and there is the need for it to grow stronger. This he said can only be effective if youths take part in politics or have their voice heard. He added that there is need for Cameroonians to reflect over the present politico and socio-cultural diversity and this could only be done when youths participate in politics. To Ateh, there is an urgent need to carryout educational reforms that would meet the 21st century challenges job market and the digital world.
The Pacesetter for Youths
In his arguments, why it is primordial for youths to take part in decisions making by voting, protecting their votes from the hawks, Ateh Thomson said that youths have greater stakes than the elders given that the future belongs to them. That tomorrow, he emphasized begins with the upcoming September 30, 2013 Municipal/Legislative elections in Cameroon. “Our tomorrow is Now”, he added. The said the need therefore for broader youth participation in political and electoral process is unquestionable. Accordingly, he also reiterated that Cameroon is increasingly becoming like the pre-Gorbatchev Soviet Union whose entire leadership is made up the infirm, senile and walking dead of the politbureau. A situation which he said has kept the gerontocracy to effectively succeed to maintain a firm grip on the power, and systematically side-stepped the youth in critical policy and decision making process.
When quiz why at his age he decided to enter into active politics, Ateh revealed that it is about transforming the mindset of youths, “ a youthful parliamentary bid such as mind would resuscitate youths’ interest in politics”, he said.
It should be noted that Ateh K Thomson though very young is rich in expedients when it comes to politics. He has been the Organizing Secretary of the People’s Action Party-PAP, Member of the Council of the Wise of PAP, and co-founder of Cameroon Youth for Change.
His leadership qualities could be traced when he was student leader, University of Buea Student Union-UBSU where he held the position of Deputy President. He was also the President of University of Buea Economic Society and chairperson of University of Buea Social and Management Postgraduate Student Association and student representative of the Student Representative Council, etc. Besides, he holds a Masters Degree in Political Economics from the University of Buea after haven obtained a Bachelor of Science in economics. Ateh K Thomson is a candidate to watch closely in the North West Region. 


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