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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fireworks between Gov’t Delegate and Bamenda Council City Board at Budgetary Session

Vincent Ndumu Nji
 By Fai Cassian Ndi
Grand councilors of the Bamenda City Council setting in a budgetary session on December 30, 2013 have rejected two deliberation submitted by the Government Delegate, Vincent Nji Ndumu. The deliberation for the construction of three markets as well as the construction of open market sheds in the central town were all rejected by the city board. This, The Eye gathered is part of the mighty storm that has been gathering to sweep the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council. The grand councilors argued that the construction of markets in Bamenda is not a priority reasons why the deliberations were rejected. Construction projects we learnt are a goldmine given the kickbacks. Yet a school of thought holds that few years down the line since Ndumu took over from Abel Ndeh, the city of Bamenda is gone into the doldrums. Indicators are rife at that Vincent Nji Ndumu has fallen short of glory of the Bamenda city dwellers. The city of Bamenda which used to be one of the cleanest in Cameroon is a shadow of its own self. Streets in the city are described by the number of potholes and heaps of unclear dirt. Yet, few years back, the Bamenda city council disbursed hundreds of millions to acquire heavy duty vehicles. The equipment pool is more of a liability than an asset as the population of Bamenda is questioning its usage. As one buyam sellam recently puts it, Bamenda City Council is more of a money making venture than a development catalyst. Of late, the buyam-sellam women at the Bamenda food market took their grievances to the street. The women expressed their frustration arguing that the present Government delegate’s visible activities are the collection of 100 FCFA at Commercial Avenue with the use of the parking meters and the construction of small lockup sheds along the same avenue.
It is alleged that some traders who paid money to the City council before Vincent Nji Ndumu took over from Abel Ndeh are threatening to go to the street by January 2014. According to the hint, the traders we gathered have vowed that if the city council cannot provide them with the sheds, they will stage an endless sit-down strike at the premises of the city council at Mulang. Yet uncertainty looms large as to whether Vincent Ndumu Nji will provide them with the shed or reimburse the money.
However, the Bamenda council city board after deliberating on the 2014 budget of the adopted a total sum of FCFA 3.4 billion in income and expenditure for the council. Mezam SDO, Nguele Nguele Philip was optimistic that the budget was quite realistic yet Vincent Ndumu Nji is still dangling on how he would realize the budget given that his plans to raise more revenue through advance payment of market sheds were aborted.


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

Monday, December 30, 2013

NW in Tears as Bobe Yong Francis (Pa Yong) Passes Onto Eternity

By Fai Cassian Ndi
Bobe Yong Francis (Pa Yong) the departed Hero
The last days of 2013 have ended up as the darkest in the life of the people of the North West Region. This is so due to the fact that the morning of December 30, 2013 was that of sadness as news break loose announcing the passing to eternity of Bobe Yong Francis (Pa Yong). Bobe Francis Yong died in Atlanta-USA after a protracted illness. Bobe Francis Yong commonly known as Pa Yong remains a household name in Cameroon in the domains of sports, education and communication. It is for this reason that North West Governor Adolph Lele Lafrique visited his family compound in Bamenda to condole with the family today. Pa Yong Francis according to what we gathered traveled to the United States of America for routine medical checkup some months ago. It is alleged that a day ago, he suddenly developed intestinal problems that finally took his life. The passing away of Pa Yong is a great lost to Cameroon, the North West Region and the people of Kom as a whole.
It should be noted that Bobe Yong Francis (Pa Yong) is founder and President of the 2013 Cameroon Cup winners Yong Sport Academy (YOSA) and owner of many colleges across the North West region such as K.C.H.S. Anyajua, C.H.S. Bambui, P.C.H.S Mankon, and the National Polytechnic Bambui. Besides, he is also the proprietor of a local TV channel-CNTV and a commercial radio known as Abakwa FM. Writing from the US, Boh Herbert likened Bobe Yong Francis to the Biblical Abaraham. To Boh Herbert, “....He earned every ounce of the name "Pa Yong". For sure, he was the head of his family and "Pa" to them, but he was also, indeed, in the image of the biblical Abraham - a father to a multitude of children, as countless as the sands on the seashore. Most especially, he earned the title "Pa" because of the concern and love he showed to all, especially the very young and tender students that hundreds of thousands of parents entrusted to his care and his wisdom to mould into educated and cultured Cameroonians and responsible adults....." This tribute from Boh Herbert tells the story of the man who departure will touch families, homes and cast doubts on the future of many young Cameroonians. However, it should be recalled that Pa Yong’s mother died some three to four months ago and the corps is still in the mortuary. Speculations as to whether it would be Bobe Yong Francis or the mother that would be buried first abound high in the North West Region.  
Why Bobe Yong Francis Deserves an Official/ State Burial
Bobe Francis Yong died as a nation builder, a veritable visionary and giant in the educational in Anglophone Cameroon. He was a self-made man, who, from the most humble beginnings, has risen to the summit by creating and offering educational opportunities to others.  He goes down in history as the man who has made the greatest contribution in educational development in English-speaking Cameroon. He lived his whole life creating and building schools to mold young Cameroonians. His efforts have landed millions of young men and women, whose lives might have been wasted in the hall of fame, yet he died as a humble man, down to earth and accessible. Deprived by financial constraints of the opportunity of acquiring a formal general secondary education himself, he never allowed himself to wallow in self-pity and resignation. He opted for what was affordable: becoming a typist. How he must have admired and envied his more fortunate mates who gained admission into prestigious secondary schools in those days! However, as it turned out, God had a better plan for him. He was destined to teach his fellow compatriots that ‘many roads lead to Rome’; that what matters in life is not where you are but what you do where you are. And that is how he did what he did to attract a lot of admiration from those who were even more educated than he was. He turned out to be their employers, offered better education to their lovely ones and everyone who wanted to study and lacked financial means. The true Biblical Abrahim as Boh Herbert rightly states it. Undeniably, Bobe Yong’s decision to learn typing and take up a career in the field turned out to be the wisest decision of his life. After his studies, he gained a Government job as a typist.  Then, he had the wonderful vision of offering other less favored children the chance to go to school. It was from this perspective that he created a Typing Institute. It did not take long for him to realize the magnificent success.  With the number of students increasing year in year out, he created similar colleges in Bambui and his home village, Anyajua. It was a journey to the hall of fame and the steps that would transform the North West into a citadel of education.
Public opinion in the North West holds that if there is only one person in the region whose actions have contributed to nation building it is Bobe Francis Yong. This is so because he has left a mark of greatness in everything that he touches. In the domain of education, his footprint in secondary education in the North West Region is unbeatable. Implicitly, the Ministry of Secondary education owes him much for contributing enormously in molding young Cameroon. In the domain of Higher education, he set the pace with the creation of Polytechnic Bambui which today stands as the symbol of standards in the region.  Unconditionally, the Ministry of Higher Education will have a primordial role to bit him farewell. In the domain of sports and athletics, he was the founder and President of Yong Sport Academy and another rising football team, Polytechnic FC. It is thanks to Yong Sport Academy that Bamenda had a glimpse of the Cameroon Cup. And besides that he was also a very active member of Olympic committee from the North West Region. For these reasons, the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education is also expected at his burial. In the domain of Communication, Pa Yong was also the proprietor of CNTV and Abakwa FM, two media outfits that have stood the taste of time in the North West Region. This is also enough reason for the Ministry of Communication to be part of his burial ceremony.
However, if all these activities of his don’t deserve an official burial from that state, who then would be given another school of thought holds. It is no more news that the Presidency of the Republic is aware that Bobe Yong is no more. More so, President Biya is aware that one of those who developed the educational sector in the North West Region into an enviable industry was Pa Yong. And the last minute respect that (he) President Biya can only the man who spent his whole life contributing towards nation building will be by honouring the departed hero with an official and or State burial, majority of Northwesterners say. This is so because there is no way that one can talk about education, sports and communication in Cameroon without mentioning the name of Pa Yong.

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

CONAC Report Indicts Iya Mohammed, Kollo Basile, others

By Cherrylane Mbimbi
The National Anti Corruption Commission-CONAC headed by Rev. Dieudonne Massi Gams released its 2012 Annual report on the fight against corruption in Cameroon. The report which was made public last December 20, 2013 at the Yaounde Conference Centre revealed that within a period of ten years, 113,257,210,246 FCFA was siphoned at the Cameroon Cotton Development Company-SODECOTTON, where Iya Mohammed was General Manager. The report also indicted the Government Delegate to the Nkongsamba City Council. It revealed that with just two vehicles in its parking, the Government Delegate to the Nkongsamba City Council, Dr. Kollo Basile was buying fuel to the tune of 3.5 million FCFA per month.
Rev. Diudonne Massi Gams expressed joy that Cameroonians have developed a lot of trust in what the National Anto-corruption commission is doing given that the numbers of complaints have registered an impressive increase. Harping on the numbers of complaints, Rev. Massi Gams observed with satisfaction that in 2012, some 208 cases of corruption were denounced as compared to 1274 denunciations in 2011, 482 cases in 2010 and 312 cases in 2009. This according to Rev. Massi Gams paved the way for the creation of the Special Criminal Court and the Ministry of Public Contracts as well as the spiraling of corrupt officials by the Supreme State Audit. The civil society and the private sector, he remarked have also been very instrumental in the fight against corruption in Cameroon by making a significant contribution in the struggle. On the staffing situation of CONAC, Rev. Massi Gams regretted that the poor staffing situation at his disposal remains a perpetual handicap. With the increasing number of cases reported by Cameroonians, CONAC he said needs enough staff and cars to intervene whenever the need arises.
It should be noted that in the past years, a good number of former Ministers, Directors of State Corporations as well as Secretary Generals at the Presidency of the republic and a former Prime Minister have been arrested and sentenced for siphoning state funds. However, critical minds are of the opinion that the fight against corruption has been transformed into settling of scores. With Sparrow Hawk, pillars of the Biya regime like former Prime Minister Chief Ephraim Inoni, Marafat Hamidou Yaya, Atangana Mebara, Gerald Ondong Ndong, Urbain Oleguena Owono, Iya Mohammed, Titus Edzoa, Zachs Forjindam, etc are in prison. Yet a school of thought holds that the fight against corruption in Cameroon is smoked screen and that the real economic gangsters are moving free while those who in one way or the other opposed President Biya were tagged with embezzlement charges and arrested.


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

Elderly Persons Challenge Cameroon Senate & Parliament

The 4th regional convention of the Elderly persons in the North West Region of Cameroon has ended in
CDVTA Volunteers
Kumbo with a clarion call on Senators and Parliamentarians to look into the problems of elderly persons in Cameroon. Meeting in Kumbo under the umbrella of the Community Development Volunteers for Technical Assistance-CDVTA, elderly people drawn from Boyo, Ngoketunjia and Bui Divisions of the North West Region lamented that Cameroon doesn't provide social security measures for the elderly. Harping on the necessity for them to live happily at their ages, they called on the Senate and Parliament a vote a law that will protect their rights and guarantee their livilihood given that it is a stage in life reserved for everyone except otherwise.  The 4th Regional Convention of the Elderly that took place on December 12, 2013 was another opportunity for the elderly to commune together ahead of Christmas and New Year. 
Speaking at the 4th Regional Convention at the Tobin Municipal Stadium, the Director of CDVTA, Njuakom Francis re-echoed that CDVTA was created to respond to the call of the United Nations. According to Njuakom Francis, it is the wish of the elderly persons that their rights are given them. This he added could become true only if Parliament vote laws that puts government to task in promoting a national policy for the elderly. The issue of the elderly he emphasized should be debated in Parliament and the Senate. Accordingly, Njuakom Francis called on the elderly persons to be shinning examples in their communities. He applauded President Biya as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs for doing much for the elderly persons. Harping on how the welfare of the elderly persons has evolved since 1998 that CDVTA was created, Njuakom Francis noted with statisfaction that  CDVTA has introduced alot of income generating activities to sustain the them. These activities he said range from organic farming, small livestock rearing, setting up corn mills and cassava mills. Besides, he also revealed that CDVTA also help in the acquisition of Identity cards amongst others.
On the other hand, the SDO for Bui Division, Nzeki Theophile appreciated the efforts so far put in place by CDVTA in promoting the activities of the elderly. SDO Nzeki Theophile also applauded the elderly persons for the part they played in the reunification of Cameroon and reccomended to all the young men and women not to neglect and or abandoned.
It should be recalled that last year elderly persons constituted themselves to present New Year wishes to government. That was barely a month after the December 5, 2012 3rd National Convention of the Elderly people in Cameroon staged at the behest of the Community Development Volunteer for Technical Assistance, CDVTA. This body headed by Francis Njuakom Nchii stands as the undisputed leading crusader for the rights of the elderly people in Cameroon. The strive of CDVTA has been acknowledged by varied personalities in Cameroon, including the Prime Minister Philemon Yang and Bakang Mbock, Minister of Social Affairs respectively. Last Wednesday January 16, 2013 therefore when CDVTA led a delegation of elderly people to present New Year wishes to Minister Bakang Mbock, it was a pointer of the body towards reinforcing its commitment and partnership with government, to alleviate poverty  the plight of the elderly in Cameroon.
It was Wilfred Mundama, the Program Manager of CDVTA at the head of the delegation to Yaounde. The venue was the City Council Hall. Traditionally, the presentation of New Year wishes is limited to handshakes for a few seconds with the minister. But then, with Mundama led CDTVA team, the scenario was different.
Minister Bakang Mbock took over 10 minutes to receive New Year wishes from the CDVTA and the elderly. This was in fact a special delegation as a bouquet of flower and a special gift was presented by CDVTA to the minister. She was visibly thrilled by the group and exchanged of pleasantries with them. 
 
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two Young Men Wanted Dead or Alive for Addicating Obnoxious Traditional Rites (Enthronment)

 By Baweson Ngwanyi

The kingmakers of Bangang village in Bamboutous in the Western Region have held a certain Kamnga Jean who is supposed to be the second chosen leader of the tribe as prescribed by tradition for attempting to run away from the village. However, to the utter dismay of Bangang villagers, their supposed heir to the throne of Bangang, Ndemeni Cosmas suddenly disappeared and could not be located by the royal hunters who searched everywhere for him to no avail.  As the search  intensifies, anxiety is said to have heightened on the part of close relations and tempers flared on the part of King Makers who felt that the family is willfully making things difficult for them by flouting tradition. Kamnga Jean, the then second choice we gathered was whisked off by jujus and his whereabout is unknown.  Kingmakers, we gathered have maintained sealed lips over the issue.For fear of persecution and excommunication, Kanmga's family is being traumatized in silence.
Another pathetic is reported in Bui, in the North West Region. The story goes that a self-styled chief and his gang  invaded the Ngashong Mbam palace wrecking havoc as they carted away all the artifacts. Tongues are still waging in Ngashong Mbam over the invasion of the palace. According to what we gathered a certain Binsiyuy Ivo Nkoye, who claims to be the rightful heir to the throne masterminded the attack. According to a complaint lodged at the office of the   Divisional Officer of Mbiame, Binsiyuy and his gang stormed the palace with plans to eliminate the newly enthroned fon. Reports hold that the young men ransacked and looted the Ngashong Mbam palace in the face of helpless women and men when they could not lay hands on Ngalim Michael, the supposed heir to the throne of Ngashong Mbam. It is alleged that Ngalim Michael sneaked out of the village and rushed to the DO’s office to inform him but he was not in town. He then rushed to inform the judicial police, public security and the gendarmerie brigade in Mbiame. The heads of the two police services immediately rushed to the Ngashong-Mbam Palace to witness the attack.Matters came to a head when the security officers said they could not arrest the looters without an authorization from the DO for Mbiame.
Genesis
The Fon of Ngashong-Mbam died on October 30, 2008, and as tradition demands all his children were summoned three days after his death to discuss succession issues. One of his sons, Ngalim Michael was chosen as the heir to the throne. Ngalim Michael was soon after taken to the secret forest for traditional rites in the course of which he was sexually assaulted by one of the kingmakers. After a series of rituals, he was finally presented to the villagers as their new chief on 12 December 2008.Ngalim Michael did not like the traditional rituals and reported himself to his pastor, Ngang Denis. A day after he reported the case to the pastor, the Man of God’s house was attacked and ransacked.
After several trials and tribulations, Ngalim Michael is said to have escaped to Douala from where sources say he succeeded to escape the wrath of the king makers of Ngashong Mbam who have vowed to snuff life out of him for desecrating their tradition. The recent bloody uprisings in the village have been put directly on the run away Ngalim Michael who is said to be at the centre of the calamity .For this reason, the kingmakers say even if he refuses to come to the village and is spotted anywhere on the national territory, they will meet him wherever he is and execute their mission either physically or any mysterious means. Ngalim whose whereabout is unknown is wanted for abdicating the throne. One of the sisters who preferred not to be named told this reporter that they are afraid that their brother was killed by the looters. "We have not heard from him since he left the village. I don't know whether he is still alive or not", he cried out.
Even though human rights activists have been advocating for the abolition of obnoxious traditional practices, it has constantly felt on deaf ears. To better understand the reason for the flight of these youngsters it will be good to shed light on the nature of royal inheritance especially in the West and North West Regions where tradition is highly respected. Examples of people running away from enthronement in these two Regions in Cameroon abound. Being a Traditional Ruler in some of the tribes of the North West and West Regions is not an experience that any youngster looking forward to furthering his studies and getting propulsed in the world would want to pass through. Examples of Natural Leaders running away from their thrones in these parts of the country abound. One of the well known Cameroonian University Dons Dr. Anthony Ndi was sort after in the same manner to become the Ruler of his village years back when he was the Principal of Government High School Limbe in the South West Region of Cameroon. How he eventually escaped the throne can be attributed to his influence and network of influential and strategically placed friends. Constant flights from thrones are due to the type of life you are supposed to lead once you are enthroned. With the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, it is pathetic that once enthroned the young fon inherits everything including wives of the dead leader. More so, the new fon also undergoes certain ritualistic initiations with strong spiritual undertones that any normal modern kid will not endure. Though the intensity of these traditional practices are reducing, they are still practiced to a great extent in these Regions. In some areas, the enthroned fon would have to keep a close watch of the “Kwifon or Ngomba” for seven years. During the seven years, he would not visit their home except at nights for meal. Nobody would be allowed to see his face except those who have been initiated into the secret society. One family member who spoke to us on grounds not to be named for fear of being excommunicated from the village said the leaders of the village have refused to understand that some obnoxious parts of tradition should be dropped yet continue with impunity to frustrate young men in the name of tradition
.

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