|Ndansi Elvis: NUDP National Youth President|
The National Youth President of the National Union for Democracy and Progress-NUDP has made a critical analysis of President Biya’s New Year Speech. Ndansi Elvis Nukam in his reaction said the speech was full of lamentations but that he admired the emotions that President Biya expressed to show that things have gone out of hand with the generation who cannot change. In his analysis Ndansi Elvis remarked that “President Paul Biya’s speech of December 31, 2013 was like the other past speeches, full of drama and well built up language but in terms of meaning, I haven’t seen much from the speech”.
Harping on the content and the take-home message, he added that “It should be a policy speech with stock-taking and projections for next year with time frame included and not just lamentations for the past year”.
Ndansi Elvis also commented that even though the speech was empty, he observed a mark of difference in the emotions exhibited by the Head of State “The difference is that I saw some other aspects of him in the speech that I have not seen during the past years, that is, the emotional composition of the speech, meaning that it has reach a state where things have gone wrong to the point that the Head of State is so emotional about the state of affairs in this country. That is one remark that I noted of him”.
On President Biya giving a positive note to ELECAM, he said that he was shocked at the shower of praises “he started by praising ELECAM despite all the fraud and I think that they could have done better if they had the political will but as the captain he has to praise them because he is the one who put them in place. He went further to talk of our football team and to me that is good. In fact all of us are praying that the Lions should go ahead. It is good that the Head of State gave them such a motivation in his speech”.
On the take home on President Biya’s rhetorical questions, Ndansi Elvis observed that the Head of State “talked about the economy which is what Cameroonians are concerned about. But instead of playing the role of the leader, he rather was asking questions which are questions that he is suppose to answer. Let me make this simple demonstration. If you are the captain of a ship and the ship is about to shipwreck or loose it direction, you don’t expect to turn as captain of the ship and ask the passengers on board what to do or what do we do? Whereas all the others are looking at you as the captain onboard then it becomes puzzling. I expected the Head of state should be the one to tell us in his speech why regions are not able to execute their budgets up to 50%, that civil servants have self interest etc. These are questions that the Head of State is supposed to call cabinet meetings with his ministers and ask them. How will he come at the end of the year and he is asking Cameroonians these questions? Take for example a farmer in the village who lives every morning to work on his/her farm and is looking for money to send children to school to answer questions on inertia and bottle necks in budget execution. He should have asked the questions to those who are directly concern like the ministers. How many times have the Head of state call cabinet meetings in this country to talk to his ministers about moving forward. So asking that question to Cameroonians to me was embarrassing”.
In a critical look at the new roadmap for the health sector, Ndansi Elvis said the President also talked about “the health sector and especially the resurgent of malaria in the Northern regions. What I was expecting him to tell was the actions that the Ministry of Public health will take this year to make sure that the situation is brought under control. It is pathetic that we continue to depend on international aids on very sensitive health issues like malaria that is responsible for many deaths in our country. I looked through the budget of the Ministry of Public Health for 2014 and I was so embarrassed that the budget is less than FCFA 800 million including the acquisition of treated mosquito bed nets, anti malarias and rapid diagnosis tests. How can a country like Cameroon not allocate at least a billion to combat a devastating and sensitive health issue like malaria? He also said that the health map of Cameroon will change due to the increment in Referral Hospitals. The health situation of this country is indicative of the health map of Cameroon and we cannot be talking of a Referral Hospital in Sangmelima which is just a few kilometers from Yaounde. Or a Gyneco-Obstetric Referral Hospital in Douala and Yaounde when the North West and South West Regions will have take vehicles to travel long distances to get there. We cannot be talking of a change in the health map of the country when we are referring to the locations that are already over-burdened with referral hospitals. I think if we are talking of a health map, we should be talking of a Pediatric hospital in the Northern Regions, and maybe an Auto-Pedic Referral Hospital in the North West due to the high rate of motorbike accidents and so on. There are many other issues that if the department of health was able to carry out evidence based diagnosis of the health situation there would haven’t have being this mixed up”.
He lamented that President Biya avoided talking of the Reunification Celebrations which many Cameroonians expected seemingly because “if he did not talk about the Reunification celebration to me is that the best way since to bring argument is to avoid the argument.
In all, what I admired about the speech is the emotion with which he spoke and I think if he uses that the same emotion to call all the stakeholders to order especially in his next government by putting the right people in the right place. Let him not forget that there is much energy in the youth. He should have the trust in the youths of Cameroon to put them in ministerial position because the older generation is use to the old dance and they cannot change. The youth have the love for the country and the energy that can bring about change. He should start believing in the youths and giving them positions of responsibilities if he wants change”.
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