· Challenges Wimbum CPDM Development Talkative(s) to Show Evidences of their 10 and 11 Years in Government in terms of development projects in Donga Mantung Division especially in Mbum land
The Member of Parliament for Donga Mantung Centre Constituency, Hon. Awudu Mbaya
Cyprian has said that it is now time
those who have been talking about development as if it is an item that is
hanged somewhere to present what they have contributed for the Development of
Donga Mantung Division in the North West Region of Cameroon. In an exclusive
interview with this reporter in Nkambe, Hon. Awudu Mbaya insisted that the (Wi)mbum
political elite(s) should present just a single development project they
lobbied and obtained for the people of Donga Mantung during their 21 years in
government if not only of the houses they constructed in Nkambe and Mbiyeh
respectively. He also challenged other top civil servants of Mbum land to also
show their contributions as well. Hon. Awudu Mbaya in reaction to the
widespread propaganda that Donga Mantung Centre Constituency should be
separated outlined that it is pathetic that the same people who are preaching
national unity are the same people trying to divide their own base simply
because someone wants to be appointed Prime Minister at all cost. He prescribed
that Donga Mantung politician especially the “nwembum” politician should
emulate from the Santa people where during politics they express their
bitterness in public but when politics is over they all enter into one vehicle
for cry dies, etc.
|Hon. Awudu Mbaya|
To Hon. Awudu, the time for bitter politics was during elections and after elections; nothing will change. Those who have won in the CPDM and the SDF will remain in power after five years, he added. After presenting a sunshade of his Parliamentary largess, he called on the Wimbum political elite(s) to reverse their trends of thinking and called on the CPDM talkative development champions to go to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization to collect the document for the creation of Far North West / or Savannah Region to take it to President Biya for endorsement. This, he said will not only create constituencies but will be an instrument of Development. Excepts
You were at the Nkambe Grandstand on May 20th to take part in activities marking the 42nd National Day celebration, could you say National Integration and Unity was portrayed?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. In fact, I observed that the vast majority of the people of Nkambe Central are peace loving people; and it has always been our pleasure to commemorate this memorable date that is quite significant to us as a nation. It is a way to pay homage to the people who fought for the reunification of Cameroon even though during the plebiscite the then Nkambe Division voted to go to Nigeria. But majority of Northwesterners and Southwesterners voted for reunification. After reunification, Donga Mantung has fully integrated itself into this system of unity in diversity. So the vast majority of the Division, I would say without mixing words that they march action with words. When we are talking of Donga Mantung, we are only talking of the indigenes; we are also talking of those who have come from all over Cameroon to live here. The Constitution gives a clear-cut on National Integration and it states that every Cameroonian should feel free wherever he/she lives and only respects the laws of the land. I think the people living here have and will as usual participate fully in national integration and that’s why they showed up massively to participated in May 20th celebrations.
What reading do you make of the placards that were displayed by some CPDM militants during march-pass at the Nkambe Grandstand?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: It is their rights to express their feelings; I mean the few disgruntle people. I know you are driving to somebody who brought up a placard requesting that the MP is not needed here in Nkambe; and that the MP should go to Ndu. That to me is a non-event because it does not change the situation. My mother and father were born in Nkambe Central and I am a native of this area. Besides, I am the MP for Donga Mantung Centre which comprises of Ndu and Nkambe and if I were staying in Ndu I will still be representing the people of Ndu and Nkambe. The only thing is that they are being pushed by politicians that I think ought to have understood the rules of the game before venturing into politics. I am very sure that they entered into politics blindly; they didn’t know this demarcation of constituencies. The constituencies are not created by me; they are created by the administration. The Constitution gives the Head of state the prerogative to define administrative units (constituencies) for MPs. That is how the head of state used his prerogative to segment Misaje/Ako as a Special Constituency and Nwa too as another Special Constituency. He left Donga Mantung Centre which comprises of Ndu and Nkambe to remain as the main constituency. More so, in creating the Donga Mantung Centre, President Biya took into consideration the cultural values and traditional setup of the Mbum people. The fact that Donga Mantung Centre comprises of the (Wi)mbum tribe, the head of state I think also took into cognizance the unity of the (Wi)mbum people; and we are talking of Unity here. And if somebody or a group is advocating for the separation of the Donga Mantung Centre Constituency for Nkambe to become a Special Constituency and Ndu becoming another, and the entire Division will made up of Special Constituencies, it is left to the person that has powers to do it and he can only do so in future if he deems it very necessary. But to do it after the game so that somebody will fulfill his personal interest now; I do not want to think that it is possible and that is why I, Hon. Awudu Mbaya and my followers (here I am talking about people who reason; people who attaches themselves to the unity of the Mbum people) will continue to advocate for the unity of Mbum people. But if tomorrow, Ndu and Nkambe are also separated as Special Constituencies then we will surely beat the record of Special Constituencies in Cameroon.
You mean the idea is being propagated for selfish interest and not for development purposes?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: Well, what I know is that some people who are well-placed; indisputably members of the central committee of the CPDM, members of SDF-NEC or political leaders, feel that the Mbum people should be separated into Special Constituencies for them to achieve their selfish aims so that somebody must to go to Parliament or so that somebody must be appointed Prime Minister to the detriment of the unity of the (Wi)mbum people. It is pathetic that we are preaching one thing and doing the other. You cannot be an advocate of national unity at the same time advocating for separation at your own base.
There are these two schools of thought and I am leading the crusade for the unity of Mbum people because I think of those that are out of this Division; I think of our people that are united in the Diasporas under the umbrella of Wimbum Cultural and Development Association-WICUDA. I also think of our people that are in and out of this Division and they are grouped under the same development umbrella association. I imagine of the integration, interwoven relationship that exists within us for years. For example you can not make a demarcation of the Warr people, segment or separate them from the others. You cannot segment the Wiya people. You cannot fragment the Witang people. They are one people even though they have their clans. In Nkambe Central, you have the Tang, Warr and Wiya people. In Ndu sub Division you have the same Tang, Warr and Wiya people. So, these are one people and they speak one language.
They have one common culture and you want them to be separated? To me, politics is to unite people and not to divide them for selfish tendencies. Implicitly, if we were in Ako, we should be advocating for the separation of Ako from Misaje. Is Donga Mantung Centre the only constituency with two Parliamentarians, I would say no. Mfoundi Division is a single Constituency with seven Parliamentarians; Boyo Division is a single Constituency with two Parliamentarians etc, etc. So, why is it that the Nkambe situation very peculiar? The answer is very clear, because somebody must go to Parliament in replacement of Hon. Awudu and someone wants to be appointed Prime Minister by all cost. Who told you that you must win elections by all cost to be appointed Prime Minister? The two former Prime Minister that were appointed from Fako Division in the South West Region didn’t win any elections before they were appointed. I think those who are advocating for the separation of the (Wi)mbum people must take into consideration all the parameters, such as the Wimbum Cultural and Development Associations (at home and the Diasporas). Take for example WICUDA that we have invested much in it, they want to separate it for political gains. God forbid. It is not of my habit to discuss insults. In fact I inherited one thing from Late Hon. Tamfu, that is; a politician only does what is good for his people.
I attach a lot of importance to the interest of the people of Donga Mantung Division. That is why since 1997 that I went to Parliament, all my efforts and plans were geared towards transforming lives in Donga Mantung Division. I never slept at night without thinking of my people. I did everything humanly possible to execute a good number of development projects we have here. Today I hear people saying that if you want development, you must join the ruling party or government party. But I know people who have been ministers here from time immemorial including the two recent ones. I am talking here of the two Ministers of Mbum land. Let them show me one particular thing that they have done in Donga Mantung Division. I mean concrete things that they can show to the people. Yet they were in Government and I believe that was the time they would have carried out or brought in development projects for the people of Donga Mantung Division. Is it now that they are not in government that they will do what they could do for the people of Donga Mantung or it is now that government knows that Donga Mantung exists?
Concretely, what are some of the development project you have carried out since you became MP?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: To me, development is an ongoing process that will go on until we die and others takeover. It is an ongoing process that is accompanied by concrete actions and realizations which generate positive impacts on the lives of everyone. Among all those who smelt the corridors of power in this Division for close to 21 years, who is that person who can challenge me as far as instilling development is concerned? I am talking of tangible realizations that people can see or feel them in our communities. People can only be wicked or dishonest by refusing to recognize the number of projects I have lobbied and or executed in this Division since 1997. Let me just select some few instances to justify my statement. When was voted Member of Parliament, CRTV signals were not received in Donga Mantung Division. I crusaded, wrote series of correspondences, contacted the officials’ in-charge and did everything for us to have signals. I did all these because our culture was going towards Nigeria, I mean risk being absorbed. By then we had someone in government yet he was not prepared to fight for the people to have access to information.
Today, we have about six radio stations in Donga Mantung. To be candid, I started it and many others followed. People only emulate what is good. I established Savannah Radio in Nkambe, in Ndu and recently I also bought Dang Batouri Radio and transformed it to Dang Awudu. Somebody also created Dang Batouri in Ndu emulating from what I have done. Even what is DMCR today, I was at the forefront of its initiation. I went right to the manufacturer, transported the equipment from Douala to Nkambe and I also brought technicians from the UK and USA to install the equipment. I did not end at that, in addition to that, I also established the lone Television Channel in a rural setup in the North West Region and precisely in Nkambe. It is Millennium Television that is keeping the population of Nkambe as CRTV signals have gone off our TV screens again.
As a matter of fact, I did not create any of these media outfits to insult people. So, in my tenure of office, I can be proud that there are five radio stations in Ndu and Nkambe. Out of these five radio station, I personally have been running the three radio stations and one tv channel from my pocket with no subvention from anywhere. The people do not pay to listen to the radio or watch TV; I pay for them to enjoy these facilities. I give incentives to those who are sacrificing everyday to inform the public. I pay electricity, pay rents, pay water bills etc, in fact what else can I do for the people of Donga Mantung Division. Let one of these persons who are talking of development every hour of the day show me just one of the things they did when they were members of government. I mean just one thing. I have been contributing significantly and I will continue to do it for the population of Donga Mantung. It is unfortunate that our former members of government can only show their houses in Nkambe and Mbiyeh respectively. If you build a toilet worth hundred of FCFA billions, how does it contribute to the development of the area when it doesn’t have any impact on the lives of your surrounding neigbours. Will people leave their houses to ease themselves there? If that is the kind of development we are advocating for then we are on the wrong side of history.
Could you just give us a gist of other development projects that you have carried out since 1997?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: The list is very long. For your information, before 1997, Mbot village had no electricity. Even though Kungi supplied Nkambe with the power plant, they were segmented and they did not have electricity. Wat, Tabenken, Njap, Chup, Mbaah, Konchep, sop, Taku, (Luh, although still to be installed), Ngarum, Chup, Ntumbau did not have electricity. But today, there is electricity in all these villages. I just received a letter today from the Minister of Water and Energy who has just written to me acknowledging the receipt of my letter in which I applied for the use of solar energy in this division and in his reply Minister wrote that he has given firm instructions that not only has the proposal been approved; it will be implemented subsequently and inserted into the budget by next year. This letter came to me through the Post Office. It is an indication that I am not sleeping yet people who represented us in government cannot even show what they lobbied from their colleague ministers in terms of development projects are now talking of development as if it is today that they know the people of Donga Mantung need development.
I want somebody just to show me anything concrete that this is what I did went I was minister. Is it only today that they know that there is something known as development. Where were all of them when we were not receiving CRTV signals or when we had no radio station here? Or they would say that government did not know? We cannot leave everything in the hands of government; that is why we have to make our own little contribution in nation building. I don’t want to be angry. I have just said that people have the right to say what they think but I can only do what is good for my people.
Can you commit to memory where you carried out your first micro project?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: When I took over from Hon. Tamfu, the community hall where we now celebrate all our events was completely abandoned. My first micro project was used in the renovation of that hall. I did renovation works inside and outside that hall to give it the look it has today. Besides, I think I am among the few Parliamentarians who have used micro project money to carryout giant projects like the construction of bridges. For example, I constructed the bridge leading to the quarter where the Colonel of the military is living in Nkambe. I used micro project money to construct so many other bridges. There are three bridges in Tabenken which I constructed. (I contributed in the construction of the bridge leading the catholic mission Health Centre in Tabenken) I want all those who represented us in government to challenge this. Let them show us any bridge they ever constructed while in government. I would ask whether those in authority at the time did not know that the people needed those bridges. I also constructed the unity bridge linking Wat and Mbaah villages at Mbuwarr. Besides, I supported the construction of the bridge at Mbabi-Wat which was initiated by the Douala branch of Wat Cultural and Development Association-WADECA which I personally inaugurated.
In the domain of education, I lobbied for the creation of Primary and Secondary schools beginning with Mbuwarr, Mbot, Binka, Njap, Chup etc. By 1997 when I was entering Parliament there were just a handful of educational institutions here but today almost every village has a primary school, all zones have colleges. In fact when I am talking of lobbying, it is not bribing. I am talking of booking audiences, meeting ministers and Directors to present or put the need of the people on the table as well as give a picture of what is needed and how it will be useful so that somebody sees it importance.
How many people did that? There are private schools, mission schools and Islamic schools that I have also supported in either the construction or roofing. Take for example the wind disaster at PSS, I supported because the children studying there are all Cameroonians. There many of such interventions I do them on daily.
Since I became MP, we have participated or roofed so many churches in Donga Mantung. There is no palace in Nkambe Central and to the larger extend Ndu sub Division that someone can say that they have not benefitted from my Parliamentary largess or a glass-cup from Hon. Awudu. Let alone the renovation or construction of these palaces. Today, you have the military having a band in Nkambe, most of those civilians in that band were trained by me in Douala. I bought a band and handed to the Nkambe council.
Before 1997, Nkambe had no grandstand, but it is the former mayor of Nkambe, Mangoh Jones Tanko that constructed the befitting grandstand which was named after HRH the Fon of Nkambe. It is second only to the Bamenda Grandstand constructed by government during the 50th anniversary of the Armed Forces. There is no council structure like the Nkambe Council Chamber constructed by Mayor Mangoh. The municipal stadium you have here is only second to the Mankon Municipal stadium which I have not yet received all the payment.
Many health centres were constructed through my support; I have even donated equipment to many of these health centres and or I did the feasibility studies for the creation of the centres. I want those who have been talking about development as if it is a thing that is hanged somewhere to raise a finger and show us what they did when they were in government.
Do you feel disturbed when some people say you have done nothing?
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: Nothing will stop me from doing what I have been doing. Even those that are insulting me, I will continue to lobby for projects for their own villages and if I have the possibility of carrying out more projects I will not hesitate. Insults will not change Awudu that was yesterday; is today and will be tomorrow. I said before that I do not want to discuss people, I only discuss issues. I think I have given you a general picture of some development projects in a basket full of what I have done. I know somebody will come tomorrow to say that he brought SASH Halls to Nkambe. Is that all a minister can bring to his people? Those were grants from the German government or NGO, whosoever. My problem is that we should not only be talking development but should be seen putting it into practice for the benefit of the people.
People are talking of development today as if it is a thing that will be done now if Cameroon becomes one party system, (CPDM as it was the case before I took over). They talk as if development will just fall from somewhere and everything will just be up. It has not happened like that in Yaounde, Douala and other big cities and it can not start with Nkambe.
People should also remember that I took over from a CPDM bigwig who was the lone CPDM member of the political bureau from the North West. He was also Parliamentarian for several years and they were other Parliamentarians in Donga Mantung (they were four of them). I want anyone to challenge me and show me one concrete thing. Be it a bridge or shed that was constructed anywhere in the Division. I have constructed market sheds. I did that in Wat, Binka, Tabenken, Njap, Bisnhua, Ngie etc. Let them show me if one of them did anything. Were they not in the CPDM? Make your findings and tell the public. Were all of us not in the CPDM before when we were in a one party system? Some of these today politicians who are claiming to be in the CPDM don’t even know how this party was created.
In fact, I was present and I participated actively at the Congress that led to the creation of the CPDM. Why could development not come at that time and why only now or why is that today people are singing that we must all join the party in power for development to come. May be they do not know that it is the responsibility of government to develop every other place in the country.
If we have done all what I have just mentioned, it is because the SDF laid down transparency as the corner stone of democracy. That is why we go as far as using our own money for our people; adding to what is given us as micro project money. It is a mishap that even people who cannot afford a salary of FCFA 200.000 per month are saying that they want people to join the ruling party so that development will follow. Can someone clearly tell me which type of development are they always talking about? In fact these are some of the things that people should know.
Let me be clear that before we took over as MPs for Donga Mantung Centre, nothing concrete was done. Is it only today that development will come? Ever since I was voted MP, government had never appointed any SDF militant as minister; all those ministers were CPDM militants. People should know that Paul Biya appoints ministers from different areas to also work for their people and not for him. Why is it that our two former ministers did not work for us? Can any of them tell us why? We have seen other ministers working for their people, so why is it that when they were in government they could not bring the much talk-about development? Can they tell us why they could not bring the development at that time that they were well-placed? Is it now that they are no more members of government that they will bring development? Let them stop deceiving the population. They are not even shameful that for 21 years they represented the interest of this Division in Government yet did nothing for Ako, Nwa, Misaje, and not to talk of Ndu and Nkambe. Since they say charity begins at home, what they did was to construct houses in Nkambe and Mbiyeh. Is that the type of development that we are talking about? Or we must all enroll into the CPDM before the charity will be extended to next doors?. In fact government is supposed to develop every area. That is the objective of the government. The Parliamentarian is not going to replace the government. We only compliment government actions.
We have one project which is a general cry, the creation of the Far North West Region or say Savannah Region whereby Donga Mantung is expected to be raised to a region. Can any of them tell the people of Donga Mantung Division why government has not done that? That is what we called development. Yet everyday, our Wimbum CPDM advocates continue to talk on abstracts. We have been crusading for it and I hope that tomorrow when it finally comes, somebody will not climb on tree tops to announce that he has done this or that for it to happen. We have been crusading and I think it is an idea that we inherited from Late Hon. Tamfu which should one day come to reality.
And let me make it clear here that in the course of lobbying, we presented a map of all the administrative units that could be created as well. To me, if a Division is created in Nwa, Ndu, Nkambe, Misaje, Ako etc it is an instrument of development. Government is all of us. Let nobody fool you that because you are in the opposition, you are not part of government. No! So, therefore, the ruling party has completely refused to create this administrative unit. When I heard someone talking of creating special constituencies in Ndu and Nkambe, I would say the best way is for the so-called member of the central committee of the CPDM to tell Biya to create the Far North West Region. He will listen to you and do it promptly. By that time, Ndu and Nkambe will also benefit by having separate Divisions. We will no more be talking of Constituencies again. I think if you think that you are a development champion, support us by taking these documents which are laying in the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization and ask Paul Biya to sign the decree today. If that is done, we will now be able to diversify our development project and not keep on talking of voting or frustrating people to run away from the council so that we will bring development. Did I not construct the Green House at Binka?
I think it is time for all these top civil servants to show us where they have done for the Wimbum people. The most interesting thing is that even those who do have houses in native villages will insult Awudu and say that Awudu has not done anything in Donga Mantung. Let them come and show us one little thing. There are so many of them who like empty vessels make the loudest of noise.
Your last Words
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian: As I said during my civic reception, after elections, I think it is time for us to bury all our hatchets in order to concentrate on development efforts in our area and all other sub divisions. Time for bitter politics was during elections and after elections; nothing will change. Those who have won in the CPDM and the SDF will remain in power after five years. So, don’t bother yourself; but you can do your homework. I invite politicians to reverse their trench of thinking that something can be changed. If they are true leaders what they have to do is to fetch for development projects for their people. That is the only thing that can help us and the common man not this politics of bitterness to tear the people apart. And of course I am not one of those who should contribute in tearing the people apart. I love all my people of Donga Mantung including those who hate me. I still love them because they are my people.
I wanted to talk about the present dispensation in our country. We are faced with a very serious problem. The problem of Boko Haram and I think it is a kind of thing to focus on and education our people to help in supporting the forces of law and order; to help the administration; put a strong barrier to this kind of phenomenon so that it should not reach Cameroon through our Division, Donga Mantung. I think that is what we should be talking about given that in the neighboring country, you cannot go to church freely, you cannot go to the mosque freely, school, markets, and or attend a public ceremony freely because of the uncertainty or because somebody can just bring a bomb and plant to kill innocent people. Political problems should be solved by politicians, so we are called upon to serve by collaborating with the intelligence of the republic, the administration, the fons, chiefs, ardos, etc and of course all those who are in authority. Traders as well should join hands because if this situation gets here they will not be able to do their trade freely. Instead of talking about how Awudu should go to Ndu; Awudu is a small boy etc, which will not help us for now. We need to contribute to true peace in our nation because we are in a situation where we have declared war without knowing who the enemy is. Let our country be in peace so that we can be able to make the field level for politics of development, social activities etc.
I want to thank the clergy people and people of Donga Mantung who are of goodwill, people who have supported us up to this material moment. I also want to thank all those who have made contributions for the development of the area and the social cohesion. I think it is time for us to emulate what is taking place in other places. In Santa for example, you will see bitterness during politics and after that the people remain brothers and sisters, they even enter one vehicle for cry-dies and others. Whether you like it or not, today is Awudu; tomorrow it will be another person. Let us give respect to the people in authority. I am talking about the administration, our chiefs etc etc.
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