Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Guardian Post National Award of Excellence: How Bamenda II Mayor Balick Awah Fidelis Won Big

Balick Awah Fidelis

One of the major challenges nationwide has been the capability of some elected officials to tackle development process in their sphere of influence. In 2014, the Bamenda II Council entered into record when the Minister of Territorial Administration personally inaugurated a magnificent edifice constructed by the mayor.  To grease this landmark achievement, the mayor of Bamenda II Council, Balick Awah Fidelis was recently honoured by The Guardian Post Newspaper as Best Mayor of The Year. This is so because Balick Awah has been able to delineate that politics is development and that alleviating poverty and miseries in rural areas is precedence of priority that makes politics and development bedmates. 
Life, they say is a combination of trials and tribulations but great people look beyond trials and tribulations. They look beyond the horizon that appears to be the end of the world and see other opportunities that nobody imagines can exist. And their interested act of dreaming, acting and realizing the dreams have positive multiplier effect on society. This is because they are born with talent and to make things happen, they combine talent with hard work and determination. The very essence of rural development is that you need to have vision since you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. Nevertheless, innovation distinguishes between a great politician and a charlatan. 
Balick Awah Fidelis has proven beyond reasonable doubts to be a great developer. While at the helm of the Bamenda II Council he has taken development to the doorsteps of his people with the “Small Money Big Project Initiative” with councilors. But unlike ordinary visionaries who see far and remain on their original position, Mayor Balick does not wait on the spot for things to happen for his municipality. As a great lobbyist, he lobbied and obtained financial support from FEICOM, PNDP, GP DERUDEP and other partners in development to achieve his vision. The most interesting thing about this innovative mayor voted by readers of The Guardian Post as Best Mayor of the year is found in the knack that he has rumbles of serious innovative ideas that have kept afloat all development initiatives. For these reasons, Mayor Balick is succeeding where others have fumbled, stumbled and tumbled over. 
Rudyard Kipling, one of the finest English writers once said that “if you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat the two the same, yours is earth and everything that is in it”. This is a straightforward reality and in fact there is no doubt that Rudyard Kipling had this inspiration from the obstacles and barriers we often crush to get to prominence. In our contemporary society this statement could only be referred to one person, Mayor Balick. 
What is important about this award winning mayor is that he is innovative, down to earth and fertile in expedients. He falls within the ranks of the new breed of politicians born with extra abilities to surmount all sorts of barrier to emerge successful. If we go by Albert Einstein who declared that genius is 1/10 inspiration and 9/10 perspiration, Balick is a genius. This means that for somebody to be termed a genius that person must be a workaholic. In this light, Balick Awah merits to be mentioned first among development luminaries if not the story of North West politicians will remain unfinished. What is so interesting about this pragmatic mayor is that he has done extraordinary things in a very common way. 
 If has become a celebrity it is because he is doing extraordinary things and he is entering history books in great names: Meet him for a discussion then you will discover you have met an honest intellectual. The courage and the frankness he expresses tell you that he was naturally born a workaholic. It is this frankness, hard work and determination that have made him the most admired man of all men in action.
The Great Politician
John Quincy Adams says that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Balick is a politician with exceptional leadership qualities. He has served the Social Democratic Front in various capacities. He is being remembered as one of the most vibrant District Chairman the SDF ever produced in Bamenda II. He planted the SDF in almost all the homes.  Being a great support of Ni John Fru Ndi and the SDF, Balick has distinguished self as a developer and career politician. In Mankon, they say he is the litmus test of what a politician ought to be. And since the final test of a politician is that he/she leads the young as their role model, Balick is actually youth emancipator who doesn’t talk about development politics in speeches but puts them into practice. In getting to where he is today and especially excelling in local politics, he toiled laboriously to transform vision into concrete reality. That is why today he is building common frontiers for all segments of society. In doing this, he followed the principle outlined by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that ‘heights by great “men” reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companies slept, they were toiling upward in the night’.
The Result-oriented Mayor
Inauguration of Bda II Council chamber by Minister Rene Sadi
Those who have had the pains to visit the Bamenda II Council chamber would agree, Balick Awah is an exemplary man. The newly constructed edifice which was commissioned by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization is the best in the region. Even FEICOM Director was flattered the day of the inauguration to the point that he described Mayor Balick as a true manager in council activities. Minister Rene Sadi even advised other mayors to learn from Balick’s dynamism and workaholic nature. A major challenge in Cameroon is accountability and transparency. But Balick Awah on the contrary is hailed for being accountable, transparent and result oriented at the helm of Bamenda II Council. From Mankon to Mbatu down to Nsongwa, and Chomba, every community in the municipal has something to be proud of.  For being a mark of difference in the fight against poverty, Balick’s legacies are many ranging from the provision of potable water to construction of classrooms, market sheds, slaughter houses, community halls, health centers, farms to market roads, etc.
In fact The Guardian Post was absolutely right to have given him that distinction given that he has proven exceptionally that his being there at the helm of the Bamenda II Council was by merit and not a favour. He established a program aimed at supporting local initiatives and projects that are geared towards sustainable development. From all practical demonstrations, he is going into history books in big names: the development luminary, promoter of sustainable development, Best Mayor etc…Ever since he became mayor, the administrative account of the council has registered sanity and has also risen. 



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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