Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CPJ Condemns the Arrest of Nine Journalists in Ethiopia

Top row, from left: Zelalem, Natnail, Mahlet. Middle row, from left: Atnaf, Abel, Befekadu. Bottom row, from left: Tesfalem, Edom, Asmamaw. (Courtesy Zone 9, Addis Guday, Facebook)
Top row, from left: Zelalem, Natnail, Mahlet. Middle row, from left: Atnaf, Abel, Befekadu. Bottom row, from left: Tesfalem, Edom, Asmamaw. (Courtesy Zone 9, Addis Guday, Facebook)
Nairobi, April 28, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the Ethiopian government's arrests of nine journalists in one of the worst crackdowns against free expression in the country.
"With the latest arrests, Ethiopian authorities are turning the peaceful exercise of free expression into a crime," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes.
On Sunday, a public prosecutor in the capital, Addis Ababa, accused the detainees--editor Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, freelancers Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye, and bloggers Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Natnail Feleke, Zelalem Kibret, and Befekadu Hailu--of working with foreign human rights organizations and using social media to create instability in the country, according to news reports and local journalists. Tesfalem, Asmamaw, and Zelalem will have their next court hearing on May 7, while the rest will appear in court on May 8, the same sources said. The journalists have not been formally charged with a crime.
The bloggers are members of an independent collective called Zone 9, which publishes news and commentary, according to news reports. Formed in May 2012 in response to the evisceration of the independent press and the narrowing of the space for free expression, the group's name is derived from Kality Prison, the main jail where Ethiopia's political prisoners, including several journalists, are held, reports said. With the motto "We Blog Because We Care," the group has voiced concerns over domestic issues, including political repression and social injustice. The Zone 9 blogs were frequently blocked inside Ethiopia, but gained a following with Ethiopians in the diaspora, according to local reports.
The arrests follow an April 23 announcement on Facebook by the bloggers in which they said they would resume publishing after seven months of inactivity. They had suspended publishing after being harassed by security agents, according to the blog. The day before their arrest, security agents allegedly ordered Natnail to hand over contact details of all Zone 9 members, a request he refused, local journalists told CPJ.
Local journalists said the other detainees--Asmamaw, a senior editor of the private Amharic weekly news magazine Addis Guday, and freelancers Tesfalem and Edom--may have been arrested on suspicion of being affiliated with the Zone 9 journalists.  Edom had been approached on several occasions and asked about her relationship to the other Zone 9 journalists and the support they received from outside organizations, the same sources said.
"These are not journalists. Their arrest has nothing to do with journalism, but with serious criminal activities," Getachew Reda, an adviser to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, told Reuters. "We don't crack down on journalism or freedom of speech. But if someone tries to use his or her profession to engage in criminal activities, then there is a distinction there."
"We call on Ethiopian authorities to halt their slide into paranoia and authoritarianism, and instead to allow critical commentary and public debate to thrive," said CPJ's Rhodes. "These nine journalists should be released immediately."
Ethiopian government spokesman Shimeles Kemal did not immediately return CPJ's repeated calls for comment.
The journalists, who were arrested in multiple raids on Friday and Saturday, have been denied access to their family and lawyers and are being held at the Maekelawi federal detention center, according to local journalists. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, interrogators at Maekelawi routinely use torture to extract false confessions from detainees. The Ethiopian government denies the allegations.

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

Mad Rush at John Chi's Business/ Leadership Forum in Bamenda

After two days of miracles, wonders and healing(s) at the Mankon Municipal stadium where thousands gathered, John Chi, one of TB Joshua's wise men will today April 28, 2014 be holding a Business and Leadership Forum with the Bamenda Business Community. The enthusiasm at the Bamenda Congress Hall painted the picture of a desperate community in dire need of a break-through which seemingly only the God, the Almighty can come to their rescue. (See Pictures)

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

HIV-Free NW/SW Project Shares Partnership Lessons with Journalists

By Fai Cassian Ndi

  • Adopt Sensitization/ Community Mobilization Strategies              
The Cameroon Baptist Convention-CBC Health Board has teamed up with the print and audiovisual journalists in the North West Region to intensify it’s strive for a zero HIV infection, zero discrimination and to introduce the Option B+ (another form of medication in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV) which Cameroon has opted for in its 2015 health policy). Addressing the media at the CBC Conference hall on April 24, 2014, the Business Manager of the project, Monju Johnson noted with a lot of satisfaction that the successes of the project have ignited hopes in families. Monju Johnson, who represented the CBC Director of Health Services Dr. Tih Pius Muffih continued that the community-based Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Program in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon which is funded under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief –PEPFAR (through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-CDC, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Elizabeth Glacer Pediatric AIDS Foundation) stands the chance of increasing HIV-free survival and reducing HIV-related maternal and child mortality by increasing PMTCT uptake in the two regions. To this, he added that it is hoped that by 2016 90% of pregnant women and HIV-exposed infants will be protected. With these positive results, he reiterated that the HIV-Free North West and South West Project  has also reinforced the Cameroon-USA government partnership, and it these positive results “the US Government is coming back fully” to support projects in Cameroon. In his concluding statement on why journalists should partner with the project for it to attain it goal in order to rescue humanity, he expressed gratitude for “we are doing it for humanity”.
On his part, Nkouh Godlove who presented a paper on the progression of HIV in human system, ARV intervention and consequences of defaulting drugs told journalists that the prevalent rate in Cameroon is about 7.9% and variedly distributed between the age ranges 15-41 years. According to Nkuoh Godlove, the prevalent rate in the North West stands at 6.3%, the South West Region at 5.2%, while the South Region has the highest in the country with 7.3%, and the Extreme North has the lowest with 1.2%. He revealed that by 1981, 14 million children were orphans in Sub Saharan Africa due to AIDS. He however noted with optimism that anti-retroviral drugs have reduced the number of people living with AIDS. Oral, anal and vaginal sex, he noted are responsible for 90% of the infections. Nkuoh Godlove also revealed to journalists that statistics show that 90% of the infections in infants are through mother to child, 5-10% during pregnancy, 15-20% during labour, and 5-25% during breastfeeding.  In order to remedy the situation, he said that the HIV-free North West/ South West Project is working in the key domains of PMTCT, HIV counseling and testing, the administration of ART( Treatment and prophylaxis), low risk obstetrical practices, psychosocial support to the infected woman and her family, nutritional support( infant feeding options). These he ended are the success areas.

Orientations of the Project
Kuni Esther presenting the results of the project
In her presentation, Kuni Esther, the Coordinator of the project painted a vivid result-oriented report which specified the project’s output and partnership with service providers, the media, community leaders, religious bodies and government services. She however revealed that it is thanks to the engagement of others that the fruitful partnership yielded good results given that within the project scope more community mobilization components were engaged to make sure that all pregnant women go for early Antenatal care-ANC and PMTCT services. According to Kuni Esther PMTCT has scaled up its sites in the North West and South West Regions to 591(341sites in the North West and 250 sites in the South West Region). Besides, the project also trained 957 service providers who are actually providing PMTCT services in the two regions as well as empowered 370 peer educators, 70 MCH aides, trained 71 church leaders, and 116 Muslim leaders  who are all in the field carrying out sensitization on ANC and following-up PMTCT clients. More so, the project also acquired 35 motorbikes to ease field activities, empowered District staff and PMTCT coordinators on supply chain management, installed 80 CD4 machines (45 in the North West and 35 in the South West), and during year two of the project, 16 facilities were also dotted with short message service machines which prints PCR results on the spot.
She also told journalists that the CBC Health Board is piloting option B+ treatment regimen in two districts namely Bamenda in the North West and Kumba in the South West Region. She called on journalists to team up with the project so as to pass the information to the various communities.

Test and Treat (Option B+ Regimen)
Lem Edith presenting Option B+
Lem Edith in presenting the Option B+, very sounded optimistic adding that this universal life long ART for all pregnant and breastfeeding women regardless of clinical and or immunological stage is the best because no CD4 count is needed to start treatment. She said that the drug is more advantageous because it is simple, only on drug a day and leads to optimal reduction of HIV Mother To Child Transmission-MTCT. Above all, it prevents HIV transmission to uninfected sexual partners and also provides better opportunities for ART integration in a MNCH set up. While introducing the Option B+, Lem Edith called on journalists to sensitize the public on the new regimen which the CBC Health Board is implementing its pilot phase in Bamenda and Kumba. Accordingly, Lem Edith explained that the test and treat (Option B+) is the best for Cameroon given that the problems of obtaining CD4 Counts, the lack of skilled personnel to interpret results will be overcome. Drawing her inspiration from Rwnada, Uganda and Malawi where the Option B+ has generated very positive results, she emphasized that this regimen is easy and reduces transmission from mother to child. According to statistics presented, there are 12 sites in the North West Region and 10 sites in the South West Region. She also revealed that of the 438 women enrolled in the pilot phase, 184 switched from the old regimen while 34others discontinued the uptake. The project she added has made provisions for the estimated 600 women for the next 18 months.
Alphonse Abanda
On the other hand, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer of the project presented very convincing statistics of the project from year one to year two. One thing was obvious that there is still need for journalists to sensitize the public so that the project meets up with its target. Besides, it was evidently clear that men hardly accompany their wives for Antenatal care.

The project Documentation Supervisor, Alphonse Abanda while using a participatory approach in introducing the role of the media in the project highlighted some common errors in communication. In his assessment of the radio drama (talk-shows) he coordinated experience sharing and ignited suggestions from participants to better-up sensitization. It was suggested that the project could equally sponsor call-in programmes, radio interactive programmes. However prospects as to whether the project would not institute some sort of a “Health Messenger” for the print media to carryout banners on awareness creation abound high. 

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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cameroonian Journalist's Car Destroyed in Explosion

Denis Nkwebo's car was destroyed in an explosion today. (Thierry Ngogang)
Denis Nkwebo's car was destroyed in an explosion today. (Thierry Ngogang)
New York, April 24, 2014--An investigative journalist in Cameroon told CPJ today that his car had beendestroyed in an explosion early this morning. Denis Nkwebo said the car was parked outside his house in the commercial capital of Douala, and that no one was hurt in the explosion. 
Nkwebo, an editor of the leading private daily Le Jour, told CPJ that acquaintances and his contacts within the government had warned him to be careful in his investigation and coverage of Cameroonian security forces. In an April 15 article, Nkwebo said security forces were struggling to stem a spate of kidnappings and armed attacks in the regions bordering unstable Nigeria and the strife-torn Central African Republic.
On Monday, Lieutenant-Colonel Didier Badjeck, a spokesman for the Cameroonian Defense Ministry, issued a statement rejecting Nkwebo's allegations about the military and urging the media not to "cultivate a climate of hysteria among the population," according to local news reports.
Nkwebo said he had reported the attack to the police who said they were investigating. Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary did not immediately return CPJ's calls seeking comment.
"We are alarmed by the explosion at the home of Denis Nkwebo, who had been reporting on a sensitive issue of public interest: the performance of Cameroon's security forces," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "We call on authorities to carry out an efficient, thorough, and transparent investigation into this attack and hold those responsible to account."
Nkwebo is also a correspondent of Radio France Internationale's English-language service in Cameroon, the vice president of the National Syndicate of Cameroonian Journalists, and a member of the global Investigative Reporters and Editors nonprofit organization

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

John Chi's Crusade: Thousands Storm Bamenda Stadium( The Guest for Prosperity Gospel in Pics)

Thousands stormed the Mankon Municipal Stadium in guest for miracles, signs and wonders as John Chi's announces first ever crusade in the North West Region of Cameroon. Cameroon's own TB Joshua, is expected to create the unexpected in Bamenda today April 26 and 27, 2014. Here below are some of the pictures of today's crusade in Bamenda.
long time at Bda Grandstand into the stadium

The long queue to miracles 

people standing on the from the grandstand---over 400meters

Umbrella get better market

waiting in the rain for John Chi

Tide---packed like sardine

Rescue service in difficulty controlling the crowd

Waiting for miracles in the rain

No head way

Chairs turned to umbrellas 

Add caption

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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

President Biya at Canonization Ceremony in Rome?

Three days to the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, allegations abound that the President of the Republic, Paul Biya may be one of the invited quests at the ceremony. According to our sources, Paul Biya extended his stay in Switzerland to attend the canonization of the holy fathers, next Sunday, April 27 at the Vatican. Classified sources hinted at the beginning of the week that by April 27, President Biya would have spent 24 days out of the country without the public being informed of his place of residence and where about.

This extended mysterious stay of Paul Biya in Europe has received condemnation from all the political class, who believe that the Head of State has made it ​​a habit of governing the country from a distance. "All Cameroonians know that Mr. Biya does not live in Cameroon”. This extended stay is very detrimental to our country laments Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam of Social Democratic Front (SDF). Rumours have been dished at length and it should be recalled that some years ago, rumours killed Paul Biya. But when he returned triumphantly from Europe, he told Cameroonians that those who wished him death will have to wait for more 20-25 years.  

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

North Cameroon: 60 Suspected Boko Haram Militants Nabbed

They were arrested in Amchidée in the Far North by the security forces.  According to information provided by the APA, these individuals, all from Nigeria were arrested on April 22, 2014, in order to ascertain their involvement and belonging to the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, which, increasingly is in the news due to the numerous abuses including, murder, kidnapping and other acts, which continuously reverberates families as well as the Nigerian and Cameroonian.
It is not possible at the moment to say more, especially since it is a given anonymously information. However, it is perfectly understandable why so much silence surrounds it, in most cases, the actions of the Cameroonian authorities because they have so far managed to know exactly where the hostages are held  over two weeks now. Hostages who according to several sources are still being held in Cameroon near the border with Nigeria.

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

Black Magic: Man Dies, Resurrects, Dies a Second Time

The corpse of a man who has been rejected by his own family is lying at the Nkambe District Hospital Mortuary. The man named Tantoh who died three weeks ago after a brief illness is said to have died long ago and was buried in his village Saah. Yet three weeks ago, the family was shocked to hear that he was still living and that he died, and the corpse has deposited at the Nkambe District Hospital Mortuary. On hearing the shocking news, the family said their family head died long ago and that the said Tantoh was already buried, so they cannot bury him for a second time. Whether the man died and resurfaced remain another mystery that is debated in “sha, ntop, and fian” drinking spot in Nkambe.
According to what we gathered, three years ago Tantoh came to Bongom village where he was living with a concubine. During the three years, he had two kids with the lady. But three weeks ago, Tantoh died at the Banso Baptist Hospital after a brief illness. Owing to the fact that during his stay in Bongom, Tantoh was active and was loved by everyone, the village decided to send some young boys to deliver the sad news to his family. When the youths got to Saah village, they were taken aback when they were told that the same man died long ago and was buried. When his picture was brought to them, they acknowledged and sent a delegation to the Nkambe mortuary who confirmed that it was their brother who had died long ago. His family confirmed that Tantoh died when he was a sub chief but could not believe that the same person resurfaced just 50 kilomters away. When quizzed whether they have ever visited their village, the concubine said that Tantoh told her that he had family problems and decided to stay away from the family. But that he told him that he was from Saah.   
   Latest information from Nkambe say that the administration has given the family in Saah up to a week to collect Tantoh’s mortal remains else the Nkambe council will be oblige to bury him.   

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

Transfer of Southern Cameroons Activists to LRC Prisons Intensifies

By Martin Fon Yembe

            La Republique du Cameroun And that Slap on Face of AU
Targeted Activists on the Run, One Arrested
In 2003, a case was filed by Dr. Kevin Ngwang Gumne and Others against La Republique du Camerou (LRC) code-named Communication 266/2003 at the Africaan Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at Banjul, The Gambia. It took the courage of some thirteen valiant Southern Cameroons activists to move to Abuja and squeeze the arms of the Commission to come out with the Verdict. Amongst these were Chief Ayamba (SCNC Chair), Pa Ndangam ( SCAPO Vice Chiar), Mr. Arrey ( SCNC SG), Martin Yembe ( SCAPO SG), Kongso Stephen (SCNC Bui), Pa Taku Sylvester ( SCNC Meme) etc.
The said verdict had remained frozen for nine years, in spite of the fact that it turned out to be a travesty of justice, a high-profile miscarriage of justice, deeply flawed and pushing Southern Cameroonians to seek alternative means of redress, it had two points that stand out clear- that Southern Cameroonians are “A People”, and that on no occasion should a Southern Cameroonian activist be tried or detained in the courts and cells of LRC.
In prelude to the 50th anniversary of the hijacked independence of the British Southern Cameroons, the people thronged Buea on October 1, 2010, to commemorate this day and prepare for the 50th anniversary that was due in 2011. Wword soon sneaked out to the organizers that LRC forces of repression were already arresting activists at Mile 17, Buea. As such, top activists like Maxwell Oben, Martin Yembe and Mbuli Renez sought a way out and led over one hundred activists to the Nigerian consulate where they took refuge for two days. The trio, Maxwell Oben, Mbuli REnez and Martin Yembe succeeded in dribbling the forces of La Republlique du Cameroun. The news soon went round and it became a diplomatic blow to the regime of Yaounde. Soon after, the regime landed on a certain Ngalim Felix who was very vocal and open in the struggle. Ngalim spent over a year at Kondengui and was later transferred to Bamenda prison. The search for Maxwell Oben, MBuli Renez and Martin Yembe did not stop there.
At the 50th anniversary proper, while in a church service at Small Soppo Buea, the police stormed the church, rounded everyone, and immediately recognized Martin Yembe, but wanted to get the trio…Maxwell Oben, Mbuli Renez and Martin Yembe together. To Make up, they rounded up a Nigerian journalist along with Martin Yembe, mistaking the Nigerian for Renez. It was thanks to the fact that Maxwell Oben was resident in YAounde and Mbuli Renez in Douala, where he was schooling and always shuttled to Buea to encourage the students who are victims of the LRC attempts to bury the Anglo-Saxon educational system. Both were being accused for masterminding the numerous uprisings at the Buea Anglo-Saxon University.
Worse so, the Yaounde regime had put in place a securitymechanism to have a “claen” Buea, free from any :risks” before President Biya landed in Buea, the historic town to cement the colonization of the entire Southern Cameroons. It was during this “risky and hot” period that Maxwell Oben and Mbuli rRenez were spotted in the vicinity of Buea, and finally Maxwell fell and the net. Mbuli Renez escaped narrowly, accused of having been one of those who had masterminded rumors that a police officer had turned into a python at Etta Hotel, opposite the entrance into the Buea University, and swallowed up a student. The fear was that Mbuli Renez had come up with this to cause an uprising at the campus and scare Biya from visiting Buea. Thus, the search for him intensified and is ongoing.
As we write, Maxwell Oben was transferred from Buea prison to the Maximum Priso in Yaounde, famously known as Kondengui, where over a hundred Southern Cameroons activists were imprisoned in March 1997 and many died silently. Of course, learning of the plight of Maxwell, Mbuli Renez disappeared. Maxwell Oben has been charged for “illegally possessing fire arms “ and will thus face the military tribunal. Of course, in Cameroon, only Fon Gorji Dinka, one time Batonnier, had ever won the case against the state in that military tribunal.

It is obvious that Mbuli Renez has taken refuge somewhere out of Cameroon, praying for the liberation of his country, the Southern Cameroons. Many like him, including the Southern Cameroons Youth League Chairman, who escaped from the Kondengui prison in 2002, having spent five years in very deplorable conditions, are now still alive thanks to the international community that understands the plight of victims of colonization. It is the prayer of all peace loving and justice inclined citizens to protect these freedom fighters and help Southern Cameroons attain her independence.

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

Deadly Tornado Hits NW: 70 Households Go Homeless in Donga Mantung

The population of Ntaba-Sop village in Ndu Sub Division of Donga Mantung Division, North West Region is still wondering which crime they committed that the gods poured their anger on them last weekend. Over 70 households are actually homeless in the agricultural area of Ntaba following a hard strike by tornado. Even though no human causality was recorded, damages in terms of perennial crops and houses are estimated in millions of FCFA. Speaking to this reporter after a visit to the disaster area, the Mayor of Ndu Council, Bunyui Emmanuel said that the council in the days ahead he will donate 10 bundles of zinc to the affected families. He said when he visited the area; he discovered the houses were poorly constructed. “You know this is the effect of poverty”, he continued.
He revealed that over 70 houses felt prey to this visiting tornado. According to Bunyui Emmanuel, mayor of Ndu Council the roof of some houses were completely destroyed while others only few sheets of zinc were taken away. In a crisis meeting with the population, Mayor Bunyui Emmanuel advised that those who were not affected should share their houses with others while waiting for the council to come to their assistance. Houses that were able to withstand the tornado were left with cracks just to indicate another potential danger to the occupants.

He however, thanked God that no human causality was recorded but lamented that household utensils were destroyed and some carted away. One of the victims Mama Ngwafes Lydia (82) said cannot understand how she found herself on a veranda when her kitchen collapsed on her. She said all her past harvest and little savings were carried away by the rain. It is feared that hunger my strike soon given that 75% of the population of Ntaba lost all their harvests (maize, beans, soya beans) as some were socked. In fact almost everything that was harvested and kept was destroyed and socked. "I do not know what my parents will eat. Our corn ban was destroyed completely", Timothy told this reporter on phone. 
  It should be recalled that the Member of Parliament for Ndu, Hon Ngala Esther, Mayor Bunyui Emmanuel and the D.O for Ndu Sub Division Achu George visited the disaster village to assess the damages. Fon of Sop, Fon Ndanga ll thanked the delegation for their prompt visit and expressed his desire for government to give a helping hand to the affected population.
The Divisional Officer for Ndu on his part promised that he will send his report to the government and that hopefully the government will look into their problem. He furthers advised that house should always be constructed using some bit of modern techniques like iron rots. He further called on neighbours assist their peers in providing them with shelter.

            It should be noted that two years ago a similar tornado hit Sop village rendering over 800 people homeless. Prime Minister Yang Philemon donated FCFA 5.000.000 while Wimbum sons and daughters in the diasopras also donated huge sums of money for the reconstruction of the village. The same tornado also destroyed house at Taku and Ntundip villages that year. 

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Senator Simon Achidi Achu: The Thorn in the Flesh of North West (1)

Reve Tambeng Jr
Senator Simon Achidi Achu
One of the major challenges and debate nationwide has been the capability of some elected officials (senators especially) to tackle development process in their sphere of influence. The aging political class that incessantly does hang to power has also been considered as another obstacle to Cameroon’s emergence. Since time memorial, Northwesterners have been suffocating under the pangs of Senator Simon Achidi Achu, one time Prime Minister, Head of Government. This untold situation and state of nature is quite glaring if a critical judgment analysis is made on his persistent nature of always enticing the masses that “politics na njangi”. The question as to whether Achidi Achu would ever give way for any other person to benefit from that “politics weh na njangi” concept which he planted remains another great wretchedness of the century. This is so because the njangi politics only has a meaning when he (Achidi Achu Simon) is the one to chop. Meaning, that every time you scratch his back, never look back for him to scratch your own back. On the contrary, you might receive a slab on the back at the time you would be expecting a scratch on your back from him politically.
Our interest is that in the present political dispensation where Senator Simon Achidi Achu is being worshiped by sycophants, Northwest continues to suffer from that code of belief of his. His political gimmicks and tricks have been such that there is always a Roman Arch to keep potential North West rising politicians from excelling. To him, Santa captures the tenets of the entire region. This state of nature could best be captured for us by Thomas Hobbs who like Jean Jacque Rouasseau in the theory of political legitimacy demonstrated that the notion of general will is wholly central but it is however, an unfortunately obscure and controversial believe. In the Discourse on Political Economy, Rousseau emphasizes that the general will exists to protect overzealous individuals against the masses, not to require them to be sacrificed to it. He was aware that men have selfish and sectional interests which they will always use to suppress others. Hobbs wrote that when absolute power is trusted in a single individual, there is bound to be chaos. “The fruits thereof will be uncertain” and everything will sink into the doldrums.
It is for this reason that loyalty to the good of all alike must be supreme. Not only if a truly general will is to be heeded but also if it is to be formulated successfully in the first place. The Right Honourable Senator Achidi Achu is a senator, Vice President of the Senate, Member of the Central Committee of the CPDM and Board member of one of the state corporation which I have just forgotten the name. Entirely, everything is in his own pocket.  The legendary Bob Marley once said that “Money is like numbers that never ends”. The question many have started asking is whether Achidi Achu’s political dominance is like numbers that will never end. Implicitly, if the quest for money is to induce happiness, that happiness will never come given that it will be endless. It is alleged that Senator Achidi Achu has made himself the only cock that crows in the North West Region by always keeping others in disarray.
When Simon Achidi Achu was appointed Prime Minister, Head of Government, he told the people of Donga Mantung, Bui and Menchum who were glamouring for the tarring of the Bamenda Ring Road that (he) Achidi Achu is the ring road. To him, Northwesterners should forget about the Bamenda Ring Road because by his being appointed Prime Minister, that position was synonymous to the ring road. The population foolishly believed him but it came to past that by the time he was dismissed from office not a kilometer of that road was tarred. Close sources say late Nshalai has never forgiven Simon Achidi Achu for masterminding the success of the SDF in Bui he never wanted Nshalai to enter into his shoes. Yet a school of thought holds that Simon Achidi Achu has succeeded in his political gimmicks because aligned to his side are a handful of position hungry North West elite(s) who like the bitches in Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” are experts in influence peddling. They are as would be unveiled the real promoters of a destructive game which unfortunately made the Northwesterner the worst enemy of the Northwesterner.
 Sometimes ago, in Bafia, Achidi Achu was presented to the public as a traditional ruler from the North West Region. He was even spotted in the North decorating an elite with a traditional title yet he parades himself as adviser to the North West Fons Union-NOWEFU. It is on record that Late Catherine Abena was decorated with the title of “Mafor” at Achidi’s rock farm. He even masterminded the creation of “Special Envoy” at NOWEFU that died naturally. The self-proclaimed fon of Santa, “Fon” Achidi Achu would be remembered as one of those who promoted the prostitution of traditional titles in the North West Region which finally landed North West Fons in the Hall of Fame as “Royal Beggars”.
How he frustrated potential candidates during the Senatorial elections to come out with his own list remains an ugly thing. However, every politician has ambitions and one of them is to be appointed. The question as to whether at his age, Senator Achidi Achu is still looking forth for appointment cannot be clearly identified as he is always maneuvering like the witches in Macbeth.  But since it is legitimate for everyone to aspire, age too matters.
The most interesting thing about Senator Achidi Achu Simon lies in the fact that he has demonstrated that he is Mr. Everybody. When Inoni was appointed Prime Minister, he tarred all the roads in Bakingili, many South Westerners were recruited into the public service and even the young men who use to steal in his farm were picked up to send to the Police school at Mutengene where they were trained and later transferred to distant places. On the contrary, Achidi Achu on his part demonstrated that politics and development can never go in one basket. The issue of the demise of WADA, Marketing Board, Dumbu Ranch happened when he was there and what he did, only God alone knows. Whether he ever made any attempt to rescue Forjindam from the hawks remain another cynical thing, no serious Northwesterner would ever love to contemplate on. His muteness over the Forjindam issue has left many speechless even those in the corridors of power in Yaounde given that back in Bamenda, he claims to be the only one who has the hot line to President Paul Biya.
When the Wum Area Development Authority was closed untimely, the equipment from the Islamic Bank for the rehabilitation of the Menchum Rural Development Integrated Project-MIRUDEP were still at the Douala Seaport. It came to past that these heavy duty equipment didnot reach Wum. Some of the caterpillars ended up in the premises of some politicians. By then, Right Hon. Senator Achidi Achu was the Prime Minister of Cameroon. It is alleged that some of these machines were shared under the dictate of Simon Achidi Achu. The question as to where Achidi Achu bought caterpillars to be sharing today still abound. Is he giving to Cesar what is Cesar’s? How does someone who has been unable to deliver on one of his promises started delivering at an old age. Thank God, that one of the caterpillars that left WADA through the window was recently brought back through the door as a gift to a youth group in Wum. It is at the backdrop of this recent happening that youths of Donga Mantung Division have started whispering that the cattle that left SODEPA Ranch Dumbu under abhorrent circumstances should come up to them before Achidi Achu passes for Judy Judge. Many have opined that in the face of such erratic unfavorable aims and means, the challenges of the charade remains clear, that sooner or later Senator Achidi Achu should take to the rostrum to tell the world what happened to the heavy equipment that were destined for MIRUDEP (WADA) as well as the untold story of the migration of the cattle population of SODEPA (Dumbu). 

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Barrister Buno Innocent is No More

The venerated lawyer and member of the Cameroon Bar Council, Barrister Buno Innocent has passed unto eternity on April 17, 2014 at the CNPS Hospital in Yaounde. According to information gathered, the celebrated South West based Barrister at Law died after a brief illness. Even though the immediate cause of his demise has not been made public, allegations abound that Buno Innocent felt ill while in Yaounde. He was part of the crime of venerated lawyers who were correcting scripts of the entrance into the Cameroon Bar Council. Colleagues hinted that legal mind caught fever on April 14 and unfortunately he passed unto eternity. News from the regional headquarter of the South West Region, Buea indicated that the capital city came to a standstill when his mortal remains arrived. Hundreds of thousands made up of colleagues, friends and sympathizers storm the Buea mortuary to witness the heartbreaking exit of a great mind. Apart from being the Representative of the Bar Council in the South West Region, Barrister Buno Innocent was also a sport promoter and business man. Besides, he was also a diehard militant of the SDF party who once a thorn in the flesh of CPDM bigwigs in Limbe. The multifaceted Buno Innocent it should be noted once worked as a reporter for the National Daily, Cameroon Tribune and later founded with others Cameroon Life Magazine.
Is reputation as a lawyer stood unchallenged both in Cameroon and abroad especially in Nigeria where he studied. Buno Innocent hails from Bambui, Mezam Division in the North West Region of Cameroon.

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

President Biya’s 13 Days Abroad: Over FCFA 1 Billion Spent, Media Reports Say

African and European heads of states who attended the Africa-EU summit in Bruxelle returned to their countries immediately the meeting ended but President Paul Biya of Cameroon has gone missing newspapers say. Speculations as to whether President Paul Biya is actually on holidays have been casted. Newspaper reports last week speculated that during the past 13 days stay in Europe, President Biya has spent close to a billion FCFA. One French Daily, Le Messenger reported last weekend that ever since the Africa-EU Summit ended in Belgium, President Biya and wife, Chantal Biya are yet to return to Cameroon. According to the news report, the prolonged visit has gulped the state treasury about FCFA 1 billion. Le Messenger went further to expose that information on the website of the Hotel where the head of state and First Lady are lodging in Switzerland have also shown how much the couple is spending of the tax payers’ money. It is alleged that an ordinary room at the Intercontinental hotel is estimated at FCFA 440,061, yet President Biya’s delegation is made of 15 security officials, 5 personal hotel staff, 10 attaché and 02 technical advisers. Globally, his entourage is made up of 32 persons. According to Le Messenger, a hotel bill for the head of state’s entourage for the 13 days is about FCFA 183,065,376. The paper also speculates that the head of state and wife must be living in a Presidential suit which cost FCFA 1.2 million per night and when multiplied by 13 sums up to FCFA 15.6. However, according to Le Messenger, the above expenses cover only lodging. Yet when the cost of renting a plane for the trip and feeding is added to the above expenditures, the total money consumed from the state treasury will be above a billion FCFA. 

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

Driver Disappears After Ghastly Motor Accident

The Sabga Hill has of late been transformed into a slaughter house given the frequency of motor accidents. This is partly due to the poor state of the road (pot holes) and Two weeks ago, a four wheel drive transport vehicle mark Toyota Carina matriculated No NW 407 C had brakes failure on the Sabga hill, some 10 kilometers away from Bamenda and 5 kilometers away from Ndop. Given the stiffness of the hill, the driver struggled for over a kilometre before the car was crashed on one right side of the road. The shock was so violent that four passengers died on the spot while others who were severely wounded were taken to Ndop for medical attention. It was on that spot that some of the passengers who were on their way to Ndu in Donga Mantung Division ended their lifetime journey at the Sabga hill. The problem as we gathered from some of the victims steams from the fact that the car was overloaded. Instead of four passengers, the vehicle had nine passengers on board. The issue of over loading especially on the Bamenda-Ndop-Kumbo-Ndu-Nkambe stretch of the ring road is so unchecked yet there are over 12 police and 8 Gendarmerie checkpoints on this road. The most pathetic thing is that all these fellows including the so-called road safety guys are more concern with collecting money from drivers than ensuring their safety. The quest for money by the police, gendarmes and road safety contributes to the over loading on the highway given that whether overloaded or not, all the transport cars pay FCFA 500 to all the checkpoints. And inorder to make also have something at the end of the day, majority of the drivers go for overloading. This explains why every time an accident occurs, the number of injuries and deaths are always more than required number in a car. However, the regional chief of Land Transport in the North West Region is of the opinion that anyone staff of his delegation that allows an overloaded vehicle to pass will be sanctioned. The accident at the Sabga hill has also ignited the delegation of transport to sit up. However, it has not calmed flaring tempers in the families of the victims since it is said that when the passengers who were in critical conditions were taken to the Ndop District Hospital where two others reportedly died, the driver of the transport car was no way found. One of the passengers is quoted to have revealed to the astonishment of mourners that she discovered that the driver disappeared from the steering wheel when he could no more control it. Rumours abound that Clement the driver disappeared. It was confirmed that he disappeared mysteriously as confessed at Nkwen Park by one of his colleagues that they saw him in town without a scratch. Tempers flared when the news was finally confirmed that the driver was alive and kicking. It is alleged that families of the victims have threatened to teach him a lesson. Duh Meh Clement we gathered is currently on a hot stole given the controversy that surrounds his disappearing from the car. It is thanks to North West Governor, Lele Lafrique Adolph the remains of the bashed vehicle were not set on fire. Worthy to note that North West Governor also visited the hospital and the site of the accident to restore hopes, yet hub-hub sources say some families who lost their love ones are bent on giving Duh Meh Clement a lesson of life. It is told that he has lost almost everything that he had worked during his life during the crisis. On the other hand, the delegation of Transport has threatened to withhold his driving license for at least four years, an official of that delegation told us. The question as to whether the driver is a victim of corrupt practices and the money collection points on the high way looms large. 

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

President Biya’s 13 Days Abroad: Over FCFA 1 Billion Spent, Media Reports Say

African and European heads of states who attended the Africa-EU summit in Bruxelle returned to their countries immediately the meeting ended but President Paul Biya of Cameroon has gone missing newspapers say. Speculations as to whether President Paul Biya is actually on holidays have been casted. Newspaper reports last week speculated that during the past 13 days stay in Europe, President Biya has spent close to a billion FCFA. One French Daily, Le Messenger reported last weekend that ever since the Africa-EU Summit ended in Belgium, President Biya and wife, Chantal Biya are yet to return to Cameroon. According to the news report, the prolonged visit has gulped the state treasury about FCFA 1 billion. Le Messenger went further to expose that information on the website of the Hotel where the head of state and First Lady are lodging in Switzerland have also shown how much the couple is spending of the tax payers’ money. It is alleged that an ordinary room at the Intercontinental hotel is estimated at FCFA 440,061, yet President Biya’s delegation is made of 15 security officials, 5 personal hotel staff, 10 attaché and 02 technical advisers. Globally, his entourage is made up of 32 persons. According to Le Messenger, a hotel bill for the head of state’s entourage for the 13 days is about FCFA 183,065,376. The paper also speculates that the head of state and wife must be living in a Presidential suit which cost FCFA 1.2 million per night and when multiplied by 13 sums up to FCFA 15.6. However, according to Le Messenger, the above expenses cover only lodging. Yet when the cost of renting a plane for the trip and feeding is added to the above expenditures, the total money consumed from the state treasury will be above a billion FCFA. 

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

Prof. Tafah Splits University of Bamenda to Seven Divisions of NW

By FC Junior
The University of Bamenda, UBa, one of the newly created state universities in Cameroon is in the news again. A document captioned “The University of Bamenda Strategic Development Plan 2014-2018” (University of the Future) has met sharp criticism from the public. Public opinion is the North West Region is worried over this document which recommends several options in organizing and structuring of the University of Bamenda to function with collegial system whereby the university establishments are grouped under functional colleges. Critical minds are hard on the point that the Vice Chancellery placed under Prof. Edukat Tafah intends to create a college of Arts and Culture in Santa, and the college of Geological and Earth Sciences at Nyos (under Boyo Division). Expressionists are wondering whether Nyos is already safer for people to live there and not to talk of a college of Geological and Earth Sciences. As for the case of Santa, another school of thought is very bitter about the proposal. Yet impressionists say the distribution was poorly done given that Donga Mantung Division which has the enough land to offer and space would have hosted the Planning and Design, not Mankon. This is so because Nkambe has few hotels whereas Bamenda has the highest number of hotels. The point is that students will have it vry difficult to carryout their research in Nkambe due to the lack of hotels and restaurants. “How and where will students do the internship”, elite questioned. However, the College of Planning and Design would have been better for Nkambe given the available infrastructure. Another headache is that the University of Bamenda lacks lecturers yet Prof. Educate and co and hurriedly carrying to decentralize.
Henceforth, each college shall have faculties, schools, institutes and departments headed respectively by Provost, Deans, Directors and heads of academic and professional departments. Accordingly, the strategic and development plan also proposes an option to locate each University college and components on separate sites, locate related colleges on one Campus, locate a campus in each Division of the North West Region and locate the Vice Chancellery and Central offices on the main campus.
According to the proposal that was submitted to the senate of the University of Bamenda, the following programmes were seemingly approved.
Approved Programmes
·         College of Educational Sciences and Management: Bambili
HTTC, HTTTC, Educational Science, Education Planning, Education Administration, University Administration and Management, Postgraduate school of education
·         College of Science: Bambili
Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, and Postgraduate school of Natural and Applied Sciences
·         College of Health Sciences and Medicine: Bambili
Tropical Medicine, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Dentistry, Ophthalmology, Postgraduate research in Tropical medicine.
·         College of Technology: Bambili
·         College of Social Sciences and Management: Bambili
HICM, Economics and Management Sciences, Law and Political Sciences, Postgraduate school of social sciences and management

College of Arts and Culture: Santa
Performing arts, languages, linguistics, history, postgraduate school of arts and culture

Proposed Programmes

College of Planning and Design: Mankon
·         Faculty of Planning and Development Studies
Department of Urban Development planning, department of regional development planning, department of rural development planning, and, department of transportation planning.
·         Faculty of Environment Design
Department of architecture, landscape design, department of urban design, department of network design
·         Faculty of Land Economics and Management
Department of land economics, department of real estate management, department of quantity survey, property valuation, land law and administration
·         Faculty of Environment Studies and Engineering
Environment sciences, environment engineering
·         Faculty of Engineering
Department of civil engineering, department of building construction and materials, department hydrologic and engineering, department of electronic engineering, department of mechanical engineering, department of industrial engineering.
·         Faculty of Geomatics(Surveying) and Geo-spatial studies
Engineering surveying, geographic information system, photogrammetry, cartography and visualization, hydrographic surveying, mine surveying and geodetic surveying

College of Information and Communication Science and Engineering
·         Faculty of Information and Communication Engineering
Information and communication sciences, telecommunication engineering, computer science, management and maintenance of information and communication technology

College of Agriculture and Rural Development: Wum- Menchum 
·         Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development
Agricultural sciences, rural engineering, community development, photo-sanitary sciences, plant sciences, agronomy, agricultural production, agricultural business and marketing, agricultural infrastructure and technology

College of Veterinary and Livestock Production: Jakiri-Bui
·         Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Livestock Production
Veterinary sciences, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacology, livestock production science and technology, livestock infrastructure and technology

College of Natural Resources Management and Conservation: Mbengwi-Momo
·         Faculty of Forest and Natural Resource Management, and Conservation
Forestry management, natural resource management and conservation, wildlife management and protection, agro-forestry, water resource management, inland fisheries.

College of Geological and Earth Sciences: Nyos Boyo
·         Faculty Geological and Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences, geological sciences and environment

College of Tourism and Leisure: Nkambe, Donga Mantung Division
·         Faculty of Tourism and Leisure Management
Tourism and Leisure planning, tourism and leisure management, Tourism and leisure infrastructure and facilities, Hotel management, eco-tourism development and management

College of Craft and Textile: Ndop, Ngoketunjia
·         Faculty of Craft and Textile
Sculpture, textile

Postgraduate Schools
Social Sciences: Bambili, Administration and management sciences: Bambili, Natural Sciences: Bambili, Health sciences, Veterinary sciences, Applied Sciences: Bambili, Applied Technology: Mankon, Planning and Developmnt: Mankon. 

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