March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Nigerian Government has been given a 30-day ultimatum to respect an Abuja High Court judgement on the restoration of Southern Cameroons statehood with the United Nations, UN.
The peoples of the Southern Cameroons have, through their Counsel, Okoi Obono-Obia, written a letter to the Attorney General of Nigeria and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Bello Adoke (SAN), urging the Federal Government to immediately comply with the Consent Judgement in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/30/2002, dated March 25, 2002.
The judgement was delivered by the former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Rosaline Ukeje, which is in their favour. The Consent Order directed the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take any measures as may be necessary to place the case of the peoples of the geographical entity known as at October 1, 1960, as Southern Cameroons, for self-determination before the UN General Assembly and any other relevant international organisation.
The letter, dated January 27, 2013, was served on the Attorney General on February 8, 2013, urged the Federal Government of Nigeria, in the spirit and adherence to the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism, especially the authority and integrity of the judicial branch of the of Government, to take immediate steps to ensure compliance by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the terms/directives in the said Consent Judgement/ Order.
Accordingly, the Federal Government of Nigeria was given an ultimatum of 30 days from the date of the receipt of the letter to take steps to ensure compliance with the said Consent Judgement/Order; failure of which they will instruct their Counsel to institute proceedings to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria to comply with the said Consent Judgement/Order. The Federal Government, theretofore, has until March 10, to comply.
The peoples of Southern Cameroons represented by Dr. Kevin Ngwang Ngumni, Augustine Feh Ndangam, Chief Ette Otun Ayamba, Professor Victor Mukwele, Dr. Martin Ngeka, Nfor Ngala Nfor, Hitler Mbinglo, Henry Dobgima K Mundam, Simon Ninpa, Shey Tafon, Paul Yiwir, and Isaac Sona had sued the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Federal High Court, Abuja, by Originating Summons seeking determination of the following questions:
Whether the Union envisaged under the Southern Cameroons Plebiscite in 1961 between La République du Cameroun and Southern Cameroons legally took effect as contemplated by the relevant United Nations Resolutions, particularly the United Nations Resolution 1352 (XIV) of October 16, 1959 and United Nations Trusteeship Council Resolution 2013 (XXIV) of May 31, 1960?
Whether the termination by the Government of the United Kingdom of its Trusteeship over the Southern Cameroons on September 30, 1961, without ensuring prior Implementation of the Constitutional arrangements under which the Southern Cameroons and La République du Cameroun were to unite as one Federal State was not in breach of Articles 3 and 6 of the Trusteeship Agreement for the territory of the Cameroons under British Administration approved General Assembly of the United Nations on December 13, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 1352 of October 16, 1959 ; 1608 of April 2, 1961, the United Nations Trusteeship Council Resolution 2013 (XIV) of May 31, 1960 and Article 76 (b) of the Charter of the United Nations?
Was the Assumption of Sovereign Powers on October 1 1961 and the continued exercise of same by the Government of La République du Cameroun over the Southern Cameroons after the termination by the Government of the United Kingdom or its Trusteeship over the territory legal and valid when the Union between Southern Cameroons and La République du Cameroun contemplated by the Southern Cameroons Plebiscite 1961 had not legally taken effect?
Whether the peoples of Southern Cameroons are not entitled to self-determination within their clearly defined territory separate from La République du Cameroun? Whether it is the Southern Cameroons and not La République du Cameroun that shares a maritime boundary with the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
However, the Federal Government of Nigeria sued for a settlement of the case out of court which led to the delivery of the Consent Judgment dated March 25, 2002, based on the agreement reached by the parties. Today, almost 11 years after, the peoples of Southern Cameroons want the Federal Government of Nigeria to comply with the Consent Judgement/Order.
Bakassi Returnees Sue Federal Gov’t
In a related story, the Daily Independent recently posted a case in which returnees of the Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State extraction have sued the Federal Government of Nigeria before an Abuja High Court, claiming 30 billion Naira as damages over alleged acts of betrayal, leading to the loss of their ancestral home at the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.
“In a writ of summons and statement of claim filed through their counsel, Ukeme Ekpenyong, the plaintiffs include Augustine Bassey Efiong, Sila Clement Etim, Efiong Bassey Ekanen and Imaobong Edem Efiong (suing for themselves and on behalf of Bakassi Returnees of Uruan Local Government Area Extraction),” reports the Daily Independent article signed by Joe Nwankwo in Abuja and Bassey Inyang in Calabar.
February 25, 2013 § 2 Comments
A country is worth its History. This is because, from the authentic history of any country, a conscious leadership is born and enabled to handle competently, not only the crucial issues of the hour, but also the planning (with a vision), of the important ventures of the future.
It is because of the type of national history that the citizens of a country are exposed to, that we today have a Cameroon character, a Nigerian character, a Ghanaian character, an Ivorian character and so on. For, this character always stands on a history, whether this history is true or false and, most unfortunately, it is this character that produces the leadership of each country which, in turn, dictates its pace of development or, in some pitiful cases, its pace of underdevelopment.
Today, many African countries lament about their leadership but the crucial question is this: On which history do these leaders stand? Do they know the true history of the countries most of them did not even apply to rule? What is to be expected of a leader who does not even know his country? I bet, very little.
So, this paper sets out not to lay the blame but rather the assignment at the doorstep of the Cameroonian historian – the re-writing of Cameroon’s history. And, like the clinical handling of any disease, the first step is a diagnosis: why has this history not been written so far? Why is the history we have today so superficial, fragmented, biased, battered, mutilated, doctored and full of gaps and disturbing silences?
The first reason is that most of our historians on both sides of the Mungo are not bilingual and have, consequently, found it difficult to explore and make good use of crucial documents written in their second received language, be it English or French. They have, consequently, not been able to benefit from the support that a writer gets from another’s findings, as they have continued grappling, each in the language he masters.
Secondly, many crucial documents about Cameroon history are rather found in Europe, especially in Germany, France and Britain and it has proved prohibitingly expensive, especially for young historians, to go to these countries and dig up the facts. Worse still, some of this information is still kept in the confidential or classified files of the secret intelligence services of these countries and is, consequently, still unavailable to historians.
Thirdly, most important Cameroonian political leaders of the first generation have died leaving no ‘memoirs’, biographies or any published documents that historians can use to understand the motives of most of their actions. To my mind, of all the politicians that have rocked the political landscape in Anglophone Cameroon, only Nerius Namata Mbile and Albert Wuma Mukong have left behind documents that can benefit a historian.
This is such a serious problem to Cameroon as a country, that if the children of those politicians who did not publish any document before dying are in possession of any, they owe a duty to this country to publish such a document or make it known that such a document exists. East of the Mungo, we have only Albert Eyinga and Monga Beti who have made serious publications about their political roles.
The fourth reason is that it took very long for Cameroon history to become part of the syllabuses of official examinations in Cameroon itself. Pupils and students spent their time on ancient history and European history, and only came back home to talk about such banalities as ‘Rio dos cameroes’ and ‘Too late Hewett’. So, historians were not motivated by a ready market for their books if they wrote on Cameroon history.
Fifthly, most Cameroonian historians of the first generation were government employees who took the selfish stand of defending their jobs and guaranteeing their promotion rather than writing the true history of their country. These careerists, rather than steering clear of writing, became official historians.
Lamentably, official historians, like court poets, only set out to please their masters. They magnify anything positive and only render in euphemistic or litotic terms anything negative. As a matter of fact, they set out to write the epic of their leader. That is why there is a disturbing absence of a sense of proportion and intellectual honestly in most existing Cameroon history books today.
They sixth reason is that most of the existing historians lack a sense of commitment. They write out of a desire for gain and not out of patriotism. Their goal is, therefore, not the development of their county but their profit. That is why most of them believe in, and respect ‘no go’ areas in Cameroon history.
The seventh reason is the antagonistic posture of the politician or the man of power towards the intellectual. This intimidates some would–be historians even from taking a decision to write and pushes those who dare to write, to self–censorship. This is an area where politicians need to review their stand because they are the ultimate beneficiaries of a true and authentic history of the country and the final victims of a false history even though it initially gives them the illusion of success.
The eighth obstacle, that the Cameroonian historian has always had, is government propaganda which uses many formulae, ranging from selective provision of information through doctored data to the fact that for a long time after independence, private media were either absent or very weak.
Furthermore, another difficulty of the Cameroonian historian, which might not be entirely of his own making, is the unconscious legitimising of a colonial viewpoint. Indeed, Cameroonian historians have often not had a Cameroonian point of view that is so present in the county’s oral literature and so have annoyingly repeated the same vocabulary as used by colonialists to legitimise colonialism and neo-colonialism.
Further still, existing textbooks are replete with very negative evaluative references to, and even subconscious prejudices against the “Union des Populations du Cameroun” (U.P.C.) and the opposition Social Democratic Front (S.D.F.), that even some of the major authors seem not to be aware of.
Consequently, this consistently exhibited bias and other errors of commission and omission, make their texts lack the required balance and objectivity of a valid history. Again, there is a failure on the part of our historians to incorporate Cameroonian interpretations of their history which are readily available in the oral literatures of Cameroonian tribes, especially as regard the colonial and post-colonial periods.
The penultimate difficulty of the Cameroonian historian, even today, is the induced absence of a reading culture in the citizenry. This means that, for the historian who chooses to write the true history, he can neither hope to have his book on the official school booklists nor count on an independent reading public for financial support. And he therefore, lamentably, finds himself only with the drinking adult population which calculates its money in terms of bottles of beer.
Last but not the least is the failure of mainstream churches to preserve our history by keeping vital documents and making them available to researchers. In most counties in the Western World, even when intellectual freedoms have been almost inexistent, the monasteries, seminaries and other such institutions have always safeguarded the truth for posterity. These institutions still need to prove that they have carried out this mission in Cameroon.
All said, it is very common today to pick up a book with a very lofty and attractive title on Cameroon history, only for it to fail the litmus test – woefully. So, we need to become conscious of our history as a crucial determinant of our development and, therefore, strive to create an enabling environment for true historians to emerge, so that a genuine Cameroon history can one day be written.
- France, Nigeria & Cameroon cooperating on release of kidnapped citizens (vanguardngr.com)
February 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
A senior translator, terminologist and researcher at the Yaounde University I, Soule Saidou Nchouat, says Cameroon’s bilingual policy is only based on a constitutional assumption.
He made the remark in an interview with The Post in Yaounde on January 28, as activities marking this year’s national bilingualism day came to a head. According to the translator, the country’s bilingualism is fraught with so many irregularities that Cameroon can only be referred to as “a French bilingual country”. To him, what is referred to as official bilingualism (giving equal status to French and English) is almost in existent.
The French language, he maintained, has been put on a higher pedestal in a way that it is virtually assimilating the English language, as far as official bilingualism is concerned in Cameroon. Further expressing his views, the researcher remarked: “policy is made up of instruments which give orientation to it. Bilingualism is a concept in Cameroon that is based on constitutional assumption.”
Quoting Article 1(3) of the Constitution of Cameroon, he said “English and French shall be the official languages of Cameroon. Both languages,” he stated, “are supposed to have equal status and that Government is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the promotion of bilingualism and its implementation and protection all over the country, as well as national languages.”
The Senior Translator said, so far, the Government has made a good attempt at promoting bilingualism in the country by creating pilot linguistic centers and bilingual Secondary and High Schools all over the country. Nevertheless, he said the implementation of the policy has been a mess.
“For one thing, the constitution does not say how it should be implemented. There is even no text that defines what bilingualism is all about. There is no law prescribing punishment for officials who issue official documents only in one language,” he observed. What obtains now, he went on, is that someone who ignores the other language (English), is not violating any law. Answering a question as to who is a bilingual person in Cameroon, he said anybody who speaks two or more languages is bilingual.
“These languages can be Ejagham, Mungaka, Lamnso and so on,” he said. He said the issue of English and French has to do with official bilingualism. To him, the problem of bilingualism in Cameroon is further compounded when some officials ignore professional translators and get quacks to translate official documents from French into approximate English.
“Whenever money is concerned, people prefer to bring their relatives (quacks) to do the work of translators,” he said. Soule said some of them have learned to develop linguistic shock absorbers for the ridiculous quality of the English language that they see in some of the billboards in town.
He added that hierarchy does not care about English. As far as unofficial bilingualism is concerned, Soule said the English language was sustaining an assault over French. Citing a recent study, he said a majority of Cameroonians in the Northern Regions who speak both official languages speak 60 percent of English.
He also said many Francophone parents are sending their children to Anglo-Saxon schools to learn English. Official bilingualism in Cameroon, he said, has failed. As a remedy, he said: “we need a law to govern bilingualism in Cameroon and its attendant decrees of application, otherwise, Cameroon will remain a French bilingual country”
- Bilingual From the Womb (scienceabstracts.wordpress.com)
- Mimboman,now a dead zone in Yaounde (lebs295.wordpress.com)
January 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
While investigations continue to incarceration of all other accomplices of the gang, the populations of Mimboman and its surroundings have not hide their relief.
The news of the arrest of alleged perpetrators of a series of ritual murders that have hit the chronic Mimboman neighborhood (and vicinity) to Yaoundé , spread a few days ago, like a wildfire across the Capital City, to the delight of the people who had almost lost sleep. But the day before yesterday morning, in the early hours of the day, Yaoundéens have once again been frightened
by rumors of the arrest by the elements of the gendarmerie Nkoabang in a road checkpoint, a lady carrying a bag full of children’s heads. Despite the formal denial of the sub-prefect of the city, and details of the brigade commander who both spoke of false allegations, the spectrum of psychosis hovered throughout the said day in the city.
Fear over the city
This we are told is the reason which would have caused the reaction spokesman Issa Bakary Tchiroma government.
Indeed, according to our sources, the government might well have ignored the case of the arrest of criminals of Mimboman, not to strengthen the sense of fear among the population, but also and especially to not disturb the progress of the investigation.
According to eyewitness accounts, it was after a long investigation by the Commissioner Evina and elements of the 4th district police, supported by the police brigades of research and Emombo Nkolmesseng, the police and security would have fallen on 04 young Cameroonians: 03 men (the age varies between 18 and 23 years) and a girl named Martine, Virginia. At the end of the exploitation of suspects allegedly confessed complete, said forces would after raids, carried out the arrest of 20 other accomplices of the gang, who already meditate their fate to the central prison in Yaoundé, pending trial.
- Mimboman,now a dead zone in Yaounde (lebs295.wordpress.com)
- City panicked by wave of suspected ritual killings (cnn.com)
- Families keep daughters in after 18 young women mutilated and murdered in Yaounde, Cameroon (thisismoney.co.uk)
July 31, 2012 § 6 Comments
A combined squad of gendarmes and police that cordoned off all the entrances to the Mfoundi High Court in Yaounde might have been frightening. But former Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Marafa Hamidou Yaya, received a cheerful welcome from an estimated 8.000-man strong crowd as he returned to the High Court Tuesday, July 24.
Matters came to a head when Marafa and Yves Michel Fotso, the former boss of the defunct Cameroon Airlines, CAMAIR, were sneaked into the court premises through the back entrance at about 2.00pm. Yet, Marafa’s smuggling into the courtroom did not escape the vigilance of the crowd.
After catching a glimpse of the detained Minister, the crowd began shouting in unison: “Release Marafa! Release Our President!” The same scenario held sway when gendarmes smuggled the erstwhile Secretary General at the Presidency away after the court session at 3:20 pm.
The former Minister, who has been in detention since April, looked fresh in a clean-cut suit. The Post learnt that a group of pro-government onlookers that was brought in to boo and jeer at Marafa, calling him a thief and embezzler, chickened out in the face of the mammoth crowd that cheered the former Minister.
The heavy deployment of security operatives, The Post was told, was due to allegations that supporters of the Minister were planning to stir trouble in court. For one thing, many people travelled from the Regions to witness the trial of Marafa and Michel Fotso, among others, for allegedly embezzling public funds.
As early as 7:30am that day, the court room was already full of security operatives. It is reported that many of those who occupied the seats in the court hall were undercover agents. An eyewitness told The Post that he recognised at least 10 gendarmes in mufti.
Only a few people were allowed to get into the court premises. Even some of the people who work in the court were barred from entering the place because they did not properly identify themselves. Marafa’s fans and some curious onlookers started lurking into the place in the early hours of the morning and by mid-day, a restive crowd had conquered the vicinity of the court in the long wait for Marafa.
In a brief run of events, the gendarmes became more aggressive. They ordered all those who did not have seats in the court hall to leave and began pushing them away. As the security men sustained brutality at the right end of the hall, an excited crowd of onlookers poured into the court, using the back door. The gendarmes stood helpless.
This time around, the gun-toting men decided to stop just anybody from entering the court. Many journalists were shoved away from the court hall. A CRTV journalist, who tried to explain to the gendarmes that he was on duty, was violently shoved away. He regained access to the hall only after some other security officials intervened. Radio France International, RFI, Sarah Sako, was scornfully barred entry into the court. She, however, used another entrance.
One security operative, who attempted seizing a camera from The Post Reporter, met with an irate crowd that warned him not to dare. Outside the court premises, the crowd almost became uncontrollable when a police van narrowly missed running into a “forest of legs” by the roadside.
While reacting to the heavy presence of troops in court, Marafa’s lead Defence Lawyer, Prof. Kofele Kale, told The Post that such a heavy deployment was unnecessary.
“It was an extraordinary show of force that is typical of this Government. They answer everything with force. They should ask questions… I think there is a better way to understand why thousands of Cameroonians were in court. That extraordinary show of force was unnecessary and Government should learn to listen to the people.” Prof. Kale said.
Suspects Charged With Embezzling FCFA 24 Billion
When the trial eventually began, the court presented the charges to the suspects. Marafa, Fotso and the former Director of the CBC Bank, Julienne Kounda, among others, were charged with embezzling FCFA 24 billion of State funds.
According to the charges, the suspects swindled the money during the purchase of an aircraft for President Paul Biya in 2001 to 2004. They are accused of jointly and severally embezzling the money in one way or the other. All the defendants took the “not guilty” plea and the court was ready for business until the Defence Counsel craved for an adjournment.
It was the lawyer for Julienne Kounda, Alice Nkom, who called for an adjournment. She complained that she had not yet studied the voluminous case file. Other Defence Counsel corroborated her arguments. But the State Counsel, Justice Soh, dismissed the argument of the defence as being flimsy and smacked of delay tactics.
After listening to both parties, the Presiding Judge, Gilbert Schlick, adjourned the matter to Thursday, July 26, at 11 a.m. Going by court sources, the case file weighs over 26 kilogrammes and has over 10.000 pages. Yet, the defence is screaming that the file is incomplete. The law provides that all the pages of such legal documents be properly numbered.
“But let me tell you that this document is not complete. They indicate, for instance, that “Document 1” has 10 items attached to it, but when you open it, you see only two elements which is an indication that eight items are missing. So, the case file is grossly incomplete,” one Lawyer told The Post.
Despite the voluminous nature of the document, observers are mooting that there may not be enough incriminating evidence in the case file to nail Marafa. That is why, they claimed, the authorities are looking for other ways to jail the former Minister. According to them, it is the Government that instigated one murder convict, Daniel Besong, who is serving a life sentence at the Nkongsamba Prison to drag Marafa to court for defamation. It is reported that Government availed him a lawyer.
Observers are equally wondering why the authorities have revived the defamation suit that the SDF Chairman, Fru Ndi, filed against Marafa in 2008, when he was still Minister. The matter was stalled without giving any tangible reasons. It was only last week that the matter was slated for hearing at the Magistrates Court in Yaounde, on July 24, the same day that Marafa was at the High Court.
Political pundits hold that Government is putting the SDF Chair in a Catch 22 situation, given that the party has designated its lawyer to defend the former Minister. Moreover, there are already speculations that Government is scheming to use the Fru Ndi versus Marafa case to nail the latter.
However, it was reported that none of the parties showed up at the Magistrates Court in Yaounde and the matter was adjourned to August 28.
- Hearing Of Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Yves Michel Fotso Adjourned To July 24 (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
- Has Marafa Jump-started The National Conference in Cameroon (newuh.wordpress.com)
Albatros Affair: “Court Rejects Application For Inoni’s Release”. Of Course in the Wrong Jurisdiction
June 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
Meme Senior State Counsel, Justice Paul Batou Akong, has rejected an application for the release on bail of former Prime Minister, Chief Epraim Inoni.
Barrister John Mengot Eyong tabled the application before the State Counsel in Kumba on April 18.
He described the arrest and detention of the former Prime Minister as illegal, considering Sections 225, 232(1)(2)(3), 234 and 246 (a) – (h) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.
According to the lawyer, Inoni is a senior citizen, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon and a refined and well respected, honoured English-speaking Cameroonian, illegally arrested and locked up incommunicado at the Kondengui Central Prison in Yaounde.
He further argued that the unsubstantiated allegations of corruption and fraud are mere suspicions, and that the arrest is mixed up in the political atmosphere in Cameroon, as Inoni would never have known that the plane leased for President Biya was faulty.
Mengot said his application was based on the legal principle that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty, and therefore is entitled to bail.
He told the State Counsel that the above principle is enshrined in the 1996 Constitution and in all legal instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 ratified by Cameroon.
He argued that Inoni is a senior citizen who needs constant medical attention, and this will not be possible if the suspect is maintained in a notorious prison.
But immediately Batou received the application, he wrote “rejected for want of competence.” He told Mengot to rather tender his application in Yaounde and not Kumba because Inoni was not arrested and detained in Kumba.
He said Kumba has got nothing to do with the arrest and detention of Inoni.
Frustrated, Mengot lashed out at the State Counsel for rejecting the application, and told him to resign if he does not master the law of the country.
He said Batou signs warrants of arrests which are executed anywhere in the country.
“What prevents him now from receiving this application and sending it to Yaounde?” Barrister Mengot questioned.
The lawyer said Inoni, though arrested in Yaounde, is before no court and is alleged to have committed a crime against Cameroon and, therefore, should be tried anywhere he so desires. “Being an Anglophone, he should be tried in the Common Law Court, either in Buea where he resides or Kumba,” he argued.
In spite of the rejection of his application, Mengot insisted that he would go into alliance with other lawyers and file a motion in court for the self bail of the former Prime Minister.
September 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Dear Electors, My Dear Compatriots,
On 9 October 2011, you will be going to the polls to elect the President of the Republic. In response to your numerous pressing calls, I have decided to stand for re-election in order to pursue the confidence pact that I have sealed with the Cameroonian people. I would like, through this manifesto, to define the general objectives I want to achieve, with your support, over the next presidential term. I place this term under the banner of Major Accomplishments. However, before reviewing these general objectives, I believe I should remind you that we will need determination to succeed. I am convinced that for us to meet the challenges we are facing at home and abroad, we must continue to build an increasingly strong Cameroon. BUILDING A STRONG CAMEROON IS POSSIBLE since our country is resource-rich, blessed with favorable climatic conditions and, above all, can count on its people who are hardworking, enterprising and responsible. BUILDING A STRONG CAMEROON IS AN IMPERATIVE because there is no room for the weak in today’s world. Given that globalization begets stiff competition, markets which generate unfair practices, internal turmoil or external shocks which States have to grapple with, only a strong Cameroon can cope.Such an imperative will require that we all rally round the following five priorities:
Ø Consolidate peace in Cameroon and our national unity, a precondition for our development;
Ø Improve the functioning of our institutions to create a more just society;
Ø Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate our economy by creating jobs and wealth, factors of growth;
Ø Modernize our administration to ensure greater efficiency and better redistribution of resources;
Ø Pursue the affirmation of our diplomatic action to strengthen our influence on the international scene.
1. A PEACEFUL AND UNITED CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON. It goes without saying that consolidating peace in Cameroon and our national unity is a precondition for building a Nation around a vision, such as becoming an emerging country. For this reason, we should always strive to consolidate peace and national unity. They depend on each and everyone’s willingness to contribute to national efforts which will help us to collectively overcome any obstacles to development. Peace and national unity cannot be dissociated from the idea of democracy. Our country already has the essential ingredients of democracy: free and transparent elections, separation of powers, exercise of human rights and freedoms, etc. The implementation of decentralization will take us a step further. As in the past, we will continue to address dysfunctions that may crop up in our march towards modern democracy. Bearing in mind that democracy does not necessarily lead to unanimity, we remain staunch advocates of dialogue. Accordingly, on issues of national interest such as peace, development and security we must seek a common ground with those who do not share our views. For our part, we will do all in our power to reach consensus on such issues.
2. AN EVER JUST CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON Our institutions have established the equality of all before the law. However, their functioning must guarantee fair treatment for every citizen, which may not yet quite be the case. The Government’s duty is to ensure effective equality before the law and to remedy any cases of injustice. By definition, judicial authority, which is responsible for enforcing the law and ensuring the enforcement of court rulings, is bound to deliver equal justice within reasonable timeframes. We will make sure such is the case. Our Constitution affirms equal rights and obligations of all Cameroonians, notably without distinction as to sex. In practice, this provision is not always applied; however, it is necessary to note the progress already made in this domain. We are staying on that path while aiming at gender equality. This quest for equity is one of the major thrusts of my policy. Its key area of intervention is the domain of education. Significant progress has been achieved in recent years at different levels of education to ensure equal opportunity for all our youths. Access to primary education has been facilitated through free education, with the ultimate goal being education for all. An increasing number of Cameroonian children now have access to secondary education, and quite a good number of them go up to the second cycle in all fields of study. For its part, higher education is undergoing modernization and diversification, with emphasis on professionalization and integration of ICTs in order to ease access to employment. Concerning adults, the fight against illiteracy is being pursued. Considering the importance of education for the development of our country, it is obvious that the efforts already initiated must be pursued. Equal access of all patients to health care and good quality medication is an objective we must constantly strive to attain, because the well-being of many Cameroonians depends on it. To this end, we must, on the one hand, continue to increase the number of community health centres which are more suitable for meeting the health needs of our people while densifying our health system with more referral hospitals, and, on the other hand, finalize the setting up of our health insurance scheme which will ultimately enable our fellow citizens to get low cost health care and quality medication, and free of charge where possible. In terms of employment, many Cameroonians still experience inequality. Youths, in particular, have considerable difficulties finding jobs. Our education system is trying to adapt to the needs of the real economy. For its part, the State is recruiting mainly young people into our security forces and every year opens the doors of the public service to thousands of young graduates. While waiting for the acceleration of economic growth to lead to an increase in job opportunities, I will continue the war I have waged against unemployment, which remains my top priority. In this endeavour, I will systematically turn to the private sector, an indispensable partner in job creation. Corruption is another factor of social discrimination that exacerbates inequalities and undermines public morality. Illegal enrichment of a few, especially misappropriation of public funds, impoverishes the entire population and undermines values like work and effort. I will unrelentingly pursue the fight we have initiated to rehabilitate public morality and reduce corruption to the barest minimum.
3. A MORE DYNAMIC CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON I am strongly convinced that we have the means to make Cameroon an emerging country by 2035. To that end, I am counting on our natural resources and the dynamism of Cameroonians. Agriculture is the best domain for the expression of such dynamism, notably because it concerns the majority of our compatriots. Food crops ensure our food security and are finding outlets in our neighbouring countries. Our cash crops, with the necessary efforts to improve quality and increase quantity, offer substantial export opportunities. Concerning our industrial crops, the acreages they cover could easily be increased, so that they can generate more substantial income. It is easy to see the benefits our rural populations could derive from the “green revolution” that was showcased at the Ebolowa agro-pastoral show, in terms of revenue, employment and quality of life. The entrepreneurship of Cameroonians could also help revive our industry. This is possible, first and foremost, by locally processing our agricultural commodities to benefit from the value added they would generate. Furthermore, through the sub-contracting and outsourcing that will necessarily accompany the implementation of our major mining and energy projects, as well as the construction of our road, railway, port and real estate infrastructure. Of course, the development of our industry will depend on the scaling up of our energy capacity. The government is paying close attention to it. In the coming years, several dams and power plants will be constructed and will definitively resolve our energy shortage problem. We can take delight in the good performance of our services sector, a clear sign of the on-going modernization of our economy. I will encourage it as much as possible. In response to the wishes of the business community, we will continue to improve the business climate. We will tailor our taxation to the needs of our economy to make it fairer and more efficient. Similarly, we will continue to encourage consultation and partnership between the public and private sectors. We will take measures to facilitate access to credit which often remains one of the obstacles to business development, increased production and accelerated growth. It is in this spirit that we established an agricultural bank, notably the Cameroon Rural Financial Corporation (CARFIC), and an SMEs bank, the Cameroon SMEs Bank (BC PME S.A). I will personally ensure that these entities go operational soon and will continue to support micro-credit establishments fully. Moreover, we will make sure that our external trade does not make us over-dependent on imports. In fact, it is not normal for us to import products that we produce or for which we would have comparative advantage by producing them locally. Trade with our neighbours, notably CEMAC countries, is not up to expectation. We will strive, within the framework of regional integration, to reach satisfactory trade levels.
4. A MORE EFFICIENT CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON The success of our development policy largely hinges on the competence and devotedness of State employees. I will do everything in my power for our administration to become the expected catalyst of our efficiency. That is why it will be necessary, during the training of civil servants, to lay emphasis on the ethics of their professions. In this spirit, a code of ethics will be prepared and service heads will undertake to comply with it upon assuming office. Changing State missions and public administration management methods will require in-service retraining or upgrading of civil servants. The performance expected of government services is indeed related to their modernization. Such modernization will require the allocation of more resources to essential services (education, justice, security, health) in order to enhance their efficiency. As far as possible, a salary increase could be envisaged. The advent of new tasks related to decentralization, will also make it necessary to assign additional resources to regional and local authorities.
5. ASSERTING OUR DIPLOMATIC ACTION FOR A STRONGER CAMEROON ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE At the turn of the 21st century, new key players, namely emerging countries, are entering the international scene. The major balances inherited from the end of the Cold War are thus being substantially modified. The example of emerging countries offers new prospects for African countries that aspire to rise to their level of development. Such is the case of Cameroon which has potentialities enabling it to envisage becoming an emerging country by 2035, in accordance with the long-term vision whose strategic framework was adopted recently. Of course, to achieve this goal, we need considerable efforts to stimulate our development while consolidating the peace and stability prevailing in our country. This enviable situation fully explains the various dimensions of our external policy: relations of good neighbourliness, mutual understanding and cooperation with our partners in the sub-region, adherence to the objectives of the African Union, support to the initiative of the United Nations Organization, and strengthening our relations with our traditional partners and new players on the international scene. It is not an overstatement to say that Cameroon is held in high esteem before the international community. This is due to the stability of its institutions and the sense of responsibility of its people. It confers her some measure of influence in the major debates concerning the representativeness of United Nations institutions and the emergence of an international community that is more just and more interdependent. Of course, we will continue to assert our diplomatic action. In recent years, we have made remarkable progress. Had the crisis not undermined our efforts, we probably would have done more and better. Difficulties have sharpened our determination. As growth returns and the sacrifices we have made are bearing fruit, and the peace and stability prevailing in our country are creating an enabling environment for our development, I am convinced that the goals I have proposed are within our reach. Together, we will achieve them. Each of us is concerned and must make his or her contribution. For my part, you can count on my determination and commitment.
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote to continue living in peace!
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote for a creative, an innovative and a daring Cameroon!
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote for fresh impetus!
The People’s choice!
- Breaking News!! Paul Biya declares his candidacy for the 2011 Presidential Elections! (via PRGoretti’s Blog) (lebs295.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon opposition leader says other parties are ‘maggots’ (cnn.com)
- Election Rigging Strategy: Biya regime bans Twitter in the Cameroons (ntemfacofege.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon to Hold Elections in October (sahelblog.wordpress.com)