Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Two years on, songwriter remains imprisoned

(WiPC/IFEX) - IFEX ALERT - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN protests the continuing imprisonment of singer-songwriter Lapiro de Mbanga (real name: Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo), whose final appeal has still not been heard despite having served more than two years in jail.

Detained on 9 April 2008, Mbanga was sentenced to three years in prison in September 2008 for allegedly taking part in anti-government riots. However, the WiPC believes that Mbanga, who is known as an outspoken critic of the Cameroonian government both as a songwriter and an opposition party member, is being punished for his critical views, in violation of his freedom of expression.

The WiPC calls on the Cameroonian authorities to release Mbanga and journalist Lewis Medjo, who is also serving a three-year prison sentence, immediately and unconditionally.

More than two years after his arrest and detention, Mbanga's appeal is still pending before the Supreme Court in the capital Yaoundé, following numerous delays. In March, the Independent Commission against Corruption and Discrimination (COMICODI) reportedly wrote to President Biya asking for a pardon for Mbanga and another political prisoner on the basis of numerous irregularities in their trials.

However, Mbanga said that he would reject a presidential pardon were it offered to him, preferring to wait for his appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court. A group of US lawyers working with Freedom are now preparing to submit Mbanga's case to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Mbanga is detained at New Bell prison, Douala, where conditions are reportedly very poor. The songwriter is housed in a cell with 36 other inmates. Among those sharing the cell is Lewis Medjo, journalist and publisher of the Douala weekly newspaper "Détente Libre", who was jailed in September 2008 and sentenced to three years in prison for "publishing false news" about President Biya. Both Mbanga and Medjo have suffered from ill health since their imprisonment and have unsuccessfully sought release on humanitarian grounds. Medjo is said to have numerous health problems and has lost a significant amount of weight, yet has limited access to medical attention.

INCIDENT DETAILS
Ill health/deteriorating health
Lapiro de Mbanga (Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo), Artist

BACKGROUND:
In November 2009, Mbanga was one of five cases highlighted for the WiPC's annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer. The same month, he was also awarded the Freedom to Create Imprisoned Artist Prize.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Please send appeals:
- protesting the continuing imprisonment of the singer-songwriter Lapiro de Mbanga (real name Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo) and of journalist Lewis Medjo, both detained in 2008 and serving three-year prison sentences for, respectively, taking part in anti-government riots and “publishing false news”;
- expressing the belief that that Mbanga and Medjo’s convictions stem from their critical writings - in Mbanga’s case from a song he wrote criticising controversial constitutional amendments - in violation of their right to freedom of expression (guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Cameroon is party);
- expressing concern that Mbanga’s Supreme Court appeal has been subject to numerous delays and is still pending;
- also expressing concern at reports that Mbanga and Medjo’s health have deteriorated due to poor prison conditions and that Medjo in particular reportedly has only limited access to medical treatment;
- calling on the authorities to release both Mbanga and Medjo immediately and unconditionally.

APPEALS TO:
President Paul Biya
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70
Email: cellcom@prc.cm
Messages may also be sent via the Presidency's website: http://www.prc.cm/index_fr.php?link=messenger/write_pr

Mr. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35
Email: spm@spm.gov.cm

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Cameroon in your country if possible. Details of some Cameroonian embassies can be seen here: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Cameroon

Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 21 June 2010.

SOURCE
International PEN Writers in Prison Committee
Brownlow House
50-51 High Holborn
London WC1V 6ER
United Kingdom
wipc (@) internationalpen.org.uk
Phone: +44 20 74050338
Fax: +44 20 74050339

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"We hold the government of Cameroon responsible", Committee to Protect Journalist


H.E. Paul Biya
President of the Republic of Cameroon
Yaoundé, Cameroom
Via facsimile: (237) 22 20 33 06


Dear President Biya,

Following Thursday’s death of newspaper editor Germain S. Ngota Ngota, whose health deteriorated while he was incarcerated in Kondengui Prison in the capital, Yaoundé, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on you to launch a public, thorough, and transparent inquiry into the circumstances of his death.

We urge you to provide guarantees for the well-being of three other journalists held in Cameroonian prisons and address ongoing abuses—including allegations of state torture—against independent journalists who raise questions about the administration’s performance.

Ngota, editor of the private bimonthly Cameroon Express, died from “abandonment, improper care” and “failure to render assistance,” according to a prison death certificate that his family shared with journalists.

Ngota, known by his nickname Bibi, suffered from high blood pressure and a hernia. Daily Le Jour quoted Ngota’s father as saying that his son’s medical conditions were diagnosed by a prison doctor identified as Dr. Ndi.

Ngota was arrested on February 25, along with editors Harrys Robert Mintya of Le Devoir and Serge Sabouang of La Nation, in connection with a criminal complaint from top presidential aide Laurent Esso in response to their investigation of corruption allegations involving Esso and the state oil company, National Hydrocarbons Company (SNH).

The journalists were transferred to Kondengui prison in March under terms of pre-trial detention—which can lasts up to six months and can be extended twice, lawyer Jean-Marie Nouga told CPJ.

Three weeks before his arrest by police, Ngota was picked up by agents of the Cameroon intelligence agency (DGRE) while being treated for high blood pressure at Biyem-Assi district hospital in Yaoundé, Ngota’s father told Le Jour.

He was held incommunicado without charge with Mintya, Sabouang and reporter Simon Hervé Nko’o of Bebela. The government has not publicly addressed Nko’o’s claims that security agents used psychological and physical torture to force the journalists to reveal their source for a document on which the allegations were based. Nko’o has since fled into hiding.

Your Excellency, we hold the government of Cameroon responsible for the well-being of the three newspaper editors currently held in state detention facilities, namely Mintya, Sabouang and Lewis Medjo of the defunct weekly La Détente Libre.

Imprisoned since September 2008 at New Bell prison in the commercial city of Douala, Medjo’s health has deteriorated while in custody. He lost hearing in his right ear as a result of a severe ear infection while serving a three-year sentence over his coverage of a presidential decree, his brother Michée Medjo Gatheu told CPJ.

Accordingly, we exhort you to urgently take all the necessary steps to ensure that transparent investigations into Ngota’s death and allegations of torture against Nko’o are conducted, and that the results be made public.

We ask you to hold to account all officials involved in abuses against their critics in the press and we urge you to initiate media reforms, particularly the decriminalization of press offenses, so that the press is able to raise questions about the management of public finances and cover the news without fear of reprisals.

Thank for your attention to these very important matters. We look forward to your response.

Joel Simon
Executive Director

CC:
H.E. Bienvenue Joseph Charles Foe Atangana, Ambassador of Cameroon to the United States
Hon. Jean-Jacques Ekindi, Member of National Assembly of Cameroon
Faith Pansy Tlakula, African Union Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression
H.E. Janet Garvey, Ambassador of the United States to Cameroon
Michelle Gavin, Africa Director,U.S. National Security Council
Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Sen. Russ Feingold,Ranking Majority Member, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs
Sen. Richard Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader, United State Senate
H.E. Bruno Gain, Ambassador of France to Cameroon
H.E. Raul Mateus Paula, Head of the European Union Delegation to Cameroon
Benoît Sossou, UNESCO Representative in Cameroon
Ekue G. Kpodar, International Monetary Fund Representative in Cameroon
Mary Barton Dock, World Bank Cameroon Director of Operations
Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
United Nations Committee against Torture
International Federation for Human Rights
International Federation of Journalists
Freedom of Expression and Democracy Unit, UNESCO
Freedom House
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

419 scam mail

Yes. The Vanguard answered one of the many 419 scam mails we receive. And we have an answer.

You can read it all down here. Above a photo of our new girl-friend 'Olga from Russia'. Have fun. Please leave a comment if you have any ideas or suggestions what we would answer.

International desk.

Hello my dear new friend Tim!

I hope that I can call you in such a way Tim because you answered my letter in which I noticed that you want to get acquainted with me much closer. I think, that could dress an evening dress if we have gone in dinner and dance. Believe me you will
be not disappointed with me. So let me introduce myself.

As you have already mentioned I am 29 years old. My birthday is on the 18 of July. And when is you birthday Tim? I am "Cancer" on Zodiac. My weight 51 kg, and my growth 172 cm. I believe in God Jesus. I have never been married and I do not have any kids, I am a single girl. I'm sensitive, kind-hearted, thoughtful and easily amused.

In opinion of my close friends, I'm kind, jolly, clever and intelligent, purposeful, sociable. I live in the city Kazan which is the capital of the Tatar Republic in Russia. My town is very beautiful. There are a lot of squares, parks and beautiful places. I like my wonderful City very much.

Most of all I want to say to you that my favorite season is the Summer! The sun shines brightly and I like walking in the park
listening to the birds singing and enjoining fresh air. And what is your favorite season Tim? I was born here but you do not know that I have never seen my parents. I spent my whole childhood in the orphanage. I was told that my parents refused from me but I do not know the reason. That is why I had to live without parents.

I have never had the careless of my mom but I always felt the big family where I was loved and love everybody. I have many brothers and sisters they are not my native but they are much closer and more native for me. I love all the children who lived with me in orphanage. We still associate with each other. I think that you would like to know where I live now.

Well, now I have a flat and work as a teacher of English in elementary school. I teach for children whom from 7 to 10 years old.
While studying at school my favorite subject was English. There I dreamt to finish the school and enter the institute. So my dream came true. Now I have everything that I need to live in the simple way. I am not reach but I think that money is not everything in our life.

They only spoil person and do not give him happiness. But I think that happiness is in love. I dream about my own family with the beloved man. I am fond of children and I would like to have them in the future. And do you like children Tim? I am not a person of career.

I am fond of cooking. Everybody says that I cook very delicious. I thinkthat you are interested in why I decided to find my second half through the Internet. Well for about year ago my best friend Natasha got acquainted through the Internet with Larry and now they are very happy together.

Now she is in South Africa with the beloved man. She is pregnant and their family is very happy. Natasha found Larry
through the Internet. We worked and studied together. She is a teacher of English too. And now she works at school there. She teaches Russian language at the school.

So I decided to do the same. I hope that everything will be very good and I will be happy. I can speak and write English language. I have decided to write to you, Tim!

Wowww, I have written you so much! I did not think that I can write about myself so much, really. I'm finishing my e-mail to you, Tim, I'll be grateful so much, if you'll write me about yourself so much, as I did it. I would like to know about your family. Is your family large?

Tell me also a little about your city where do you live? I have never been in other countries and I'll be very glad to know about your country.

Ok, let me finish my e-mail, I hope to see your answer soon! I'm attaching my photo. I hope you will find my photo good. Ok, good bye, Tim, I hope to see your answer soon.


Take care,
Sincerely,
Your new Russian friend,

Friday, April 23, 2010

FAJ Demands Justice for Cameroonian Journalists after Editor Dies in Custody

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African Regional Organization of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), has today expressed its shock and dismay at the death in custody last Wednesday of leading journalist Bibi Ngota, editor of the bi-monthly newspaper Cameroun Express.

Bibi has been held at the Kondengui prison in Yaoundé since March 10th when he was arrested with three colleagues, Serge Sabouang, editor of La Nation, Robert Mintya, editor of Le Devoir and Hervé Nko'o, reporter at the weekly Bebel newspaper, following a complaint by the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Laurent Esso, that they allegedly "falsified his signature on a document in order to blackmail him". The journalists were carrying an investigation into an alleged corruption involving the state-owned oil company SNH.

"We are tremendously shocked by the death of Bibi and the conditions in which these journalists have been detained," said Omar Faruk Osman, President of FAJ.

Bibi's family repeatedly warned about his poor health as he had asthma and high blood pressure. According to his colleagues, the death certificate stated that he did not receive medical treatment when he asked for it. "We share in the sorrow of Bibi's family and the Cameroonian journalists who mourn his loss and we pass our deepest sympathy and condolences," Faruk added.

FAJ remains extremely concerned about the reports of alleged torture to force Cameroonian journalists to reveal their source and fully supports the demands made by its affiliate in the Cameroon, the National Syndicate of Cameroonian Journalists (SNJC). "We back the call for an independent commission of enquiry to examine and determine the circumstances of the arrest and detention of these journalists which resulted in this dreadful tragedy," said Faruk.

The death of Bibi has come at a time when journalists in Cameroon are suffering increased harassment and abuse at the hands of the authorities. The International Federation of Journalists has protested many abuses against journalists perpetrated by security forces and the use of criminal legislation to independent media.

In a letter to Cameroon President Paul Biya last February, IFJ President pleaded for his intervention to stop arbitrary arrests, criminal prosecutions and torture of journalists. He raised in particular the cases of four journalists, Thierry Ngogang from STV2, Alex Gustave Azebaze, independent journalist and leader of Syndicat National des Journalistes du Cameroun (SNJC), Anani Rabier Bindz from Canal2 International and Manassé Aboya Endong from Africa Top Secret, currently on trial, and demanded that charges against them be dropped.

During the Congress of the Federation of African Journalists in Harare in March 2010, African journalists adopted strong resolution supporting Cameroonian journalists. The Federation is due to carry out a solidarity mission to Cameroon in the next few weeks.

From our international desk

Leave a comment,
speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

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Journalist dies in detention in Cameroon

"The prison authorities knew that my husband was suffering from asthma and high blood pressure. They never gave him the medication he needed," his wife, Ngo'o Georgette, told the worldwide press freedom organisation.

"We had already expressed our concern to the Cameroon authorities about the health of Ngota Ngota Germain and his two colleagues, Serge Sabouang and Robert Mintya", the organisation said. "We now urge them to fully investigate the circumstances of this death and to act so that the dead man's colleagues, who are extremely fragile, physically and psychologically, do not end up succumbing to the same dreadful prison conditions."

The three editors were all placed in common cells holding 30 others, in which there were no beds or sanitary facilities. "I found the conditions in which my husband and his colleagues were being held were appalling when I visited," said Georgette. "My family, who are already struggling financially, had to pay for food and medicine," she added.

Reporters Without Borders called for the release of Sabouang, editor of the bi-monthly "La Nation", and Mintya, editor of the weekly "Le Devoir", who are being wrongly held in custody. "They should be freed while awaiting their trial," said the organisation.

Simon Hervé Ngo'o, the man allegedly responsible for the forgery case for which the three were imprisoned is currently on the run. The three editors were remanded in custody on 10 March 2010.

SOURCE
Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84
Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51

Leave a comment,
speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marafa Cautions West Governor to Fight Criminality as top priority

The newly installed Governor of the West Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, has been exhorted to put the fight against criminality as his top priority. The call was made recently in Bafoussam during his installation.

“Here is your new Governor: Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, take the command!". It is by this rite of installation, crowned with strong ovations, that Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Minister of State in charge of the Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD) proceeded during the solemn and formal ceremony, which led him to the third trip in the high western lands at the ceremonial grandstand in Bafoussam.

In a 23-page speech, the MINATD boss made a clear diagnosis of the region. It was in an attempt to bring out the region from of its legendary lethargy. He also presented the context of signature of the act of appointment of Head of State: That of the effective implementation of the guiding organs of the process of decentralization. It stood out from it that the main civil administrator, who takes functions, is experienced, moulded by experiences, and taxed with the task to preside over the territory under command.

The 48-year-old senior Civil Administrator and father of four children, was described as one with a rich career in the command. Henceforth first governor of the western region, and thirteenth in the chronology of the administrators crossed by the same region, will have without doubt, a dense road map in this region which he knows by heart, and in which he intends to be in good hands.

He is expected to, among other things, ensure the safety and security of the people and their possessions, the creation of the favourable living conditions, without forgetting missions of maintenance of law and order and social development, Economic and cultural of the populations; fight against organized crime which is a cankerworm in the region.

The respect for the regulations in force to apply repressive measures is also the hobbyhorse of the new tenant of the regional governorate. There is much more: watch the purification and the embellishment of the city, the fight against the inconvenient occupation of the public highway, fight against anarchical urbanisation, and support for the agricultural world. These tasks were all clearly spelt out by the MINATD boss as the bounden duty of the new administrator of the region.

Mr Nzété, Government Delegate to the Bafoussam City Council, praised and flattered the outgoing governor who had ruled the region/province for four years. He thanked the elites of the region. “The western region is well and truly a child cherished and adulated by the Revival", he said.

The ceremony ended with a military parade and the signing of the official documents and the apprehension of its new services. It was a ceremony rich in sounds and colours that attracted a public about 8000 persons from across the national territory, With the stands decorated with the three-colours of Cameroon.., established by friends, family members, colleagues, co-workers and knowledge.

By Wambo Emmanuel in Bafoussam

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speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

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WWF in Big Leap for Creation of Ebo National Park

A low attitude fly-over to fully appreciate the potentials of the Ebo forest area in Cameroon took place last February 2, 2010.WWF technicians who have over the years co-ordinated efforts to prepare Ebo for a National park designation accompanied government officials in charge of the environment and conservation issues as well as a representative of the Dutch government in Cameroon to catch a life-time glimpse of the biodiversity rich forests.

Local community leaders and the media were key components of the fly-over. “The aim of this mission is for the key stake-holders to have a comprehensive view of the proposed park, as well as further raise awareness about the conservation importance of this Congo basin biodiversity hot spot,” said Atanga Ekobo, Manager of the WWF programme in the area.

After two years of on-the-ground scientific studies, research and wide consultation with local communities as well as administrative authorities, WWF through its Coastal Forest Programme, by this eye witness show, took one more important step towards having the biodiversity rich Ebo Forest designated as one of the country’s key National Parks.

The Ebo landscape cuts across two administrative divisions; The Sanaga Maritime and the Nkam divisions. The proposed Ebo forest national park is one of the most important remaining tracts of closed-canopy forest in the Littoral region. It covers a surface area of 1112880 hectares of lowland and mountain forest and contains one of the most complete populations of a wide variety of forest mammals in Cameroon.

Apart from forest elephants, a small but important gorilla population, and a healthy chimpanzee community, there are nine other diurnal primate species in serious decline elsewhere, such as drills and Preuss’red colobus. However, this forest is facing serious threats as poaching and illegal logging all of which justify the urgency to safeguard it.

Ground work to enable the designation of the Ebo Forest as a protected area has been coordinated by WWF Cameroon Country Programme Office, through WWF Coastal Forests (SAWA) Programme for the past two years with funding mainly from WWF Netherlands.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

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speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
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are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

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Opposition MP Presides Over Parliament for the First Time

After two years of dribbling. For the first time since the inception of multiparty politics in Cameroon, an opposition MP presided over the Cameroon Parliament. Hon P.C. Fonso, the oldest MP, had rightly deserved this privilege but each time Parliament was to open he was sent on mission, to avoid him presiding.

This time around he refused going on mission and was grudgingly allowed to preside over the first ordinary session for the 2010 legislative which opened at the National Assembly recently. He was assisted by two youngest MPs Hon Andre Djoume and Ajoudi Amadou.

According to Art 9.4 of the standing orders of the National Assembly, the first session of each legislative year is chaired by the eldest member of the house who is assisted by the two youngest. The temporary bureau has to remain in place until a permanent bureau is elected.

For the past two years since the beginning of the present mandate of the MPs, opening sessions have been chaired by Hon. Joseph Mboui who was considered to be the eldest member of the house.

This year, things have not been the same as the SDF Members of Parliament did not leave any stone unturned to see their colleague Hon. PC Fonso who is the eldest preside over the opening. Speaking while presiding over the opening session, Hon PC Fonso praised the Almighty for giving him long life to be the eldest at the National Assembly.

He commented that 50 years in the life of an individual represents maturity hence Cameroon is bracing up celebrating maturity when it shall be celebrating 50 years in the months ahead.

Though promising that MPs will not be left out in celebrations marking this anniversary, Hon PC Fonso said Cameroon did not gain independence on the 20th of May but on the 1st of October 1961, hence the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of Cameroon will be on the 1st of October 2011 not 20th May 2010.

To the new scribe of the house, the eldest member pledged total confidence of the house and on behalf of the whole house congratulated him for his appointment as Secretary General of the house.

While expressing condolences to the people of Haiti, the eldest MP hailed the decision by the government of Cameroon through the President of the Republic, Paul Biya to disburse the sum of FCFA 500 million as financial assistance to Haiti, following the earthquake disaster that claimed some 300,000 lives recently.

Though Fonso’s age was not made known to the press, information from the 4th floor of the National Assembly (SDF Floor) say Fonso is two years older than Joseph Mboui.

News in the News

Perhaps what might have caught the attention of MPs and visitors was the fact that when the Prime Minister and Head of government made his entry into the hemi-cycle, all ministers stoop up to welcome him except Marafa Hamidou Yaya of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation.

Even when the PM was shaking hands with the cabinet ministers who were present, he did not shake hands with Marafa. Another side attraction that also caught the attention of this reporter is when he saw Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril walking alone. Not even a bodyguard or a companion, something which hitherto could not be so.

As this reporter then left the banquette hall to find his way out to the news room, he saw Hon. PC Fonso entering into a state car with bodyguards and many protocol officers all around him.

Reactions

Talking to The Vanguard a few minutes after the opening session, the eldest MP said “this was my finest moment since I entered the National Assembly on the 17th of May 1997”. He added that all what he said in his opening speech are things Cameroonians are expecting to hear and see it done.

While refusing allegations that he was bribed two years ago to go for a mission, Fonso said it is time they forget about the past and think about the future. He reiterated that there is still confusion on the date of the reunification of Cameroon reason why he insisted in his speech that Cameroon gained independence on 1st of October not 20th May.

Meantime, the CPDM MP for Bamusso in Ndian Division, Hon Naseli Emmanuel, told this reporter that he was very enriched with the eldest colleague’s opening speech. “He advised us MPs and Cameroonians of all works of life to be loyal and duty conscious”. On whether the fact that the opening was presided over by SDF’s PC Fonso was an embarrassment, Hon Naseli said “no it was just a mistake for the past two years and it has been rectified, all of us are happy” Hon Naseli ended.

On his part Hon Mbah Ndam of the SDF was optimistic that the rectification of the age of his colleague is the beginning of many good things. He said “my impressions are good for one thing, the mistake that has been corrected. Since the beginning of this mandate, there have been some manoeuvres and the opening sessions have been presided at by someone who is two years younger than the eldest,” Mbah Ndam said.

He however said his expectations of this year are that the disfunctioning that has been looming over ELECAM be corrected because we are at the dawn of the 2011 presidential elections.

By NDI Eugene NDI

Leave a comment,
speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Over Eight Hundred Teachers salaries Suspended for Forgery

Operation Sparrow Hawk. Salaries of over eight hundred teachers are reportedly suspended. Some have purportedly died of frustration while those left with only two years may end up retiring before their normal age. Both the Primary, secondary and high School teachers are affected, a source has hinted The Vanguard.

According to our source, some teachers unorthodoxly changed their indexes and started receiving salaries they were not due. Another class of the teachers who may be arrested or dismissed from the public are those who forged the years in active service to enjoy advancement benefit. Although most are said to have doubles the years in anticipation that by the time the benefits are ripped, they would have clocked the years added in advanced.

Fortunately for them the dues got mature earlier than the probable date. Facilitators popularly known as “Dokee” men our source hinted would also be punished. The arrears of most are said to have come out earlier than anticipated and salaries increased prior to the normal working years.

Such unethical increases in the salaries of civil is said to have plagued the government machinery, reasons why the ministry of Finance embarked on a serious “Operation Antelope”. Teachers who anticipated retirement in two years will certainly go on retirement without a penny the vanguard was told.

Meanwhile some who had enjoyed salary increase before they were due as per their longevity in service, shall be brought to book and severely punished. The authoritative source from the ministry of both basic and secondary education hinted that many heads will roll as investigation is still going on. Meantime agents running such illegal businesses with state finance authorities are under investigation. Some of the victims are said to have die of frustration.

By Chifu Edward

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speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
are fundamental for our democracy.
And will push Cameroon forward.

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"President Biya is the guarantor of Development" Hon Wirngo Buba

The population of Vekovi of Jakiri in Bui Divison have been exhorted to shun political follies that could stagnate their development again. At a back drop of development stigma purportedly caused by lack of political foresight, the population of Vekovi in Jakiri, Bui division has been exhorted to change and enhance their commitment to the CPDM party to ensure development.

Reacting to the development lots presented by the population during his Thursday February 18 visit to Vekovi, Hon Wirngo Buba blamed the socio-economic stagnation of the area on the political errors committed by the population of late. “Made a wrong choice by voting the opposition party that has little or nothing to offer”. He said.

It was with this in mind that he reminded the people that only CPDM party and the national chair man Paul Biya can bring about the meaningful development. Although much has been done at his level in the sphere of education roads, electricity etc. much still has to be done to step up living standards.

But for these dream to be come realities. “We must rally behind President Paul Biya the sole guarantor of development in Cameroon”, he exhorted.

He also exhorted militants who flooded the market square to grace his visit to shun all forms of vandalistic and politics without a sense of direction. “You play politics with a human face and a sense of direction as well”, he said.

He underscored the political maturity exhibited at July 22 2007 pools by voting the CPDM party. To be on the right side of history Hon Wirngo warned against political miscalculations that could doom the area again. On this note, he challenged the population to give the CPDM a hundred percent vote presidential to gain more favours from the honour President Paul Biya during celebrations marking the the 50th anniversary of the arm forces in Bamenda.

The MP read out a number of projects realised within his ambits and challenges lying ahead. Although he promised to do his utmost best to address some of the problems the collaboration and commitment of the population to party was going to be a catalyst indispensable in the development of the area ,he reiterated.

“The party hierarchy would do more if you all rally behind Biya… as he who rocks the cradle rules the world”, he said.

On his long awaited visit after the CPDM victory at July 22 2007 election in Vekovi, the opposition strong hold, the member of parliament told the population that: “You voted me into parliament to serve as your a hunting dog”.

In this regard, he could not be available at all time. Inversely, most politicians who brag as always being very close to the electorate most often do so little. This apparently explains why Hon Wirngo prefers to come home with projects and food to feed the hungry mouths than frequent us with empty hands”.

A militant by Njodzeka Emmanuel argued. He argued that Hon Wirgo is the best MP Jakiri has ever had since the advent of multi party politics. Who amongst the MP’s we have had can beats Wirngo’s records in terms of projects realized. He recounted that the MP donated seven hundred benches to the entire Jakiri schools, he is said to have constructed many school and assisted the militants in various ways. He cautioned that people should make mountains from anthills.

Speaking earlier, the national president of NGOGBA Area Cultural and Development Association NGOCUDA Alhaji Musa Mbiydzenyuy lauded the MP for the olive branch extended to them in the domain of health, roads, electricity, education, and the construction of IPS Ntur, donation of school charts and awards of prizes during end of year graduation to some students.

“It is with great joy, honour and respect that I on behalf of the entire community of Ngongba welcome you and your entourage to Vekovi today. We thank the Almighty (Allah) who made it possible for you and your entourage to be our guest for today after along waiting to have this very important visit from you”.

He continued that the “Massive attendance of our people in to this occasion testifies the love we have for you as well as your presence here shows the total concern you have for us. The entire community of Ngongba wishe to appreciate you for the supply of 150 benches to all the schools in Vekovi, the construction of IPS Ntur, construction of two classrooms at G.S. Vekovi, the equipment given to G.T.C Vekovi and the supply of wall charts to some schools, and the award of prizes during end of year graduation ceremonies amongst other projects”.

He thanked the Government through you for the provision of a service bike given to the Agric Post Vekovi.He exploited the occasion to crave for more in the in in the domain of health, water security and education.

He insisted that government should uplift G.T.C. Vekovi to G.T.H.S Vekovi as their children do not have befitting classrooms. Vekovi being the biggest village in Jakiri Subdivision in both land and population with a very powerful Area Development Association he appealed to the MP cause the enhancement of the electric cable to three and additional transformer for it to get to Kam, Ntotti, Ntur, Mengah, Tambow, Ntunir, Takan, bonjong, Kwanso, Dzevsha, Yaainkar, Mbiteei, Nyah and Tamborong villages. As a leading cattle area in the subdivision he craved more cattle dip, as there is only one in Ntunir own by General Ivo Yenwo.

That not withstanding, he lamented that the rate of unemployment of the youth is still very high in the area. “Sir, NGOCUDA congratulates you for this visit and we are ready to work with you on participatory development and decentralisation for the achievement of basic necessities for our children who are the good citizens of today and tomorrows Cameroon”.

For her part, the 1st deputy mayor Yaah Shang Emmerencia who happens to be Mayor Shang Lawrence’ sister hailed the MP for his assiduity to the population,while equally thanking the population of Vekovi for the political come back she hope would metamorphose the social-conomic standards giving that the CPDM party is a party with a vision and commitment to the social well being of the populion.

She also advised them tp live in accordance with the changing times. She was corroborated by the YCPDM section president amongst other speakers. The MP donated over fifteen cartons of savon, bags of salts, cartons sweets biscuits, bags of rice and caw estimated at over CFA 180000 for feasting.

By Chifu Edward

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And another 419 scamm mail. Can anybody tell us why we are being awarded with $250,000.-?


"Dear Western Union Customer,

You have been awarded with the sum of $250,000 USD
by our office, as one of our customers who use Western
Union in their daily business transaction.

This award has been selected through the internet,
your e-mail address was indicated and notified. Please
provide Mr.David Green with the following details
listed below so that your fund will be remited to you
through Western Union.

1. Name:______
2. Address________
3. Country:_______
4. Phone Number____
5. Occupation:________
6. Sex:_________________
7. Age___________________

Mr. David Green
Tel: +234 705191 8825

E-mail:wunit04@9.cn

As soon as these details are received and verified,
your fund will be transferred to you. Thank you, for
using western union.

--
Este mensaje ha sido analizado por MailScanner
en busca de virus y otros contenidos peligrosos,
y se considera que está limpio.
For all your IT requirements visit: http://www.transtec.co.uk "

Monday, April 19, 2010

Prince Chick donates CPDM Uniforms to Mbengwi Militants

The Northwest Yaoundé-based contractor and devoted CPDM militant, Prince Chick Marcus Fominyam, has donated CPDM uniforms with over 11 million FCFA to Meta Fon and the CPDM militants of Njinibi Sub-section.

Distributing the uniforms to the CPDM militants at the Njinibi palace plaza in Mbengwi, on Saturday February 27, prince Chick said the gesture was to consolidate the landslide victory CPDM scored in the July 22, 2007 twin elections. Above all, he stressed that the distribution of the uniforms was to prepare his militants towards President Paul Biya’s visit to the North West Region some time in March 2010 “I want my militants to distinguish themselves on that day by appearing in CPDM outfit”.

Prince Chick called on other Njinibi inhabitants who are yet to identify them with the CPDM to join the bandwagon and be counted because, according to him, CPDM remains the only party in the country that has the knife and the yam.

The Njinibi CPDM Sub-section President Njee Ngwa, as well as the CPDM Section President for Momo 1, Tembi Jacob, all showered praises on Prince Chick whom they saw as the only light and way for the Mbengwi Central inhabitants to follow. They attributed the landslide victory CPDM scored in the 2007 twin elections in Njinibi Sub-section area to Chick Marcus who spends both time and resources to mobilize the population.

The guest speaker of the occasion, Tumasang Napoleon, describing the occasion as ground breaking , said such a population could only turn out in an occasion organized by Prince Chick whom he called, a man of the people. He pleaded with Prince Chick to extend his largesse to the rest of Mbengwi Central in order to make Mbengwi, CPDM bastion.

The Fons of Meta led by the President of Meta Fon’s Union, the Fon of Ngwenkun honoured Prince Chick with a red feather and a traditional sword. The feather, according to the Fons, will serve as torch light to Prince Chick to search for every good thing in Yaoundé and bring to Mbengwi, while he will use the sword to clear away every obstacle on his way. The Fon prayed God to bless Prince Chick: “So that one day he will be our Fokou”.

The occasion was attended amongst other by the D.O of Mbengwi Central Subdivision, and forces of law and order. Over 10 dance groups graced the occasion.

By our newsdesk


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And will push Cameroon forward.

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CPDM house on fire

There is panic, pandemonium, hullabaloo, fear and uncertainty within the ranks of the political organization, called the CPDM. When the centre cannot hold again things fall apart, says Chinua Achebe.

The spate of partisan arrests and incarcerations of pot-bellied CPDM juggernauts that use the undue advantage of their position in government or CPDM party to impoverish Cameroonians and enrich themselves has not gone unnoticed. It is a shame to those who preach virtue and practise vice. A cursory glance at all those who are the uneasy guests of the dingy cells of Kondengui, New Bell and Bamenda prisons, shows that they were and are members of the ruling CPDM Political Bureau, Central Committee or Section Presidents of Biya’s party. Most of them are guilty of embezzling State funds, corrupt practices, graft and profligacy.

Now the house is on fire and the dog has now turned round to eat dog. It is now clear that in 27 years, Cameroonians have been governed, ruled and directed by crooks and people of doubtful integrity. Curiously these are the very people who stood on roof tops and called on their Cameroonian brothers and sisters to be patriotic. To be in the opposition meant you were not a patriotic Cameroonian or even a citizen. With the arrest of these CPDM hoodlums, the contrary has been proved. No SDF man has been arrested. One is patriotic as long as he holds a high post of responsibility in the CPDM.

The much criticised article 8.2 of the SDF is a lesser evil than frisking and pushing militants of the CPDM into tiny cells and prisons. It is like a venereal disease compared to full blown AIDS. These are the people who blamed all the economic failures of Cameroon on the SDF. The country needs some moral reorientation if it must turn the economy around. This is a system where meritocracy is trampled upon while mediocrity and crookedness are enthroned. Tribalism which is the mother of impunity has pushed the country into this beautiful mess. The country has been left in the hands of “chop broke pot” for too long.

To restructure Cameroon demands the stepping on jigger-toes of seemingly powerful and influential groups, individuals and cliques. This can only happen if democracy is given a chance. A leader who does not uphold and live by moral standards devalues politics and endangers mankind which is what is happening now. Cameroon needs a meaningful sense of direction and purpose. The arrest and trial of embezzlers should continue with greater intensity.

The question that arises is what becomes of the money recovered fro embezzlers? The SDF in their recent NEC meeting suggested that a special Bank account be created in which money recovered from embezzlers or the sales of confiscated property could be put and the public well informed through the mass media on its management. Even though the suggestion comes from the enemy opposition party, it is good to be given a favourable consideration.

The problem of Cameroon today is the CPDM with its bad governance and not of the SDF as some renegades want us to believe. It is a cover up of the inability of whimsical Cameroonians to effect a change of leadership that they try to hang the coat of defeat on the shoulders of the SDF. Granted that the SDF has not succeeded to change the Beti Oligarchy because of the infiltration of Taliban agents in to its ranks, what about the Trade Unions, Civil Society and people power? These are groups that could also effect a change of government.

Some SDF renegades will soon discover that they were not leaving hell to heaven. The political ball is still rolling and it may crash land or have a soft landing. While some resignations may be genuine, most are a sign of weakness where losers are quitters. What about those old women and men who cast their votes with no hope or opportunity of ever a post in the party? The time of reckoning is about to come where everybody will render an account of himself.

By Sylvester Gwellem

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speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
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And will push Cameroon forward.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

419 crimes

Is it really that we get fan mail? Are we becoming popular? Or is it another form of 419-scamms? Let have some fun. The Vanguard team is going to answer this letter. Stay with us.

The following message wast sent by 'Katrina Barry 'attem@courts.state.wy.us' and 'aubedd@ties.k12.mn.us'

International desk.


"Greetings!
My name is Olga!

We never talk with you earlier. I can tell to you that I would like to get acquainted with you, and probably in the future we can develop friendly relations, and probably and it is more, it can show only time.

I wish to find second half My friends say that I very friendly, beautiful woman. I am a teacher of English in Elementary school!

I like my work because I love children. If it was pleasant to you my photo or what I could write about myself in this small letter then I will be glad if you write to me the letter on my email, OK?

Please reply only to my personal e-mail: olkaa099@yahoo.com

In the next letter I will send to you more of photo that you could see better me. Also I will be grateful, if with your answer will send a photo.

Yours faithfully, Olga."


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speak your mind and take part in any discussion.
As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions
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And will push Cameroon forward.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Principal Warns Against Religious Fanaticism In Schools

The Principal of government Teachers Training College, GTTC Ndop, Mr. Fidelis Dohkuna Mullah has warned teachers of practising schools in Ndop and student-teachers of GTTC Ndop, against religious fanaticism in schools.

The principal gave the warning during a one day seminar code named Pedagogic Reinforcement, that held in GTTC Hall Ndop, recently. Stressing on the secular nature of the state of Cameroon, Dohkuna urged student-teachers and teachers of practising Schools to keep away religious sentiments from the schools.

The Principal said he disagreed with teachers who brought their church and religious doctrines to schools. The school comprises of children of different religious backgrounds, the Principal said. Dohkuna frowned at the activities of some teachers of Christian background, whose religious sentiments at most times are to the disadvantage of the children of Moslem background.The Principal drew the attention of teachers of the recent killings in Jos, Nigeria as a result of a clash in religion, between Moslems and Christians.

“Such is the result of fanaticism in religious practices”
Dohkuna said.

The seminar which was aimed at reinforcing pedagogy in the six government Practising schools in Ndop was moderated by the Chief of service for studies at GTTC Ndop, Richard Nshi. Topics presented at the Pedagogic seminar included Elaboration of the Table of Specification by Emmanuel Galega, and Strategies for Effective Work Coverage in Practising Schools presented by Joseph Ame.

There were also presentations of model lesson plans in Mathematics, French and Sports, amongst others. In his closing remarks at the seminar, the pedagogic Adviser at the Divisional Delegation of Basic Education for Ngoketunjia, Patrick Ntienkiang Tamagoh urged participants to put into practice the new concepts acquired at the seminar. “You will use the knowledge acquired to make sure that repetition rate in schools reduced” the Pedagogic Adviser said

By Yusuf Yerima

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Minister Petitioned Against Non Payment of Salary Arrears

A former worker with the Bamenda City Council BCC, at the time known as Bamenda Urban Council, BUC, Henry Bene Ntombong has written a petition to the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, demanding the payment of salary arrears owed him from November 1993 to September 2006, when he was due retirement.

The former worker in the petition writes that he was wrongfully terminated from work on November 25 1993 by Abel Ndeh Sanjou Tadzong, Government Delegate at the time. Mr. Ntombong explains in the petition that he reported the matter to the Labour Officials in Bamenda who determined that his suspension was illegal and contrary to Section 30 of the labour code.

According to Mr. Ntombong, after a careful study, Labour official concluded that the Council had to pay him the total sum of FCFA 10.790.486. Ntombong laments that since the 25th February 2002, when Labour officials mediated in the matter, he has not received a single franc from the council.

Mr. Ntombong is further worried that even after a Mezam High Court judgment in his favour, Abel Ndeh was still adamant to pay his dues. Ntombong writes in the petition that he was appealing to the distinguished office of the Minister to come to his assistance and bring to an end his plight with the council.

I have been subjected to the unprecedented pangs of hardship, poverty, misery and disease. A fracture I sustained on my left leg while following the matter, is yet to heal because of lack of money to go for treatment”, Mr. Ntombong laments.

According to Ntombong, other difficulties he has had to grapple with due to the non payment of his accrued salary arrears include the death of his father and mother-in-law due to the lack of adequate medical care.

“My children do not attend school any longer
because of lack of money to sponsor them
Ntombong.

The former council worker ends his petition by re-iterating the call of President Paul Biya on state authorities and government officials to exercise peace, justice, fairness and selflessness in serving all citizens of his country.

By Yusuf Yerima

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Divisive Tendencies of North Westerners

FACING THE NATION, by Sylvester Gwellem.

Some people can only survive in confusion. There are some sons of the North West Region who are hell bent on seeing that there is neither peace nor stability in the Region. This writer holds that the sovereignty of this Region is inviolable and anybody, who wants to stir up trouble among the people of “Bamenda” for his own personal interests and not that of the Region, has to be identified and beaten back into the line of the loyal citizens of the North West.

When it was rumoured that Prime Minister, Philemon Yang was to visit Bamenda some CPDM political sycophants and post seekers in the Region felt that time was once more up for them to demonstrate their degree of militancy to the president in front of CRTV cameras. They defied all instructions and hatched their own selfish plans.

Even though it was clearly stated that the Prime Minister’s visit had no political coloration the champions of division did everything possible to politicise it. A coordination of all section presidents of the CPDM was convened to a meeting in Bamenda and militants told to welcome the Prime Minister in their Party Uniforms. By this vicious act alone a knife was once more driven among the North Westerners who now badly need unity of purpose.

The timely intervention of Yaoundé to push away these overzealous self-seeking leaders came a little bit late because the damage had already been done. Had the SDF decided to come out in their large numbers in their own party uniforms a confused signal would have been sent to Yaoundé. Divide-and-rule should no longer be tolerated by the “Area Boys” of the North West Region. Everybody must be beaten into the same line.

The Fons of the North West are no longer worthy to represent the people because of division manipulated by some interest groups. Recently SCNC and SCAPO scored a major victory in Banjul but division seems to be destroying a good case. CATTU which has fought and won very many battles for the teachers is facing a lot of resistance from other teachers. Journalists are not spared. What does the North West Region gain from all this nasty game of divide and rule? Time has come for the North West people to wear one thinking cap. Politics will come and politics will go but the North West people will remain.

Resignations

Some times it is said that quitters are never winners and winners are never quitters. What I am saying is that resignations sometimes are a sign of weakness, lack of principles or tenacity. Why not correct the situation with what is right with the situation?

Of recent we have heard of some militants resigning from the SDF and crossing over to the CPDM. It is not in the CPDM that the house is not boiling. Any human organisation has its own weaknesses and it is only the tenacious ones who can resist these temptations to the end. One thing is clear. Nobody wrote an application to join the SDF. It was out of conviction and if for one reason or the other that conviction has waned, one can quietly withdraw membership without dramatizing the situation. It is not because my pastor has committed a sin that I will quit my church. When the going gets tough only the tough will get going.

If in 50 years Cameroon can only boast of two Presidents, Ahidjo and Biya, it is because of this whimsical nature of Cameroonians. Nobody seems to be stoically committed to the cause of liberation. Is it not said that the people have the President they deserve? All that Cameroonians, both the retired and those still working want is appointment or re-absorption into services. Some people celebrate their 45th birth day even ten times in a year. What Cameroonians need at this trying moment is men of principles, men of tested courage and men who can fight to a finish no matter the obstacles, barriers and banana peelings thrown on their path. These are people to be counted on. Spineless opportunists always throw in the towel with the bang of the first shot.

That said, this paper believes that boycott never pays. Be there and give your opponent a good fight and if he defeats you by unfair means, onlookers will know and one day they will step in to separate the fight. When you boycott you hand it over to your opponent in a platter of gold. Try and beat the enemy in his own game.


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Taku, Ngarum Villagers Hail Hon. Esther Ngala

The population of Ndu, Ngarum and Taku villages have pledged to remain faithful to the S.D.F Party. This pledge was made when receiving Micro Project Grants from Hon. Ngala Esther Ntala last February 9, 2010. The people were visibly happy with the distribution of grants by the female parliamentarian.

Starting from Ndu Town, Hon Esther Ngala handed over one hundred (100) plastic chairs to the Ndu Council for the people of Ndu to be using for public occasions at the grandstand. This was part of the Parliamentary micro project grants to equip the Ndu official grandstand. Receiving the 100 plastic chairs, the Deputy Mayor for Ndu council, on behalf of Ndu council and the community, thanked Hon. Ngala Esther Ntala for the gesture.

The Deputy Mayor was loud in appreciation of how much the Parliamentarian had done for the Ndu council. He prayed and encouraged her to do more. He also wished all past the M.P.s of Ndu Constituency were like her and promised to take proper care of the chairs.

Earlier on, welcoming the population, the District Chairman for Ndu Electoral District Mr. Ngaba Eric, expressed his gladness because of the fulfilment of promises which she made during her campaign speech. He recounted some of the projects realised during her short term in the National Assembly.

Such as: roofing of classroom block at G.T.C Luh, roofing of Ngulu Fon’s Palace hall, benches, exercise books, pens and pencils to C.BC Boyar and G.S. Ntisaw; roofing of a Classroom Block at Njimnkang, that was pushed down by wind and assistance to some churches around the Division including women’s groups etc. It was therefore not a surprise when she was ranked first amongst the parliamentarians of the Social Democratic Front as far as micro project execution is concerned.

The District Chairman urged the population of the Ndu Electoral District to jointly foster the development of that community as fast as possible especially now that decentralization is around the corner. He reiterated that the recent reconciliation in the Ndu council was real and must be from within and not from without.

Officially presenting the 100 plastic chairs to the Deputy Mayor of Ndu council in the presence of the Divisional Officer for Ndu Sub Division Mr. John Nico and some of the political gurus in that Division, she explained that micro project grants, as a matter of policy in the S.D.F, are used to serve the community/constituencies to fight against poverty.

While at Ngarum Hon. Ngala Esther Ntala handed over materials for water project, cement, rods and a load of sand which will help to rehabilitate Ngarum water project, thanking the National Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi for making known to the Cameroonian people about the micro projects in the National Assembly.

She continued to Taku village where she handed over the rehabilitation and renovation of Taku Health Centre for Public use. She handed some materials for daily use for the staff such as table chairs. She supplied plywood, benches, blankets and bed sheets etc to the Taku people and its environs when attending the hospital for treatment. She continued that the Health Centre will soon be a modern hospital which constitutes wealth for the socio - cultural and economic development of a Sub Division yet to be.

Thanking the D.O for Ndu and his Etat Major, the Project Committee, S.D.F militants, the M. P Ngala Esther N called on the population to protect the environment, stop bush fires, plant more trees, and be aware of HIV/AIDS, climate change, which since 2007 -2010 is a great worry all over the world. Congratulating the Fon, project chairmen, D.O Mr. John Nico, Mayor, S.D.F militants, she promised to continue to work as a partner.

By Abanda Marcel

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Plant a tree! Shey Francis Fonye fights to improves the quality of life of all

Lake Nyos Wall Collapse: NW Regional Delegate of Environment Dispels rumours.The Regional Delegate for Environment and Nature Protection, Shey Francis Fonye, has dispelled recent rumours that one of the walls of Lake Nyos had collapsed. In an exclusive interview with The Vanguard, Mr Fonye disclosed that he heard of the rumour on February 16, 2010 and on February 17, 2010. The next day he paid a visit to the site.

The regional delegate told The Vanguard that he found life quite normal in Nyos and the neighbouring villages. In some of the villages, surprisingly, he noticed that development was in the rise with so many new and modern buildings as well as an ebullient life style.

The regional delegate -geographic information production graduate from the International Institute of Aerospace Survey (IIAS) in The Netherlands- revealed that he went right to the lake and observed that part of the wall of the lake had actually suffered from erosion to the extent that it could engender such a false alarm.

This eroded and eroding wall, Mr Fonye insinuated, coupled with bush fires and erosion at the top of the hill above the lake, which had already reached the basement rock, constituted an imminent danger all the same.

Bamenda ‘Intelligence’

Prior to his visit to the Lake some ‘Bamenda Intelligence’ agents had taken advantage of free publicity in some radio stations by phone to lambaste the delegate. However Mr Fonye says it was not this that urged him to go to the place: “It is my duty to see to it that nothing ugly happens within my ministerial jurisdiction without my prompt intervention,” he told The Vanguard.

Who is Mr Fonye Francis?

Mr Fonye Francis Wojela was appointed Provincial delegate of Environment and Nature Protection for the North West Province on March 11, 2005. Prior to his appointment to head this ministerial department in Bamenda he was Provincial Chief of Service for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in the, then, South West Province.

Upon his accession to office he immediately embarked on beautifying Bamenda City starting with the Commercial Avenue. Fonye Francis: “It is my dream that Bamenda Commercial Avenue should look like Quartier Domayo in Maroua, where, in the heart of the desert the place is adorned with trees that make it very cool that provide shade”

The trees planted included: Callistamore (bottle brushes), Acacia and Ficus eleganza. Most of this planting was done by the Delegate himself who would be spotted at the Commercial Avenue, Up Station hill or in the palaces, in his jeans, planting.

The tree-planting exercise was not however 100% success. Mr Fonye rates the success at about 70% since vandals and impatient drivers -in other words enemies of progress- have destroyed about 30% of the trees. In spite of measures taken to ensure the successful growth of the trees the vandals still succeeded in destroying the trees.

Measures put in place to avoid the destruction included: building fences around the young trees; allocating areas to the individual adjacent shops to care for the trees and collaborating with the Bamenda City Council.

But Mr Fonye regrets that the Council disappointed him most as the majority of the trees that were destroyed were in front of the Bamenda City Council Main Market where they have an office overlooking the area. Another area where there was high rate of destruction was the area in front of BICEC Bank. He has not given up. The 30% destroyed trees have to be replaced.

“We have identified trees that are resistant
and grow in unfriendly or hostile environments
like the Bamenda Commercial Avenue.
We shall repeat the 30%
to ensure the 100% success rate”
Mr Fonye.

Away from the Bamenda Commercial Avenue, Mr Fonye waged a war against the perennial landslides on the Bamenda Station hill by planting eucalyptus trees. “Eucalyptus trees are not very environmental friendly but we planted them there because of their water absorbent qualities,” he said averting the next question The Vanguard would have asked. “The trees will absorb the so much subsoil water that constantly causes the landslides on the hill,” he concluded.

On Waste Management

The Delegation of Environment under Mr Fonye Francis has put up a merciless fight against waste management. Starting with a hitherto mountain of garbage along the GBHS Bamenda (Ntamulung) road he extended to the River Mezam dump site. The Ntamulung dump site has been converted into a very fertile farm, while the River Mezam site along the Bafut road has been pushed closer to the river side.

“We have been in constant touch with the Mayor of Bamenda III Council, Prince Pius Amandou,” says Mr Fonye. “His efforts, though not very effective, are praiseworthy. He regularly sends a van to go round collecting refuse.”

He revealed that he was working with the Mayor of Bamenda II, Mr Balick Fidelis Awah, to relocate the dump site at the Mezam River, “Which is really an eyesore”. This would be an inconvenience for scavengers who forage for electronic waste in particular. He told The Vanguard that some of these scavengers come right from the Western region.

Problems of waste management

Mr Fonye averred that the problems of waste management in town still persist. “We have not been able to address the problems of hospital waste, which, to an extent, is considered industrial waste. Most of the institutions we contacted were government institutions which lack basic waste disposal outfits like incinerators.”

He however admitted that the Mission and private hospitals are much better because they have their incinerators and dispose of their waste more carefully. Quizzed whether incinerators were too expensive to build the regional delegate said they were not too expensive. He said they were ready to lend such institutions technical support in building such incinerators.

Tree-planting in the Region

Mr Fonye explains that the tree-planting exercise by his ministry and the Ministry of Forestry, Wildlife and Fauna ‘has come fight the evil (outcome) of the environment, like: the adverse effects of climate change; desertification; landslides; depletion of the ozone layer; erosion, deforestation, etc.

“The two ministries are trying to plant only on government land like Council forests. This is because there are problems in the native areas where the inhabitants are sceptical that government might finally own their land,” explains Mr Fonye.

He dismisses this misconception stating that once the trees are planted on any person’s piece of land they automatically belong to him. “The intention is that eventually the trees will become the lungs of the environment -absorbing all the carbon dioxide that is emitted that cause global warming.

When the trees become of age the inhabitants can exploit them for wood and timber,” he says. “They are their trees because they are planted on their land.” And it would be wise to replace the tree with a new young one.

He revealed that when this misconception was discovered he redesigned another plan. This was to plant trees but in the palaces. He then advertised the plan and so far trees have been planted in seven palaces in the North West. These palaces include: Kom, Nso, Bafut, Mbatu, Santa Mbei.

At the level of schools his delegation has planted trees in GBHS Atiela- Nkwen, GBHS Bamenda (Ntamulung) and GHS Njikwa in Momo Division. He commended Mr Bumu Martin Viyu, Principal of GBHS Njikwa for being instrumental in the planting. He regretted however that the ones in GBHS Bamenda (Ntamulung) never survived because of fire.

Fire disasters due to burning of hills

Mr Fonye regretted that it was really difficult to control it because the arsonists were hardly identifiable. Most of the burning takes place in the night when no one is around except the arsonists. He pointed an accusing finger at cattle breeder and women who burn farm beds, the action popularly known as ankara. He said the ministry was however not lax over the matter.

Lack of environmental impact assessment

In a general message to the public Mr Fonye blamed most of the environmental problems on lack of environmental impact assessment on the part of the citizens. “We have a principally agrarian economy but small industries are springing up but there is no environmental impact assessment,” he regretted.

The influx of small industries, he averred, constituted a potential danger if no environmental impact assessment was done. Citing the case of SOTRAMILK in Mile 3 Nkwen he said it collapsed because none or little environmental impact assessment was done before it was constructed.

“International Soap factory needs an environmental audit,” he said, adding, “if people need industries without environmental impact assessment it is not healthy.”

Other areas that needed environmental impact assessment included hotels, which spring up like mushrooms everyday, petrol stations which are being constructed or renovated.
The problems he averred do not face only the Region Bamenda. They extend to the other places in the region.

He classified environmental problems seasonally: dry season and rainy season. In the dry season the environmental problems constituted: bush fires, deforestation and wind erosion. During the rainy season: water erosion, soil creep, landslides, floods, thunderstorms and hurricanes.

Future prospects

Talking on future prospects Mr Fonye outlined the following. On waste management, he revealed that the ministry was coming up with Community Management strategies. On tree-planting he said government has created grants for ‘greening’ of the regions including the North West region.

Government is ready to support NGOs that have proven their worth in tree planting. The aim is to fight against the depletion of the ozone layer. This ongoing plan by government is in accordance with the Montreal Protocol on the management of the ozone layer to reach ‘zero tolerance’ level.

No more ozone layer depleting agents like Freon to be imported into Cameroon, neither will Cameroon export any such agents. “The vision is that of mitigating all the adverse effects of climate change,” Mr Fonye concluded.

From our news desk

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