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Cameroon – Paul Biya: President to visit the survivors of the Eseka tragedy in the hospital?

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Written by Deckson N.

The Head of State will not leave Yaounde to get to Eseka where the unprecedented rail disaster killed about one hundred passengers on Friday, October 21, 2016 in the late morning to Douala.

President Paul Biya also responded conspicuously absent yesterday, Monday, October 24, at the ecumenical service held on the site of the tragedy in memory of the victims. Even Notre Dame des victoires cathedral of Yaounde where the former seminarian was personally invited to another religious ceremony, he delegated his Chief of Staff, Martin Belinga Eboutou, to represent him. This attitude of the Head of State did not fail to shock the Cameroonian people. Yet Paul Biya is deemed cold and distant.

According to indiscretions, the Head of State, under pressure from some of his relatives, could go to the bedside of the injured of the Eseka incident hospitalized in Yaounde, including those admitted to the Emergency Centre and the central hospital. However, some employees of the President of the Republic would have advised the cancellation of this event, if he is not able to tour health facilities where are dispatched the survivors supported by government. Paul Biya has not yet decided!

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Deckson N.

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  • 1O PAGE OPEN LETTER TO FON ANGWAFU, SENATOR ACHIDI ACHU, SENATOR MAFANY MUSUNGE, CHIEF JUSTICE BENJAMIN ITOE, NFON V. MUKETE AND OTHER WEST CAMEROON ELITES.

    RE-YOUR MOTION OF SUPPORT TO PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA IS PROVOCATIVE AND UNREALISTIC, TAKE A LOOK AT THE BELOW STATISTIC.

    Dear Southern Cameroon Senior Elites.

    Anglophones in and out of Cameroon says they are marginalized, yes that notion is true and there is growing bitterness and resentment. Anglophones says they are gradually losing their culture, heritage, judicial system, rights and respect. I write to you with a heavy burden in my heart for our people, i am not written as an SCNC member but i doing so as a concerned Southern Cameroonian.

    Senior Anglophone Elites reflect on these statistics, Anglophone Cameroon contributes 30-40% of the National GDP but yet only 5% of its roads have bitumen or tarred. Out of the 8% percent tarred roads, 2% goes to Fako Division and Meme and Manyu shares 2% and North West Region takes 4% divided as follows Tiko- Limbé 90 km Mutengene – Kumba : 90 km Mutengene – Buea, 240 km Limbé – Idenau, 16 km Bamenda – Bambui – Fundong : 90 km Bamenda – Batibo : 40 km Kumbo – Ntaba, Bamenda-Ekog( Internationally funded), lastly the ongoing construction road Kumba- Mamfe. Many of Anglophone Divisions and sub-Divisions have never seen butimen or tarred road. Worst hit is the Kupe-Muaneguba which is just 10km to Littoral from Loum and 20km from Melon, Ndian Division, Akwaya Sub- Division, Lebialem, Ngoketonja , farms to market roads zero, just to name but a few.

    Other developments like hydro-power/electricity hydro-power dam of Edéa (extensions) – Song Loulou – Lagdo, réservoir Mbakaou – Bamendjin – Maga – Tchidifi Mokolo. Littoral, hydro power of Mapé – Pipeline( water) – Mbalmayo, Yaoundé, Douala – Pipeline (pétrol) Tchad-Cameroun and energy transportation Lagdo-Ngaoundéré. All petrol constructed depot are all in the Francophone territory.
    Airports and Stadiums, airports were constructed by President Ahidjo in Douala, Yaoundé, Garoua Construction of Bertoua aero=drum, Ngaoundére, Maroua, Construction of Mvomeka and Bafoussam. What do the Anglophones carry home, Bamenda air-strip.

    In Stadium development, Omnisport: Yaoundé Douala, Garoua, Bafoussam. What is for the Anglophones the poor/low standard/low capacity stadium in Limbe without a shelter to prevent spectators from getting wet during football match.

    Health and education, Anglophones have no reference hospital, the general hospitals that exist are housed in an all out dated buildings and ill equipped as compared to the reference hospitals we have in the Francophone territory. Thank God for the just painted Buea General hospital.

    Education is a night mare, primary, secondary and high schools established in every village there by destroying the standard of Anglophone standard of education as compared to the Francophone territory and most often as is the case in-adequate staff, Poor teaching environment, heavy burden to PTA to build classrooms, hire untrained staff and to provide other amenities.

    Senior Citizens of Southern Cameroon, let’s not fool ourselves Anglophones are classified as third class citizens as compared to the second class apportioned? There are many Anglophones who are super intelligent and conversant in French language, more than many our Fracophones brothers.
    Anglophones, why can any of our Sons and Daughters never be president of Cameroon.
    How can Anglophones explain that for 56 years, since independence an Anglophone Son/Daughter has never been appointed to the ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Minister of Territorial Administration, defence or Chief Justice of Cameroon? Look at the disproportions, in numbers of Anglophone Generals, Governors, SDOs, Secretary Generals, Chief Executives of Government Corporations and parastatals. There is an unwritten code that these positions would never revert to Anglophones. Even when Anglophones are given any good Position is basically ceremonial e.g the Post of Prime Minister, the Francophone regime must always have a top Francophone as a spy or a super Secretary General. Cameroon has a Cabinet of more 70 Ministers, Secretaries of State and Directors, only 3% are Anglophones and they hold insignificant position. When an Anglophone is Prime Minister the constitution is changed against Anglophone becoming President in the case when there is a vacuum at the Presidency.

    In a country of over 250 tribes (CABTAL) with 60 ministers from 10 regions, the Centre and South regions (2 tribes) have 30 ministers. Mr. Biya would still be appointing people from the same area into his new government. Even people who have tarnished their records are promoted simply because they come from Biya’s region and speak his language. Mr. Biya’s boys are building personal edifices which are larger than the ministerial departments they are managing. Some have built industries in foreign countries and have expatriated funds to foreign banks.
    Please old folks talk and liberate your people, The Regime has no power over you and I suggest you voice your mind or identify with History before you and your family go on the unpopular lane of History.

    Senior Anglophones Elites do not think that if Anglophones are hit, that you and your house whole will be excluded. The ethnic tendencies in Cameroon are not just a reflection of attachment to ones area of origin but negative tribalism, which sees the other-lines as the enemy in the house. Anglophones have been presented by top ranking Biya supporters as enemies in the house without Mr. Biya reacting to sanction them. Anglophones have been threatened by a serving minister of expulsion from Yaounde if they dared oppose the Biya regime without condemnation from Biya. Minister Mama Fouda wrote the famous letter from Mfoundi elites in 2008 threatening to chase Anglophones with clubs and local weapons.
    20 years from the Rwandan genocide that claimed nearly one million moderate Hutus and Tutsis, Mr. Biya supporters still behave like some Cameroonians do not belong in Cameroon once they challenge Biya’s regime.
    There is no love and respect for the Anglophone, Many at times Anglophones are called Biafrians. Those plundering the country are all from the same region, and Biya knows this. Tribalism militates in his choice of his ministers and directors.

    All Economic and Projected Emergence is for the East Cameroon. For no economic reason or wisdom, Mr. Biya has destroyed all the infrastructure of West Cameroon. Cameroon Bank, POWERCAM (generated and distributed electricity to West Cameroon), WADA (produced tons of cereals in Wum area, West Cameroon), PMO-Marketing Board (subsidized agriculture and maintained farm to market roads) and many other projects like Tiko and Bota seaports which do not need drenching to remove sand, Etam and Kumba saw mill, West Cameroon Bank, West Cameroon Development Agency, Cameroon bank: Amity Bank and the list go and on and on. You can not kill part of the country to subjugate it and expect growth.

    The eye of the Francophone regime is clicking again, this time CDC, PAMOL and the GCE board are the target. Manager of SNH boldly declares that oil revenue is an affair between him and the head of state. The same oil that have rendered the soil of the Coastal Anglophone areas infertile, inhabitable, water undrinkable, aquatic life almost to nothing and Anglophones living in these areas are grounded no roads, poverty has increased and life is now unbearable.

    The Francophone-led government of Cameroon has furnished the country with two national anthems, which does not favour national unity and integration and the English version of the anthem differs from the French version. The sudden return of the name La Republic Du Cameroun, the name East Cameroon got independent from the United Republic of Cameroon is a clear message to Anglophones.

    The Onus is for you the Senior Elites of Anglophone Cameroon to battle on fixing Article 2 of the Foumban Constitution authorizing the holding of a referendum to revise it. Solve these post independent problems before you all go to be with the creator because after you are all gone there will be no witnesses to testify and rectify this live facts. History is interesting but delicate subject because the past we are writing about is never dead to the present and also because it is written and re-written. Whoever thinks that the dead do not bite and that the past is gone for good does not think history. In 1984, Mr. Paul Biya unilateral changed the name of Cameroon from United Republic of Cameroon to The Republic of Cameroon, the name with which French Cameroon got independence. English speaking Cameroon are seeing this as a very undemocratic move and they considered it the suppression of minorities and the unity declared at the Foumban Conference

    Southern Cameroon Elites, you have the Power to push for a better Cameroon for your Children; I still think and very optimistic that you can push for the creation of an independent electoral commission rather than the NEO or ELECAM (Our people says if water over stays its visit in the mouth its risk becoming saliva). Fix Anglophone problem, my old Southern Cameroonian Elites .

    Senior Citizens of Southern Cameroon, there’s nothing wrong in praising someone who merits praise but in the case of Mr. Paul Biya and the CPDM regime, I am short of words why he must be praised.

    I wish to remind you how Anglophones found themselves in this dilemma. Anglophone is neither a region nor a tribe but it’s a state duly recognized by the UN, OUA (AU) and in the books. East Cameroon became independent on 1st January 1960 and Nigeria to which Southern and Northern Cameroon were attached also gained independence from Britain on 1st October 1960. On 11 February 1961 the UN conducted a plebiscite in Northern and Southern Cameroon to determine whether Cameroonians wanted to be independent by joining the Federal Republic of Nigeria or the Republic of Cameroon. Northern and Western Cameroon is one Nation that was forced to join East Cameroon by President Ahidjo.

    The results of the plebiscite which should have been counted as one for the whole British territory were splited and counted separately between North and South Cameroon. The north voted to join Nigeria and the South voted to join the Republic of Cameroon. In June 1961, all the leaders of the political parties in Southern Cameroon met in Bamenda to discuss the terms and conditions of reunification.

    There were disagreements on several issues, but all agreed unanimously that unification was to be based on Federalism and that Southern Cameroons was to retain all its organs and institutions, its culture and legal systems and its parliamentary system of government. In July 1961 the famous , “Foumban Constitutional Conference met in Foumban to draw up a Constitution for the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The Republic of Cameroon has failed to keep its terms and obligations of the Foumban Conference, therefore there is Unification base on the agreements
    that was made during this Foumban Marriage between the three Nations of Cameroon., namely the Northern, Southern and Eastern Cameroon.

    After protracted talks it was finally agreed that reunification would be based on federalism that the State of Cameroon would promote and strengthen the bi-cultural identity of Cameroon without the French or English culture absorbing the other, and that Southern Cameroon would retain all its organs and institutions.
    These terms were then incorporated into the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon with a proviso in Article 47 making it impossible to unilaterally amend certain Articles of the Constitution without the risk of breaking up the Union. On the 1st of October 1961 the Federal Republic of Cameroon was born. It consisted of two Equal States – the State of East Cameroon (formerly French Cameroon or Republic of Cameroon) and the state of West Cameroon (formerly British Southern Cameroon or Southern Cameroon.)

    From 1961 to 1972 when the Federal Republic of Cameroon existed, there was no ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM. Let us not forget that it was Anglophones who voted to join the Union, and to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon, it was not the Francophone who voted, so the referendum to abolish the Federation should have only been voted by the Anglophones, but the Francophone with their majority in the Union “voted” and dissolved the Federation, the basis of Unification.
    In so doing the Ahidjo government unconstitutionally breach the Foumban Accord, abolished the Federal Government and introduced the present Unitary Government. This has created a new problem, a Constitutional problem called the ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM.
    The Anglophone problem then started with the abolition of the Federation.
    Anglophones who were used to the multiparty system of government, no fear, no ID card check etc suddenly found themselves in a one-party system of government (the “CNU monster ) with its dictatorship and suppression of human rights. East Cameroon-Francophone, oppressive laws and immanency laws, were extended and applied in West Cameroon.
    West Cameroonians-Anglophones, were forced to carry “piece”(tax receipts, identity cards, voting cards, driving license etc) victims were arrested and tortured in the newly constructed BMM cells. West Cameroonians who did not know fear before began to experience fear. Those who did not support the regime or criticize it were arrested, tortured or imprisoned.
    By Francophone legal system, a person is presumed guilty until he proves himself not guilty. Mr. Paul Biya, the Francophone and World must be that the Anglophone problem is not dying down but is gaining momentum every year. Since 1985, when Fon gorji Dinka, a former president of the Cameroon Bar, unilaterally declared autonomy for Southern Cameroon and named it Republic of Ambasonia. The Anglophone problem and fight is on and is fast gaining ground and since then the Anglophone agitation has been growing, Dinka is president of Ambasonia in exile. The All Anglophone Conference (AAC1) held in Buea January 3-6, 1993 endorsed a return to the Federal System of government, While the Social Democratic Front (SDF) in its 1994 convention also accepted the Federal System.

    On the 29th April to 3rd May 1994, AAC2, met in Bamenda, to discuss the “the road to peaceful self-determination and demand for zero hour” The AAC was transformed into “The Southern Cameroons People’s Conference” (SCPC) and then into the present SCNC “the Southern Cameroon National Conference” In 1996, Dr. J. N. Foncha and S.T. Mona both of blessed memories, and once Vice-Presidents of Cameroon and retired Anglophone politicians, gave their full support to this struggle and led a delegation to the UN, accompanied by the Chairman of the SCNC, Mr. E.Elad, and prominent men from both North West and South West namely: Ambassadoe Epie of blessed memories, Ambassador Fossung, Mr. Litumbe, Dr. Youngbang, Justice Mbu and Dr. Munzo. This was a clear indication of a united front and to a show the gravity of the situation. In December 1999 Justice Ebong, a Judge of the Cameroon High Court, declared autonomy for Southern Cameroon, named the State “The Republic of Southern Cameroon”. He was detained without trial for two years and then released Last year, 2008, Mr. Carlson Anyangwe, proclaimed the “Restoration Government of southern Cameroon”, he made himself president and appointed his ministers within and without the country All these people and movements in the Anglophone territory, are only trying to redress a situation which should never have arisen if our Francophone brothers have managed unification in the true spirit of brotherhood.

    Francophones must be told and the world must know that the Anglophone problem is not dying down but is gaining momentum every year. In 1985, Fon gorji Dinka, a former president of the Cameroon Bar, unilaterally declared autonomy for Southern Cameroon. He named the new State Ambasonia. Dinka is president of Ambasonia in exile. The All Anglophone Conference (AAC1) held in Buea January 3-6, 1993 endorsed a return to the Federal System of government, While the Social Democratic Front (SDF) in its 1994 convention also accepted the Federal System.

    On the 29th April to 3rd May 1994, AAC2, met in Bamenda, to discuss the “the road to peaceful self-determination and demand for zero hour” The AAC was transformed into “The Southern Cameroons People’s Conference” (SCPC) and then into the present SCNC “the Southern Cameroon National Conference”
    In 1996, Dr. J. N. Foncha and S.T. Mona both of blessed memories, and once Vice-Presidents of Cameroon and retired Anglophone politicians, gave their full support to this struggle and led a delegation to the UN, accompanied by the Chairman of the SCNC, Mr. E.Elad, and prominent men from both North West and South West namely: Ambassadoe Epie of blessed memories, Ambassador Fossung, Mr. Litumbe, Dr. Youngbang, Justice Mbu and Dr. Munzo.

    This was a clear indication of a united front and showed the gravity of the situation. In December 1999 Justice Ebong, a Judge of the Cameroon High Court, declared autonomy for Southern Cameroon, named the State “The Republic of Southern Cameroon”.

    He was detained without trial for two years and then released Last year, 2008, Mr. Carlson Anyangwe, proclaimed the “Restoration Government of southern Cameroon”, he made himself president and appointed his ministers within and without the country All these people and movements in the Anglophone territory, are only trying to redress a situation which should never have arisen if our Francophone brothers have managed unification in the true spirit of brotherhood.

    A Federation and democratic institution and is the only way by which any multinational and culturally divers communion, has the opportunity for variation in laws, existences, dispensations, that take account of the motley sensibilities and accordingly concede reasonable autonomy to the constituting units. Cameroon is a multicultural, multiethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious State. Therefore any person or party or government, who or which condones the marginalization, discrimination or the treatment of Anglophones as second class citizens, is an enemy of our unification. Anglophones’ interest can only be protected and enhanced in a Federal Government. Our fight, our struggle is not against Francophones as such, but against the oppressive CPDM governments of BIYA, governments which have denied us our fundamental rights and frustrated our political, economic and social aspirations;Governments which reduced us to second class citizens, and are hell-bent on keeping us there

    That is why the United Nations gave Southern Cameroon independence on the basis of Federalism. We unified on the understanding that we would operate a Federal System, in which we will live in a mighty, united, economically strong Cameroon Nation; guaranteeing all citizens of every race and religion, inalienable fundamental and civic rights, equal opportunities and respect for the bicultural character of our people.Does Mr. Paul Biya deserve praise when it comes to democracy in Cameroon, of course no, multipartism was forced on Mr. Biya by World Bank, France, IMF and the SDF. What then is a democratic regime?

    There are certain basic tenets which any country that calls itself a democracy must meet. Steven and Lucan (2002) outline some of the tenets to be;

    I) Complete separation of power from the three branches of government which includes the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Members of the executive must be chosen through free and fair elections and open to all adults of voting age. In this case only prisoners who have lost their right to vote may be legally exempted from participating. This is not the case with Cameroon because neither is there any real separation of power and elections have always been rigged and voters claimed of disenfranchisement.

    II) In a democracy, political and civil rights must be respected. These rights among others include total press freedom, freedom of association, freedom to criticise without fear risking a prison sentence. In Cameroon there are myriad and duplicity of civil right movements and non-governmental organization thereby making it look as fulfilling this condition. However most of the civil societies are weakened by the government or they are arms of the ruling government. There are several media organs but this does not translate to freedom giving that most media organs have to trade professionalism for survival and bribery to exist because of the unwillingness of the government to help put order in the sector. So the weak media environment is therefore an added advantage to the government.

    The UN watch- Freedom House in its freedom index rankings of 2009, 2010 and 2011 insists that Cameroon is not-free at all neither is there press freedom. In its 2010 rankings, Cameroon occupies the 146 position together with Cote D Ivoire, Morocco and Qatar out of a sample of 192 countries with a score of 66. The same 2010 Freedom House rankings which focus on Africa South of the Sahara ranked Cameroon in the 38 position out of 48 and concluded that Cameroon is definitely not free. Furthermore, on the rankings released on January 03, 2011 under the title The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy, Freedom House rated Cameroon as not free with regards to civil liberties and political rights. Using a scale of 1 being free, 3 partly free and 7 not free, Cameroon scored 6 both on civil liberties and political rights thereby making it not free according to Freedom House. However The Mo Ibrahim Index on governance concerning African countries gave Cameroon a human right score of 54.7/100 which the Cameroon government uses to debunk studies of others like Freedom House.

    III) In a democracy, elected authorities must possess real power to govern in a way that they are not subject to some military, religious or to much executive control. Steven and Lucan do not mention corporate control and I think they might have got in wrong there because, most so called democracies and givers of lessons in democracy are now almost totally controlled by lobbies and corporations. The power of these CEOs and their companies especially in free market economies have gone a long way to undermine the values of democracy and the influence of the multinationals in Africa and national politics have been nefarious.

    In Cameroon for example, there are elected mayors in councils but these mayors cannot properly govern and carry out their duties because of the presence of super mayors called government delegates.. These so called government delegates are appointed by the president and they override and often undermine elected mayors. If Cameroon were to be a real democracy the governours of the ten regions as well as so called divisional and sub divisional officers would be elected. This is not the case and the parliament remains a rubber stamp with elected MPs under the mercy of appointed ministers.

    iV) : The rule of law, transparency and the fight against corruption are equally supposed to be the hall marks of any democracy given that is not only a government by the people but above all, a government for the people. Cameroon is far from being a jungle but the rule of law and transparency are also far from being its watch word. In 1998 and 1999 Transparency international successively ranked Cameroon as the most corrupt nation in the world. This negative publicity pushed Cameroon to making some negligible efforts in combating corruption. This did not still go well in the eyes of Transparency international because 11 years after with the release of the 2011 corruption index, Cameroon was ranked 146 out of 178 countries and scored 2.2/10 a mediocre performance indeed. Still in that respect The Mo Ibrahim Index of Governance in Africa in its ranking released in 2008, Cameroon was ranked 25th position out of 48 countries and had a below average score point of 48.3/100 on the rule of law, transparency and corruption.

    Competitive authoritarianism or advanced authoritarianism or Hybrid regime

    In view of the above then, Cameroon is certainly not a democracy though President Paul Biya coined the phrase ADVANCED DEMOCRACY in the early 90s to describe the type of regime in Cameroon.
    It is true that democracy means different things to different people given that in a real democracy, no monarchy living on taxes payers money should be accepted though it often said these monarchies are ceremonial heads. Against that background democracy should not only be elective-government by the people, but must be a government for the people and of the people. Some burning issues must be put on referendum for the people to decide rather than for the elected representative and their lobbies to dictate. This may concern issues that deal with constitutional modifications or certain economic and political reforms that may deem to have far reaching ramifications on the people.

    Many scholars have written volumes on types of regimes and especially mixtures of regimes with some referring to these mixtures as semi-democracy, virtual democracy, hybrid regimes, pseudo-democracy, liberal democracy, transitional democracy, electoral democracy, soft authoritarianism, semi-authoritarianism. Freedom House also came up with free and partly free. (Steven and Lucan 2002:1) It is true that most of the scholars have carried their own studies with a degree of what Steven and Lucan call democratisation bias.

    With regard to the first types of democracies, I would argue that they are not democracies because they fail to meet the standards of democracy. It is incomprehensible that a so called democracy be in transition or hybrid for decades. Some scholars in Cameroon argue that the country has been a democracy or a transitional democracy since Paul Biya took over power and relaxed certain repressive tactics (Ngoh 2004). But that does not make the country a democracy because what has taken place is just a different type of authoritarian rule which falls short of a full scale authoritarian rule but the meets the principles of a competitive authoritarian regime (Steven Lucan 2002).

    DR DANIEL MODEX MOKWE
    THE SPOKE PERSON, NEW CAMEROON

    Cc :

    – The President of the Republic of Cameroon

    – The Governor of South West Region

    – South West Chiefs Conference

    – North West Chiefs Conference

    – Grand South Chiefs Conference

    – The Governor North West Region

    – Fako Chief Conference

    – Meme Chiefs Conference

    – West Region Chiefs conference

    – Douala Chiefs Conference

    – Bassa Chiefs Conference

    – Cameroon Bar Association (Council)

    – Fako Lawyers Association

    – Meme Lawyers Association

    – North West Lawyers Association

    – National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

    – UN Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

    – The US Ambassador/Embassy

    – The French Ambassador/Embassy

    – Christian Cardinal Tumi

    – Cameroonian in the diaspora

    – The Episcopal Conference

    – The President of the Apostolic Church Cameroon (TACC)

    – The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church Cameroon (PCC)

    – The President of the Full Gospel Church in Cameroon

    – The Cameroon Baptist Convention

    – The National Chairman of SDF/National Secretariat of SDF
    – The National President of MRC
    – The National President of CPP

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