Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Front Page

Success amid insecurity:

NW taxation dept collects over 7.6bn in 2017
-For a set objective of FCFA 8.2 billion, the Bamenda Tax Office hit a 95% success rate in 2017 despite the volatile security situation due to the ongoing Anglophone crisis.
By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
NW Taxation Chief, Fonyuy Fidelis
The NW Regional Tax Office in 2017 collected the sum of FCFA 7.663.000.000 of the FCFA that was set as its annual budgetary objective. It also raised the sum of FCFA of the 1.500.000.000 that was fixed as its extra budgetary objective.
                This gives a success rate of 95.96% for the budgetary objective and 78% for the extra-budgetary objective.
                While the budgetary objective is the NW Tax sector’s contribution to financing the state budget, the extra budgetary revenue is used to finance third parties like the city council, local councils and other decentralized institutions.
                The NW Tax Office recorded this remarkable success despite the precarious socio-political situation in the region marked by civil disobedience and sporadic violence. Business activities fell to an all-time low, causing taxpayers to evade taxes or to be reluctant in paying their taxes.
                The remarkable feat achieved by the NW Tax Office was revealed by the Chief of North West Regional Taxation Centre, Fonyuy Fidelis Bernsah, in a presentation during the launching of the 2018 state budget in the North West region on 10 January 2018.
                “When we compare the positive aspect of 2016 which stood at FCFA with that of the year 2017, we notice a drop of FCFA 351.000.000 in absolute terms and 4.4 percent in relative terms,” regretted Fonyuy Fidelis.
                Fonyuy Fidelis explained that the reason for the near perfect performance was due to the socio political crisis that rocked the region and which slowed down economic activities and triggered the reluctance to pay taxes by the taxpayers of the region. 
                He regretted that local councils had a difficulty respecting their financial obligations due to the poor security situation in the different treasuries districts in the region. 
                He also revealed that the local tax administration in a bid to preserve social peace by avoiding confrontations with the local population in the context of the difficult socio-political climate could not deploy themselves to the field as projected in their 2017 annual plan.
                The seasoned administrator however noted with satisfaction that despite the crisis, the North West region is occupying the 5th position nationally in terms of the volume of revenue collected in 2017 and that even at the peak of the crisis; and during monthly evaluations, the region was always amongst the top five.
                “We braved all the odds, remained consistent and collected these amounts without any noise,” he said.

Odeshi Fighters Versus Gov’t Forces:

Manyu Initiates Relief Assistance for Displaced Villagers
-All roads lead to Mamfe Saturday 20th January for the launching of the Manyu Solidarity Initiative
-Several millions FCFA already contributed by sons and daughters of Manyu to help in the resettlement of their displaced families
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
Thousands of Manyu villagers have fled their homes and sought refuge in distant places ever since Manyu Division became the centre of hostilities between ‘Odeshi’ fighters and gov’t forces. While some families have moved to safer villages, others are now living in their farms. Yet thousands others have sought refuge in Nigeria
Sons and daughters of the Manyu division at home and in the diaspora have been urged to contribute generously to a relief aid package destined for families and persons displaced from towns and villages in Manyu division due to the ongoing fratricidal battles between Ambazonia separatist fighters and government forces.
                The project code-named “Manyu Solidarity Initiative in Favour of Displaced Persons”, was conceived by Manyu elements under the banner of their socio-cultural, economic and development associations notably the Manyu Elements Cultural and Development Association, MECDA and the Manyu Economic and Development World Conference, MEDWC.
                According to the Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency, Victor Mengot, who doubles as the Chief Patron of all Manyu Socio-Cultural, Economic and Development Associations, the project was contemplated following the head of state, President Paul Biya’s New Year Message to the nation on 31 December 2017 which was hinged among other things on the socio-political crisis in the NW and SW regions, as well as the declaration of the Minister of Defense in Mamfe, underscoring the security measures put in place to protect people and  property and inviting displaced persons in Manyu division to return to their respective places of residence.  
                In a release dated 16 January 2018 announcing the ceremony for the launching of the Manyu Solidarity Initiative, in Mamfe, on Saturday 20th January, the Manyu Patron, Victor Mengot, explained that “the Solidarity Initiative is aimed at providing basic humanitarian relief assistance in support of the resettlement effort of displaced persons in Manyu Division.”
                Minister Mengot in the release addressed a clarion call to all sons and daughters of Manyu Division, their friends and well-wishers, for voluntary contributions in cash and/or in kind towards the success of the endeavor.
                He as well enjoined Manyu indigenes, friends and well-wishers to mark their “effective and massive presence” in Mamfe, on Saturday 20th January 2018, for the official launching of the project that will kick off at 10 am prompt.


EXCLUSIVE Interview:
Nigeria Cannot Extradite ‘Ambazonia’ Leaders to Cameroon
- Barrister FRU John NSOH
Barrister-at-law, FRU John NSOH
Senior Barrister-at-law, FRU John NSOH, has maintained that following the present dispensation and bilateral relations between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroun, the arrested interim leaders of the ‘Federal Republic of Ambazonia’, cannot be handed over to the Cameroon government. Interviewed By NFOR Hanson NCHANJI for CAN
                In an exclusive chat with CNA’s Nfor Hanson Nchanji, Barrister John Nsoh, said because there has never existed an extradition treaty signed between both countries, it will be impossible for President Buhari to hand over the 9 men and 1 woman; not even the agreement to eliminate terrorists within the two countries can solve the problem. Read on
                **Good day Barrister. What are the legal implications of the arrest or abduction of the interim leaders of Ambazonia? Do Cameroon and Nigeria have an extradition treaty?
                No, there is no extradition treaty between Cameroon and Nigeria. I have done the research; I have looked for it all over and found out there is no treaty.
                **Now within this context where leaders of Ambazonia have been arrested in Nigeria and in the absence of an extradition treaty, do the two countries still have some legal status to do so?
                Never! First there is no extradition treaty; second those people are out of Nigeria on refugee status either on UN or with Nigeria. There is one there who is an American citizen, Professor AWASUM. The rest are either living and working in Nigeria and even if all of them didn’t have any status, international law prohibits the delivering of refugees who have ran away from their countries, for them to be sentenced. There is no law that will oblige Nigeria to extradite those leaders. Nigeria has no law on terrorism like Cameroon and so cannot allow them to enter Cameroon because they will be tried by the military court which is against international law.
                **Can the two countries not use their status as members of Commonwealth and conduct the extradition?
                That is even difficult, even the international law that I just quoted to you will be reinforced by the Commonwealth, you cannot go from one Commonwealth country to another to extradite somebody who is running away from persecution from your country, it cannot work!  And secondly, extradition treaties have limitations. Extradition treaties involve only common law crimes; it does not involve political crimes, which can lead to death penalty. Let me tell you, there is no such thing in law as International warrant of arrest. There can only be a warrant of arrest which can be executed by any country and you can only ask the country to do so and it cannot be in a common law crime not in political crime where someone is escaping from persecution. So La Republic du Cameroun is wasting its time, they cannot under the present situation extradite them, they would have succeeded to highjack them if their plan worked, but legally they cannot.

Anglophone crisis:

Meme SDO visited by Ambazonia ‘Odeshi’ fighters
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Chamberlin Ntou'ou Ndong, Meme SDO who survived attack from Ambazonia soldiers
The Senior Divisional Officer for Meme, Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong has survived an attack by “Ambazonia Odeshi soldiers” at his GRA residence at Up Station Kumba. He survived the attack thanks to the timely intervention of military officers guarding his residence at about 2:40am in the morning of Tuesday 16 January 2018.
                As narrated by Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong to this reporter, one Ambazonia soldier entered his residence and was immediately spotted by the military men on ground. He was ordered three times to stop but the Odeshi-bolstered Ambazonia soldier didn’t stop; he instead proceeded towards the door of the SDO’s house. 
                As the assilant refused to stop, the military men then opened fire on him. He was shot severally the first time and he fell down and got up. He was shot again severally by the military men for the second time and he fell and got up again. The military men continued the shooting for the third time and the bullet-proof ‘Odeshi’ fighter fell down this time then got up and jumped into the bush.
                The courageous military men didn’t relent in their effort; they followed the boy into the bush until they caught him. The arrested Ambazonian fighter revealed he was sent by his commander to go and spy on the soldiers stationed at the SDO’s residence in order for them to prepare their attack on the residence.
                In the course of the shooting, the SDO’s driver who lives just a stone’s throw from the SDO’s residence discovered that there were several other Ambazonia soldiers around the residence. He then called his boss and alerted him of the situation. But the Ambazonia soldiers who were well stationed at the entrance of the SDO’s residence took off when they realized that their colleague had been over-powered by the SDO’s security guards.
                The SDO told this reporter that the arrested assailant had no identification documents on him. He was taken to the Kumba Central Police station where he is helping the the police in investigations.
                It is speculated that the SDO’s residence might have been attacked because of statements he made about ‘Odeshi’  

Mbonge, Meme division:

Ambazonia ‘Tigers’ seizesecurity checkpoints, kill soldier
-Gov’t forces fight back, set village homes ablaze
-Local chiefs, villagers run for their lives
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Ambazonia forces overran areas in Mbonge
On Sunday January 14, 2018, Ambazonia ‘Tigers’ took over control of all the security checkpoints along the Kumba-Mbonge stretch notably at Kwa-Kwa, Nake, Bole and Kombone villages in Mbonge Sub-Division. The merciless Ambazonia hit boys mounted road blocks and searched all vehicles that passed through the stretch of road.
                The search led to the identification and brutal slaughtering of a Chief Warrant Officer whose name The Median got only as Adama. His mutilated body was later deposited at the mortuary of the Kumba District hospital.
                In the same light two other military officers were humiliated and manhandled during the funeral ceremony of the chief of Kwa-Kwa. The officers had come to join family members in mourning.
                In yet another instance the family compound of a BIR officer at Bongwana was attacked by unknown persons. 

Gov’t forces raid villages, set houses ablaze
                In a bid to counter the Ambazonia fighters and recover the security checkpoints from them, a deployment of about five truckloads of soldiers from Buea descended on the area on Sunday at about 2pm. The heavy gunfire exchange that ensued between the Ambazonia fighters and the military officers led to the recovery of the checkpoints from the Ambazonians, who retreated into the bushes.

Where is balanced development?

Oku deprives other Bui subdivisions of PIB projects
-PM Philemon Yang accused of not doing distributive justice
By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
PM Philemon Yang
The adage goes that “when your brother is up the mango tree you can be sure to eat the best fruits.” This holds true for Bui division of the North West region where of the sum of FCFA 1.566.190.0000 allocated as the public investment budget for 2018, Oku subdivision alone has appropriated a whopping FCFA over one billion (1,017.650.000) while the other six sub divisions in Bui have to share a paltry  FCFA500 million. 
                Oku sub division is the birth place of the Prime Minister, Philemon Yunji Yang.  
                Kumbo central sub division which is the seat of Bui division was allocated a paltry FCFA 150 million; Jakiri FCFA 86 million; Mbven FCFA 133 million; Noni FCFA 102 million and Nkum bagging FCFA 66 million.
                Observers say the allocation of PIB projects in Bui division only speaks to the favoritism, nepotism and disrespect for distributive justice that prevails in the country.
                Conspiracy theorists have attributed this uneven distribution of PIB projects to the politics of winner takes it all that the CPDM regime is practicing.
                According to the 2018 Projects Logbook which The Median published on Monday 15 January, in the area of Basic education, of the 41 Government Nursery and Primary schools in Bui division that are supposed to benefit either from the construction of classrooms, or equipping of existing classrooms and offices, 30 of these schools are in Oku sub division alone. 11 of the remaining schools are found in the rest of the seven subdivisions.
                As if that is not enough, in the area of secondary education, of the 19 schools that are supposed to benefit from either the construction of classrooms and workshops or equipping of existing classrooms and workshops, Oku alone has 9 of these schools while the rest 10 are shared unevenly amongst the other seven subdivisions.