Sunday, 25 September 2016

Front page


War on Boko Haram:

Obama gives ultimatum to Biya
Paul Biya
US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power has urged President Biya to ensure respect for the Human Rights of victims of Boko Haram, if ever Cameroon must take credit for fighting and winning the war. This was during an audience in New York on Saturday
                “It is very important that as you fight Boko Haram you must do so while respecting the Human Rights of the people in the area or else there is the risk that you loose public and community support which are essential to winning the fight.”
                This was the message that Mrs. Samantha Power had for President Biya when the two personalities met in audience at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Saturday.
                The one-hour audience was at the behest of the Cameroonian President, who was accompanied by his close aides notably the Minister of External Relations, Eugene MbellaMbella and the Director of the Civil Cabinet, Martin BelingaEboutou.
                Coming out of the meeting, the US diplomat said they discussed on wide ranging issues bearing on US-Cameroon relations.
                “We of course talked a lot about the fight against the terrorist sect Boko Haram and the welfare of the people of Northern Cameroon who are still vulnerable to suicide attacks and other terrorism acts by Boko Haram. We agreed that it is very important that as you fight Boko Haram you must do so while respecting the Human Rights of the people in the area or else you run the risk of loosing public and community support which are essential to winning the fight,” Mrs Samantha told the press at the end of her audience with Biya.
                That notwithstanding, she saluted USA-Cameroon  relations which she said are at their best.
                It was the second time President Biya was meeting with the US diplomat in less than one year. They met for the first time at the Unity Palace in Yaounde, when the powerful lady visited Cameroon early this year. During her sojoun in Cameroon Mrs. Samantha Power visited Northern Cameroon and also witnessed the public burning of seized illegal ivory in Yaounde.
                It is speculated therefore that the meeting in New York served to reaffirm US commitment in strengthening relations with Cameroon and to give President Obama’s perspectives on several issues to President Biya.
                Thus, during the audience Paul Biya and the US Diplomat reviewed relations between USA and Cameroon and agreed that both countries shared convergent views on a number of key issues.

Interview

World leaders must change their mentality in order to avoid humanitarian crises
- Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle
Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle
Renowned Peace Crusader, Legal luminary of repute  and President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, has in the following interview granted The Median, posited that until governments of Africa adopt governance policies that enhance democratic precepts, stimulate and favour economic growth, their citizens would always continue to be an the move, migrating to other parts of the world to seek solace from conflict and financial hardship. While expressing pessimism that he does not foresee a time when the continent would be void of a refugee crisis, the International Legal Consultant and revered Elections Observer, nonetheless suggests that there could be a way out of the conundrum should World Leaders realize the need to turn back to God. He also bares his mind on the current political tension being experienced in neighbouring Gabon following the August 27 presidential election in the oil-rich country that turned violent, leading to loss of life and destruction of government and private property. He was interview by Ojong Steven. Excerpts!

Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, thank you for accepting to grant us this interview.

It is both humbling and compelling contacting me to address contemporary issues. Immense thanks for the opportunity.

Africa has taken so many problems to the ongoing 71st UN General Assembly, amongst them the teething problem brought about by refugees fleeing conflict and hardship in their respective countries. What’s your take on the growing refugee phenomenon in Africa and the world?

Simply appalling! You know the refugee crisis we have experienced in the past two years is the highest since after the Second World War. According to the UNHCR, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world had been forced from home in 2015 alone. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Not too long ago, there were situations of internally displaced persons resulting from acts of God such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, etc. but recently, religious extremism, brutal slaying by governments of its own people, dictatorship, corruption, wars, unrest, and generalized conflicts, electoral fraud and the quest for arms sales have exacerbated humanitarian crisis worldwide. You see every day on the news, Northern Nigerians and Cameroonians fleeing southwards, Syrians fleeing to Europe and neighbouring countries like Lebanon, people from Central African Republic, Mali and South Sudan fleeing for their lives and safety to different countries. These situations are horrendous and despicable.

Would leaders at the on-going UN General Assembly have just adopted a declaration to check the refugee and migrant crisis? How far do you think this declaration can help contain the situation?

Adoption of the declaration by world leaders to curb this refugee and migrant crisis is a laudable initiative but it is not enough. First of all, it is important to note that a UN declaration is not binding on member states of the UN. It is a soft law whose implementation totally depends on the good will and spirit of the states that sign it. So adopting this declaration is one thing but implementing it is another. Already, there is a 1951 Refugee Convention and multiple international human rights treaties such as the twin international Covenants on Civil and Political  Rights; and Economic, social and cultural Rights, which if fully implemented according to the recommendations of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, will considerably curb migrant crisis and help solve this refugee calamity. But the politics involved in this policy issues only has the result of slowing things down and making innocent citizens suffer the effects. Not to condemn this declaration, it should only be applauded when it is fully implemented.

Do you foresee a time when Africa may be void of refugee crises?

Whether I foresee a time when Africa will be void of refugee crisis is a no. or if at least there will ever come a day like this, it will mean that world leaders need to change their mentality. We need to go closer to God and change our ways. We have to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. This is the very basic to create a world free of humanitarian crisis that lead to refugees. But we still stand to face one problem; and that will be people displaced as a result of natural disasters and acts of God. That can never be stopped, so summarily we can never put an end to these issues.

Court confirms Ali Bongo as winner


The constitutional court rejected calls for a recount
Gabon's constitutional court has upheld President Ali Bongo's election victory, rejecting opposition calls for a recount.
There have been fears that such a decision could trigger fresh violence.
                The government said it would hold opposition leader Jean Ping responsible if clashes erupted following the ruling.
                President Bongo won August's election by just 6,000 votes but the opposition says the poll was rigged.
Following the court ruling, President Bongo called for a "political dialogue" with the opposition.
                Correspondents say residents of Libreville were stockpiling food ahead of the court ruling. There were long queues at banks and supermarkets on Friday and the French embassy told its citizens to stay indoors.

Preparation for Women’s AFCON:

Buea Council caterpillars raze houses in Molyko
By Boris Esono in Buea
Demolished structures in Molyko, Buea
Thousands of onlookers watched in awe and consternation Wednesday as the mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge supervised the demolition of houses and makeshift business premises built within the public space, along the main road passing through Molyko.
                Bars, shops and living homes were completely or partly razed by Buea city council caterpillars. All structures built less than five meters from the main road were pulled down.
                “It is a campaign to get property owners along the main road to respect town planning laws and regulations especially at this time when we will be hosting the Women’s AFCON in November this year. It is some kind of a clean up campaign and we are simply executing laid down regulations on town planning,” explained Mayor Ekema, who emphasized that the measure concerns those guilty of violating the laws regulating housing and town planning.
                “It is the role of the council to ensure development of the town apart from ensuring security and better living conditions for both residents and visitors. And you cannot bring about veritable infrastructural development without carrying out such demolitions,” corroborated Mayor Ekema, who continued: “we do not target particular areas or individuals as some people are wont to believe. We are simply applying the law. Even then we have tried to be considerate enough as to leave out some structures that are seen to beautify the town even if they also violated the law. In fact if we had to apply the law to the letter then the damage would be unimaginable”

CRTV on-air changes:

From spicy Hello to boring Hello Cameroon 
By Franklin S Bayen
Albert NjieMbonde and Elmer Nene Shadzeka
So, CRTV has replaced its TV daybreak infotainment talk show with an information magazine; they have replaced an appealing show with an essential one, more or less aptly described as boring. Now, the darling Hello of MabiAzefor, Albert NjieMbonde and Elmer Nene Shadzeka that appears to have become a way of life to so many for over a decade now, is gone!
                It feels like having to do with the rather boring but very informative Newsday that replaced the very infotaining Network Africa daybreak show on BBC. I’m yet to come to terms with that change on BBC. I’m yet to connect with Newsday, nearly half a decade on. Yet, I find Newsday very informative. Change is hard to accept. It becomes a bitter pill to swallow especially when it has been a way of life over the decades (for Network Africa) and over the years (for Hello).
                The swell of resistance to CRTV’s dawn broadcasting changes (now including the decade-and-a-half old Morning Safari on radio to be replaced with Daybreak from next Monday) must be understood. When, just over a decade ago, London Times decided to move from broadsheet (standard format for up market newspapers in advanced media settings) to tabloid to be more appealing to younger readers, the older traditional readers objected vehemently. To steer clear of trouble, managers of the Times treaded the King Solomon line by running both formats for a while, not to alienate any segment of their readership; for a smooth transition.
                As I understand from savouring both Hello Cameroon and its French language sister Bonjour le Cameroun this past week (I have not checked with those in the CRTV programmes kitchen), the intention could be to give an essential morning briefing to viewers. Hello Cameroon may seek to give the elite, including the middle working class (besides the general public), a grasp of the day’s news in perspective with a variety of useful information and tips before they engage the day’s business, a shift from just feel-good entertainment, interspersed with bits of information; from a load of entertainment with some information to a load of information with some entertainment, so to say.
                This is nothing to do with the presenters. Duty calls them to do an assignment cut out by hierarchy. No doubt, the casting picks the suitable heads though their personal touch can make the difference. Mabi, Nene and Mbonde were not the only Hello hosts, but they left a mark where (an)other(s) obviously did not. And, unsurprisingly, their Hello legacy, not the other’s, is remembered.

From my observation, this is what is going on at CRTV:
•             The newsroom (trained journalists) is “seizing” the “animateurs” shows. Journalist Emmanuel Mbede (new programmes director) has modified and reassigned the programme created by producer Robert Ekukole for “animateurs” and more sexy faces preferred by some viewers ;
•             Hello legmen and women, a lot of them greenhorns or “animateurs”, some trying their hands at it for the first time on the show, have been shoved aside or assigned elsewhere and the stage opened for newsroom journalists, the focus shifting from style and “sexiness” to content. Watching “unsexy” Clarice Achu and Mekole Henry (as a youth on-air campaigner describes them) commenting the news or zooming into an issue makes my day;
•             Where “sexy” Hello greenhorns, many of them untrained broadcasters in the programmes department, gave half-baked reporting and sometimes below standard on-set performances on state TV viewed around the world via satellite, CRTV, perhaps heeding calls to limit questionable on-air exposure that may legitimize mediocrity and disgrace the nation, could be seeking ways to put its best foot forward as best it can afford with trained and competent newsroom picks, hoping its newsroom best are good enough to meet the great expectations;
•             Viewing Hello Cameroon snapshots on Facebook, some Cameroonians abroad not privileged to be watching the show, thought some of those seen on set with host PochiTambaNsoh were permanent co-hosts. The new concept features a parade of journalists (call them temporary or rotating co-hosts or guest-hosts) joining the host on set to either discuss the news, interview a guest in the studio or a colleague on the line;
•             With live correspondence reports, the new show also looks like Luncheon Date on TV;
•             I can’t rule out the possibility that CRTV management would consider giving our Hello darlings their stage back elsewhere, maybe in weekend shows or an after-work evening show leading to the 7.30pm news, in the mould of Equinoxe TV’s DisonsTous hosted by Sam SeverinAngo and andC’Comment on Canal2 hosted by Clarence Hardy. Ivo Partem, one of those gone with the defunct sister Bonjour is already giving a new boost to CRTV’s Sunday afternoon Tam-Tam Weekend. He is pairing with the pleasant Hello kid, GwendolyneEgbe.

Dismantling Anglo-Saxon heritage:

Who wants to francophonize the GCE Board?
Observers say because sycophants of the regime have been maintained in perpetuity at the helm of the board, lethargy has infested the once promising institution and has taken a comfortable sit in it. Quite unfortunately!
Samuel Sumediang, Mile Four – Victoria
Humphrey EkemaMonono, GCE Board Registrar for life?
The title above might suggest that the GCE Board has gone into some comatose state, far from it. Rather, it speculates that the GCE Board might go the same way as those other state corporations (SNEC, SONEL, NSIF, CAMTEL, SNH you name them) which this regime has allowed one person to manage as their personal property for donkey years, thereby giving no room for adaptation, improvement and innovation.  This is to demonstrate that like any other state institution, once the regime starts meddling in it, it goes completely caput, especially when it is an Anglophone institution.
                That is clearly what is about to happen to the CDC. Whether people believe it or not, the hidden policy of the francophone regime of this country is to ensure that nothing exists that can be identified as Anglophone; which means that in the long run, the marking of the GCE will also no longer be an Anglophone preserve.
                It has been clearly demonstrated in several newspaper articles that the hijacking of the GCE Board by this government started since 1996, only two years after the Board started its work. And once this government takes over an institution, it goes moribund. The GCE Board was created to have financial and legal autonomy; but more so, it was made to have flexibility so that leadership should be continually undergoing renewal so as to ensure innovation and creativity. These are essential requirements of modern day business and governance. Whether this government knows anything about modern management and governance requirements and techniques or not, it just would not let it happen any where here.
                That is why they can allow one person at the helm of the state for 34 years and counting. Even Paul Biya himself who is guilty of sponsoring this lethargy, and is benefitting from it, has stated that Cameroon does not make any progress because of lethargy. Citizens are just as lethargic as those in power. Everybody looks only for every means (including crooked and illegal), to become rich. Nobody thinks about the commonweal.
                Going by the rule, the chairman of the GCE Board’s council is supposed to announce the vacancy of the post of Registrar at the end of every three years. Candidates would then apply and the council would meet and vote a new Registrar who would then be appointed by government.
                Unfortunately, this has not happened for several years, and as a result one man has been at the helm of the board for 11 years and counting. Now that everybody has forgotten this simple rule which endows the institution with autonomy, we are waiting for the government to appoint a new Registrar without passing through this process. The truth of the matter is that the francophone mentality gives no room for public institutions to have autonomy and independence. For them any state institution is managed just like an arm of government. This is contrary to the Anglophone culture.
                It is even being rumored that the present Registrar, Sir HumpreyEkemaMonono (PHD) had since May this year, indicated his readiness to go, if only for legality to be reinstated in the board. But we are told that Yaounde authorities have asked him to hang on till later on.

ObenMarxwell:

AYAH pledges free legal aid to detained SCNC activist
-Questions Oben’s detention in perpetuity and why his case cannot be heard
Justice Ayah Paul Abine
Advocate-General of the Supreme Court of Cameroon, Lord Justice Ayah Paul Abine has on 9 September 2016 visited the detained SCNC activist Oben Maxwell at the Buea Central Prison. Justice Ayah Paul who is also the National President of the Peoples Action Party, PAP, made the visit under the canopy of his Human Rights Organization, JUSTICE4ALL.
                The visit came not before some lawyers from JUSTICE4ALL had also offered to provide free legal services to Oben with the aim to seek legal redress for the activist, who has been in prison custody since 2 February 2014 that is, upwards of 30 months; whereas, by Cameroonian law, such custody should not exceed six months…
                Low-spirited and with failing sight, Oben was utterly depressed that schools have reopened but his children are all out of school. He sobbed that one of his daughters is marrying without his even knowing the date of the ceremony. And all these odds against him without his knowing what his crime is, or why, if any crime he has committed, the case against him cannot be heard.
                Oben told the JUSTICE4ALL team that when his case last came up on August 30, the court did not as much as sign any warrant to bring up prisoners. That means that he does not know when next he would be brought to court. His fear is that he may join the many others who have been in custody in perpetuity because their cases have lapsed from the current case lists.

Ministry of the economy, planning and regional development

OPEN FORUM OF THE MINEPAT:
Biya’sdev’t vision in seven questions
1.            Why act now?
Louis Paul MOTAZE
In about three years, the first phase of implementation of our long term development Vision which is materialized by the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP) will be completed. Its implementation which our main partners considered as "overall satisfactory" contributed amongst others in the execution of major projects which should also be completed next year and are expected to improve the structure of our economy so as to make the private sector the economic growth driver.
                It is widely recognized that the first half of the 2010-2020 decade has been marred by various kinds of threats, and marked by the disquieting performance of Cameroon's economy. Indeed, while the national and global environment was less friendly as we are going to see later, its immediate consequences were effectively controlled thereby avoiding a fundamental upsetting of our growth objectives and jeopardizing our march towards economic and social progress. These headwinds which are far from fading out and which have sometimes compelled us to delay large-scope investments such as the Mbalam Iron Ore project (about 6 billion US dollars of deferred investments representing over CFA F 3,000 billion) shall be addressed more vehemently in the next years.
                This said, major first generation projects will reach their completion point by 2018. 2020 will usher in a new phase in the implementation of our Development Vision by 2035. In between these two periods, there are some gaps which absolutely need to be filled like investments in digital facilities, completion of certain roads indispensable to link production areas to markets or even projects of the Emergency Plan. On this particular issue, the Head of State himself said that "the primary aim of the Emergency Plan is to step up national economic performance and improve the living conditions of the Cameroonian people so as to achieve the objective of becoming an emerging country by 2035".  Moreover, some projects such as the Yaounde-Douala highway will not be completed in 2018. In order to avoid the consequences of a wait-and-see position which may ensue from the period of inactivity between the end of the first cycle of major projects and the launch of the second cycle, we have to act. And we have to act fast.

2.            Where are we coming from and what have we done?
                During the first cycle of the programming of Cameroon's economy which is underpinned by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), economic growth was mainly driven by consumer demand and recorded a modest 2 per cent performance rate on average during the 2000 decade. As from 2010, the Cameroonian Government embarked on an ambitious public investment programme in overarching infrastructure notably in the areas of transport and energy so as to improve the competitiveness of the economy. Thanks to this bold economic programme, the country recorded steady GDP growth rates moving from 3.3 per cent in 2010; 4.1 per cent in 2011; 4.6 per cent in 2012; 5.6 per cent in 2013; 5.9 per cent in 2014 and 5.8 per cent in 2015.  Better still, all development partners have lauded the Government for the sound management of some of these projects. The most recent recognition was from the Managing Director of the IMF who gave a positive but non-biased opinion on projects such as the LomPangar dam and the Kribi Deep Sea Port during a reception offered in her honour by the President of the Republic.
                The good performance ever since recorded, prompted analysts to describe our economy as "a resilient economy" because of its peculiarity in a global and regional context that was characterised by prolonged slowdown of economic activities since 2013/2014. In this respect, we should recognize that since the start of the implementation of the GESP in 2010, Cameroon has moved from a sluggish economy to a relatively buoyant economy with a growth rate projected to 5.9 per cent this year.  As a matter of fact, thanks to the economic improvement and changes brought in as a result of the implementation of the GESP notably through the Programme for Major Projects which is based on core area No.1 on the "Development of Infrastructure", Cameroon's economy has succeeded in addressing the negative effects of (i) war against the Boko Haram terrorist group; (ii) unfavourable conditions on the international front and unaccommodating conditions with its main trade partners notably China which has been readjusting its economic model; (iii) the prolonged drop in commodity prices, notably oil; (iv) credit crunch; (v) persistence of climate disruption especially in the Far-North region and (vi) the influx of refugees into our country.
                This concept of our economic development drivers over the past years (or our resilience) is vital in the sense that it is a decisive factor in the choice of our future economic policies and should guide in the selection of measures/actions which should help Cameroon's economy achieve the key objectives of the GESP by 2020.

3.            What next in the coming years?
                It is true that 2018 will usher in the completion of the major first generation projects which were the main pillars from which our country derived its ”economic resilience" as observed these past years. However, the infrastructural gaps stand as the major constraints to Cameroon's economy according to the various surveys conducted with the private sector. In fact, some components of the programme for the development of infrastructure required to revitalize growth driven by the private sector are either uncompleted or even unexplored. While public capital stock has considerably increased in our country since 2010, there are gaps or pockets of deficits; for instance in the energy production capacity of the country or our alignment to international digital standards. This calls for a change of the focus which needs to be strengthened and extended so as to maintain and scale up the first achievements for spillover effects on the private sector. This infrastructure programme will thus be more likely to bring in the economic change desired by the Head of State through investments in the new sources of growth identified in the Industrialisation Master Plan (Energy, Digital and Agribusiness).
                This means that Cameroon has to optimize despite constraints and in a context of upward rigidity of income (no increase of salaries or social allowances projected). Besides, the economic trend characterised by an increasingly stringent budget calls for internal adjustments and improvement of public investment efficiency. The domestic debt which is estimated at about CFA F 1,100 billion also stands as a burden to businesses. In the same vein, the persistent sluggishness of external demand might produce recessive effects on economic growth. With the slowdown in the economy of our main trade partners like China, external demand might continue to impact negatively on our economic performance.
                We therefore call for a stimulus policy which is based on the multiplier effects of investment demand. While giving precedence to such demand, this option will further lay emphasis on back-up measures by scaling up investments to create a business environment conducive to the sustainable development of the private sector. Stimulus policies are trend policies used to address time-based weaknesses in growth in the presence of unused production capacities. As we see it, it is a timely and relevant option given the slight slowdown observed in 2015 because we must create roads that serve markets and consumer centres while further investing in the digital economy as prescribed by the Head of State; and facilitating electricity and water supply, providing quality telecommunication and internet services to economic operators, and creating the main trade corridors, etc.
                This is why, in keeping with the Head of State's vision, we should proceed with the launch of the Programme for Major Second Generation Projects which should come on the heels of the programme under completion. We will mention projects like the construction of railways in accordance with the National Railway Master Scheme approved in 2011; the third bridge over river Wouri; the Limbe Port; the extension of the optic fibre throughout the national territory, etc. This commitment is very acute especially as the country has to go through economic hardships in the next years which, in our point of view will be the most difficult ever faced since 2010, notably with the entry into force of the EPA and other increased threats, like smuggling which destroys segments of the economy; influx of refugee in the East region where they already account for 20 percent of the population of the region, with all the related effects on the security and economy of the region that bears the consequences especially in the sectors of livestock and farming.

To boost ecotourism:

Rehabilitation of Y’de Municipal Lake re-evoked
By Rachel Ntube in Yaounde
After many failed promises government has once again announced the imminent rehabilitation of the Central Lake in Yaounde this, after a Spanish Bank accepted to provide funding for the much-talked-about but never realized project.
                The Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze, told journalists that this time the project is for real. He gave the assurance while signing two loan agreements with Spanish Bank, La Deutsche Banqued’Espagne on Tuesday 13 September 2016 in Yaounde.
                Spanish man Antonio Navarro Escobias signed for the Bank, in the presence of Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development and the Government Delegate of Yaounde who are the joint overseers of the project.
                The total of FCFA 21 billions to come from the two loans will be used to finance the first phase of the project to rehabilitate the Yaounde Municipal Lake and the adjacent Mingoa Valley that extends to the Camp Yeyapneighbourhood. This is with the objective to give the lake and its surroundings more value-added tourist and economic wise, Minister Motaze hinted, expressing the hope that a rehabilitated Municipal Lake and Mingoa valley will also boost the beauty and tourist attractiveness of the political capital city, Yaounde.

Two Months to Women’s AFCON:


AhmadouAhidjo Stadium still under construction
AhmadouAhidjo Stadium
A week after eight teams were pooled into two groups here, flagging off the countdown to the 2016 Women’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in two months; several stadia to host the competition are still massive work sites.
                At the AmadouAhidjo stadium, where Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses will clash with Egypt in the opening match, a new roof is going up over the presidential tribune. A second electronic score board is still a steel rectangle overlooking the playground.
                Men and women in helmets and orange workmen jackets are adding a coat of paint here and there, tightening screws, welding metal beams in place and cleaning off thin layers of rusty mud left behind by a downpour of rain every other day.
                Around the stadium, earth lifters are still digging trenches, where workers are burying long thick cables. Newly built offices around the stadium still need windows, doors and paint. The main entrance to the stadium is a muddy mess.
                “It’s a race against time,” said a supervisor, declining to be named because he was not permitted to talk to the media.
                Works started at the stadium about a year ago. Concrete pillars have been reinforced and upgraded with new flights of steps leading straight to the upper deck of Tribune C and a brand new parking with polls that will be fitted with street lighting.

Samuel Eto'o dropped by Antalyaspor


Eto'o has scored 21 goals in 34 appearances for Antalyaspor
and also had a short stint as interim player-manager
Turkish club Antalyaspor have dropped Samuel Eto'o from their squad until further notice in a row over the striker's comments on social media.
Former Cameroon captain Eto'o, 35, wrote on his Instagram account: "Perhaps some people do not feel respect for me because I am black."
Eto'o later made a second post denying the criticism was aimed at Antalyaspor chairman Ali SafakOzturk.
                Ozturk had criticisedEto'o for his performances earlier in the season.
                He said at the time: "No player is above the interests of Antalyaspor. Everyone must know their place."
Eto'o called Ozturk his "brother" in his second Instagram post, adding that the Turkish people had supported him "wholeheartedly".
                "My message was to a person who criticises me unjustly for years and while he continues his criticisms, I kept winning trophies," the former Barcelona, Chelsea and Everton player wrote.
                The Turkish club issued a statement stating Eto'o would have a separate training programme until his case was heard by their executive board.

Guardiola:

YayaToure must appologize
YayaToure joined Manchester City in July 2010 and
has won two Premier League titles
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will not pick YayaToure until his agent apologises for criticising the decision to leave the player out.
Toure, 33, has made one appearance for City this season and he was left out of the Champions League squad.
                His agent, DimitriSeluk, claimed the midfielder had been "humiliated", and Guardiola said: "Seluk must apologise. If he doesn't, he [Toure] won't play."
                But Seluk told BBC Sport: "What do I need to apologise for?"
He added: "He should speak to Yaya. Yaya is doing his job.
                "We will see what happens. His contract expires at the end of the season and in January he will be free to go."
                Guardiola, who was Barcelona boss when Toure was sold to City in 2010, said of the player: "It was so difficult for me to put him out of the Champions League, so difficult. I know him, I know he's a good good guy.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Front page


Exclusive interview:



I am not grooming a successor
- President Biya (the Sphinx)
                Mr. President you have hardly granted an interview for over 20 years of your reign. Because of your discreteness you have been named the Sphinx. And whenever you avail yourself to talk in public people listen with keen attention. That is why we cease this occasion of your visit to France to ask about your relations with President Sarkozy and your take about his views about Africa and France-Africa relations.
                Permit first of all to thank the President of France, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy for the invitation he addressed to me to visit France. I must say that my first contact with him has been warm, cordial and deep. My first impressions about him are that of an accomplished politician who knows the problems of Africa. And I may also note will joy that he has indicated his readiness to continue the good relations between France and Cameroon.
               
President Biya
You just talked of continuity but we understand that President Sarkozy kind of incarnates a new tone, a new style in France-Cameroon relations. Can we not talk of a rupture in these relations?
                I think in my point of view, if there is any rupture it is more in the form but not in the depth. Perhaps the new French policy on Africa that is being elaborated may bring some changes. But overall, if there is rupture it is not yet formal and it is not yet noticeable. So we can only talk of continuity.
                What do you expect of France and of Nicolas Sarkozy in particular?
                We expect him to continue to listen to us. We expect him to continue the good friendly relations that exist between us, especially in the cultural (linguistic) domain. You know now that today there is talk of cultural or linguistic in imperialism. I think we need to preserve the areas of the world where French is spoken. France is a great nation; a permanent member of the UN Security Council whose opinion counts in issues affecting the entire world. So it can only be our hope and wish for there to be continuity in the good economic, financial and cultural relations with this great nation.
                You are considered as the dean of heads of state of Central Africa and even Africa at large. You are now in power for more than a quarter of a century. As one of he symbols of the France-Africa relations, do you think France has turned a page or is about turning a page in its relations with Africa?
                Like I said earlier, if there appears to be change it is may be in the form. But I think we will continue to concert. I think president Sarkozy wants to put more emphases on partnership and not paternalism. He wants Africans to say what they want from France and not the paternalistic approach where France decides what is good for Africa. I think he is looking at what we can do together and not what France can do for us.
                And I think this is what Africans themselves are looking up to in their relations with the West. I think President Sarkozy is a friend of Africa and that is why I have invited him to visit Cameroon. And it may interest you to note that he spontaneously accepted our invitation. So you can see why I talk of continuity in our relations.
                France has cancelled a great portion of its bilateral debt with Cameroon. This is in order to enable you to carry out important development projects in your country. What do you think about this?          
                You are very correct! Permit me to use this forum to thank President Sarkozy for this wonderful gesture of the cancellation of a huge chunk of our debts. In coded language we talk of the C2D. And like you said, not only has the debt been cancelled, we are now using the money to finance big construction projects especially in the areas of agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and this, in perfect liaison with France.
                President Sarkozy made a speech recently in Darkar, Senegal which some people judged as colonialist and racist. The South African president for his part said it was a good speech. What was your take on that speech?
                I think my opinion is not very different from that of the S.A president. I think he was simply trying to lay the foundation for a new trend in France-Africa relations. It was a speech that was addressed to the adults. What I could retain is that he wants Africans to break with the past; to break with the colonial mentality and to assume their responsibility. He wants Africans to think that they too can be the architects of their own destiny and to stop thinking that their destiny lies in the hands of donors from abroad. I think this a good thing.
                And talking about your political career, many mature Cameroonians have known only you as president. They know you as a discreet president who hardly grants interviews and who rules his country with iron hands. Do you recognize yourself in this portrait?
                Well, I think in part it corresponds with the reality. True, it is not in my habit to grant interviews, and I seldom grant interviews. However, I readily make speeches. If my speeches are compiled and published they will make many huge volumes of books. That notwithstanding, to me what is important is not what people think and say about you but rather what you do for your people. And you can see that things are changing and here am I giving an interview.
                Mr. President what do you think about the anti-corruption fight in your country.
                I must say that corruption as a social vice is not specific to Cameroon alone; it is a global phenomenon. However, we think that for a country like ours that does not boast enough resources, it is in our interest to fight and limit corruption and capital flight. And I must say we are determined to continue with this fight. So far we have not only carried out arrest of suspects and put them at the disposal of the courts, we have also put in place a number of structures notably ANIF, CONAC etc. to help us in this fight. And we are already having good results. For example ever since we began this anti-corruption campaign the revenue from the Douala port has improved enormously (by about 30-40%). I think this is interesting.
                What about those who think that Operation Epervier is a smokescreen?
                That is their opinion and they have a right to it. But I can assure you that with time they will realize that it is not a smokescreen. We have had very good results. Take for example the situation whereby the state was loosing huge sums as salaries to ghost workers – a situation whereby some people were collecting 3 or 4 different salaries. But today, thanks to the measures we have taken to cleanse the payroll, we have been able to recover several billions monthly. So you can see that Epervier falls in line with our policy to redress our economy. And we shall continue in this light in all the sectors of our economy. Another issue we want to focus on is the situation whereby investors who come to our country are asked by some officials to give kick-backs before their proposals can be endorsed. This is very discouraging to some of these investors. That is why we are looking forward to creating a one-stop-shop that will receive investors who want to come and invest in our country.
                But some people say you are using the anti-corruption fight to eliminate some young people who are eying your position?
                That is not true. I think the anti-corruption fight is very popular in the country. The population is in support of it. Even our foreign partners including notably France and the EU have encouraged us to go ahead with the fight. But I should say I am not naïve as to think that we will bring the level of corruption in our country to zero. But I think we can bring it down to an insignificant level that does not perturb our development.

Senator Otte appeals for unity in Big Nganjo




 After serious wrangling over  who succeeds the  late  chief  Ekong  William  Sakwe as  the chief  of  Big Nganjo village, the villagers  have finally settled on Chief Diboto with an appeal from one of the elite, Senator OtteMofa for  them to go about their activities normally and give support to  their  new chief   
By Johnson Batuo
Senator OtteMofa Andrew
The people of Big Nganjo in Mbonge subdivision have been exhorted to work in synergy with the new traditional ruler, Mofa Divine Diboto to develop the village.
                Senator OtteMofa Andrew made this appeal while addressing the people of Big Nganjo at his residence on Saturday 3 September 2016.  This was during a common meal the senator offered to the entire village.
                Speaking on the occasion, Senator Otte regretted that the chieftaincy palaver in his village created bad blood among the residents. 
                Observers said he was referring to the problems that rocked the chieftaincy stool of Big Nganjo under the late traditional ruler Chief Ekong William Sakwe.
                The senator thanked God that finally the protracted chieftaincy problem has come to an end with the selection and coronation of the new chief.

Child trafficking running riot in Bamenda




-Two women arraigned with 32 missing children
By a correspondent in Bamenda with agency reports
Two women suspected of running a child trafficking syndicate are now gnashing their teeth in the Bamenda Central Prison. MeidieuEpseSaaHarlette Prudence and Naomi Akere were nabbed by the police as they were busy plying their trade in Bamenda.
                Prudence was first arrested in the early morning of 8 July 2016, when she arrived in Bamenda with 32 children aboard a night bus from Yaounde. For her part, Naomi Akere was arrested later when she showed up from Yaounde claiming to be the mother of one of the kids but failed to proof her claims.
                The police contacted a Yaounde-based man who had reported that his three children were missing. The man identified the kids amongst the 32 children and left the police station bursting with joy. The other 29 kids are currently in the Baptist Seminary in Ndu, in Donga Mantung Division, under the care of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

How it all happened
                It was early morning on July 8 when a bus from Yaounde arrives at the Bamenda agency of Vatican Express. Lady MeidieuHarlette Prudence helps 32 children alight from the bus. She and the kids were bound for Ndu were she claimed they had to participate in a church holiday camp dubbed Kings kids.
                But as fate would have it, one of the children, a six year old strolls away and goes missing. The child is later found loitering in the Vatican Express premises unattended and the proprietor of Vatican Express hands over the child to the NW Governor, LeleL’Afrique who doubles as the head of the North West Task Force on Trafficking in Humans.
                For his par, the governor later entrusted the kid to the Delegation of Social Affairs and also orders an investigation into the matter.

No perfect crime
                In the meantime, Harlette Prudence upon arriving in Ndu discovers that one of the kids (a girl) is missing. She immediately rushes to Bamenda to search for her. But she falls in the police dragnet when she fails to convince anyone with her story.
                Harlette Prudence claimed that the father of the child is an American from California who impregnated Naomi Akere but abandoned her with her one-month-old pregnancy. Naomi would later relocate to Yaounde from Douala, as she claims, to live with a certain Milo Milo (who has not yet come to Bamenda to claim the child) and who investigators are interested in interviewing.
                Both women detained at the public security department were later transferred to the Bamenda central prison pending the production of valid documents to justify their claims.
                Meanwhile, some quarters have already suggested that a DNA test be done to determine the biological parents of the mulato-looking 6-year-old girl.

Mbonge Council:



FCFA 17m for scholarships, holiday jobs and sports
Barely  four   months  in   office as  Mayor  of the  Mbonge council, chief Daniel MattaMokambe has rewarded  youths of the municipality by providing them  with  scholarships, holiday jobs and sporting activities totaling FCFA 17 million.
By Johnson Batuo
Chief Daniel MattaMokambe
In order to encourage the education of youths in Mbonge sub division, the council on Saturday 3rd September 2016 awarded partial scholarships worth CFAF 1.5m to 30 students in that municipality.
                The revelation was made by the Mayor of Mbonge who doubles as the traditional ruler of MbongeMarumba, Chief Daniel MattaMokambe at the Mbonge municipal stadium.
                The scholarship award coincided with the end of a holiday football competition organized by the council.
                Apart from the partial scholarships award, 70 holiday markers employed by that council also received their pay to enable them purchase their back to school needs.
                Addressing the population before the kick-off of the finals pitting sable FC of Mbonge against Maracanna FC, Chief Mokambe said though the year 2016 has been challenging, the sporting activities were organized to promote talent, unity and a sense of belonging in the subdivision.
                The Mayor further averred that the partial scholarships, the holiday jobs and the sporting activities were organized within the ambit of the council law. 

Did Bamenda banker kidnap 21 “Street Children”?



By a reporter in Bamenda with agency reports
Not all children on the street are street children
Michelle Dienne, branch manager of SCB Bank in Bamenda, is being investigated for allegedly kidnapping several children and holding them against their will for over a month in various locations in Bamenda. One big question she must answer is who authorized her to hold people’s children ignoring radio and church announcements by grieving parents about their missing children.
                Michelle has however admitted holding 21 kids but said they are “Street Children”. Records from the Ministry of Social Affairs show that there are no street children in Bamenda.
                Earlier reports in The Voice and other local tabloids were that Michelle and her partners allegedly kidnapped 11 children. But in her complaint against the publisher of The Voice Newspaper, she described herself as “a woman with a big heart” who went around collecting “21 street children” for care.

Back to school in SW:



New MINESEC Delegate promises hard times for absentee teachers
By Boris Esono in Buea
SW MINESEC Delegate, Apah Johnson Itor
The 2016/2017 academic year has taken off smoothly in the South West Region with a heavy attendance of students. The observation was made by the SW Regional Delegate of Secondary Education, ApahItor Johnson, during a one-on-one with this reporter, on Wednesday 7 September 2016, at his office in Buea.
                “The new academic year promises to be a year of even greater achievements given that it has started on a good footing, with an observed increase in school attendance and the enthusiasm of both the teaching and non-teaching staff to do their work,” said Apah Johnson, who noted that the first day of the school year was marked by at least 80% attendance of students and teachers.
                On the issue of illegal institutions that were closed down by the MINESEC, the regional delegate made it clear that the minister’s decision has been very effective in the SWR.
                “There is no need coming back on the minister’s decision closing down the schools as we have implemented it to the letter throughout the region,” he said.

Back to School 2016:




Enrolment of under-aged pupils is outlawed
-SW MINEDUB Delegate
By Boris Esono in Buea
SW MINEDUB Delegate Mrs. Motase Dorothy
The Regional Delegate of Basic Education for the South West has issued a strict warning to proprietors of private institutions to stop admitting under-aged pupils in their schools. In an interview she granted the Median Newspaper,  in her office in Buea, on Thursday, 8 September 2016, Mrs. Motase Dorothy said that the age limit for pupils in nursery schools is four (4) years, while that for primary schools is six (6) years.
                She frowned at the fact that managers of private schools continue to admit under-aged kids in their schools, in defiance of the ministerial decision fixing age limits for nursery and primary school pupils.
                “They claim to have day care centres for these children, whereas no such centres exist in the schools. These children are illegally admitted directly to primary/nursery sections,” noted the MINEDUB delegate, who announced that in the coming days she will send out surprise inspection teams on the field to track down defaulters.

Briefs




By TichaBizel-Bi MaforacYaounde
African Medicine Day:
Tradi-practitioners determined to protect African medicine
 In what can be seen as a determined move to preserve and protect their trade, trade-practitioners in Cameroon have maintained that traditional medicine is not only relevant but is still indispensible for Africa and Africans. This is in response to government authorities who continue to discredit traditional medicine and its practitioners as not inopportune for society.
                During a press conference in Yaounde, the executive bureau of the National Federation of Practitioners of Natural and Traditional Medicine (Fenacam) seized the opportunity offered by the commemoration of the African Day of traditional medicine on 31st August 2016 to emphasize the importance of traditional medicine in Cameroon and Africa.
                “It is a vital part of our civilization; traditional medicine actually has its place in Africa and Africans cannot do without it; we have lived with it since the beginning of our civilization and we will continue using it to save lives,” remarked Hermann NyeckLiport, president of Fenacam, who noted that traditional medicine and modern medicine are not in competition but are mutually inclusive.
                For his part, the treasurer of Fenacam noted that traditional medicine handles many cases that modern medicine has not found solutions to.
                “You will rarely find a poor trade-practitioner; this is because they treat diseases such as fibroid, fertility problems in couples and above all they produce their drugs themselves while doctors prescribe what pharmacists have produced.

NEPAD forum ends in Yaounde



By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
Philomon Yang
An International Rural Development Forum has ended in Yaoundé with participants schooled on ways and means of enhancing youth economic empowerment and the socio-economic development of rural areas in Africa.
                Organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the two-day forum brought together hundreds of participants from across the continent including leaders of youths associations, agricultural and development experts for a working session to draft ways of transforming Africa’s rural regions through the effective implication of youths.
                According to the moderator of the forum Mr. Martin Bwalya of the NEPAD Agency, the 2011 Summit of AU Heads of State recognized the challenges faced by rural communities and called for an integrated development initiative to promote rural transformation as a pathway to improving rural employment and livelihood opportunities,; facilitate national economic development and sustainability, and ensure exchange of information on best practices on rural development from local to global scale.
                In this regard discussions were based on challenges regarding demographic growth, pressure on natural resources, employment creation and economic diversification in the implementation of new development strategies for job creation in the rural areas, through planning, education and training, financing and an effectively orientated government policy.

Poor cocoa harvests mars back to school in Meme



By Johnson Batuo in Kumba
Poor cocoa harvest due to the prolonged drought has marred the 2016/2017 back to school in Meme division, The Median has learnt.
                This was the view expressed by principals and proprietors of some public, private and denominational schools that The Median visited on Monday 5 September 2016.  According to these heads of school, the turn out on the first day of the school year was timid. They said some parents complained they did not have money to pay the registration fees of their children because of poor cocoa harvests. Cocoa is the main cash crop (money earner) of the population of Meme division.
                However, the principals and proprietors expressed the hope that things will change by the second week and many more students would avail themselves for classes.

Kumba:



New School Principals told to improve results
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Principal of CCAS, Fonge Jules
Some newly appointed principals of government colleges in Kumba, chief town of Meme division were on Friday 9 September 2016 commissioned to their new functions. They were installed by the Meme divisional delegate of secondary education, Mr. Akwo John Eyong, on the various campuses. The installations came barely two days after the ministerial decision appointing principals and other school administrators throughout the national territory. 
                Beginning at the Government high school GHS Kosala in Kumba II sub division, Mr. Mwelle Kunz Mbai from CCAS Kumba was installed as the new principal, in replacement of Dr. Tazi Andrew who was moved to Government Bilingual High School (GBHS), Kumba.
                At the second installation ceremony, Mr. Fonge Julius from GBHS Muea was commissioned as the new principal of CCAS Kumba. He takes over from Mr. Mwelle Kunz Mbai who was transferred to GHS Kosala, Kumba.

Meme SDO puts order in Okada sector



By Johnson Batuo in Kumba
SDO for Meme, KoulboutAman David
In a move that is geared towards restoring order in the bike riders (Okada) sector in Meme Division, the SDO for Meme, KoulboutAman David has on 5 September 2016, dismissed the presidents of the bike riders union of Kumba I and Kumba II. The SDO also suspended the President of Kumba III bike riders.
                The three Okada presidents, Jam Joseph, Tinowe Henry and Ebune Moses were accused by their union members of subverting the constitution of their unions to permit them prolong their stay in power.
                The SDO’s decision came on the heels of a series of protest demonstrations by Okada riders in the three subdivisions.  The protesting bike riders presented their grievances to the SDO when they could not bring their three presidents to order and after one of the sacked presidents told his union members that he had pocketed the Divisional officer of his subdivision. 
                After concerting with members of the Okada unions, in the presence of the DOs of Kumba I, II and III, the SDO announced the dismissal of the Okada riders presidents of Kumba I and Kumba II, and the suspension of that of Kumba III.
                In the interim, Ayuk Raphael was appointed to oversee the affairs of the union in the three subdivisions pending new elections.

Far North Cameroon:



BENIN HYDRO-ELECTRICITY DAM PROJECT kicks-
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
After the launch of major projects in LomPangar, Menve’elle, Mekin, and the Kribi and Ndogpassi gas plants to boost energy supply in the country, the Northern region still suffers from severe energy deficits resulting from a drastic drop in the energy production capacity of the Lagdo Dam. The Dam that initially had a production capacity of about 72MW annually has seen its capacity drop to barely 50MW.
 Officials say this is not sufficient to meet the demand of the three Northern regions. To curb this deficit, the Benin hydro electricity dam was designed within the frame work of the master plan of the 2035 national electrification program.
                The project estimated at some 320 million dollars, will cover a total land area of 12.000 hectares. It would be financed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and executed by the China Sino-Hydro Electricity Corporation Ltd.

FECAFOOT Revives National Interpools Tourney




During the recent Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) Executive Committee meeting, that took place recently in Limbe, the country’s football body resolved to bring back the National Interpools tournament, which was dismissed some years ago.
                The tournament starts on December 10, 2016, and will be held in Bafoussam.
                After several years of interruption, the competition which usually comprised 10 teams from the 10 regions of Cameroon was brought back as part of FECAFOOT’s mission in reorganizing amateur football.

Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City



Man of the match, Kevin de Bruyne scored his first
 goal of the season, assisted City's second and came 
closest to breaking the second-half deadlock
Pep Guardiola emerged victorious from his first Premier League battle with old adversary Jose Mourinho as Manchester City secured a fully deserved win in a frantic Old Trafford derby.
Kevin de Bruyne's cool finish and KelechiIheanacho's tap-in after the Belgian hit the post put City in complete control as they outclassed Mourinho's Manchester United for most of the opening 45 minutes.
                United were handed a lifeline just before the break when City's debutant keeper Claudio Bravo summed up his desperately uncertain display by dropping a free-kick to allow ZlatanIbrahimovic to pull a goal back.
                They mounted an aerial siege in front of the Stretford End but City held firm to maintain their position at the top of the table, coming closest to scoring when De Bruyne struck an upright from Leroy Sane's pass.
                The long-time rivalry - and acrimony - between former Real Madrid manager Mourinho and ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola meant this fixture was ringed on the calendar from the moment it was announced.
                A truce was called in the build-up to the game as Guardiola announced he would accept an invitation for a post-match glass of wine with Mourinho and there was an embrace when they met before kick-off.
                And when the game started, Guardiola stalked his technical area, micro-managing every moment of City's approach, while Mourinho crouched and made notes as the game progressed.
                The Spaniard will have been delighted to see such early superiority, a magnificent first 40 minutes of clinical passing and movement leaving United's midfield, including £89m world record buy Paul Pogba, as virtual passengers.