Thursday, 16 November 2017

Front page

Curbing fiscal fraud and evasion:

Cameroon hosts international forum on transparency & exchange
-The three-day Forum holding in Yaounde, from 15 to 17 November, was placed under the high patronage of President Paul Biya

By Victorine Ngum in Yaounde
Cameroon’s Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey talks to the press, as Josee Maria GARDE, Chair of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange, and the Cameroon Director General of Taxation, Modeste Mopa Fatoing listen from behind
The Yaounde Hilton Hotel has been  jammed and busy since Monday, as taxation administrators the world over converged on the capital of the Central African nation for the 19th Plenary Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
    Placed under the distinguished patronage of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, the 10th General Assembly of the Global Forum has as objective to enforce standards of transparency and information exchange in the area of taxation.
    Billed to run from 15 to 17 November 2017, the Global Forum is also an avenue for peers in the domain of taxation to review norms of practice and information sharing.
    Over 250 delegates from 137 member countries and jurisdictions are taking part in the Forum that was officially opened on Wednesday, by Cameroon’s Finance Minister, Alamine Ousmane, sitting for the Prime Minister. Representatives from over 12 international organizations including the IMF, World Bank, Centre for Meetings and Studies of Directors of Tax Administrations (CREDAF) and the EU are also attending.
    Participants at the Forum are expected to review the annual activities of the GF and the stakes related to the evolution of the standards for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. They shall equally examine the main orientations and the way forward for the GF, according to a release from the Cameroon Ministry of Finance.
    It should be mentioned however, that, though Cameroon joined the Global Forum in 2012, she has yet to effectively quantify the extent of tax evasion by multi-national companies operating in the country.
    Yet, it is believed that because these companies operate simultaneously here and in many other countries around the world, they can easily transfer their fiscal burden from Cameroon to these countries, especially those with more favorable tax levies. And in so doing they evade taxes in Cameroon.
    Cameroon’s membership of the Global Forum is therefore with the aim to seek better ways of tackling such fiscal flight and fraud, by using mainly procedures decided jointly with peers of the Global Forum.
    “Mechanisms applied to curb tax fraud and evasion are twofold - International and national. Internationally Cameroon seeks bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other countries to stem tax fraud,” says the Director of Legislation and International Tax relations at the Directorate General of Taxation, Roland Atanga Fongue.

Yaounde steps up security alert in NW & SW

Following fatal attacks on military positions last week, described as terrorist attacks, with the brutal killing of four gendarme officers in two days, Yaounde seems to be withdrawing gendarme officers deployed in parts of the NW region to contain unrests from Anglophone grievances there and in the SW, and replacing them with highly combative special forces, the rapid intervention battalion, BIR.
            Late afternoon Tuesday, half a dozen truckloads of gendarmes were seen leaving Bamenda and a couple of hours later, nearly criss-crossing with them, four seventy-seater busloads of BIR were seen heading towards Bamenda via the West region just before dusk.
            It is understood that in situations of degrading security, security forces are deployed in graduated order; starting with the quasi-paramilitary police, through the paramilitary gendarmes, to the regular army, and finally the Special Forces, the BIR.

SDF MPs boycott opening session of parliament

SDF Members of Parliament have boycotted the opening session of Parliament in Yaounde. 
            SDF representatives of both the upper and lower house were instead at the regional headquarters of the party in Olezoa, Yaounde as the opening rituals at Ngoa Ekele and Nkolnyada were going on.
            According to a release issued Tuesday, the decision of the SDF to boycott the opening ceremony of the 3rd parliamentary session is the first action of a series whose goal is “to force the Yaounde regime to find a lasting solution” to the crisis that has rocked Southern Cameroons for more than a year now.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Arrest warrants issued for 48 Ambazonia leaders

Anglophone crisis:
-Yaounde on diplomatic offensive to get the secessionists arrested abroad
-The governments of Nigeria, S. Africa, EU etc are expected to respect the principle of reciprocity in
international law, and to hand in these ‘fugitives’ over to Cameroonian authorities
By Ekum-Tambe Eku in Yaounde
Ambazonia interim leader, Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe, now a wanted man
The Yaounde Military Court has issued 15 (some sources say 48) arrest warrants for leaders of the Anglophone struggle notably those advocating secession. According to sources close to the military court, top on the Wanted list include notably Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe, Tassang Wilfred, Mark Barata, Tapang Ivo Tanku, Ebenezer Akwanga, Boh Herbert, Milton Taka, Cho Ayaba, Bobga Harmony, Eyambe Elias, Nso Foncha Kem, Elizabeth Bifuh-Ambe, Larry Ayamba, Milan Atam and Kometa Elvis.
            The ‘wanted men’ are accused among other things of instigating the brutal killing of gendarmes, police and military men on duty in the NW and SW, stabbing of 29 students on their way to school, burning of 142 schools and health centres, burning of markets and shops, killing of 7 traders, attack on 8 police stations and  7 gendarmerie brigades, vandalizing and desecrating state symbols among other crimes.
            All the persons listed above are living in different countries abroad including Nigeria, South Africa, Belgium and USA amongst others. They are said to be the front-liners calling for the separation of the of the Republic of Cameroon and the restoration of the state-hood of Southern Cameroons, now called Ambazonia.
            These “Facebook Generals’ are accused of using the social media to incite violence and ghost towns in the two Anglophone regions, as well as to propagate their secessionist agenda.
            In the course of the violence they are said to have incited, several public and private structures including schools, vehicles, and police stations were destroyed.                      Apart from material damages, several lives have also been lost as a result of the violence caused by the secessionists.

Anglophone Uprising:

Parliament says no to terrorism in Cameroon

This was the take home message from the Senate and National Assembly that opened on Tuesday 14 November, for the budgetary session.

By Mercy Neba in Yaounde
Cavaye Yeguei Djibril
After 4 months of recess, senators converged on the Yaounde Conference Centre Tuesday for the start of the 3rd and last parliamentary session for the 2017 legislative year, dedicated for the examination and adoption of the state budget for 2018.
            Addressing the senators and the high-powered guests, including the Prime Minister and the Ministers, the senate president Marcel Niat Njifendji described the November session as crucial because it is coming at a time when Cameroon is going through a serious crisis in the Anglophone regions of the country, with some individuals bent on plunging the country into chaos and with threats of secession and acts of terrorism.
            Hon. Niat said this was unacceptable. He called on all senators to play an active role in promoting dialogue as a means towards finding an end the crisis. This call was appreciated by senators.
            “The senate president was passionate about the situation in the NW & SW regions.  You could see how passionate he was in his appeal for dialogue and negotiations as relevant means towards finding a solution to the very worrying problem,” said Mbella Moki Charles, CPDM Senator for Buea in the SW.

The future of our children must not be compromised

        -Hon. Solange Kwarmba, CPDM MP for Mayo-Tsanaga
Hon. Solange Kwarmba, CPDM MP for Mayo-Tsanaga
The CPDM member of parliament for Mayo-Tsanaga, has called on parents and dissidents in the NW and SW regions to allow children to go to school, arguing that education is a fundamental human right for every child. Hon. Kwarmba was speaking to The Median in Yaounde, on the sidelines of the opening of the November session of parliament, on Tuesday 14 November 2017.
            “On behalf of the people of Mayo-Tsanaga division, and on my personal behalf, I am calling for a return to normalcy, and for peace to reign in the Anglophone zone of our country. Parents and especially the dissidents and the general population should allow our children to go to school because education is a fundamental human right for every child. As a mother I cannot be indifferent to the fact children are not going to school in some parts of our country,” Hon. Solange Kwarmba said, adding that things are going out of hand in the beleaguered Anglophone regions and so all hands must be put on deck to arrest the situation and seek a lasting solution to the crisis.
            “You know that the first development of a child is mental. So when you block the mental advancement of children then you have blocked their human development automatically. So children must first go to school if they must develop properly and be mentally balanced,” Hon. Kwarmba explained further.
            Also fielding questions about Boko Haram insurgency in the Extreme North where she originates, Hon Solange Kwarmba said things are gradually returning to normal and people have started going about their businesses as usual.
            “I think things are returning to normalin the Extreme North. Law and order is returning and I seize this opportunity to salute the bravado of the forces of law and order for the good work they are doing on the field. I also hail the head of state, President Paul Biya and the local administrative authorities who are not relenting in their effort to see that peace and order reigns. I cannot forget our vigilante groups who are also helping the security forces with vital information on ground. You know the vigilantes groups are the interfaces between the populations and the enemies – Boko Haram,” remarked the youthful lady MP, who is a member of the age bureau (bureau d’age) of the national assembly.

European NGOs are supporting the partitioning of Cameroon – Tchiroma

The so-called Francophone government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakary has criticised non governmental organisations  specialised in the defence of human rights, about the killings of 4 gendarmes in Southern Cameroons. Tchiroma tweeted French Cameroun government worries and questioned the “silence of the lamb” by the NGOs.
            “The government is astonished at the silence of human rights NGOs in the face of violence against our defence and security forces, and we are taking our nation to witness this silence, which is curious and deafening,” Issa Tchiroma wrote in a tweet that ends with the #Cameroon hashtag.

2018 public exams in NW & SW:

Internet shutdown may mar online registration of GCE 
But GCE board says there shall be no room for late registration after December 29 deadline
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
School authorities in Meme and Ndian divisions of the Southwest regions have said that the lack of internet access will hinder the online-registration  of students planning to sit the 2018 session of examinations organized by the GCE board. They made the disclosure recently after attending a sensitization meeting organized by the GCE board on the campus of CCAS Kumba on Monday November 13 2017.
            To these heads of schools, the online registration which was aimed to ease the tedious task of registering candidates manually may now be marred by the discriminate restriction of internet access in the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country.
            To the schools authorities the online system eases the work needed in the registration process and helps reduce the number of errors made on the registration forms in the process of registration.
            The schools officials indicated it is imperative for their students to begin adapting themselves to the online system since higher institutions of learning and state universities also use it in their admission process.
            The sensitization meeting was in a bid to help reduce the irregularities that were noticed in the registration of candidates for the 2016/2017 examinations organized by the Cameroon General Certificate of Education, CGCE board.

Tarring of Kumba-Mbonge-Ekondo-Titi road:

Villagers clash with soldiers over royalties

-Several villagers, soldier wounded

-Chief of Nganjo-Titi escapes lynching by villagers

By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Several villagers of Nganjo Titi, a locality in Mbonge Sub-division of Meme division and a military officer have sustained injuries following a deadly clash on Friday 10 November 2017 over the demand of royalties from the Tunisian company that is in charge of the tarring of the Kumba-Mbonge-Ekondo-Titi road.
            The story goes that the irate villagers stormed the equipment pool of the SOUROBAT company demanding royalties for the exploitation of their natural resources.
            We gathered that the irate youths met two military officers on guard at the SOURABAT equipment pool and in an exchange one of the officers fired two gunshots at the crowd that left two of the irate villagers injured. This reaction of the security officers provoked the youths who reposted in self-defense. The ensuing battle left a security officer badly injured.
This reporter gathered that the youths after the encounter with the forces of law and order at the SOROUBAT equipment base left and went to their traditional ruler; Chief Esmem Mbonji Etongwe whom they accused of collecting over FCFA 50 million from the construction company as royalties but failing to share it with the villagers.
            The angry villagers explained to reporters that they attacked their chief because he (Chief Eseme) wanted to feed fat alone on what they thought was meant for the entire village.
            For his part, chief Eseme of Nganjo Titi, who doubles as the Secretary General of the Meme Chief’s conference, as well as principal of GHS Big Bekondo, in an exchange with reporters in Kumba, said he ran to safety in Kumba to avoid the wrath of his angry subjects.

To accommodate fleeing Anglophone students:

Gov’t creates English Technical College in Y’de
The Minister of Secondary Education has authorized the creation and functioning of a Government Technical College, GTC in the Mewoulou neighbourhood in the Yaounde VI municipality. This is in response to the growing population of English-speaking Cameroonians in Yaounde.
            Mewoulou, located behind the Handicapped Centre in Etoug-Ebe has a land surface of three hectares and 32 metres square; enough for full expansion of the institution to include various technical disciplines found in Anglo-Saxon technical schools.
            Government Technical College Etoug-Ebe, is arguably the first ever Public English Technical College in Francophone Cameroon.
            The Principal of the school, Mrs Tonga Ida, who has over 20 years of teaching experience in Government Technical Colleges, says they have started with electricity and building department. The college which went operational with over 150 students admitted into Forms One and Two and a teaching staff, is expected to swell up in the days ahead following promises by National Education authorities to meet its needs.

As Catholic Hospital remains closed:

Njinikom people vow to continue church, schools boycott
By Njodzefe Nestor
Njinikom people vow to continue church, schools boycott
The people of Njinikom in Boyo Division of the North West region have vowed that they will keep away from Catholic Church activities and boycott their schools if the decision to suspend St Martin de Pores Catholic hospital Njinikom, one of the oldest hospitals in the region, is not reversed.
On November 10, 2017, the Archbishop of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua ordered the immediate suspension of activities in the hospital “except for emergency cases”.
            The cause of the suspension according to the prelate was the unruly behaviour of some members of the Njinikom population who on November 4, forcefully trespassed into the hospital premises demanding that the Matron of the hospital, Rev. Sister Olive Nga who has served the hospital for over 3 years 7months must leave “dead or alive”.
            “It saddens me to hear that even after a decision was taken for the Matron to leave Njinikom for her own safety, some bike riders from among the crowd that had invaded the hospital decided to escort the car which was carrying her right to Mbingo to ensure that she had effectively left Kom land”  part of the decision suspending the hospital reads.
            The Archbishop in the decision also regrets that “when the Provincial Superior and some sisters went back to Njinikom for some stock taking they were jeered at leaving the impression that the lives of the Rev. Sisters is at stake”.
            “This is unacceptable and I strongly condemn this act of barbarism which is not in consonant with the mission and teaching of the Church. I am therefore as the Archbishop of Bamenda...ordering the immediate suspension of activities in the hospital except for emergency services” the decision concludes.

Buh Integrated Health Center Benefits from SHUMAS/Aid Camps International Largesse

By Njodzefe Nestor in Bemenda
 Handing over of the equipment
It was a jubilant population of Buh, a locality in Bui division of the North West region that turned out in their numbers to receive structures and equipment from Strategic Humanitarian Services, SHUMAS and her partner Aid Camps International.
            On Saturday November 11, 2017, a newly constructed three compartment toilet and shower bath block with hand washing facility, extension of water to the toilet, a placenta pit, health equipment consisting of delivery, ward, consultation and laboratory kits were handed to the Buh Integrated Health Center.
            The mobilization was total and the turn out impressive as the population sang and danced in appreciation of what many described as an early “Christmas Gift” which to them is a stitch in time to salvage them from difficulties to access quality health care.
            The Mayor of Nkum Council, Suila Aruna Kidze just like the National President of Buh Development Association, Shiry Salle Bimela thanked Shumas and her partner for the gift and were unanimous that the donation will go a long way to improve on health care in Buh.
            “The entire population from young to the old feels privileged and happy to receive these equipments and other facilities which shall go a long way to improve on our health. We are very grateful for this wonderful gift today. This day shall be remembered and be recorded in the history of the Buh people” Bimela observed.
            This was re-echoed by Mayor Suila Aruna who added that SHUMAS has become a household name in the development of Buh citing the different projects they have undertaken over the years.
            As a representative of the people, he promised that “The only better way of appreciating SHUMAS for this great and important donation is to make good use and timely maintenance/repairs of the structures and equipments”.

Senator Mbella Moki, who killed Hon. Arthur Lisinge?

A post on the Senator’s Facebook page suggests he has a clue about the killer(s) of the CPDM MP for Buea-Urban in Fako division. Can the Senator speak out more clearly? Can he name names and clear the air?
-Full text of Senator Mbella Moki’s posting, and Hon. Arthur Ekeke Lisinge’s funeral program only in The Median
Senator Mbella Moki
The Rt. Hon. PM Kale and Dr. E.M.L Endeley remind us of the glorious days in Fako politics. These men had differences but no one wished the other dead or boasted to have killed the other. None of them framed vulgar language, stories, plans and lies against their brothers and sisters with the collaboration of some authorities to destroy and kill each other.
            Today, those days are gone; the men are gone, our identity is gone. Our pride is gone, our heritage is gone, ill-gotten wealth is driving every opportunist mad.
            Now we see enemies where there are no enemies. We always try to light grass that is wet; things have fallen apart and the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the land…”

Douala General Hospital:

Biya appoints Nalova Lyonga   Board Chairman
Nalova Lyonga
President Paul Biya on Monday 13 November 2017, signed a decree appointing Dr. Pauline Egbe Nalova Lyonga to the position of the Board Chairperson of the Douala General Hospital.
            Dr. Lyonga is former Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea. She was relieved of her functions at the University and sent on retirement on 27 June this year.
Another Presidential decree also appointed

Boko Haram, Anglophone crisis:

Cameroon, Island of peace?
Since for over a week now, members of Cameroon’s ruling party, CPDM, have been celebrating the anniversary of their leader, Paul Biya, and telling the world that Cameroon is synonymous with peace for the thirty five years that Biya has been at the helm. Every November 6, CPDM militants celebrate the anniversary of the accension of president Paul Biya to power in 1982. The CPDM militants use the occasion to remind the suffering masses of Cameroonians that Biya and the ruling party have granted them the best gift they can have – peace. Mr. Biya, who has been in power for thirty-five years, has always taken pride in the country’s pseudo-stability. He holds that, thanks to him, Cameroon has always been seen around the world as an oasis of peace in a desert of chaos. But that now belongs to the past, as the country’s peace is now more of a mirage. This year’s celebrations of his many years in power were held in a particularly challenging context, as the country is moving gradually towards a precipice, with the crisis in the Anglophone regions.
            Cameroon, which was once the benchmark for peace, has become a reference for conflict. The country has become a convergence point for all types of conflicts and disorder. In the North, Boko Haram,which exploded into the global stage some four years ago, has continued to sow terror in the country’s northern part. Thousands of civilian and military lives have been lost as a result of this insurgency, while trade between Nigeria and Cameroon has been interrupted as a result of this unfortunate situation, and there is no end in sight.
            The country is struggling both militarily and financially to contain this real danger that has given it a bad name on the world stage. Its tourism sector has taken a hit, rendering thousands unemployed.
            The Boko Haram insurgency, which feeds on the high unemployment rate in Northern Cameroon, has created lots of refugees; a situation that is unfortunately challenging to the cash-strapped government.
            In the eastern part of the country, Central African Republic (CAR) rebels have continued to stage sporadic attacks, as refugees born out of the country’s decades-old conflict continue to cross over into Cameroon. With the support of the United Nations, the Yaounde government seems to be handling the refugee crisis in the Eastern part of the country relatively well, though incursions by CAR rebels are robbing the government of a good night’s sleep.
            However, it is the Southern Cameroons crisis that has really shattered the myth that Cameroon is an oasis of peace. Since October 2016, Cameroon has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The country’s English-speaking minority has been battling the aging and cash-strapped government for more than one year. The struggle that started as a result of socio-professional demands by lawyers and teachers quickly developed into widespread protests,as images of Buea University students being made to drink raw sewage went viral on social media.

The Latest:

Zimbabwe's war vets praise army's actions
6:50 a.m.
            The Zimbabwe army's takeover of the state broadcaster and action against some members of President Robert Mugabe's government has been praised by the chairman of the Liberation War Veterans' Association.
            Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the war veterans' group issued a statement from Johannesburg praising Army General Constantino Chiwenga for carrying out "a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power." The statement said the army will return Zimbabwe to "genuine democracy."
Mutsvangwa and the war veterans' group are staunch allies of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired from his post of vice president by Mugabe last week.

5:50 a.m.
            Zimbabwe's army urges other security services to "cooperate for the good of our country," warning that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response."
            The statement read out early Wednesday on state-run television calls on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave canceled.
            It says that if the country's degenerating political, social and economic situation is not addressed, it "may result in a violent conflict."
The army insists that this is not a military takeover and that President Robert Mugabe's security is guaranteed.

4:55 a.m.
            Zimbabwe's army has announced that "this is not a military takeover" and that President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe and sound.
            "We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice," the army announced on state-run media.
            The early Wednesday announcement comes after a night of unrest with military vehicles in the capital and several explosions heard.
            The army statement says that "as soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy."
Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and the 93-year-old Mugabe after he fired his deputy and longtime ally, who had military support.

Coup d’Etat feared:

Army takes over control of Zimbabwe
-Robert Mugabe and Wife put under house arrest
Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and was securing government offices and patrolling the capital's streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster.
            The night's action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military's supporters praised it as a "bloodless correction." South Africa's president said he spoke with Mugabe, who was "fine" but confined to his home.
            For the first time, this southern African nation is seeing the military oppose the 93-year-old Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state and one of the longest-serving authoritarian rulers. Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from white minority rule in 1980.
            The whiplash developments followed Mugabe's firing of his deputy, which had appeared to position the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to replace Emmerson Mnangagwa as one of the country's two vice presidents at a party conference next month. But the first lady has proved unpopular among some Zimbabweans, and Mnangagwa had significant support from the military.
            It was not clear Wednesday where Mnangagwa was, though he fled the country last week citing threats to him and his family.
            Armed soldiers in armored personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country's ongoing financial crisis. People looked at their phones to read about the army takeover and others went to work or to shops.
            In an address to the nation after taking control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Major General Sibusiso Moyo said early Wednesday the military is targeting "criminals" around Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that order will be restored.
            Mugabe and his wife appeared to be in the custody of the military. "Their security is guaranteed," Moyo said.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Front page

Silencing his detractors:

Philemon Yang becomes Cameroon’s longest serving PM
Appointed to the star building on 30 June 2009, the 70-year old discrete, self-effacing and taciturn son of Jikejem Oku, in Bui Division of the NW region, has finally broken the record that until now was held by the Rt. Hon. Peter Mafany Musonge (the Father of Fako political emancipation). Mafany served as PM for 8 years two months and three weeks (19 September 1996 to 8 December 2004). But Yang has already made 8 years four months and counting.
Philemon Yang
            Yang has silenced his detractors who had dismissed him as a political feather-weight at the star building. Before his appointment as PM in 2009, many considered Yang somewhat of a gamble. And this was perhaps owing to his unrepentant discreteness. Some even said he had played his discreteness to his own disadvantage.
Because Yang was hardly seen at CPDM rallies or in political arenas, many said he did not have the requisite political stamina for the post of PM, especially giving the complexities of the job. Also, because Yang had hardly made a public speech, it was difficult to know his position on many issues of national interest.
That was perhaps why many political speculators saw instead Christopher Nsalai (also from Bui) becoming the PM in preference to Yang. When Nsalai eventually died in 2008, at a time when a cabinet shake-up was imminent, it was widely believed that he had been battered on the battlefield of his quest for the PM job. Whether Biya would have made Nsalai the PM if he had stayed alive is a matter for another debate. 
            Be it as it may, time has finally proven that even if Yang was not battling for the PM job, he understood very well the modus operandi of his boss and mentor, president Biya, and believed that Biya also knew him only too well. 
            That is why even though heavily criticized by his Northwest kith and kin for being too tight-fisted with money (a local tabloid once opined that Yang was more tight-fisted than Japanese hand brakes) and exceedingly conservative, Yang has proven these doomsday protagonists wrong: He now holds the record as Cameroon’s longest serving PM ever. Who can beat that?
            Yang’s longevity in office has once again proven that Paul Biya does not rely on what people think or say about others before appointing them. (We recall that Marafa said he had once told Biya that Issa Tchiroma did not merit appointment as minister.)
            Perhaps those who thought that Yang would not last as PM had forgotten that the ‘Oku boy’ had been an early Biya ally way back in 1975 when he first entered government as vice minister of territorial administration at age 28. It was that same year and in the same cabinet reshuffle that Biya was appointed Prime Minister by Ahidjo.

Anglophone Crisis:

Social Media Republics and the Vexing Complacence of Intellectuals
By Franklin Sone Bayen
Add caption
When opposition SDF candidate, Ni John Fru Ndi declared himself president-elect from the October 1992 presidential election which the Supreme Court awarded to incumbent President Paul Biya, most of the top newspaper publishers practically relocated to Bamenda, and remained there for weeks, loitering around Fru Ndi’s Ntarinkon residence.   They each wanted to be rewarded with cabinet positions for services rendered as supporter-reporters, highlighting Fru Ndi’s fairytales (the politically correct) and downplaying the "pariahs" (those who noticed early that he was a human being, not a demi-god. It was Fru Ndi's way or no way! He had a blank cheque. He could fill in any amount and whistle his way to the bank. Well, until it began to dawn that he was just fallible man. And later, all hell broke loose on him. Too late!
            All of the press glorification or leader-worship of the 1990s came through newspapers – the flourishing private press that both ushered and was fed by the multiparty Wind of Change; no internet (social media) then, and radio and TV access (only CRTV) was limited. Even access to newspapers was limited to those who had the means to buy and those who could read. Also deprived were those in remote or far-flung locations where newspapers were not circulated easily. For those thus deprived Fru Ndi glorification reached them through two-step flow or the rumour mill or hearsay.
            Today, here we are with a powerful, potent, rapid, democratized social media, besides the plethora of radio and TV channels. It is possible that once you click to post a comment, the first person to read it could be someone in Manyemen or Furu Awah straight from their mobile phones, thanks to 100fcfa airtime bonus data (if not for the government internet freeze).
            This provides a cheap, hyper-effective magic bullet (hypodermic needle) connection. In the administrative machinery of the SOCIAL MEDIA REPUBLIC as described by Abine Ayah Ayah in an applauded Facebook posting last week, there is no need for Rene Sadi’s governors, SDOs and DOs; no need for Joseph Beti Assomo’s soldiers and gendarmes; no need for Martin Mbarga Nguele’s police; no need to spend millions on nearly daily press conferences like Issa Tchiroma.
            In the SOCIAL MEDIA REPUBLIC, governance is simplified and cost effective. With just your keyboard, cheap bonus internet data, ideas and the intention and will to influence the public one way or the other, there you go! Choose your title (General, President of X, Chairman of ABC Governing Council or President of XYZ Republic). Yes, you are it! You become so influential that people in Mukru (Menchum division, North West region), Ntenmbang (Upper Banyang subdivision, Manyu division, South West region), Kesham, Akwaya subdivision, Manyu division, South West region) who hardly even know you, but for whom you are a virtual hero, break their sweet sleep at 3am just to check on your latest decree or some plan of action.

Bazooka for Bazooka:

Agbor Balla fires back at Ambazonia detractors
-Says they are living in a dream world and that he will defeat Sesekou Julius in election and be the President if ever their Ambazonia dream becomes reality
-See other remarks contained in Balla’s recent audio recording  
Barrister Agbor Balla
The current is certainly not flowing between the president of the outlawed Consortium, Barrister Agbor Balla, and his brother (they both hail from Eyumojock subdivision in Manyu Division of the SW) counterpart of the Ambazonia Governing Council, SCACUF, Sesekou Ayuk Tabe Julius. At least this is what can be deduced from Balla’s latest audio recording that was posted on facebook.
            Though it is not immediately known if the recording was done with Balla’s consent, it cannot however be doubted that the statements are he’s.
            In a rather vexatious tone, Balla takes on his Ambazonia critics, reminding them that they are living in dreamland. Besides, Balla says if ever Ambazonia came to be he would defeat the interim leader, Sesekou Ayuk in any election that would be organized and be the pioneer president.
            Recorded in London where Balla is currently sojourning on the invitation of some international NGOs interested in understanding the Anglophone crisis, sources say Ambazonia militants surreptitiously got Balla on record, as he was saying his mind in a private conversation. The following are only some of the bullets that Balla fired at Sesekou Ayuk Julius alias Tobo Tobo. 

Recalling 22 September:

Buea Mayor accuses SW elites for ‘terrorist’ attack on his home
-Says SW elites are a band of inhumane, self-seeking ingrates who cannot be counted on
By Boris Esono in Buea
Mayor Patrick Ekema
The Mayor of Buea has said that he now knows the people who hatched the plot for his home and property to be attacked on 22 September 2017.  Patrick Esunge Ekema says he will name and shame these evildoers when the time is right.
            “What happened at my house on 22 September 2017 was commandeered by some SW elites and I know all of them,” Ekema said, noting that “they include two elites from Fako and one from Manyu. I know them but I will not call their names now because investigations are still going on”. 
            Mayor Patrick Ekema made the revelation in his unscripted preliminary remarks during an extraordinary session of the Buea council convened to validate the Land Use Plan for Buea Municipality and the Sectorial Plan for Molyko.
            According to the fire-eating Buea Mayor, the population of SW cannot count on those who pass for elites of the region because “they are people who serve only their own interests and never the interest of their people.”
            “Once these people get to positions of power they immediately forget the people on whose behalf they were raised and they start pursuing only their selfish interests,” Ekema opined, concluding that he cannot consider the so called SW elite as his brothers because they constitute a bunch of ingrates who have no respect for the human person.
            In a rather emotional tone, the Mayor narrated the gruesome incident that occurred in his Molyko mansion on 22 September and how it has affected his family both psychologically and emotionally.
             “I was at home with one of my councilors and a friend when the demonstrators were mobilizing. I later left for the office with the councilor but before I could reach there, my wife called me saying I should hurry and come back because they are dying in the house. When I reached there my property had been destroyed,” he recounted.

Fireworks at SCACUF meeting in Nigeria:

Ambazonia governing council rocked by corruption & greed

-Mark Bareta turns 4th conclave of SCACUF governing council into boxing ring, after charging SCACUF leaders of greed, corruption and bad faith

-Secretary General of Governing Council resigns in catimini

By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
Mark Bareta, one of the ‘facebook generals’ of the Southern Cameroons struggle has picked holes with the governing council of the Southern Cameroon Ambazonia Consortium Front, SCACUF, accusing some of its members of “corruption, bad faith and greed”.
            This was ahead of the enlarged 4th conclave of SCACUF governing council, holding in Nigeria last week, with Ambazonia front-liners including the likes of Lawyer Fon Gorji Dinka (Father of Ambazonia), Boh Herbert Yungsih (leader of MORISCs), Cho Ayaba (Commander of Ambazonia Armed Forces), Akwanga Ebenezer (advocate for Anglophones to take up arms), Chris Anu, Mark Berata, Ambomu live family, Ebini Noel, Barrister Bobga Harmony amongst others, in attendance.
            In a series of virulent write ups and videos posted in his facebook and twitter pages before and during the conclave, Mark Bareta expressed fears that the conclave might not achieve its objectives because according to him it was not inclusive enough.
            “Such a conclave is supposed to be all-inclusive. This is what we have called for, an inclusive conclave so that we can chat the way forward……Our people are expecting far -reaching resolutions from the conclave. It will be important if things are straight. Unfortunately, we must be ready for any outcome. The situation is currently bedeviled by politicking, bad faith, corruption and greed,” Bareta regretted.
            “You cannot make people (including the VC, Tassang) to drive more than 6 hours just to attend a conclave that has nothing but politicking on its agenda, while frontline leaders who originally constituted SCACUF are in the dark and shattered,” Bareta observed.
            Insisting that they are meeting in Nigeria “to fix and not to spoil things”, Bareta promised he will not hesitate to turn the conclave into a boxing ring if things don’t turn out right.
             “We castigated Agbor Balla for his position on the struggle, yet we have become so comfortable that we fear to call our own to order. No one is above the struggle. The struggle must not build monsters. That is not the Southern Cameroons we want to see and we must not be afraid to speak up when it is necessary. We speak up because we love Amba and want to see it succeed,” Bareta charged on his facebook page.
            We learned that Bareta’s could not hold back his venom after an independent audit committee, during a pre-conclave meeting, submitted a 22-page report which indicated that the SG of the SCACUF Governing Council, Milan Atam, had misappropriated Ambazonia funds.
            It emerged that Mark Bareta who did not take the findings of the audit lightly, ordered that the SG so inculpated be fired with immediate effect.
            Unconfirmed reports even have it that unable to contain his anger and disappointment, Bareta pounced on the SCACUF SG, wrestling him to the ground and insisting that he must be named and shamed to the Ambazonian public.
            For his part, Milan Atam did not take Bareta’s ranting kindly. He stood up and delivered what many considered as his mea culpa.
            “We want to build a new nation and we must start now with transparency, justice and service to the people. I strongly suggest that where there is wrongdoing, the culprit (including myself) should be exposed and our people should be informed,” Milan Atam is reported as reacting after the corruption allegation against him. He called on the SCACUF vice chairman, Tassang Wilfred, to present a detailed account of all financial transactions engaging the Council this so that the records can be set straight.
            As the resolutions of the 4th Amba conclave are still awaited, we learnt that Milan Atam has issued his resignation from the governing council.

Poor PIB projects execution:

Lazy, corrupt Mayors have killed dev’t in K’ba 
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Paltry disbursements by the treasury and laxity by Mayors have been blamed for the low rate of execution of public investment projects in Meme division. This was the take home from a stormy session of the follow-up committee of PIB projects for Meme that ended in Kumba on 19 October 2017.
            To the Meme Delegate for the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, Godlove Buinda, the low project execution rate which stands at 41.68% is the result of laxity and bad fate of most Meme Mayors. He noted that 41.68% is disastrous especially considering that we have barely two months to the end of the financial year.
            Citing the example of the Konye municipality, Buinda observed that the Mayor, Musima George Lobe has done little or nothing to improve the roads in his municipality despite the PIB allocation for the purpose.
             “An inspection team was in Konye two weeks ago and the work was still at the same position,” Buinda said, adding that the Mayor also ignores the technical specifications that were prescribed for the road works.
            Discernibly angry, Buinda lashed out at what he described as Mayor Musima’s bad faith in executing road projects in his municipality.
             “FCFA 27 million is allocated yearly for road works. All of this money has been squandered in the past four years. Road works in Konye municipality have stagnated at barely 35% since 2015,” Buinda regetted, noting that the situation for other Mayors in the division is so bad that even projects to provide tables and chairs for school teachers are never done.
            He enjoined development stakeholders to embark on whistle blowing and to name and shame lazy and corrupt Mayors who because sheer greed cannot bring needed                  development to their communities.

Making of a Right Royal President:

Paul Biya - 35 years on and favorite for 2018
Cameroonians at home and in the diaspora will Monday 6 November 2017 join CPDM supporters in celebrating 35 years of Paul Biya’s ascension to Etoudi as President of Cameroon
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
Paul Biya is the only hope for the future of Cameroon! At least this is what Jean Kuete, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM party wants Cameroonians to believe, and this is what he exhorts CPDM supporters and Cameroonians in general to bear in mind as they take to the ceremonial grounds on Monday, 6 November 2017, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the New Deal regime and its natural leader, Paul Barthelemy Biya bi Mvondo.
            Paul Biya, 84, was handed power on a platter of Gold, on 6 November 1982, by former president Ahmadou Ahidjo, after the latter resigned from office. Biya was the Prime Minister and constitutional successor at the time. He was 49 years then (born on 13 February 1933 in Mvomeka, near Sangmelima in the South region).
            “Cameroonians, Cameroonians, my fellow countrymen, I have decided to resign from my functions as president of the United Republic of Cameroon. This decision will take effect on Saturday 6 November 1982 at 10 a.m……I call on Cameroonians to give your full-hearted support to my constitutional successor, Paul Biya. He merits the confidence of all, both at home and abroad,” said Ahidjo in his resignation speech that was read on national radio shortly after 7 pm on Thursday 4 November 1982.

Shey Jones replaces Paul Tassong at CEMAC Commission

Former secretary of state for public works and Board Chairman of the National Civil Engineering Laboratory, Labogenie and the Douala Autonomous Ports Authority, Shey Jones Yembe, has been appointed Commissioner of Cemac. He was appointed by the Heads of State of the Cemac sub-region during their extra-ordinary summit that ended on Tuesday, 31st October 2017, in Ndjamena, Chad.
            Also the CEO of MAG LLC Construction Company, Shey Jones replaces Paul Njukang Tassong as the Cameroonian representative at the Cemac Commission.
            This discreet and self-effacing graduate of the National Polytechnic Yaounde and the University of Essen, Germany, had also served as Director at the General Directorate of Grand Travaux in Yaounde.
            A staunch supporter of the ruling CPDM party, Shey Jones hails from Donga Mantung Division of the NW region.

How are standards fallen?

UB now admits four ‘O’ levels without English language
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
The University of Buea has finally waived a pass in GCE ‘O’ Level English as condition sine qua non for admission of English speaking students into the University. The University also now admits four GCE ‘O’ level subjects down from at least five subjects previously.
            The decision reviewing admission conditions for freshers at UB is contained in a 25 October 2017 release titled “Extension of deadline for undergraduate admissions”.
            Signed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and Development of Information and Communication Technologies, Prof. Blaise Mukoko, the release invites candidates who do not have a pass in English Language at GCE O/L to apply for admission.
            It noted that these non ‘O’ level English passers will be required to sit and pass an English language proficiency test that will be organised by the Department of English at a cost. It did not however state whether or not the candidates would take test before or after admission.
            In addition, the release also “encourages candidates with a pass in 4 papers (only) at the GCE O/L to apply for admission”. Before now, candidates for admission needed a pass in at least five ‘O’ level subjects including English language to merit admission into UB. 
            The stringent admission conditions at UB before today, was greeted by the public as salutary giving that it helped in upholding the high standards that were set for the essentially Anglo-Saxon University at its creation in 1993. The compulsory ‘O’ level English for example pushed prospective freshers to take their English lessons seriously and improve on their written and spoken English, especially at an era when the level of English was observed to be dropping in geometric progression.

After events on October I:

There has been a marked improvement in schools attendance in Kumba, Meme division since the failed attempt by secessionists to declare the independence of Southern Cameroons on October 1.
            Parents in Meme division in general and Kumba in particular seem to be gradually changing their minds about calls for schools boycott in the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
            Some parents who spoke to The Median said they cannot continue keeping their children at home while children in other regions are going to school normally.
“My three children have been out of school for more than a year now. They keep asking me when they will resume school, but I don’t always know what to tell them,” said a parent, who noted that they were assured that schools would resume soon after the independence declaration on October 1. But that October 1 has come and gone and nothing has since been said.
            “So I have decided to send my kids to school,” the parent, who gave his name as Mr. Makia, said.
            Other parents who also talked to this reporter shared Makia’s position. Many said they have decided to send their kids to school no matter what.
            Schools in Kumba and other urban centres in Meme Division have witnessed an increasingly massive students’ turnout within the past two or so weeks. 
            Stopovers by this reporter in some secondary and primary and nursery schools in Kumba, revealed massive presence of students and pupils, and with effective classes going on.

Professional Development Conference:

CAM3A contemplates better dev’t priorities for Cameroon

By Njodzefe Nestor in B’da
CAM3A contemplates better dev’t priorities for Cameroon
The Cameroon Australia Alumni Association, CAM3A, have brainstormed on ways to better accompany the Cameroon government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
            This was during a 2 day Continuous Professional Development conference organized by CAM3A with the support of the Australia Awards on the theme “Unpacking the Sustainable Development Goals and streamlining Alumni Work Plans on Return to contribute to achieve Cameroon's development priorities”
            The conference which took place in Limbe, South West region from 22-23rdSeptember 2017 had as goal to enhance collaboration amongst members of the alumni for effective contribution to the national achievement of the SDGs.
            Thirty three alumni working in different thematic areas including mining, health, agriculture, environment, public policy amongst others actively took part in the workshop that culminated in new opportunities for collaboration amongst alumni for contribution towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals.
            In his keynote address, the Australia Awards Alumni Ambassador for Cameroon, Ngang Eric thanked the Australia Government for continuous engagement with Cameroonians during and post awards and fellowships and the recognition given to the Cameroon Australia Alumni Association (CAM3A) as key to promoting people to people relation between Cameroonian and Australian academia and industry.
            During the conference, 11work plans in return successfully implemented with tangible outputs and outcomes were presented, stimulating other alumni who had challenges with their plans to develop new interest to take the plans forward.
            A key highlight of this exercise was the Award of prize donated by the Australia Honorary Consular  to Cameron the best Work Plan on Return presented at the conference which was won by Mr Georges Tenny Ngu after peer evaluation for his significant work achievement with Poultry Farmers in the Buea Municipality.
            There was also the identification of 10 impactful projects that shall contribute to achievement of the National SDGs priorities for Cameroon amongst others.