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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world - Citizen Journalism at its finest!

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« Guinness Mount Cameroon Race: Revisiting the Era of Foreign Domination | Main | Charles Ateba Eyene - Death of a Maverick »

February 19, 2014

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Ntemfac Ofege

The Official name of that horror is: The Crematorium, in case you did not know.

John Shaddai

Because nobody asked the author of the monument what it meant. I the author was not even invited to the inauguration. So I sat back and watched an entire nation fumble on the explanation for the work of art. To think that I was not even paid for my creation. And the minister of arts and culture refused to name me as the author. Find me on Facebook and I'll give you details.

Akwa Simon

"The equally imposing wall that partially rings the monument from behind - which in a weird way echoes similar walls at the Vietnam and Korean war memorials...."
Please stop comparing apples to oranges.Where are the similarities? Why hasten to inform Cameroonians that you've been to these monuments in Washington, D.C.?

martin eyong tabe

REUNIFICATION SCANDAL AND THE SOUTH WEST PUPPET
A can of worms!
A sequel from GRAFFI POLITICS AND TH SOUTHWEST PUPPET

The entire nation-state was once again taken by storm as the South West region continues to show its ugly side. But if H.E. BIYA is anything to go bye, then OKALIA BILAI, MAFANY MUSONGE, AGBOR TABI, MENGOT VICTOR, MBELLA MOKI, NFON MUKETE, AMA TUTU MUNA, ROBERT NKILLI, BIDOUNG MKPATT and all those who were involved directly or indirectly in the reunification reparation and feat should be tried for HIGH TREASON against the Cameroonian people.

It’s such a shame that the South west region should be the last in everything, even in alphabetical order; the South West is last in appellation of all the regions. The height of this provocation is the announcement of the Minister of communication on the amount of money that the government has disbursed for the reunification project, a colossal 35 billion francs CFA, the highest of all financial scandals that Cameroon has ever known. This appellation usually misleads Cameroonians. We are talking of 35 thousand million FCFA, (35,000,000,000). This amount of money is what the government disbursed apart from what Mafany musonge with his swollen jaws and his cohorts went round the region almost extorting money from all business men, all elite, all companies, all councils and the like under the guise of the organizing committee of the reunification that held at CNPS Buea, Kumba, Limbe and all around the place. SONARA, PAMOL, HYSACAM and even companies that are not found in the region contributed money for the feast.
“ It may interest the reader to know that the total annual Public Investment Budget of the South West has never crossed 31 Billion FCFA. It reached its height in 2008 under INONI’s influence as prime minister”.
This includes all administrative constructions, schools, hospitals, offices, creation of new roads, rehabilitation of existing roads, construction of bridges and all the like for the entire region, then you talk about a mammoth 35 billion FCFA destined for Buea only yet there is nothing to show for. The relics are loose gravel and engine oils spilled on an open grave called the Tole-Limbe road, the Mile 16-Small Soppo stretch, the death trap from Soppo market to Buea town. The Tole road that is not even used and has not been received has been rehabilitated more than 3 times. Yes, that is Biya’s Cameroon. A few existing official buildings were like the amphis in the University of Buea were simply painted. The existing Mountain Hotel structures were only rehabilitated at a colossal 4 billion FCFA. What a shame!
The South Westerner is a cursed man, a man with no direction. FRU NDI even called the South westerner an eternal PUPPET. From a historical narrative, the entire Fako CDC land was sold to the British for a ridiculous 28 pounds. (Ref: George Ngwane’s paper on Kuva Likinye). When NJOH LITUMBE formed the Bakweri Lands Claims Committee (BLCC) that sued the CDC in the Gambia, he met a lot of resistance from his kith n kin who tagged him for a secessionist, yet when BLCC won the case and the CDC was urged to return the land to the indigenes, every monkey from Bakweri fence sought to be chief so as to have access to the sale of land, to buy old German cars and build houses here and there. When FON FOSI YAKUMTO was governor of South West he diverted an ultra-modern telephone system that was destined for Kumba to Kumbo to the utter dismay of the South West Puppet. When ANGU was station manager of CRTV, there was no single South West vernacular language over CRTV Buea until a certain PAUL AYAH took up the case with the government and South West languages were put in place. It suffices to ask if there is any South West vernacular language over radio Bamenda. OBEN PETER ASHU had his fair share of the blame, the illiterate governor siphoned hundreds of millions that were destined for the construction of the grand stand in Bongo square to receive the Head of state. The pillars of the structure were so tiny that they gave way in just two weeks. Bate Johnson, Oben Peter’s right hand man did the dirty job. The Ecoles des Champions in limbe was another can of worms of the South west region. After several failed attempts to inaugurate the structure, CHANTAL BIYA took the South west governor EYEYA ZANGA by storm when she announced the visit at short notice. The governor went harassing SONARA. PAMOL and other structures and personalities to work day and night to realize the obnoxious structure that was worth hundreds of millions. The ever jovial CHANTAL BIYA did not hide her indignation at what she saw in Limbe and she frowned from start to end of occasion. Simply put, she was scandalized at the quality of the project, a typical white wash job akin to the South west puppet. It is worth noting that this same structure was granted to Bafoussam and Douala that realized remarkable edifices worthy of the amount granted for the project. Once again a non indigene did the mess and got away with it without any elite raising even his little finger. And now OKALIA BILAI and his gang of bandits siphon a colossal 35 Billion that was destined to realize projects in Buea for his personal profit. In less than no time he built a three star hotel in Limbe that was earmarked to host the Yaounde dignitaries at cut throat prices and no one in the name of elite has dared to raise a single finger. One can’t help wondering if there are any elite in this region.
YANG PHILEMON and co masterminded the Bamenda celebration and made the necessary preparation at such short notice in record time. The graffi man has always been a force to reckon with, a no nonsense man. It it has to do with the SDF the amumba is a die-hard, it is for the CPDM the amumba is a die-hard, even for the SCNC the amumba is a die hard, a serious and committed and devoted man. YANG submitted a detailed balance sheet of the total expenses that were incurred in Bamenda and refunded the balance to the State treasury. In Buea, even three and a half years were not enough to prepare to receive Mr BIYA. In spite of the fact that Buea had more than double what Bamenda had, most of the money got finished even before effective work began, reason why ARAB contractors abandoned the project, Genie militaire also abandoned, Chariot group abandoned and later on all for unpaid dues and local contractors were sought as a last resort to do the ugly white wash job. Surprisingly enough not a single elite raised an eye brow at such a national disgrace that can only come from the South west Puppet. The peak of such disgrace was heightened at the Tiko farm land in something that looked like a banana plantation in the name of a rehabilitated airport. Sure the hidden agenda was to cause Biya’s plane to crash so that Biya would die. Yet the epileptic ROBERT NKILLI could go on air and talk about the rehabilitation of the Tiko airport as one of the reunification projects. BIYA could not hide his disgust and openly frowned at what he saw. The Canal 2 journalist mentioned that the expression on Biya’s face was that of dissatisfaction, reason why Biya went straight into his car while Chantal stayed behind to greet the crowd. For the first time, Biya never greeted the crowd, the journalist remarked. It may interest the reader to know that Biya made two surprise visits to Buea to see for himself what problem it was that was preventing the reunification project. On the other hand it was worthwhile for Biya to be treated as such. In the 1980’s when corruption and the looting of the entire state resources was rife, Biya asked, “… ou sont les preuves…”. Voice les preuves!
While in Bamenda, Biya promised them a reference hospital, the effective taking off of the ring road, and the Bamenda University that has already gone operational. Yet in Buea, Biya frowned from the time he got to Tiko through the next day at the grand stand. The only time Biya smiled a bit was when the school pupils marched past the stand. Even the stand was problematic because it was placed on the other side of the road and it necessitated the march past to occur downstream instead of otherwise, something that is unheard of in the history of march pasts. This could only have happened in Buea. Thank God foreign dignitaries like GOODLUCK, ALI BONGO and OBIANG NGEUMA did not make it to Cameroon. Things could have moved from legendary hospitality to legendary disgrace. So Cameroonians expected the above to come and see the shambles at the Tiko farm land in the name of an air strip? God saved us from the shame. A few months back Obiang inaugurated a plaza that only compares to Tiananmen Square in china. This is a country that fed from the crumbs that fell off from the Cameroonian table a few years back. Today Equatorial Guinea is a force to reckon with and she is poised to be the first sub Saharan country to reach emergence. 60 years after independence major cities in Cameroon cannot afford potable water or electricity. Even with Biya in Buea, there were still water outages in town. What does it matter anyway? Mutation newspaper mentioned that the presidential guard went without water for 6 months until the above were ready to take up arms before Biya hit his fist on the table and gave the company a 24hour ultimatum to restore water in the presidential quarters.
Biya made not a single promise to the South West people regardless of the fact that the South West happens to be the bread basket of the Country. Petroleum royalties and the customs department are the principal finance sectors of the budget. The South West happens to be the most enclaved regions in the country in spite of all the petroleum. Worse of all, Ndian division that harbors all the petroleum does not have a single inch of tarred road. The government spends billions of francs yearly to excavated sand and other sedimentary deposits on the Douala port. Many Cameroonians do not know that what is called the Douala port is not the sea but the Wouri estuary (the entrance of a big river into the sea). The government has simply created an artificial dock yard that costs billions of francs yearly to excavate. Yet we have an over 50km open coastline in Limbe that will cost little or nothing to maintain, as opposed to the artificial Douala port. We even have the Tiko wharf that served as a major exchange point in the days of West Cameroon. Yet some Anglophones will tell you that there is no Anglophone problem. Three people traced the path down memory lane in the days when the Anglophone press took off, VICTOR NGOH in his “walk down memory lane”, SANUSI BERNARD (CAMEROON LIFE) and PAUL AYAH (CAMEROON SUMMIT). I seem to take a lot of interest in the PAUL AYAH persona. In 1991 AYAH traced the roots from the reunification to the Anglophone marginalization. While VICTOR NGOH stressed the events that lead to the reunification from a historical backdrop, AYAH identified all the abandoned projects that made the Anglophones to feel marginalized till date. He mentioned that major actors of reunification like the charismatic MOTOMBY WOLETA were sidelined from the reunification story. He ensued that all the investments that were of value to the West part of Cameroon and were an intrinsic part of their identity and pride were deliberately defunct by the francophones; the TIKO wharf, the TIKO airport, EKONA Research, the Limbe sea port, POWERCAM, the Tiko rail road, that linked with the East, the Muyuka-Mbanga-Loum roads that linked us with the EAST to name a few. In his own words, AYAH described the Tiko airport as “a moor for frogs”. It is the same airport today that aroused BIYA’s anger to the fullest. Akwaya happened to be the only South west subdivision that could only be accessed through Nigeria. Thanks to the persistent pressure from one man, the Akwaya man today feels a bit Cameroonian. AYAH stood alone, abandoned by kinsmen, by friends and by family to challenge the government to action. Yet the highest opposition came from within. This is consistent with Bible prophecy “…a prophet is only despised in his home town…” To preserve their posts, Manyu bigwigs mounted the rostrum and distanced themselves from AYAH saying that the latter acted in his personal name and not in the name of the Manyu people. These people believed that the Akwaya man did not have a right to benefit from the taxes he has paid to the state since 1963 when the said sub division was created. No doubt! It has always been about sacrificing the development of the South West in exchange for selfish, self-seeking personal ambition. Unfortunately one of the above ended up dying in a hotel in Limbe between the legs of his 21 year daughter with tablets of Viagra in his hands. Thanks to inner manipulations, AYAH was kicked out of the political game. With BATE BESSON dead, NJOH LITUMBE too old and AYAH out of the political scene, the South West remains a no man’s land for any dog, any Jack and Jill to come and dictate his own kind of law in the land and get away with it. Of all the plethora of intellectuals and dynamic politicians in Manyu, the popular choice fell on ENOW TANJONG, retired governor who is too senile to pronounce even his own name. The opening session of the national assembly during the last legislature was a free for all national laughter party, putting Manyu and the S W region in the limelight of National disgrace as ENOH TANJONG openly ridiculed himself in a live radio and TV broadcast while trying to pronounce the names of the parliamentarians-elect. Some imagined he was attempting to translate the names into his inconsistent Banyangi language-a national scandal for the Manyus and for the SW region.
It suffices to ask if the South West has any political leader(s) at all. The North West can call ACHIDI ACHU, FRU NDI or ATANGA NJI as those who can rally support of the masses. Who can the South West call? Even the infamous SWELA is nothing to go bye. GEORGE NGWANE described SWELA as a forum where brain storming and think tanking were the order of the day. SWELA today is a shadow of itself and is now a platform for settling political scores and as a tool to bargain for political posts as opposed to an agency that defends the interest of the said region. Nearby Tombel and Bangem can only be accessed through the Littoral, to the West regions before meandering back into the South West. The principal access to Mamfe now is through Bamenda. One has to leave Buea and pass through two other regions before arriving at his destination within the same region. Even the existing Akwaya road that was fought for tooth and nail by AYAH passes through the Bamenda. To get to Akwaya, one must pass through three regions before attempting re entry into the South West. I will like to ask if our so called political leaders from Manyu and from the South West are proud of this. Mamfe which is one of the historic German towns and which heavily influenced the reunification process goes for two weeks in electricity blackout and water outages sixty years later, to the pride of AGBOR TABI. The much talked about TRANS AFRICAN HIGHWAY from EKOK-KUMBA to MUTENGENE has died a natural death and no one seems to raise a finger about it. Instead, the road was diverted to Bamenda. The much talked about Limbe THERMAL plant for over 10 years now is left to be seen. The EKONDO TITI wharf died in 1994 by the infamous operation DORADE that was masterminded by some demons from Yaoundé. All these put in place yet someone will rise up and swear that there is no Anglophone problem? This author stands corrected if it exists and where it is located. History has a very ugly way of repeated itself. The auctioning of Fako land to the colonial masters for 28 pounds has been translated to the 21st century with the HERAKLES farms that leased thousands of hectares of SW land for a ridiculous 200 million francs for 99 years. Only the timber that was exploited from this land for 2 months was far more than what HERAKLES farms paid for leasing the land. What a scandal. The rare magistrate who passed a judgment against HERAKLES farms was transferred from Ekondo Titi to Nkambe as a punitive measure, because Louis Paul Motaze had an interest in the case. Magistrate MUKETE.
I will like to know what legacy MAFANY MUSONGE, AGBOR TABI, TABE TANDO, MBELLA MOKI, LIFAKA EMILIA, LIFANDA SAMUEL, ANDREW MOTANGA, NFON MUKETE, BENJAMIN ITOE, EBONG NGOLE, VICTOR MENGOT and all those who clamor to be South West elite will leave for their children when they will be long gone. Posterity will judge! Who of the above can rally massive support in the South West region? Inoni was even more push-full and he left a legacy. Thanks to Inoni the Limbe idenau road was realized, thanks to Inoni the Idenau wharf of operational, though timidly. Inoni gave jobs to many South westerners in the government and in Standard Chattered. Though guilty of corruption himself, Inoni came up with operation antelope that is used till date to reduce fictitious salaries under the government pay roll. Mafany Musonge is even most unfortunate. Longest serving prime minister, Grand chancellor of National Orders, senator, CPDM parliamentary group leader and Chairman of the reunification committee yet even the road to his mother’s house in Bwiteva-Buea is not tarred, regardless of the fact that the said road had to be one of the diversion roads to accommodate local traffic, while the main Buea axis was reserved for Yaounde and Foreign dignitaries. Those who do not believe can drive up to the new Soppo market and see for themselves. The potholes that were there 10 years ago are still distinct. Musonge is simply telling his Bakweri brothers that even with all the titles and positions he occupies, he cannot do anything for them. Little wonder that none of his children could enter ENAM even as Prime Minister for 9 years. Cynics may invoke meritocracy. Wow! Awesome! What about the road? Do his kinsmen not deserve a tarred road? If Musonge cannot do it for his people then who can/who will? YANG? (Dr KAI SCHMIDT of The Post Newspaper thoroughly dissected this personality in year 2000). It’s such a shame to the South West people that non indigenes can come and dominate them in their land on all fronts. At the University, 80% of the lecturers and students are non indigenes; at the Molyko or Bomaka neighbourhood where the action is 90% of the land lords are non indigenes because the lazy SW puppet is highly gifted at selling land. At the CDC, the lazy but very broke SW puppet is too clean/proud to do the dirty job. In SONARA, the SW puppet is only good enough to be a security guard. To present date, SONARA pays the most part of its royalties to Douala instead of Limbe and the SW Puppet finds it very normal. When will a SW puppet ever become GM of SONARA? Even the mountain race has been dominated for the past years by non indigenes. Sarah Etonge the last hope has been caught up by age and is due retirement, paving the way for Ngwang Catherine, Yvonne Ngalim and the rest.
Even during BIYA’s visit to Buea, the North West delegation of chiefs was the first to present a gift to BIYA and they went further to grant CHANTAL BIYA a traditional title. Did the South West have such an opportunity in Bamenda? The SW chiefs conference that was inaugurated at Mile 18 over % years ago is now a haven for poisonous snakes and perhaps all of the 18,000 blocks that were moulded have been left to the mercy of men of the underworld.
The government seems to understand the psyche of the SW puppet so well that it exploits it to its advantage. Why is it that every governor appointed to Buea is either due retirement or on his way to retirement: OBEN PETER, EYEYA ZANGA, ACHAM PETER CHO and now OKALIA BILAI who has been due retirement since 3 years? These people desecrate the land with unspeakable abominations and get away with it to the audience of the SW puppets? Thank God for young but Fire brand and fearless Mayor EKEMA PATRICK who is following the foot-steps of AYAH has gone beyond party politics by challenging the status quo and ensuring that things happen in this region. Young EKEMA (my student) was bold enough to challenge OKALIA BILAI in the face over several aspects of the reunification. The former even went ahead to present a true picture of the reunification to the Yaounde authorities which necessitated the visit of a high level delegation by martin BELINGA to Buea and the emergency visit of BIYA to see for themselves what was happening in this region. KUDOS! EKEMA PATRICK, carry on. God save the SW puppet.
The debate is open!

Peter Abang

Akway Simon - you don't need to go to Washington or Windhoek to know that the memorials or monuments mentioned in this article ALL have a wall behind the main statue and that these walls are used to tell a compelling story. In fact, the author provides links in this article to pictures of the said memorials. I have never been to any of them but I clearly get the point.

So unless you are blind, it is the same approach used in Buea with a wall behind the main monument telling a story; only in this case it is telling the wrong story - a story that has little or nothing to do with reunification.

Peter Abang

On another note, it is interesting that even though the writer makes comparisons with other monuments in Africa (Namibia) and the US, mr. Akwa considers that mentioning the US monuments the writer is showing off, but that standard does not apply to the monument in Africa - that (in)famous inferiority complex at play again...

Akwa Simon

Rubbish!
"Inferiority complex"? Cameroonians have their own story to tell as the monument in Buea clearly conveys. Dibussi's rush to compare,in this case, monuments in Washington, D.C.(that he's never visited) with the one in Buea,rather brings to light the "inferioty complex" laden among Cameroonians. Why, in his own words, does the monument in Washington, D.C. have a "compelling story", and not the one in Buea? Because he easily understands the messages behind monuments that are in the U.S. than his own country of birth? Do you now see who has more "complex" here? Our tendency to make comparisons,that are often not substantiated, gets us into trouble.

Akwa Simon

And for your information, you have to visit statues and monuments of great people or events that took place in order to make comparisons. It does not suffice to sit behind your computer and imagine that you can talk eloquently about statues or monuments by just looking at pictures. Tour guides, those that explain and take you around these great statues or momuments, do so to convey those deeper messages behind them. And to imagine that someone, who has never visited the monument in Buea, outrightly dismisses it just by looking at its photo,is outrighteous.

Walters Esu'u

Interesting discussion!

I have reread the writer's piece and he actually talks of the "architectural splendour the Buea monument" (which I disagree with vehemently - it is ugly). So his issue is not about monument per se as mr. Akwa claims, but with the message that it is sending or not sending. No need to visit the monument to get that.

One point to note beyond the pointless talk about complexes and the lack thereof. the Buea monument is supposed to be about REUNIFICATION but the artist himself says the 10 pillars are about "Emergence" as in Biya's "Emergence 2035." I don't have to visit the monument to know that this is what my french teacher used to label "HS" or "hors sujet" i.e., off topic. Second, even though this is a Monument about REUNIFICATION, not even a single drawing on the wall in question is about the theme of REUNIFICATION. Again HS. This monument might be the best monument in the land or even the world, but I agree with the writer that it is anything but a tribute to Reunification. I believe this is where the comparison with the monuments in Namibia and the US is instructive. The Heroes Acre in Namibia is a direct tribute to the heroes of the Namibian war of independence. And the engravings on the wall tell this story. The Vietnam memorial is a direct tribute to those who fought in Vietnam, etc. [If anyone doubt's it, they should do a Google search about these monuments]. But the monument in Buea falls short.

Akwa Simon

Rubbish! I would not have taken umbrage at the write-up if the writer did not make comparisons of monuments that are in the U.S. and Namibia with the one that was recently laid out in Buea. Saying those monuments in the U.S. and Namibia carry deeper meanings than the one in Buea is like saying, just because you write in this particular manner than the next writer renders your work poor. It's all about context, and we should not judge and arbitrarily dismiss an artist's work without looking at the entire context. I'm quite certain that when American tourists to Cameroon begin singing praises about the monument in Buea,only then would Cameroonians like Dibussi be convinced that it's a true reflection of Cameroon's Reunification. Do you recall that it was only when Europeans and Americans began singing praises about Cameroonian artists and writers like Tala Andre Maria, Manu Dibango and Mungo Beti did Cameroonians realize that they had this formidable talents among themselves? How many Cameroonians knew that the Afoa Kom was a treasure before it was espoused by an American tourist? We rush to sing praises about monuments in Namibia and the U.S. because others, especially Europeans and Americans, have said so, even when we've not visited them. Do you now see where "inferiority complex" comes from?

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