Mr Njong Vincent
Baforkum Sub Section
I wish to thank you for sending me a copy of the speech you made at the last sub section come-together, the letters acknowledging the support given by Comrade Geoffrey Mbaku in the USA and myself, as well as the poem on our National Chairman and Head of State of Cameroon, Comrade Paul Biya.
Due note has been taken of the celebratory meeting billed for Friday 30 October 2009, the purpose being to mark the accession to power of President Paul Biya. I am pleased to inform you that as his own contribution to the successful holding of the event within the Baforkum Sub Section, Comrade Geoffrey Mbaku has sent me a financial contribution of 54 217 FCFA. I have not yet collected the money from Western Union but I hope to do so on Monday or Tuesday. Once that is done, I will forward it to you. You will receive my own contribution later.
Permit me to make the following observation: How was it that the date of the celebration was chosen without me participating in the choice? I personally do not think that Friday is a good day because it is a work day and I will be at work. I believe that November 7 which is a Saturday would have been a better day because it is the weekend when most people are not a at work and are therefore available. Secondly, those who are employed would have had the first one week of November to receive their salaries and be financially prepared. What was the reason for choosing the 30th of October? And by the way, although you mentioned the date of October for celebration of the anniversary, you did not say the time. So, when is it starting and when is it expected to end? What is on the agenda?
Mr President, I would urge you strongly to stop working alone and use fully the huge resources you have at your disposal. Consult and concert. For instance, your speech was not bad, but obviously, it could have been better. What was wrong with you sending it to me to read and making suggestions before endorsing it and delivering it? As it were, it omitted some key points which I think should have been included in it. In order to give the speech greater weight.
You mentioned the new educational structures in Tubah. These include the newly created second cycle for general education and the further creation of the first and second cycles of the Technical Teacher’s Training College, all of them starting this academic year. But you could also have gone further and appealed to the National Chairman to restore to the Agric Farm, today IRAD Bambui, what used to be its former glory when we were growing up at the time. Today, IRAD is only a shadow of the old Agric Farm. Yet the place has enormous potential. If well supported, IRAD could again manufacture machinery badly needed in rural agriculture and sell it to what I consider a ready market. IRAD could once more be a major production centre for vegetables such as carrots, lettuces, onions, leeks, tomatoes, etc. IRAD could excel in the production of animal husbandry and dairying products such as beef, milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, etc.
A few other details: You referred to Comrade Alfred Mulutakwi as “Director General in MINFOPRA”. No! He is Director of General Administration in that Ministry. You alluded to Dr Ndiforchu as the Regional Delegate of Public Health. That is correct. But was he at the meeting because he was delegate? Does it mean that if tomorrow he is replaced, the next delegate will automatically attend our sub section meetings, regardless of where he or she comes from?
Although the theme of the last conference was “: Achievements of the CPDM in Baforkum-Bambui at the interface of Socio-economic Development”, with the emphasis being achievements of the party in Baforkum, the speech did not do enough justice to the context of Baforkum. A lot was left unsaid. For example, why was the Head of State’s attention not drawn to the fact that the chief of Baforkum, who is supposed to be a third class traditional ruler, has not had his status recognized by government? You also did not make political capital out of the fact that we of Baforkum have the oldest Fon in age in Tubah Sub Division, and perhaps, Mezam as a whole. You could have asked government to help in refurbishing the palace of Baforkum which is derelict and dilapidated, yet could be an attractive tourist site. Remember that the Fon still has adorned on the walls of his palace, relics of the World War he fought on the British side over fifty years ago, such a photograph of the King of England who like him, fought in the war but was killed while fighting. He also has a photograph of Queen Elizabeth who ruled England at the time of the war and still rules it today. These aspects could have been fully exploited by our Sub Section.
You did not say that within the Sub Section jurisdiction, we have a primary school, P.S. Baforkum, which has stood the test of time and trained lots of children not only from Baforkum but beyond. That is a useful contribution to national building. You did not mention our legendary Pastor Wara who pulls crowds to Baforkum and thereby helps in putting the name of the locality more firmly on the map. By administering to the many people who come to him, Pastor Wara is helping to bring peace not only to Baforkum but to Cameroon. Our national President should know about this. The president could even have been asked to make a contribution towards the construction work being envisaged by the Church in Baforkum.
You said the following about the SDF-led Tubah Council to which Baforkum belongs: “Militants, people of Baforkum. The Government has done its utmost; the rest is left to the SDF Tubah rural council, which has repeatedly failed to defend the values of decentralization for development of the people by the people. The dividing line between virtue and development is competence and development delayed is enlightenment denied. Unless the right people are chosen, the future remains obscure; consequently it is high time this council is quicked out of office.” I would like to focus on two aspects of that excerpt. By saying that the Council has ‘repeatedly failed to defend the values of decentralization for development’ you imply that the Council has registered no success. This stance is debatable. You conclude by saying that they should be removed from office.
Well, my view is that our great party, the CPDM, will win the battle not just in Baforkum but also in Tubah Council and the Tubah-Bafut constituency only if it first wins the hearts and minds of the people. But then we all know that it may not be easy because since multiparty politics came to us, those jurisdictions have always been SDF. It is therefore not easy to boot them out, let alone, simply wish them out. We can do this only by recognizing that which they have done well and condemning that which they have done badly and then show how we can do it better. That is what the people want to hear. And that is what will move them. But we can not say that what the SDF has done is completely and totally bad. The SDF is facing problems at the national level precisely because of that kind of approach. That is why whenever SDF officials react to a speech made by the Head of State, they say it was “empty with nothing in it”. But that is neither true nor possible. Comrade, we must recognize that the SDF is today the main opposition party in a country which has over two hundred legalized political parties. We must recognize that the SDF has also done some good things in the National Assembly and thereby contributed to the development of the nation. We would be putting ourselves and our party in a difficult position if we fail to acknowledge the good points, especially if they themselves are convinced about those good points. They will label us as liars and refuse to listen to us.
At the Section Level (Mezam V Section Tubah), we made the same error when campaigning for the last legislative and municipal elections. The message the party in Tubah sent out was: “We have come to bury the SDF!” This was the wrong approach and I told the Section President, Dr Peter Alangeh Abety, so. My question was that how could we be out to bury “someone” who had not yet died? Even if we forget about politics for one moment and think about it, is morally right to bury someone alive? My greater concern was even that if we claimed to have come to bury the SDF and in the end they still won the elections, what next would we say? As it turned out, the party grabbed both the Council and the parliamentary seat, thus maintaining its hegemony and stronghold in our own backyard. Surely we must change our tactics if we want to win. Luckily, for some militants of the CPDM in other parts of the country, victory for the party is always guaranteed because they are a CPDM fiefdom. But we can not say the same thing for our own locality which at least for now looks like an SDF safe haven. The battle ahead for us is therefore tough. We must also come up with equally tough strategies.
By the way, the celebration of the President’s accession to power is a golden opportunity for “welcoming home” Tubah people who are decamping from the opposition parties to our CPDM. Then we welcome them and they join in the celebration. Do you think that is an aspect of the celebration we can still work on for this year? If we could do it, then it would be music to the ears of the National Chairman. The Section President, Dr Abety, used the strategy so well and so successfully at the joint Sections Conference that preceded the last elections that some newspapers led their stories with the news.
Mr President, in the position that you occupy, you should be able to seize opportunities as they come to you because as they saying goes, an opportunity only knocks once. Some weeks ago, I informed you that I had set up a discussion forum for sons and daughters of Baforkum. I asked for your email address in order to sign you up on it and also asked you to send me the email addresses of your adult children. You sent me yours and said those of the children would follow. I then took the necessary steps to sign you own, with the last part being for you to activate the account at your end. As I write today, it does not seem as if you have done the reactivation. So, as we speak, you are still not signed up. You have also not sent me the children’s addresses.
Mr President, we live in a fast changing world. Let us adapt so that we do not get left behind.
Tikum Mbah Azonga