Protest Against Corruption: Letter to Cameroon’s Presidency

Protest against the move to transfer CDC Headquarter

The Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon has been informed of a planned CDC Bota protest  against corruption to take place in Limbe on  July 15, 2016.  Prince Ekosso, President of USDP Political party is the main brain behind the protest. The main point is to protest the planned transfer of CDC Head office from Bota-Limbe to Yaounde.

Will the planned protest hold? If it does, will the protest yield lasting fruits?

Read the full content of the letter below.

PROTEST AGAINST CORRUPTION IN CAMEROON, REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT INTENTION TO TRANSFER THE CDC HEAD OFFICE FROM LIMBE-VICTORIA TO YAOUNDE, AND INHUMANE LAWS (PENAL CODE) RECENTLY ADOPTED BY PARLIAMENT, AND THE NEED FOR EFFECTIVE DECENTRALIZATION IN CAMEROON

Dear President Paul Biya,

We come to you today through this writing humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed on us the youths of Cameroon, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. You know, we have gone through a series of elections in our country, under the coordination of your regime, whose political, social, and economic results can be summarized in two major words: CORRUPTION and DECEPTION.

We all as Cameroonians know why this your regime is unable to eradicate corruption that leads to unemployment amongst the youths, and which leads to high rate of armed robbery and criminality, which also leads to insecurity in our society today. The issue is not so much about who practice corruption in Cameroon, but rather, what causes corruption in Cameroon. And when we move from the who to the what, in a strange sense, it is the machinery you have put in place to keep yourself in power for as long as you desire.

Those who work in order to keep this machinery, who have been negligent on the rights of the people to participate in registration in the electoral list, and to vote for the right course, participate in the act of corruption. Those who have been “praying for you to stay in power”, but refused to denounce the act of corruption, equally take part in corruption. Those who have allowed and encouraged the system of corruption to thrive, to grow and to develop also participate in the act of corruption.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, in recalling the epic poem, The Divine Comedy (1321), told a West German audience, “Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain neutrality”.

That same year, while speaking to the United Nations Organization (UNO), Ethiopia’s emperor Haile Selassie said, “Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most that made it possible for evil to triumph”.

Those who should act and those maintaining neutrality and indifference during this period in Cameroon contribute greatly to the sufferings of Cameroonians.

Our economy has been badly weakened as a result of systemic corruption practices, greed and irresponsibility on the part of those in high offices, and also as a result of our collective failures to take a radical stand against corruption.

Because of corruption, many have lost their jobs, businesses and companies have collapsed, many are in jail, our hospitals and health care units have become too costly, our schools and universities fail too many, and the behavior of our youths brings further evidence that the way this your regime carries out policies, strengthens corruption among the youths and threatens individual efforts to eliminate the virus.

The question that we, the people of Cameroon, especially the youths are asking today is not whether your regime is too corrupt or less corrupt, but whether it works, whether it helps the youths find jobs at a decent wage, and whether the economic situation in Cameroon today enables these youths to build responsible families where their children can go to school without any obstruction and a retirement that is dignified for all Cameroon workers.

Where the answer is Yes, then, we intend to move forward with the regime. Where the answer is No, then change is necessary. There is a great need today for the over-hurling of our political and socio-economic systems, and to recreate a platform where government business is done in the light of day, only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

There is nothing that can hinder free men and women when their imagination is joined to common purpose and the necessity to courage. So, this rally is an outlet for us to summon a new spirit of courage, service and sacrifice by engaging ourselves towards the realization of a new Cameroon.

We are writing to you this letter because we are deeply concerned about the future of this nation. Because better than saying is doing, and better than promising is accomplishing. Life was not meant to be easy and without this nation we are nothing. Therefore, if your government cannot get the adjustment and a sensible economic policy or advance laws that would help with the effective and radical elimination of corruption/embezzlement of State funds, housing for homeless people, education, road infrastructures, jobs for the youths, and healthcare, then Cameroon is basically done for a nationwide protest against your regime.

The Constitution is not some scrap of paper which can be used and abused all the time like a toilette tissue. From the attitudes of most of the members of your regime, we are tempted to say that the future of this country look scary and we can smell  big troubles in the days ahead if drastic measures are not taken because the youths are saying; enough is enough. Let us be English speaking or let us be French speaking, the basic point here is that we all wants to live as Cameroonians. There is no English Cameroon, French Cameroon, Beti Cameroon, Bamelike Cameroon, Bakweri Cameroon, Bamenda Cameroon, Bassa Cameroon etc, we all are, and always will be the Republic of Cameroon. That is why; Anglophone Cameroonians or any other citizen should not feel and be seen to be marginalized. By international standards, we as Cameroonians are free to speak without fear, free to worship in our own way, free to stand for what we think is right; free to oppose what we believe is wrong, free to choose or be chosen to govern in this country.

Moreover, it has come to our understanding that your government among other very unwise decisions,

1-      Plans to remove the CDC Head Office from Victoria-Limbe to Yaounde,

2-      Refuses to apply Article 66 of the Constitution which encourages massive embezzlement among government Ministers,

3-      That Ministers of your regime continue to express with impunity the art and act of corruption/embezzlement without the fear of God or of the people,

4-      That since 2009, you promised to table a dual nationality bill when you met with Cameroonian Diaspora in France in 2009, we are now in 2016. The dual nationality law limits the country’s economic growth through remittances, reinvestment, and integration with other countries of the world. It should be noted that at a time of globalization, no country can afford to claim to emerge by cutting off from the rest of the world. It also robs the country of huge human capital resources that find it difficult to come back into the country. Many Cameroonians in the Diaspora have acquired and or developed capacities in many areas including Medicines, Research, Accountancy, Engineering, Politics, Education, and Administration and even in the area of Technology. All these human resources are indispensable for the economic development of Cameroon.

5-      Instead, the National Assembly has recently adopted the bill which changes some provisions of the Cameroon’s Penal Code. Some of the controversial changes include:

– A five-year jail term for beating and eviction of spouse from matrimonial home

– Heavy jail term for abandonment of matrimonial home

– The imprisonment for failure to pay house rents

– Immunity for government ministers

-Six-year jail term for adultery

– Three-year jail term for begging

Are you trying to allow yourself to be fooled or you are the one engineering this confusion within the legal system of Cameroon? Anyways, permit us to assert our firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified laws which paralyze needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. Note, Mr. President, that in every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that of understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential for achieving victory. And we are convinced that you will again give us, the youths that support to leadership in these critical days.

USDP will keep the decision for real change in our nation Cameroon. That is why we are using this letter to inform you that under a peaceful seat down organization, we will have the people to protest with the USDP Party militants in Limbe on Friday 15th July 2016. The core of our problems is not purely political. It is ethical. As in our everyday lives, politics is the result of morality, which is our ethical standard. If dignity and morality require changing the political rules, then, we are certain and convinced that the rules which your regime has been applying for 34 years and it is not working, should be definitely changed this time around.

It is wise to keep a long story short, we, the youths under the coordination of some dynamic young leaders from the North to the South, East to the West of Cameroon, thank you, Mr. President for caring enough to continue to fight the good fight of protecting the laws of this country, and thereby saving the people of this great nation Cameroon. So, under democratic principles and values, and in holding with the Constitution of our nation which provides the right to public manifestation, we are therefore counting on your good fate towards the need to give us the room provided by our Constitution to publicly express our grievances on the issues that matters to our people and the future of this land of promise, land of glory-Cameroon.

Thank you, God bless you and your family, and may God bless the Republic of Cameroon.

Yours Sincerely,

Prince Michael NGWESE EKOSSO

National President

USDP, Yaounde

Cameroon

Cc :

–          The Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINTAD)

–          The Governor of South West Region

–          The SDO of Fako

–          The Brigade Commander of Limbe

–          The Police Superintendent of Limbe I

–          The GM of CDC

–          South West Chiefs Conference

–          North West Chiefs Conference

–          Grand South Chiefs Conference

–          The Sultan of Bamoun

–          Fako Chief Conference

–          Meme Chiefs Conference

–          West Region Chiefs conference

–          All the Lamidos of the three North regions of Cameroon

–          Douala Chiefs Conference

–          Bassa Chiefs Conference

–          Cameroon Bar Association (Council)

–          Fako Lawyers Association

–          Meme Lawyers Association

–          North West Lawyers Association

–          CDC Workers Union

–          The President of CONAC

–          National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

–          UN Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

–          The US Ambassador/Embassy

–          The German Ambassador/Embassy

–          The French Ambassador/Embassy

–          European Union Consulate.

–          The Italian Ambassador/Embassy

–          The Apostolic Nuncio

–          Christian Cardinal Tumi

–          Mola Njoh Litumbe

–          The Episcopal Conference

–          The President of the Apostolic Church Cameroon (TACC)

–          The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church Cameroon (PCC)

–          The President of the Full Gospel Church in Cameroon

–          The Cameroon Baptist Convention

–          The National Chairman of SDF/National Secretariat of SDF

–          The National President of MRC

–          The National President of CPP

–          The Cameroon National Youth Council

TCA is wondering if the ‘Law abiding President’ will allow the situation to get to the protest. People protest when they are not satisfied with a condition. These days lawyers protest groups have been seen in some parts of the country. Should protest be the only way to resolve issues

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