Thursday, 20 October 2016

Cameroon - Menchum Division, a harbour of destitution - Is it the Government or the People's Representatives that has left Menchum in the dark?


Menchum is a Division in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. The Division covers an area of 4469 km² and as of 2001 had a total population of 157,173. The capital of the division lies in Wum. The Menchum River drains this area, flowing westward into Nigeria to join the Benue River.

From when Democracy came into Cameroon in 1990, Cameroonians were happy, thinking it had dawned on them, especially those in the Menchum Division, but little did we imagine that after 26 years, our story will be unchanged.


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Lake Nyos in 1986 after the explosion

'Vote for me, I will transform the Division into a better place. Vote for me, I will bring development in Nyos. Vote for me I will tar the roads in the Division. Vote for me I will bring lights to Mekaf, Vote for me.. etc...'. These were the electoral campaign slot, used by Hon. Asah Barnabas and Hon Aka Amuam the first democratic elected MPs, to win the trust of the people who were still recovering from the trauma of the Lake Nyos Disaster that wiped out the entire village.

These two sons of Menchum won the Parliamentary seats in the 1997 Parliamentary elections for the Social Democratic Front, and five years after their mandate expired, nothing in the Division changed, except their personal lives that had gone to a higher standard. They went from no car to Jeeps with drivers and body guards, from mud houses to duplexes. Removed their children from Public to Private Dormitory Schools. What about those who voted you to represent and fight for them?

Throughout their reign, the Nyos Village did not change, and till date, the survivors there are still living in misery and pain.

The home of one survivor of the Lake Nyos disaster

In the 2002 Parliamentary elections, Hon. Asah Barnabas could not convinced his people of what he did for them, and lost his seat to Hon Che  Philip still of SDF , while Sportsman Hon. Aka Amuam had his ticket back into the people's House.

This duo could not work hand in hand for selfish reasons, and made the people suffer more. All their promises before they  gained entrance into the Glass House worked verbally in their favour, but when it came to giving back to the community, they got stingy to the point that even roads leading to their own villages are impracticable.

Wum-Bamenda road. Drivers agree to step down transport fare as new school year draws closer
Wum - Bamenda Road

Then in 2007, Hon Aka Amuam and Hon. Philip Che lost it to Hon. Wallang Richard Ebua and Hon. Nji Fidelis, who were both of the CPDM party.

These two could not resolve the Menchum crisis or better the peoples' lives, and so bitterness engulfed the people who had lost faith in SDF, and switched to CPDM thinking that things would get better by supporting the ruling party.


Wum Road

Hon. Nji Fidelis failed woefully, disappointing even his own very self, and so Menchum went back to square one.

Hon. Wallang Richard in his own constituency managed to blindfold his constituents with his kind heart and some personal good deeds that has keep him in the National Assembly till date.

Hon. Nji Fidelis lost his popularity in the 2013 elections, and his people this time went back to the SDF they had vomited out of their system, and elected Hon. Ndong Larry Hills for Menchum North, while CPDM's Hon. Wallang Richard was re-elected for Menchum South. 

Senator Wallang David Akwo too came into the show in 2013, and this trio too who have let the people down are anxiously waiting for 2018 to come, so that they can canvas for votes again.

Wum people raided in the early hours of Wednesday February 17, 2016

This year started off on a rough path with the people in Wum, who rioted after one of their sons was stabbed to death  by a military man over a love dispute. This riot resulted in the destruction of the Military Barack and Wum was declared a State of Emergency, where people were arrested, and some still in jail till date.

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Esu People carrying out a do or die strike on their land Baba Alhadji wants by force

Then the famous issue of Baba Alhadji Dapullo, the rich man who is claiming 10 000 Hectares of land belonging to the Esu people, and whose most faithful and reliably  ally is none but Senator Wallang David Akwo, selling his own people at a no price. Esu youths are still under detention because of this matter, and the case keeps twisting in favour of the rich man, who according to him will live forever.

Is there any hope for Menchum Division? What has any of these Parliamentarians or Senator done to benefit the Menchum people? I am not talking of the bags of rice, salt, maggi or soap they use to camouflage people, I am talking of something structural for the good of the Division.

Well, we shall be analysing these MP's one by one, from when they were elected till when they got kicked out(for those who are no longer MPs) or where they stand now.

The Menchum people have suffered so much, and it's high time the world turns its attention on us.

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