|Index de l'article|
|Celebration Day In Bamenda|
|High Moments of Land Mark Event|
|Reactions North West Fons|
|And the University Cometh !|
|Toutes les pages|
They were ten, probably hundreds of thousands that came out yesterday in Bamenda to welcome the Head of State.
Bamenda people are not well known to particularly like the armed forces for reasons which the immediate past political history of the town could explain, but it was curiously on the 50th anniversary of the armed forces that they reserved the best manifestation of their adherence to national institutions and to the Head of State yesterday. For Christians, the best explanation can only be quickly drawn from the biblical story of the influx into Bethlehem during which the birth of Jesus Christ occurred. For most of the afternoon of Tuesday, delegations had continued to flock in from the various part of the Region. By 8a.m. yesterday morning the Bamenda Commercial Avenue was teeming with Bamenda residents as well as those from far-off locations as could be easily determined by the hunt for breakfast, which was difficult to find at that time. The 1500-seat grandstand seemed too small for the invited guests. An hour-or-so before the arrival of the President the brad-new facility was already full with guests as usual as members of the political Bureau of the CPDM such as Sultan Mbombo Njoya or Honourable Ndongo Essomba or as unusual as the SDF leader John Fru Ndi or the Mayor of Foumban, Adamou Ndam Njoya. Guests looked up into the skies to see if the President’s aircraft was already in the Bamenda skies. A few ones noticed the helicopter’s arrival. Serious things began with the arrival of the First Lady at the ceremonial grounds at about 10a.m. Her arrival from the T-Junction part of the avenue left the impression it was the President’s arrival because of the thunderous applause her arrival aroused. Understandably, because it was the First Lady’s visit to the North-West.
Some ten minutes later, the ¨President of the Republic and Supreme head of the defence forces made his entry unto the ceremonial grounds to a rousing welcome. As he stepped down from his limousine, he was led to the welcome line where the Defence Minister, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o formally received him. He stood briefly before the banner carriers of the Presidential Guards for the playing of the national anthem, inspected a guard of honour, before taking his place in the front lodge of the grandstand flanked by his wife, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the prime Minister, the President of the Economic and Social Council, the Defence Minister and the Governor of the North-West Region.
Bamenda yesterday provided the first occasion for the public issue of the recent military awards decided by the President of the Republic. But out of the purely military distinctions, some nine military officials with the exception of one civilian (Mrs Elizabeth Regina Mundi) received medal ranging from the Grand Officer of the national Order of Valour, to Knight in the same category. Bamenda also revealed the first recipients for the three new military orders, the Croix de la Valeur militaire du Cameroun avec citation à l’ordre de la nation, the croix de la valeur militaire du Cameroun avec citation à l’ordre des armées and the croix de la valeur militaire du Cameroun avec citation de l’armée. All serving generals and some senior officers were decorated with these medals with some receiving them post-humously .
The decoration ceremony then gave way to an impressive anniversary march-past with detachments from most components of the nation’s armed forces. At the head of the parade was a detachment of presidential guards, three of the gendarmerie including one exclusively of women and one of the anti-terrorist squad, an air-borne detachment from Koutaba, two detachments from the amphibious battalion in Tiko, one of the Rapid Intervention Battalion as well as two of the air force, of the navy and one each of the fire brigade and ex-servicemen.
Before this impressive parade, the President of the Republic had listened to a welcome address from the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council Vincent Ndumu in which the President was told of the happiness of the entire people of the region to have the President coming back to “his second home”. The President and the First Lady were also “lavished” with a number of gifts by the people of the region.
High Moments of Land Mark Event
Day one of President Paul Biya’s outing during the 50th anniversary of the Armed Forces in Bamenda on December 8, 2010 was great and eventful. It was all about a new chapter that opens for the North West Region.
In effect, the clocks stroke 1.28 p.m when from the Bamenda Commercial Avenue grandstand, President Biya announced the creation of a University in Bamenda, intentions to construct a dam on Menchum Falls, negotiations with big companies to complete the Ring road, studies towards the construction of a Referral hospital in Bamenda etc. It was all about a President who listens to the concerns of his compatriots.
Face to face with the population of the North West , President Biya was back to his second home and took time off to remind doubting Thomases about his bilingualism with a great part of his address in the Queen’s language. The awe- inspiring crowd that lined the streets to herald their President was most welcome. It was a day for the North West as President Biya communed with the nation from Bamenda. The memorable and historic day began with the arrival of the Head of State and 1st Lady, Chantal Biya at the Heliport in the neighbourhood of Up Station at 10.53 a.m. Little Sirri Trifosia Che and Fogwe Fomonyam respectively of Providence Bilingual Primary and Nursery school and PNEU counted their blessings with the privilege to offer bouquets of flowers to the Presidential Couple.
It was also about President Paul Biya, Fon of Fons back in the Land of Fons . On hand at the heliport with royal greeting were seven privileged Fons of the North West ( Mankon, Bafut, Bali Nyongha, Nso, Kom and Bangolan). President Paul Biya had just arrived a Region at peace with itself with sons and daughters mobilized to make his stay hitch-free. Among the few privileged to welcome the President on arrival were four CPDM and SDF MPs (Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam, Joseph Banadzem, Nji Fidelis and Awudu Mbaya). Back at the ceremonial ground, the 1st Lady and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Madam Chantal Biya stole the show on her arrival. A standing ovation took her to the grandstand with song and dance from the crowd in honour of the one who distinguishes as a veritable mother and a blessing for the underprivileged. Curtains dropped on day one of the visit with President Biya on virtually all lips for landmark messages in Bamenda.
Reactions North West Fons
Fon Aneng Francis, President General of North West Fon’s Union:“We Thank The Head of State”
“As President General of North West Fon’s Union, I am very happy and grateful to the Fon of Fons, Paul Biya, for this historic visit and the package he came along with. I mean the State University, Referral Hospital and the rest of the things he announced in his speech. He has done what we wanted and we are very happy and proud of him. People who doubted us should now take us serious for we know what is good for our region. We mobilised the population to come out as one for him, we have told him we are happy and are solidly behind him”.
Fon Angwafor III of Mankon:“A Satisfying Visit”
“Nothing can be more satifying than a visit of this nature and the declarations the Head of State made. To have the university we have been longing for, promise of a Referral Hospital and that the ring road is still in the pipeline, cannot but be satifying to a traditional ruler like me. This will help our children who have until now been going to other regions to pursue higher education after advanced level, to school at home. Socially, the health of our children and wives is assured and economically, all the long distances we have been taking to other regions and Europe; renting houses, buying food and so on will be reduced. The cost of education will be lower and will be at the reach of everybody”.
Fon Chafah XI of Bangolan:“We Have Been Humbled”
“The Head of State’s visit to the North West Region is a historic one. First of all, choosing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s armed forces in Bamenda was a breaking news in itself. But when he came and announced the creation of a State University, Referral Hospital and a series of things that will be done for the North West Region, we feel highly humbled. We have been crying for a State University. It has come. Our children will no longer go elsewhere for education. They will remain here and study and that will reduce the cost”.
Fon Sientieh II of Oku: “We’re Fulfilled”
“I am very satified with the visit of the Head of State to our region. I very much appreciate the declaration, especially his promise of the creation of a State University. A State University in this region will bring education closer to the population and people who could not, because of the cost of lodging in other regions, sent their children to school, will have the opportunity to do so this time around. Talking about the Referral Hospital, I think, it is a good gift because health is the first thing one needs. We are fulfilled with his visit and we wish to say thank you to the Presidential couple for these gifts”.
Chief Tabetando of the Bachuo-Ntai, South West Region: “President Paul Biya Has Done It”
“I am not of the North West Region but a Cameroonian and I stand for national unity, national integration and national development. I am in for the policies of the Head of Staten and of course he has done it. He has shown that he is not only for Bamenda people, that he is for the whole nation and that he wants equal development in all aspects; villages, towns, cities and regions and that is what he has done. We are grateful for him and we cannot but salute his efforts to speed up national development and transform our economy into an emerging one”.
Sehm Mbinglo II of Nso: “Wonderful Gift of a University”
“I am overwhelmed with joy and I can’t pretend. It’s a success story. The Head of State has done it all. I remember his wonderful gift of the University and the promise of a Referral hospital etc. He has met our aspirations and affirms that the North West is his second home. That is just the conclusion that he is the Fon of Fons. Thank you Mr President, we wish you well in all your endeavours”.
Views collected by Godlove BAINKONG
And the University Cometh !
The people asked, the President gave, creating a new symbiosis between the Head of State and the people of the NW.
As he started the fourth section of his address in Bamenda yesterday, the President of the Republic cut suspense with a knife announcing the long-awaited news about the much-awaited University of Bamenda. The President hardly finished making the pronouncement that the entire grandstand burst into an unending applause that momentarily interrupted the speech. North-West Fons moved out in unison from their reserved corner as if to go right to the presidential tribune to express their instant satisfaction and happiness, had they not have been restrained by State protocol officials. It was as if the entire visit had reached its apogee and many even had difficulty getting the rest of the development package that the Head of State was continuing to announce among which are instructions to the appropriate ministerial departments to start studies on the construction of a reference hospital in Bamenda as well as the promise that the Ring Road project was still very much on hold, held down, as it were, just because a reliable construction company or partner had not been found. In this developmental package also is a plan to provide Bamenda with a thermal electricity plant to reduce the incidence of recurrent electricity cuts in the region.
The President seemed to have given a good ear to the pleas of the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, Vincent Ndumu who, in his welcome statement, expressed a number of daily concerns encountered by the people of the North-West. He came close to asking for the creation of a State university when he acknowledged what government had done by uplifting the status of the Bambili annex of the Advanced School of Education, observing that the Head of State was fully aware of the educational needs of the nation. Mr Ndumu was full of gratitude for the numerous fallouts enjoyed by his city by the sheer organisation of the 50th anniversary of the armed forces in Bamenda. Beyond that, he specifically cited the Bamenda-Enugu road project which, in his understanding, will greatly raise the economic status of the people of the entire North-West. From a political perspective, the Government Delegate recalled that President Biya has not failed to continue the tradition of letting North-West sons and daughters serve the nation at the highest rungs, with particular note for a former Prime Minister and a sitting one.
Mr Ndumu had some very soft words for Mrs Biya who was making her first trip to Bamenda, although the Delegate said her influence was very much felt and appreciated through the numerous humanitarian works being carried out in the region thanks to her initiatives.
It is Mr Ndumu’s wish to see not only the President come back more regularly to his “second home”, but also to see the First Lady come to Bamenda in the coming weeks or months to inaugurate the “Ecole des Champions” being constructed at the Mendankwe neighbourhood in Bamenda, donated by Mrs Biya.
Bamenda In Ecstasy
Shouts of joy and gratitude were high as the presidential couple arrived at the grandstand yesterday.
Dance groups, school children, women and men of all walks of life were on hand to receive the Presidential couple in Bamenda yesterday, December 8. Lined along the streets of the city from Upstation down to Finance Junction through the City Chemist Roundabout to the Grandstand at the Commercial Avenue, the population answered present. Beautifully dressed in their different group uniforms and waving hand banners of different political parties, their impressions were the same. All of them were happy to receive the Head of State and to express their gratitude for his good gestures to the region and nation.
The region went into ecstasy when the First Lady, Chantal Biya made her first touch down at the Commercial Avenue grandstand. The streets went into bliss when the different dance groups and school children along the streets saw the Presidential Limousine. As if that was not enough, the population once again went mad when the Head of State took to the rostrum to address the region and nation in the Queen’s language, English. Screams of joy, happiness and gratitude gripped the population. The waving of hand banners, chanting of welcome songs and the expression of gratitude were visible on all faces. Even those in the neighbourhoods could be heard shouting, expressing surprise and at the same time elation for receiving the “fon of fons” in their region.
The joy was immense and according to Prisca Adanjo, the Head of State’s visit to the region promises a brighter future for them the youth. The 17-year old Lower Sixth student in one of the secondary schools in Bamenda could not hide her joy. “I have been waiting for this opportunity and it finally came. I don’t know how I can express my joy and gratitude to the Head of State and wife,” she said, with tears of joy. “It was my first time to see the Presidential couple and he made an important revelation that I think is of great importance for us youth who aspire for great academic profiles. I was overwhelmed when he promised us a sate university and I now know that in the years to come, I or my family will benefit from it,” she added. Like Prisca, Mami Bih could not hide her joy. “It is a privilege having set my eyes on the Presidential couple. This has been my wish and it has come to pass. I just thank God that I was part of the event,” she said. In spite of the hot sun, the population of the region who lined the streets of the town remained steadfast.