Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ntumfor Nico Halle speaks on vital issues: Murder of the Fon of Babanki, Santa tea crisis, homosexual imbroglio rocking the nation, issue of Gov't

Ntumfor Nico Halle speaks on vital issues

Murder of the Fon of Babanki, Santa tea crisis, homosexual imbroglio rocking the nation, issue of Government Delegates

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TUMFOR: I learnt of the cold blooded murder of the Fon of Babanki with shock, indignation, consternation and pain and we started asking how people should find themselves in such situation at a time when most parts of the world are departing from jungle justice. If somebody is found in wrong doing he should be brought to book. Cameroon is a state of law, let the person be taken to court, tried, sentenced and then you can execute the sentence. When people take the law into their hands, they accuse somebody, try him, sentence him and take life out of him. For me it is unacceptable. I do not want to hold brief for anybody. I know from newspaper reports that the people where pushed to the wall that’s why they reacted. But they could have reacted without taking life out of him. Because God gives life and only God should take life.

The facts are that he might have done this or that.

Usually mob action cannot be controlled so what do you think about that?

Mob action cannot be controlled, mob action is jungle. Mob action is when the people try to get justice to no avail.

Someone did not do his job and the Fon was mundered

In some cases you might accept mob action of course I don’t know whether you might accept in others but what I am saying here is that either way life is lost, so my opposition here is, let every body assume his responsibility. Somebody did not do his job….… Either the people did not do their job, the people of Babanki or the Fon did not do his job or the administration did not do its job. Because if it is true that this thing has been dragging on for over the years, why is it that the problem wasn’t solved? And so I’m saying that somebody did not do his job.

Listening to some of the problems of the Fondoms today, land as a common dominator that brings to mind the problem in SANTA where land is also expropriated or sold and the people came out to protest. So what is your reaction to that issue, and do Fons have the right to sell land?

Speaking generally and notwithstanding the 1974 land ordinances, the Fons are custodians of the land within their Fondoms. The Fons or the Chiefs hold the land in trust. They are trustees of the piece of land within their fondoms. Holding the land in trust for their subjects. The Fon is supposed to protect the land for his people. Land is considered in the North West like in all other provinces like a very important piece of asset and so if you hold land for the people as Fon or Chief makes sure that you assign the land to your subjects equitably. The land should not be sold. The chief has no right to sell land. You can allocate the land to some stranger who wants to develop the land to carry out some business activities that will benefit and that will employ the sons and daughters of that village and at the same time that village will receive royalties for using that piece of land. But of course that can only be done after due consultation and an agreement written and signed by all the parties, so that the terms of that agreement are known by the sons and daughters, the people, the Fon and the party that is coming in ……….. But I realise that some Fons just give out large chunks of land to a few sons or a few elite whereas the village has so many sons and daughters. Where shall they settle when they want to settle? When you give out land be sure you have in consideration the other sons and daughters who need land tomorrow to build.

So what is your reaction to the problem in SANTA where the people have a problem with their land been taken away by a business magnet.

The Santa Tea Crisis

I’ve been reliably informed that they are sitting presently around the negotiating table and I did get it from the radio that within two weeks that is the period within which these negotiations should take place and come up with some lasting solutions. So I’m very optimistic, I’m very positive about that. Two weeks it means that Monday March 13 they would have arrived at some very very tenable, acceptable, credible decision which will please both parties. We need peace more than ever before to reign in the province. If the Fons of SANTA Subdivision negotiate with the businessman he can carry out economic activities but again this can only come when there is negotiation.

You have been an advocate of social peace in this country and particularly in North West province throughout the years. Now that this peace is being threatened and as legal adviser to the Fons of the North West Province have you talked with them to examine the legal implications of this issue without gun including other problems coming up?

I’ve said this over and over even before I was made the spokesman and Legal Adviser of the Fons some seven years ago. I have been in the whole thing many many years and I’ve always told the Fons…… A Fon is a divine ruler and divinity means what? It means justice, it means peace, it means integrity, it means dignity, it means nobility, it means honesty, it means transparency, it means objectivity, all these are components of divinity. And so when a Fon loses all these he is no longer a Fon, a respected Fon, admired Fon, you must be serene, you must have dignity, integrity mobility, credibility it is not money. You can have no penny and yet have nobility, dignity and honour. So I told the Fons that they should stay away from situations that will compromise these virtues that come with their titles with the seats that they occupy. I’ve always said this each time we hold meetings and I think that a vast majority of them are men of integrity and dignity.

Well it is also material that a few of them are still in this rampage of vaulting, inordinate and unbridled quest for money, power, recognition, wealth; but I think the situation is getting better each day I’m very confident with the Fons of the North West province and I think that there are a few isolated cases that are known. If you were to ask people in the North West who are those Fons who are causing these problems they will tell you. You were to ask the people of the North West who are the sons and daughters causing problems in the province, they will tell you…… they are not many. So what we do is that we keep appealing to them, begging them to depart from these wrong doings so that this province which is admired all over should continue to maintain its position. I’ve always said you can do everything, you can preach a million times, if the Lord is not part of it you will not succeed, let the people pray and say Lord what is happening at this time that we want economic activities to take off, now disorder is coming and that will delay us. We think that we can move on if we pray to GOD. I think that the North Westerners are intelligent, they are hard working, they are peaceful.

They are also allegations that the Fons lost their authority because they are involved in partisan politics. What is your impression on that?

I take exception to what you have said, Aristotle, if I may quote him said “man is a political animal”. It’s a right of Fons to be in politics even in partisan politics. This is because if you ask the Fons not to do politics, then you are depriving them of their inalienable rights. The constitution has not done that, the UN Charter has not done that, there is no law within the nation that has done that, besides the Fondoms are political institutions. What I have shunned , have condemned, decried over the years is the fact that a Fon chooses his political party and wants his subjects to come with him. No, you go to the polls, you vote for your candidate and let your subjects vote for their candidate or candidates of their choice. For me that is clean politics. If the Fon must use duress , undue, influence, intimidation, victimisation, harassment on his subjects for them to vote for a particular candidate I am 100% against. That is not democracy.

Like Fon, like people

The Fons should be the first democrats, the Fons should be the first pastors, the Fons should be the first lawyers, the Fons should be the first leaders, transparent leaders because they rule people. And then if you read the Bible Proverbs 29:2 “Show me righteous Fon and I will show you a happy people. And then of course show a wicked Fon or a sinful Fon and I will show you a miserable people”. So if your Fon is a gangster all his subjects will be gangsters. If a Fon is spiritually strong, then all his people will be spiritually strong because the people are looking up to him as a model, they are following his examples, you get the point? So the Fons can do politics on condition that their position or their inclination does not affect their subjects.

Let them allow their people to determine who to vote during elections.

There is also talk of some elite pocketing their Fons because of financial power and political influence bringing instability within the Fondoms.

Take care of your Fons

I just talked of voting, inordinate and unbridled quest for power is not only within some of the Fons, also amongst some of the elite few of them. I will call virus, the quest for position by onorthodox means. So you want to use the Fons, they manipulate some of them, when a Fon is impoverished or is beggarly of course, he becomes vulnerable and when you are vulnerable your hands are tied. You know, so you loose yourself and you start dancing to the tune of who are giving you the envelope, and its unfortunate some of the elite now because of their financial weight they corrupt some of the Fons and of course that’s what you know and that’s why you are asking me in my position. And I say this is true but I’ve made clarion calls that when you give an envelope to a Fon no strings should be attached. It is a right for you to take care of your Fon. I call on all the elite of North West Province to take care of their Fons. Every village in the North West has very viable hard working, intelligent and dynamic sons and daughters to take care of their Fons, so that they don’t become a disgrace to you and your village.

The Fon’s palace is the elite’s mirror

If you don’t take care of your Fons, some other person will take care of them and will use them and then you will start complaining. I did lunch the operation face-lift of the palaces during the last general assembly.

The palace is a mirror through which you see the elite. When the palace is clean that’s how the elite are. When it is ramshackle, when its shabby then the elite are shabby. So you determine the quality of the elites by the palace. You cannot build a beautiful house in Douala, Yaounde, Garoua and your palace is a junk. Then you have no house because your father, your Fon is living in a hut. First build the palace of your Fon because he is your Fon put there by God and not appointed and so he needs respect. The best house at the division is that of the Senior Divisional Officer, at the Province is the Governor; at the national level is the Head of State. At the village the best house should go to the Fon. Just look at where your father is living. And the Fon is the Fon for every son and daughter of the village. Let them rally round him. You can have just five rich sons of that village who decide to take care of their Fon’s palace and give him some red carpet treatment. Just come one morning and demolish all those tattered houses and put up new ones. You go to the Fon of Mankon’s palace beautiful, Fon of Bafut beautiful, Fon of Bali beautiful, Fon of Chomba beautiful, Fon of Banso beautiful Palace, Fon of Kom beautiful palace, Fon of Guszang beautiful palace. Fon of Babalang beautiful palace, Fon of Baboungo beautiful palace , Fon of Bagolan beautiful palace, Fon of Awing, Fon of Njong beautiful palace, Fon of AKUM beautiful palace, Fon of Nkwen beautiful palace. There are many more palaces that are good. The few palaces that are not yet refurbished I’m calling on the sons and daughters to do something. We have five years during which there will be competition. We would now receive the sons and daughters who have embellished their Fondoms and given their Fons a beautiful house to live in. There is nothing you can give your father better than a beautiful comfortable lodging. That has been a clarion call I’ve made over and over and I think that the sons and daughters have responded very positively. There is a lot of construction work going on in most of the palaces.

In a few years to come; two, three, four years, if you go to all palaces you will be proud to get there and have a meal and a good drink and feel proud that you come from the North West.

Talking about improving living conditions of the people generally and decentralisation there is a problem that is topical now, Government Delegates and elected Councillors. The Councillors who are elected officials are complaining that the Government Delegates are encroaching into their territory so there is a problem of cohabitation.

Gov’t Delegate should work for public interest

If there is a problem of cohabitation it is stemming from the fact that man by nature is so vaulting, inordinate because there is nothing wrong in cohabitating. I’ve always read Matthew 5:44 and proverbs 25:21-22 that you always try to love the person who hates you. Every person can never love you. The few persons, who hate you, love them. Show love to them, show concern and don’t return evil for evil and so with elected Councillors there should be an arrangement that they should cohabit, that they should work because if they are working for the interest of the people then they should learn to diffuse their differences and work for the good of the people they represent. They have been put there to work for the people and I think that the general interest should prime over individual or self-interest.

Let’s talk about another topical issue. The youths are being sensitised on moral uprightness and it comes at a time when homosexuality has been an issue in the country. What would you the youths at this time when there is a lot of talk about homosexuality and moral decadence as a whole in the country?

Homosexuality story was a joke in bad taste

My attention was drawn to a publication on presumed homosexuals. When I read through, you know, I was taken a back by the fact that, that kind of publication bore the word presumed. In criminal law someone cannot be found guilty upon presumption. Well from what I read the gentleman who published the article indicated that he had proofs. But if you have proof, then you don’t use the word presumed.

Without getting into the details of it and talking particularly about the youths and who were celebrating their youth day.

You know so well that moral decadence has been so noticed nowadays and this has been accounted for by the fact that most youths are unemployed, there is poverty, there is also corruption that you know has deprived some of them from what is supposed to be theirs. There are a whole lot of other ills of the society, in fact we should start training the youths to be better leaders and if we must start training them, we should be models. You cannot train somebody to be morally upright when you yourself are not morally upright. We should make sure that we cleanse ourselves to models that they look up to so that what we are telling them they should see it in us because you can’t be telling somebody don’t be corrupt when you yourself are corrupt.

In other for a journalist to fight corruption, he must himself be incorruptible. You cannot take a corrupt journalist to fight corruption. So anybody who must fight corruption must be himself incorruptible. Talking about moral decadence, juvenile delinquency, this is an issue that we must handle because the society is getting more and more dangerous for everybody. Nobody is safe anymore.

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