By Basil K Mbuye
The Governor of Southwest Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has observed that the two towns of Buea and Limbe are more advanced than other towns for the hosting of the 2019 African Nations Cup, AFCON.
Governor Okalia Bilai, who doubles as the Chairman of the local organising committee, was speaking at the installation ceremony of members of the committee.
Hear him: “We are fortunate that we have already finished with the construction of the various infrastructures… we should now concentrate our time now for the preparations. We are lucky because we had earlier on organised the 2016 African Women Championship and most of our members already know what to do. I am counting on this experience so that some mistakes that occurred last year should no longer be repeated in 2019 AFCON.”
Governor Okalia called on the newly installed members of the committee to bring up their plan of action and also draft the budget for the execution now and not to do it late as it has always been the case. He said that will reduce pressure and also see that work is done effectively.
He also sounded optimistic that the team will deliver on time since most of the members have had experience during the 2016 African Women championship which was co-hosted by Limbe and Yaoundé.
He continued by calling on the team not to relent their efforts but “take into account the expectations of the hierarchy of the Government as the preparations of the AFCON 2019 competition are ongoing”.
He ended by calling on the 15 subcommittee members to show the spirit of devotedness and be duty-conscious as they work to see that Cameroon hosts a great AFCON 2019.
Private Media, Sports Journalists Sidelined
On the list of members that make up the subcommittee, no private media was included, nor a sports journalist. Journalists from private media and sports journalists lamented the fact that none of them was included.
Some observers hold that, with the role played by the private media and the experience of sports journalists in a field that is theirs, the local organising committee might not deliver the goals.
Only members from the State-owned CRTV made up the list for the communication committee of the local organising committee.
The reading of the texts appointing the members of the local organising committee was only in French, to the dismay of many who attended the installation. After the reading of the text in French language, many awaited it to be read in the English language.
This wasn’t the case as they proceeded to the next point on the agenda. It was at this juncture that Governor Okalia intervened and asked for the English version of the text to be read. Unfortunately, there was no English language version of the text.
Some participants could be heard questioning the role of the newly created Bilingualism Committee whose mission was to see into such situations.