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Disasters, Violence Are Because We Have Dumped God – Halle 

Barrister Nico Halle has asserted that the reason why there are disasters, conflicts and violence around the world is because people have dumped God. In an interview with The Post, the President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association talks about the Bar, the Christian Men Fellowship, CMF, as out-gone National President and other issues. Read on:

What would you say about the fight against Boko Haram?

The Boko Haram phenomenon is being handled properly by the nation. I am very thankful to God that the Head of State, the Government, the Minister Delegate for Defence, and our armed forces are doing a great job to eradicate the insurgency. I also congratulate Cameroonians who are supporting this move by contributing in any way. Let us all get on our knees and pray and God will listen to us.

What is your reading of the conflicts, violence; Boko Haram attacks, ISIS, natural disasters and so on all over the world?

When I look at what is happening in Syria, Libya, Egypt, CAR, Yemen, the Middle East and so on, my heart bleeds profusely. Now it is Cameroon and Nigeria that are being threatened by terrorists who call themselves Boko Haram. For me, it is a big debacle because I can’t seem to understand where the world is moving to. It is not the world that God made. When He made man and the world he said it was good and thought that man could live in peace as one, loving each other and exploiting the resources that He has made for their good. But we have turned to hatred and greed, quest for power, money and positions that have torn us apart. We also have the socio-economic, religious and political divisions. See the number of people that perished in the Nepal earthquake; about 7,000 or the shipwreck on the Mediterranean where more than 700 people perished. It is unacceptable for God’s children to suffer. But I think we need to go back to the drawing board and I refer you to 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face and ask for forgiveness, I, the Lord, will look down on them with pity and heal their land and set them free.” That is the answer which says it all. We have dumped God and when we dump Him, we have nothing to hold on to. We need to go back to Him.

You just quit the stage as the National President of Christian Men Fellowship, CMF, of the Presbyterian Church and handed over the baton of command to William Benkum. What kind of CMF are you handing to your successor?

We thank God for having used us at the helm of CMF for five years and we have handed over to a very dynamic exco headed by brother William Benkum who is a well informed and committed member of the movement. Far from being perfect beings, we are handing a CMF that has grown exponentially. A CMF more committed in evangelistic activities, fighting against corruption, embezzlement, misappropriation, bribery, graft, in short, moral decadence in all its forms.

How far did you go in using the CMF to bring back sanity to the Church, given all the allegations of mismanagement, corruption, adultery and other societal ills?

The ills that you have mentioned, among others, were tackled by the movement at the various levels. We could only do what we could. The mission of our movement is to seek more souls for Jesus and to transform society. This is ongoing and at no moment can anybody boast that the mission has been completely executed. We went out and insisted on the re-introduction of Religious Knowledge, Moral Education from Kindergarten right up to higher levels; all the echelons of educational establishments, as that is the foundation of our being. Moral education will considerably reduce moral decadence.

Since you started talking about that, nothing has happened; don’t you think you are being ignored?

No, if you have not noticed it, others have and have even encouraged and congratulated us. So, I take strong exception to what you have said. We have noticed that in our Church, the Global Church, other Churches have cued up. To be very fair with you, we don’t only talk, we practise what we preach.

I think your appeal was not only to the Church, but to the authorities of the country to make Religion a compulsory subject at the GCE?

It should be the prime subject, because, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Because, we seek first the Kingdom of the Lord and its righteousness and all things are then added. So, if God is not the foundation of our education, then, we have nothing. So, we cannot say, the fear of politics, money, position and promotion is the beginning of wisdom. Once we fear God, you become wise and all other things flow. There is so much moral decadence in our society because Religious Knowledge has been thrown to the dogs. We need to revisit this to ensure that our children are brought up in the way of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 says; bring up a child in the way of the Lord and when he grows up he will not depart from it. Whether we like it or not, this is having an impact, and this is not only CMF but also the other Christian groupings.

Are there certain things that you have not been able to accomplish in your five years mandate?

I would tell you outright that we never could have accomplished all, and nobody ever accomplishes all. You do your part and quit.

You were elected President of the General Assembly of the Bar in Cameroon. A few months in office, how is the Bar fairing?

The Bar is faring well. You know we also face all the difficulties that other professions in the world face. You know so well that the Bar is a very important institution of the nation because, without lawyers, there will be no justice and if there is no justice, there will be chaos, anarchy and total disorder. The lawyers ensure that the Constitution, the rule of law and due process are respected, it is a very big structure that has been doing its best, shortcomings notwithstanding. We are concerting and coming up with our road map. Every lawyer who can contribute anything to foster our Association is welcome. We have an open door policy. We are working peacefully with our brother, Batonnier Ngnie Kamga. When we would have had enough funds, we shall convene the General Assembly.

You are popularly known as a peace crusader and you know that the Bar Council Elections brought some misunderstanding among your colleagues. What have done about that?

The elections were free, fair, transparent, credible and acceptable. If this were not the case, lawyers, being very critical, would have challenged within 10 days of the results at the Court of Appeal of the headquarters of our Association.

Other people saw your decision to run as a betrayal of the Anglophone Community?

This is a misguided assertion backed by bad faith and blackmail. Kini, you are a senior journalist who can investigate and know the truth about this matter. I was solicited to run as the President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association; meaning all lawyers, not for the Anglophone community only. I am sure if I had not run, the Anglophone and Francophone lawyers would have said that I betrayed them by rejecting their solicitation which was immense. You also know that if you stand for the truth, you will always be persecuted. Solace for me is found in Matt 5:10-22. How can any sane person say there was betrayal when immediately after my election, there was total jubilation? I have received words of congratulations, and encouragement from my colleagues, and I want to believe this was in good faith. It is unacceptable, primitive, unspiritual and outrageous for bitterness, vindictiveness, blackmail, persecution to show their ugly faces after elections. Can we ever learn from Obama/Hilary Clinton, Abraham Lincoln/Stanton, Mandela/judges and recently Goodluck Jonathan/Buhari?

While other elite in our country insult Journalists and call them names like rascals, beggars and so on, you are so close to the press. What do you gain by being so close to the press?

Let me remind you about the pronouncements of Thomas Jefferson, a former American President who said he will prefer the press to government if he had to choose one. You know what that means. By that he gives the press a pride of place because he knows what the press can do for the society. I, like him, consider the press as an organ which is indispensable in development because the press informs, educates, creates debates and transforms. Take away the media, everybody will be blind and not know what is really happening in their country. I read newspapers, watch TV and listen to the radio and they all educate me a lot. If I had my way, the budget of the media, being the fourth estate, will be voted by Parliament so that they can contribute by doing their job thoroughly and properly. It is true that the Government is making some sacrifices to the private press but I think that much still has to be done. Inasmuch as I recognise the value of the press, I also hammer and criticise what my good brother, Choves Loh, aptly calls “Ugly Journalism.” I like news reports based on investigations, analysis, true facts properly crosschecked before dissemination. Remember Napoleon Bonaparte, though so powerful, said he feared the pen of a journalist more than a thousand bayonets. A hungry journalist will write hungry news, a shabby journalist will write shabby news, and a poor journalist will write poor news.

Have you ever been affected by what some people call ugly journalism… personally?

Yes, as a matter of fact, some years ago a guy made me Man of the Year. What I read on the papers one month after, about one of those he honoured was so filthy that I started asking the raison d’être for awards. This is, however, an isolated case that should not be generalised. Some of the awards are very genuine. Since this interview is taking place around the World Press Freedom period, I would like to extend to the entire media family in Cameroon my congratulations on their anniversary for being frontline Nation Builders. May God bless them in all their efforts by providing them the needed resources for the execution of their daunting tasks.

Do you still believe in this ‘Man of the Year Award’, given that it has been cheapened by people who just get up and give it to anybody for pecuniary motives?

I don’t fully know the criteria used to determine the winner of the award. If the award is based on some honest efforts that have been made by the receiver of the award, then, I have no problem with that. If, however, the award was made based on pecuniary motives, then, this would be unfortunate. Such an award means nothing.

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