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Gunmen Block Gov’t’s FCFA 4 Billion Destined For Lebialem 

By Maxcel Fokwen

Elite of Lebialem Division, Southwest Region are depressed that Government’s investments through public projects worth FCFA 4 billion in their ancestral land are still at a standstill six months gone into the 2018 fiscal year.

The observation is one of the highpoints of a release the elite made public after a meeting in Buea on June 9 staged at the behest of Minister Delegate in the Ministry of the Economy Planning and Regional Division, Paul Tasong.

According to the release, the dire situation which they resolve to handle is a consequence of the challenging security situation in the Division.

“They were saddened by the fact that, not a single Public Investment Project, PIP, of the over FCFA 4 billion national budget earmarked for the 2018 financial year is currently ongoing in the Division because unidentified persons threaten workers on work sites and even destroy equipment and ongoing works,” the elites observed.

Despite the depressing situation, the 8th commitment in the ‘Lebialem Release’ indicates the will of the elite to “ working very hard with all stakeholders ( including all the people who live in the Division) to get the ever increasing national budget earmarked for Lebialem executed, while lobbying for more especially in the area of road, water, energy and infrastructure. Only by so doing can we enhance the quality of life in our Division.”

Besides, the Buea declaration of the Lebialem elite despite decrying the growing disrespect for traditional authorities affirmed to “bring pressure to bear on traditional rulers (fons and their chiefs), elites and other important stakeholders in the Division to immediately engage and extend a fatherly hand to their children (angry youths) to lay down their arms and come out of the bushes for a peaceful and non-violent solution to the Anglophone Crisis.”

The same release upholds the wish of the elite to “transmit to the authorities (administrative and military) as far as possible, the people’s wish that a more humane approach should be adopted in the handling of the present crisis”.

Among other observations, the release brings forth the will of the elite to ensure the protection of palaces, support the youths of Lebialem in the quest for knowledge, adhesion to non violent procedure, and to relate with the youths to ensure they are gainfully employed.

On the electoral front, the calls for renewed education of the people of Lebialem to “enrol on the electoral register and eventually exercise their civic rights by voting whenever and whoever they wish each time the electoral corps is convened,” was also discussed.

The same document makes clear an observation that Lebialem youths are reluctant to enrol on the voters’ register.
The Buea meeting, going by the release, states the zeal of the Lebialem elite to “Lobby for the creation of a school of agriculture in the Division so that the youth can gain knowledge on modern farming methods to best exploit the natural resources that the Division is endowed with”.