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MPs Confront Minister On Mbouda-Bamenda, Ring Road Death Trap 

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Nformi Sonde Kinsai

A delegation of Members of Parliament, MPs, of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM of the Northwest Region, on June 9, took the issue of the deplorable state of the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch of the road to the office of the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT.

The delegation made up of six members of the National Assembly led by the Questor, Hon. Njingum Musa of the Ngoketunjia North Constituency, was received in audience by the MINEPAT Minister, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi.

During the audience, the MPs officially submitted a document to the Minister containing their complaints. The Post gathered that such complaints bordered on the deplorable state of the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch of the road, the construction of the Mbouda-Galim-Balikumbat-Ndop road and the need to continue and complete work on the Bamenda Ring Road, more than 30 years after the Head of State pompously announced his intention to personally supervise its construction.

The Minister welcomed them and described the move by the MPs as a mature way of seeking solutions to problems, noting that Government is doing everything to ensure that Cameroonians travel in safety across the country.

Speaking to The Post shortly after the audience, Hon. Njingum said “as the CPDM parliamentary group of the Northwest Region, we came to discuss with the Minister on very important pre-occupations affecting the Cameroonian people. This had to do most especially with the Mbouda-Bamenda portion of the road as well as the stretch from Ebebda to Bafoussam.

“These sections of the road are in a very deplorable state, thus making travelling very difficult and dangerous. So, we came to see the Minister to urgently intervene and rescue the situation because transporters and Cameroonians using that road face untold difficulties.”

He said from their discussion with the Minister, they were informed that a sum of money has been allocated for the Ministry of Public Works to continue and complete works on the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch of the road. He said it was explained that the problem now is with scheduling of the work especially as the job could not be done in the heart of the rainy season.

“We are very convinced that work will resume soon because the Minister showed us proof that funds have been allocated to the Ministry of Public Works. The Minister also promised that everything will be done within the means available to open up farm-to-market roads that we have identified in constituencies in the Northwest Region,” Hon. Njingum told The Post.

Hon. Emmanuel Banmi of the Ngoketunjia South constituency corroborated these claims by stating that as “representatives of the people, it is our duty to table problems of the communities to decision makers.” He said the promises and proofs given of allocation of funds for work to continue on the Mbouda-Bamenda road are assuring.

“When a member of Government justifies his/her declarations with documents, then we have to believe until the contrary is proven,” Hon. Banmi declared. He noted that their discussions went beyond the Mbouda-Bamenda portion of the road and touched on opening up of some farm-to-market roads that could positively transform the lives of the people. According to him, disenclaving border areas is also paramount, even for security reasons.

Meanwhile, Hon. Richard Wallang of the Menchum South Constituency, who is also an engineer, described the section of the road from Kombou to Santa within the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch as horrible and said no effective work could be done on that portion with FCFA 700 to FCFA 900 million allocated. He said the over FCFA 2 billion recently allocated for the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch that is estimated at FCFA 28 billion is grossly insufficient for any effective work to be done.

According to him, discussions should rather centre on rehabilitating the road from Ebebda in the Centre Region through the West Region to Bamenda evaluated at FCFA 100 billion. “We are surviving on that road only by the grace of God. That road was constructed more than 30 years ago and it doesn’t have guarantee of safety any longer,” he declared.

Other members of the delegation included: Hon. Andrew Kwei of the Oku-Noni Constituency, Hon. Michael Abe of the Misaje-Ako Constituency and Hon. Genesis Mbucsek of the Nwa Constituency.

Meanwhile, it should be recalled that the reconstruction of the road from Bafoussam to Bamenda, was part of the disbursement of FCFA 100 billion package instructed by President Paul Biya a few years ago for the rehabilitation of national roads. But after the money got finished, work abruptly stopped, leaving the Mbouda-Bamenda stretch in a deplorable state today.

A driver, who told The Post that he recently punctured four tyres of his car on that road, described the stretch as a citadel of huge potholes that are more or less yawning craters. Observers hold that because of the deplorable state of the road, it is where travellers go to die until the Almighty God decides otherwise.