Tuesday, June 25, 2019
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New Governor or New Governance 

By Bouddih Adams

Last week, a Presidential Decree finally sent Southwest Regional Governor, Louis Eyeya Zanga on retirement – due since two years ago. The same decree moved Koumpa Issa from the Centre, the seat of the government, to the Southwest Region. Before moving to the Centre, Koumpa was Governor to the politically volatile Northwest Region.

Last week’s decree puts paid to Eyeya’s long bonus of two years during which period he took advantage of any situation and any person to make good what he could not in his years in service.

Many people seemed not to have been very comfortable with Eyeya’s style. Mbella Moki, Mayor of Buea, sounded the note during Eyeya’s installation, to the acclamation of the population that turned out for the event, when he told him: "You were SDO when I was a young man; you have come back as Governor when I am mature …" Saying that, Mbella did not need to tell Eyeya that his style when he was SDO should be dropped and he should adopt a more affable approach. The message, apparently, never went home.

Intelligent rulers use their wits as opposed to their fist to rule. Eyeya’s detractors pegged their heckles on his "petrol" money-chasing escapades, even when he was invited by a poor Buea Council – barely a couple of hundreds of metres away from his office or his residence.
He is known to have ruled by ‘commandement’ rather than by comprehension and tact. 

Making the Difference

Koumpa Issa’s coming in the wake of a man who was more of a ruler than a Governor, imposes on him the arduous task of predicating his administration on off-rooting all the negative milestones sown by his predecessor and planting very positive ones, so that he may be judged by the same way he governed the Northwest. He has the challenge of instilling in the Southwest the feeling that the difference is clear; that he is not only a new Governor but is bringing new governance.  

If Koumpa could govern the Northwest and left comparatively without any blemish, he may as well govern its sister region of the Southwest. Koumpa is also Governor of a region with arguably the highest population of Nigerian nationals and in which the Bakassi Peninsula, recently won back and where the ashes of conflict with Nigeria, have not totally settled.

Baptism Can’t Wait

Koumpa is coming at a time when a controversy surrounding the very famous Mt Cameroon Race is simmering. Whatever way it goes would be the baptism of fire for the new Governor – hardly before he had settled.

But by the time he is settled, he should know that he is residing in a "book place" with some of the finest brains and minds that profess governance and management of human capital, law, business, engineering and so on. He has the challenging responsibility of managing managers and managing a high concentration of youth at the height of their exuberance: a duty where one of his peers failed and found himself in the same situation as a malfunctioning car parked in the administrative garage in Yaounde. He can ask Ejake Mbonda. 

Koumpa is coming yet at a time when the average Southwesterner is realising that the influence of the political power base of a Prime Minister does not last, but good works do.Being the power base of a sitting Prime Minister – to an extent – made work easy for administrators. People scarcely raised opposition to the administrator’s decisions for fear that they may be unsettling the pawn for their son and his stay in the Star Building. No more!

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