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News Analysis: Tamfu’s Hosanna On The Beatification Of Yang 

By Peterkins Manyong

Benevolent despotism was a system of government in 18th Century Europe whereby a ruler carried out reforms as a measure of goodwill towards his subjects, not because he was under any obligation to do so.

Because the despot was not answerable to any court of critical jurisdiction, he appointed people on the basis of loyalty, not competence. Well known enlightened despots include, Frederick 11 of Prussia, Joseph of Austria and Catherine the Great of Russia. Last Saturday, former Nkambe MP, Hon. Samuel Ngeh Tamfu, implored fellow Northwesterners to join him in singing "Hosanna" to the Head of State for conferring the best of his "Biyatitudes" on one of their sons, Philemon Yang.

Every Christian and most churchgoers are surely accustomed with the eight beatitudes preached by Christ during the famous Sermon on the Mountain. These beatitudes uphold the Christian values of love and sacrifice. From them are derived some of the ingredients that make up the Seven Works of Mercy preached by the Catholic Church.

But whereas the Biblical Beatitudes were heaped on the righteous, the New Deal "Biyatitudes" are conferred on those who excel in sycophancy and electoral gerrymandering, (including transparent rigging and ambulant voting). What transpired last Saturday in the Bamenda Congress Hall was a call on Northwesterners to seek first the kingdom of electoral fraud and many other "Biyatitudes" will be added unto the PM’s post, which they already have.

Dr. Peter Alange Abety made this insinuation when he called on fellow CPDM colleagues to ensure that the ruling party sweeps the remaining 11 seats allocated to the Northwest in the 2012 Parliamentary elections. That emphasis means that electoral victory and not competence is the prerequisite for a ministerial seat in a country that is expected to uphold the tenets of good governance.

Dr. Abety was, however, aware of this need for competence, which is why he described PM Yang as one who listens to advice – "a vehicle with good brakes". Coming back to Hon. Tamfu, it is necessary to point out here that he is  the schoolmaster of Northwest CPDM, not only because he is the only CPDM Politburo member, but because he is, in the words of most CPDM militants at the meeting, "an encyclopedia" of political knowledge. The applause that greeted most of his pronouncements at the meeting is ample proof that he wasn’t speaking nonsense.

But Hon. Tamfu shot off the mark when he called on Fru Ndi and the SDF to support Yang. This call gives the impression that he is yet to embrace the notion of an opposition. However cherished the post of a PM may be, it is not great enough to make us sacrifice all democratic notions. The SDF is still smarting from the slap it received when Biya appointed predominantly CPDM lackeys into ELECAM against the objections of Cameroonians and the rest of the civilized world.

The Politburo member was right to insinuate that the post of Assembly Speaker is a loud sounding nothing. By this insinuation, Hon. Tamfu was unconsciously playing advocacy for late J.N. Foncha and S T. Muna .Foncha, the First Vice President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon and Muna, the second to hold the Post, who spent the last days of their lives defending themselves before fellow Anglophones for failing to do enough for their people.

If, with the powers the Constitution allocated them, they couldn’t do much, how is a mere appointee without a strong constitutional backing, be expected to perform better? To worsen matters, Philemon Yang has been appointed against a background of rumours that his predecessor might face the music because of alleged involvement in the Albatross scandal and that his passport has been seized.

Yang also knows that Inoni’s last days at the Star Building were anything but glorious. And that on at least one occasion, President Biya had done everything to ensure the former PM never sat close to him. Inoni, according to press reports, was interrogated while a sitting Prime Minister, the first in Cameroon’s history to have ever received such an embarrassment. Yang does not need to be a great connoisseur of proverbs to know that what happened to coffee could equally happen to cocoa.

The new PM and his team was given an ultimatum to rescue the country from corruption and inertia within six months, something Biya himself has not been able to do in more than 26 years. Was that not an unequivocal message that Yang could be shown the door next December? Is that not the reason why other CPDM sycophants who were eyeing that post are still looking up the mountain top?

The assignment Biya has given Yang is one for a bulldozer, not a PM. Hercules, the Greek hero, who cleaned the Augean Stable by directing a whole river through it, would not be able to perform such a task if he returned to life and metamorphosed as a New Deal Prime Minister and Head of Government. Was Biya, by this statement, not be telling Agbor Tabi, who stepped into Yang’s shoes as Assistant Secretary General at the Presidency, to get on his marks?

Hon. Tamfu’s plea that all Northwesterners should give the new PM a hero’s welcome is commendable. But if he had reflected a little, or preferred bluntness to panegyric, he would rather have expressed the wish to see Yang last longer in his position than Professor Ephraim Ngwafor whose tenure was only a little longer than half a year.

Simply put, Hon. Tamfu should rather have cautioned fellow Northwesterners not to dance themselves lame before the hour of the real dance which is in December. Biya, like the proverbial mischievous god, takes away a man’s life when it is sweetest to him. "Biyatitudes" are politically useful, but beneficiaries and their supporters should not be drunk of them before they are convinced that they are not just passing fancies.

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