News that Mr. Awah Cletus attended a meeting organised by Minister Fame Ndongo in Yaounde as representative of an non-governmental organisation (NGO) he owns( CSO -Coalition of Civil Society Organization),Has raised concerns on social media with many saying he has betrayed the people.Added to this fact, that he has no business in the educational sector.
Facts by alafnet.com reveals that Mr Awah Cletus is not a teacher,but a business man of NECLA Hotel Bamenda who is trying to pick up a degree at the University of Bamenda.
The meeting which was aimed at defusing the Anglophone teachers planned for Nov. 21st had Trade Union representative.On the attached copy of those who attended the meeting Awah Cletus is the last signatory.
Sources say Mr Awah Cletus claims that the Northwest Governor Lele Lafrique sent him.Has he by this therefore confirmed that he has been running errants for the governor?? Some now believed that he must have attended the Yaoundé meeting simply because he is a friend to Jacques Fames Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education.
On the story , free thinker Tapang Ivo Tanku thinks that Mr.Awah Cletus and his “Coalition of Civil Society” have betrayed Cameroonians.
On his Facebook page Mr. Tapang Ivo wrote;
” Dear Cameroonian friends,
Permit me to nail this once and for all. I am bringing it up in relation to Awah Cletus and his “Coalition of Civil Society in Cameroon,” a Civil Society Organization (CSO). In Cameroon, a way to get around easy business is to quickly set up an NGO or a CSO; copy, and paste a mission statement, its objectives, and goals; and then legalize it. You must not be an expert in any field to do that. In fact, academic or career background does not matter at all. What matters if your registration fee and a couple of certifications here and there.
I am not here to discredit the aforementioned CSO. I am here to point out what I logically perceive as dubious and flawed to the foundation on which non-profit organizations were born globally.
First, the name “Coalition” in Awah’s organization is misleading. Is this the mother of all CSOs in Cameroon? Certainly not. You cannot have a generalized name and hawk it around the country for an umbrella organization. Even if that was the case, of which it is not, the roles of a CSO are basic for any citizen’s understanding. I will explain.
Every CSO must manifest interests and will of citizens in the state of nature, which is often anarchical. As the liberalism doctrine would put it, CSOs are geared at holding governments to account, checking for the inherent shortcomings of the state, questioning power, partnering with International Governmental Organisations (IGOs), and transitioning states to a functioning democracy.
Speaking about functioning democracy, the role of Awah’s CSO has failed to strike the mark. Cameroon, according to Freedom House and Polity IV databases, is not a democracy. It is an anocracy instead. The Anglophone problem is a test of any functional CSO to push the regime to dialogues and discuss with all relevant stakeholders including the UN, lawyers, historians, opposition leaders, diplomats, security analysts, development experts and the state authorities. CSOs must be pro-voice. Pro-voice means the voice of the citizens. Awah Cletus action has failed the state.
The Anglophone problem transcends sentiments and goes as far as requesting empathy and understanding and listening. It is embarrassing that a few citizens, unknown to the Cameroon public, with very weak academic qualifications, bypass protocol and rush to Yaounde to sit among the regime’s top technocrats and decide on issues affecting more than 8 million citizens in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. If the regime acts lawlessly, should Anglophones copy the same example?
There are thousands of CSOs in Anglophone Cameroon. How many have stood up to support the genuine Anglophone problems known to every common citizen including French-speaking citizens? How many have pressured the regime to bring to the dialogue table, all the aforementioned relevant stakeholders? And even when I — an International Security Expert and Communications Analyst — advised Awah on how to go about his worries when he called me for advice a few days ago, he did not heed to any of my free suggestions. Under normal situations, I am hugely paid for the services I render. But I cannot charge my own citizens for a dime.
Poverty in Cameroon is now a public policy, I have always argued. Because the regime deliberately keeps its citizens poor and raises high taxes on their small businesses, elites could easily hawk around bribing the poor for their votes. Also, by keeping its citizens under an armlock CSOs and NGOs would always be at your beck and call of the state. They will weaken their own credibility. Awah’s CSO has been trapped and cannot release itself. We have to rescue it and kill it. It knows, for a fact, That was not the vision for liberalists who probed up CSOs in developing countries after the end of Cold War in 1989.
For how long will citizens continue mortgaging their destinies for a few coins or sachets of Kitoko — a sachet of crude whiskey?
The social media has now found its place in Cameroon and has replaced the poverty-stricken CSOs because they quickly report what the government is doing right or wrong. They hold the policymakers to account. They debate about policy outcomes. They seek empathy and understanding through debates.
I, for example, do not critique people’s private lives. I have always been grilled on saying Paul Biya is a good man. But that is his nature, which I should not judge. I judge his policies which most are bad, ruling and ruining. They have ruined the state for 34 years. And CSOs are partnering with the regime, instead of questioning power.
Well, I have two suggestions for Mr. Awah Cletus, a good man with bad policies. Awah should publicly revoke his signature on that Ministerial letter of agreement. He should make a public apology to all Anglophone Cameroonians in particular. That will not only cleanse his battered image but will strengthen the power of CSOs in Cameroon,he wrote.
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