Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who Should Rule Cameroon?

I hear every where about future presidents having received awards and having a lot of connections. To receive awards does not mean that a politician is ready to rule or will make a great president. To be a good leader does not warrant you to own an enterprise because great leaders of the world who made economic miracles were neither CEOs nor economists. You do not even need to be too learned. You need to be a man of Character though that does not entail perfection. The new crop of politicians: Kah Walla and Ayah Paul in addition to these dotards of Paul Biya, Fru Ndi, Bello Bouba, Jean Jacques Ekindi, Adamou Ndam Njoya should be regarded as unworthy for the Cameroon presidency.

Franklin Roosevelt was a “C” student[1] who had a background in law rather than economics and management. Konrad Adenauer who was the architect of the German economic miracle from the doldrums of World War II was a trained lawyer and politician. He was never a CEO of any company nor has he ever been a manager of a any organization. General McArthur who did almost the same thing in Japan by overseeing economic, political and social changes was a trained military officer and not an economist or corporate officer. Unlike his successor-Quattara who is a professional economist and has started with international Loans, Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast did not borrow money from anywhere to manage Ivory Coast for the ten years that he ruled that country despite being a history professor.  Come back to the US and you are no more any stranger to Bill Clinton. He was a trained lawyer and not an economist or CEO. Dr Ba U under whose stewardship Burma now called Myamar began her own currency was a trained lawyer and judge. The above examples dispel the fallacy that one needs to be a former CEO or manager to be an effective president or ruler. Nelson Mandela and Golda Meir are two other great leaders we cannot afford the luxury to sidestep, yet neither held a top managerial position before becoming president or premier respectfully. 

On the contrary, George Bush (43rd US President) was a Co-owner of Texas Rangers Baseball team, but I am sure that we all can humbly accept that he did not fare well economically.

Unemployment is 24% in Cameroon, so every politician must have a concise plan on how to reduce and wipe it out. Someone like Kah Wallah instead has been talking only about her having connections. In the world of today, no investor will invest without the purport of maximizing profits. Consequently, we see a new Cameroon going for sale to the highest bidder if Kah Walla becomes the president.

When Kah Walla declared her presidency, she did not have a party knowing fully well that one must belong to a party. Realizing she cannot run without having a political party, she joined one. She is a political hireling and an opportunist whose sole aim is to become president. For someone who cared for the people, she should have been somewhere or created her own party before declaring her candidacy. This shows that she is not a team player. Perhaps she will convince us better and later, but for now; she lacks that presidential acumen. Suffer it that we look at some qualities that African presidents need to turn around their economies and improve their countries.


There are qualities that one can glean in a good leader. In our present world, war and bombs are not signs of good leadership. Einstein once said about Gandhi in theses terms "Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil." —Albert Einstein, 1950. Therefore, any African leader whose only way to power is war should not be supported by the people. Why are there no more Satyagrahas? Where have civil disobedience marches gone to? The most efficient weapon against oppression is to refuse to cooperate with the oppressor. Rather than buy salt from the British, Gandhi walked miles to the sea and collect his own salt.

Truthful and Honest
Great leaders should be able to tell their countries the truth when they need to hear the truth like Franklin Roosevelt did during his first inaugural address of March, 1933[2]. Great leaders are not ones who terrorize their people with fear so they would count on them as the Deuse-Ex Machina.

Team Player

In Mandela’s words:
A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind."[3]Nelson Mandela.

 A leader or president is not an eternal king. Simply because you are the president or leader does not mean you are omniscient; it simply means that the people have selected you to guide and lead them because there can only be one captain in a ship. When a politician like Paul Ayah refuses to join other opposition leaders to make a peaceful protest on bases that time was not yet ripe yet he is campaigning to remove the current president, tells you that he is not a team player and; perhaps a premonition of autocracy and tyranny.  

Independent Minded

The leader that will take Cameroon and Africa from the current conundrum must be independent minded. “The best kind of leader: one who creates independence, not dependence." —Steinem (1992)[4]. All these Cameroonian and African leaders rushing to the West to solicit support should tell you they are ready to sell the country. You cannot harvest their support without promising to hand them part of the natural resources. Cameroon and Africa need an honest politician who is independently minded and not a poster child who brags about begging from the West. Any Cameroonian or African politician who gloats about bringing foreign aid rather than talking about developing the resources of Cameroon and Africa despite Cameroon being rich in natural resources should be ignored. Such politicians visit Europe and America more than they visit their own constituency in Cameroon. He or she must set blueprint on how to extirpate corruption, poor governance, the aloofness of the Cameroonian Diaspora and other vices bedeviling the country and continent.  We need presidents who will boost the private sector rather than destroy it like Biya has done for the past 29 years.

Effective Communication.

It is said of the former Israeli premier:

Mrs. Meir had a gift for making complex issues appear simple and expressing her views in plain but emotional terms: 'Our generation reclaimed the land, our children fought the war and our grandchildren should enjoy the peace.' Even when she spoke to an audience of thousands, it could sound as though she was speaking in her living room[5].

The majority of the most successful leaders had a common trait: their desire to see the betterment of mankind. The common good outweighed their private interests. In that case, no leader will desire ruling the same organization for more than 12 years. Therefore, the current crop of politicians in Cameroon: Biya, Fru Ndi, Paul Aya, Bello Bouba, Fomouyoh, Jean Jacque Ekindi, Adamu Ndam Njoya are from the word go unfit for the presidency and should be sidestepped for someone who truly cares for the country. Not only the fact that of them mentioned above are already too old, they are repleted with serious character issues. Gerontocracy was in mode perhaps because age meant wisdom, but nowadays with all the diseases, age is tied to dementia and alzheimer than with wisdom.  

Until then, the wrong president will take you back 50 more years.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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