© Peuples Noirs Peuples Africains no. 55/56/57/58 (1987) 174-190
5th November, 1983
His Excellency President Paul Biya,
We have much pleasure in extending to your excellency on the occasion of the first anniversary of your ascension to power as the Second Executive President of Cameroon, our warmest congratulations for all your achievements this year and best wishes for the prosperity of our Country. We hail your efforts to rid the nation of corruption, oppression, suppression, victimization, discrimination, intimidation, favouritism, tribalism, anarchy and tyranny. We hail your promise to restore democracy. We thank you for restoring freedom of expression and freedom of the press. You have arrested the nation from moral bankruptcy and spiritual decadence, and given the nation hope and a sense of direction. Your first year in office is a success.
We thank your predecessor His Excellency Ahmadou Ahidjo, who out of his magnanimity, appointed you to succeed him. Today Cameroon is one United Sovereign State enjoying its place in the comity of Nations, and the Nation will ever remain grateful to His Excellency Dr. John Ngu Foncha, the father of Re-Unification, and to all Cameroonians who made re-unification possible.
1. THE CAMEROON NATIONAL UNION (C.N.U.)
In 1966 their Excellencies, Ahidjo, Foncha, Endeley and Muna, leaders of the four political parties then in Cameroon, dissolved their parties to form one political party called The Cameroon National Union (C.N.U.). These four honorable men, the founding fathers of the C.N.U., we are sure were motivated by noble ideals, that the C.N.U. [PAGE 175] would produce a democratic government, aimed at producing free citizens, living in a free and democratic country as enshrined in the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. Little did the founding fathers of the C.N.U. suspect that they were giving birth to a Monster which would terrify Cameroonians and destroy democracy. The party became as it were an instrument of the Devil. It perpetuated the most heinous crimes known to man; it produced a government seven times more wicked than itself. Cameroonians who dared criticize it disappeared into underground dungeons where it is alleged they died of torture or became blind. Thousands of Cameroonians fled the country to Europe, America and other African countries where they sought refuge from arrest. Corruption was institutionalised and given an official stamp of approval. The most corrupt and inefficient persons were promoted and decorated with national honours. Efficient, hardworking and honest persons were punished by demotion or left stagnant in their positions for years. Corrupt, grossly inefficient and incompetent civil servants were appointed to head government corporations and parastatals. So these institutions, through maladministration drained milliards of francs of the country's revenue in losses and fraud. The banks were drained by the C.N.U. bosses and militants who borrowed huge sums of money with no intention to repay. The very big unscrupulous businessmen defaulted the government of milliards of francs in customs duties and taxes, but were protected by the Monster. There are serious allegations that more than half of the country's revenue from the oil industry was unaccounted for. The amounts are so staggeringly large that we shall demand an official public inquiry. Your Excellency Sir, we are happy with the swift actions you have taken to correct this sad situation. You have set prisoners free, recalled home the thousands of Cameroonians abroad, and disciplined some of the corrupt ministers and civil servants. We support the actions you have taken to stop evasion of custom's duties and taxes, and all corrupt practices of the fast C.N.U. regime.
Article 2 sections 1 & 3 of the 1972 Constitution of the [PAGE 176] United Republic of Cameroon states that « ... National Sovereignty shall be vested in the people of Cameroon... Nor may any section of the people or any individual arrogate to itself or to himself the exercise thereof... ». Contrary to the above provisions of our Constitution, the C.N.U., in flagrant violation of the Constitution, arrogated to itself National Sovereignty. This Monster denied the people their Sovereign power of freely choosing and electing the people and government of their choice. Instead, the C.N.U. hand-picked (in many cases the most unpopular) persons and thrust them on the helpless masses for a « 100 % vote ».
Mr. President Sir, this flagrant violation of our Constitution is the greatest abuse of power by the C.N.U. Monster and the most detestable crime to our freedom and sovereignty. We have received with great consolation, your promise to democratize the C.N.U., and restore democracy to Cameroon. This is the beginning of real freedom.
3. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (PARLIAMENT)
It is regrettable that our hand-picked parliamentarians do not owe any allegiance to the people of Cameroon, but to the C.N.U. which selected them. Our parliamentarians are mere robots to rubber-stamp the decisions of the C.N.U. Poor fellows, no one can blame them because they can be sacked from parliament easier than one can sack a houseboy. The Monster just has to sack them from the party and they are automatically sacked from parliament. No wonder our parliament has never ever rejected a Bill before it. Our parliament, the Supreme Law-making body of the Nation, has been reduced to a department of the all powerful Monster, the C.N.U. This is preposterous.
4. THE JUDICIARY
Despite attempts and pressures by the C.N.U. to create fear among members of the judiciary to demoralise them, to destroy the neutrality and independence of the judiciary, we are happy that there are still judges of character and integrity. There are still courageous men and women to uphold the rule of law. There are still men and women [PAGE 177] who will strive always to pass judgements without fear or favour, so that the country can evolve a judiciary that is truly independent, a judiciary that is honest and fair, a judiciary that we can trust and rely on, and a judiciary that will set standards for future generations to follow.
5. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
The preamble to the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon declares among other things that, « the human being without distinction as to race, religion, sex or belief inalienable and sacred rights :
Affirms its attachment to the fundamental freedoms embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter and particularly :
The freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the freedom of ASSEMBLY, the freedom of ASSOCIATION, and the freedom of Trade Unions are guaranteed under the conditions fixed by law.
The State GUARANTEES to all citizens of either sex the rights and freedoms set out in the preamble of the Constitution ».
Contrary to these provisions of the Constitution and in flagrant violation of our fundamental human rights, the C.N.U. government abolished freedom of the press and freedom of expression. We once had many daily newspapers in Cameroon but now most of them have folded up. Under the pressure of press censorship and the continuous harassment of journalists, most papers could only safely publish sports news, as any other news was fraught with danger. The newspapers ceased to be interesting and lost public support. Most of them liquidated and others became weekly, monthly or yearly periodicals. Today there is really only one daily newspaper in Cameroon The Cameroon Tribune, owned by the Government. Its functions are to sing C.N.U. praises, Government achievements and report football results. As if local press censorship were not enough, foreign newspapers and printed materials that contained [PAGE 178] any criticism of the C.N.U. or government were seized and banned. Freedom of the press is of such paramount importance that it is dreaded by dictators and feared by corrupt governments. A free press is the protector and guarantor of human liberties.
Mr. President Sir, we consider the restoration of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Press as one of your greatest achievements in office. Cameroonians today are once more free to say or write what they like so long as it is not defamatory, seditious, obscene or blasphemous. This is real freedom and the beginning of progress.
6. THE ONE PARTY SYSTEM
Our experience in Africa has proved that the one party system breeds dictators, encourages corruption, deters economic progress and encourages coups d'Etat. The One Party System is a cancer in the democratic process. Much of Africa today is a political and an economic disaster area, where corrupt and incompetent regimes maladminister shrinking economics. More than two thirds of Africa's 50 independent States have experienced one coup d'Etat in the past 20 years. The majority of African countries which have adopted the one party system have fared very badly politically, economically, and socially. The Presidents of these countries are permanent Heads of States. They are either life presidents or are re-elected with monotonous regularity.
By our Constitution Cameroon is a multi-party State, but by intrigues and abuse of power, the C.N.U. Monster has for a long time remained the only political party in Cameroon. Mr. President Sir, but for your timely intervention, the C.N.U. would have declared Cameroon a one party State and plunged us for ever into slavery and bondage. No man is wise enough or good enough to be trusted with unlimited power because power corrupts absolutely. The C.N.U. in its grand wicked design to stop your heroic efforts of reforming Cameroon, rushed and gave you absolute power, with the certainty that sooner or later you would become absolutely corrupt and the party would once more operate normally in corruption, oppression, suppression, victimisation, discrimination, intimidation, favouritism, tribalism, anarchy and tyranny. [PAGE 179]
Your Excellency Sir, we very much appreciate your efforts to reform the C.N.U. Monster and rid it of these evils, and we pray that you should succeed, but we think that you are pouring new wine into and old bottle. The old bottle cannot contain the new wine. The C.N.U. is incorrigible, intrinsically wicked and corrupt, it does not respect the Constitution nor believes in human rights. We shall not hazard our future in the hands of the C.N.U. again. We have no faith in it. We were not born with the C.N.U. tagged on us, so we reject it.
Mr. President Sir, you were by Divine providence sent to deliver us from bondage and set us free. You have set us free and we shall not allow any person or group of persons to take away our freedom again. We shall from now on control our own destiny.
7. THE CAMEROON DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Your Excellency Sir, we have the honour and the overwhelming joy to inform you that, by virtue of our fundamental human rights contained in the preamble of the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon, and guaranteed by the State of Cameroon, by virtue of Article 3 of the 1972 Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon authorising the formation of political parties in the United Republic of Cameroon, motivated by burning love for Cameroon, service to the Nation and our fellowmen, motivated by the desire to preserve democracy, foster good government, promote unity, justice, peace and progress, we have formed a new Political Party to be known by the name, « Cameroon Democratic Party » (C.D.P.) with its proposed Headquarters in Yaounde.
The party is formed on the unshakeable principles of freedom, justice, love and peace. To promote and foster National Unity, accelerate economic progress and ensure democracy and good government, the C.D.P. shall as a matter of urgency vigorously campaign for the amendment of the Constitution of' the United Republic of Cameroon. Your Excellency Sir, enclosed is a copy of the Constitution of the C.D.P. outlining our aims and objectives, together with a copy of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon with our proposed amendments. Our [PAGE 180] legal advisers have been instructed to complete the legal formalities of registration of the Party.
We denounce all sorts of violence as a weapon of achieving political objectives and we trust that the C.N.U. will do same. We shall win the parliamentary elections of 1988 and give the country a true taste of democracy, freedom and economic prosperity. Cameroon shall enter the third millennium as a model State, the pride of Africa and the World.
Your Excellency Sir, the C.D.P. pledges its support and co-operation to you and your government and wish you God's blessings in your difficult task of Government.
We have the honour to remain, Your Excellency,
A. S. NGWANA
London, 3rd October 1987
President Paul Biya's ambition to be life president of Cameroon through an illegal one party system must be stopped.
We are lucky to be here in London where we can discuss freely and without fear of arrest the political future of our Country. In 1966 after the former dictator President Ahidjo had brutally eliminated all the opposition parties in East Cameroon, he tricked their Excellencies Foncha, Endeley and Muna to dissolve their three political parties, K.N.D.P., C.P.N.C., C.U.C., and form one political party which him The C.N.U. monster. [PAGE 181]
The plausible arguments were that the one party would bring together Cameroonians of all origins. That devoid of any tribal or regional allegiances, they would mobilise human and material resources and enhance economic prosperity. The one party would produce a democratic Government aimed at producing free citizens, living in a free and democratic Country, as enshrined in the 1961 Constitution of the Federal Republic Cameroon.
We all know what happened after 1966 when all the opposition parties disappeared, how Ahidjo proceeded systematically to make himself dictator and life President.
First he dismissed the « firebrand » Prime Minister of West Cameroon, the late Hon. Augustin Ngum Jua, Foncha's right hand man, one of the few Cameroonians Ministers with guts who did not quiver before Ahidjo. Hon. S.T. Muna, Cameroon's most experienced Minister, (was in 1951 Minister of Transport in Nigeria, then Minister under Dr. E.L.M. Endeley's Government, Minister of Finance under Dr. Foncha's Government and Federal Minister under President Ahidjo) who was sacked from Foncha's K.N.D.P. party for betraying the K.N.D.P. to Ahidjo, was appointed Prime Minister by Ahidjo to succeed Jua.
By now Ahidjo had neutralised and put into the "cooler" the once dynamic and outspoken Dr. E.L.M. Endeley, first Prime Minister (Leader of Government) of West Cameroon (Southern Cameroon). Finally Ahidjo made a « coup d'Etat » on Cameroon.
He unconstitutionally and illegally sacked Dr. John Ngu Foncha, the Vice- President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, Father of Reunification and Leader of West Cameroon. (Note, that without Foncha's K.N.D.P. and the O.K./U.P.C. support reunification would have been impossible). He unconstitutionally and illegally abolished the 1961 Federal Constitution of Cameroon and the Fomban Accord, the basis of reunification.
He unconstitutionally and illegally abolished the Federation of Cameroon, the State of East Cameroon, and its organs and institutions, the State of West Cameroon and its organs and institutions including the House of Chiefs.
Ahidjo then declared the United Republic of Cameroon, abolished the post of Vice-President, centralised power in himself and became the most fearsome terror Cameroonians [PAGE 182] have ever known. Nobody could dare challenge him. Ministers quivered and virtually crawled before him.
Ahidjo becomes a permanent Head of State or Life President
With the disappearance of political parties no person could stand at an election against Ahidjo or the C.N.U. party. « Elections » became mere rituals with the President and his party scoring 100 % against nobody. The president was re-elected with monotonous regularity. He was now permanent Head of State, and tyrant. Cameroonians who dared criticise him or his Government disappeared into underground dungeons where many died of torture or became blind.
Mr. Albert Mukong was one of the few lucky ones who survived 6 years in the dungeons.
In the wave of these atrocities thousands of Cameroonians fled the country.
Ahidjo could not be removed democratically through an election, nor constitutionally by impeachment because the hand-picked Parliamentarians were mere robots to rubber-stamp Presidential Decrees. Nor could he be removed illegally by a coup d'Etat. At last Ahidjo, who had tricked and betrayed others, was himself tricked and betrayed. He was fooled that he had only a few weeks to live. In order to immortalise himself as a benevolent dictator he immediately resigned, appointed Paul Biya, a Francophone, to succeed him, and ignored S.T. Muna, former Vice-President, an Anglophone who had served him faithfully and was expected to succeed him.
President Paul Biya
The whole Nation was boisterous in its welcome of President Paul Biya in 1982. Biya, an efficient technocrat, was an unknown quantity in Cameroon Politics.
On being sworn into office, he promised to restore fundamental liberties and to democratise politics in Cameroon. In his first year in office, Biya kept his promise, the Country enjoyed freedom of speech and freedom of press.
On 5th November 1983 the Cameroon Democratic Party sent him the following congratulations : « We have much [PAGE 183] pleasure in extending to Your Excellency on the occasion of the first anniversary of your ascension to power as the Second Executive President of Cameroon, our warmest congratulations for all your achievements this year and best wishes for the prosperity of our Country. We hall your efforts to rid the Nation of corruption, oppression, suppression, victimization, discrimination, intimidation, favoritism, tribalism, anarchy and tyranny. We hail your promise to restore democracy. We thank you for restoring freedom of expression and freedom of the press. You have arrested the Nation from moral bankruptcy and spiritual decadence, and given the Nation hope and a sense of direction. Your first year in office is a success ».
Yes, Biya's first year was successful and on the strength of this record we decided to launch the Cameroon Democratic Party. (See our letter of 5/11/83 to President Paul Biya informing him why a second political Party was necessary in Cameroon). We pledged our support to Biya and his Government and looked forward to a bright future where Cameroonians would enjoy democracy, freedom and economic prosperity.
Then things changed suddenly.
Freedom of press and individual freedom
Press censorship was reintroduced and the Cameroon « Times » journalists were arrested and detained without trial, followed by the « Cameroon Report » journalists, the « Tribune » journalists and a host of others. In fact, more journalists have been arrested and detained without trial under Paul Biya than under Ahidjo. This is because under Ahidjo people knew where they stood, but under Biya things are confused. Today he says you are free to criticise, the next day he locks you up for criticizing. Fon Gorgi Dinka was arrested and detained without trial for months for criticizing the system. We insist that the press must be free because a free press is the protector and guarantor of human liberties. It is dreaded by dictators and feared by corrupt Governments. Cameroonians must always be free to say or write what they like so long as it is not defamatory, seditious, obscene or blasphemous.
Paul Biya's Government is full of duplicity. Biya asked Cameroonians who fled the Country during Ahidjo's persecutions [PAGE 184] to return home in safety. When they returned they were arrested and detained without trial. Even an innocent man, Mr. Isidore Nkiamboh, my personal secretary carrying our letters to Biya, was arrested and detained without trial; right now his whereabouts are not known.
The Cameroon Constitution states that « no one shall be harassed because of his origin, opinions or beliefs in religious, philosophical or political matters, subject to respect for public order », yet examples abound in the flagrant violation of these basic rights of all Cameroonians.
Despite repeated appeals by The Cameroon Democratic Party to Biya's Government to abolish Exit Visas, nothing has been done. Cameroonians are in jail in their own Country. No Cameroonians can leave the Country if the Government does not authorise him/her. Political opponents and critics are refused Exit Visas. Where is our freedom ? Ahidjo left six torture chambers (B.M.M.), Biya has increased them to ten one in each province. Our letters to Biya to dismantle these inhuman dungeons with their torture equipment have been ignored. No wonder some people say that Biya is worse than Ahidjo.
The One Party State
The One Party State in the African context means a state with a Life President or permanent Head of State. (in many cases a Totalitarian State.) This is an uncontestable fact in Africa. Zaïre, Ivory-Coast, Togo, Malawi, Benin, Ethiopia, Libya, etc., are but a few examples. The President of a One Party State cannot be removed democratically by the will of the people through an election, because the President is always the only candidate. He can only be removed by his own will voluntary resignation, as in the cases of Presidents Senghor, Ahidjo, Nyerere, and Shaika Stevens, or by force of arms coup d'Etat, as in the cases of more than 60 % of African States today.
All African States at independence had Multi-Party Constitutions, but the new Heads of State either ignored or amended the Constitutions, abolished the opposition Parties and declared One Party States.
Thank God Ahidjo crudely abolished opposition parties, illegally amended the Constitution but did not declare a [PAGE 185] One Party State. Many people are not aware of it, but Cameroon is still a Multi-Party State by law. Article 3 of the present Constitution of Cameroon allows for multi-parties.
Biya, in his ambition to become Life President of Cameroon, wanted to amend the Constitution and declare a One Party State in 1985 at the Bamenda Congress of the C.N.U. We got wind of it and stopped him through intensive and extensive campaigns. Biya still wants to be life President, but he knows that he cannot win an election if we put a candidate against him. So he decrees that a Presidential Candidate must be nominated by 500 people, 50 of whom must be members of Parliament. With this Law, he succeeded to be the only Presidential Candidate in the last Presidential elections because the hand-picked C.N.U. Parliamentarians could not nominate someone else.
Now Biya knows the Cameroon Democratic Party will win the next Parliamentary elections and will therefore have Parliamentarians to nominate a Presidential Candidate against him. So Biya now says that Cameroon is not ripe for multi-parties and that he will not allow multi-parties.
This mean that Biya wants to ignore the Constitution of Cameroon, declare himself a dictator, and use force to stop the opposition parties from contesting the next general elections.
Ahidjo tricked our former leaders into the One Party Trap where he liquidated them politically and became a dictator. We, the new leaders, will not allow Biya to liquidate us in the same One Party Trap. Cameroon must remain a Multi-Party State. Cameroonians must be free to elect a Government of their choice. There is no choice in a One Party System.
We want a peaceful and democratic change of Government through fair and just elections. Every political party must be allowed to put up candidates for the Parliamentary an Presidential elections.
Any laws passed by Biya to ensure that only his party the C.P.D.M. can put up candidates for the next Parliamentary and Presidential elections are unjust, unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect.
Of course, Biya can continue to use force and illegal means to stay in power, but we are under the weightiest [PAGE 186] obligation to advise Biya that those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Where are the other dictators ?
Biya must drop his ambition of becoming Life President of Cameroon. The era of dictators and life Presidents is gone and we shall not allow it again.
On the economic scene, the C.N.U./C.P.D.M., Ahidjo/Biya Governments have failed woefully.
Biya stunned the Nation with his announcement that the Government was broke. He declared austerity measures and thousands of Cameroonians lost their jobs. These measures have come too late and we doubt whether this Government is capable of implementing them. The same Government and the same people who have plunged the economy into a mess are asked to salvage it. In other words we are trying to put new wine into an old calabash. What we need is a complete new set of ideology and direction. « Despite our Country's immense economic potential, material comfort is still the prerogative of a privileged minority, while poverty is the lot of the majority of Cameroonians ». (President Paul Biya). We will add, ignorance and disease is the lot of the majority of Cameroonians. Despite the statistics that show that Cameroon has one of the healthiest economies in Africa, that we have good balance of payment surpluses, we are broke. Despite our « manna from Heaven » the oil bonanza, we are broke. Why ? There are three reasons why the Government has gone bust.
1. Institutionalised corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
Corruption and embezzlement of public funds
At the height of Ahidjo's reign, « corruption was institutionalised and given an official stamp of approval. The most corrupt and inefficient persons were promoted and decorated with National Honours. Efficient, hardworking and honest persons were punished by demotion or left stagnant [PAGE 187] in their positions for years. Corrupt, grossly inefficient and incompetent civil servants were appointed to head Government corporations and parastatals and so these institutions, through maladministration, drained milliards of francs of the Country's revenue in losses and frauds ». (A.S. Ngwana). When Ahidjo resigned, it was alleged that more than half of the oil revenue was misappropriated or unaccounted for. On 5th November 1983, we wrote to President Paul Biya that because the amounts involved were staggeringly large, an official public inquiry should be instituted. But nothing was done. Today we know that one of Ahidjo's secret accounts contained one billion U.S. dollars. The balance is now only 400 million dollars. Where are the 600 million dollars ? When will the balance of 400 million dollars be returned to Cameroon ?
Again, after the Limbe refinery scandal where millions of francs CFA were stolen, we demanded a public inquiry so that all culprits of our oil money could be punished, and their ill-gotten assets be confiscated as a deterrent against future frauds. But nothing was done.
Our oil revenue is a closely guarded secret in the Presidency. Detailed figures are not published, nor do we know what the proceeds are or where they are kept. This has given rise to massive frauds and unbridled rumours. Right now, it is alleged that it is because President Paul Biya has also secretly transferred one and a half billion U.S. dollars into his own secret accounts, that we have the present economic crisis. We believe in public accountability. Most Third World countries go bust because their Presidents embezzle all the money, and nobody can bring them to book. This must not be so in Cameroon. We must have strict public accountability. No person must be above the law.
Mismanagement of the economy
Cameroon is extremely rich in natural resources and very fertile soil. We produce plenty of cocoa, coffee, rubber, cotton, cattle, timber, etc. We have huge deposits of bauxite, uranium, iron ore, coal, gold and diamonds. We have mighty water-falls for cheap hydro-electricity. We have some of the most beautiful beaches, mountains, scenery and wild life in the world, for the tourist industry. [PAGE 188]
What else can we ask from God ? Yet our people are poor.
Our People suffer from poverty, ignorance and disease, because for 27 years the C.N.U./C.P.D.M. Governments have mismanaged the economy. They did not invest judiciously in agriculture, infrastructure, industries, nor did they build any reserves from which the Country can now draw to meet the present economic crisis.
There are not enough roads, hospitals (no drugs), schools, and industries. For 27 years Cameroonians have been promised roads between Kumba and Mamfe, Mamfe and Nfum, Mamfe and Bamenda, a ring road in Bamenda, a road between Douala and Kribi, etc. Millions of franc's worth of crops are lost every year because they cannot be transported to the cities. Cameroon's output of economic crops could treble if there were roads to the production areas. It is unbelievable that Endeley and Foncha, with very little money, were able to maintain the West Cameroon roads so that they were motorable all season, better than Ahidjo and Biya with all the additional oil money at their disposal. Today these roads are motorable only during the dry season. Cameroon is among the countries with the worst roads in the world.
When will the Tiko and Limbe (Victoria) ports be reopened again ? Ports which handled goods from West Cameroon cheaply. Why were they closed in the first place ?
Britain left us with the Cameroon Development Corporation on independence, yet for 27 years the C.D.C. is still the only major mechanised farm. If we had ten such farms, one in each province, would we have unemployment on our hands today ?
Cameroon has pure sparkling drinking water in all our rivers and streams, yet pipe-borne water is priced beyond the reach of most Cameroonians in the few towns in which it is supplied. Our numerous water-falls should provide cheap hydro-electricity for domestic and industrial consumption, but Sonel charges are so high, that they discourage industrial development and have pushed the majority of our people back to the firewood stove. Despite the fact that at Limbe we now refine our own petrol, the price of petrol is three times dearer than in some neighbouring [PAGE 189] countries. The high cost of fuel deters economic and social activities.
Many countries which are less gifted in beauty than Cameroon, balance their budgets from the tourist industry. Our tourist industry is not developed and the Government discourages its development. Instead we should encourage the whole world to come to Cameroon, « Africa in Miniature », a Paradise of beauty and splendour. It is sad to know that in this economic crunch our poor farmers are bound to suffer more because they are exploited by a « Marketing Board System » which does not pay them a fair price for their produce. The Government should allow farmers to sell their produce to the highest bidder.
Global fall in prices of raw materials
This is regular phenomenon. Prices of raw materials are always fluctuating, and in many cases always downwards. While prices of their finished products are always rising. Therefore any wise Government must allow for these fluctuations. To use the fall in prices of raw materials as an excuse for the present economic mess, shows lack of foresight and poor planning on the part of this Government. What the Government should have done for the past 27 years is not to rely on exporting raw materials alone but to transform them into finished products. Alas the Government is bust, and we have no industries to transform our raw materials into finished products.
My dear fellow Cameroonians, the Ahidjo/Biya Governments have failed politically and economically, and driven the Country into bankruptcy. Cameroonians have lost confidence in the Government and its financial institutions. They no longer put their money in the Banks but keep their money at home or in « njangi » houses.
Morally and Spiritually the Country is sliding into bankruptcy as well. This is evident from the alarming increase of murder cases, robberies, prostitution, abortions, divorces and a host of new crimes hitherto unknown in Cameroon... The situation is very serious. We must act now to avoid disaster.
Fellow Countrymen, I speak to you from the heart out of the love we all have for our dear Country Cameroon. [PAGE 190]
We have « stooged » and « feared » for 27 years. Yesterday Ahidjo was a god. Today it is Biya. When shall we grow up ? The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. We must not allow Biya and his gang to drive our beloved Country into complete chaos. We need a new Leadership and new Government.
A Government democratically elected by our people. A Government that is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of our people. A Government that can provide us with hospitals and drugs, roads and schools : Accommodation, industries and employment. A Government that guarantees the independence of the Judiciary, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and all our fundamental liberties. A Government we can be proud of, in a country we are proud of.
Our party the Cameroon Democratic Party enjoys massive support at home and will provide the Government We require. We expect and count on your deserving support as well.
May God Bless Cameroon
For Cameroon Democratic Party
P.S. For further information contact The Secretary C.D.P.
 Le collaborateur de A.S. Ngwana chargé de remettre ce message à Paul Biya fut arrêté sur le champ, emmené vers une destination inconnue. Il n'a plus jamais reparu en public. (N.D.L.R.).