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Friday, September 21, 2018

Batibo: Paul Biya Appoints New Divisional Officer To Replace To Replace The Abducted Administrator Of Batibo

Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, has appointed a new Divisional Officer (DO) to replace the abducted administrator of Batibo as well as others to fill positions abandoned by their predecessors due to insecurity in the Anglophone Regions.

The President made the decision on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, just four days after returning from China. According to the Presidential decrees, Kwandze Ernest Kari, is the new DO for Batibo in replacement of Namata Diteng Joseph, who was abducted by members of the Ambazonia Defence forces on February 11.

The new DO is not new to the violence as he is coming from Mbengwi, which has also been engulfed in violence.

Unlike other administrative text of appointments, the decree replacing Namata did not state his mutation after leaving the post; whether he is retired, transferred or death. Paul Biya strategically left it blank even though in July the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, announced to the family of Namata that he has been killed somewhere around Nigeria. However, when the family asked the Minister to narrate the circumstances leading to his death and produce the corpse, the Minister was dumfounded.

Still in the North West, the President replaced the DOs of Kumbo in Bui division and Njinikom in Boyo as well as the two enclaves Sub-divisions of Ako and Misaje which borders Nigeria. All these areas have been hotspots for Ambazonia fighters with fighting almost on daily bases.

In the South West Region, Alou in Lebialem Division was touched as well as Upper Bayang in Manyu and Dikome Balue in Ndian. Some of the most hardened Ambazonia fighters in the Region are lodged in these Sub-divisions, especially Kaw Kaw in Dikome Balue, which has become an altar of bloodbath especially when the military burned down houses at the beginning of the year. Since then, the DO has vacated the area.

The decree is coming less than two weeks after a similar order was signed by the Secretary General at the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, giving DOs three days to regain their abandoned areas of jurisdiction.

Among them was the DO of Dikome who has been replaced as well as those of Menchum Division. It is still unclear whether these administrative heads rejected the call from Ngoh Ngoh which is why they have been replaced.

Generally, most of the administrators of these areas have longed abandoned their duty posits especially as State authority is at its lowest there. In some of these areas, the few remnants of human life are subjected to laws imposed by Ambazonia fighters.

With their very enclave and native nature, fighters who master the terrain operate almost unperturbed. It would be a daunting task to see these men installed and take up residence in these areas. On May 20, just about five soldiers braved the odds to stage a few seconds march pass in front of the DO in Upper Bayang, who was heavily surrounded by military men in combat ready gear. There were no civilians, not even service heads of the Sub-division.

The newly appointed DOs were all serving in various capacities in the same Division and Region which is never the case in the past. Paul Biya in other words is merely using people who are used to the area and most of them being Anglophones. All of the administrators were previously subordinates to their bosses and Paul Biya did not bother to replace them in their preceding functions, a sign that the President does not want to inject fresh blood, but to continue with those who have been there from the beginning of the conflict.

Other administrative heads were appointed for Sub-divisions in the Adamawa, Centre, Far North, North and South Regions. In all, 17 Divisional Officers were appointed. Another Presidential decree also appointed a Secretary General at the South West Governor’s Office.