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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Seraglio: the most serious error of Paul Biya on the Kamto case

It was May 1968. The Sorbonne was occupied, the offices empty, the factories closed! Paris under the tear gas and street fighting! Old France trembled on its foundations, and "the man of the 18th of June" was preparing to flee to Baden-Baden under the hoot of the schoolboys.

It was in the meantime that Interior Minister Raymond Marcellin came to the Elysee to propose the head of Jean-Paul Sartre accused of being the instigator of the disorder that was gaining society. "We do not stop Voltaire," replied General de Gaulle, still lucid and conscientious of culture despite the seriousness of the situation.

It is our responsibility that Kamto was arrested and placed under house arrest.He organized a public demonstration the day the head of state took the oath. How brave ? Could exclaim a commentator.Courage, audacity, high idea, sense of responsibility? We can speculate at will on the psychological foundations of the initiative. I started writing this text even before the arrest of the famous law professor because I saw her coming.

The rumor was already circulating about a probable arrest. The evolution of events forced me to reformulate certain sentences, to delete some, to add others.Paul Atanga Nji was he Raymond Marcellin of this whole story? Did he go to see the chief to ask for permission to arrest Kamto if he reoffended? Everything leads to the thinking if we stick to these warnings. And if that was the case why President Biya did not have the Gaullian reflex to answer Atanga Nji.

From one fiery communication to another, atanga nji accused Professor Kamto of increasing provocations, of posing dangerous acts while trying to organize an insurrectional movement. He has brandished the law against terrorism for this purpose. Always in a threatening tone, he reminded Professor Kamto that he was not going to tolerate any disorder. He reiterated that no deviation from behavior should be tolerated because no one is above the law.

To show his muscles a little more to those who had not seen him enough, he insisted on updating Thomas Hobbes' formula, which defined the state as a cold monster.It has been seen from the many interventions of the va-t-en-guerre that the cold monster also possessed the sense of the formula as it appears from these remarks not devoid of lyricism. << he must know (speaking of kamto) that every time someone tried to walk the law, he is isolated by the people, he becomes marginal, he will live his fate sadly in a corner >> isolated.

Kamto royally ignored him by simply refusing to answer him. Perhaps he thought a presidential candidate was discussing with another candidate and not a minister in office. The university professor simply continued to multiply interventions by being more firm and radical over the course of speeches.

At the same time he remained courteous and legalistic like any good lawyer, reaffirming loudly and clearly his radical opposition to violence. Atanga Nji, the guardian of the order, at the service of the cold monster finally went from threatening words to deeds by putting his hand on Voltaire? Yes, we are talking about Voltaire because Kamto is one of them. Voices have been raised in recent weeks to deplore the attacks on the eminent jurist sometimes coming from perfect idiots.

Bahebeck and Charly Gabriel recalled for Kamto's defense that he was respected because of his status as a teacher. We also think that it was important in view of the differences of language that his person was the target to recall the respect we owe to the notability professorship.

Even if it is true the title of professor has been much trivialized these last years in Cameroon. TV sets are increasingly inundated with thin individuals, who are given <>. Nobody has seen their work in a prestigious scientific journal. We will say of these people what de Gaulle said about an intellectual too critical of him.

<>. They reached the professorship with political arrangements. The chronicle speaks enough of this university teacher accustomed to vision 4, (good talk on the small screen but not productive at the scientific level), whose accession to professorship has accelerated strangely after his participation in a conference on Chantal Biyaism. Was it a mere coincidence? We can doubt it. Access to the rank of professor is highly politicized in third world countries.

If Kamto deserves the celebration of the people and can be rightly considered as a Voltaire it is not so much because of his status as a teacher (because the title has been overused) it is more because on the ground of the science, it is part of his field, the best, at least in Africa.

We remained on what we rely to establish a hierarchy between teachers. We went from too simple criteria.

The first and most commonly used in the world is to ask if the individuals to whom have given <> can justify a scientific production. In the University world we often add two other criteria. Was his article published in a respected journal?His article has been peer-reviewed. It's possible today when you're looking for an article in the academic world to use software that only targets articles that have been peer-reviewed.

We told Kamto he was a Voltaire. And we say very clearly that volts are not very numerous in our intelligentsia. To convince ourselves of this, let's start with simple investigation techniques. One can start from a scholar google scholar research on scientific journals. One can also very simply go to Amazon to see if an individual has published books in other publishing houses that the poor stables of Africa.

A more serious technique for investigating a Cameroonian academic would be to visit the libraries of the major universities of the world. This technique makes it possible to know if an African is read and studied outside of Africa. Being read and studied outside of Africa is clear proof of the global reach of a brain.

It's an indicator of talent. This is the proof that we came out of the ghetto because from the eyes of the West, Africa is a ghetto. He said to himself in harsh quarters that she did not bring anything.

I investigated 7 individuals by introducing their names into the engine of a large European university, the Free University of Brussels.

The major universities each have a considerable stock of books and articles on all those who matter in the world of science. To make the comparison between intellectuals and put them in a hierarchy just enter the search engine of a large Western university and introduce their names. When someone is talented and hardworking, we have information about books and articles that he has published.

If it is not there will be no information.When we do not find any information about an individual we say one of two things, either he has never published, or he has published only in mediocre journals of the Third World.

Here is what I found by visiting the search engine of the Free University of Brussels about some random Cameroonian academics.

Mathias Nguini Owona: 0 book, 0 article

Mouangue Kobila: 0 Book, 0 article

Messanga Nyamding: 0 book, 0 article

Kontchou Kouomegni Augustin: 1 Book 1 article

Joseph Owona: 6 Books, 1 article

Kamto Maurice: 16 Books (he is often the only author and sometimes the book is co-written), 15 articles (he is sometimes the only author, sometimes the article is co-written)

Achille Mbembe: 17 books (he is often the only author and sometimes the book is co-written) 117 articles ( he is often the only author, sometimes the article is co-written).

It appears very well from this small survey that the Cameroonians most read and studied outside of Africa are Kamto and Achille Mbembe. The latter being very widely the best known and certainly the most talented.

If we were to do similar research in other universities in the Western world, we would have similar results. So there is teacher and professor. They are not equal.Kamto is one of the best. No offense to Joseph Owona.

The whites (as we speak plainly in the African district) discovered very early the genius of Kamto and wanted to emphasize it.

Paul Isoart Professor of Law at the Faculty of Nice prefaced in these terms the doctoral thesis of Maurice Kamto, Power and Law in Black Africa: << When Maurice Kamto proposed me the subject of his thesis, I confess to having hesitated before to give my agreement. The research appeared ambitious by its magnitude so risky. A student even exceptionally talented as is the author of this book would he master two concepts as discussed as law and power to further use for the benefit of the understanding of African constitutionalism? My fears were unfounded. Mr. Kamto has perfectly assimilated and exploited an impressive body of books and articles to offer the reader a remarkable multidisciplinary synthesis... >>

Still in the same thesis Gérard Cognac Professor at the University of Paris I (Panthéon Sorbonne) wrote this in the foreword: "It was necessary to be reckless to tackle in his doctoral thesis the most delicate problems of the technical, philosophy and sociology of law. It was necessary to be so in order to set limits for an exploration of political systems other than the uncertain frontiers of this immense area, which we have come to call black Africa. It was necessary to be tenacious to write a voluminous work that could easily be split into two books: one on the concepts of power in pre-colonial Africa, the other on the political and constitutional systems of independent Africa... His beautiful intelligence , for the sake of effort promise to a beautiful and I hope very fertile academic career >>

Reading this doctoral thesis is highly recommended.

It is undoubtedly one of the best-crafted productions on African political systems.

Reporter: Ndjama Benjamin