Minister Paul Tasong addressing his kinsmen and women at Lebialem Socioeconomic Conference
By Andrew Nsoseka
Lebialem elites, kinsmen and women meeting in Buea on August 13 have adopted a new roadmap aimed at realising a socioeconomic recovery of the Division that has been hard-hit by the Anglophone Crisis.
The Buea socio-economic conference brought together sons and daughters of Lebialem resident in Cameroon and beyond. Those who could not make it in person participated in the conference through video conferencing.
In remarks at the opening of the conference, the brain behind the conference, Minister Paul Tasong said the conference was to take stock of the situation of their Division for the over five years that the Anglophone crisis has been on. He said the existence of the Division that was created some 30 years ago has been challenged. “Our dignity has never been this low. We have become a laughing stock in the Southwest region and beyond.” Minister Tasong said.
He urged his Kinsmen to all put hands on deck to ensure that the whole of Lebialem is revived socially and economically, so that the people can again, begin to pursue their economic and development drives. He regretted that with the poor road situation now exacerbated by the over five-year conflict, even motorcycles have difficulties accessing the Divisional Capital, Menji.
While telling his kinsmen and women that top priority should be the return of peace to Menji and Lebialem as whole, Tasong said he believes that if all were to put hands on deck, peace could be achieved in the shortest time possible. He told his people that PM, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute had assisted logistically, for the holding of the conference and also promised to visit Lebialem if the stakeholders go on to implement decisions taken during the conference.
Resolutions of the Conference
Lebialem Fons’ Resolutions
In their resolutions, the Fons of Lebialem said they were appreciating the collaboration between their subjects and the military. They also said they were recasting a curse they earlier on placed against separatist leader, Chris Anu and others acting in like manner. They said they appreciate fighters who have surrendered. They also called on all from Lebialem to work towards peace. They also called on all Lebialem sons and daughters to rally behind their various leaders, to ensure the resumption of schools in the Division, come September, 2022.
Resolutions of the General Conference
In the general resolutions, Lebialem stakeholders resolved to massively support efforts aimed at encouraging school reopening in the Division. They criticised the use of the crisis to settle scores, and encouraged people to assist each other. They also resolved to step up agricultural activities; step up mental health assistance to victims of the crisis, as well as to repented former separatist fighters; design a databased for displaced persons from Lebialem who are in need, as well as those resident in Lebialem and are in need of basic services. They encouraged inter-Fondom cooperation as well as inter-sub-divisional cooperation; pledged support for all developmental projects; pledged to revive and uplift traditional institutions, and cooperation between Fons and Chiefs of the Division. It was also resolved that cultural and development associations be redesigned and restructured so that the Division can move forward in development.
Aside the resolutions, the convener of the conference, Minister Paul Tasong announced that FCFA three million has been raised for the cleaning of the Divisional Headquarters, Menji. He instructed that the Mayor of Menji, Nkemasong Nicasius Anunveh should not use the money to hire cleaners, but rather to mobilise community work and entertain them do the work. He also promised to be part of the clean-up exercise. The Minister announced that another sum was also raised to help finance studies for rehabilitation works in the various Fons’ palaces as well as revival of traditional institutions that had collapse due to the crisis.
“We have decided, and we are going to Menji, to clean-up the city, chase the rodents, and make our capital city lively, and a habitat worthy for human life once more”, Minister Tasong said.