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« Njeuma Tells Commission: Theres Hatred, Backstabbing, Animosity At UB | Main | Confederations Cup:Bamboutos Shown The Door »

Friday, 20 May 2005


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Well said. I think this was long overdue. The comment section was fastgetting into a quagmire. I hope most of us will soften our tone, get off our high horses and contribute to a very meaningful dialogue about the direction and future of out beloved motherland. Let's leave the bitterness of yesteryears and turn a new leaf.We all love Cameroon and will always do. Thanks to the post for reactivating this section. Oya, lets's roll.


I was really disappionted when I noticed the comment section was de-activated. I can tell "The Post" that very keen eyes read this forum to get a measure of what sentiment prevails in our country. An intelligence officer who spent time in South America told me once that the newspapers and bar conversations give you more accuarate information about the tenor of countries that phone taps. Let our people express themselves. We will NEVER be ALL polite. Otherwise deactivate it once and for all and we'll use other avenues to vent.

Thank you.

Ndumu Oliver

I am very happy that this column is back. Lets be frank..Cameroon is a democratic country...there is freedom of speechh. So whats the problem with what people say if there is freedom of speech? Either close down this column once and for all, or leave it open and don't tell people what to write. Would you have shut the down the column if the comments were geared towards prasing the regime or the authorities of UB?



The US Senate and the British Parliament allow spirited discussion and exchanges on any topic. However, the requirement is that courtly language be used, and there is a speaker whose job it is to rigorously enforce the rules that allow democratic discourse to occur without degenerating into chaos. Among such rules are time limits. In this instance, people need to make their points concisely and not fill the comments section with a book or a chapter. Other things that are not permitted are going out of topic to discuss something that is not on the table. There is nothing similar in this instance. Members of parliament cannot use crude sexual references and bodily functions to spice up their speech, because it takes discussion to a degenerate level. These are the rules that allow democracy to function and flourish. Democracy is not rule free. The other issue is editorial policy. If the New York Times printed every single thing that its readers sent, you would need a pickup truck to carry the newspaper to your house. Editorial policy places limits and allows the editors to pick and choose what to print. Professionalism is the ethos that helps the editors to determine what is in the best public interest and ought to be printed. Individual papers and publications can determine their individual limits an comfort levels. Censorship only becomes an issue when a higher power is involved and impedes people from doing their thing. Those who think that democracy is not rule governed have never actually lived in a real democracy.

 Victor. Gomia

I think that it is timely for THE POST to remind readers of this site of the need to avoid trading insults and highlighting hegemonies of different hues on this column. To the best of my knowledeg the standard set by "The Post" newspaper in its by-weekly publication does not match with some of the comments that were posted on this column the past few weeks. One of the ways of appreciating the effort of management (if we cannot chip in financially), is to avoid making the site borring with uninformed arguments that are marred further by amateurish presentations.


I will very much appreciate if people calm down their anger before they vent. But the post most understand that no hungry man is a peaceful man, no suppressed man is a peacelful man. People are just expressing their frustration towards a country that they love and cherised that is been let in the wrong direction by a hand full of selfish people.
Let the post have this in mind, over 75% of those who contribute on this page are people who might have leaved out of cameroon or may still be.
When they compare the state of development between these two sides there is frustration to vent out
let the people speak
I will not be supprised if this note is as a results of calls you most have recieved from the CPDM bools
Nothing is going to change

Ambe Johnson

We should be free to be angry; free to vent; free to be bitter and free to be critical of any person, institution, or ideology. That is what freedom of speech is.

However, we are NOT free to use a forum such as this to hide behind the cloak of anonymity to settle personal scores, use crude, vile or sexually demeaning language, misinform or tell outright lies.

Our freedom ends where The Post's legal responsibility begins. As numerous Internet cases have shown in Europe and America, The Post is not like a telephone company that simply offers a tool for conversation it does not or cannot monitor. The Post is a direct party to our comments because it actually offers space within its website for commentary - commentary that it can monitor, edit or delete.

In essence, therefore, the Tost is legally liable for everything that we say here. This is why reputable institutions such as the BBC will NEVER allow uncensored comments on any of its sites that may lead to law suits and fines.

So as we mouth off about "freedom of speech" for a service that is free, we should think about The Post's legal and ethicial responsibility and its credibility.

I must confess that I had serious withdrawal pangs when this colum was shut down. However, I will stand by the Post if it eventually decides to definitely shut down this section because our "freedom fighters" have refused to accept the fact that liberty is a two-way street and that it also comes with OBLIGATIONS.

Dr A A Agbormbai

Well said. Anger must always be expressed with some dignity, and this demands thoughtfulness and self-control as well as the need to make a valuable point.

It is never alright to comment waywardly, otherwise what should be an intellectually progressive exercise degenerates into a street wrangle of indecent remarks.

With freedom comes responsibility, and Cameroonians, no matter how frustrated they feel, must always maintain an accute sense of responsibility. This is the only way that we can contribute to real change.

We must channel our anger in the right directions so that it stimulates our creativity to create a better country.

What our country needs most of all is a change in attitude, a transformation of values, that drives progress. This can be implemented through the educational and political systems.

We cannot claim to have made our point if we employ the same school-boy tactics that we are criticising in others.

We must exemplify by our very actions what we desire to see in others. Unfortunately, it is this lack of exemplification in our leaders that has thrown the country in disarray.


Many people are Thanking the Post for reactivating the comments section, however, I don't belong to that school of thought. I believe if the Post wants to be the Newspaper it prides itself to be, then it should have and run a COMMENTS section, just like most other news agencies have. Even in Cameroon, if you go to the website of Mutations, Cameroon Tribune, Messager, etc you will see that after every news item or article, you can react/comment on it. So NO THANKS TO YOU FROM ME, THE POST. And know that the COMMENTS section attracts many many people to your website.

To you fellow country men who are afriad of criticism, you better grow up. Maybe because I have lived in so many western countries so I see things differently. Do you know that during the British election that just ended, when Tony Blair was making his victory speech for being reeleceted in his home county, there was a lady of one of the opposion parties wearing a cap with the writings 'LIAR' printed on it, which ofcourse were referring to Tony Blair? And she was standing just behind him. That is TRUE DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH. So anybody in the world should be ready to receive criticisms as long as you are in politics or any activity that impacts people lives.

Freedom of speech is a two-way street. As you say what's in your mind, be ready to hear what's in another person's mind. If you want a three state federation in Cameroon be ready to hear that some person might prefer but a unified country as it is now, or even a 54 state federation divided among for example the different divisions in the country.

So my Dear staff of the POST, keep the articles coming, we are waiting to comment on them.



I'll like to address my comments to the arguments made by Frank. The argument of the US and British congresses is a false analogy. They are instituions with members. Membership there comes with its priviledges and responsibilities, this not withstanding members there do let it out. Dick Armey called the gay congressman from Massachusettes Barney Frank, Barney "Fag" once. And the history of various City Councils around State Houses in the US is replete with what I guess you'd not like to see here. But that is besides the point.

"The Post" can not put up pictures of gruesome death in our faces and expect the public to engage in what you and "The Post" ostensibly consider discourse only worthy of the US or British Houses of Parliamnent. I can guarantee you that if the NY Times puts up any photos like "The Post" did, similar messages will be disseminated. Let us stop being paternalistic or maternalistic, and behave as if we have a patent on civil discourse that we must impose on others. This is the type of attitude that despises the sense of intellectual discretion of participants here. Even Camerounese forums like allow no-holds-bar discourse. allowed very strong language as the Ivory Coast was in conflict these past years. They never attempted to censor people there! Such strong language was not uncommon after September 11th in the US and elsewhere.

I am very disappionted in "The Post" for revealing an under-current of paternalistic arrogance in taking away the public's privilege to speak freely. As I said in my earlier posting, if "The Post" intends to give and take away this privilege at her will and discretion like a dog trainer, it's internet readership will decline, and others will fill this void.

I beg "The Post" not to do this again. Only with extreme freedom do we learn to manage freedom. The more one plays football, the better they become at it. The Southern Cameroons must start training her citizens for the management of freedom. The press must set the highest bar. Let people vent and make a fool of themselves.


I'll like to address my comments to the arguments made by Frank. The argument of the US and British congresses is a false analogy. They are instituions with members. Membership there comes with its priviledges and responsibilities, this not withstanding members there do let it out. Dick Armey called the gay congressman from Massachusettes Barney Frank, Barney "Fag" once. And the history of various City Councils around State Houses in the US is replete with what I guess you'd not like to see here. But that is besides the point.

"The Post" can not put up pictures of gruesome death in our faces and expect the public to engage in what you and "The Post" ostensibly consider discourse only worthy of the US or British Houses of Parliamnent. I can guarantee you that if the NY Times puts up any photos like "The Post" did, similar messages will be disseminated. Let us stop being paternalistic or maternalistic, and behave as if we have a patent on civil discourse that we must impose on others. This is the type of attitude that despises the sense of intellectual discretion of participants here. Even Camerounese forums like allow no-holds-bar discourse. allowed very strong language as the Ivory Coast was in conflict these past years. They never attempted to censor people there! Such strong language was not uncommon after September 11th in the US and elsewhere.

I am very disappionted in "The Post" for revealing an under-current of paternalistic arrogance in taking away the public's privilege to speak freely. As I said in my earlier posting, if "The Post" intends to give and take away this privilege at her will and discretion like a dog trainer, it's internet readership will decline, and others will fill this void.

I beg "The Post" not to do this again. Only with extreme freedom do we learn to manage freedom. The more one plays football, the better they become at it. The Southern Cameroons must start training her citizens for the management of freedom. The press must set the highest bar. Let people vent and make a fool of themselves.


Blasius made some very strong points regarding British Parliament and the American houses that I concede. However, he carefully sidesteps the new challenges faced by internet news outlets that allow readers to comment on their stories and the various ways of handling them. This is brand new territory, even for the most experienced news organizations because the printed press has very simple ways of dealing with an irate reader posting a reward for the head of someone about whom he or she has read in the newspaper. I am sure New YOrk times receives hundreds of letters on the rare occasions that it publishes gory pictures, but it selects the three or so letters that best make the point and represent the public's sentiments for publication.

There are legitimate legal and ethical issues that a publication has to responsibly grapple with, that are totally distinct from the interests of the reader. As in a lot of issues like this one, the optimum outcome is somewhere between Blasius's extreme and some degree of responsibility. I hope the Post is learning and everyone as well, because as Blasius has pointed out, everyone is still new to this, practising on their training wheels.

Ambe Johnson

(Culled from the BBC website.

"In his classic defence of liberty, John Stuart Mill distinguished between offence and harm. We cannot stop people doing or saying anything simply because it offends us. Too many people are offended by too many different things. We should only constrain the liberty of others if what they do causes harm.

Power of words

Champions of freedom of speech tend to assume too quickly the "sticks and stones" principle: that words can only ever cause offence, never harm, and so freedom of speech is absolute.

But as another philosopher, JL Austin, pointed out, we do not just communicate thoughts and ideas with words, we can actually do things with them...

Words can incite hatred, inspire violence and create fear. When people use words in this way, it is facile to protest that they are merely expressing opinions. Their words cause real harm as well as offence.

This is why we rightly limit the freedom of people to utter hate speech. Racist words can make people live in fear. Homophobic rantings can legitimise discrimination. Sexist words can buttress sexist practice. It is not "political correctness" to stop people using words to harm others, it is simply fairness and justice."


Blasius made the following statement:
"Even Camerounese forums like allow no-holds-bar discourse. allowed very strong language as the Ivory Coast was in conflict these past years. They never attempted to censor people there!"

Let me understand you correctly: The Post has to go for the "Lowest Common Denominator" by following online news organs that have violated every aspect of journalistic deontology, rather than aiming for the Highest Common Denomitor by emulating the leading news organs???!!! Horrible!!!

Since when did Francophone news organs become the reference???????

BTW, no-holds barred language does not equate to defamatory or criminally liable language in any part of the world. And the Post should not base its standards or what happens East of the Mungo or in war-torn Ivory Coast. The Post should set its standards and stick with them.

In fact, I will propose that if the Post had the resources, it should also ensure that only well written comments make it online. the pidgin english that is posted here is disgraceful to say the least, at it reflects poorly on the paper even if the comments are by third parties.

Also, threatening to stop visiting the site is of no significance precisely because this is a free service, so the Post loses nothing with your departure. In fact, the post will los absolutely nothing if no one visited the site. They will probably redirect their online resources to covering more important stories on the home front.

So, if you really feel like inciting the murder of people or to tell lies about them, then go to or abidjan whatever.


Well, the most interesting thing is that the rhetoric has changed. So far one can read about fifteen articles without getting disgusted at the language. I guess this is the same Herbert from Geneva that wrote the article above. What once he was. Thanks brother for being a new you. I think the post succeded in it's quest to change the tone of this comment section. Now the arguments are there for us to read and react without being disturbed by the indiscretion of some contributors. That was all the post wanted to do...and so far, so good.
I will like to say to the reader that wants pidgin to be banned from this section that I respectfully disagree with him. Pidgin is part of our heritage and we should be proud to have this unique language. The primary audience of our comments should be us...not people from elsewhere. We are quick to promote ghetto language (like those in hip-hop and other music genre) while forgetting that we can do same with pidgin. So long as we all understand what is being said, that is very acceptable. So long as the language is not derogatory or perverse. Not that people shouldn't strive to speak good, and why not, perfect English.
Have a great week-end guys.


well i think that we have to know that unless a real situtaion is placed infront of us we can never know how we wil react.Suddenly corps of two poor boys are posted on the post ambused by what we called the police and we espect people to remain silent because we will hurt others feeling.Its better we make it or mare it.No standing on the fense afterall, someone stood on the fense and fell.The post should know that anger has no friend.Its does not know its brother no its dad no mom.Neither sister nor uncle Anger is just anger.I don't care where one comes from in Cameroon.No right thinking person would have seen students slain in cold blood and stay calm.Where are we heading to.Please if the post does not like comments they can stop the suff and behold they would not have stoped freedom of expression.It has come to stay and no one can temper with it wether we have the post or not we will talk.The so call government and the powers that be in Cameroon can do all they wanna do but at least what they will never take from us is the freedom to expose their ills .I for one i will always make sure that i expose them by all means possible.
if people kill then we should make sure we let them know that they have killed.We would not prais them for killing our own children or praise the police for killing what they were suppose to be protecting.Or praise the so called administrtor for sending his tugs to kill rather than calm and protect.
I just fear that the CPDM regime has not corrupted the post we all know that is what they are best at anyway,because when i could not see the comment section i just could not figure out why it was taken away at the time we needed it most.Please either take it now for all or you leave if to be used.
it does not matter how you try to avoid certain things people will still write those things you think should not be written because not everyone know the rules of the press and not everyone that reads the post has the same level of education.But even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their own stories.To crown it all when a sherpard takes his sheep to the filed he is not the one who tells the sheep which grass to eat or which grass is good for it.The sheep best knows which grass is good.So as we read these comments we can know those who are writing to settle scores and those who are there to fight for a course.
one thing remains certain that we are moving forward long live the post.God bless you all.


The Post Should Not Chop Soya

Dear Editor,

I write to appeciate the efforts of The Post electronic edition. It is a good idea especially for Cameroonians living abroad. We read your publication daily in europe and the USA.

My only appeal is that The Post should avoid "soya". people are watching you and while we admit that people can make mistakes, you should try to give the public the confidence to believe in you. Today, instead of oppositoion coming together to present one canditdate, journalists are becoming Presidential candidates, and they are receiving congratulations from their village scribe.

The next point is that the Post should think very weel before publishing a disclaimer, because sometime ago, a Disclaimer was published about the smart and intelligent President of the Kumba Branch of CAMASEJ. I do not know what impression the Post was giving to the public.

Well, all that is gone. Let history be history.

We congratulate you, The Post, whether you are CAMASEJ or Union of Cameroon Journalists.

My e-mail is below and you can feel free to write to me and I will reply.



This heavy-handedness by the Post just goes to show that when people talk about freedom of speech what they really mean is freedom to hear only what they want to hear.

Using vague qualifications as "insult" to justify censorship is rank hypocrisy. It all depends on how sensitive you are in terms of what is "an insult". What might be an insult to one person may passed unnoticed by another person. This is the sort of twisted logic that dictators use to justify press censorship. I would have thought the Post would hold itself to a higher standard.

I hope the next time Biya's henchmen and thugs (also known as the Cameroon police) close down a newspaper for "insulting" him or his government the Post does not whinge about it.


Well said, Mukete.

Democracy is new to most of us Cameroonians and over time each country evolves its own unique democratic tradition. We are all still learning the art of listening to other people expressing opinions we profoundly disagree with while at the same time resisting the temptation of punching them in the mouth and strangling them!

I hope the democracy that evolves in Cameroon is one that gives everybody a voice in how the country is run. I mean everybody! I want to hear the voices of "clever" Cameroonians, "stupid" Cameroonians, "eccentric" Cameroonians and even "mad" Cameroonians. I don't just want to hear the voices of Cameroonians with IQs greater than 400! Afterall, all these labels we attach to people are subjective. Who decides which label is valid or appropriate anyway? What might sound completely mad to me might be perfectly rational to my fellow Cameroonian. I would like to think some people are not more of a Cameroonian than others, and so have no more right than their compatriots to have their voice heard.

There are laws in existence already which guide forums like these in cyberspace. People have been successfully prosecuted in many countries for opinions expressed, or criminal activity, on the internet. If those laws do not already exist in Cameroon, that is the responsibility of the Cameroonian legislature, not the responsibility of people who want to freely express their opinions.

If somebody breaks the law by, for example by saying something libellous, I think the Post is right not to stand in the way of that person being prosecuted by whoever feels they have been libelled. Each individual should take responsibility for the opinions they express, the Post does not need to try to dictate the opinions people express. It smacks of censorship, and for a news agency which does not hesitate to publish the dictatorial shortcomings Mr. Biya and his cohorts, it smacks of shameful hypocrisy.

The Post can be sure if it becomes a censored forum, it will lose a lot of its current contributors who would simply move to other similar forums, and there are several springing up on the internet.


It is quite possible to have a heated discussion with you about anything, without going outside the scope of the discussion and insulting your mother, to give an example. The power of censorship is something that a state has, not a little newspaper such as The Post. Individual publications have points of view or parameters or policies. In order for the accusation of censorship to be true, The Post would have to be under the thumb of government or some external power or the Post would have the means to influence and inhibit free expression in all or most of the significant media outlets in its particular society. If any of these are true, then the Post is in trouble. Otherwise, it is a publication has the right to set its standards, and keep its pages free from innuendo and foul language that does not further the purposes of public discourse.


I want to join one contributor in stating, frankly, that, "Well done, Mukete."

I strongly believe that Mukete has said it all. Not only that. He has touched the main points. He has raised many questions for which no answers will ever come. Silence means acceptance and I think we must all (The Post Management included)learn from Mukete's contribution.

When someone sends in contributions out of a sincere mind, just to understand afterward that he is being judged, negatively, because of his name or province of origin, anger becomes the action, and we know that for every action there is a reaction.

When we slap a baby in the face, we expect that baby to cry. When you slap someone in the face, do you expect the person to cry the way you want? Should Paul Biya's military kill our children and then tell us how to mourn and cry? Is this what The Post and other overzealous Cameroonians want those who are outspoken to do?

The lesson from Mukete should be digested by some of us who think that we have the duty to teach others what they should write; how they should reason; the people they should criticize; the language people should use; etc. These are the "over-concerned" Cameroonians who will soon be trying to tell other Cameroonians the type and color of pants they should put on, and the number of times and time of the day they should have sex with their spouses.

... and as Mukete rightly puts it, these breed of Cameroonians just want to put everything under their thumbs. Unfortunately for them, and as Mukete rightly puts it, they are using purely primitive and outdated methods of intimidation. Their "polite intimidation" has no effect, especially on those who consider the liberation of Anglophone an important priority.

Permit me to end this contribution by quoting the following section from Mukete's contribution:

"-Who determines what is best for publication in this forum?
-Who determines the most appropriate language to be used in this forum?
-Who determines what is correct and what is wrong?
-Who determines if what someone is saying is nonsense or not? And how do we define "nonsense"?
-Who determines what regions, tribes or politicians we must criticize?
-Who determines what is good for others? "A man's poison is another man's meat". The girl friend we may reject may be the only queen for other people!
- Who determines the size of the shoes we must put on before commenting in this forum?

Our criticisms should have no boundaries, and nobody or politician or part of the country is vaccinated against criticisms.

Again, "Well done, Mukete."

I am glad even The Post has been educated in one way or the other.

Thanks to all other contributors who bring light, and not instructions to this forum. We decide only after making comparisons between different ideas, because nothing is absolute.

Mukete, ich liebe Dich!



To Vivian: Who or what decides how something should be said in a publication? The editorial policy does. It helps a lot when the editorial policy is set a priori. To give an extreme example, if somebody makes a comment filled with four letter words, the publication might decide that it is not appropriate, and the same points could be made without being offensive in that way. The same comment would be OK on a pornographic publication. The editorial policy also decides that the primary purpose of the publication is Cameroon news. If a reporter starts to consistently write news stories about New Zealand, the editor is in his or her rights to reject the stories unless compelling reason can be shown for doing such stories. If I were to come to your house and start mouthing off in drunken language infront of your children and spouse, you would be in your rights to throw me out or at least set the ground rules. Let us not forget that this might be considered private property. In the anglosaxon tradition, you are liable to a degree for things that happen on your private property. That has legal and ethical ramifications.In the throes of emotions, is it possible that we do not consider the responsibility inherent in free speech. Having said that, the parameters are very lose indeed and always controversial and it will always be a matter for discussion.
Fellow readers who are lawyers, help us here!

John Agbor

Mukete and co.

After waxing lyrical about freedom of speech without focusing on obligatgions of free speech, I will exercise the unfettered, and uncontroled rights that you are clamoring for: Ya mami eeh mbombo!!!

I guess that is OK since we live in a free and lawless zone created by The Post, which of course has no legal obligations for what is written here...

Let Freedom Reign... and make man no cry!!!

Ongoni Michael

In the contact section of this website, it is written that: "long articles which are inappropriate for the Comments Section should be emailed directly to the Editorial team for publication in either the print or online editions of The Post."

I guess it is logical to conclude that a "long article" will be one that is longer or as long as the original article. Has anyone ever bothered to follow that simple rule? Should we cry foul if the Post edits all of our comments because of their length? No.

I bring this up to tell the so called advocates of democracy that every democratic society is governed by clear rules and regulations, and that speech like every other thing in society operates within clearly defined parameters. That is why every country on earth has libel laws.

The bottom line is that we cannot stand here and talk about democracy and freedom of speech when most of us hide behind the shield of anonymity to spew stuff that we would never say under our real names.

We want our freedom of speech to be respected and protected? Then make comments using your real names and real email addresses. Then we will truly test the limits or lack thereof of freedom of speech.

As long as we use false names to lie, slander, launch ad hominem attacks, the Post has the full rights to edit or delete our comments. And we can go all the way to the mooon to talk about high handedness, arrogance, dictatorship, etc,. that will not change a thing on the ground.

Our RIGHT to comment freely about any article on this site is counter-balanced by our OBLIGATION to use our REAL Names and Email Addresses.

We lose that right completely when we refuse to live up to our obligation. It is not for nothing that there is Name and Email Address column on the comments section.

Ambe Johnson

Once again, it seems as if we have completely forgotten the LEGAL OBLIGATIONS of the Post. Correct me if I am wrong, but the servers hosting The Post website are in the US, which means that the paper can be sued in the States for material that appears anywhere on its site.

And, according to US laws, defamation laws are applicable to e-mail and other on-line activities. Thus,if a person commits libel (false and unprivileged publication or assertion of a fact, which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or which causes him/her to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him/her in his/her trade or occupation) against an individual through e-mail or other on-line activities, the publisher, and any re-publisher, of the offensive statement can be held accountable for damages.

Example: In a recent case of "Cybersmearing" in the US Courts, an individual successfully sued the online auction site, e-bay, on grounds that an e-bay user used the e-bay buyer comments/feedback section to defame him.

The same rules apply in Europe and Australia. For example, in Britain the Sunday Herald paid ex-Cabinet Minister George Robinson undisclosed damages for false assertion by a visitor to its online message boards that he 'covered up' Dunblane killings.

So The Post, as an Online publisher, can be sued for ANY COMMENT that appears on its site. Normally, the author of the incriminated comment will be sued also. However, since practically everyone here uses a fake name, The Post will have to carry that cross alone... That is a lot of unecessary risk to take for a FREE service being provided to a bunch of ungrateful folks...

Once again, I will advise the Post to put a hand on the switch and to quickly pull the plug on the Comments section if things go out of hand. Remember, this is first and foremost a NEWS paper not an a DISCUSSION FORUM like CAMNETWORK.

Amin George Forji,Helsinki

I wish to send my words of appreciations to The Post for taking this imporatnt initiative to let it's online readers air out their views.All has been miving pretty well until now.
Am afraid to say i dont cherish The Post's decision to limit this freedom of expression.I hope they have not been intimidated.Freedom is never free,it is never given on a platter of gold.Let The Post not expect everyone to give it's initiative red-carpet.Jesus said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.The Post,if you and other medias limit expression,am afraid to say u will just go the way of Cameroon Tribune and we shall never know the truth.
I will also like to remind you that The Post is only popular today because of your online version.You are theonly encouraging Cameroon English press on the net.Am also afraid to say without the comment column and News update,u will definitely attarct no attention.Think twice.U have nthg to loose.Let people speak their minds and be encouraged to advertise and sponser the site.
The topic of free speech is one of the most contentious issues in a liberal society. If liberty of expression is not valued, as has often been the case in human history and Cameroon particularly, there is no problem; freedom of expression is simply curtailed in favor of other competing values. Free speech only becomes a volatile issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial. And the first thing to note in any sensible discussion of freedom of speech is that it will be limited because it always takes place within a context of competing values.
Amin George Forji,Helsinki


Amin Forji George,you are back with wise words again.God bless you abundantly...
I agree with you intoto!!!!!

Dr A A Agbormbai

It is amazing that a simple call from the Post for responsible criticism and controlled expression of anger has generated so much controversy from readers.

It must be remembered that the Post has the right to choose and edit whatever it publishes, including commentaries. This is the function of the editor and is widely practised throughout the developed world.

It is not censorship, which is carried out by Governments to protect their people from unacceptable publications (yet is widely misused in third world countries to frustrate freedom).

There are moral and legal issues underpinning whatever a publisher publishes, and regardless of how aware the public is of these issues, it is the Post's prerogative to comply with such requirements.

A simple request to avoid foul language, insults, false and unsubstantiated accusations, and lies, but to think carefully before expressing what we want to say, should not be construed as taking away the right to free speech, as censorship, or as trying to control the lives of contributors.

There are rules of etiquette to follow when speaking, writing, and acting. Seeking to encourage or impose such rules is not dictatorship. It is part of promoting the intellectual nature of discourse and discouraging the animalistic tendencies that can so often cloud good judgement.

Not conforming to such rules is legitimate reason for not being heard, which is why publishers generally do not publish material that is rude, insulting, libelous, etc.

Freedom of speech is not without its bounds, nor is it license to open up to the public the gutter of filth that can sometimes reside within us. Spare the public the burden!

I am also shocked by the level of ingratitude that some readers have displayed, considering that the Post is offering a free on-line service and considering the high quality news that it provides to Cameroonians abroad. I bet that such readers have never even made a financial contribution to the Post for these services!


It is important at this point to highlight the fact that The Post is not doing a "favour" to people who visit this site. As far as I know it is not a charity, but a publishing business. If it provides a free discussion forum, it should be for legitimate business reasons. That is, to attract and maintain a high number of visitors to its site so that it can attract business advertisers. It is from these business advertisers that the post can make its money. If it doesn't do this already, it should.

To that extent, The Post has a vested interest in providing services to attract us. If it feels its site is worth paying to visit, it should impose a charge. That is its right. If it wants to be a charity, it should beg us for money. However, it cannot tell visitors to this site it is doing us a "favour". There was life before this website, there would be life without this website. I am sure there would always be enterprising Cameroonians who would appreciate that there is a market out there in cyberspace for Cameroonians who want free uncensored discussion. If The Post doesn't provide such a service, somebody else will. And thank God for that!

It is the Post's right to censor whatever goes on its website. At the end of the day we as individual contributors will judge whether we want to keep visiting the site or not. However, it is grossly patronising for any business to tell its customers that it is doing them "a favour". If The Post adopts that strategy it won't be in business for too long. That much is certain.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to know how many daily hits/visitors the Cameroon Tribune website gets. I am sure the fact that it is a censored website will be reflected by its daily hits. I for one has never bothered even looking at it, because it is predictable what you are going to find on it. However, Cameroon Tribune doesn't have to worry about attracting visitors to its site, its got the Cameroonian taxpayer's money to keep it going. Can the post survive as a censored website? That's for the editors to decide.

Ndeh Phillip

Mr. PW,

I just read the Post's appeal for an issues oriented discussion above and nowhere in that appeal does the Post say it is doing us a favor by having a comments section. It is not even implied. That issue was brought up by other readers. The appeal simply says that recently, "important ethical and legal concerns were raised by a significant minority of comments"; concerns that led to a temporary shut down and reevalutaiont of this feature. Even now, the post is making an APPEAL, it did not pass a LAW. The appeal is for all of us to understand the ramification (legal or otherwise) of our comments here. Must we use insults and in most cases, lies, to ram home our "angry points"?

I am sure that when reporter Boudhi Adams, for example, makes a claim in an article that will appear in the print edition of the Post, the Editor first confirms that the fact in question is true before allowing it to be published. That is the standard that has made the Post the leading Anglophone newspaper, even before it appeared on the Internet. So, the Post is definitely not acting out of character by appealling that commentators follow this same standard as much as they can.

In fact, to show that freedom does reign on this site, we have been able to read all the comments posted about this topic even those that have been unecessarily mean or rude to the Post.

Someone mentioned that it was in the Post's interest to have the comments section since it may bring it advert revenues. Well, let us not forget that it is also in its interest to ensure that its reputation is protected by publishing information on its site that can stand the universal test of credibility.

For example, the amount of insults and lies (not opinions) told about John Fru Ndi in the wake of his wife's death did not advance the debate about the opposition's role in Cameroon, bring honor to the Post, or create a truly Cameroonian democratic space. This was a virtual lynch mob that the Post created which was as filthy as they come. Let us not even begin to mention the case of Dorothy Njeuma.

In our everyday life, be it at work, in school, in family circles, etc., we have certain basis responsibilities which do not in any way curtail our freedoms. The fact that we cannot use the F word in polite society does not mean that our freedoms have been taken away. In case you were not aware, the BBC, the Wall Street journal and all major news organs have specific words that cannot be used in any article that appears in their paper. This is not censorship, it is common sense

Dr A A Agbormbai


Never mind, we hear you. Don't be surprised when you find that we defend the Post. This is because its on-line service is quality.

Abroad, when you find such quality you are charged monthly subscription charges for it. It took me years of trying to find quality Internet news from Cameroon before I was able to discover the Post's on-line service a week or two ago. Its news coverage exceeded by far my expectations.

I was amazed by its detailed and graphic info and by the fact that it was free. Recognising its value and the need for such efforts to be supported financially lest it is forced to close down (as has happened to a number of similar concerns in the past) I decided to give them my first contribution even though I am not financially strong myself. In fact, I shall try to find something for them every month - I feel very much in Cameroon every time I read their news.

We are university lecturers abroad on some of these issues and so we are quite knowledgeable about these things. But that doesn't mean we have all the answers or that it is only our views that should count.

To develop Cameroon we need positive contributions towards development not rants, insults, defamation of character, and their likes. All such stuff is cheap and dirty, and would not be admitted in any decent society.

There is also something called a concern for the image that Cameroonians portray to the international community, who would use sources such as the Post's Internet service to glean information about Cameroon and Cameroonians or for research purposes.

A troubled country it may be, but the image portrayed by Cameroonians when writing commentaries must be one of high standards: disciplined thinking and disciplined writing, self-control, good character and good manners. Surely, this is not too much to ask.

Yes, the battle field is in Cameroon but I can assure you that the strategies and tactics are best formulated and applied from abroad. Much more can be achieved in Cameroon through external pressure from the international community, who have the means and ability to force Cameroon into measures they would otherwise not take, than would be achieved through internal pressure alone which the Cameroon Government can easily snuff out (you can see the outdated police methods that were used at UB, resulting in two deaths).

To get the international community interested Cameroonians abroad must be successful in the things that the developed world respects. Such success brings power and influence, and thus gets the world to listen. The requiured success is not just in business. In my opinion intellectual success gets you more of a voice if you know how to exploit it, such as through persuasive journal articles (of international standard) that brings to light the problems, your proposed solutions, and how the international community may help. Some of us are working hard towards such attainments, but you can see that in the past ten years there have already been various external pressures on Cameroon forcing it to decentralise, develop the economy, and to deal with corruption.

We defend the Post because we believe in what it is advocating and we see that it reflects international standards of publishing. But we defend the Post also because we are Cameroonians and when we see what is good for Cameroon we don't need to be paid to support it.

We are also not unidentified lawyers; our details are readily available to the Post. We do not encourage the Post to ignore its readers, but running a commentary facility is not the main or only service that the Post provides to its readers - the main service is the high quality news. Without such news there would be no commentaries, as commentators are only able to comment against news items!

You mentioned that:

"... freedom of expression is not a scientific concept. We do not need to carry all the contributors into a laboratory to prove whether freedom of expression is respected or not. The Post need not take each contribution into the laboratory to find out if rules on communication are respected or not".

Well, editors of news publishers such as the Post are not trained in the sciences and would not therefore be able to do the things that you suggest. Yet they are trained in identifying and encouraging good writing in their publications, simply by reading through the contributions.

Ewane Mboh


Can Africa Hope for a future?

Here are we the African continent
rich in gold and diamond
yet our brothers give to us arms
in exchange for our resources.

We fight and kill one another
we think not of tomorrow
we make investments abroad
and leave our motherland naked.

Who will build the African continent
when democracy is still a baby
with no tolerance or respect for human rights
how can we come out of this calamity?

Africa neeeds a new way of thinking
encourage South-South co-operation
bring back foreigh investments home
think like one man, for peace is better than war.

by Ewane Mboh Davidson


I want to believe the the continuation of the strike in the University of Buea is simply due to poor conflict management on the side of the administration.How can you attempt to quell down a strike from an angry and bereaved student body by threatening them to sign undretakings and ordering the students to resume classes or be considered to have withdrawn.The authorities really need to think well before acting rather than act before thinking because the students are bereaved as well as angry and a wounded lion fears no bullets.socrates says "wisdom only begins when a man realises that he does not know what he thinks he knows"we are at the crossroads and any unwise decission will be detrimental.Let our administrators seek the hand of the lord to enable them take wise decissions."Just the gentle nature of the tiger is not a legal excuse to a coward for he who decides to fignht a tiger with his bare hands will after a few seconds discover that he took a wrong decission when the tiger will be tearing him off"."Escreta is boneless but when you step on it you tip toe".OH GOD SEND US ANOTHER BROTHER MOSES TO TAKE US ACCROSS THE RED SEA. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!


Everything being equal,only the gilty mind should boarder a lot about what is said about him/her,an innocent and clean mind will go unhurt.

This not withstanding,people should address personal matters directly to those concerned and the issue at hand at large.

The post you are doing a great job,nevermine all the socall ethical and legal concerns raised,it has to be so to make ends meet.

Ewane Mboh

Coming up soon:

SWELA: Agony of a divided people

It is indeed sad to see brothers fighting and killing one another. There can be no development where there is no peace. It is regretable that despite efforts to unite the South West Province through its development association, SWELA, its people are still divided.

In the coming weeks, Ewane Mboh Davidson, native of Kumba (Bafaw), will be writing on the topic: "SWELA: Agony of a divided people".


Dr. Agbormbai, the sentiments you express are understandable and very noble. In an ideal world all our actions all of the time will certainly be dictated by the coolness of thought you express. However, we do not live in an ideal world, and most of the time the ideals you express are not attainable.

One of the reasons these ideals are not attainable is because we, as human beings, have two things lower animals do not have; emotion and memory. That is, our past experiences colour our perception of the present. The Post in publishing GRAPHIC photographs of two students killed in Buea, I believe, unleashed a massive emotional response from some of its readers. Those photographs contained two potent triggers of the reaction it generated. First, dead bodies in most human beings generates some sort of emotion. Second, the anglophone issue was also highlighted. Whether or not you agree with the whole idea of anglophone independence or not, the fact is a lot of Cameroon anglophones feel marginalised in present day Cameroon. The memory of a whole series of Cameroon government policies seen as unfavourable to Anglophones is real and very entrenched in a lot of Anglophones. The Post in publishing very graphic photographs of anglophone students killed by forces of a state that its largely anglophone readership feel marginalised in was the equivalent of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a fuel tank. The highly charged reaction of the readership was not entirely unpredictable. I doubt if these photographs were published in a Francophone Cameroon publication we would get the same degree of outrage by its readership. I bet you, probably not!

I for one had great reservations about seeing photographs of a bullet hole on the head of one of the students, and the opened chest of the other student! Was it really necessary to be so graphic? It is bad enough to know two people were killed, but was it really necessary to publicise the anatomical detail of their death? Don't get me wrong, it is the right of The Post to decide what is put up on its website. However, The Post should not be surprised when its own editorial decisions and its publications generate outrage and strong language from its readership. The publication of dead bodies of anglophone students on an anglophone website was bound to generate massive outrage. It was entirely predictable, and rather than asking its readers to tone down their language, what The Post should do is consider toning down the graphic nature of some of its published material.

Dr A A Agbormbai


Point taken.


Looks like there is a lot of learning to go around, but the party that really needs to learn something is the oppressive outfit from Yawunde that is more colonial in its attitude and actions than the Europeans who preceded them.

Dr A A Agbormbai


One more point. The issue of Anglophone independence seems to me to be unworkable for one simple reason.

From what I have been reading on this site so far it seems that there is a NW / SW divide, which even underpinned the problems at UB. I saw a web site last week on the Southern Cameroons and it seemed to contain only information on the NWP. This shows you what can happen!

Therefore as soon as Anglophone independence is achieved there will be a call for a NW and SW independence, which will open up opportunities for powerful neighbours to attempt to absorb the separated parties.

The solution to the marginalisation problem, as far as I see it, is a return to a Federal Republic a la USA. Cameroon will thus consist of a federation of fairly independent states.

Each state will have its own laws on top of which will be the Federal laws. However, the formulation of a federal law system will mean harmonising the antithetical English and French legal systems - this will present similar problems to what we have now, but at least there will be little marginalisation.

Perhaps, we can learn something from Canada (which should have the same problems that we have, yet I don't know of them having any). Their approaches to the problems should educate us a lot. However, I shall leave this to the experts among us who can fill us up on this.


Dr. Agbormbai, I am in total agreement with you on the independence issue. I am a Northwesterner and strongly believe the way forward is a federal 10 province republic, for two reasons.

First, I think living in an officially bilingual country opens up a lot of opportunities of Cameroonians that other African countries do not enjoy. It goes without saying that it has not been managed perfectly so far, nevertheless I know of many Cameroonians who have had doors open to them because they can hold a conversation in English and French. This bilingualism is unique, potentially very enriching and something we should nurture. It is sobering that there are probably more bilingual (French & English) Cameroonians, than there are bilingual British or French citizens speaking these two international languages. For a change, lets nurture something that even Europeans can be envious of, and which offers a potentially huge advantage for our people on the world stage. T

Second, as you rightly alluded to, it seems the only thing common between SW and NW provinces is the English language. Commonality of language alone, I don't think, is strong enough to hold a nation together. Afterall Nigerians during the Biafra war nearly tore themselves apart even though they all speak English. Particularly, when you have unscurpulous politicians just waiting in the wings to fan the flames of interprovincial difference. And God knows there are more than a few unscrupulous anglophone politicians (SW and NW equally) who have done enough damage already, and some still running around the place. If the Francophone bogeyman is not there tomorrow, they would simply look for any bogeyman to sustain their political fortunes. The Francophone bogeyman will just be replaced by the Graffi bogeyman or the SW bogeyman.

There also seems to be growing suspicion between the two provinces (NW and SW) which doesn't bode well for them living happily ever after if they end up alone in a nation state. So, the 10 state federation gets my vote!

R DeSouza

My Dear Mukete, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Don't ever reduce God to worldly challenges, nobody has ever won a fight against Him! Even the most powerful country today trusted and trusts in the Lord.


JB Samba

While I will commend the efforts of Mukete and Co. for trying to educate users of Postnewsline, I will like them to understand that their own side of the story is not complete until complemented by that said by Mr. Ambe Johnson.

It would also appear that from his insistence on his own side of the story, Mukete is that kind of Pastor who would say "Do what I say and not what I do." Mukete, because you are against the post doesn't mean that everybody that doesn't toe your own line is a "Lawyer for the post". As Dr Agbormbai said "We defend the Post because we believe in what it is advocating and we see that it reflects international standards of publishing. But we defend the Post also because we are Cameroonians and when we see what is good for Cameroon we don't need to be paid to support it." You have aired you own opinions, let others air theirs and leave the rest for forum users to digest and make their decisions.

While I don't condone with the post for shutting down the comments section at the time we so much needed it because of intimidation as I may conclude from the reasons advanced by The Post for the action, Obscene language, insults, false and unsubstantiated accusations, and lies cannot and should not be allowed on this forum. PERIOD! And I will advice The Post Mgt to check this even it means closing the comments section forever.

IF NOT people like JOHN AGBOR will stupidly interpret Mukete's side of the story and bring in Obscene language and I quote "Ya mami eeh mbombo!!!", that will go a long way to discredit the forum. The Post management will be very right and I will support them if the close the comments section because people of the likes of JOHN AGBOR use this forum the way he just did. Let us all bear in mind that THERE's NO FREEDOM WITHOUT LIMITS. Any one who is against this assertion should try and give his/her children Absolute Freedom and see what they will become one month from the date of institution of the Absolute freedom.

Thank you Dr. A A Agbormbai for your comment.

Martin Ngone

People like Dr. A.A. Agbormbai who were scholarshipd into anglophone universities overseas and are living well overseas will never understand what it takes to cohabit with Francophones in this land.

The Southern Cameroons National Council the independent movement for Southern Cameroons was founded at St. Mary here in Buea and has enjoyed many dynamic leaders from all over West of the Mungo. Without the SCNC, covert frenchification under the guise of "national integration" would have finished us by now, including wiping out the very GCE platform that empowered talented Southern Cameroonians to enjoin their contemporaries in England and the USA.

Which website is Dr. AAA talking about? Sir, don't quote sources without clear references for cross-checking.

I challenge Southern Cameroons overseas to visit home regularly and ask themselves whether their people are better off now than they were 20 years ago !

Martin Ngone


There is no future in this arrangement with the French, who are programmed to assimilate. I hope Dr Agbormbai studies the issue carefully and does not rely on what he saw on one web page. This is coming from a fellow "South Westerner". Sources from which Dr A could inform himself better are increasing. The struggle for Southern Cameroons independence is proceeding steadily, inspite of poor funding. Please, do not be deceived by fake french decentralization. If the center does not derive its power from the components, it is fake, and that is what this is.

Julius Mba

The 10 state federation is music to Francophones. some Anglophones learn no lessons from history. In 1961, we went in for a Federated State. By 1972, the Francophones demolished the idea. By 1984, Paul Biya decreed a unitary state with a monarchial central government - a defacto secession.

44 years after independence, Southern Cameroons is in a state of disrepair with a collosal loss of inward investment. Even the valiant Mungo bridge collapsed in disgust. The lively town of Mamfe is now a dusty patch with the only all seasons motorable road to Nigeria!

Show me one federal francophone state and I will show you 10 federal anglosaxons states. The idea of a 10 state cohabitation with francophones is another door to francophone domination. Francophones cannot work a federal system of government. Don't point to Canada - this is principally an Angosaxon country with the Queen of England as Head of State.

On the balance, an Independent Southern Cameroons stands to improve herself moreseo than cohabitating with French Cameroons in any format.

Julius Mba

Blasius Ekange

Anyone one who utters the so called NW/SW fails first to understand the legal basis under which the de-colonization of the Southern Cameroons is being addressed. Appeal and allusion to such sentiments is purely for folkloric and anti-legalistic purposes.
As for bulingualism, the arguments made for this should come from the Camerounese than from any Southern Cameroonian who aspires to find a place in the modern world. I see no benefit in the world in learning French. Where would I entertain myself or engage in commerce? Paris? The seed of genocide in Africa? No way. Even the lure of working 35 hours a week is not enough. All other Francophonic countries today are failed or failing states. The French language is a language on the decline, with the majority of its speakers being the poorest black people of earth, thanks largely to France's policy of colonialism and de-humanization in her African holdings, which the Southern Cameroons must emerge from.
Regarding the pipe dream by some compatriots heres for a 10-state fedeartion,how can the Camerounese manage a 10-state federation when they could not handle a 2-state federation, or a small town mayor in the hands of the opposition without appointing a so-called Government Delegate. They have a constitution enacted(?) in 1996 which calls for a Senate that 9 years later is still to see the light of day. Be serious people. The Camerounese are a lawless people and their lawlessness had guaranteed the restoration of the Southern Cameroons. If La Republique wants to do a 10 to the nth Federation within the internationally recognized borders on their date of independence of January 1, 1960 they can do so.

Dr A A Agbormbai

I can see that the issue of Southern Cameroons is a very touchy one, judging by the reactions that I have received. However, these reactions have still not allayed my anxieties:

1) I read from sources (including the BBC) and from hearsay that one of the reasons for Biya's continuance in power is the deep division among the opposition along racial, rather than policy, lines. The opposition cannot agree on anything apart from the fact that Biya must be removed. How can this help the cause of a Southern Cameroon Republic?

2) These sources also say that opposition leaders tend to be autocratic or to lack conviction in their position (as a result of which they are easily bought off by Biya). These qualities are certainly not what are required for a successful Southern Cameroons leader, and yet they are the same qualities that we deplore in Biya and his entourage. In other words, there is no exemplification even in the leaders of the proposed Southern Cameroons.

3) What was wrong with the Federal Republic of old? The conversion to a United Republic, as far as I know, was not a unilateral movement by East Cameroon but was a bilateral agreement between East and West. Surely, the leaders of West Cameroon must have been either myopic or selfish. Having learned our lesson we should return to that system, unless someone comes up with good logical reasons why we shouldn't. Developed countries that have a Federal System are among the most successful countries in the world (Canada and USA), and there is no internal call for separation!

4) There are many pointers that once separation is initially successful it will be tried again and again, leading to fragmentation and weakness thus attracting the sharks awaiting who would try to engulf the fragments. Unless I see real evidence from the local and international media that Anglophones can handle cultural diversity issues with responsibility, control, and dignity, and avert autocratic tendencies, divisory tendencies, backstabbing, and backbiting you certainly will not get my support. Unity in diversity is the guiding rule for enlisting my support. I'd rather have Mamfe where it is now than in no man's land.

Also, the problems faced by Cameroon are not unique but are reflected throughout the world in various forms (racism, sexism, and various forms of discrimination).

There are solutions to these problems (equal opportunity laws, policies, and practices; development of personal skills through education and training; understanding diversity through education and training; pursuing continuing personal and professional development; etc.) and there is a general climate of integration that is currently sweeping through the developed world. For instance, the French and English who were once sworn enemies are now pursuing collaboration and integration activities, with many French people coming to live and work in the UK and vice versa. There is now great respect between the two countries.

Being able to speak English and one or more other European languages is a distinct advantage in the job market in Europe. I know of at least one Cameroonian student of mine who found a job through exploiting his bilingualism (he came from the Western Province). Speaking multiple languages is also useful to Cameroonians who pursue international business (remember no country can exist on its own).

The approaches to Cameroonian problems need to reflect these international trends in order to engender the same spirit of co-operation and integration that is now the common theme in the developed world. Remember that these countries are more successful than we are. Only a fool would not learn from success stories.

All these mean that we, as Cameroonian individuals, must be more accepting of people who are different (in culture, religion, race, tribe, etc.) from us, must at all times watch our language (especially when we are leaders of people), must avert autocratic dispositions and give the ideas of other people a chance, must avert selfish dispositions and personality cult politics, must never feel at any time that we are greater than our country, and must work not just for ourselves but for our country, people, and the world.

Remember that our ability to deal with our own diversity in a responsible and dignified manner assists us in dealing with our neighbours and with the international community, which is intrinsically diverse. Failure in handling our diversity problems handicaps us in dealing effectively with our international relationships.


I agree with you 100%

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