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« CPDM Celebrates 22 Years Of 'Great Achievements' | Main | CPDM Reorganisation Grounds Gov't Business »

Saturday, 31 March 2007

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Aviche

Painful but that is just simple truth.

TabiSweden

'By Elias Forsung, Former Police Commissioner, Yaounde, now working with the UN'

Elias Forsung, you should be ashamed of yourself. Let me ask you this simple question. If you were still the police commisioner for Yaounde, would you have expressed such regrets about what the king is putting Cameroonians through? This is a challenge for all commisioners and Cameroonians alike to stand-up and say 'No' to dictatorship in Cameroon.
Be a Cameroonian and be brave as it is only braveness that can set Cameroonians free from the weeps of the king.

Berlin

Mr ex Police commissionar what is your point? Are saying that BB was murder?

Fritzane Kiki HK

I guess this Mr Police Commissioner must have been sacked by the CPDM regime and he is now under the opposition.I have never seen a police commssioner ever writing such an article while in his post for fearing of retibutive justice with the CDPM in power.However,this should be a good example for other puplic security officers alike to copy,that they should be the first not the last to criticise the on-going exploitation and embezzlement rocking our government and its entourage civil services.....They should speak out their lungs.Mr Elias the Ex-Commissioner is now free to speak since he has nothing to loose or gain from the ruling government.

The exploitation of timber is not new phenomenon or sing-song in Cameroon.No one even knows where the funds are going to but we only see the timbers passing to an unknown destination abroad.He now has the guts to tell us it is the president´s son Frank Biya exploiting it.Thanks anyway for this information since later we will need you to testify when we are judging these thieves and embezzlers in the post Biya´s era.

Fritzane Kiki
Hong Kong

ASA

Well how do you change people minds?
How do you make people understand that what they are doing is wrong?
Do you know that it is situations like these, situations of uncontended unsatisfaction, uncontended hatred, that contributed to explosive situations and wars in so many of our african nations?
Please a stop must be put to this now.
But how do we start? What is it to do?
Are we so stupid not to know how to solve our own problems.
Cameroon could do so much better

Ottou

Mr. Commissioner Forsung,
I see no doubt you now work for the UN. You don't have to be chicken hearted to say Mr. Biya will change the consitution to suit him. If he cares he should change it and never stand for any presidential election. I am waiting. If this is done then sorry, the assembly building will go down as a sign of more things to came. Lets pray respects the constitution or face whatever that comes his way. His ocultic practices will not safe him.

Emmanuel

My Dear Commissioner Forsung,
I appreciate the conversion. I don't know you personally but from experience I can still see you as a tough commissioner ordering your boys to beat, torture ,humiliate and even kill not only criminals but also political detainees who dared to make these statements you are making now in the police cells you controlled.. I can still see your boys under your watch stopping road users all over the place and forcibly extorting money from them. I can go on and on and you obviously know where I am coming from. There is no government policy permitting or authorizing all the above crimes against humanity. Officers do all those things firstly because they have the minds to do them and secondly because the government gives a deaf ear and even benefits from it. No one should hide behind the uniform and commit such attrocities only to retire and start condemning them. I am happy you can even think of raising your voice now and join the rest of us. But I should advise you to use your experience and expose these shortcomings in the police profession in Cameroon. The police is in the bedrock of any civilized society. Without even some level of fairness in the police force in any country - something that is totally lacking in the Cameroon Police today, the country can never make any progress. No one can have the means to ask for accountability for ny timber carried away as you lamented.
Let us look at certain things critically. Can you for a single moment think about what will happen if in a place like Bamenda, Kumba, Bafoussam and many other urban areas in Cameroon a normal citizen can choose to stay out and enjoy nightlife till whenever he chooses knowing he can return to his home safely and sleep in peace, understanding that the police force is there to protect him and his family? Do you know how many more jobs will be created just from the nightly entertaiment area of the economy thereby cutting down unemployment and thus armed banditry and other forms of violent crime? Do you know the government you so brutally protected all through your professional life will not even have to worry about unemployment since more jobs could be created at night just as it is during the day? Can you guess how many jobs will be created in Bamenda alone if 20 bars could be booming every night with taxis going up and down, women roasting fish, beer being sold more petrol being bought by taxis, many more provision stores staying open longer ec. etc just because the police is there just doing what it is supposed to do? Do you from this point of view see that the police force can effectively keep the government in power while just doing only its job and not killing or brutalizing the very citizens who ironically are the ones who pay taxes to pay this police force? Do you see how simple it is for the police to keep this very regime in power without the need to resort to brutality and murder?
Dear sir, Now that I have discerned a sort of conversion from you let me ask you to read further and if you are as concerned of the situation as you indicate in your posting, let me make certain things clear to you and then follow up with some suggestions. Firstly let me point out the fact that one of the things that stalls debate and progress is the fact that most people when discussing or debating on an issue concentrate only on how a suggestion will not work rather then trying to see how it can work If we concentrate only how something cannot work because the author did not provide convincing details, we loose track of how it can work. Besides those unavailable details can be provided by somebody else. If someone bring up a suggestion that does not mean that he can neccesarily exhaust all the pros and cons of the matter. If the suggestion is generally good then it can work. It remains only to fill in the blanks by other contributors. So Mr. Forsung let me start from the view of the ordinary Cameroonian now who is simply concerned with making ends meet even only through what we grow on our farms. The oil, the timber, bauxite gold, etc and all those heavy income earning resources are not within our reach even though they are within our rights. Today we have little or no means to say anything about exploiting these resources let alone deciding how its returns are utilized. Those things are sources of conflict and we all know that all over Africa millions have died to claim their rights to such resources yet nothing has come of it. Experience has shown that if we the people can simply accept what they are giving us now in terms of salaries, health services, education, etc and let everything remain the way it is those in government today will be contented. If we can enter a social contract with the government just to allow us provide for ourselves and never worry about their exploitation we can live a better life. What do they do to us now? What has any African government ever done to its citizens? We are simply loosing generations after generations. The resources are going fast. The way they are going when we will be able to take things into our own hands there will be very little remaining for us and by then countless generations would have been sacrificed for nothing. I can see us now organizing our healthcare, education, transportation etc. What does the government care about us? Anything the government manages to do that benefits Cameroonians is either by accident or to impress the international community.
What we need now is security. And from my perception I don’t want the government to worry about doing that for us. What they should do is us allow us do it ourselves without interfering in their present way of doing it. This is one thing that is lacking in our society and I want to suggest to you which you can use your experience to make it work. It can work without any cost to government any way you look at it - politically or financially. It is an area you know better than most of us. You must know the lack of security today even makes the government’s survival uncertain. But unfortunately some shortsighted members of government who are somehow above or in the same position you controlled professionally sometime ago in government erroneously think the less the people have a say about their security the more secure the government is. The goverment can only be secure when the people are. What I am about to suggest is not new. The government is doing it but only selectively. It is done in most countries all over the world and it even guarantees more control over the population but without being a threat to them. It is ironical that in its implementation the people opt to pay the government to execise more police control the population again. Obviously the shortsighted will see such a situation creating a weak police force and thus a vulnerable government. Not true. Today to provide extra security to financial institutions in the country the police are paid some extra money by these institutions to have this service. That is why police can be found guarding banks, credit union offices, insurance premises etc. Why can’t the police be paid extra too to extend this same service to every corner of the various quarters in the towns in Cameroon. I know that on paper such a system exists. It does not work. Now with my suggestion with some careful planning it can easily work and the elements of the police force will be so eager to participate
Let me explain how. Extra pay- In every society that cares about protecting its citizens extra money is allocated to pay the police. How is this done? In the US the number of parking violation any single officer reports, there is an amount this officer also gets from the urban council that owns the parking areas. That is the same with speeding violations, destruction of public property littering etc. Though our level of development makes it impossible to raise money from such social violation there is an alternative. The desperation today concerning individual security in Cameroon is such that even if you ask an average Cameroonian to pay up to 10.000frs per year to be able to walk at night without fear, or to sleep at home without fear they will pay without thinking twice. I know skeptics who see nothing other than failure in their horizons will jump to conclude that it will not work. It cannot work the way I have just mentioned it here. But it needs careful planning and execution Again in Cameroon not every group of people know what community involvement means in development. Therefore when such a move is to be taken it should start with communities that are used to community participation in development. When it works there the others will imitate. So how will it work? The people form a Public Safety Commission. They use the zones into which the towns have already been divided by the police as it is now. They impose some tax - one flat rate for every citizen and different rates for businesses according to size, type etc. Just roughly, if only 250.000 people pay 2500frs per year in Bamenda and environs up to 625.000.000 million can be raised. Of this amount, with about 600 policemen on the payroll for that area where the money has been collected, if every officer is given an extra monthly bonus of 30.000 fra francs or calculated depending on how many outings he made for night patrol or for calling him in during his spare time, a total of about 216.000.000 frs a year will be paid as bonuses for policemen on night patrol. With all the money raised the commission can purchase double cabin pickup trucks and fit them locally to suit police operation. A special garage will be set up to care for these vehicles. The commission will see to it that there is accountability when it comes to finances. The most important thing in such a setup is that though this extra operation will be financed by a civilian commission they can never control police work. The only reason for a commission to be set up is to make sure that money goes where it is supposed to go but they do not get involved in regular police work. In fact everything will remain the way it is now except that the police will have reason to put more men on the street with more incentives and material at their disposal.. The operation will be simple. Very Simple indeed. Just imagine that armed robbers understand that a police double cabin patrol vehicle could be patrolling around Carrefour Obili – These thieves will find it very unsafe to operate even about two kilometers within that radius. In Bamenda if there is a patrol van patrolling around Ntarinkon and another around Azrie New Church area, thieves will like to avoid having anything to do within about two kilometers radius of these areas since they can never be sure how soon the police can arrive a crime scene when called by victims. Today with the prevalence of mobile.communication every household can be proud of a at least a phone and luckily emergency numbers are free of charge. These vehicles can be fitted with police radios which are so cheap to buy and operate. Even each can have a lap top computer where vital data is stored so that when a call is made if need be coordinates can be given which can be looked up in the computer. These computers can be easily fitted to use motor batteries. In the more developed countries the computers are linked to the central systems so that instant information is available to crosscheck. With us before patrol goes out every evening updates can be made. This might sound so complicated but with people who understand this technology it can be done so easily and so cheaply. It can work because a commission will be charged to do it. If a group run by ordinary civilians like the Credit Union can work without a hitch so too a commission like this run by ordinary civilians But the government will be scared that this will mean control of the police will be lost to the citizen. No way. Every thing depends on how its rules and regulations are set. If we look at the situation critically, we will see that even in this raw stage of the suggestion the commission will never have the opportunity to get involved in how police operates. The only thing the commission will try to find out is whether or not the police responds at night when called – and they will demand to know that because they have provided the police with equipment and money to do just that job. Any other police assignment as the state has been controlling will continue as before. The commission will only see to it that see that all equipment is well utilized and accounted for. A bonus will be reserved for who ever is in charge of controlling the police at the end of the year or month if material is well utilized and accounted for. But I should not get into details now. If such a venture sounds appealing it needs scrutiny to determine what will work and what will not.
As a high ranking police officer if your experience means anything to you and if you are dissatisfied that things are not going the way they should think about this and you can help give something back to the community - something you might never have had the chance to give during your professional career.
Again bear in mind that all over Africa political struggle has always been to change governments. Peole have never devoted energy to change the country. All of us are greedy looking only at those gluttons at the top. They see us looking at them and they know why. They are determined to keep what they have for themselves and their families. We can undo that slowly. I really hate to hear myself making these suggestions because it sounds cowardly and resembles surrender but I have asked myself over and over again “Which African country can boast that through the ballot box or through the barrel of the gun which country has moved any step forward. Even with the “assistance” of the UN and other international organizations since independence not a single country can show any thing better. All is going down hill. Nothing seems to be working. The more the peole try to remove an unpopular government the more the West decides otherwise. We hear of this or that aid package, we hear of 5% economic growth every now and then, we hear of international organizations organizing seminars at home and abroad to train people for this and that but we are still in a nose dive. When are things going to change? Let’s put ourselves first and forget about the government. Besides when the government and its western supporters finally think it’s time for us the people to take matters into their own hands there will be nothing left for all of us. Let us try and create a simple live-able environment for ourselves and our children. Maybe in our passivity we will accumulate enough energy and then create a better environment that will even enhance our standards better. There are many examples of nations without the benefit of any significant natural resources that have devised better methods to enhance the living conditions of their peoples. Mauritius, Seychelles, and some West Indian countries have so little yet they are just getting along.
Have a nice day
Fon

Alphonse Forchu

Who are those passing judgment on Mr Forsung.Seek first to know who he is before passing judgments.
Why should we think that every police officer is corrupt in the Cameroons? Just because the Francophone system has makes it obvious,there are still some good seeds.Mr Forsung is one of them.
Nobody here claims to know him personally.If he was one of 'those' our police officer,i'm sure many would have heard of him.
Secondly,Mr Forsung is still in his 40s.He did not wait to retire before raising his voice.
With these type of attacks,how do we think others will be willing to come to the open.
When Fru Ndi stood up 1990,why didn't we condemn him for militating in the CPDM before.We should learn to salute the courage of those who have realized that things are not moving.He has a reason for speaking out now.Lets stop pointing fingers.
We should also bear in mind that there are teachers,principals of schools,magistrates etc who are even more corrupt than policemen.
We need people like Mr Forsung.His experience is invaluable.
Alphonse Forchu

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