Ahidjo Won’t Be Celebrated At Reunification March Past


Government has turned down a suggestion that the effigy of former President, Ahmadou Ahidjo should be carried along side that of President Paul Biya, during a civilian march past for celebrations marking 50 years of Cameroon’s reunification.

The suggestion was made by Chief David Molinge Ikome, on Friday, November 15 in Buea, during the first preparatory meeting between officials of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education headed by Minister Ishmael Bidoung Mkpatt, members of the Local Organising Committee and the general public.

Chief Molinge was reacting to the directives of the civilian march past prescribed by the Director in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education in charge of Civic Education and National Integration, Augustine Nzoh. According to the Chief of Upper Muea, it would be unfair to carry only the effigy of President Biya during the march past as prescribed by Augustine Nzoh, while that of the former President, who was the architect of reunification, is relegated to the background.


He, therefore, suggested that the two effigies should be carried together, as it would provide an opportunity not only to acknowledge the numerous contributions made by the erstwhile President of Cameroon for the attainment of Reunification, but also, it would provide an opportunity for the younger generation to see and appreciate one of the advocates of Reunification which they now celebrate. Even though his suggestion was greatly applauded by members of the general public, it aroused some concerns amongst members of Government in the hall.

Reacting to the suggestion, Augustine Nzoh said the march past prescription is not intended to undermine the contributions of Ahidjo for the attainment of reunification, but to make the ceremony colourful and enjoyable to all. According to him, there would be a photo exhibition during the ceremony, where the photos and effigies of all those who fought for Cameroon’s Reunification, including Ahidjo, would be displayed.

However, the preparatory meeting equally provided Minister Bidoung Mkpatt the opportunity to visit and assess the level of execution of projects earmarked for the Celebrations. According to Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, most of the projects are at the verge of completion, while the Local Organising Committee, LOC, is waiting for final instructions from the National Committee and the announcement of the date for the Celebrations, to set the feast on course.

Meanwhile, for his part, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Bidoung Mkpatt, appealed to the various stakeholders to put all hands on deck and make the celebrations a success. Meantime, over 10,000 civilians drawn from the primary, secondary, higher institutes of learning, political parties, Civil Society Organisations and cultural groups are expected to take part in the march past.

By Isidore Abah


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