Dr. Nick Ngwanyam

Dr. Nick Ngwanyam


BY DR NICK NGWANYAM, MD. 15th November, 2016

( Informed Christian Observer and activist in Cameroon’s Politics).


Dear People of Cameroon,

Dear Lawyers,

Dear Anglophones,

Ladies and Gentlemen.




Many years ago, there was a lot of bickering and bitterness between CPDM and SDF loyalists based on political differences. Houses were burnt, businesses were lost and lives were destroyed. Who won? No body. Who lost? Everyone did. War and social strife do not solve problems. It does not matter how strong you may be, communication and talking intelligently with each other in love, spirit and truth is the way God designed things to work.

 Communication is the key to human existence and the ingredient for solving problems.  Marriages break down when there is no communication in homes. Who told you that it is different in any society or any nation? Chaos sets in when communication breaks down. To restore order, communication aimed at bringing meaningful solutions based on the understanding of the other person must be put in place and urgently so. It is not a dialogue between the strong and the weak. Do you know what happens to an elephant if a bee goes into its ear? Think about it before you get carried away by your own ego.

Frank dialogue debates on ideas with an open mind and seeks to understand others so as to put in place lasting solutions in love because we respect each other. Giving in is not a sign of weakness but of strength. If you are looking for business people to invest in your country, they look at how situations are handled in such a country. They take the social temperature and see whether there is a sense of social justice and the existence of truth in such a nation. No seminars no champagne popping can replace a sense of security and honesty with respect for the law and others in a nation. 

If we want to grow as a nation and if we want our economy to grow at 10 percent per year, we must restore a sense of justice and respect for others in this nation Cameroon. If we do not understand and accept this, then we are saying that we should go back to the middle ages and start dwelling I caves again. We can have as many novenas and prayers as we want. We can do whatever we want. In the absence of the respect for truth and the respect for each other, we deceive ourselves big time.

When I was a kid, I used to feel inferior when someone else displayed superiority complex traits around me. I came to learn that whether you feel superior or inferior is a disease and spells disaster. Just be yourself and the Desiderata states it very clearly.

Playing the ostrich and giving a deaf ear to the cries of others is a sign of lack of maturity, fear, inability to  proof ones point as right, hidden agendas or just outright contempt for others bordering on wickedness where might is right. This is not a fruitful path in a nation or any home. If it were so, orphans and widows would not survive.


I used to think and believe that America is the perfect society. As we have all gone through this election in which President Donald Trump has emerged the winner, we have learnt a lot of lessons whether we want to accept or not. What you see is not what it is and even when we think we have got it right, we can slip and fall in the direction that God chooses. Our human error is to believe and trust in human wisdom and the strength of our armour. This is very deceitful. We thought they in America, had the best democracy where one man has a right to one vote and all votes have equal strength. What a lie and a deception. No human system is perfect and to get to perfection, we must learn and change and adapt and nothing is fixed in concrete.

Even as I look at the American electoral system and think it is not good enough, we could be making a mistake. Let us look at different nations and the power they hold at the United Nations. Small states like Equatorial Guinea and others like her with a few hundred thousand inhabitants have the same seat and strength like China, America and Russia. They are counted as states and not fractions of state and have equal voices though with a little bit of nuances here and there. Is it just? America cannot   get up and crush Equatorial Guinea out of existence because she has the might.  No. The President of Equatorial Guinea has that status when in America. In terms of population, economy and technology he is not a ‘Sous prefect ‘of a quartier in America.

What is right, true and acceptable is when we give each other their space and allow people to express themselves. We should listen if they complain of a pinching shoe and do something about it. Ignoring such complains is neither fair not just and can only brew more tension and strive. This is something nobody wants in any family, community or nation. Might is not right.


When Boko Haram started I put on my thinking cap in an effort to understand what was going on. I played out many scenarios in my mind and came to a conclusive answer as to the cause and effect of this phenomenon. 

Boko Haram is a spirit. It is a mindset. It is like a cloud which knows not territorial boundaries. That is why it blows over Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon at will. It has to do with prevailing conditions and the thought processes of the people. This is the substrate that keeps the spirit a life. The question is, how do you stop a fire that is burning dry grass? I noticed that wild fires set in our bushes in the dry season do not burn anything across valleys. This is so because the valleys are moist and the vegetation ( grass) is green. Fire does not burn green grass. It consumes grass and trees that are dry.

 If Boko Haram on crossing to Cameroon met with youths and a population that is green and productive, it would have died out. Boko Haram cannot be totally defeated with the use of guns. The lasting solution is to change the lives of the people on the ground so that they are comfortable and productive. That is how we shall stop our children from dying in the Mediterranean Sea. No army can stop them from taking the risks at sea. If we build the capacities of our youths and make them useful, happy and productive, then must problems will go away.

President Donald Trump wants to build a wall to stop South Americans from getting into the USA, a land that is perceived as being green. It is tough, difficult and very unpopular and costs money but it could be done.

The question is, how do we change Cameroon to become such a ‘green’ and productive country that our social dynamics can change for the better? Can we build a Cameroon that is so good that everyone else in the world would be flooding into our embassies looking for visas to come to our nation? Is this possible? What do we have to do to achieve that? What can we do to earn respect? What can we do to look as beautiful as Dubai? What can we do to have enough to eat and feed other nations like Nigeria? Is it possible that we can also make Samsung Android phones in Cameroon? Can we also own a satellite in space or are we too foolish to ever do that?

I used to think that the white man is superior to us. Do you believe such a lie? No. I think we are equal or even better than they are. Really? Where is your own airplane that you built? When shall we come out with our own prototype? How many years do we need to get there? By the time we are there, where would the white man be? Would he be waiting for you and I to catch up? Is a South Korean a white man or a black man? Is he better than us or not? Did we start the race with him in 1960? What makes him better than us in Cameroon? Is it his color, his intelligence, his discipline, his fear of God, his respect for nature, his love for truth and for work well done, for excellence, for commitment or what do you think?


If I say to you that South Korean Universities and school system are far better than ours, would you refuse because you are a minister, an administrative officer? Does that make you right just because you went to ENAM and represent the Head of State? South Korean Universities teach science and technology and their students know how to solve problems. Our own engineers cannot grow rice nor keep chicken.

 What makes an action of a people illegal? Is it the fact that it goes against the man-made written law or the fact that the action works against common good and common sense? If someone goes to ‘ENAM’ with a degree in History or Philosophy, and studies for two years and graduates; does that make him wiser and more knowledgeable than 900 lawyers put together; just because he represents the head of state or because he was appointed? When someone is appointed, does he get wisdom assigned along with it as you would do a salary and other amenities? What is it that rules a people, wisdom or an appointment? Where do you buy divine wisdom? How much does it cost?

In 2013 H.E. President Paul Biya said it in clear terms that our administration had failed. He was right. He however, did not make the diagnosis as to where the disease was coming from nor did he try to prescribe some medicine for it. The observation has not cured the disease. He also observed that Cameroonians by and large suffer from inertia. He was right again.

The ministers, directors, governors and district officers do  not solve problems in time because in Africa time is very elastic and they demonstrate that very well by coming very late to planned occasions and not respecting deadlines in their work. In Africa, tomorrow is good enough.  We play the ostrich thinking problems would just get better or disappear. It does not work like that in life.

Administrators once seated in the big seat at occasions; they are at liberty to tell the population just anything that comes into their heads just because they represent the Head of State and thus have the power to make and unmake. Their word is truth for no other good reason other than that they speak on behalf of the Head of State. That is what they are taught to believe. Everyone else at such an occasion is a fool because truth comes from above and intelligence depends on the school one attended and the public office one holds. This is what obtains and the population is crushed under such fallacy.

We must face problems with intelligence and love. A stitch in time saves nine. H.E. President Paul Biya also blamed our lack of achievement to corruption in all strata of life and in all our activities. He forgot to say that we tell a lot of lies to the extent that some of our youths take pride in quoting one of our ministers as the best lying machine ever invented. If our youths think that lying is a virtue, then we are finished as a nation.

I have been told of a situation that is currently going on in ENAM. This village in Ndop called BABAH has 10 sons and daughters currently in ENAM with funny first degrees. I understand that they paid huge sums of money ( 7-10 million frs each) through a certain contact who also left ENAM and is a native of BABAH. He resides somewhere in Kumba or so. It is said that he has been selling spots in ENAM in connivance with authorities of ENAM to the highest bidders and has successfully pushed into that school every Tom, Dick and Harry from BABAH. That is why our administration is in trouble.

 I have no idea if this story is correct but I will encourage CONAC to verify it and let Cameroonians and H.E. President Paul Biya know the truth. If it turns out to be true then one can understand why there is so much mismanagement and inability to solve problems in this country. They go out of their way to use brute force and thus kill and main civilians for no good cause except that they are poorly trained.

The administration is supposed to solve problems. Ours grows problems. This statement could be dismissed as not being true. However, I have had a few questions which I would love to share with you.

Let us take the map of France and use a ruler and divide it equally down the middle so that we have a left and right side of the country. We will carry out an experiment.  We will go to the left side of France and send away all their ‘sous prefets’, ‘prefets’, governors and ministers who are products of their own ENAM on forced annual  leave.

If we come to Cameroon and use a jumbo jet, we can take random specimens of our own ENAM products and fly them to France. In that experiment, if you are a minister in Cameroon, you will be a minister in France and carry out the same function in the same Ministry as you did in Cameroon. In that light, Mr. Issa Chiroma would be the Minister of Communication in France and a governor here would be a governor out there. 

My one million dollar question is this. How long would they last in their functions before the French people chase them out? Please answer me if you can. Why would they be chased out in the first place? That is why we have problems in Cameroon because the quality of their work is poor.

Our school systems are bad and we have not been taught nor brought up to solve problems. When you cannot, you run away, hide, pretend or use force. That is not right. If you think I am wrong then you ask H.E. President Paul Biya what he meant when he said that the administration had failed and that we suffer from inertia. I never knew where the problem was until he said so and I started to think out of the box. I could be wrong but would be glad if someone gave me a better explanation why we are failing in Cameroon.


These problems have been well documented and circulated. It is possible that they have not been well explained to H.E. President Paul Biya.

For one thing thou, I have my own understanding of the Anglophone problem. I do not want to get into the polemics of the Foumban saga and what happened thereafter.

We said we are brothers and it was good for brothers to come back and live together. If the Germans had not been defeated and chased out of Cameroon, there would not have been an Anglophone problem as we know it today.

The Anglophone problem to me has three parts to the equation.

Anglophone Problem = A + B +C

A= Francophone marginalization of Anglophones by virtue of numerical strength and access to power ( superiority complex, greed and lack of love).

B = Marginalization of the Anglophone by his brother the Anglophone.  Some Anglophones who have had the privileged of exercising power think they are greater by sitting on their own brothers instead of working to help them. In fact sometimes, some Francophones are more helpful to Anglophones in trouble than their own Anglophone brothers who feel shy or try to be more Francophone than the Francophones themselves ( inferiority complex and ego problems).

C= The inability of the Anglophone to build his own capacities and fight for part of the general cake. We were better off in Science and technology. Now it has gone to the Bamilekes and they are seemingly more bilingual and focused. We have to get our act together. That is why most Anglophones think and believe that if they had a free hand to make their own choices, they would improve on the teaching of science and technology in our schools and would become excellent problem solvers.

I am very worried that we as Anglophones score only 23% at the GCE ‘O’ Levels in English. This subject is supposed to be all we know and crave for. It is our culture, our foundation and our heritage. It is what gives us the pride as Anglophones AND NOT THE Pidgin English. It is taught by Anglopones to Anglophones. I will be glad if someone can take the time off to tell me whose fault it is that our English is so poor. It makes me feel so ashamed of myself. Who is to blame and how do we correct it? Is it OK to leave it as it is?

The Lawyers and the law are caught in this web where they train in Common Law but get the impression that they are being subjected insidiously to end up practicing civil law. They cry foul. They say that the nation is Bilingual and thus the OHADA law had to be in English as well. It is just normal and logical. To us on the street, we cannot understand why they must protest, cry and strike, be beaten and tortured for someone in authority to even pretend to paying them attention. This is where we get lost.


It is our plea that Cameroonians should take time off and begin to listen to each other for the sake of common good. We have only this one nation Cameroon and there is not much we can do about it. We just have to love and understand each other.

In this light therefore, I will strongly advice that Common Law lawyers should be listened to and their problems solved. Those that can be handled immediately should be done so and those that need time should be given a time frame. Refusing to listen to them only makes a bad situation worse.

We should change our system of education immediately so that our products can get understanding and critical thinking to be able to solve problems. For now we are training tape recorders that are not good for solving problems and creating wealth. These youths are a timed bomb for everyone in this country, be they Anglophones or Francophones.

We should start learning and teaching our children the value of TRUTH. If we grow into lying adults and have no respect for each other then we can never build a strong society. When ministers tell overt lies, they kill our nation and the economy. Investors hate lies especially from pillars of authority.

People should not be allowed to hold government office if they lack the sense and understanding that they are called upon to work for common good in LOVE.

Social unrest is an unpredictable endeavor and it is my prayer that we will avoid it in Cameroon at all cost. Therefore, the government, the lawyers and the teachers should start to talk to each other immediately.

Thanks for your attention and for listen atentively. God bless Cameroon.



Dr. Nick Ngwanyam, MD Tel 677764674




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