Senatorial Challenges: Dr. Nick Ngwanyam Speaks Out!!



Mbangfon Dr. Ngwanyam’s interview on CRTV’s 60 minutes Radio Program with Mr Wain Paul Ngam March 2013

Dr Nick Ngwanyam

Dr Nick Ngwanyam

You were one of those who postulated for the senate on the CPDM ticket from the North West. Even though your list was not endorsed, can you tell us how the process went on?


 We were the first persons who presented the first list and I saw the list published in the newspaper in the order in which they were presented to the commission that came to receive them. It was a great exercise and I must add that the exercise of forming lists is not an easy thing. I think I learnt some political lessons doing it and I’m glad I did it. I learnt quite some lessons on human behavior and human character.


 What did you learn? Many thought that there was going to be some kind of primaries in selecting the CPDM senatorial candidates?

 Actually the constitution of lists in the CPDM was some kind of primaries. When we talk of primaries, we are referring to the selection process which is prior to the elections in the country. So what the CPDM was doing, collecting or forming lists has got nothing to do with ELECAM. ELECAM is the body that is conducting elections with the rules laid down at that level.

On the other hand, the CPDM, the SDF and any other political party that wants to take part in national elections has to use a mechanism that is peculiar to that political party. When they use that mechanism, they select the best candidates that they would want to put up for the elections. When they have done those primaries and selected those candidates in face A, then they now move up to face B by passing over that list to ELECAM which will now carry out the elections where the CPDM, SDF, UNDP etc will be pitted against each other. But what went on before that was the CPDM against the CPDM.


 The question is, why did the militants of the various political parties not come together to choose their candidates. It boils down to Dr. Ngwanyam convincing some other person(s) to join his list?

 Let me correct what you have just said. You are referring now to what happened within the CPDM. At this primary level, the CPDM has no business with the SDF or any other political party. They only have business at the level of ELECAM. What you are properly saying is, why did all CPDM not come together and concert and say A should be invested or B should not be invested and then we just hand in one list. I guess that is what you are trying to say. I am glad that the national chairman of the CPDM did it the way he did it. It allowed for fresh blood to come into that exercise. If he just left it that people should select each other, names like ours should never have gone to Yaounde. The names would have been killed right here in Bamenda. We have this tendency where the old guard wants to stay on till death do them part.

This process of lists forming worked in such a way that some of the old guard found themselves in real difficulties; they had thought business was going to be business as usual. But when the rules were changed, they were caught up in their own trap.


 You talk as if no member of the old guard came into your list?

No, there was no member of the old guard on my list. You can be certain about that. They were all fresh blood.


 Don’t you think that that is why your list never went through?

 It would go through next time.


 I have asked you a question. How easy was it? Because to sit here and then look for somebody in Momo, Boyo, in Menchum to put on your list; it means that you must know these people and you must know what the people think about them?

 I just told you a while ago that I did learn a lot of lessons trying to constitute that list. What does that mean? It means that as a list leader who I happened to be, you have to sit down with pen and paper, then you go through the different divisions; because in constituting the list, you had to take into consideration the sociological aspect of the community. You have to think of men, you have to think of women, you have to think of the young. Then you have to think of die-hard CPDM militants and the moderate etc. You also have to think of people who come from councils that are controlled by the CPDM. But again you have some people who are very good but come from council areas that are not controlled by CPDM but they are good material. So you have to take all these factors into consideration before constituting a list. But, no one person has the answer. Therefore, one had to constitute a team with this mastermind that was doing all the resourcing for the right persons. Sometimes a name would come up, but we say Oh No, he has this strength, he has this weakness and so on. And then based on the balance, we say OK. Let us take him on board. Then you go to some other places with so many candidates who all meet the criteria but you have to take only one of them. But don’t forget, even as you are struggling and thinking about this candidate, there are four or five people outside there trying to constitute their own list who are also bargaining for the same candidates. It therefore came to a situation where you will talk to a candidate and he accepts to join your list and then the next morning, the candidate is bought over to another list but doesn’t tell you. He only tells you at the eleventh hour that he is not on your list. Then you start struggling to get another candidate and then start preparing his papers with very little time on your side. It was a very tricky business and until that list was handed in, you couldn’t know who was going to be bought over from your list.


You said there was a team doing the thinking. It sounds to me like they were only thinking about people without consulting them?

 When you think of somebody, you call the person and tell him you want him to be on your list. Sometimes he may ask for time to think over it but at the same time, the clock is ticking. So it was a very very tricky exercise.


 Very tricky as you have said. Was money changing hands? You just said a while ago that it was possible for somebody who accepted to be on your list to join another list at the eleventh hour?

Yes, I understand that some had money to buy some very good candidates to make their list strong. I never however saw anybody exchanging money so I wouldn’t say for sure if money might have changed hands. It might have happened in the dark but only God alone knows. What I must say is that I was very very disappointed with some people that I respect a lot and to know what they were doing. Some one would come, Oh Ngwanyam, can I see your list! In my naivety, I would say, Oh men, I am very lucky, look at the great guys I have on my list. And then as soon as he leaves me, he starts calling and discouraging them to go off my list. That is how they managed to suck away one or two of my best candidates. And now, I know they were not as good as they were because they are sell outs. If you are a black leg, it doesn’t matter how good you look in the face.


 You were constituting a list knowing that only councilors were going to vote. But though in the North West, the CPDM has more councilors, they can still be bought over as you just said a while ago?

 Yes that is part of the political game. The difference between CPDM councilors and those of the SDF is very minimal in favour of the CPDM. Again, this is very tricky. Therefore, if you must get the CPDM to win, you must come up with the best candidates. And those candidates should come from CPDM controlled council areas. Then you go into SDF controlled council areas and try to woo some of their councilors. That was my hope. Given my ever-growing popularity in Donga Mantung division and the Wimbum area in particular, I knew I could successfully convince the SDF councilors in Ndu and Nkambe to vote for their son, Nick Ngwanyam, forgetting about the CPDM or SDF colour and vote for somebody who would bring them development. I am sure they would have voted for me. You would have seen a political Tsunami in this country. A couple of things change you know. Just imagine the scenario where the SDF was not going in for the senatorials. Then you would have seen most of those councilors voting for their son, Nick Ngwanyam. Now because the SDF is going in for senatorials and their son is not going, you will not see that happen. People will definitely switch camps based on what their interest is and so on. So those local realities count very much in politics.


 Should we continue talking about voting people according to the political parties to which they belong in 2013?

You know for every human being, there are many factors. What you are trying to do is, using analytical thinking to solve this. But nothing works analytically. It is the system thinking. So the people in Donga Mantung could have the system thinking peculiar to them where they would take the SDF in to consideration, the CPDM into consideration. They would know that their roads are bad. They would know that they want part of the university of Bamenda, they want this, they want that and then they are looking at who can best serve them if projected. Then, they would see a Ngwanyam who is coming from the Mbum land who has the capacity to help them, yet he has no CPDM. So at that time, they would trade off something for another thing. So, it is this opportunity cost that plays in life. Therefore, people would have to break the party discipline at some point based on their own interest and what they want. If you have a weak candidate on your list, and the other list has a strong candidate who can deliver, sooner or later, the people would forget about party discipline and vote for the person who can deliver.


 When you heard that Ni John Fru Ndi was running for senatorials, did that send you thinking whether you should reconsider your decision of also running?

 What Chairman Fru Ndi did was like throwing a spanner in the spoke like they say. You have a wheel that is turning and you throw something in there and its disturbs the wheel a little bit. I guess we were having a free ride, then this news came that the SDF will also be going on for the senatorials. Therefore, a lot of things had to be readjusted. I would imagine that the CPDM party chairman in constituting the CPDM list for the North West had taken into account, his meeting with Ni John Fru Ndi. So, he brings their conclusions on board and then we are going to see that manifest in the elections. What they discussed, you and I would not know. But, it might have been good enough to convince the SDF to run for senatorials. To me it doesn’t matter who wins at the end of the day. What we are looking for in this country is that we should have peace and development; it doesn’t matter whether it is the SDF or CPDM who gets the power. When you become a senator, you are not a senator for the party but a senator for everybody. What is most important is for the truth to prevail, that God’s will be done and that we should take each other as brothers and not go for their throat.


 You said you learnt so many things from the whole exercise. Could one of them be that young people should keep waiting since the old guard is on?

 The old guard is on and I think that is very disturbing. Disturbing in the sense that if they had something to offer, they would have offered before now. If they think that it is now that they have something to offer, then what they are saying is that they spent their time doing nothing and we know that many of them didn’t do very much. We don’t know what went on behind the curtains but one has the impression that we are dealing with team B.


 Many people will be asking whether Dr. Ngwanyam was doing much for the CPDM; because one of the conditions was that you must have been contributing much to party activities for the past five years?

  In constituting the dossier, those things were well looked at. One’s contributions to the party were divided into two classes; the financial contribution which is statutory. Then, there is this other contribution which you have to bring to the party and that depends on your will to give.

Therefore you have to make a distinction between these two things. If for instance, I had to take a list of the things that I have done for the CPDM either here in Bamenda, or in Donga Mantung or at the national level, the list will be long. For instance, when President Biya visited the North West, I hosted the delegation from Donga Mantung at St. Louis here and supported financially for registration on the voter’s lists last time. Money is necessary to get people to travel, to feed the team and so on, we should not go talking money here, it is not a nice thing.

Just know that these are things that we do and that the records are there for every one to see. I bought a motor cycle for the YCPDM section president in Ndu, John Ndi Ngala during the last elections and with that he was able to collect ID cards, register people and so on. I bought 300 CPDM wrappers and shared them out, on feast days, you try to see how you can support this way and that way. Those are the kind of things that we do, the list is long. Then besides that, the central committee or the party needs money to run. It is just like a church. A church needs money to run. Again, at the party secretariat the people working there have to be paid, they have to pay for electricity, they have to go out on mission etc. So while supporting the grass root, you need to also contribute at the central level so that the system can run. And therefore, CPDM militants all over the country are categorized. There are people on the central committee and people on the other units that have been created out there and then you have militants like me. I am not a member of the central committee but I have a university structure. When the team was here, I had my little card on which I had put my 200FCFA contribution. But Minister Peter Agbor Tabi called me and said that was not what was expected of me. So, I had to pay over one million francs as my dues for the last five years. I paid and was given a receipt. I tried to argue that I was not in the central committee but they said I might not be in the central committee but I run a whole university and that put one on the path of central committee members.


I have the impression that a poor person cannot aspire to become a senator within the CPDM, going by your explanation?

 No, no. Let us put things straight. I was paying my party dues. It had nothing to do with whether I am a senator or not. Paying party dues is what is expected of every true CPDM militant.


 I am only saying that good militants are judged on the amounts they pay?

 No. No. That is not true. Forget about the senate, OK? You can run as councilor, MP etc within the CPDM but you mustn’t have money before you run for any of these positions.


 But you were compelled to pay?

 Yes. That was part of the requirements. It was very interesting. People who wanted to become senators were refusing to pay taxes; I don’t know how that works. You want to be a senator and then you don’t want to pay taxes! That is stupid.


 Dr. Ngwanyam, can we now agree that if you go to your village to give benches to a primary school you have to make your section president know, so that when time comes, they should not start doubting your commitment to the party?

 You can give benches to your community depending on your motivation. If your motivation is political, then you can call the cameras and the CPDM section president to come and take note of the fact that you gave benches. But if your reasons for giving the benches are genuine, you will not call the CPDM section president, you give the benches and get lost.


 Would you want the same conditions that were posed for the senatorials to be posed for the council and parliamentary elections?

 I guess this calls for responsibility. When the central committee said we want to see what you have been doing for the party, show us how you have been supporting the party and all these things, a lot of things happened. There are many big people who have not been paying taxes on their properties but they were forced to pay in all this money into the state coffers. So you see that people who have been benefiting a lot from the state are the same people who have not been paying taxes. When a situation comes like the one we just had, they join the cue and pay before every one else. If they were patriotic, they would have been paying their taxes and would not wait for elections before start doing that. I think it is a good thing that the CPDM did. It is unfortunate that Cameroonians have this grabbing attitude. If you want something, you must also support that thing to grow. It is a new wave of thinking, where everybody has to contribute to the growth of the party and the country. The country is not developing because people have the grabbing and stealing mentality.


 Now that you have not been invested as senator, are you thinking of running for parliament?

 No. No. I don’t do things like that. I thought I told you earlier on that I have no business with parliament, right? I don’t change like the weather. In Ndu where I was gunning for senate, I also had people around me who were gunning for other things. It is not because you fail to grab your own branch that you try to grab the branch that is below you. That is not gentlemanly. Human beings don’t behave like that. Only animals behave that way. In Nkambe, the candidate we have there would certainly grab the parliamentary seat from Hon. Cyprian Awudu Mbaya. We have Abdou Borno who is a very young, dynamic moslem young man; quiet enterprising, and he is also going to grab the CPDM parliamentary seat in Ndu. I can bet you he will have it. We also need to have good candidates for the councils and you can be sure the CPDM will sweep the polls in Donga Mantung. It is an established fact that everything that Ngwanyam puts his hands on must work.


 From the way you talk, one has the impression that you don’t have any reason to go to the senates or parliament. You just have to work at the level of the council and help your people more?

 I am gone passed the level of working at the council. I work at the level of the state. I have so much in me that if I try to pour all of that at the council level, the people would suffer from burn out. What I have which is good for the council is also good for the whole nation. Going and hiding in the council is not the answer. Silver and gold I have not. I have but just the way of thinking. I have the truth. So it is just about speaking that word into the community and the word will manifest itself.


 Don’t you share the belief that the council is no longer what it used to be some 20 years ago. We are talking about decentralization today?

 Decentralization is a good thing. So the sooner it comes, the better, because we would be more accountable, we would do our things better, development would come and so on. So I look forward to that. So were you thinking about me joining the regional council and being a regional elected governor? If that’s your thinking, all I can say is that in life, one should allow God to use him the way He wants. Let the people use you. What ever God says you should do, just do it and do it well. Even if God wanted me to be a shoe shiner, to be polishing shoes, and that is truly what He wants, I will do it, and do it well.


 Many people have been asking themselves whether you are that old; since people thought only old people were eyeing the senate?

 I am 56 years old. If you have been reading the newspapers, you would have noticed that I tried to rubbish this idea of only old people going to the senate. I did this to open the minds of Cameroonians so that they should know what they expect from the senators. Even if I don’t go into the senate by one way or the other, I will still be outside thinking and working like a senator. Being a senator to me is not only that you are put on a list and you won. Senator is a mindset. It is the way you think, act, tackle problems, the way you see it and see others. Being a senator in Cameroon is about the truth and work.


 I wonder whether you had time to pray for the new pope, since that was when you were constituting your list?

 Yes of course, we did pray for the new pope. But again, even as we prayed for the new pope, we also prayed for ourselves and the country. There are just so many things to pray for. You know, even as you are praying for the new pope, sometimes as a child of God, you just throw it into his face and say, God, it is your church; either you do something to correct it or it is your problem. You know, sometimes, you challenge God and if you don’t have faith in God, you wouldn’t challenge him at that level. Praying for a new pope didn’t mean that one had to wear sad cloth and so on, no; it was not as bad as that. You say God, you know what the problems of the Catholic Church are. Give us a pope who will help us move your church further, bring sanity into your house and so on. You say that kind of prayer and leave it to God to handle the rest.


 When the new pope came, what was your reaction?

 I was very satisfied. I told everyone around me that I see the new pope bringing a lot of changes into the Catholic Church that would yield a lot of fruits. You noticed that Pope Francis was very unassuming when he was first elected. His body language speaks of a very quiet person. He let the crowd exploded when he was presented and maintained a lot of calm. When he was talking about his election, he said that he and his colleagues had to come to elect the bishop of Rome. He didn’t even make mention of the pope. So, he didn’t start like putting himself above everybody else and so on. There was some degree of meekness in him. If you listened to the commentaries, he is someone who drove his own car, lived in a small apartment and not a big mansion; he cooked his own food and so on. I bet you it is not because he is now pope that a lot will change in him. And then, he did something that was very very important and interesting. He said before we do anything, I want you, the people, including the crippled, the rich, the poor, the sinner, whoever, pray for me, bless me. It was very important, because people have always thought that it is the pope who prays for people and blesses them. But this time around, it was the people blessing the pope. When you see that you are in a position to bless the pope, then the lesson is that let us go out and be a blessing to everyone. When you bless people, it means a lot. It means you don’t say nasty things about people, don’t curse people behind their backs, be positive and bring something positive to other people.  Also, he comes into the papacy when the church and the world are going through a lot of turmoil. He needs our support and blessings to be able to address and solve these problems. “Vox Populi Vox Dei”, they say. So whatever the people decide is according to God’s will and it will be done. Therefore, the pope intercedes between God and man. When we bless him, we are saying that whatever he does, he does it on our behalf. That connection with the people was very important and vital. We should also learn in our homes and in our countries to connect with the Lord.


 You are a lay catholic Christian, when Pope Francis asked that people should pray for him, what was your prayer?

 I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I just joined my mind with others to think positively and to bring that positive energy on the pope, and to bring that positive energy on the world, to bring that positive energy which we need to heal the world and that is also what we need in Cameroon. We need that energy in our politics and we need that energy in our homes. The pope bowed, and that means all of us, including even the president, the ministers, the speaker of the house, the senators, gendarmes, the magistrates, etc must bow.


 If Dr. Nick Ngwanyam had been among the crowd in St. Peters Square that evening, and the pope singled you out to pray for him, what would have been your prayer?

 I would have asked that God’s will be done on earth through the pope, through us as lay Christians and whatever, through our president, through our councilors, through our magistrates, through our gendarmes, through everybody, etc. that God’s will be done among us and on earth. God’s will actually is about the truth. So, everything that we do should be in truth and should be according to God’s will. That is my prayer every day.

 The Catholic Church, in fact, all churches, are facing the challenge of homosexuality. As a lay Christian, is that a problem to you?

 Homosexuality is not a problem of the church. It is a problem of society. Since the church is made up of people from the society. And then they are in church with part of the society. The church is not made for saints. It is for sinners so that they can repent and the kingdom can be theirs. So, the church is not there to discriminate and to sell people out. The church only shows us the way. The pope is looking for the way; the cardinals are looking for the way. That is why they were all praying. We are all looking for the way. We say that homosexuality is a sin, but we deal with the sin. We also condemn homosexuality as a behavioural sex. We just have to pray and ask for God’s graces to help people overcome such weaknesses.

 As a catholic Christian, how do you feel when you hear people talk about the men of God who are involved in homosexuality?

 It is very disturbing. The Bible prescribes that a man and a woman who are married can have sex under the conditions that God prescribes. Anything that is beyond that has some degree of irrationality, irresponsibility, and going off target. We are all human beings. We are weak, and have in one way or the other gone off target. If you even just look at a woman lustfully, you have sinned. If you went by that, then I think I sin 20 times a day. I am sure you too may sin a hundred times or more in a day. Therefore, the priest or whoever is a human being and I don’t know how many times he sins looking at all those women too. If there is one profession that I respect, and which I think I could not have joined as a human being, it should be being a priest. It is tough and very demanding. So, in as much as we throw stones at them, we should be very careful and know that they too are human beings. So, we should bless and help the priests to overcome their weaknesses, so that God will continue to give them strength to do their work.

 Can a lay Christian walk up to a man of God or a priest and tell him, look, you are involved in this sin, repent?

 I think it is very important that we should have feedback. Don’t just go to a priest when you want to recount his sins to him. Go to him with constructive criticisms. Go to him in a supportive mood. Go to him knowing that he is a human being, and is weak just like you. Even when a pastor preaches in your church and gives you a good sermon, go to him and say, Pastor, you preached well today. I think I learnt this and it is going to change my life. And then the day you see him falling into a dish, you come up again and say, Pastor, I think you are falling in a dish here. That way, he will have no choice but to listen to you. But if you are that Christian who does not support the pastor, and only comes up with a complaint, or to criticize him, you are not going to be helpful. So, you should always be balanced and constructive in society.

 In the past, we had pro-life organisations in churches to protect life. But what is happening today?

 You know everything like a coin has its sides. A knife has two edges. Pro-life refers to that group of people who seek to preserve life at all cost. We are looking at people who know that when a woman is pregnant, she should not abort the baby. If a child is born, it should not be killed. No human being, for whatever reason, should kill the other. These are people who are pro-life. You don’t have to kill people because they are old or handicapped. No! Preserve life because life comes from God. Life was made by God and only God can take away life. That is what pro-life people stand for. Therefore, even if a woman is pregnant and the baby is just a day old, we have no reason to terminate that pregnancy. That is the philosophy of pro-lifers and that is what they preach and believe.

Against that, we have people who call themselves pro-choice. They have all sorts of reasons for killing. They will say for instance, if the woman has been raped and she gets pregnant, the baby should be killed. If the woman is still young and pregnant, the baby should be killed, that is not correct. When a woman is pregnant, there is no reason whatsoever that should justify an abortion. There is this school of thought which holds that when people are old, they can demand to be killed. These are the two camps; people who are for life and people who are for death.


 Is there a situation where a woman can be allowed to undergo an abortion because her life is in danger?

 You asking me a tricky question. What does the law say and what do pro-lifers hold in this case? I think the law says that if a woman has a pregnancy that has to be aborted for one reason or the other, three doctors should come together to agree and it is done. However, there are a lot of medical advances that what you thought could kill a woman yesterday, cannot kill her today. So if there’s anything, we should rather improve on our health care than going out and killing children. If the health care is archaic and people are dying, we should go ahead and improve on it to save lives. Preventive medicine should come to the forefront. If we have preventive medicine coming in there, then of course, there would be no need to kill a baby to save the mother’s life. There are certain situations in medicine where a young woman gets pregnant and her blood pressure goes up and the woman is at the point of dying. At that time, the baby can be forced out so that the mother can live. So, there are some critical issues like that. So there are some critical situations like that but you have to be rational about the kind of decision you take on such a complicated case. Even if you have to abort on such a circumstance, you have to pray before doing that. You don’t have to go out to kill a child. It is not correct. And then of course, there are some situations where children are formed in their mother’s wombs without a head. In that case, an abortion may be unavoidable. But you don’t just go out killing normal children.


 Is that the language made in St. Louis environment?

  I don’t know what you are talking about.

 Would those who practice in government hospitals care about what you are saying?

They might not speak that language but I am here to teach them what is right. It is common to see people committing abortion for 10.000 or 20.000FCFA and just soiling themselves with blood.

 You have an institution which is training medical staff and they are the ones who are accused of aborting children on a daily basis?

 St. Louis is here to bring new attitude and new way of doing things. St. Louis’ main objective is to better the situation of doing health business in Cameroon. That is pro-life activities and pro-life-thinking are part of our curriculum.


 Are you taking it out of St. Louis, because it is something others elsewhere must learn?

 I am on the air right now so I am teaching 20 million Cameroonians that it is wrong to kill. I know this message will go on satellite, so I am teaching the people in America that it is wrong to kill or commit abortion.

 What is your reaction to people who are not having sex the normal way?

 I don’t understand what you mean by the normal way? Using condoms, a woman to a woman or a man to a man?

 A woman and a woman or a man and a man?

  That to me is just crazy. They would do that and soon they would want to adopt children. God has prescribed what should happen to have children. Once you move out of what has been prescribed, it doesn’t matter what your argument is, it cannot work. To adopt children is wrong even if the law allows for that.

 You wanted to be a senator. Many people think that most of these abnormal things like homosexuality take place because of the quest for power?

 You know the world functions again on two kingdoms. There is the kingdom which functions on the principle of success and progress. If you want to succeed in life, you must follow God’s laid down principles or rules and the cardinal thing is love. Do to others what you will want them do unto to you. It is very simple. Number one, is love then do unto others what you want them do unto you. You don’t need to read the whole Bible. Only these two are enough and then you worship your God, Your Maker and Saviour. Once you have done that, you are on the right tract. Even if you are an orphan, God will take you to where ever he wants. If Ngwanyam is looking forward to be a senator, I must understand that being a senator is a position of service to His kingdom and the community and not about serving myself. It is not about self, self thing.

The other platform is satanic, is Machiavelli. Satanic means I first. When you say I first, then you will do everything to stay on top. You will kill, and do all sort of things that the devil tells you to do to stay on top. You may even kill your own children, wife, and mother or rape same. When you do those things in Satan’s Kingdom, even though it would seem to progress, sooner or later, you are going to come crashing and you must pay the price.

Has some one ever come to you as a politician; proposing some kind of magical power?

People come in different subtle ways but you have to be very strong to resist those kinds of temptation. You know the temptation that Christ went through in the wilderness. So always watch out when somebody comes to you with conditions in order to give you power or make you rich. If you put service and the truth before you, what ever you do, the money will come. But if you put money and power ahead of you, you will always be caught in the devil’s trap. Always put values, service and the Will of God ahead of you. Then you walk in the shadow of that. But if you walk in the shadow of money, power and I don’t know what, you will fall a thousand times.

Are you bitter that you were not returned as senator?

No. No! If you want to be a good servant, you have to be tested. If you want to put somebody in a leadership position, never take a new comer and make him a leader. It is not for nothing that Ni John Fru Ndi was not made president in 1992. There would have been a lot of problems. But he has learnt the act of governing for over 20 years now and he is more mature now than he was in the early 90s. God has a way of clipping people’s wings.

 So next time you will not be a new comer?

 It is a learning process. When Samuel went to choose a king for the people of Israel from among the son’s of Jessy, he was looking at those beautiful sons from the outside but Samuel told him I’ve not seen who I am looking for. So he was sent to the one who was in the bush running behind the sheep. God was preparing David and telling him how to look after sheep. So God looks at our hearts. When God wants to choose a David, the David will come from afield. He may be smelling with cow dung but he will be the king.

 What if President Biya appoints you as senator?

 There are many other positions in the country. It is not only about being a senator.