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Elizabeth Neh Atang TRIBUTE TO MR. Nicholas Ade NGWA January 11, 2016
 

My dearest brother and Father,

       It is indeed hard for me to come to terms with the fact that you are no more. That you are of late.  Your sudden departure has created a vacuum in my heart that can never be filled.
       Papa, you meant so much to me.  Words can never really express the extent to which I and my family are going to miss you.  Well, you have gone to meet Big Papa and big Mami and the long line-up of all our departed dear ones (young and old).
        “Uncle Gendarmerie” greet them all for us.  We are indeed consoled by the way and manner you died on the 3rd of January 2016 -(Sunday of the Epiphany)!!!! After you had received The Body and Blood of Christ at Holy Mass in Njimafor Catholic Church.
        May I conclude with this verse in the Gospel of Mathew Chapter 25 verse 21 –“Well done, good and trustworthy Servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater ones; come and join in your Master’s happiness.”  Amen.

                     By your own Sister, daughter, Grandmother
                     Big Mami Elizabeth Neh Atang
                   Bota - Limbe - Cameroon
Joseph Ndofor- Abety Tribute to SOBA President–General Emeritus Nicolas January 11, 2016
 

Tribute to SOBA President–General Emeritus Nicolas Ade Ngwa

 By Joseph Ndofor- Abety (3rd Vice president SOBA) representing Prof Ephraim Ngwafor (President General of SOBA  on mission hence unavoidably absent)

            SOBANS of all generations have congregated in their ceremonial identical plumage of blue blazers and red ties which both carry their motto: Fides, Quaerens Intellectum (Faith Seeking Knowledge or Faith in Quest for Knowledge). Galvanised by the integrative values of these symbols, SOBANS and their spouses SOBANESES are gathered to go against the current of globalization of indifference by fulfilling three of the fourteen obligations of works of mercy namely: to comfort those in sorrow, to pray for the living and the dead, thirdly,  to bury the death.  We have the duty condole with this bereaved family, join you all to pray with them and to bury a SOBA President – General Emeritus in the fallen hero of Nicolas Ade Ngwa given his dual status as an ex-student and formal senior lecturer of Sasse College.


Barely three years after St. Joseph College SJC Sasse was founded on February 1st 1939 (as the first Secondary school in Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon and remained the only college for Anglophones until 1949 when others came into the scene), young Nicolas enrolled into Sasse College in 1942 against student matriculation number 210. At an epoch when vehicles were not known to them, the determined and brave Nicolas together with his  mates trekked for several days from Bamenda to Sasse. From the post Golden Jubilee Magazine article titled “My Experience As A Youth In Sasse: 1939-1946” by Stephen M. Ndeley, we understand that students slept on beds with bare wooden surfaces, cooked food with semi dry firewood on stone tripods in a poorly ventilated single common kitchen, got water from a far off stream, used a pit toilet 300 meters away from their dormitory, had to grow their own food and with teachers serving as the unique resources in many subjects. In fact “survival of the fittest” was the norm.


Under these conditions of “survival of the fittest”, Nicolas Ade Ngwa went through the mould and later became a member of teaching staff as a Geography master.  He went for further studies in the United Kingdom and obtained a Diploma in Education. He returned to continue teaching in Sasse as a senior Tutor as a returned scholar in past students remember him as their western ballet dance instructor and imitate him as he wrapped his word each time he said to them “I beg your pardon.” Nicolas Ade Ngwa left Sasse for GTTC Kumba in 1956 and later moved to much greener pastures but remained an ardent ambassador of Sasse College.


Meanwhile Sasse Old Boys Association (SOBA) was founded in December 1947 as a veritable instrument to foster links between ex-students and the College and to serve as a pivot uniting all ex-students. SOBANS and their wives SOBANESES living and working in different parts of the world remain united by the “SOBA Sense” or SOBANISM.  Nicolas Ade Ngwa participated actively in the affairs of his Alma Mater wherever he worked or lived and he endeavoured to send children to Sasse.


As a result of his radical commitment to this philosophy, Nicolas Ade Ngwa was later elevated to the coveted position of President-General of SOBA. In his term of office, he organized the Sasse College Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 1989; an occasion in which he showcased his prowess as a national and international mega event galvanizer.


On the occasion of the said 50th Anniversary Celebration, Nicolas Ade Ngwa was decorated on grounds of “the wealth of gratitude, the college owes him.”  Nicolas equally put on his cap of a pedagogue and took the opportunity in his anniversary address to depict the life with the corresponding fallouts to early SOBANS:


“Reaching Sasse, he had a full curriculum consisting of not only grammar subjects but also in Commerce, Type-Writing, Shorthand and Book – keeping. Handicraft was, of course not forgotten when students learnt how to make lawn tennis nets, carpentry, brick – laying, etc. With the advent of the Second World War, improvisation was the watch –word. The rigours of a regimental academic curriculum were compounded by the fact that the early student was self – reliant. He had to take care of himself including cooking and tendering a farm from which he could harvest for his upkeep…Thus from its early beginnings, Sasse was the supplier of local manpower, contributing effectively to national socio-economic development with humility, patriotism, honesty, duty-consciousness and self-pride, the watch –world for the SOBAN.


To conclude, lets us note that Sasse is a creation of the Catholic Church and SOBANS are for the Church. Ipso facto SOBANS were an integral part of the Centenary Celebrations of the Existence of Arch-diocese of Bamenda; Nicolas Ade Ngwa was among the several SOBANS acknowledged and knighted by the Holy Father Pope Francis. On the strength of the fact that what is ordained on earth is accepted in Heaven, Nicolas Ade Ngwa is a sure candidate for Heaven.


Be our Ambassador and convey our regards to fellow SOBANS AND SOBANESES on the other side of the isle in the bosom of the Holy Trinity. Be an obedient fox in paradise. Intercede for SOBA and Sasse College- Amen.


So Be It as we sing the St. Joseph College Song:


“With St. Joseph ever near to guide us…”

 

 

Judith Ngwa Louma Thank You Papa January 10, 2016
 

Papa,

You were strict, you were reserved, you were an Administrator, you were always there for us, above all a God Fearing person. You were a real father! You gathered all your children during holidays as you throttled the nation from Bamenda to Kumba, Kumba to Victoria, Victoria to Banso, Banso to Mamfe, Mamfe to Nkambe, Nkambe to Buea, Buea to Yaounde and back to Bamenda.


Papa looking at all the albums in the house you cannot miss a family member. You were an icon of unity, always bringing everybody together; your nieces, nephews, friends of your children. Due to your nature of work at my tender age we were either packing or unpacking from one division to another. Papa when you finally retired we saw another side of you. We discovered a loving father, a concerned father and a great farmer. 


Papa, when I left for London and then to Paris you never stopped communicating. Papa I have jealously kept all my letters from you. Thank you Papa. 


When I met Peter in Paris, you had no objections because you said he was the son of your friend. It is true that you never questioned nor query my choice. When Mama visited us she was charmed by Peter and you immediately adopted him as your son and it has been like that till date. Papa when I returned home from Paris through your advice, you had already arranged a job for me and I started working immediately. I remember our agreement when I started working, even though I did not fully realize it. You were happy and Mama was supportive. 


Papa upon retiring you lived a simple but fulfilled life, carrying out activities close to your heart. Papa I am really proud of you, proud to be your daughter.


For all these years you have never stopped asking about Peter and complaining that he has not called you. You were a grandfather to Franklin, whom you named Ngwa, to Ernest and Pearl. You were patient with them and visited with all their demands, while commenting that it was never like that while I was in Lourdes. You were present in all the big events in their lives, thank you Papa for being the exemplary Grand Father. You made sure that while they were in primary school they spent all their vacation with you in Njimafor. 


Papa you have lived a fulfilled life. Looking back on that fateful day of January 3rd I was ready for mass by 6:20 am and I was just telling myself when I got into the car, where is Mama and before I knew Papa started hooting and calling out “Madam we are late already, come out and let us go.” Mama as usual will want to give out instructions. This scenario was familiar to all of us and bothered nobody. Papa, thank you for imparting discipline to all of us, time consciousness. Thank you for the love you showered on all your children, the concern you demonstrated. 


Papa I know you are in a better place, be rest assured we will take care of Mama.  Papa I love you!

Rest in peace.  


(Mami Ju, your darling daughter)

 

Ntemfac Ofege In Memoriam: Nicholas Ade Ngwa January 10, 2016
 

In Memoriam: Nicholas Ade Ngwa

"Years ago, at the SDF Secretariat, Pa, gave me the following notes (in his own beautiful handwriting) and asked me to look for the best format to publish them. I make them public for the very first time. I had thought to dedicate a full chapter in the book "Long Walk to Freedom Land," which I am working on, to the issues that Old Nicholas Ade Ngwa raised. May I be worthy to complete that book...in loving memories of this grand old man, who personally told me that he knew my father and then he took up the issues for which my father died...even confronting Fru Ndi and Sama Francis on those issues...just as if I am one of his very own children. Strangely, William "Jaggers" Ngwa is my classmate in Sacred Heart College. “

Here goes:

Retired administrator, Nicholas Ade Ngwa in an unpublished mimeograph makes out that despite its apparent ‘poor state’ the holistic development of the State of the Southern Cameroons was not an afterthought. Even before ‘developpement equilibre’ (Balanced Development) and ‘liberalisme planifie (Planned Liberalism) became the war song of the Ahidjo regime, the then West Cameroun government had made these items concrete realities.

‘The Southern Cameroons administration ran a government that carried out uniform development throughout the regions. To ensure this equitable development, the government drew up Five-Year Development Plans, which were developed at the grassroots, from the sub-divisions to the top. Each area set out its priorities; the state examined them and came out with a National Plan. One development plan was religiously executed before the next.”

Nicholas Ade Ngwa writes:

“To ensure proper control and accountability, there was the Office of the Auditor General. Every department of government, including the Office of the Head of Government was audited. Auditors came to the office unannounced. They collected the safe keys and accounts documents. Any extra funds in the safe had to be accounted for. Shortages were noted and sanctioned. Officials received jail sentences for up to twenty years for shortages of small sums. Today, Cameroun needs proofs that millions have been pilfered. To make matters worse auditors announce their visits and bribes are ‘negotiated’. Some officers are even declared out of bounds to auditors. At the end of the financial year, the Auditor General puts out a report on State income and expenditure which report was placed before parliament for debate and adoption. In short it was not a case where parliamentarians accepted bribes to pass the budgets of various ministries.”

Nicholas Ade Ngwa continues:

“Road construction and maintenance was of great importance and a lot of emphasis was laid on agriculture. To assist farmers, seedlings of both cash and food crops were available at affordable prices. There were heavy machines and even hand-dug roads were maintained. Public Works Department (PWD) camps for road maintenance were established at strategic points along the major highways. Thus, it was possible to go from Bamenda to Kumba to Mamfe in one day!

The Mamfe-Bamenda Road, because of its narrow nature, was used on alternate days: one day up to Bamenda and the next day down to Mamfe. One could go from Bamenda to Jos in Nigeria in one day. Similarly one went from Bamenda to Wum in a few hours and did the reverse journey in the afternoons.”

Between 1960 and 1980, the various Five Year Development Plans and their attendant Agricultural Shows, were, more or less, used as the road map for development in the Cameroons. The records show that the North-West province was about the last beneficiary of this formula for the provision of infrastructure to, at least, the provincial headquarters. The regime has, perhaps, because of John Niba Ngu’s ‘pluie torrential,’ abandoned the Five Year Development Plans and the Agricultural Shows. Recall that while he was Minister of Agriculture, Mr. John Niba Ngu said the projected Agricultural Show in Ebolowa was postponed and eventually cancelled because of “une pluie torrentielle” - strong rainfall in Ebolowa. The GOC has never returned to the Agric Shows since then. However, in spite of its seemingly meager revenues, the government of the Southern Cameroons took care of its development programmes.

Nicholas Ade Ngwa writes:

“The Ring Road was pliable at all seasons. We know the situation today. The roads are horrendous despite the abundance of heavy road equipment not to mention the state budgets that increase every year in billions. To facilitate traveling, West Cameroon set up the Cameroon Air Transport, this connected all accessible parts of the state. Communications is essential for any development. Today, whenever the roads exist, unnecessary roadblocks impede traveling. One would have thought that these checks were to ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles. We know that these roadblocks are for the police to take bribes.”

That these institutions worked is an irrefragable confutation of every unphilosophical catachresis any malefactor can offer in vindication of the skewed argument that Africans cannot rise above corruption.

Moved by his racist mindset the former president of France, Jacques Chirac, with the debonair arrogance of a halfwit said democracy is a luxury for Africans. That Africans should rather aspire to portable water and food, instead of the pie-in-the sky, that democracy is. Untoward and presumptuous as the Chirac pronouncement might seem yet another pronouncement by the same Chirac elucidated his cited comment.

With the outcome of France’s rapacious pillage in francophone Africa in mind, the stirrer Jacques Chirac said:

‘After robbing them of their culture, we then stole their resources, their raw materials using local labor. We swiped everything they had and we told them repeatedly that they are worthless. Now, we’re at the final stage: we make-off with their intelligentsia by handing our scholarships to them, and we continue telling all those left behind: these Negros are decidedly good for nothing’.

 

The point, however, is democracy worked and worked inordinately well in a place in Africa and this before 1960. That place was Southern Cameroons. The stellar democratic institutions also imbued Southern Cameroonians with the democratic locus standi to speak up and challenge bad governance and Pollyanna corruption in very high places. Naturally, this right always earned them retribution from the majority francophone system.

 

 

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