This reflection is inspired by the fact that although power structures in Cameroon had historically excluded youth from decision making processes on grounds they were leaders of tomorrow, Barrister Honore Ajuo Ngam took the bull by the horns and challenged the status quo to the contrary.
It is the more informed by the fact that since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in Cameroon in 1990, many a leading political party reduced the role of the women and the youth wings to cooking food and decorating event venues, for the other wing, and carrying chairs to and fro the event venue, for the other wing.
It is also informed by the fact that although many a Cameroonian had
become frustrated, disenfranchised, and irked by the fact that a small
minority of octogenarians have confiscated political space, to the
exclusion of the youth, Barrister Honore Ngam refused to see that as an
insurmountably challenge. He dared
to dream and succeeded.
Point is, Barrister Honore Ngam, now Senator, has by his political trajectory, become a veritable source of inspiration for the many Cameroonian youth who had since given up on politics on grounds the environment was not enabling enough for youth to strife. In realizing such a feat in less than six years of his joining active politics, Honore Ngam has demonstrated in triumphant detail that the only best way to predict the future is to create it. A walk down memory lane would help young Cameroonians understand how he did not only predict but created the future.
Coming to the realization like Nkwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, that ‘seek ye first the political kingdom and everything else would be added unto you’, Honore Ngam decided to move past the idea of just being a simple militant of a political party to taking active part in decision making. In 2012, he fought and was elected legal adviser to the Fundong Electoral District of the SDF.
The following year, that is, 2013, he decided, even to the
surprise of family members and close friends who were worried about the political terrain in Fundong then, to contest the council seat on his SDF ticket. Although intestinal quarrels and internal dead threats had almost turned his SDF party then in Fundong into pieces, Honore Ngam refused to be intimidated by the mounting CPDM influence.
The elections resulted in the SDF picking up only six council seats with Honore as one of the SDF councillors as the CPDM won a relative majority. This was the first reintroduction of multiplayer elections that the CPDM was winning the Fundong Council. Rather than being discouraged, the reverse SDF gains in Fundong emboldened the young uprising local SDF star. By 2014, the District Executive of the SDF in Fundong was in shambles. The deadlock had reached a level where the SDF Region had to intervene.
After attempts at reconciling the warring factions within the Fundong
District had proven futile, Honore was called in as neutral arbiter to
head a caretaker committee for a six month period,
During his tenure as Caretaker Committee Chairman, Honore put in the extra energy and the extra hour to rebuild the party that was once the pride of Fundong. In the process, he endeared himself to the women and youth of the party who had simply been bored with the old and confrontational management style of the old guard that when time came for District elections to be organized, Barrister Honore’s candidature was plebiscited. It is the work he has been doing as SDF District Chairman in Fundong from 2014 through 2016 to 2018 that the National Investiture Committee of the SDF found very little difficulty investing him as candidate for the senate elections of April 24, 2018.
That is also the reason why fellow councillors from both the SDF and CPDM across the Region did not hesitate to vote his SDF list. Through the 2018 senatorial elections results in the politically-minded Northwest Region, the youth overwhelmingly decided to vote out octogenarian CPDM senatorial candidates.
Not that youthfulness was the only factor that militated in favour of Senator Honore Ngam. He had cultured himself to this day through a sound and profound education.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Honore Ajuo Ngam’s soundness and profoundness in education inevitably makes him one of the finest brains in Boyoland. This is justified by the fact that there was thoroughness in his primary and secondary education that took him through some of the best schools like Sacred Heart College, Mankon.
Animated by his personal belief, even at that young age, that education was an instrument of liberation from the manacles of ignorance, disease, malnutrition and injustice, which plaques Cameroon, Honore defied even suggestions from his father to study journalism and went forth to do Law at the University of Buea.
After years of tutelage and after gaining admission in the Cameroon Bar, he did not seem settled with a B. A in Law. Cumulatively with his impressive work of defending the defenseless in courts across Cameroon, Honore went on to successfully complete a maitrise course in the University of Dchang and a Masters Degree course on International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Action from the Yaoundé based Catholic University of Central Africa.
Coupled with a dozen lot of professional courses and training facilitations in various areas of litigation, human rights and above all, elections monitoring, all of Honore Ngam’s actions seemed to have had a providential link to a political future.
From the Cosmic Chambers of Barrister Paddy Yong where he brilliantly did tutelage to the crowning glory of the Commercial Avenue Crown Law Firm where he is senior founding partner, Honore had never settled for anything less.
It could be said that his years of tutelage at Paddy Yong’s Cosmic Chambers did not only sharpen him legally but also politically as although he went into practice with the understanding that a successful professional life was all what was needed
in life, he saw in Senior Barrister Paddy Yong’s political ambitions the translation of the ideology of Harold Laswell, the repute American Scientist, who at first thought it was enough to be a successful scientist, that ‘ politics decides who gets what, where, when, why and how’.
Not that before getting to tutelage at Cosmic Chambers Honore Ajuo Ngam was stranger to politics. He might have been dormant to politics but politics had historically run through the family blood.
That Barrister Honore Ngam decided to contest for Council Elections in 2013, of all elections, was like revisiting the family roots or reconciling with history. It was his grandfather, the very towering late Honorable Chia Ngam that was very first Chairman of Fundong Local Council area from the 70s through the 80s.
The former Customs Officer and senior prince of Kom palace only abandoned that mayoral position when time came for him to represent Kom in Parliament in the late 80s and early 90 where he was eldest member of Parliament and consequently had to address Parliament. By becoming Boyo’s first ever elected Senator, young Barrister Honore Ajuo Ngam has just reedited history as his maternal uncle, Hon Ngam Chia, son of late Hon Chia Ngam, was Sdf’s first ever elected Boyo MP from 1996-2001.
Like Senator Honore’s grandfather, Hon Chia Ngam, who for his old age, handled the affairs of Parliament until a new bureau was elected, Honore Ngam, by virtue of the fact that he is likely to be the youngest Senator, would join Senator Mukete to pilot the affairs of the House until a new bureau is put in place after the April 24, 2018 inaugural and immersion session.
Honore as an Inspiring Role Model:
From the foregoing, there is no gainsaying that Senator Honore Ngam as a blaze trailer not just a trail blazer, has inspired and will continue to inspire hope in an otherwise Cameroonian youth that had since given up hope of ever taking part in the decision making process in Cameroon.
He unquestionably, is a source of inspiration for many more youths who are taking the last minute decision not only to register but to take active part as councillors and MPs at the upcoming general elections.
His victory and phenomenal ascendency is testimony to the fact that with commitment, dogged determination and consistency, the new generation youth and elite that have been fashioned out by the new momentum ignited by the 2016 Common Law Lawyers and All Anglophone Teachers Trade Unions strike actions, could upset the Cameroon political apple cart and send the old guard that has crumbled our economy, parking. Honore’s victory is an invitation to Cameroonian youth to seize the moment, as if it were, to explore the ‘carpe diem theme’.
In seizing the moment, youths whom the Cameroon political system has for years try to disenfranchise, should remind themselves and like Senator Honore did, that the penalty one pays for not doing politics is that one ends up being ruled by his/ her inferiors.
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