Les gouverneurs des dix régions du pays étaient en conclave en fin de semaine dernière à Yaoundé. Une première rencontre semestrielle pour le compte de l’année 2019, présidée par le ministre de l’Administration territoriale (MINAT), Paul Atanga Nji. Les échanges ont tourné autour du thème : « Autorités administratives et renforcement de la sécurité des personnes et de leurs biens. » Deux jours de travaux au cours desquels les gouverneurs de région ont tour à tour présenté la situation sécuritaire, l’évolu tion des projets économiques et les problèmes sociaux de leurs régions respectives. Des communications ont également ponctué cette rencontre.
Il s’est agi notamment de celle du délégué général à la Sureté nationale et du secrétaire d’Etat à la Défense chargé de la gendarmerie nationale, sur « les missions régaliennes des forces de maintien de l’ordre dans le cadre de la sécurité des personnes et de leurs biens.»
Une autre délivrée par le ministre des Travaux publics était liée « aux mesures d’accompagnement des maîtres d’ouvrage et du suivi dans l’entretien routier. » Le ministre de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme administrative a fait le point de l’« évaluation du fonctionnement des conseils régionaux de discipline.» A l’issue des travaux, le MINAT, dans une interviewbilan, revient sur les recommandations et surtout des prescriptions faites aux gouverneurs de région.
“We have collected more than 25,000 illegal weapons ”
Mr Minister, the first semester conference of governors for 2019 chaired by you just ended. What were the salient points of discussion?
First of all, the first semester meeting which just ended was held following high instructions from President Paul Biya and he gave directives. Most of the time when we meet, we make an evaluation of the last conference with each Regional Governor making a report on the situation of his region and we have three main topics: security situation, the socio-cultural and the economic situation. As at now, security is the talk of the day, reason why the main focus on this meeting was the maintenance of security, protecting persons and property. We always start by evaluating what we did last time, then the challenges are put on the table for scrutiny. At the end, we make a report to the Head of State who gives directives on what we have to do. What was therefore the take home message to Governors?
We are facing security challenges at the moment but everything is under control. The take home message to the Governors was a reminder that territorial integrity, national unity, living together are vital values that can never be compromised. President Biya has repeatedly stated that we cannot have development when there is no peace. And I said over and over for the truants or dishonest politicians who have made it as a habit to disrupt public order by organising illegal public rallies. I think the message is more than ever clear. When it comes to maintaining peace and order, the State has the will and the means to combat terrorism.
Sometime last year, for security reasons, you banned the sale of arms in six regions of the country. Has security improved following the move?
We have collected more than 25,000 illegal weapons and in the ten regions and about 40,000 cartridges. The idea is simple, to own a fire arm or the den guns even as a hunter, you need an authorisation from the Minister of Territorial Administration. That is what the law says but unfortunately, people take upon the habit to own guns without authorisation. The move was just the recall to people that the legislation in force stipulates the need for a formal authorisation from the Minister or from the governor to own a weapon. And the Regional Governors were instructed that those who do not have legal authorisation should hand them over to administrative authorities and will have to reapply. After a thorough study, they can have their weapons back. We just in the process of making people understand that there’re is a law and the law must be applied. We are in a State of law and the law must be respected by everybody. It is the moral obligation of everybody despite our political differences to abide by the rules and regulations of the State.
What are some of the security measures that have been put in place for the effective organisation of elections within 2019?
In my presentation at the Governor’s conference, I said some elections could be organised this year. You know the calendar depends on the Head of State. What we tell the Governors is that they just have to be prepared. During the 2018 presidential election, the Governors were prepared because they accompany Elections Cameroon in the process. They provide security for all elections to hold under tranquility. They are instructed to take the necessary security measures within their respective regions while waiting on the Head of State to convene the Electoral College. ELECAM does the material organisation but the administration as per the law has to accompany them by providing security in the electoral process.
You have been to the field distributing material within the human assistance plan. At what level is the initiative?
More than 60,000 Cameroonians have benefited from the plan put in place by President Paul Biya. Following the disturbances in the North West and South West Regions, we have a number of internally displaced people. The President who is always very concerned about the wellbeing of the citizens put in place this humanitarian plan. On December 24, 2018, there were distributions in the two affected regions. In Kumba, over 8,000 people showed up. A mother in Kumba said she has not been able to have a kilogram of rice in one year, but the President has sent her 25kgs of rice. Another said she had not seen a liter of vegetable oil but now has a cartoon. We have distributed over 20,000 blankets and 18,000 mattresses in the two regions. We have equally provided school assistance to the population. We have gone beyond the two regions and have distributed in the Littoral and the West Regions.
What is your take on the Kumba District Hospital arson attack?
That is a crime against humanity where the terrorist entered the hospital and burnt down the hospital and patients who could not defend themselves. You can therefore see that the terrorists are passing across a message that they want to defile the State. But as President Paul Biya said, in the 1960s, we won the war against the Marquizares, in 1990, we won the war against ghost towns and the President said we will overcome the war against Boko Haram which is today a realised objective. It is certain that we will win the war against the terrorists because they are just a minority. All these truants perpetrating acts of vandalism are less than 1,000 in the two regions. But they did it with the help of the social media. I want to caution Cameroonians that the social media is an instrument for development which some people unfortunately are using it as an instrument for mass destruction. The President has created the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee which is a safe place for the terrorist. You just need to lay down your arm and you will be welcomed in one of the Centres where you could be taught a trade and your future guaranteed