Since the arrest of the former Minister of Territorial Administration Marafa Hamidu Yaya in April 2012 on the charges of embezzlement of public funds in what has come to be known as the Albatross affair, so many Cameroonians both home and abroad have written extensively on the issue with varied opinions. Local radio, TV stations, and newspapers have not been indifferent to this affair. In fact, it is believed that, since the arrest of the former SG at the Presidency of the Republic and Minister Emeritus of Territorial Administration, the sales of Cameroons Newspapers have seen a remarkable increase, especially if the story was headlined. Marafa’s arrest has been the most spectacular of all Government arrested officials.
Many Cameroonians have expressed their views, while some praised him, others have been asking varied questions. Why must he (Marafa) write only now when he is out of office? Why did he not speak early enough? After the Presidential Election, did he not go back home and still asked his people to support the CPDM? Would he had spoken or written those letters if not arrested? The questions are endless, but BaretaNews would love to x-ray the Legacies of Marafa after working for 17 uninterrupted years with Biya. After having a sound education in the best democracies in the world, what Legacy can we be proud of him?
It is true that from time immoral, history teaches us that, warriors often change camps and become assets in championing change which they are prepared to lay their lives for. Defectors ( Marafa) often provide all logistic information needed by the opponents to effect change. I am confident that, it is this light the SDF has to identify this warrior (Marafa). This is why the SDF has decided to throw heavily their support behind Marafa despite the odds they had in the past while he was in office. For one thing, the attitude of the SDF goes along to show her principles of reconciliation which are a good aspect should they take over power.
But should the Cameroons People support Marafa? Should they forgive him and stand beside him in this trying moments? These questions could be answered if the Cameroons people identifies themselves with the Legacies Marafa left behind for which they could lay their lives for. What can we remember of Marafa while in office? I guess each citizen of this great Country shall have separate answers depending on how each and everyone was affected by his actions in office.
For sure a greater part of Cameroonians would not identify with Marafa. I could think of Mebara Atangana and his Higher Education Policies, till date most lecturers still yearn for him, a more reason Cardinal Tumi could even identify with him. I could still think of Fordinjam who took the Chantal Navier Limbe Project from grass to grace which saw the big man himself Biya
congratulating him. I could think of Gaga Harman who resigned from Biya’s regime because of corruption. I could think of Prime Minister Emeritus Musonge Mafany of made great strides in the CDC and even as PM. Now, what Legacies has Marafa left? BaretaNews could state some few:
1. He practically advises Biya on all major political decisions thus a failed Biya regime is as bad as Marafa himself
2. He joined Biya in reaping Cameroons oil money. He knows perfectly how Cameroons oil money has been managed and till date he kept his mouth shot.
3. He rigged with impunity practically all elections from the Cameroons People that would have helped change the course of Cameroon a long time ago
4. He created and designed ELECAM against the wishes of the Cameroons People but turned against the same ELECAM after Biya somewhat cut off his Ministry of Territorial Administration from ELECAM.
5. As former Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH) boss and someone in the inner circle of power, he ensured that SCDP distribution depots were planted only in Garoua, Baffoussam, Douala, Yaounde and none in Anglophone Cameroon still in a bit to marginalized Anglophones. Worthy of note is that towns with SCDP distribution depots have the privilege of having petrol at cheaper rates.
6. He reaped the Cameroons public Treasury to campaign for Biya.
These are the legacies BaretaNews could Identify with Marafa. Are these the type of legacies the Cameroons People want to Identify with Marafa? As BaretaNews, the only good thing Marafa has done is for his family, friends and the immediate community he came from. It is a fact that only Biya and Marafa are aware of the card game they are playing and so the Cameroons people should not get involve in their imbroglio.
It is true that during Marafa’s court trials thousands thronged the court during the first days he appeared and they hailed him. Mr. Marafa should not be deceived because like the Biblical Jesus whom thousands praised and hailed when he entered Jerusalem shouting “Hossana, Hossana”, just one week after hailing Jesus, that same crowd asked Pontus Pilate to Crucify him, Crucify him. This statement is as true as now. Where are the crowds who hailed him? It faded before it could even start.
Marafa should be aware that the SDF and Cameroons people hailed and praised him just because of the information they needed from him in order to have a strong base to get rid of Biya . It would be true that the same crowd who shouted during the courts “ Mr. President, Release our President” shall soon in the New Cameroons shout “ Thief, Thief, he kept us in bondage, Jail him, Crucify him” and the judges shall have no option than to jail him.
It is worthy to note that, Marafa is not different from Biya, both of them are different species from the same family line thus the people of the New Cameroons can only levy a lighter sentence on Marafa at least for repenting. After all, no sin goes unpunished even the Catholics believed in purgatory where despite how good you were on earth, you must pay for the little sins you must have committed while on earth as no one can see God with an iota of sin on him/her .In the same way, no matter how repentant Marafa will be, the people of the New Cameroons must make him pay for the sins he committed by keeping Cameroonians in bondage under the rule of Paul Biya.
Conclusively, BaretaNew rules that let us judge Marafa based on his legacies and not on sentiments. Every Cameroonian who held political office during the reign of Paul Biya must answer to the people of the New Cameroons. In this light, BaretaNews makes nonsense of the recent UN working group on Arbitrary Detention which calls on Cameroun Government to release Marafa.
NB: This article was first published in 2012 by Bara Mark in the Eden Newspaper Edition under the title “MARAFA’S SYNDROME: WHAT LEGACY HAS HE? “.
God is still saying something.