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NW Politicians Should Leave Me Alone – Nico Halle 

Interviewed by Joe Dinga Pefok

Peace crusader and international legal consultant, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, has called on Northwest politicians pestering him with invitations to attend political events, to leave him alone. He insists he is an independent and neutral personality and that they should respect his position, just as he respects their own decision to be involved in politics.

In this interview granted The Post, Nico Halle expresses anger at CPDM militants offering him invitations to meetings intended to raise funds for President Paul Biya’s candidacy at the 2011 Presidential Election. He also gives his impression about Paul Biya as Head of State, as well as on other vital national issues. Read on.

The Post learnt you were recently extended an invitation to attend a fundraising organised in Bamenda for the presumed Presidential candidate of the ruling CPDM, Paul Biya. But you turned down the invitation; is that true?

Nico Halle: In fact, the letter in question was handed to me by one of my secretaries. I realised that the invitation had to do with a party’s fundraising for the Presidential Election, and so I simply kept it aside. But then my secretary told me that the bearer of the letter, wanted to see me.

I then went out to the secretariat, and behold the person I saw was somebody I least expected to be sent to me. Immediately I started smelling a rat. The only one question I asked him was if he was sure that the invitation came from the Prime Minister. He said he was sure of that and that I could call Dr. Peter Abety and verify. I did not tell him whether I will attend the event or not.

Was it because of the identity of the envoy that you did not attend the fundraising?

No. But it is true that because the bearer of the letter was this particular fellow, the whole thing to me smacked of a hidden agenda or of malicious intention.

It is no secret that for a number of years now, this fellow is being used by my detractors who are some Northwest CPDM elites, especially from Santa, to try to sully my image as part of their plot to destroy me. He is merely a dancer, as the drummers are in the bush. They hate me because I stand for the truth. Of course election riggers, blackmailers, barefaced liars, gossipers and embezzlers do not like somebody like me. 

Let me stress here that, there are many good people amongst Northwest CPDM elite. But unfortunately the bad eggs amongst them overshadow the good ones, and are together with their agents causing untold destruction to the region. As Chinua Achebe says in the Arrow of God: "Lunatics might be few, but they own the place".   

Did you contact Dr Abety to check the veracity of the claim that the invitation came from the Prime Minister?

No. I did not see any need to do that. I had the feeling that the invitation was rather the handiwork of my detractors. I do not believe in any word that the fellow, who brought that invitation, says. So, it would have been irrational for me to bother myself or waste my precious time to go verifying.

We are living in a society where unscrupulous fellows dishonestly use the name of the Head of State as well as that of the Prime Minister to deceive people. Take that the Prime Minister asks some elite to make a list of  Northwest CPDM elites who could be invited to attend a fundraising in Bamenda for President Biya`s campaign.

Then, that some of these elites who know my position as an independent personality very well, still maliciously go ahead to address an invitation to me, and claim that the invitation is from the Prime Minister, is absolutely unacceptable and vicious on their part. The Prime Minister did not ask that I, an independent personality, be invited.

And you can easily see the vicious intention of those persons who sent the invitation to me. When I did not show up for their CPDM fundraising, they leaked it to the media that an invitation was sent to me. Imagine that I sent a financial contribution.

They would have of course leaked it to the media the same day, and even told lies of how I had all along been a member of their party. As you can see, that invitation was not sent to me in good faith. In fact, it was just one of the several different traps that detractors have set up against me, with the intention being to ruin my image. 

Let us assume that the invitation in question actually came from the Prime Minister  (Halle cuts in)

A clear example that the invitation did not come from the Prime Minister is that when he convened a meeting of Northwest elite last year to prepare for the visit of the Head of State to Bamenda, he invited me. But when he convened the meeting in Yaounde a couple of weeks ago to raise funds for President Biya’s  campaign, he did not invite me.

This is because the PM knows I am a neutral personality. I know that the Prime Minister, HE Philemon Yang, is very knowledgeable, forthcoming and foresighted. I do not by any stretch of the imagination see how the Prime Minister would have sent me an invitation to attend such an invent- a fundraising for the election campaign of President Paul Biya.

As we all know, besides being Head of State, HE Paul Biya is also the National President of the ruling CPDM, and is said by the militants to be the natural candidate of the party. So any fundraising for President Biya`s election campaign is synonymous to the fund raising for the Presidential candidate of the CPDM.

The Prime Minister also knows so well that the Head of State appointed me as the Northwest member of the National Elections Observatory, NEO, based not only on my credibility, but also on the fact that I am an independent personality. I am sure it would be embarrassing to the Head of State, if he were to hear today that I have made any contribution to his election campaign.

So, you did not respect the invitation to attend the fundraising, because you are an independent personality.

I did not attend the fundraising and will never do so. As a matter of fact, I belong to no political party. I am a member of the civil society. As an independent personality, I will not contribute a franc for the campaign or event of any political party.

Was this the first time you received an invitation to attend a CPDM event?

No. In fact, I have, over the years, received a number of invitations. But it should be noted that it is not only the CPDM that has sent me invitations. I have also received a number of invitations from other political parties to attend their events. I have of course not respected any of the invitations. 

But why do some politicians send you invitations, when your stand over the years as an independent personality is well known.

Perhaps some of those who send such invitations want to tempt me. In fact if I were to show you the invitations that I have received from politicians or political parties over the years, you will be shocked. If this invitation which was addressed to me for the July 16 fundraising in Bamenda was not leaked to the media, the public would never have known about it.

But I pray that politicians should leave me alone. Why all these temptations. They have chosen to do politics, while I have, on my part, chosen not to do politics. I respect their rights to do politics. Let them respect mine as an independent personality, and please leave me alone.
There are some politicians who seem to hold to the doctrine that "Either you are with us, or you are against us".

That is a stupid reasoning. That is not democracy. This beloved country of ours, Cameroon, is not made up only of politicians or militants of political parties. There are many Cameroonians in different parts of the country who do not belong to any political party, and it is their right not to belong. There are many of these Cameroonians as well, who have over the years been doing great things in nation building. What a country needs of its citizens is that they should be patriotic. You know my track record as a peace crusader, human rights activist, elections observer and an international legal consultant.

You know my track record in development, in the fight against corruption, election malpractices, blackmail, embezzlement, human rights abuse, prostitution, lies-telling and other vices in the society. I do not need to be a militant of a political party to be able to do what I am doing, or to be able to show love for my country. I am contributing to nation building in my own modest way. And I think I am satisfied with that. 

What is your appreciation of Paul Biya as Head of State? Though you have refused to contribute to his campaign, it would be recalled that you made huge financial contributions, as well as played a very active role in preparations for President Biya`s visit to Bamenda last year.  

As a patriot, I have a lot of respect for State institutions. I so much appreciate President Biya`s policy of maintaining peace in the country, as well peace with our neighbours. The Head of State stands for peace, development, harmony, unity, democracy and national integration. I strongly support HE Paul Biya as Head of State.

Talking about the visit to Bamenda last year, HE Paul Biya was going there as Head of State. As a Northwest elite, I had to make my modest contribution to prepare for the visit of our beloved Head of State. And all what I did, I did so happily. If I have any opportunity to do anything for the Head of State, I will not hesitate for a second.

But then there is a difference between Paul Biya, the Head of State, and him being the National President of the CPDM or the party`s presidential candidate. When it comes to Paul Biya as Head of State, I, as a patriotic Cameroonian, solidly stand behind him. But when it comes to him being the Chairman or candidate of a political party, I take a neutral stand.

And so, you will not contribute money for Biya`s campaign?

Yes, not a franc. Those who truly love President Biya are people who promote the values or the things he stands for like peace, good governance, unity, transparent elections, accountability, patriotism, development, love, honesty and solidarity.

 

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