Land Encroachment: Indeed, enough is enough

EDITORIAL 17 Jun 2020
Land Encroachment: Indeed, enough is enough

Patience, they say sometimes has a limit in every human interaction. There could therefore not have been a better time than now, for the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC to have reached the end of the road that bears its patience over the provocative issue of the encroachment on its property, notably, landed property. We are therefore not surprised that the CDC is now talking, and talking with the tone of anger borne by desperation.
For quite a long time now, the CDC has grudgingly been able to swallow the bitter pill of a so-called official policy of land surrender to village chiefs on behalf of their communities. These chiefs come up with the excuse that, the original land space of their villages can no longer contain the growing populations. Even as subtle the approach may look, it has always been superficially convincing enough to attract the sympathy and concern of the authorities of the CDC, especially with the backing of senior administrative officers or even ministers. In most cases, even influential greedy individuals benefit from this kind of setting.
The bottom line is that the CDC has lost too much of its landed property to this kind of arrangements. We find no other way to state the fact, than to acknowledge the truth that the corporation has been pushed to the wall, and have arrived at the limit of their patience. We hail the corporation for the steps it has taken to seek redress in court and possibly put a stop to this phenomenon.
It is obvious that the most disturbing case which must have prompted the CDC to take the steps it has taken is that of two companies, GEST ENG. and TEALBESOM companies, allegedly owned by a certain Chief Abel Mukake Ndive, traditional ruler of Sasse village, in Buea sub division. The chief is alleged to have encroached on CDC land estimated to cover about 14 Hectares in Bonadikombo, Mile Four, Limbe, cutting down crops, especially palms trees at a time of near harvest.
We are aware that there is a procedure for land surrender, which the CDC follows in the process of ceding land to villages and communities for the purpose of growth. If today CDC authorities are challenging the occupation of 14 Hectares of land in Bonadikombo by Chief Mukake, on behalf of companies, while at the same time describing the alleged acquisition as an encroachment, then this can only raise the question how exactly His Majesty acquired the said land which the CDC is coming up now so vehemently to challenge. This is indeed a very pertinent question seeking an explicit and convincing answer.
The recent CDC outburst on encroachments on their land has only rekindled a perennial phenomenon in Fako, which virtually bears the unfortunate impression that land in Fako is for grabs especially CDC land. That land in Fako has all of a sudden become a kind of commodity which should be brandished at will and dispose of with a mere wave of the hand. We hold no one responsible but our chiefs, aided by state administrators, ministers, other high public officials, as well as influential greedy individuals who provide cover or even alibis for such dubious deals.
We consider it unpatriotic that, the Cameroon Development Corporation, as the name clearly defines the purpose for its establish nearly a century ago, that is, to develop this part of the country, some people are taking advantage of its ailing conditions to deprive it of its only hope for survival, which of course is its land. We want to state categorically that even land which is ceded to village communities through their chiefs, hardly gets to the right members of the communities who deserve it.
The truth is that, it should be presumed that the CDC finds itself in the present situation has given up its assigned role. It remains on record as the second highest employer after the state. This alone is assuring that, for many, there is a future after all, after crossing the Biblical Jordan. And the bigger question to ask is, what matters more, the life of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, or the interest of greedy individuals determined to deprive it of its land? Certainly it is the future of the CDC that matters, and all what is expected from every patriotic Cameroonian is to do everything to protect the CDC from its destruction and this is just what we believe justice will do.

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