By Nana Walter Wilson
Peace Committee members of the Bakassi peninsula have come out with neighbourhood peace and bottom-up development plans of their respective communities in Bakassi, which with the assistance of their Municipal Councils and other Development partners would be realised in the immediate, mid and long term duration.
Committee members mapped out this plan during a workshop held in Mundemba on 24th and 25th February 2011 organised for the Bakassi Peace committee members by AFRICAphonie with support from the British High Commission, Cameroon.
Presenting the rationale of the workshop, the Executive Director of AFRICAphonie, Mwalimu George Ngwane,commended government’s effort in seeking the release of Cameroonians recently kidnapped by pirates but expressed the hope that the Cameroon government would see the need to partner with civil society organisations in minimising conflicts in Bakassi through the process of Conflict transformation and Endogenous development. He thanked the British High Commission Yaounde whose support had made it possible for AFRICAphonie to travel to Bamusso, Idabato and Kombo Itindi to hold workshops on enhancing citizen Peace among the Bakassi peninsula in November 2010 with the Mundemba workshop being the climax.
Unable to attend the workshop personally, the British High Commissioner to Cameroon His Excellency Bharat Joshi sent a message to the participants regretting his inability to be present at the workshop ‘owing to the recent events in Bakassi’. The High Commissioner congratulated AFRICAphonie on the progress made to successfully implement the project and expressed words of courage to the participants and administrative officers of the area in the light of the difficult situation in Bakassi.
The workshop that was spiced with lectures, ice breakers and working groups, sought to help participants understand the values of intra and inter community Peace as well as self-reliant development at the individual and community levels in the Bakassi Peninsula.
Two participants at the end of the workshop thanked AFRICAphonie for the education received during the project and urged the British High Commission in particular to support AFRICAphonie in another project that would enable the monitoring and evaluation of the Peace and development plans that they had mapped out.
Present at the workshop were six resourceful facilitators including Charlie Mbonteh, Richard Ndi Tanto, Ekpe Inyang, Jesse Konang, George Ngwane and George Atabong as well as the Mayors of Kombo Itindi, Idabato, Isangele, Kombo Abedimo and Bamusso.