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Written by Fongum Gorji-Dinka   
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 20:56




John Niba Ngu alias Mr. CDC

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The Scribe of the Fondom, Barrister Marcellus Nyah Ebui

Fellow mourners,

We mourn yet another Widikum icon who has answered present to the divine Roll Call so soon after his elder womb brother Professor Anoma Ngu did.

Many people called John Niba Ngu Mr. CDC; and for good reason. It was him that the Almighty God used to save our most successful agro-industrial complex; the Cameroon Development Corporation from early death at the hands of political jobbery. 

John Niba Ngu as head of the CDC accounts department enabled the World Bank to monitor the progress of their investments in CDC successfully. The managing agents of the CDC were the Commonwealth Development Corporation. The term of British management had expired; and President Ahidjo had earmarked one of his political cronies to succeed the departing British CDC Manager. The World Bank feared that a political appointee as General Manager would mess up their investments in CDC. So the World Bank made it known to President Ahidjo that  any further loans for CDC from the World Bank, would be granted only on condition no one else but John Niba Ngu succeed the British as CDC General Manager. President Ahidjo backed down and appointed John Niba Ngu as the very first indigenous General Manager of the CDC.

Then when President Paul Biya took over as Cameroon President, he hardly knew much of Anglophone politics. He of course assumed that John Ngu Foncha who was the Anglophone leader at the time would be his best adviser on Anglophone matters. So he and his ministers were to open their ears to Mr. Foncha.

One evening I found John Ngu, as workaholic as always, still in his office. But this time he was compiling handing over notes. He had been informed by his boss the Agriculture Minister that he should prepare hand over notes and await a formal decree. I was shocked.

John Niba Ngu had enabled the CDC make profits of over a two milliard yearly since he took over as General Manager; and now they want CDC to die, just as West Cameroon Development Agency, Cameroon Bank, Cameroon Air Transport etc all started by John Niba Ngu but killed by political jobbery.

It turned out that Mr. Foncha had, as always, in abuse of confidence advised Younde to sack John Niba Ngu and replaced him with one Martin Oki Oyebog as General Manager of CDC. Oyebog was the husband of Madame Foncha’s sister Lucy.  He was just a civil servant who had been seconded from the agricultural department to the CDC; with no track record in administration or management of any type.

I took copies of the minister’s correspondences on the proposed sack of John Niba Ngu and flew to Yaounde the next day. While in Yaounde, I went to General Pierre Semengue’s office. When his secretary took in my business card, I heard the general exclaim “Maître Dinka! Ca ce’st serious He abruptly adjourned a meeting of his military brass and they trooped out each giving me a salute as they passed me by.

General Semengue came out of his office with an air of expectation to usher me in. "Take a seat Maître; Is there a problem?" He asked.

“Yes, you and the President are the problem.” I responded adding: “General Semengue, I’ve never met you before. But anyone in your position must know that the only Cameroon government company still making profits is the CDC. Does it make any sense that the same Paul Biya who is for a government of technocrats is to sack John Niba Ngu, the very architect of CDC success, simply to please Mr. Foncha? Does it make sense, my General?”

No Maître, replied the General.

I then dropped the agric minister’s correspondences with the CDC General Manager on the General’s saying: “Get someone translate this for you. This minister is sacking John Niba Ngu so the CDC can also collapse. Does it make sense?”

“No Maître”, retorted the general adding “Not while Biya still has an ear for me.”

“I came here only to let you know what is happening. So I’m hurrying to catch a plane back to Doula. Can you get one of your boys go call me a taxi, please?” I asked.

“Maître, my driver would drop you at the airport,” the general responded, adding “You already got a return ticket?”

“No.” I responded. “That’s why I’m in a hurry. I’ll buy one when I get there.”

General Semengue’s driver took me to the airport. As I stepped out of the car a Cameroon Airline Official ran up to me and asked: “Are you Maître Dinka? I nodded in response. Then Airline Official said: “Maître, herewith a boarding pass. Come wait at the VIP lounge

General Semengue had, without my request, organized my return trip. As he was about taking me to the VIP lounge, I went to the driver and asked him to thank the General for me. I flew to Duala and drove back to Victoria.

Two days later John Mr. CDC drove up to my house looking very worried.

“Gorji, my minister has summoned me to Yaounde tomorrow. He sounds very, very angry. Gorji remember what happened when they sacked me from the West Cameroon Development Agency.  So if they lock me up, please Gorji go take Eli and the kids to Bamenda. Be sure you take them along yourself Gorji.”

I exploded with laughter. It reminded me of the time when Buea had sacked John Niba Ngu as Secretary of West Cameroon Development Agency and then moved to have him arrested. So we sneaked John out of West Cameroon to Yaounde; and a week later, he was appointed State Controller by President Ahidjo.

“Gorji, this is not laughing matter. I’ve never heard my boss sound so angry”

“Relax John.” I advised adding “I believe Biya has hit the idiot hard on his head. He will regret for following the advice of that diminutive evil imp.”

John flew to Younde the following morning and returned by evening of the same day. He phoned me saying: “It has happened come help me pack.”

As I drove into the CDC GM’s well groomed flowery compound, John came out with his arms stretched out for a hug. John hugged me with his golf exercised arms so crushingly that I had to bite his neck to get him off of me.

Gorji, I wish you were the drinking type.” He continued: “I now understand why my minister was so angry. He handed me the very documents you took away saying the President had summoned him, threw the documents at him, and severely chided him while ordering him to urgently reverse his decision.”

The minister had begged John to just get the Foncha family off his back by appointing Oyebog to another position. John obliged by making Mr. Oyebog a member of the CDC General Managers cabinet with a special assignment to assess the entire ramification of the CDC and propose methods of increasing profitability.

And that is how the Lord God used Lawyer Dinka and General Pierre Semengue and President Biya to save the CDC from Anglophone political jobbery which would have sent the CDC diving into the early death.

And now there goes John Ngu Mr. CDC from this side of the grave to the other. My heart bleeds for you Eli the double widow. You are burying John only a few weeks after burying Prof, your elder husband. It must be very hard, not just for you but for some of us who have been sentimentally so linked to these two Widikum icons. But as I told you over the phone; you should put your trust in the one and only one to trust and that is the good Lord almighty. The word of the Lord says: “call upon me in your times of tribulations and I will answer you. So will He the Lord answer you Eli for sure, with comfort and strength yet unknown to you.

And for you John Mr. CDC, we console ourselves that you also go to join Nini Prof and our ancestral gods; who as our patron saints, pray daily at the feet of the Almighty God for us here below.

So John Mr. CDC, on behalf of Widikum people I say adieux, good bye, au revoir till we meet again over there.

As always, our prayers are that He the Good Lord of infinite mercy holds us firmly in His mighty hands till our turn comes to each answer the divine roll call. This we pray in the name and through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; now and for evermore, Amen!

Fon Fongum Gorji-Dinka




+2 # Dr M-A Kumbongsi 2011-09-01 07:22
My sincere condolence is extended to the John Niba Ngu family for this loss of a man who came to the CDC at a time when the CDC was literally strapped financially as Yaounde sought to control the income of the Corporation irrespective of investment needs of the CDC.

To keep the CDC from going under this very resourceful son of the land did everything possible such as cancelling the car loan programme for the senior staff, taking out phones from several residences and offices and other amenities as stringent measures to save the CDC. We have lost a true financial management guru of a rare species.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.

M-A Kumbongsi, Ph.D, P.Ag
(former management staff of the CDC)
0 # Prof. Martin Ayim 2011-09-01 12:41
A very moving eulogy to Mr. CDC. Once the powers know that you know and can look in the eye and speak,they yield.
+1 # Dr. Geraldine O Ndip 2014-10-09 01:44
You have no business writing without any facts. You dare call my late father a mare civil servant. For your information, my father schooled in England, with a degree in agriculture and served many years in agriculture. He built CDC and all can testify to this. Late Mr. Ngu, may his soul rest in peace- he too would testify to this. My father was asked by the president to be Mr. Ngu's advisor due to his knowledge , something which never materialized with reasons best known to late Mr. Ngu. This was not just because my father was married to late Mr. Foncha's wife, sister to my mother. You Cameroonians are very shallow and have a sick way of twisting things. So you see, Mr. you had better get your facts straight or just stay quiet, or find something else to talk about. For someone seeking office, this is very poor of you. It shows you dont do your homework. How then can you serve the Country? You can't.
Dr. Geraldine Ndip
Petroleum Engineer
0 # Uncle Stan 2017-01-22 05:47
A well educated person will bring up corrections and advises rather than condemning and insulting.
0 # Etchu Ndip 2014-10-05 13:37
What a divider? You cannot eulogise somebody by bringing down other citizens. May their souls rest in peace.

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