This reflection is inspired by the fact that unlike an umpteen African and Cameroon elite who have spent time over the years, fostering and perpetrating Western and European hegemony or North/South cooperation, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle has stood out as a shinning city upon the hill, in promoting and fostering South/South cooperation.
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It is also informed by the fact that very few African thinkers and elites seem to understand the fact that Africans would remain underdogs and beggers infront of Western and European countries, if they do not fight to break down the movement and trade barriers amongst African countries skillfully imposed by the Western and European colonizers so as to keep African nations perpetually divided and reliant on them, while the West and Europe unites in exploiting such divisions, a phenomen Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle now seems to be joining Professor Lumumba, in frontally challenging.
It is also inspired by the fact that it takes only a forward-looking and open-minded people and nation like Nigeria to publicly recognize and eulogize a citizen of another country like Cameroon, for years of promoting and fostering trade, tourism and cultural relations between Cameroon and Nigeria, as well as intra African trade.
Last March 22, 2021, saw a new chapter opened in the history of Cameroon-Nigeria relations with citizen diplomacy at the forefront as frontline Cameroon citizens who have over the years been promoting and nurturing trade, tourism and rich cultural relations between Cameroon and Nigeria were publicly recognized and awarded certificates. Singled out for appreciation and awarded by the Nigerian diplomatic mission in Cameroon, acting on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian people, was Cameroon’s international legal luminary, human rights and humanitarian lawyer, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, who in turn quickly dedicated the award to the media family in Cameroon for always standing by him in the dissemination of his crusades and campaigns against injustices, moral decadence and social ills.
The event that marked the end of the Cameroon-Nigerian Trade, Tourism and Cultural Week, an annual event curated by the Nigerian Consul General in Douala-Cameroon, where Ntmfor Barrister Nico Halle, the awardee was also guest speaker, was unique opportunity for the friendly and brotherly people of the two countries to showcase the richness of intra African trade, tourism and cultural cooperation as its sustainability needed to go beyond governments and diplomats to being appropriated by ordinary citizens in African countries, the likes of Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle leading by example.
Not that Ntumfor’s charity in leading by example began abroad. He has for years done so in his native Awing, the North West, Cameroon and in various spheres. His examplary leadership skills and humanitarian ouvertures have over the years, earned him over 116 local, national and international awards, which averagely could be an equivalent of three awards per year for the last 30 years, not counting awards and medals he has rejected, for want of credibility.
Apart from being holder of two honoris causa doctorial degrees from renowned university institutes, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle is also awardee the 2018 Africa Summit Universal Peace Federation, which award Ntumfor dedicated to all peace loving and law abiding Cameroonians, 2019 Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecturer, amongst others.
Some of his most exciting awards are a sign of encouragement and appreciation for his unrelentless whistleblowing against corruption, embezzlement, bribery, election rigging, moral decadence and human rights abuses in both public and private spheres, including the church.
Ntumfor’s whistleblowing against powerful institutions and individuals cuts through foreboding shadows with a clear and courageous message of hope to all Africans in general and Cameroonians in particular: a message that fear must be defeated in 2021 for any meaningful change to be effected in Cameroon in particular and Africa in general. A message that Cameroonians, and by extension Africans, fear truth-telling because of the fear of material and career-limiting opportunities.
And like Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie in ‘Facing the future without fear’, Ntumfor is of the opinion that even though there are over 136 references in the Bible urging God’s people not to fear, fear has weakened the immune system of Cameroonians and Africans to an extent that they compromise the morally corrupt governance systems across Africa.
His outings at times inspire awe and contempt, heightening the intense affective landscape in which whistleblowers will often find themselves.
Ntumfor’s boldness and critical scholarship in calling out the injustices of power regimes, institutions and individuals, inevitably trigger anger, anxiety, shame, guilt, disgust, and indeed fear, as he refuses to behave like other Cameroonians by remaining silent in the face of corruption, embezzlement, linguistic and cultural violence and discrimination, as obtains today in Cameroon.
And going by the prevailing circumstances, especially in the two English speaking Regions of Cameroon where fear of speaking truth to power has become a constant companion to many, Ntumfor’s prescription for 2021 is that it is preferable to speak the truth if any change in the situation is expected in 2021.
That would also entail promoting and fostering intra African trade, tourism, cultural exchanges, and more importantly, indigenous methods of preventing and resolving intra-state and inter-state conflicts in much the same way Cameroon and Nigeria did over the Bakassi boundary conflict, where Ntumfor himself later gave awards of appreciation and recognition to the Presidents of Nigeria and Cameroon, for their statesmanship in peacefully resolving the conflict, and where he continues to bring pressure to bare on President Paul Biya to use the same enlightened wisdom to resolve the ragging Anglophone conflict.