The information was contained in a communiqué, presented on July 31 at the Youth and Animation Centre, Buea Town, during a SWECC meeting.
The Chiefs appealed to the Head of State to seek funds necessary for the construction of a new bridge, including the reinforcement of administrative and alternative roads with bridges.
They appreciated the measures taken to ensure the continuous flow of traffic and communication between the Southwest and Littoral Provinces after the collapse of the Mungo Bridge.
In his speech, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, Minister Delegate in the Ministry of External Relations in charge of relations with the Commonwealth, who represented Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musongè, said price control measures have been put in place and swift sanctions will be meted out on those who hike prices. Furthermore, he said, by August 1, athemporary platform would arrive at the collapsed Mungo Bridge to ensure a twolane crossing of trucks with a capacity of 120 tons. He said plans for the designing of a new bridge with the possibility of a second crossing on a different site are on the way He said they hope the foundation stone forte new bridge would be laid before the end of this year.
Dr. Ngute said government also plans to improve on the infrastructure of the Southwest Province, including the provision of water and electricity.
He also mentioned the reopening of the Tiko Seaport, which will be used to transport cooking gas and other essential commodities from Douala to Tiko.
He told the chiefs that the decentralisation of the country is now an irreversible reality and a dream come true, which according to him, is thanks to the stewardship of President Biya.
The President of SWECC, Chief S.M.L Endeley, said the Southwest Province has experienced sociopoli theal development since February 22, 2003, when the first general meeting of SWECC was convened.
He highlighted some of the achievements the country has had under the New Deal government such as; Cameroon’s admission into Francophonie and the Commonwealth. As for the Southwest Province, he said there has been infrastructure development the ongoing construction of the Limbe deep seaport, which he said is expected to create some 4000 jobs; construction of the thermal plant in Limbe, the Buea General Hospital constructed by the Chinese and many others.
According to Endeley, it is thanks to the New Deal government, that Cameroon is experiencing peace and stability.
Dion Ngute also urged the Chiefs to vote for President Biya in the upcoming Presidential election. He said it is only by voting Biya that the people of the Southwest Province can give meaning to the partnership between the province and President Biya.
He said Cameroon has changed irreversibly and it is an opportunity for the Southwesterners to be on board and be counted as full partners of the nation.
“Let us reelect Mr. Biya from the Southwest and for the Southwest Province,” he said. He called on the Chiefs to do ail, to act when necessary to stir the province of its destiny as it is supposed to be with President Biya.
Dr. Dion Ngute, highlighted what the administration has done and is still going to do to alleviate what he called the pains and suffering of the people of the Southwest, as result of the collapse of the Mungo Bridge.
He said work has com-menced on the rehabilitation of the Kumba-Tombel-Loum road, to ease traffic. The railway between Banga and Kumba has been increased to seven trips a day, access to the Pendamboko ferry has been improved a special ship now sails between Douala and Tiko ensuring regular supply of basic materials, a special ship to supply cooking gas from Douala to Tiko is already operating across the Mungo River, said.
Dion Ngute said the aspirations of the people of the Southwest Province has been answered, wit their desire to have meaningful decentralisation, through which they can express themselves and feel involved in up con the socio-economic and cultural Franc development of the country.
In a communiqué presented candid by Chief Samuel Ebanja, the Chiefs enjoined President Paul Biya to announce his candidature for the 2004 Presidential election.
Speaking to The Post, Chief Paul Besumbu Bokwe of Meme across Division, said as a village head, he was learnt from SWECC that they have to express their freedom and to vote for the present regime so that peace will continue to reign.
Chief Stephen Otang from Manyu, said he has always been a supporter of the CPDM party and during the last elections, the CPDM scored 100 percent
in his village. He said he is happy to know and to hear that the other Southwest Chiefs are also in support of the CPDM.
“It is better you vote for the devil you know tan the angel you do not know” he said.