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Neba Fuh

"Dr. Bate Besong was, without doubt, one of the greatest names in Cameroonian and African writing. Dr. Besong died en route to obtain a visa for an international conference in America,"...

…"Quite often, and without our knowing it, it is how we travel that saves us, just as it is what we write that saves us too!!"

These are the utterances of the Higher Education Minister of Cameroon at the funeral of the learned scholar- Dr Jacobs Bate Besong.

If 'logic in truth' is anything to go by, then one is not suppose to praise his fellow man at his funeral, except he could have done same if he was alive.

For the Minister to describe Dr BB as '...without doubt one of the greatest names in Cameroonian and African writings'; but whose administration allegedly stifled a golden opportunity Dr BB had to dissipate his knowledge abroad, in a Fulbright Fellowship last year; is a cause for concern.

The Minister's use of the verb 'save' in the second quote is an intentional polemic raised to judge Dr BB's demise from the choices he made. The Minister is callously interpreting the causative effects on the courses we choose in life. What a display of intellectual cramp from the so called Minister.

Without going into the flimsy argument of who determines how long man lives on earth, I would like to make the following points to the 'eternal' Minister:

1) Most great men have always quitted this earthly stage in spectacular ways. e.g Jesus , the Christ; Martin Luther King, President Kennedy , Steve Biko, etc.
These people made choices that put them on the steering wheel, while cowards like the Minister are always lost in the wagon's crowd. They led while you, Mr Minister, always follows. Mr Minister, you are a follower-that is your choice; or else you won't have been eating the maggots from wounds of the oligarch in Yaounde. Mr Minister, I am sure you know 'how' to travel and 'what' to write, so that you will live forever. What a callous mind!!!

Dr Jacobs Bate Besong is a legend- a rare gem. His works ‘save’. His choices are exemplary. His struggle will not stop.

You can kill the flesh, but not the spirit.
Here, we have their errand boy mimicking the words of the plot masters... Go party in Yaounde with Madame and Co, but remember your nightmares will always be clouded with the ideals BB preached; and then tomorrow you will answer in the people's courts even if you decide to live FOREVER. Intellectual coward!!!!

Mr Minister,'Yours Truly' would not have invited you to his funeral, if that were possible. Your realm and his, cannot cross. You live in a realm of continual denial while 'Yours Truly' was emancipated from mental slavery.

Let me remind you, Mr Minister that the only common denominator we share is mortality. You may claim to know the 'how' and the 'what' to postpone the inevitable, but why can you not just eliminate physical death? keep your cheap lessons from your unsolicited 'gnostics' , 'mystics' and 'marabouts' to yourself.

Jacobs Bate Besong's exit leaves an indelible influence. He quitted doing what he loved most, just like the American astronauts on board the space shuttle 'Columbia' who lost their lives, while returning to Earth(February 1, 2003).

Jacobs BB lives on.

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To have heard a Minister make such a calous statement at the demise of the finest scholar that ''anglofool'' cameroonians have had in recent times is no strange news to any with a little knowlege of the realities of the cameroonian power ploitic. What made it sound bizarre, was the MR MINISTER'S remark that scholars be careful about what they write and should not drive when exited.
Happy enough, that emisaary of rift, bearing the message was nearly booed off stage by a people stretched to the limit for so long,''glory be''.Glory be to that fine soul for a life long struggle to expose a vision;ess and bareen regime. Shame on u Mr Minister and entire clique for fighting hard to leave nothing behind but DISGRACE to unborn Cameroonians.

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