Etoudi and FECAFOOT: The death of high instructions! 0

The bruising fight between FECAFOOT’s President, Samuel Eto’o, and the Minister of Sports, Moelle Kombi, finally played out in public today with the minister’s technical adviser asked to leave  FECAFOOT premises.

The matter did not end there. The minister’s appointed coach was also given a beating and reminded that he had an interest in attending the meeting with FECAFOOT officials, an idea which did not go down well with the Belgian who saw his technical staff refused entry into the FECAFOOT building.

In this fight, it is Cameroon’s football which will suffer as Eto’o and minister Kombi engage in a struggle which could have been avoided if the laws had been respected. Cameroon’s laws are, at all levels, like shifting sands or a maze, and this unfortunate situation is hurting Cameroonians.

The frustrating thing is that Eto’o cannot be dismissed even by the country’s president. He was voted while the minister was appointed. In this confusion, FIFA might step in with a normalization committee which will see Eto’o out while the minister could be fired by the president for not posting acceptable results.

The mess playing out in the football sub-sector in Cameroon is simply the tip of the massive iceberg which is buried in the ocean of corruption, incompetence and influence trafficking.

Cameroon appears to be a rudderless ship for decades. For many years, the country has been ruled by decree or what is known in Cameroon as HIGH INSTRUCTIONS, something which clearly points to the fact that the country has drifted into a full-blown dictatorship.

Nobody respects the constitution. Nobody cares about the good running of the system. When a minister wants to implement his private agenda, he immediately invokes the famous high instructions. Everyone sings the president’s praises to hide their crimes and sins, and nothing gets done.

Cameroon is sinking and it appears there is no rescue squad. With the fight between Eto’o and Kombi playing out live, it is clear that those high instructions can be torn and put in the garbage bin. It is clear that the era of HIGH INSTRUCTIONS is coming to an end.

Cameroon needs principled people. The group of hypocrites surrounding the president have steered the country down a chaotic and dangerous path.

If Cameroon has to come out of its current mess which has lasted for almost five decades, a new system needs to be engineered and that system must rules-based with a clear separation of powers.

Cameroon’s highly centralized system has created more problems without even seeking to address old issues. A federal structure, especially a parliamentary system which allows only elected officials to exercise power will not only reduce the type of fights we are now witnessing, it will also reduce abuse and corruption which have been huge constraints on Cameroon’s economic and political development.

Cameroon simply needs a new system. High instructions clearly belong to the past. Repairing Cameroon will be an uphill climb but the job must be done and all those who have participated, directly or indirectly, in reducing Cameroon to an Augean Stable should be clearly cut out of the new system.

By Dr Joachim Arrey