Revisiting the late President Ahmadou Ahidjo’s greatest contribution to Manyu 0

A man who had perhaps the most significant influence on Western political thought and education is the Greek philosopher Plato. As a student of Socrates and later the teacher of Aristotle, he cherished education and believed in its power to change people and create a stable state. Plato believed that all citizens in a society needed to be educated for it to be stable and prosperous. Inspired by the wisdom of Plato, Ahmadou Ahidjo who became Cameroon’s first head of state embarked on that great journey to educate all in his new country.

This heroic and commendable vision of President Ahmadou Ahidjo led to a national policy of sending the brightest minds the country produced to study at the finest universities in the West. Most of these students left Cameroon after A’ Levels in the ’60s, ’80s and 90s with full tuition and accommodation expenses paid for by the government of Cameroon. They studied at University College London, University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Imperial College London, and University of Oxford, Yale, Harvard and many other great institutions of higher learning in the West.

One of the communities that greatly benefited from Ahmadou Ahidjo’s policy of education for a prosperous state was the Manyu. Manyus are renowned for having an inborn aptitude for education and have consistently produced smart and fertile minds. They contributed vast numbers to the scholarship community travelling to the US and UK. A recent survey by this media outlet found that Manyu had more young men and women on the scholarship train than any other constituency in Ahmadou Ahidjo’s United Republic of Cameroon. Manyus will live to enjoy for a very long time due to the vision of one person-the late President Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Today in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Manyu celebrates Dr Ben Tanyi, who studied Mathematics and Statistics and has distinguished himself in the global mining and petroleum industry.

Manyus bow and tremble when the name Dr Henry Tabe is mentioned! A man who navigated from a BSc in Mathematics and Statistical Science into a PhD in Pure Mathematics, which he completed in 18 months at the University College of London. Dr Henry Tabe is a prominent finance expert who can hold his own against anyone in the City of London.

Another recipient of Ahidjo’s scholarship was Ayuk Akoh-Arrey, a Senior Policy Actuarial in London who knows almost all that is about insurance products.

Dr Peter Ashu made the most of his opportunity and obtained a PhD in Physics from the renowned University of Cardiff before establishing himself in the global Information Technology sector.

Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia and formerly of the American University of Nigeria, was another beneficiary who moonlighted himself as a global Information Technology Expert. The Manyu list is long, great and remarkable.

President Ahidjo like many other African leaders was a man with many faults! He was a tricky and canny political operator who tolerated no political opposition to his views and ambition. He single-handedly brought so much benefit to the Cameroonian nation ranging from great infrastructure projects to economic growth and prosperity, building of a welfare state and instilling in the consciousness of Cameroonians that education remains the key to a prosperous society. 

As we approach the centenary of his birth, (born August 1924, Garoua, Cameroon—died Nov. 30, 1989, Cameroon Concord News Group is imploring its readers to celebrate a man who had a vision for a united people and a united nation. This publication is calling on Manyus around the world to raise a glass to this visionary that used the levers of power to set the foundation for the academic take off of Manyu as a constituency and the economic profits that Manyu is enjoying today.

Plato and Ahidjo believed education was the key to eradicating evil and achieving stability in a community and State. They were both correct, for the Manyu community at home and in the diaspora is a better place today because Ahidjo lived.

By Isong Asu

The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Cameroon Concord News Group