Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, SDF MP, Donga and Mantung Centre (Nkambe) Constituency, says the SDF is the only political party that holds regular conventions!! In his conversation with Cameroon Tribune, Awudu Mbaya also speaks of his inputs to the recent climate change deal in France.
Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, you have been very present as a parliamentarian in efforts geared towards fighting the effects of climate change. How do you feel after Parliament’s adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement?
As President of Pan-African Parliamentarians’ Network on Climate Change and in my capacity as a member of Parliament who has worked so hard for that Paris Climate Agreement to be adopted, my impressions are good. They are good because if you participate in preparing food, you should be the first person to taste your own food. I called on my colleagues to adopt that bill authorizing the President to ratify the Agreement because I participated in panel-beating that Paris Climate Change Agreement.
We moved from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where this United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed to several other places like Durban and finally Copenhagen. People expected Copenhagen after Kyoto, to sign a binding agreement that was going to replace Kyoto Protocol. But Copenhagen was a total failure because they did not take into consideration the worries of most African People in particular and Third World countries in general. People who have not been polluting or who contribute less than 3 per cent of global pollution are the most affected as far as climate change is concerned.
So, because we laid the foundation in Paris, we should now push for its implementation. To push for the implementation, we needed to ratify. This is why I am very satisfied that we signed that law authorising the President to ratify the Agreement. We were one of the first Parliaments to ratify what was signed in New York on April 22, 2016. We are looking up to new programmes which now lead us to the COP22 in Morocco to implementing some of the issues that came out of the Agreement.
Two days after the adoption of that bill we organised a conference on the fallouts of the Paris Agreement with emphasis on what Cameroon and other African countries stand to benefit.
You have also been quite present in Parliament’s Control of Government action through the many questions you ask during plenary sittings dedicated to questions to government. What is your take on the effectiveness of this mechanism of government oversight?
To say that I am totally satisfied will be a blatant lie. I am satisfied in terms of asking those questions but the answers that come in some cases just end on papers. You do not see the implementation so you cannot be satisfied. But we continue to do our work to exercise the oversight, the checks and balances and fulfilling the terms of the Constitution whose Article 14(2) states clearly that we have two things to do: legislate and control government action.
So these written or verbal questions are part of the exercise of control of government action besides things like Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry which have never taken place here. In fact one would have been satisfied if the Minister comes and masters his ministry to the point that he can give the answers there. When we ask those questions it is not for the Minister to satisfy us but address the Ministry and to satisfy the Cameroonian people not me for I am just the spokesperson of the Cameroonian people.
So when the Minister answers the questions and does not ensure the follow-up, he is not doing it to me but to the Cameroonian people. But the Cameroonian people are watching likewise the person who appoints them. Sometimes it takes so long for the Minister to answer the question so much so that when the opportunity arises, the question is obsolete and will not serve the purpose at the moment.
The SDF party will be having its convention early 2017 to prepare for future challenges. What are the expectations of the Donga and Mantung militants?
The convention as summoned by the National Executive Committee will take place in February 2017. Talking about routine, it is just a normal routine. The SDF is the only party that holds regular conventions. We have had several conventions since the creation of the party and the members of NEC submit themselves to delegates who represent members of the party at all levels to elect officials of the party.
In fact that convention is going to be an elective convention which means from the smallest to the highest position of the National Executive Committee. The only body that has supreme powers to do that is the convention. And so the people are expecting to do just what they have been doing which means they will elect who they want to be their leaders.