It is the first time in five years, since the crisis took the wrong twist, that sons and daughters of Belo Valley in Boyo Division have come together to openly and officially launch a crusade for schools to resume in the area.
Meeting at their first annual general assembly, under the banner of an association known as “I Am Njinikejem,” the members unanimously agreed to work hand-in-glove in order to ensure that Njinikejem Village in Belo subdivision regains its lost glory.
“For five years now our children have been out of school, our mothers have not had the pleasure of receiving us back at home, we have not gathered under the trees, in huts and meeting points in the village as we used to do, we have not played football together and this, we miss so much,” lamented the Chairman of the group, Prof. Confidence Ngam.
The Chairman added that it is hoped that the people back home will take appropriate measures to cleans the schools in the community, send the children to school and follow up to ensure that they effectively attend classes.
“We don’t care whether it is a government, private or mission school; the essence is that the children should go back to the wonders of letters and the magic of numbers through education and the moral transformation of the mind,” he stressed.
While addressing a message to the people back home, the Chairman said “It is a fervent appeal to the actors on the ground; be they traditional rulers, churches, NGOs or the activists, to understand that we have come a long way in suffering, pain and destruction. We have realized and we understand that they know better that our village has to stand up and live up to its credo as the epicentre of development in Belo subdivision. It is hoped that this will not be a talk in the wilderness and that we have to define our times and taste in the measure of the circumstances.”
Members of “I Am Njinikejem,” made a strong point for the need to adapt life and other activities to the security context, while believing that the conflict will someday come to an end. They even emphasized that no revolution has ever been fought using or mortgaging the future of children.
To match word with action, the members during a fundraising gala that crowned the meeting, raised more than one million CFAF, which they say is intended to provide back-to-school kits to underprivileged children, whose parents have been hardest hit by the crisis.
Prof. Confidence Ngam argued during the event that the rhetoric of providing an environment that is pacified enough [before schools resume] is lame and does not augur well with their current mindset.
“These children have been living in these villages for the past five years, they attend death celebrations, weddings and get involved in different transactions without the security that is so much talked about,” he underlined.
Sons and daughters of Njinikejem who attended the maiden AGM looked backed with nostalgia at the glorious days of their village, which they said before the crisis erupted, was well on its way to the moon in terms of development, mindset and social cohesion.
In order to get regain the most cherished glorious days of the village, which has eight quarters, five primary schools, two secondary schools and about seven churches, Prof. Ngam had this message for his fellow people:
“I want to tell our parents, brothers and sisters that we miss them; we are looking forward to that day when we will move around the village and go back home even after midnight and sleep in peace without need for protection. This can only happen if we break with the past and even withthe present. So many have died and so many are suffering.
“There is always a starting point. May this be a starting point and may this be a new beginning for Njinikejem, for Belo subdivision and for the North West region in general,” he appealed.
By Wain Muam