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Though cheerful for donated items, the displaced persons eagerly long to return home.
Several trucks filled with mattresses, blankets, rice, salt, soap, school needs and other humanitarian items were exultantly welcomed at the Dschang Municipal Grandstand last Saturday, July 13, 2019 by over 3,500 displaced persons, including women and children, from the three sub divisions of Lebialem Division now perching in the Menoua Divisional headquarters and environs in the West region. Thunderous applauds from the battered populations of Fontem, Alou and Wabane sub divisions were not only triggered by the loads of lifesaving items donated by the Head of State through the Minister for Territorial Administration, but also by the nostalgic presence of their paramount rulers and Tasong Paul Njukang, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development as well as the Parliamentarian and Senator for Lebialem Hon. Dr. Bernard Foju and His Majesty Fon Lekunze Nembo of Bamubu who were respectively flanked by a troop of elite from various angles of the division. “We have yearned for this day”, the representative of displaced persons, Pierre Marie Forgap told their guests. “We were scared out of home two years back and we have had to live and only partly live, depending entirely on the grace of God. None of us is sure of daily bread; our health declines unprecedentedly; our children no longer go to school and we do not know when we shall ever return home,” the valedictorian lamented. He promised to ensure that the donated items are shared in the fairest manner. The mournful silence provoked by the preceding address was immediately broken by Minister Tasong Paul who announced that “It shall
soon be well… the government is taking concrete measures to ensure that we triumphantly return home and that children go to school across Lebialem Division in September”. A thousand faces beamed with smiles, though misery has apparently stolen the beauty of most cheeks. The Minister acknowledged the contributions of some elite towards the trip, told the population to remain loyal to State’s institutions, support the Head of State’s vision of inclusive dialogue, shun any doctrine of violence, scorn fear and despise anyone who preaches school boycott. It would be recalled that thousands of Lebialem indigenes were scared out of home March 26, 2018 by gunmen who later slaughtered their animals for food, shattered and looted their homes, set several houses, schools and offices ablaze and killed many youths, including dozens of mentally and physically challenged who could help themselves.