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General News of Monday, 21 December 2015

Source: The Eye Newspaper

Ardo's Union, SODELCO tackle early marriages, child Labour

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Over 2000 delegates and 74 Ardos attended the joint meeting of Association of Breeders and Farmers-SODELCO and Ardo’s Union at Ndawara in Belo Sub Division on Saturday, December 19, 2015.

This year’s General Assembly brought in delegates from the 10 Regions of Cameroon.

Present at the meeting were the Divisional Officer for Belo Sub Division, Machang Nicholas, the Divisional Officer for Bum, the mayor of Belo, Tosam Bernard and the Alhadji Baba Ahmadou Danpoullo cum Special Adviser of the Ardo’s Union and Founder of SODELCO.

In a strong resolution, delegates at the Ndawara meeting vowed to combat the phenomenon of early and forceful marriages, child labour/trafficking and in order to be part of El Hadj Baba Danpoullo's innovative ideas to change lives positively for the Fulani, grazers and farmers of Cameroon.

History was then recorded that the biggest lobbying force grouping Fulani grazers and farmers will henceforth achieve its objectives by empowering youth and women for the betterment of all.

In this light, SODELCO and Ardo’s union debunked claims that they are marginalized in Cameroon. Speaker after speaker denounced that the Fulani people are not marginalized.

To them, the fact that El Hadj Baba Danpoullo was recently ranked by Forbe Africa Magazine as the richest man Francophone African debunks that they are poor and marginalized. They also rejected claims by another association that the Fulani/Mbororo are indigenous people.

This according to the Chief Executive Officer of SODELCO is not tenable at all. Ardo Sule Bobo said that any other organization that is manipulating the opinion on the situation of Mbororo people in Cameroon doing so irrationally.

He also decried the prostitution of the title of Ardo given that it is nowadays sold to the highest bidder whereas in the past it was hereditary. He said the Fulani community will continue to support President Biya in the fight against insecurity. He also expressed gratitude the head of state for the continued support.

Those who took the pains to travel to Ndawara to be part of the Joint Annual General Assembly of SODELCO/Ardo’s Union went home more convinced that the future of Fulani youths especially the girl child will henceforth be brighter.

Taking into consideration that nowadays, education is perhaps the most important gift a parent, state and governments can offer to the humanity delegates resolved to put youth empowerment at the forefront of its actions.

According to the National President of SODELCO, Alhadj Ardo Yougouda Bouba Adamou, education is required in the performance of the most basic public responsibilities, even in farming, grazing and management of homes.

Therefore, the education of Fulani youths will be the very foundation on which the association intends to foster sustainable livelihood. This decision was further corroborated by the SODELCO Youth.

The National President Ardo Yougouda said that they have been able to achieve a lot this year giving they also opened training workshops to empower youths. He said women have been given the opportunity to be part of decision making. With the overture of a gender balance approach within SODELCO/Ardo’s Union, there are hopes that life will not be the same with the youths who end up as herdsmen or go out for early marriages/forceful marriages. The issue of early marriages, as well as some obnoxious cultural practices that reduce women to be for the kitchen, was also discussed.

Addressing the over 2000 man-crowd at Ndawara, the Divisional Officer for Belo Machang Nicolas said congratulated SODELCO/Ardo’s union trappings. He, however, promised that he will channel the burning issues raised by the Ardo’s/ SODELCO to the appropriate quarters. Education, he emphasized is the principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him/her for later professional training, and in helping him/her to adjust normally to his/her environment.

In these days, according to Machang Nicholas, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he/she is denied the opportunity of an education. He called on all the Fulani people to send their children to school because in a situation where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

Mr. Machang Nicholas used the occasion to express gratitude to El Hadj Baba Danpoullo and the national chairman of SODELCO Alhadj Ardo Yougouda Bouba for their innovative idea in fostering national integration. He cautioned delegates that the success of any association lies in two key elements. These elements of success according to the Divisional Officer are: competence, honesty and transparency.

On the rampant farmer/grazer conflict, congratulated SODELCO for introducing improved pasture, adopting ranching methods and as such SODELCO should remain a powerful tool to promote development given that this year Belo Sub Division did not record any farmer/grazer conflict.

He cautioned the youths and called on them to report any suspected individual to the forces of law and order given the security issues.

On his part the mayor of Belo Council, Tosam Bernard expressed joy and elation at the innovative steps taken by the association. According to Tosam Bernard, the Belo council believes in private corporate partnership that will go a long way to change the lives of communities in the municipality. He congratulated Baba Danpoullo for his ingenuity and contribution in nation building, and creation of jobs.

Abdoulaziz on his part who was General Coordinator of the Annual event said that “the Fulani contributes the greatest share of the revenue given that they always pay jangali taxes. He, however, added that he was the first to denounce the fact that the Mbororo/Fulani are in a minority. “They are more than 2.5 million Fulani/Mbororo in Cameroon” he added.

He sounded optimistic and added youths have been brought in order to ensure continuity. He said with SODELCO/Arod’s Union the future of the Fulani/Mbororo is brighter given that they work with everyone.

“Due to the explosion of the population, we will embark on developing improved pastures as well as make sure that the girl child is given the opportunity like any other to go to school”.

He said as parents, there is no better future if the youth are left behind in their efforts to build a better future.

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