Ambasssador Lawal Bappah, mni, the Nigerian Consul-General to the North-west and South-west regions of Cameroon with residence in Buea, is an embodiment of diplomatic experience, having served in different capacities and in different countries as a trusted and dedicated diplomat of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for many years. Apart from being a diplomat, Bappah has demonstrated the worth of experience in his capacity at every duty.
His appointment as Consul General has been a blessing to Nigerians under his consular jurisdiction as he has facilitated lots of well-being acts, from both the Cameroon government and the Nigerian government; as he serves to ensure every Nigerian in his jurisdiction lives under the stipulated laws and orders.
Before his current appointment in Cameroon, this distinguished career diplomat had served in different countries, including Kuwait with concurrent accreditation to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, Ghana, Morocco and China.
The Nigerian Consul General has been honoured in different capacities for his relentless efforts and magnanimous attitude in carrying out his duties diligently. He was recently honoured by the Coalition of Willing Lawyers (CoW) and All Africans for Africa in Cameroon for enhancing a peaceful relationship between the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the people of the Republic of Cameroon living in the North-west and South-west regions of Cameroon. The laudable activities of the Consul-General had also led to his being conferred with a chieftaincy title of « Èyólé of Buea » (Peacemaker) by His Royal Highness Chief Etina Monono of Great Soppo, Buea in the South-west of Cameroon.
Setting the record straight, the CoW applauded the Consul General for constantly educating Nigerian nationals in Cameroon about their civic responsibilities to the country they reside in; to be law-abiding, and also for his laudable role in the repatriation to Nigeria of aged, sick and stranded Nigerians as well as ex Nigerian prisoners in Cameroon. These gestures have distinguished the class of His Excellency Bappah who always preaches and duly operates on the rule of law.
As an experienced diplomat who has had opportunities to ensure sanity and peace in different countries, he deemed it fit as part of his duties in Cameroon to extend his Consular tour to communities in Bakassi.
Communities like Kombo Itindi, Idabato and Bekumu where there are over 100,000 Nigerians came out to cheer the Nigerian diplomat with celebrations in the communities, seeking opportunities to express their joy and good feelings. The intention of the Consul General was to extend hands of friendship and brotherhood to every Nigerian in the communities. During the visit, he urged Cameroonian authorities to offer more social amenities and adequate security protection to both Cameroonian and Nigerian communities in Bakassi.
The Nigerians in Cameroon have seen Ambassador Bappah as a reputable and reliable diplomat with maximum experience and the ability to do more. He is undoubtedly a trustworthy person with self-respect and an exemplary leader with a large heart.
Ambassador Bappah’s technicality played out again when the Federal Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), donated relief materials to over 5,000 Nigerian refugees in Bakinjaw, Messanga Ekol and environs in Akwaya Sub-division, Manyu Division of South-West Region of the Republic of Cameroon in May 2023.
In 2022, the Chief of Bakinjaw, H.R.H Linus Ukpam Agwa reported to the Consulate-General of Nigeria about the influx of over 7,000 Nigerians who fled inter-tribal conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers from Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria, into Bakinjaw, Messanga Ekol and environs.
As a team player, the Ambassador sponsored a team, comprising the President of Nigerian Union in Ekok, Cameroon, Chief Kalu Itam and the Union’s Secretary to Bakinjaw for on the spot assessment of the situation. The team successfully undertook the assignment and confirmed the presence of about 6,811 Nigerian refugees in Bakinjaw, Messanga Ekol and environs.
His Excellency Bappah’s formidable team in Buea expeditiously forwarded its report to relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria and requested immediate relief materials for the displaced Nigerians in Bakinjaw, Messanga Ekol and environs.
As a result, the NEMA dispatched a two-man team, led by its Director of Relief and Rehabilitation to the Consul-General, to reassess the requirements of the Nigerian refugees and to ascertain the best route to deliver the relief materials to them.
To whom much is given, much is expected; Ambassador Bappah ensured that people’s will was done. NEMA dispatched three-trailer loads of relief materials from NEMA depot in Jos, Plateau State to Bakinjaw. The relief materials included food items such as thousands of bags of rice, beans, cartons of indomie noodles, sugar, milk, salt and non-food items like floor mats, clothing for women, men and children as well as first aid and basic medications.
Jubilation and celebration erupted in the villages. Kings and leaders were delighted with Bappah’s level of capacity. The distribution of the relief materials was a huge success. Majority of the refugees expressed their gratitude for the support received as could be seen in the attached letter addressed to the Consul-General.
The seasoned diplomat took over as Consul-General to the North-west and South-west from Honourable Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir in 2021 after the latter’s completion of his three-year tour of duties.
Ambassador Bappah had also visited several other countries on official engagements. These countries included the United States of America, Brazil, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
He had dutifully served at different divisions of Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had been Director of Programmes at the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC); and served as Director, Asia and Far East, Europe, and America.
Bappah obtained his primary and secondary certificates from Darazo Central Primary School and Government Secondary School, respectively, in Bauchi State, Nigeria. He later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations from the University of Maiduguri before joining Nigeria’s Foreign Service. This patriotic Nigerian attended several top management courses, including the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy (FSA).
He also attended Nigeria’s apex policy institute, the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), in Kuru, Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria and bagged the coveted title of Member of the National Institute (mni) in 2017.
Gallery: Diaspora Excellence Award 2023
At the occasion organized in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Naija Diaspora Magazine, several individuals, companies, governors, traditional rulers, business owners, government agencies and parastatals as well as politicians were honored for their outstanding performances in 2023. The publication celebrated its
10th anniversary with a two-day event that included the Symposium and Annual Diaspora Excellence Award. This platform provided a unique opportunity for collective learning, networking, and gaining insights into government policies that relate to communities. Attendees were empowered to navigate pathways of positive change. The Symposium lecture was titled: ‘Building a Nation’, with several dignitaries as speakers.
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Inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament Triumphs Amidst Adversity
On the 6th of August 2023, a monumental event took place at St Michel, Terminus, Douala, marking the commencement of the First Edition of the Anambra State Union Football Tournament. Under the stewardship of Sir Emeka Uzoka, Chairman of the Anambra State Union, this tournament emerged as a testament to unity, sportsmanship, and the indomitable spirit of the Anambra community.
The opening ceremony set the stage for what would become an unforgettable showcase of camaraderie and competitive fervor. A true celebration of tradition and athleticism, the tournament kicked off with a Veteran Match at 2:00 pm. The clash between Aguata Local Government Union and Nnewi Local Government Union resulted in a gripping encounter, with Aguata securing victory with a 2-0 score line.
Distinguished figures graced the event with their presence, adding prestige to the occasion. Among them was Mr. Oliva Ochi, Consul 1 at the Consulate General Douala, representing the esteemed Consul General, H.E. Amb. (Mrs.) Efe A. Clark-Omeru.
The honorable gathering was further enriched by the participation of key personalities, including: Hon. BIC Okwujiaku, President of the Nigerian Community Douala, HRH Eze Jonathan T. Onyenagubor, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Cameroon, Sir, Lovinus Ezeh, Vice President, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Alex Nwoye, Vice President 2, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Uche Obiekwe, Patron of the Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Innocent Obiorah Odoh, Patron Anambra State Union, Chairmen of Imo and Enugu States Union, Esteemed members of the Anambra State Union.
The event also extended its reach to include esteemed guests from Douala and beyond.
In recognition of the paramount importance of safety and well-being, the organizers ensured the presence of dedicated medical health and security personnel, assuring attendees a secure environment throughout the event.
Despite the inclement weather characterized by heavy rain, the unyielding spirit of the Anambra community remained unshaken. A testament to their passion for football and unity, a remarkable number of attendees braved the elements, converging to witness the unfolding of history on the lush fields of St Michel, Terminus.
The final was held on Sunday 12th of November 2023 @ Bonamousadi Stadium Douala. Oyi Local Government lifted the trophy while Aguta Local Government took the bronze and Idemili Local Government took silver.
The inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament stands as an embodiment of shared values, intercommunity collaboration, and the timeless appeal of sport. This event not only etched a significant mark on the sporting calendar but also served as a reminder of the resilience and unity that define the Anambra community.
As the tournament concluded its first chapter, it left in its wake a legacy of camaraderie, sporting excellence, and the promise of more remarkable editions to come.
CAMEROON: Miniature Africa
Cameroon, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, is a country with a captivating blend of rich cultural diversity, stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Often referred to as « Miniature Africa, » Cameroon offers travelers a unique and multifaceted experience, showcasing the continent’s essence in a single destination.
With more than 250 ethnic groups and languages, Cameroon is a melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions and customs. The capital city, Yaoundé, and the economic hub, Douala, provide excellent starting points to dive into Cameroon’s cultural wealth.
Cameroon’s diverse geography offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes, each with its unique charm.
In the West, the mist-covered peaks of Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa, beckon adventurous hikers to climb and witness awe-inspiring views of the surrounding scenery.
Towards the North, the Sahelian region boasts vast savannas and semi-arid landscapes, offering visitors an opportunity to spot magnificent wildlife, and in the East, the dense rainforests of the Congo Basin teem with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and exotic bird species.
Tourism Spots on a Budget
Here are a selection of the most distinguished and captivating tourist destinations in Cameroon. These remarkable locales boast accessibility without undue strain on one’s financial resources, making them irresistible choices for tourists.
Mefou National Park:
Mefou National Park houses the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, a rescue center managed by Ape Action Africa. With over 300 rare and endangered primates, it’s a significant conservation project in Africa, providing lifelong care and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trades.
Formerly known as Victoria, Limbe is a port city with a diverse flora and fauna influenced by its colonial past. The Limbe Wildlife Centre/Botanical Centre offers a close-to-nature experience, rescuing and caring for ill-treated and endangered animals.
Mount Cameroon, also called the « Chariot of the Gods, » is West Africa’s highest mountain and an active volcano. A popular destination for adventurers and hikers, the trek offers stunning views, diverse landscapes and encounters with wildlife like monkeys and birds.
Kribi Beach, in the southwestern region, boasts long white sand beaches and clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Visitors can also enjoy the Chutes de la Lobé waterfall, where they can swim under the falls. Local cuisine and seafood delicacies await at various restaurants.
Korup National Park:
Korup National Park, renowned for its bird species, offers pristine tropical wilderness. Visitors can enjoy lodging infrastructure and spot unique primates like the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and Perseus’s red colobus. Located near the ocean, Mundemba serves as a starting point for tours to the park, where guides often speak the local Cameroonian language.
Cameroon stands tall as a remarkable destination for audacious travelers seeking a blend of cultural diversity, awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling adventures. From the depths of the rainforests to the heights of its mountains, and from the bustling cities to the serene beaches, the land beckons with open arms, ready to share its enchanting beauty and warm hospitality with all who venture to explore its wonders. As tourism in Cameroon continues to grow sustainably, the country’s potential as a captivating and memorable destination will undoubtedly flourish.