Paul Abine Ayah
Paul Abine Ayah was a member of the National Assembly of Cameroon and a member of the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement. Until recently, he joined the Opposition Party called the Peoples Action Party (PAP). In August 2007 he was elected as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Cameroon. He is a deputy for Manyu in the Southwest Province.
He graduated from the Cameroon National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) in Yaoundé in 1976 and went on to become the vice-president of the Court of Appeal in Buea, Southwest Province, until becoming member of the National Assembly of Cameroon in 2002.
He is based in Akwaya, which is accessible by a poorly maintained road and foot track from Mamfe in Cameroon, however it is easier to access from Nigeria. The area has been subject to unrest due to land and tribal conflict.
In June 2006, along with other deputies, he called on the government to investigate allegations of high level corruption involving one of its ministers, Augustin Frédéric Kodock, regarding Kodock's earlier tenure at the head of the Agriculture Ministry.
In November 2007 he indicated his support for a law banning female genital mutilation, which is still practiced by members of the Ejagham tribe in the area he represents as a deputy. He also indicated his support for a law that would ban marriage for children. For women and girls marriage without parental consent is not permitted until 21 in Cameroon, and marriages of girls under 15 years old are not permitted by law, except with presidential permission. However, marriages as young as 8 or 9 years old occur in the north of Cameroon.
In early 2008, Ayah was an outspoken critic of the 2008 changes to the Constitution of Cameroon, which removed term limits that would have prevented President Paul Biya from standing for re-election in 2011. According to Ayah, the changes were "not democratic", and he said that if the bill was adopted it would "will take us back some 200 years." Despite not being present at the vote in the National Assembly and declaring that he had not made a procuration for his vote, a vote was reportedly made in his name.
November 2007 he indicated his support for a law banning female genital mutilation, which in the past was practiced by members of the Ejagham tribe. Paul Ayah represents the Akwaya subdivision as a deputy. On 3 January 2011 Ayah Paul resigned from the CPDM and is now standing for the forthcoming presidential elections.
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