The Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) Activists especially leaders and front liners in the course are presently having sleepless nights due to harassment by the forces of law and order as October 1st independence day is approaching. This is following the threatening messages from these liberation front members that they are planning to disrupt the up coming commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Reunification of Cameroon slated to take place in Buea. Preparations are in high gear and Buea capital of Southern Cameroons is been given a face lift. To many SCNC these are signals that the date for the commemoration is no other than October 1st 2012 though it is not yet officially made public by government. To SCNC activists the Yaounde regime wants to hijack Southern Cameroons Independence Day to confuse the people again.
In order not to give chances to any embarrassment in front of invited dignitaries for the commemoration, plain clothed security officers have been dispatched ahead of time and they are busy combing the four corners of the two Anglophone Regions. Their mission according to insider information is to catch up with and possibly preempt any move by the SCNC members using what ever method including brute force. A list of traditional trouble makers who have suffered arrest, torture and detention before are in circulation among security forces.
To give reason to what ever clamp down on activists using brute modus operandi several tactics are being applied. In 1997 a stage managed terrorists attack was unfolded in the North West Region (Province then) by the repressive regime in place and members of Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) were targeted, arrested and tortured with some dying in detention at Kondengui. To this date nobody knows how Mr.Ebenezar Akwanga escaped from that inferno called prison and is today out of Cameroon. Many young people who belong to the Southern Cameroons Youth league led by Mr. Akwanga are on the run. In January 2000 eve of the commemoration of 40th anniversary of Southern Cameroons independence many activists were arrest and among were Chinkwo Fidelis SCNC SG, Mbinglo Hilary Northen zone, Ophilia Bih Asanga Publicity Secretary, Dr Nfor Ngala Nfor Acting National chairman, Kongnso Stephen and Mashang Ernest Nsohngong. They were arrested for hoisting SCNC flag and circulating tracts that were considered subversive to the regime. The series of summarily arrest and tortures caused the untimely deaths of so many activists whom among was Dr. Martin N. Luma the SCNC national chairman and Patrick Mbunwe who was assassinated on April 6 2003 in his house by gun shot same year. Mr. Chinkwo Fidelis told this reporter recently that tension has since then been very high and many members of the SCNC have gone in to hiding. According to him he is an old man and cannot go anywhere haven had a lot of torture before. Many young members have been advice to run away since the struggle has to continue. Those on the danger list earmarked for elimination are already running out of the country especially those that were very instrumental selling across the non violent crusade for the liberation of Southern Cameroons. Even though they are on the run their families are in hell in hands of Gendarmes and police forces.The February 28 2008 strike action by the youths in protest against the Biya government following high prices in commodities, some six persons were killed by military gun shots in Bamenda and many wounded. Those killed were Fontoh Ashley Nebah (14) Student, Forchuh Anthony Triya (mid 20), Emmanuel Che (24), Devoline Awa (shot in the head), Nyetedem Peter (30) father of kids, Bernard Ngwa and among those wounded were Gerald Chia and Janet Nimbong. In Victoria (Limbe) five were registered dead and in Kumba seven were killed with several arrested. Though the strike action was observed in almost all the major towns Dr Nfor Ngala Nfor thinks that Southern Cameroonians were treated by the repressive forces of Mr Biya as enemies. In 2011 October 1st one hundred and forty six SCNC members were arrested and locked up at the GMI in Buea while some fifty leaders and activists like I.M Sona, Sylvester Taku, Vincent Feko, Martin F. Yembe, and Kongnso Stephen took refuge at the Nigerian Consulate General’s residence in Buea. At gun point SCNC T,shirts, Flags, handbills, cell phones, cameras and money were seized and journalists and lawyers equally suffered the same fate of arrest, detention and torture cameras, press cards and phones confisticated. Recently a case was reported of a nurse who is on the run for fear of her dear life. She was before arrested and detained for giving medical assistance to an SCNC activist wounded in Mutengene during a Police confrontation. At the moment on the list in circulate of those earmarked for elimination according to an SCNC official feature names like; John Konfor, Ebenezar Akwanga, Ophilia Bih Asanga, Yakubu kisi, Tayu Joseph, Mfombaa Patrick, Ndonwi Peter, Kwokom Joseph, Gabriel Mutan, Muam Philip, Beh Fidelis, Shey Gerald Andzea who are either out of the country or in hiding in some remote villages for fear of their lives. Presently persons like Chief Ayamba Otun, Nfor Ngala Nfor, Chinkwo Fidelis SCNC-SG, Mashang Ernest Nsohngong, Thomas N. Nwacham, and Fehmi Ivo (a father of three) and a host of other are being hunted on daily bases and reports of their activities sent to Yaounde. They are monitored and spices have been planted for the purpose. It is alleged that a week ago, Mashang’s family home in Nkambe was ransacked by security elements following rumours that he was spotted in Bamenda heading for Nkambe. A close family source hinted that during the 2005/2006 student strike in Buea, Mashang Ernest escaped being arrested given that some SCNC documents were found in his small documentation at the entrance to the University. The story goes that some students ran away from the campus when the police fired teargas to hide in the small documentation. When the forces of law and order discovered that hide-out, they arrested everyone including the sales boy (Nji Vernacus). After a thorough search, they discovered some documents of the SCNC. The small business structure was destroyed and looted. Mashang Ernest who happened to be owner was tagged as one of the mentors of the strike action. He escaped to his native village Nkambe for fear of being arrested. A close friend of his recounted how during the 2008 nationwide wide strike on the high prices of some basic commodities, Mashang was picked up by the police, detained and was tortured to near death before abandoned to die in hospital. Police suspected him of recruiting youths into SCNC and that he also mobilized youths from villages to the town to stage the strike action on high prices, a family member informed us. With severe injuries, he managed to escape from the hospital to an unknown destination. Since then, he was blacklisted and wanted. Another family member (name withheld) said whenever there is rumour that the young man has been spotted in town, their family compound is always under the surveillance of security forces.
Fehmi’s wife for example told us in tears that ever since the husband ran away for fear of being arrested and tortured to death; her house has almost been transformed into a police barrack. “I fear for my three kids. They always asked me why the police keep coming into our house”. The family we gathered has been harassed severally by security agents ever since the husband absconded. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Chief Ayamba, Thomas Nkwanchan and others who are of age have been arrested and detained under deplorable condition as well. They are noted as the best costumers of the police and gendarme cells around the country. Hundreds of Anglophones have been arrested, tortured and abandoned at the Kondegui Prison for sympathizing with the movement or suspected to be members. Their crime is that they are of the opinion that Southern Cameroons should be granted independence.
As October 1 approaches, an atmosphere of uncertainty looms large in many families in Anglophone Cameroon.