By Nde Emmanuel, and Achu Tamba Chi Muluh in Bamenda
Freedom Magazine was contacted today the 30/11/2010 at 08.00 am from Bamenda, that a freelance journalist for Freedom Magazine, executive secretary and humanitarian gender coordinator in Bamenda and a graduate from the Faculty of Law and Political Science from the University of Dschang is presumed to be behind bars or missing.
Nde Emmanuel who is a neighbour to Petronilla Nchang, told the Freedom magazine that on the 28th November 2010, there were some unusual presence of police patrols at their Ntarikon neighbourhood stretching up to Nitop and some people were brutalized and extorted money from. That on the eve breaking the 29/11/2010 at about 03.30 am, the mother of Petronilla Nchang, Mrs. Sirri Margaret and her last child Secunda Bih were rounded up and whisked away. Petronilla was not at home during the arrest.
Later during the day, a mixed brigade arrived at the compound accompanied by Mrs. Sirri Margaret and a search of the property went on for about three hours stretching into 3 neighbouring houses and this resulted in the confiscation of a stock pile of T-shirts and other materials, and some christmas presents that were earmarked for the Sajoca Bafut Handicap center from EFFE . After the search, Mrs Sirri Margaret was under handcuff escorted into a police truck and whisked away.
Early this morning the 30/11/2010 at about 07.00, Mr. Chi Celestine, a former victim of torture who could barely walk went to the police station were Secunda and Mrs. Margaret were being detained to request for a bail out and was arrested and detained.
From sources close to the police says that, the arrest of Mrs. Sirri Margaret, Secunda Bih and Chi Celestine was to put pressure on Petronilla Nchang to surrender herself to the police for investigations. The source which requested not to be identified by Nde Emmanuel said on the 27/11/2010, Petronilla Nchang pretending to be a farmer was given clearance into the Bamenda airport area were Troops and the Elite intervention unit were on an advanced stage in preparations to receive President Paul Biya to Bamenda for the 50th Anniversary of the Cameroon’s Arm Forces Day.
They said Petronilla Nchang who got clearance as a farmer under the allias of Monica Bih, was later discovered to be Miss. Petronilla Nchang, who is also a sister to the regime’s number one enemy in the person of Che, who they claim is running a rotten campaign in the diaspora which has soiled Cameroon’s reputation at the international arena. That before Petronilla was discovered, she had long gone and a man hunt was immidiately carried out within the radius of 4 kilometer but was futiled.
That it was this security breach, coupled with the threats the President’s visit is also facing from the anti-Biya campaign, which according to the Police has been corroborated by a publication on Freedom Magazine on the 27/11/2010 by Petronilla Nchang that Biya and the CPDM are not welcome in Bamenda that the authorities gave an order for her immidiate arrest. The source who has requested to remain anonymous said the so-many threats President Biya is getting has resulted to two postponement of his visit until all security matters have been cleared. He said, the opposition has for the past years, been using family members especially women to cajole and extract vital and intellegience information both from the military and the administration that Biya’s presence in Bamenda will be closely guided issue if and when he comes.
He said, the regime is also planning to infiltrate the opposition and if possible make use of some external resources to effect thier extra-diction or cajole them into voluntary repatration by putting their close ones if possible under extreme detention regimes, so as to dismantle their activities or force some to retire from the opposition. That if Biya ends up visiting Bamenda, the altready emergency rules will be expanded to cover from dust to dawn ghost cities even stretching as far as the South West region to avoid any infiltrations or back up from the opposition.
Although the anti Biya campaign has not declared any open street confrontation with the regime of President Paul Biya, the threats are real and also felt on the streets of Bamenda, Kumbo, Jakiri, Bafut, Nkwen due to heavy security presence and impromptu searches known as “cale cale” Most young men between the ages of 15 and 45 are leaving the town in fee of being molested or detained and tension mounts. Girls buy their way through forceful sex and those who resist are raped and tortured. Soldiers in many occasions drink in bars and go without paying their bills under the protection of their guns and uniform. The so-called rapid intervention unit has transformed itself into a repression unit of the military ranging from rape, theft, brutality and extortion from transport drivers and taxi chaffuers.
Bamenda lies bare with everyone praying for President Biya to come and go and allow them carry on with thier businesses. However, the same source has confessed that, the military situation in Bamenda and most parts of the North West region will stay in place until after the presidential elections in October 2011. This he said is important for the regime because, it will cause voters apathy, and will be able to monitor the plan intention of Southern Cameroons as it prepares for its own 50th Anniversary after ceding ties with Great Britain.
At the time of presenting this report to Freedom Magazine, the whereabout of Petronilla Nchang is still unknown and there are already wide romours in town that she was spotted and arrested in Bafut. Until we confirm this, she still remains missing as no words have been gotten from her ever since her Novermber 27th, 2010 report on the state of things in Bamenda.
- Cameroon – Government Under Fire As Cholera Epidemic Rages (washalerts.wordpress.com)
- Congo president frees editors (guardian.co.uk)
- Cameroon president orders conditional release of journalists (newstatesman.com)