South West Governor Threaten Journalists With Arrest for Creating Association

Bernard Okalia Bilai
Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai

By Ndi Nelson, Dec. 14 2016

Cameroon Journal, Buea – Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai who presided over the brutal rape, torture and killing of Buea University students is now promising to arrest  Journalists Buddih Adams, Kum Leonard , Atia Tilarious and others if they do not dissolve a recently created Anglophone Journalists consortium to fight for rights of English Speaking Journalists and preserve the bilingual nature of the country.

The trio were invited in a meeting at the governor’s office in which they received threats from Bilai, who was flanked by his Eta Majors. He intimidated them saying that their names

have entered books and that they should be careful. The Governor affirmed that the Journalists are masquerading behind the consortium to promote secessionist sentiments.

Later, the Journalists were taken to the office of South West Regional head of Communication who in their presence sent a report about their association to Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

The convocation of the Journalists stems from a release made public Sunday December 11, which called on South West English speaking Journalists to boycott any public meeting held without Press kids translated in English. South West Governor sees this as secessionist ideas.

 Full Communiqué

CONSORTIUM OF JOURNALISM ASSOCIATIONS – SOUTH WEST REGION

Tel: 675138091

Mindful of the fact that a majority of journalists exercising in The South West Region are English speaking;
Taking into cognisance the fact that Cameroon is constitutionally bi-jural, bi-cultural, and bilingual;
Mindful of the fact that the South West Region is essentially Anglo-Saxon with majority English speakers;
Considering the need to transmit credible information to the public, void of nuance;
Aware of the Prime Ministerial Decree for all official documents to be in both official languages;
Proud of our unity in diversity;
Committed to preserve our nationhood for posterity;
We journalists practicing in the South West Region observe with dismay, the continuous slaughtering and annihilation of the English Language in almost all public gatherings and communiqués.


We have observed with utter dissatisfaction the non-translation of important documents into English during seminars, workshops, meetings especially when chaired by administrative officials. This is in violation of the high instructions of the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
We note that this turn of events has frustrated many journalists who find it difficult to translate and communicate effectively to their audience.
We have also noticed that some overzealous administrators use French Language as form of intimidation against journalists.


After hoping that administrative officials will act in good fate;
after a careful analysis and following the recent developments in the two Anglophone regions where teachers and Lawyers are demanding a strict respect of our bi-cultural nature, we will not be indifferent.
Thus:

Any reporter or reporters who find themselves in such a situation with French documents without English versions in any official gathering will storm out of the meeting and the event will be given a media blackout.
That we consider the exclusive use of French by some administrators as colonial dictates;
State that any further marginalization of English speaking journalists during the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope will lead to a boycott of the event;
That we count on the good will of those concerned;
We renew our confidence and respect for state institutions in the hope that our grievances will be promptly and fairly addressed.
WE hereby call for an ALL ANGLOPHONE JOURNALISTS’ CONFERENCE in the days ahead. /
Done and signed in Buea this 11th Day of December, 2016.
KUM LEONARD
For Cameroon Journalists’ Trade Union – CJTU/SNJC South West
TARHYANG ENOWBIKAH TABE
For the Cameroon Association of Media Professionals – CAMP
SIR NYAMBOT DIVINE
For Cameroon English Speaking Journalists – CAMASEJ Kumba Chapter
ATIA AZOHNWI
Rapporteur
BOUDDIH ADAMS
Adviser
Cc:
Minister of Communication – Yaoundé
South West Governor – Buea
South West Regional Delegate for Communication – Buea


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