By Jerald Ndikum, Tuesday June 20, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Washington D.C – The International Crisis Group ICG, recently contacted Barrister Harmony Bobga, a Southern Cameroons Human Rights Lawyer currently residing in the US, to chronicle in a question and answer format, events leading up to the current crisis in Cameroon. In the first part of the interview we published, Harmony lamented that Southern Cameroons’ conquest began when the British Ambassador, in a little note traded off Southern Cameroons to President Ahmadou Ahidjo in Tiko in 1961. In this second part of the interview, he takes the reader through to Ndawara in the Northwest Region where President Biya had allegedly tried using their host – Alhaji Baba Danpulo, to bribe them to end the Anglophone crisis.
This again, is another must read piece of history for every Southern Cameroonian. It’s a piece for the moment and for posterity.
Apparently, the government tried to corrupt the consortium three times, and some consortium members are said to have taken money from Alhadji Baba Danpullo and the government. Is that true? What happened?
This is interesting. The sequence of your sub questions in this composite question leads me to be tempted to suspect that you are coming from an Arabic writing culture in which you start writing from right to left and not from left to right! Please do permit me therefore that I answer the question in like order:
Certainly, the government of LRC which is known world-wide to be neck-deep in a pervasive culture of institutionalized corruption would not hesitate to employ the tactic of buying people’s consciences. Too bad for them there have all along been treating with especially Lawyers of the Anglo-Saxon tradition who cherish their worth and integrity. This posture, the government agents have felt and lived in the processes of our interaction with them.
Stupid, desperate, and heartless as the government of LRC is, the tactic of fomenting smear campaigns against its political opponents with a view to breaking their ranks has ended up in failure, with all efforts at securing an opportunity to bribe us leading to sponsored rumours of allegations of bribe taking in a bid to sully our integrity. They need to go beyond such baseless allegations and demonstrate who bribed who, where, and when? Are there any proofs or performance of the acts the bribes were meant to buy? The same tactic was employed when the SDF was launched. The Southern Cameroons public trust that we carry has no price tag, and even if it had, it will certainly surpass the budget of LRC for a period of 500years.
In short, the allegation of reception of bribe money from Agents of LRC is a pathetic falsehood. The government of LRC needs to walk away from such self-deceptive campaigns and address the issues that underlie the nationalist and professional conflict that has emerged between Southern Cameroonians and LRC.
The reference to the Business Magnate, Alhadji Baba Danpullo is obviously very interesting to me for he happens to have been my Client prior to our strike action. There is also no doubt that per his disclosure to me, Mr. President Paul Biya had requested of him in desperation, whether he could reach out to me and secure a calling off of the lawyers’ strike action. I guess I was targeted for that mission because I remain the oldest of the four Presidents of the constituent Associations of common Law Lawyers in Cameroon at the time. Even with the emergence of the Cameroon Common Law Bar Association, now re-christened the Southern Cameroons Bar Association’s Steering Committee, I still maintain that position of eldest at the Bar and on the basis of our calendar ages.
I rejected the personalized invitation and insisted on our team meeting with him and putting through him our frank position for onward transmission to his party boss, Mr. President Paul Biya. I did travel from Bamenda to Buea to meet my Colleague, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla to discuss the trip to meet with Alhadji Baba Danpullo and he is even the one who made contact with the other two Presidents of our Cameroon Common Law
Lawyers’ Associations. We agreed on travelling on a specific day but for the sad transition of Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla’s father two hours after he dropped me at the Bus Station. This development hampered his travelling with us to Ndawara to meet with Alhadji Baba Danpullo. Barrister Eyambe Elias, the President of the Meme Lawyers’ Association (MELA) who had been relying on a ride with Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, also did not show up.
Barrister Sopseh Emilienne épouse Nganjoh did come to Bamenda just as well as Dr. Fontem Neba, the Secretary of the syndicate of University Lecturers whom I had also invited. Mr. Tassang Wilfred was equally invited but he could not make it on account of his engagement in Church. It thus happened that with the blessings of our Colleagues, only three of us went, two of us Lawyers and Dr. Fontem Neba. On arrival, we engaged in discussions and I insisted whatever had to be taken to Yaoundé must emanate from us to avoid being misquoted at some future date. I wrote the Memo for the Lawyers and Dr. Fontem Neba did not only write for University Lecturers but for teachers in general and other member Associations of the Consortium. He is the Secretary of the Consortium, it must be recalled.
It is also worth noting that the Media House -France 24 that had just conducted an extensive interview with me at my home in Bali also accompanied us to Ndawara. We finished from Ndawara at 2.30am and rejected the offer that we sleep and take-off for Bamenda at daybreak.
Without even reading the two memos that were handed to Alhadji Baba Danpullo and he dispatched that same night to Yaoundé with a driver and another Staff of his company, perhaps out of the disappointment that we had remained unbended, rumours soon started coming out of monies having been employed at Ndawara to buy our consciousness. Interestingly, there was not even mention of any other attendee of the Ndawara visit but my name alone. Of course, my denial to be compliant led to an existing warrant on my head at the level of the Presidency being activated and upon being confidentially alerted I took to flight into safety.