By Nfor Hanson Nchanji, December, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Buea – Pauline Nalova Lyonga, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea, has insinuated that UB students who went on rampage last Monday November 28, were manipulated from some external forces to engage in the strike. She made the allegation in her office to a visiting delegation from the ministry of Higher Education last Tuesday.
“I’m just surprised that students can allow themselves to be swayed by people who are so
unconvincing, they are unconvincing!” That’s all that I can say. I think they should know what to believe in and what not to believe. It is not all the time that somebody will come out and tell you, no, that person did not do anything and you believe,” she said.
She told students that they are at the losing end staying out of school before urging them to resume classes. “Of course they should come for classes, who loses? We all have problems, but
problems have to be solved in a way that…, you know, you do not have people losing so much out of a particular problem.”
Nalova in a rather contradictory statement shamelessly said that a majority of those who took part in Monday’s strike action were not UB students.
Dozens Presented to the State Counsel
In a related development, over 50 of the students arrested in the protest and detained in Police and Gendarmerie stations were brought before the State Counsel for Buea Wednesday November 30, for the first time since their arrest. The Buea Court of First Instance was full to capacity with heavy military deployment. A majority of those arrested were not on Campus as overzealous Police carried out massive arrest in quarters like Dirty South and Malingo. However, when the students arrived in Court, the Assistant State Counsel was yet to complete formalities to receive them. At press time it was not certain, they were going to be received by the end of the day.
FAKLA Defends The Students
In spite of their ongoing strike action, members of the Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, gave their unflinching support to the students by putting in place a team of legal experts to monitor the events as they unfold. Barrister NKea Emmanuel who was at the court premises lambasted the slow nature of the process and said their conditions are precarious.
“I don’t think that they are being kept under humane conditions because you see that they have them mixed up in a bus, both female and male students together and there is a possibility of violation. That is thoroughly inconsistent with their rights whether under the criminal procedure code or constitution. Secondly we have met with the Deputy State Counsel and we are surprised that they are still working on the file, these are students who were arrested two or three days ago.” Nkea said.
President of the Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, Barrister Agbor Balla Felix on his part stated that the students committed no crime, questioning why they are under trial. “Why are the students being tried, which crimes have they committed, why are we trying to make one
error to the other, the students have not committed any crime and I do not see why they should be arraigned. The Police officers, the Gendarmes and University of Buea authorities who invited them are the ones who are supposed to be tried. We shall work together with our three lawyers who are monitoring the situation and make sure that the students are freed.” He concluded.