By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, January 30, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Barrister Bobga Harmony Mbuton, President of the North West Lawyers’ Association, NOWELA, is now in the United States. He took off for the US, he said, after Cameroon’s secret police plotted to arrest him.
In a telephone conversation with Chris Fobeneh, Publisher of The Cameroon Journal, the Bamenda-based lawyer, who has been at the forefront of the Anglophone cause, said he smuggled himself out of the country by the grace of God after Biya’s gov’t sent the secret police to arrest him.
Barrister Bobga, speaking to a crowd of Southern Cameroonians at a protest rally in Washington D.C, explained the circumstances of his leaving the country. He said that a few weeks ago, he was tipped of his imminent arrest by some security operatives who are disgruntled by the way government is trampling on the liberties of Anglophone Cameroonians.
According to Bobga, a detective dressed in plain clothes had visited his 90year old mother carrying a fake parcel he said was from the US. The detective told Bobga’s mother he wanted to deliver the parcel only to him. Bobga’s mother is quoted as saying that she didn’t know of any lawyer.
Bobga said he deserted his residence with the development, and started trekking towards Manyu Division. He said when he got to Manyu River, he boarded a canoe which ferried him to Ikom in Nigeria. From there, he moved to Enugu before flying to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital.
While in Lagos, Bobga narrated at the rally how his family mobilized financial resources for him to proceed with the necessary documentation to move to the USA.
Upon arrival in America, Barrister Bobga, who fronted the Common Law lawyers’ strike which has seen the grounding of courts in Anglophone regions since October 11, 2016, was warmly received by the Cameroonian community there. He said he is going to continue with the Anglophone struggle from his new temporal base.
In a related story, Wilfred Tassang, the Executive Secretary of the Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union, CATTU, who also fled his Bamenda home following the outlawing of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, is still on the run.
Tassang is reported to have left Bamenda penultimate Tuesday to an unknown destination when news broke that Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla and Dr. Fontem Neba, two leaders of the banned consortium to which he (Tassang) was also a signatory, had been arrested and ferried to Yaounde.
Apparently for fear that he may also be picked up by security forces to join the duo in detention, Tassang disappeared from public view with information spreading a few days later that he had sought safe sanctuary at the embassy of the United States in the nation’s capital. However, when The Cameroon Journal contacted a well-placed official close to the US Embassy in Yaounde to confirm the information, the source who asked to remain unnamed gave to understanding that Tassang hasn’t taken refuge at the diplomatic mission, neither had he been granted asylum as was being reported.