By Folegwe II Menky, January 21, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – The Government of Cameroon has openly declared it is targeting some English language newspapers following their critical reporting on the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
In a communiqué made public on Friday January 20, President of the National Communication Council Peter Essoka, threatened the media organs with sanctions ranging from temporary suspension to permanent closure of their activities.
The Government watchdog claims The Guardian Post; Cameroon’s lone English language daily, Times Journal, and Cameroon Post [The Post] have been publishing “seditious and disturbing content” that can undermine the form of the state during the ongoing Anglophone crisis. NCC also cited Le Messager (French language daily) Canal 2 Internationale, STV, Equinoxe TV, and community radio stations amongst media organs they are watching closely for closure.
According to Peter Essoka, the media organs have drifted away from their obligation to remain apolitical, by reporting on things that have to do with secession or federalism.
Territorially competent authorities have been charged with implementing the Government decision.
By press time, Chief Executive Officers of the media organs warned by the NCC were yet to react to the development. But an insider hinted The Cameroon Journal that top management of Equinoxe TV has decided to stay away from reporting the Anglophone crisis henceforth.
A ban placed on Radio Hot Cocoa FM 94 in Bamenda on January 10 by the North West Governor is still in effect despite the fact that officials of the NCC had said the radio station will resume broadcasting.
The internet shutdown in the North West and South West Regions is already causing untold hardship on the media organs as they find it difficult liaising between their central desks and regional bureaus.