By Tumasang Nwana Paul, Monday, February 13, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Washington D.C – Recently, we reported the disappearance of Barnabas Ebule Mbonde, former NW/SW manager at CNPS in Yaounde after he was queried for questioning discrimination in the allocation of Cameroon’s 2017 development budget. Well, apparently, he wasn’t arrested as many supposed he was. Mbonde has re-appeared, thanking those who helped him escape and disclosing that he is now in some foreign country and is safe. In a post on his Facebook page, he explains the circumstances leading to his resignation from CNPS and the Whatsapp messages that triggered his escape from the country. Suggesting that he was described as a terrorist by his Francophone counterparts, he writes that he’s not by any means deterred by it, as far as it’s about the liberation of the Southern Cameroons. His words:
I want to thank friends and family who made it possible for me to leave Cameroon immediately after I had a spat with the management of CNPS/Government that led to my resignation from an institution I was part of for more than 30 years. I am safe and doing well. It is very shameful that in my country I was queried by my supervisor simply for having a private conversation about the disparity in the investment budget allocation between regions. That I was to be arrested because of a private Whatsapp chat with a colleague albeit heated, on the Anglophone problem in Cameroon is very unfortunate.
I certainly miss Cameroon and my family but I am blessed today to be labelled a “terrorist” by the regime simply because I questioned my Beti colleague why the South region with less than a third of the population of either the NW and SW regions should be allocated double the investment budget of these two regions put together and for decades now. And questioned why as a management staff of CNPS it should
be expected of me to denounce this struggle and for this I am a fugitive today from my country without committing a crime despite being a former CPDM Section President of Fako 2. I have no apologies to make to anybody about my past political affiliations or seek any sympathy from anybody back home.
There is no Anglophone, irrespective of political affiliation or position in gov’t or society, who doesn’t understand perfectly and sympathise with the Anglophone problem of marginalization in Cameroon. The problems exist everywhere and ever since reunification in 1961 except for the very few dishonest ones who will try to call something black, white. If Cameroonian icons like Cardinal Tumi and Mr. Abouem can’t be listened to, then when Anglophone leaders are arrested for simply advocating for peaceful protests in ghost towns, internet communications are cut off from these regions without the slightest considerations for its citizens.
When people are dehumanised at police and gendarme checkpoints in these regions, when even the best students from these regions can’t gain admission into public schools like ENAM, EMIA, IRIC, POLYTECHNIC etc then you wonder who has a HIDDEN agenda as is now the excuse of government to arrest without due process, molest, militarise and carry out unspoken acts of violation of basic human rights on an unarmed and peaceful population in the NW and SW regions. I may come back to these issues if need be but pray that Government remembers that the fundamental role of “government” is to serve, not brutalise, its people. May God bless us all.