*He was set free after discovery he held a tele-press conference while still under house arrest.
*Security and administration officials were all shocked that the purpose of their mission to prevent him from addressing the media was defeated
By Christopher Ambe
|Litumbe who was placed under house arrest is now free|
Armed troops( police and gendarmes ) at about 6:PM on Saturday February 23 set free Mola Njoh Litmbe, 86, and chairman of Liberal Democratic Alliance(LDA),a political party in Cameroon, after he was placed under what many here have likened to a house arrest for about 10 hours.
It was the third time Mola Njoh was placed under house arrest by the Biya regime.
Mola Njoh, also widely known as Anglophone Cameroon’s committed rights campaigner and some relatives of his who had passed the night in his residence and were planning to attend a funeral were trapped in the residence. Nobody was allowed to get in or out.
If this reporter who was invited to moderate the press conference had come a few minutes earlier, he too would have been detained together with Mola Njoh inside the residence; your reporter’s arrival at Mola Njoh’s gate coincided with the coming of the armed troops who immediately stopped me from getting into the residence, informing me that the Divisional Officer for Buea Abraham Chekem, had instructed them to block the entrance of the house.
Mola Njoh was prevented from coming out of his gated Bokwaongo-Buea residence ( a section of which also serves as his party’s headquarters) as from 7:00 am that Saturday after he notified the Buea Local Administration as required by law three days earlier about his intention to hold a press conference .
The theme of the press conference was “Electronic Voter Registration and other recent political development”
But upon receipt of the notification from Mola Njoh, the Local administrator Abraham Chekem, banned the press conference on grounds that Mola Njoh was not explicit on what he meant by recent political developments.
Mola Njoh challenged the ban saying it was uncalled for and based on a flimsy excuse -especially as he had, in his letter to the DO, requested him to send a representative to attend the press conference as required by law.
Reliable Sources told The Recorder that the ban on the press conference was because the Government feared that, Mola Njoh would use the press conference to continue publicizing the TRUTH about the so-called union between Southern Cameroons and La Republic du Cameroun on October 1, 1961.
According to Mola Njoh, Southern Cameroons and La Republic du Cameroun never legally joined to form one country as stipulated in Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
He has maintained that La Republic du Cameroun is only colonizing Southern Cameroons, whereas colonialism had since been abolished.Mola Njoh has equally challenged anybody to show documentary evidence as required by the United Nations that Southern Cameroons and La Republic du Cameroun are in a legal union.
Feeling that Anglophones are grossly discriminated against in what is today called Cameroon, Mola Njoh, supported by a good proportion of English-speaking Cameroonians (Anglophones), has been, at home and abroad, campaigning for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons.
Despite the fact that Mola Njoh was last Saturday placed under house arrest and the over invited 20 media organs prevented from having access into the LDA conference hall, the press conference still held.
The journalists quickly thought about a tele-press conference, and since the telephone line of Mola Njoh was not cut off, they drove away into a business premises in a neighborhood, Molyko.
Well-seated and using a phone put on speaker the journalists asked their questions to Mola Njoh and got responses.
Addressing journalists, Mola Njoh, regretted that “police men and gendarmes have surrounded my compound and nobody comes in or goes out”
He said he convened the press conference for two reasons: first, to advise Cameroonians especially Southern Cameroonians to get enrolled in the current electronic registration, which minimizes fraud and multiple -voting .He said massive registration will provide people with various grievances to choose the right candidates who will defend their interests in Council, parliament or Senate. For example, he “I have a grievance that Southern Cameroons never legally joined La Republic du Cameroun; that we are two separate countries”
Mola Njoh continued, “But if you complain and you don’t register you strike yourself completely out of the political equation…When you register massively it is not automatic that you must necessarily vote; that situation will be examined in the future as events unfold. If we find that despite the fact that you have registered electronically the outcome of the election is not likely to reflect your intentions when you vote, we will tell you.
“We have the added problem that in this country the judiciary is not independent. On a previous occasion the Chief Justice of Cameroon, who is constitutionally the person who declares results of elections, announced that his hands were tied and he had to do as he was told. His hands are still tied-so the outcome whether or not we register electronically can not be determined unless we had an independent judiciary. So there may be problems ahead but at least to start with, let people register electronically so that they have the weapon in their hands to be able to select a candidate of their choice in the various elections. That is my principal purpose for calling this press conference so that the media could diffuse my message to all Cameroonians.
“I understand that the mechanism for rigging election here is so water-tight that whatever we do the results are a foregone conclusion; but I would request that please register; whether or not you will use your voter card is a decision to be made when the electorate is convened; and, on that occasion we will advise you as to who for whom to vote. If love Paul Biya so much because his close collaborators were a gang of thieves and it is only now that they are being prosecuted one by one, vote for him. If you like the attitude of Hon .Paul Ayah, that as a lone star in parliament he would stand up and challenge the regime, then you should vote the people who are of like minds to him. If you admire what I say that to join any two persons, there has to be a contract. There is no contract joining Southern Cameroons to La Republique du Cameroun. They are two separate countries except that La Republique du Cameroon is colonizing Southern Cameroons.
“Former UN SG, Kofi Annan on a previous visit to Cameroon advised President Biya to dialogue with the SCNC; the Human Rights Tribunal in Bangul has also done the same .They advised the Biya Government to go into constructive dialogue with Southern Cameroons…I think the time is now for us to explore all avenues open to us in order to redress the issue as to whether we have a legitimate government governing us in Southern Cameroons or they are not being colonized by La Republic du Cameroun”
The tele-press conference held at a time that the Nigerian Government is being pressured by Southern Cameroons lawyers to respect a ruling of the Federal High of Abuja, Nigeria, which had ordered that Nigeria shall present the Southern Cameroons Matter to the United Nations.
Many Southern Cameroonians here believe that if the matter is heard by the UN, Southern Cameroons will be granted its full independence.