Journalists of different media houses who constitute panelists of the award-winning CRTV Buea Press Club Programme are receiving death threats from anonymous sources for dissecting certain sensitive matters of public interest such as what is now known as Fako land-grabbing /illegal land acquisition by some administrative officers.
By so doing, the journalist-panelists have stepped and are stepping - knowingly or unknowingly- on the toes of some crooked public office holders who abuse their offices and commit other crimes, against President Biya’s repeated call for good governance and a corruption-free country.
The journalist-panelists being threatened include Editor Chris Ambe of The Recorder Newspaper, Ayang Mc Donald of Eden Newspaper, Dr.Ernest Molua of The Entrepreneur Online, Nana Walter Wilson and Editor Bouddih Adams of The Post Newspaper, and Senior Journalist Matute Menyoli of CRTV Buea who is the current presenter/moderator of Press Club.
Matute Menyoli has already lodged a complaint with, among other places, the Judicial Police in Buea,the State Counsel in Buea, the SW Regional Coordinator of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom ,as well as the Management of CRTV.
Before the formal complaint, Matute Menyoli had earlier received several threats such as this text message-“Good morning Mr. Matute. I’m called Alain Ndongo.Please call me back for you are a target for death. One of your friends wants to kill you”.
|Journalist Matute Menyoli|
But an anonymous call last June 29 was particularly heart-breaking. It informed the club moderator that he would be killed that day. That pushed Matute Menyoli to immediately alert the police, who have since been monitoring his residence and those of the other panelists.
Press Club, which is aired from 8-9 am every Saturday, has been rated by listeners since its launch as CRTV Buea’s best programme.
The programme has been running for eight (8) years uninterrupted despite its critical content,which is intended to cause defaulters in the various sectors of society sit-up.
It was on April 29,2006 that the inaugural edition of Press Club went on the air, with a pioneer panel comprising Nkeze Mbonwoh(Cameroon Tribune),Chris Ambe,(then of The Herald Newspaper),Ernest Molua(The Entrepreneur),Harry McYemti (Farmers’’Voice),Solomon Amabo(Eden Newspaper),Molua Mensah Gbagado(International freelance Journalist) ,Pegue Manga(The Post) and late Ezieh Christopher(The Heron)
According to Senior Journalist Sam Bokuba, pioneer moderator/presenter of Press Club,the programme was “born out of the desire to provide wider leverage to media professionals” who are supposed “to make informed comments and analysis on news events in consonance with the varied and conflicting tastes and interests of CRTV-Buea Listeners” .
Although it is essentially a discussion by journalists, Press Club sometimes invites a guest or personality in the news to field questions from the panel of journalists on issues of public concern. Guests who have featured on Press Club include: socio-economic and legal experts, traditional and administrative authorities, university dons, diplomats, law-makers, health professionals, political party leaders, educationists and ministers of God(the clergy).
So important is Press Club that Mr.Njomo Kevin, former manager of Mt Cameroon FM had it relayed for several years on his radio station. Today it is being relayed by Radio Bonakanda,a community radio in Buea,with other radio stations intending to do same.
Worthy of note is the fact that, Press Club’s edition of September 19, 2006 on speculative reporting, got shortlisted for the finals of the 2007 BBC Excellence Radio Awards.
Recently, panelists of Press Club strongly expressed their views on the alleged illegal sale and acquisition of ex-CDC land ceded to Fako villages by some administrative authorities.
The journalist-panelists were joined by invitees and legal minds-Tambe Tiku Christopher, who is the Regional Coordinator of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom and Ikome Ngongi,retired UN legal consultant. Both the journalists and invitees, argued with justifications that there was /is some mafia around land acquisition in Fako, with local government officials involved.
The Government would later set a commission of inquiry, a thing that has left “land grabbers” panicking and some have covertly been threatening the lives of the press clubbers for having the audacity to expose their wrong doings, which may lead to their prosecution and eventual imprisonment.In the face of these threats, the Press Club panelists in their July 5 edition vowed to continue with their professional task of exposing irregularities and illegalities in the public service, as part of their contributions to a better society and President Biya’s anti-corruption war, which has already sent many high-level government officials to prison
(First Published In The RECORDER Newspaper ,Cameroon,of July 9,2014)