Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How a smart activist earned his freedom from detention

                                      By Ntonifor Tanji
     A radical Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) activist, Tabe Ferdinand Tanyi, is still in hiding after he failed to honor a commitment he had made, which caused his release from detention.
     Mr.Tabe, born on May 18, 1976 in Mamfe is said to have negotiated his release with a pro-government agent to the effect that, he would publicly denounce the SCNC, which is fighting for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons.  
But upon his release Mr. Tabe did not fulfill his promise as he was expected to do and could not be found ,prompting a plan for his re-arrest.
     Mr. Tabe who has four children is husband to Belinda Tabe Ayamba,an adopted daughter of former SCNC National Chairman Chief Ayamba Otun,who died last June 14.
      Influenced by the philosophy of his father-in-law,Mr.Tabe started manifesting his open support for  the SCNC since 2007 when he reportedly persuaded and got many university students in  the Bonamousadi vicinity in Yaounde enrolled as members of the separatist movement.  Later same year, he went to his native Mamfe and converted more people especially unemployed youth to supporters of SCNC, considered by the Cameroon Government as a big threat to national unity.
     Seen as a security risk as he embarked on a massive enrollment of SCNC activists across villages of Manyu Division, Southwest of Cameroon, Mr.Tabe- who in 2008 was appointed as Propaganda and Recruitment Agent was severally arrested and detained, but his father-in-law Chief Ayamba would bail him out. 
     For trying to resist arrest by security agents, Mr. Tabe, nicknamed as SCNC Tabe was sometimes reportedly tortured to submission.
Mr.Tabe was not only persecuted by security forces but also by local chiefs who are auxiliaries of the Government and some overzealous members of the ruling CPDM
     When Chief Ayamba died on June 14, 2014, the SCNC announced they would give their deceased leader a “state burial”, an announcement that left the Government frightened and forced it to militarize Mamfe,where he was to be buried .The near state of emergency in Mamfe led to the arrest of several SCNC officials on the eve of Chief Ayamba’s  burial including Mr.Tabe.
     Mr. Tabe was only released early October 2014 from detention on condition that he would henceforth denounce the SCNC, according to reports.  But upon his release he did not publicly denounce the SCNC as he committed himself to do. That was considered as a betrayal of trust by the pro-government politician who negotiated his release.
     Hinted of a plan to re-arrest him Mr. Tabe is said to have gone into hiding last November and police in mufti are reportedly hunting for him.
    The SCNC, which was formed in 1994 as a protest to what is considered as gross marginalization of Anglophones, had as its pioneer National Chairman Barrister Sam Ekontang Elad.
     SCNC has as objective the “restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons” and as motto “The Force of Argument, Not the Argument of Force”.
    Many Anglophones who are supporters of the SCNC have been harassed, molested, tortured and prosecuted, a situation that has forced many others to flee abroad for safety.

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