Saturday, April 4, 2015

Camerron-Human Rights Protection: How Tiku Tambe Shot Into Prominence

By Christopher Ambe
Mr. Christopher Tiku Tambe, 48, is now a household name in Cameroon especially in the Southwest Region from where he hails, resides and works in different capacities.
     This out spoken father and native of Manyu Divison is a Board member of ELECTIONS Cameroon (ELECAM), a University of Buea lecturer and Southwest Regional Secretary, National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF), which duties he performs with total commitment and professionalism, drawing the admiration of the public and hierarchy.
Christopher Tiku Tambe/Photo Credit :Chris Ambe
      Truth be told: Even if Tiku Tambe, who holds a Masters degree in International Human Rights law from the University of Hull,England and is currently a University of Buea Ph.D student ,was already popular as a Board member of ELECAM and or law teacher years back, that popularity only peaked recently ,when he -courageously and using all available  avenues including the mass media, advocated for the land rights of Fako indigenous people.
     Large portions of CDC surrendered lands to Fako indigenes were reportedly grabbed by local administrative officers with the connivance of some traditional rulers, thereby depriving many Bakweri indigenes of their right to own parcels of land on which to build.
     Strangely, in the face of this ugly situation some Fako elite who were in positions to protest against such land rights violation against their kin and kith rather looked helpless; it was Tiku Tambe, in his capacity as Southwest Representative of the NCHRF, together with retired UN legal Consultant Barrister Ikome  Ngongi and CRTV Buea Press Club moderated by Senior Journalist Matute Menyoli,who sounded the alarm bell repeatedly until the matter became a national concern.
    Despite threats which Tiku Tambe received from some alleged land grabbers, this devout Presbyterian Christian became even bolder and more outspoken, citing names of high-profile Fako administrators such as Fako SDO Zang III and Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai reportedly implicated in the land-grabbing scandal.
     So vigorous  was the Tiku Tambe –led  anti-land grabbing campaign that the Government could not stay indifferent, as it set a commission of inquiry to investigate into the alleged abuses; the Minister of State Propriety and Land Tenure even went a step further by signing an order suspending any further CDC land Surrender to applicant villages pending findings of official investigations.CONAC and other investigators have since been grilling those implicated in the land mafia as the public is anxiously awaiting their findings.
     A fearless Tiku Tambe would later sue a host of Fako Traditional rulers, who allegedly influenced by some personalities implicated in the land mafia, published a defamatory statement against his person. As the case against the chiefs is being heard in Court, The Recorder has been reliably informed that the accused chiefs are now begging for an out-of –court settlement with Tiku Tambe.
     By citing names of local administrative officers, by threatening to cause the arrest of chiefs who didn’t honour his summonses in relation to complaints against them on land matters, and by even initiating a legal action against traditional rulers, Mr. Tambe has reiterated the fact that, nobody is above the law; that everybody is entitled to human rights protection; that might is not necessarily right.
    The Recorder has learned that so frightened are some land grabbers that they are considering returning parcels of ceded indigenous land which they illegally got, even before findings of the various commissions of inquiry are made public.
    As a committed Human Rights activist, Mr. Tambe, last November also led a group of Africans who staged a protest in the USA, in front of the White House to protest the inadequate support  given to victims of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa by West ,which he said has the resources  needed for greater attention.
   So passionate is Tiku Tambe about rights issues that his name is now synonymous to Human Rights promotion and protection!
(First Published in The RECORDER Newspaper, Cameroon, of April 2, 2015)

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