Fear grips Bamenda denizens following incessant arrests
By Wambo Emmanuel in Bamenda
After the arrests of some journalists in Bamenda who were later ferried to Yaoundé overnight, most Bemenda denizens and the North West population at large, including media men and women are now living in perpetual fear of being abducted by security officials for something they might have said or wrote.
A good number of journalists or comedians who used to inform the public on current happenings on the ongoing Anglophones crisis have reportedly had their programs cancelled or censored after the visit of the national communication team in Bamenda headed by veteran journalist, Peter Esoka. Recently, the home of one of the female journalist with one of the local radio station in Bamenda was visited over night by security men, allegedly from Yaoundé. Her home was ransacked after she escaped, abandoning her twin babies in the house.
The few Journalists who are braving the storm can be read or heard on air blabbering half truths. Others have abandoned the profession and have resorted to business, farming or just idling around and doing nothing.
Some North West elites, like the Fons, Senators, Parliamentarians and the National Chairman of SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi have raised concerns on the apparent stifling of the press to no avail.
Allegations are also rife that people are now using the Anglophone crisis to settle previous scores. A concerned member of the public told this reporter that “someone just needs to point at you to these security men from Yaoundé as a member of the SCNC or any of the Anglophone pressure groups and the next day you will find yourself in Yaoundé.”
Another person who also opted for anonymity said the fear and paranoia is so great that “To pick a call from either a friend or from a family member who either wants to know the state of the town, one must look left and right before answering. Any call you receive wherein the word ‘ghost town’ is mentioned might land you to Yaounde the next day; at times people’s phones are seized and searched.”