By Elah Geoffrey Mbong
Security officials have widened their dragnet to bring to book persons believed to have been behind the September 22 and October 1 protests that swept across the length and breadth of the Northwest and Southwest regions.
The security officers have the name of one Njie Becky-Mor Ashu. She is believed to have been one of those who masterminded the protests that swept through the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon on September 22 and October 1, 2017.
Our highly placed source hinted that the lady who should be in her early thirties has gone comatose as security officers ramped up efforts to install law and order. It is believed that she left the country before September 22, 2017 after laying the ground work for what was supposed to be a peaceful resistance against the high-handedness of Yaoundé.
Police sources suggest that Njie Becky-Mor Ashu’s role in the renewed calls for the independence of former West Cameroon is central.
The once-fringe Anglophone movement in majority Francophone Cameroon gathered pace in the last few months following a military crackdown on non-violent protests. The arrest of the moderate voices in the Anglophone struggle in the likes of Barrister Felix Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba, Journalist Atia Azohnwi and Mancho Bibixy led to the radicalisation of the moderates.
In a bid to further weaken the home wing of the movement, police have since launched a crackdown on documentation centres where pro-Ambazonia tracts, flyers and cards are printed.
This has sent most of those operating such businesses on the run, while many others have been rounded up in parts of the North West and South West Regions.
Njie Becky-Mor Ashu is among those accused of printing and propagating information put out by the likes of Atam Millan, Mark Bareta, Eric Tataw and Tapang Ivo Tanku who are expressing the desire for the independent state of Ambazonia or Southern Cameroons. She was actively involved in the printing of T-shirts, caps, membership cards and other paraphernalia for the separatist movement.
Those who have been rounded up by the security officials are said to be languishing in underground cells in Yaoundé, denied access to lawyers and family members. Sources say they may be tried at the Yaoundé military court for rebelling against the state. A death sentence is most likely to be served to them.
The unrest in Cameroon began in October 2016, when English-speaking lawyers and teachers in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, frustrated with having to work in French, took to the streets calling for reforms and greater autonomy.
Cameroon is constitutionally a bilingual country with French and English as official languages; English is spoken in two regions that border Nigeria.
Protests by separatists prompted a violent crackdown by Cameroon’s military last year in which troops opened fire on demonstrators. Many others have since been detained under deplorable conditions without trial.