By Talla Agha Christopher
A long and arduous search for activists backing the Anglophone crisis is underway amid the ongoing unrest in the North and South West Regions.
Faced with deteriorating socio- political conditions and other security concerns, Government, in a desperate attempt at calming the troubled waters has multiplied efforts towards apprehending those considered as the masterminds behind the crisis.
The hunt is in a bid to bring to book various Anglophone activists such as the likes of Mancho Bibixy ,Tsi Conrad,and penn Terence who upon their arrest in January of 2017 subsequently stood trial before the military tribunal.Faced with government and the full force of the law, they were each slammed maximum jail sentences to be served at the kondengui maximum security prison.
What started as a strike action in 2016 by common law lawyers and Anglophones teachers, has since escalated into an armed struggle, characterised by civil disobedience,violence, intimidation, kidnappings and a complete breakdown of law and order with the military allegedly burning down homes and villages of those considered as enemies of the state. This includes those voicing dissatisfaction with the Yaoundé based regime, protest coordinators,as well as leaders of all secessionist movements demanding for a separate state for the Southern Cameroons.
The clamour has led to widespread degradation of law and order and a genuine fear of genocide as hundreds of lives succumb to the ongoing war in the North West and South West regions.
Recent statistics by civil society organizations reflect the extent of the damage. The death toll is ever rising. There are claims that about 120 villages have been burnt down in the two English speaking regions, while about 11.000 people remain internally displaced.A majority of whom are taking refuge in the bushes and forests. This is in addition to the more than 45.000 Anglophone Cameroonians that have assumed the status of refugees in Nigeria. Several activists both home and abroad have been earmarked for arrest as a result.
For issues relating to the Anglophone cause, a man whose name we got as Mr Marvine Tabi Ashu has grabbed both government and public attention. Marvine Tabi became a person of interest in 2010 with his membership into the Southern Cameroons National Council better known by its acronym SCNC in Buea. A separatist movement clamouring for the restoration of Independence of Southern Cameroons, his activities within the movement has since thrown him into the spotlight and made him the subject of government interest.
According to trusted security sources friendly to THE SUN Newspaper, they are poised to restrain Marvine Tabi Ashu for being one of those inciting violence in the English speaking regions through his activism. He has been known to be extremely vocal and active in protests and rallies done by Southern Cameroonians pertaining to issues of secession.
Sometime in September 2010,Mr. Marvine Ashu along with 300 other supposed SCNC members, was arrested by security forces in the middle of a sensitization campaign in the Southwest and detained for several weeks at the Buea Molyko police cell. Reports say he was released a few months later in January of 2011 for insufficient evidence. This did not deter his activities within the SCNC as he reportedly kept up his membership with the Secessionist movement.Reports further indicate that he was later apprehended in Kumbo, Bui Division and detained alongside 79 other activists. He somehow managed to escape. Marvine Tabi Ashu, now stands the risk of detainment and trial for felonies including secession, insurrection, treason and propagation of false information.
THE SUN Newspaper in 2015, gathered that Marvine Tabi Ashu, in an attempt to leave the Country in order to escape the constant arrests, detention and torture by security operatives, was arrested at the Douala International Airport. His legal counsel was able to secure his release only after drawnout negotiations. He has since remained in hiding while steadfastly continuing his work against marginalisation and Southern Cameroon’s independence. Security officials remain on the lookout for him while his family and friends maintain their ignorance over his whereabouts.
As is the case with Marvine Tabi Ashu, other named pro SCNC Cameroonians in the diaspora like Ndeli Albert Mukete and mother Emilia Tua had allegedly suffered similar fates with multiple arrests and eventually being declared wanted by the state. As such they end up being targets of the government upon their return to the country.