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 in likes of Mancho Bibixy,Tsi Conrad, and Penn Terence who, upon their arrest in January 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.
Presently, Ambazonia leaders Seseku Ayuk Tabe, Tassang Wilfred, Barrister Eyambe, Nfor Ngala Nfor and others, who were extradited from Nigeria and placed incommunicado for close to a year, will be appearing before the Yaounde military court this week to answer charges of terrorism, secession, propagation of false news, insurrection, non-possession of national identity card and rebellion against the state.
What started as a strike action in 2016 by common law lawyers and Anglophone 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 regime, protest coordinators, as well as leaders of all secessionist movements demanding for a separate state for the Southern Cameroons.
Since 2016 this 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 organisations 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 who are taking refuge in bushes and forests. This is in addition to the more than 45.000 Anglophone Cameroonians who have assumed the status of refugees in Nigeria. Several activists both home and abroad including Martin Ndu Tamua, Tepi Clacson Tezeh and Akanji Levis Mbaku, have been earmarked for arrest as a result of the crisis as both national and regional search warrants have been issued against them with their photos put at the disposal of security operatives.
For issues relating to the Anglophone cause Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick and Epie Clinton have no hiding place in Cameroon. The regime in power is bent on arresting them and to a greater extent hand them heavy jail sentences for acts of treason, terrorism, secession, propagation of false news, rebellion against the state and sponsoring of the Anglophone crisis.
The Sun gathered that Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick left the country since August 2018 to an unknown destination after having been declared wanted by the Yaounde Regime for his alleged role in the ongoing social political impasse rocking the North West and South Regions of Cameroon.
Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick’s ordeal with the regime started in 2017 after thousands of protesters went across the streets in Anglophone Cameroon, demanding for independence of Southern Cameroons better known as the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. This protest demonstration landed Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick in numerous detention cells as many protesters were arrested including Awungdeu. Reports hold that Awungdeu was later given inhumane treatment at the gendarmerie cell in Lebialem. Awungdeu’s wife was later raped in his presence by the military. As tension mounted, Awungdeu Tanyi was whisked to Buea by the military after having been forced to drink urine while those who refused to drink were killed instantly. Most of the suspected detainees were immediately linked as Ambazonia freedom fighters including Awungdeu Tanyi, reason why they were immediately transferred to the Kondengui Maximum security prison in Yaounde.
While in Yaounde Awungdeu Tanyi alongside 20 other suspected Ambazonia Freedom Fighters were manhandled and placed under horrendous conditions. The Sun gathered that all this torture and molestation on the detainees landed Awungdeu Tanyi in the hospital for medical attention especially as allegations came up that they knew the attackers of the Southwest Governor’s vehicle while on his way for the installation of the SDO for Lebialem.
It is at the hospital that Awungdeu was be given the opportunity to reach his uncle on phone.
It is thanks to his uncle that Awungdeu left the country after serious negotiations with the military who were on constant check on Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick.
Another Anglophone suspected to be an Ambazonia Fighters who has equally been declared wanted since 2018 is Epie Clinton. He was a student in GHS Kombone, a neigbouring village to Kwa Kwa where he was residing. With the current crisis that turned violent with clashes between the military and separatist fighters, Epie Clinton’s Kwa Kwa village and residence was razed to ashes purportedly by the military in reprisals of incursions by the “Ambazonian Restoration Fighters”, thus forcing Epie, his siblings and sick mother to flee into the forest. While in the forest Epie and his siblings were coerced at gunpoint by the leaders of the separatist fighters to join the group or be killed. Epie Clinton, reports hold, joined the group though under gunpoint.
Epie Clinton later sneak out of the bush to a nearby town in Mbonge Sub Division only to be hinted by a security officer that he has been listed as an Ambazonia Fighter and the government searchlight is on him for his apprehension and to be subsequent executed.
Reports have it that Epie Clinton’s life is at stake in Cameroon as he has been tagged as a fugitive by the current regime and as a “black leg” for refusing to join and fleeing from the “Ambazonia Fighters”.
Awungdeu Tanyi Ferick and Epie Clinton have therefore been advice to leave the country after having been declared wanted by the state for they will face charges in the military court for rebellion against the state, secession, propagation of false information and terrorism if found in the Cameroonian soil.