Lions indomptables, Clinton Njié forfait contre la Gambie

© 31 Août 2015 –Njié Clinton est déclaré forfait pour le match Gambie-Cameroun du 6 septembre prochain, apprend KOACI du Team press officer des Lions Search Lions indomptables.

L’ancien joueur de Lyon souffre d’une légère blessure et il a été remplacé par Salli Search Salli Edgard, [sociétaire de saint Gall en Suisse], le joueur de qui était sur la liste d’attente », indique Vincent de Paul Atangana, le team press officer des Lions Search Lions indomptables.

Volker Finke et ses poulains, arrivent arriver à Dakar au Sénégal où ils effectueront leur stage, dès ce lundi, apprend-on.

Plusieurs séances d’entrainements meubleront le séjour des lions indomptables en terre sénégalaise dès leur arrivée ce lundi.

Le mardi 1er septembre, ils doivent affronter l’équipe sénégalaise des moins de 23 ans. Le vendredi 4 septembre, ils quitteront la capitale sénégalaise pour rejoindre Banjul où ils doivent jouer contre l’équipe gambienne.

KOACI, Yaoundé

Read More

Agriculture: Improved Maize Records Increasing Yield In South West

Focal Points in the all the 10 Regional Delegations of Agriculture and Rural Development indicate an encouraging rise.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is on a positive path in its pursuit for food security in the country through diverse programmes. The National Programme of Support for the Maize Sector, (French acronym PNAFM), is upbeat with continuous increase in productivity since 2006 when the programme was created. Meeting at IRAD Ekona on Thursday, July 30, 2015, paper presentations from all the 10 Regions of Cameroon depicts encouraging trends.

Opening the first semester sector meeting for 2015, South West Regional Delegate for Agriculture and Rural Development, Enang James Enang says there has been significant increase of improved maize seeds from 34 tons in 2013 to 183 tons in 2014. He noted that the successful result is thanks to the Muyuka Maize Seeds Processing Unit that serves the South West and the Littoral Regions. “We have distributed these maize seeds to all the six divisions of the South West and are presently evaluating the number of farmers which we touch,” he indicated. Despite the insecurity in the Far North Region, the Focal Point of that region said many farmers still come to the delegation for maize seeds collection for eventual plating.

The National Coordinator for PNAFM, Alphonse Nti Bilinga, says the aim of the program is to capitalize on maize production to ensure food security. He indicated that if 200 tons of maize is given out during a crop season, the expectation for the following year is between 600 –800 tons of maize seeds.
All has not been a bed of roses with some farmers still holding very firm to their traditional farming methods. Changes in climate and the inability of farmers to get all the necessary inputs like fertilizers are down playing the effort of the programme as indicated by the coordinator from the North West, Che Isaac Toh.

Cameroon Tribune
Read More

SONARA Trial: Prosecution Presents Final Submissions

The embezzlement case against former SONARA GM, Charles Metouck and others at the Special Criminal Court in Yaounde, is drawing to a close.

According to the prosecution at the Yaounde-based Special Criminal Court, SCC, Charles Metouck, the former General Manager of the National Oil Refinery, SONARA in Limbe, and three co-accused, should be found guilty of embezzling FCFA 514 million. Advocate General, Tagiyin Jean Claude, spoke while presenting his final submissions during the hearing of August 26, 2015.

In his lengthy presentation, which revisited highlights of the trial, including testimonies of witnesses, Mr. Justice Tagiyin said by endorsing a cheque for FCFA 108 million to Viking Ltd for a controversial oil deal, Metouck had caused the State to lose the amount. He averred that the former GM had no authority to pay the money. Similarly, Metouck caused the loss of FCFA 406 million by the State after he paid the amount to Ecobank Development Corporation with headquarters in Lome, Togo without deducting taxes at source. In his submission, Counsel for SONARA, Barrister Ndam Jean Bertrand, while supporting the position of the Legal Department, said the embezzlement of FCFA 406 million was only discovered after officials of the Supreme State Audit Office checked the accounts of SONARA in 2011.

He noted that the task was hitherto rendered difficult given Ecobank Development Corporation’s base abroad. On his part, the lawyer for the State, Barrister Sama Francis Asanga, said Article 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that theft of money in a corporation where the State has majority of the shares is considered as embezzlement of public funds. He said this was the case in SONARA where the State has 84 per cent of shares. He added that the trial had respected all norms of equity and fairness by holding in public, with the accused given the opportunity to freely defend themselves.

The trial of the former General Manager of the National Oil Refinery, Charles Metouck, began on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Metouck and others are accused of embezzling over FCFA 514 million. The other accused are Ngalle Mouelle Noé, Edinguele Edinguele Jean Joule and Dikoume Albert Léonard. Meanwhile, charges against Tiako Etienne were later dropped after his reimbursement in January 2015 of FCFA 108 million he and others embezzled.

The remaining defendants are charged with aiding and abetting the embezzlement of over FCFA 108 million. The amount was reportedly fraudulently retained from the signing by SONARA of an oil lifting contract with Viking Ltd. Meanwhile, over FCFA 406 million, in taxes due to the State, was allegedly fraudulently retained by Charles Metouck after paying the amount to Ecobank Development Corporation.

Cameroon Tribune
Read More

2017 AFCON Qualifiers:Lions Resume Duty

They begin training today in Dakar ahead of the encounter against Gambia on September 6th.

The Indomitable Lions will begin training in Dakar-Senegal for the upcoming encounter against Gambia on September 6th counting for the second day of play of the ongoing qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations to take place in Gabon.

According to their programme, the Lions who converged on Dakar yesterday will train twice a day in the morning and afternoon periods starting from today. Tomorrow, they will play a warm up match against the Senegalese U-23 selection. They will stay on in Dakar until Friday September 4th when they leave for Gambia. On Saturday, there will be the traditional reconnaissance visit to the pitch of play in the afternoon before the showdown the next day. There will be light training the day after the match and the whole delegation will return to Dakar before dispersing to their different destinations.

It is worthy to note that Cameroon is leading the group with three points thanks to the 1-0 victory over Mauritania on the first day of play in Yaounde and the zero-all tie between South Africa and Gambia on June 13th. Cameroon will therefore be seeking to conserve the leadership of the group when they take on Gambia. To prepare for the encounter, team coach, Volker Finke published a list of 23 players with some major changes in the squad. There is the return of players like Allan Nyom and Sebastien Bassong while goalkeeper André Onana has been called up for the first time. Kombi Madjang is the only local players called up to the national selection this time.

There is also the expected return of Joël Matip who has not played with Cameroon since the disgraceful participation at the 2014 World cup in Brazil. Unconfirmed sources say Njie Clinton Mua might not be honouring the sermons of the national selection as he is said to be having some light health problems.

Cameroon Tribune
Read More

Complexe industrialo-portuaire de Kribi: Place à la négociation des contrats

Après la désignation des gestionnaires des terminaux, il ne reste plus que cette ultime étape avant l’ouverture du port.

C’est officiel depuis mercredi 26 août 2015.

Le consortium Bolloré/CMA CGM/CHEC a remporté l’appel d’offres pour la gestion du terminal à conteneurs du port de Kribi, tandis que l’exploitation du terminal polyvalent revient au groupement Necotrans/KPMO. Selon Patrice Melom, coordonnateur de l’Unité opérationnelle du Complexe industrialo-portuaire de Kribi (CIPK), « nous sommes arrivés là au bout d’un processus de sélection des partenaires, qui a été complexe et très long ». Sur la suite des évènements, notre source explique que les entreprises désignées seront notifiées à l’effet d’entamer la négociation des termes du contrat de partenariat
final, qui va les lier à l’Etat du Cameroun. Et le port pourra enfin être fonctionnel.

Sur les terminaux

Le port est, en effet, constitué d’infrastructures de base telles que la digue de protection, le quai où viennent accoster les bateaux et les terminaux. Ce sont des plateformes sur lesquelles on entrepose les conteneurs ou toute autre marchandise à charger ou décharger des bateaux. En général, l’on retrouve deux types de terminaux dans les ports : un terminal à conteneurs, vaste de 12 à 20 ha et disposant des équipements à l’instar des portiques, des grues et des chariots. C’est sur cet espace que s’effectue la manutention des marchandises stockées dans des conteneurs. L’on y retrouve aussi un parc consacré à l’empilement des conteneurs en question. Le second terminal est dit polyvalent. Justement parce que c’est à ce niveau que l’on manutentionne du vrac liquide ou solide comme le gaz et le ciment, bref, tout ce qui n’arrive pas dans un conteneur. Mais selon Patrice Melom, « la particularité du terminal polyvalent du port de Kribi est qu’il est conçu pour également
manutentionner les conteneurs ».

Le rôle des entreprises sélectionnées

Au Cameroun, comme acteur sur la place portuaire, l’on a généralement un organisme portuaire à l’exemple du port autonome qui représente le maitre d’ouvrage qui est l’Etat. Officiellement, c’est lui qui gère la place portuaire. Mais l’Etat concède certaines activités dont la manutention sur les terminaux. Concrètement, le consortium Bolloré/CMA CGM/CHEC et le groupement Necotrans /KPMO devront exercer pour le compte de l’Etat, l’activité de manutention. Leurs missions consisteront à réceptionner et livrer les conteneurs à l’importation et à l’exportation, décharger et charger des navires porte-conteneurs, stocker, surveiller les conteneurs sur le parc à conteneurs, assurer la maintenance et modernisation des équipements du terminal, faciliter la desserte des pays limitrophes et surtout poursuivre le développement du port de Kribi. Ils sont rémunérés pour ce faire par divers procédés et acteurs du port à l’instar des armateurs et des acconiers. A leur
tour, les gestionnaires des terminaux reversent des redevances à l’Etat.

Rôle de chaque membre du consortium

En plus de l’exploitation du terminal à conteneur, le consortium Bolloré/CMA CGM/CHEC aura en charge le développement de cette infrastructure. Le projet du gouvernement camerounais implique, en effet, l’extension du terminal à conteneurs de 700 mètres, une seconde plateforme qui sera construie dans un délai maximum de cinq ans en même temps que les terminaux minéralier et hydrocarbure. Ce qui justifierait la présence au sein du consortium de l’entreprise chinoise CHEC qui a réalisé la première phase de la construction du port. Pour sa part, Bolloré est une grande entreprise de manutention présente sur le continent et au Cameroun depuis 50 ans. CMA/CGM est un armateur, associé connu de Bolloré. Le second consortium constitué du français Necotrans et de Kribi Port Multi Operators (KPMO), regroupement de transitaires et d’acconiers camerounais, aura en charge l’exploitation et la maintenance du terminal polyvalent.

Cameroon Tribune
Read More

Chad executes 10 Boko Haram members

African securityChad executes 10 Boko Haram members

Published 31 August 2015

Chad said it has executed ten members of Boko Haram by firing squad, marking the first use of the death penalty since 2003. The ten men were sentenced to death on Friday after a court convicted them of crimes which included murder and the use of explosives. Chad officials said that  one of those executed was Bahna Fanaye, alias Mahamat Moustapha, described by the Chadian officials as a leader of the Nigeria-based group.

Chad said it has executed ten members of Boko Haram by firing squad, marking the first use of the death penalty since 2003 – and since the country officially abolished it last September. The death penalty was introduced last month as part of a package of anti-terrorist measures.

The BBC reports that the ten men were sentenced to death on Friday after a court convicted them of crimes which included murder and the use of explosives.

Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the security minister, said the men were executed at around 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Chadian officials said that one of those executed was Bahna Fanaye, alias Mahamat Moustapha, described by the Chadian officials as a leader of the Nigeria-based group.

The Islamist Boko haram insurgency began in 2009 in north-east Nigeria. The insurgents have killed nearly 20,000 Nigerians and droe about 1.5 million out of their homes. The corrupt and ineffective Nigerian military was no match for the insurgents, and the Islamists expanded the area under their control to the south and west.

They also began to launch terror operations against Nigeria’s neighbors. The Nigerian government refused to allow the armies of its neighbors to take part in the fighting against Boko haram in Nigerian soil, but in January the leaders of Nigeria’s four neighbors – Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin – issued an ultimatum to the then-president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, telling him that they had lost patience with the incompetence of the Nigerian military, and that their own armies would go into Nigeria to destroy Boko Haram whether or not the Nigerian government agreed.

Jonathan relented, and the four neighbors formed a joint force – relying in the main of ground forces from Cameroon and Niger, and the well-trained Chadian air force – which began to fight Boko Haram units deep inside Nigeria.

The tide of the war has turned, and since early this year Boko Haram has been in retreat, ceding much of the territory the organization had captured.

Boko Haram is still a potent force, and in June and July, Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, was rocked by a series of suicide attacks that killed dozens of people. Boko Haram had threatened such attacks since earlier this year, when Chad became the leading force in the anti-Boko Haram coalition.

In the June and July attacks, suicide bombers on motorcycles targeted two buildings in the capital. In another, a man disguised as a woman wearing a burqa detonated a bomb outside the city’s main market.

Only last September, Chad was praised by human rights groups for abolishing capital punishment. The International Federation for Human Rights noted at the time that Chad had observed a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991, with the exception of nine executions which took place in November 2003.

The death penalty was brought back last month, however, as legislators approved new anti-terrorist measures in response to Boko Haram’s escalating attacks against Chad.

More Stories:
view counter

Leave a comment

Register for your own account so you may participate in comment discussion. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by our Comment Guidelines, our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use. Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief. Names are displayed with all comments. Learn more about Joining our Web Community.
Read More

CAN 2017 : le Cameroun sans Aurélien Chedjou

StarAfrica | Le sélectionneur du Cmeroun, Volker Finke, devrait composer son équipe face à la Gambie sans Aurélien Chedjou. Alors qu’il a été retenu dans la liste des convoqués pour cette rencontre, le défenseur de Galatasaray ne fera finalement pas le déplacement en Gambie.

Chedjou s’est blessé au genou samedi avec son club de Galatasaray lors du match face à Konyaspor. Il a été remplacé à la demi-heure de jeu et sa blessure semble être délicate.

Le joueur a tenu tout de même de rassurer ses fans via son compte Twitter en écrivant : « Merci pour tous les messages, je vais revenir vite et fort. »

Thank you my people for all the messages,i will come back soon and strong @GalatasaraySK Cimbom

— Aurelien Chedjou (@AurelienChedjou) August 29, 2015

Read More

Tchad : exécution de dix membres présumés de Boko Haram

Dix membres présumés du groupe islamiste nigérian Boko Haram, condamnés à mort vendredi pour leur implication dans l’attaque commise en juin à N’Djamena, ont été fusillés samedi par les autorités du pays.

La sentence n’a pas tardé à être appliquée. Au terme de deux jours de procès, 10 membres présumés du groupe islamiste nigérian Boko Haram, condamnés à mort vendredi pour leur responsabilité dans le double attentat-suicide commis en juin à N’Djamena, ont été exécutés par balles samedi 29 août dans la capitale tchadienne, ont indiqué des sources judiciaire et sécuritaire.

“Ils ont été fusillés ce matin dans un champ de tir situé au nord de N’Djamena”, ont assuré ces mêmes sources concordantes. Les 10 accusés avaient été condamnés à mort vendredi par la Cour criminelle de la capitale tchadienne.

“Les armes saisies seront mises à la disposition de l’État tchadien, les substances psychotropes seront détruites”, avait aussi indiqué vendredi la cour dans son verdict auquel a eu accès l’AFP.

Ce procès, ouvert mercredi, était le premier au Tchad de membres présumés de Boko Haram.

Le “cerveau” tué

Parmi les 10 personnes exécutées figure Mahamat Mustapha, alias Bana Fanaye, un Nigérian présenté par les autorités comme le “cerveau” des attaques du 15 juin : deux attentats-suicides simultanés contre le commissariat central et l’école de police de N’Djamena avaient alors fait 38 morts, dont les trois kamikazes, et 101 blessés.

Le 12 juillet, un nouvel attentat, revendiqué par Boko Haram, avait encore frappé N’Djamena : un kamikaze déguisé en femme s’était fait exploser sur le marché central, faisant au moins 15 morts et 80 blessés.

L’armée tchadienne est engagée dans une opération militaire régionale depuis le début de l’année contre l’insurrection islamiste de Boko Haram, qui s’est étendue au-delà du nord-est du Nigeria, son fief historique, vers les pays limitrophes : Tchad, Niger et Cameroun.

Cette offensive a infligé de sérieux revers au groupe affilié à l’organisation État islamique (EI), mais les insurgés, qui ont perdu des territoires, continuent de multiplier attaques et attentats au Nigeria, comme au Tchad et au Cameroun.

Read More

Chad executes 10 Boko Haram members by firing squad

N’Djamena – Chad executed 10 alleged members of Boko Haram, by firing squad on Saturday, a day after they were found guilty of a double suicide killing that left 38 people dead in the capital N’Djamena.

“They were executed this morning on a shooting ground north of N’Djamena,” a judicial source told AFP. The report was confirmed by a security source who asked not to be identified.

The 10 were condemned to death on Friday in the country’s first trial of presumed members of the Islamist group. The hearings opened on Wednesday.

Nigeria’s neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all suffered attacks by Boko Haram and earlier this year they announced a regional force to end the militants’ insurgency that has claimed more than 15 000 lives since 2009.

The defendants were accused of criminal conspiracy, killings, wilful destruction with explosives, fraud, illegal possessions of arms and ammunition, as well as using psychotropic substances.

Also Read: Boko Haram spy ring uncovered at Abuja airport

The accused include Nigerian national Mahamat Mustapha, also known as Bana Fanaye, who according to Chadian authorities masterminded the June 15 suicide attacks that struck a school and a police building in N’Djamena, killing 38 people and injuring 101.

On July 12, a fresh attack in the Chadian capital claimed by Boko Haram left at least 15 dead and 80 hurt after an assailant dressed as a woman blew himself up in the central marketplace.

Shortly after Fanaye’s arrest in late June, Chad’s top prosecutor Alghassim Kassim said the suspect was the “ringleader of a network smuggling weapons and munitions between Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad”.

Chad has beefed up security in response to the bloodshed.

The regional force against Boko Haram is expected to number about 8 700 troops and police, but it has yet to go into action.

Read More

CAN 2017 : Clinton Njie incertain pour la Gambie

La nouvelle arme offensive de Tottenham, Clinton Njie, pourrait manquer à l’appel lors de la rencontre de la 2e journée des éliminatoires de la Coupe d’Afrique des Nations Orange 2017 qui opposera le Cameroun à la Gambie.

L’attaquant de 22 ans souffre de quelques problèmes de santé qui pourraient le contrarier à déclarer forfait, selon nos confrères de Camfoot.

En effet, depuis qu’il est arrivé à Londres, l’ex-lyonnais s’entraîne seul et a un programme spécifique à lui. Il se fixera sur sa disponibilité lundi.

Rappelons que les Lions, vainqueurs de la Mauritanie (1-0) lors de la première journée, retrouvent la Gambie le 6 septembre prochain à Banjul.

Read More

Bill Tchato, une bonne pâte

Patron d’une pizzeria et directeur technique du centre Samuel-Eto’o au Gabon, le défenseur camerounais n’a toujours pas remisé les crampons.

Bill Tchato
Bill Tchato

Il était venu à Libreville en 2011 terminer une belle et longue carrière professionnelle du côté du FC Sapins – ça ne s’invente pas – après un dernier tour de piste en National avec Strasbourg. Quatre ans plus tard, le champion d’Afrique 2002, aujourd’hui âgé de quarante ans, joue la prolongation.

«Initialement, j’avais répondu à une offre de Pierre Aubame, le père de Pierre-Emerick (NDLR : Aubameyang), qui me proposait de rejoindre ce club dont il était le manager général.» Le Gabon s’apprêtait à organiser la CAN 2012 avec la Guinée équatoriale, le moment était parfait pour «promouvoir le football gabonais», se souvient le natif de M’Biam. «Je n’avais encore jamais joué dans un club africain puisque j’ai rejoint la France à l’âge de huit ans. Contrairement à beaucoup d’autres, j’ai donc voulu goûter à ce type d’expérience. Je suis revenu aux racines, d’une certaine façon.»

Contacté par Samuel Eto’o

Voilà donc l’ancien pensionnaire du centre de formation de Caen, passé par l’ASOA Valence, Nice, Montpellier, Kaiserslautern et Al-Khor au Qatar parti pour deux saisons de découverte des réalités de la D1 gabonaise, au côté d’un certain Daniel Cousin et de Willy Aubameyang, le frère de Pierre-Emerick. «Pour quelqu’un qui n’avait connu que le professionnalisme européen, j’ai débarqué dans une formation qui n’avait passé que deux ans en D1.

Au début, on se changeait au bord du terrain, c’était encore très amateur. Mais aussi très enrichissant sur le plan humain.» Dans le même temps, son ami Samuel Eto’o, très proche du président de la république gabonaise Ali Bongo, ouvre à Libreville, dans l’arrondissement de Nzeng-Ayong, un centre de formation. «Samuel m’a appelé, il voulait que je sois de l’aventure. J’ai accepté !» Responsable des entraîneurs, Bill Tchato a hérité il y a peu la responsabilité technique du centre depuis le départ du directeur espagnol venu de Barcelone.

«On travaille avec 63 gamins, âgés de onze à quinze ans, qui logent dans l’un des hôtels bâtis pour la CAN 2012. Les enfants sont inscrits dans la Ligue de l’Estuaire et disputent les Championnats de jeunes. Je suis présent tous les jours, sachant que les gamins jouent le samedi et le dimanche.»

Comme si cela ne lui suffisait pas, l’an passé, le défenseur s’est lancé dans une toute autre activité, la restauration. «On a ouvert en mai 2014 une pizzeria du côté d’Angondjé, dans le quartier du nouveau stade. Il y a quatre employés et ça marche plutôt bien. On a eu des visiteurs prestigieux comme Deco, Patrick Mboma et Samuel Eto’o. Notre pizza vosgienne, la préférée des Gabonais, cartonne ! De temps en temps, je passe derrière le comptoir. On a une dizaine de tables au total. On fait aussi du fast-food, du poisson braisé et des chawarmas (mets libanais).»

Une finale de Coupe du Gabon à jouer

Conforté dans son choix par la popularité de son établissement, le Camerounais songe à ouvrir un glacier. Le projet devrait, en principe, voir le jour d’ici à un an, même si rester à Libreville implique des sacrifices, notamment sur le plan privé.

«Mais j’ai la chance d’avoir une épouse formidable. Ma famille vit toujours à Montpellier. J’ai d’ailleurs deux fils à l’école de foot du MHSC.» Le football justement, l’ex-Caennais n’a pas tiré un trait définitif dessus après ses deux années au FC Sapins. «J’ai repris une licence dans un club, l’AFJ, qui évolue en D2 gabonaise. Et il m’arrive de disputer encore quelques matches, soit en tant qu’ailier gauche, soit en numéro 10.»

Vingt ans après ses débuts au Stade Malherbe, l’ancien Lion indomptable rugit toujours. Il y a quelques jours, il s’est qualifié pour la finale de la Coupe du Gabon. Son club a successivement éliminé trois clubs de l’élite et défiera début septembre le CF Mounana (D1). En cas de succès, le Camerounais jouera-t-il la prolongation une saison supplémentaire, histoire de goûter à la Coupe de la Confédération africaine, à quarante et un ans ? «Ce n’est que du plaisir, de toute façon», répète à l’envi Bill Tchato, qui profite de la proximité avec le Cameroun pour goûter, quand son emploi du temps le lui permet, au pays qui lui a offert ses plus beaux souvenirs.

France Football

Read More

RFI demande l’accès au dossier de l’un de ses correspondants arrêté au Cameroun

Au Cameroun, l’un des correspondants de RFI en langue haoussa, Ahmed Abba, est détenu depuis un mois. Au secret à Yaoundé, son avocat n’a pas eu le droit de le voir depuis deux semaines. RFI demande aujourd’hui aux autorités camerounaises de permettre au bâtonnier Charles Tchoungang, constitué dans cette affaire, de pouvoir accéder à son client et au dossier pour connaître les accusations dont il fait l’objet.

Notre journaliste a été arrêté à Maroua le 30 juillet dernier. Il serait interrogé dans le cadre d’une enquête sur les activités du groupe Etat islamique en Afrique de l’Ouest, ex-Boko Haram, comme l’explique Me Charles Tchoungang.

« Il est depuis tenu au secret et est enquêté par un organisme dont c’est la mission dans le cadre de l’état de guerre qui est celui du Cameroun, souligne Me Tchoungang. Je voudrais rappeler tout simplement que le Cameroun est en guerre depuis quelques mois et cette question est très sensible au Cameroun du fait de nombreux civils assassinés, du fait de nombreux militaires tués au front. Donc, par conséquence, c’est une question qui relève de la sécurité de l’Etat. Et on peut, à l’instar de ce qui a pu se passer ailleurs, aux Etats-Unis ou en France récemment, comprendre que l’Etat se donne les moyens d’avoir le maximum d’informations liées à ces choses-là. Quelles que soient les suspicions qui pèsent contre lui, il est normal dans un Etat de droit comme celui du Cameroun de faire en sorte que l’on puisse accéder à lui pour être tranquillisés en attendant qu’il soit déféré devant les juridictions qui devront faire la part des choses. »

Vous trouverez ci-après le communiqué de la direction de Radio France Internationale (groupe FMM) du 30 août 2015 :

RFI demande l’accès au dossier d’un de ses correspondants en langue haoussa arrêté au Cameroun Il y a un mois jour pour jour, le 30 juillet 2015, Ahmed Abba, le correspondant-pigiste de RFI en langue haoussa à Maroua, au Nord-Cameroun, a été arrêté par les forces de l’ordre. Depuis, il a été transféré à Yaoundé et serait interrogé dans le cadre d’une enquête sur les activités de la secte islamiste Boko Haram au Nord-Cameroun. Aussitôt, RFI a mandaté un avocat, le bâtonnier Charles Tchoungang, pour l’assister. Au Cameroun, le délai maximum de la garde à vue est de vingt-huit jours, mais nous apprenons aujourd’hui que certaines dispositions permettent aux autorités de dépasser ce délai. Ahmed Abba est donc toujours détenu au secret, sans même avoir la possibilité de recevoir la visite d’un avocat. Radio France Internationale rappelle son attachement au principe de la présomption d’innocence, et cela d’autant plus qu’un examen attentif de l’ensemble des interventions d’Ahmed Abba à l’antenne permet d’attester de l’impartialité de son travail. En conséquence, RFI souhaite en savoir plus sur le sort de son correspondant, pour lequel elle exprime son inquiétude. Un mois après son arrestation, Ahmed Abba doit sortir au plus vite de cette situation extra-judicaire, afin que l’avocat de RFI puisse enfin prendre connaissance du dossier.

Read More

Four Years and 78 Days With Mazan Fama – a Tribute to Zannah Umar Mustapha, Borno's Deputy Governor [opinion]

I can’t remember the exact date I gave him that name, ‘Mazan Fama’. I had given him series of assignments, some of them really tasking. All I did was to give him targets. I wanted all the assignments accomplished for the good of Borno but I wasn’t expecting them accomplished in one outing! It was typical of what we do in the banking sector where I spent most of my professional years. In the bank, targets are always given to Banking Executives and in most cases, the targets were raised so high that meeting them may appear unrealistic but then achievable. Fortune favours the brave and the paranoid always survives! I spent years in the bank always under pressure of pursuing ever increasing targets. This is still the practice in banks, meant to keep bankers on their toes, push them to going after customers with the motive of meeting these targets set as conditions for promotions or retaining their jobs.

It was early into our first term in office, when I commissioned our Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha to travel to Gombe, Abuja and Lagos with a tall list of deliverables. As he was glancing through the list, I looked at his face, expecting to see him wear a look of anxiety like we mostly wore in the bank any time we had new targets to meet. The Deputy Governor seemed normal. I asked him, have you gone through the list, he said ‘Yes, Sir’ and pocketed the list. He was then asking if there was anything in addition to the tall list. ‘What is wrong with this man?’ I said to myself before responding to him. ‘No, there is nothing else, Your Excellency, just proceeds with that and please try to return to Maiduguri as quickly as you can’ I said to him. He left me immediately. I was confused, wondering if he understood the weight of the work ahead of him, the number of people he needed to meet at some agencies of the Federal Government, with and without prior appointments. The task was really challenging. All I expected was something out his planned trip. My anticipation was somewhere around 50 to 60 percent which would have been okay by me, given the importance of the tasks. Within few days that he left, he was back to Maiduguri unannounced and walked straight to my office. I was rudely shocked when I saw him. I was afraid of asking him what happened. I was so sure he must have encountered a serious setback. But then I asked myself, ‘why didn’t he call to tell me the problem so I could try to come in instead of returning to Maiduguri?’. I was becoming inpatient as he stood in the middle of the office exchanging pleasantries with a guest that I dismissed on sighting the Deputy Governor. Before he sat down properly, I said to him, ‘Your Excellency, hope all is well?’. He smiled but I was too anxious to make anything out of his face. I folded my hands, waiting for a sad news. He brought out an envelope he was holding, brought the list I handed him before the trip. One after the other, my Deputy Governor had convincingly achieved all the tasks I gave to him. He went further to accomplish two others that were related and important but which I didn’t note. Then, he amazed me with three words, ‘what next,Sir?’. It was that day I nicknamed him ‘MAZAN FAMA’ which I used in describing him as my ‘reliable warrior’. For four years and 78 days, I had such a sufficiently efficient man as my Deputy in Borno before the untimely, cold hands of death came calling on Saturday, August 15, 2015.

My late Deputy Governor wasn’t only efficient; he was also extremely honest and prudent. Officials serving in committees liked his commitment but preferred not to take request to the Deputy Governor because he mostly cut down unreasonable requests mercilessly and very correctly, to save funds for the Government. He transparently used little to achieve so much and disclosed savings for return to treasury. Taking advantage of his competence and character, I made sure the Deputy Governor was chairman of any special group that was to be entrusted with so much funds for execution of public programmes and capital projects. He chaired the committees that built more than half of the 2,500 houses we are completing, coordinated disbursements on immunization programmes, and was my permanent Ameerul Hajj from 2011 till he died during which he remarkably raised the welfare of pilgrims; he was empowered to summon any government official and any contractor handling any public project in Borno State and he did many interventions with my expressed approval. But in all that he was doing, he was most passionate about his role as chairman of central coordinating committee on the welfare of internally displaced persons, IDPs, to the extent that there was virtually no time I and him were alone that he wouldn’t say something about IDPs. In fact, even when died in Yola, one of his schedules after the Convocation ceremony at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), was to follow up on his earlier visit on matters affecting the welfare of IDPS from Borno State who were conveyed from Cameroon to Yola.

We went through the darkest moments of Borno like a ‘tube and tyre’ as they say it. Four years have gone by after the seemingly interminable and deadly conundrum that has gripped our land. A renewed air of optimism is now sweeping through the hearts and minds of our beleaguered, yet resilient people, seeing that in the dark clouds that have hovered over the skies for so long, the glimpses of a silver lining is beginning to appear, thanks to the strong political will demonstrated by the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in tackling the insurgency. As a result, we in Borno – both as a government and people – are bracing up to tackle head long the enormous but not insurmountable challenges that are bound to come with the onerous task of rebuilding Borno and restoring it to its former glory, and my late Deputy’s trailblazing role was assured in the scheme of things.

My unyielding show of confidence was far from being misplaced, for the late Deputy Governor was hardwork, passion, commitment and diligence personified. A workaholic per excellence, an asset virtually indispensable, always cheerful and full of life, my Man Friday, mazan fama (the reliable warrior); the quintessential Zannah Umar Mustapha.‎ Therefore, to say that His Excellency’s sudden death in the early hours of that dark Saturday in his sleep, hit me like a thunderbolt out of the blues is to grossly understate a glaring fact.

As unwavering believers, we solemnly affirm not only that “every soul shall have taste of Death” (Kullu nafsin za’i katul Mawt, Qur’an 3:185), but no death is untimely. Indeed, when our appointed time arrives and the Angel of death comes knocking, there is absolutely no room for negotiation, debate or casting the ballot. That undeniable truism does nothing however, to detract from the sheer depth of the devastation caused by our irreparable loss.

Considering how our friendship, nay comradeship, blossomed with time, I could say my crossing of paths with my Zannah occurred in fairly inauspicious circumstances. As astonishing as it sounds, before the irresistible allure of politics eventually pulled us in the same partisan direction, we were at best casual acquaintances, and by the time we had our first real and sustained interaction in 2011, I was already by God’s grace ANPP Gubernatorial candidate and he my presumed running mate.

Four years and 78 days absolutely changed what we meant to each other. In that relatively short period of time, we bonded into a friendship very rare in its cordiality, political soul mates of a special hue and, above all else, into brothers as though of the same blood.

In the immortal words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jnr., “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy”. Zannah Umar Mustapha endeared himself to me in particular and our people in general chiefly and precisely because he was able to prove his mettle in our handling of the well-known security and other developmental challenges that have confronted Borno in the last half a dozen years or so. He relished the hardwork and loved to carry out difficult tasks assigned to him and more importantly, he possessed an uncanny ability to deliver results, and speedily too. Therefore, entrusting such tasks to him became a second nature to me, knowing I was totally at home and could sleep with both my eyes closed.

Both on account of the law of nature and constitutional requirement, the gaping hole created in our administrative set up by the unexpected exit of the amiable Zannah Umar Mustapha must be filled. Yes, fill we must the vacant position of the Deputy Governor of Borno State, but without any shadow of doubt Zannah is irreplaceable. He was an honourable man and an extremely loyal, a trusted deputy and ally.

What made us a pretty good team was that my late indefatigable deputy and I complimented each other rather seamlessly. Where I am an introvert – quieter, more reserved, he was aggressive and vivacious; where I am diplomatic and (I am told) self-effacing, he was blunt and point-blank; where I am the product of a free wheeling, laissez faire civilian up-bringing, he was a beneficiary of military regimentation. In fact, even in terms of our physical attributes, we mixed quite well – where I am fair in complexion, he was dark ebony. About the only attribute we had that didn’t complement each other is our age, which is about the same, both of us having been born in 1966.

I dare say that our complementarity tended to conform with the Yin and Yang (literally meaning dark and bright) strand of Chinese philosophy which describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Like Yin and Yang, we tended to act as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. That was how the Deputy Governor and I blended.

I state without any iota of ambiguity that I have lost my bosom friend and brother; the APC, our party, has lost an astute politician and a consummate mobilizer; Borno’s multitudes of IDPs and other hapless victims of Boko Haram, a comforter; Borno State, a committed leader; and for Nigeria, the country has lost a true patriot.

Mazan Fama is gone forever, but we cannot afford the luxury of wallowing in self-pity, for there is an awful amount of work to be done. Besides, we can’t question the wisdom of the best planner of them all, Allah the Almighty. Indeed, the most befitting tribute we can pay his sweet memory is for us to rededicate ourselves to doing sufficient justice to the sacred mandate the good people of Borno freely and overwhelmingly gave us. The best honour we can bestow on the soul of our departed hero is to make Borno a bastion of good governance, an enduring model of excellence in sustainable development, a true home of peace and harmony, a much better place for its teeming inhabitants to live in than we found it. In short, to restore Borno’s diminished glory and reposition it for greatness. As Abraham Lincoln succinctly captured, “In the end, it is not the Years in your life that count. It is the life in your Years.”

Adieu my dear friend and brother, may Allah (SWT) forgive your sins and grant you abode in Al-Jannat Firdausi. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (surely, we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return)!

Kashim Shettima, a former lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, is the Governor of Borno State.

Read More

Buhari's 100 Days in Office [opinion]

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”- Nelson Mandela

My brother and his family visited Nigeria last month and they stayed for three weeks. He told me that the power supply has changed for the better. He was pleasantly surprised that there are longer days with power compared to the way it was in the past. He told me that the change was not just the power supply but in other aspects of peoples’ lives.

It will be naïve to say that everything is now fine and dandy. Far from it, but the shoots of change are beginning to take root. Change is not easy, and admittedly for years people had given up hope and dared to dream, some still doubt if the recent change is really for the better. It is understandable. The change in Nigeria has been long time coming and for many years, Nigerians had developed an attitude of futility and a well-worn saying that “only God can save Nigeria”.

Actually, God has nothing to do with it. The problem with Nigerians, has always been self-inflicted, therefore, it is Nigerians’ responsibility to clear up the mess. The obstacles to progress has always been in part; the level of denial, self-interest and lack of leadership. For so long, people revelled in mediocrity and chaos, it was the given, that is the way things are and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Sadly, the past leaders did not try enough to change the status quo. It was not in their best interest. After all, if there was stability and progress, majority of Nigerians will benefit and the quality of life for the average Nigerian will be transformed. Of course they did not want that! Anyway, I digress.

So, here we are at Buhari’s first 100 days at the helm since May 29, 2015 and what has he done? The facts speak for themselves; yes, prior to his administration the total power generated in the country was 3,155 megawatts and now is 4,032.2 megawatts and took six weeks into the Buhari presidency to change the previous administration’s promise. He has appointed new defence chiefs after sacking the heads of the army, navy and air force. He has tasked the new defence chiefs to redouble their efforts to quell the activities of the insurgency. The United States pledged $5 million to the fight against Boko Haram, and other material support. The G-7 also offers support and commitment to strengthen Nigeria’s efforts to quash the insurgency.

There is a better relationship and cooperation with its neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Buhari has ordered the release of $21m to facilitate and establish HQ for the forces closer to the epicentre of the insurgency. He is a strategist and is determined to fight Boko Haram. The army has been told to act within the law and abide by human rights convention. Discipline and moral integrity is returning to the armed forces.

Let’s us not forget that PMB was elected on an anti-corruption ticket and he pledged to fight corruption, and he should be held to that pledge. The Federal Government is planning to establish 37 of the Special Courts to try corruption related cases in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the 36 states of the Federation. So, for those who have siphoned from the national purse, they are in for a rude awakening. There will be screening to identify fearless judges who would be responsible to preside on such cases.

President Buhari has approved the recruitment of 10,000 additional police officers and he has directed the Inspector-General of Police to trim the number of police attached to politicians and dignitaries, to redeploy the police men to their regular police duties.

Nigeria’s image has also improved overseas and neighbours and there are more countries who want to do business with Nigeria. Recently, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Rangaian Ghanashyam, said that President Buhari’s on-going effort at fighting corruption would attract more foreign investments and it seems to attract foreign investments.

Ghanashyam said that PMB’s commitment to fighting corruption would not only attract more foreign investments but would also make Nigeria “stand on itself’ and that Nigeria, is now in safe hands because what President Buhari is doing would make more investors to come to Nigeria.

PMB has dismantled some of the management structures and ways that the Federal Government does business. Already he has announced plans to uncouple the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation which has long been a lightning rod for graft and corruption. The President has already done away with the previous management and put in place a highly recommended and renowned technocrat from Exxon Mobile, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu. There are indications that some agencies of government and civil service will be trimmed.

There is talk about a salary cut for our legislators, now that is in progress. PMB and his deputy did take a cut in salary so our honourable men and women have no excuse.

The President has brought in a new broom and a fiscal supremo, Godwin Emefiele, as the Central Bank Governor, who recently announced that the foreign reserves had risen by $2.89b in the first month of the Buhari administration.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has a new lease of life and is already at work apprehending the looters for those who helped themselves to the common wealth.

Change is good especially if it’s for the better. Change also, is contagious, and those that can’t feel it, is because they refuse to be part of the solution and they languish in the past where things did not work, chaos reign and fear has always been their currency of trade. Buhari is already assembling a team of highly skilled professionals that would help him to implement his promise of change. I remember several months ago, how people wish for a time like this because for those of us who knew, that period when things worked in Nigeria ,was a golden age. For those who are not yet convinced of change, that is because they have not contributed to the change and for them , I direct this Socrates ‘quote;” Let him that would move the world first move himself “.It is about time Nigerians focus on changing themselves to nation building.

500 days and counting -Chibok girls

Only those that feel it, they say, know it. It has been 500 long days and the relatives of over two hundred Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram, feel this pain intensely. For the relatives of these girls and their supporters, 500 days is a long time and they will not and cannot forget them. Nor should we. Although this administration has promised to bring the girls back, there has not been any sighting of these girls despite all the strategies of getting them out of the clutches of the insurgents. The fate of these girls remain unknown, we can only imagine what they are going through and the despair of their relatives. For the parents, their absence is a waking nightmare.

Shehu Garba, a presidential spokesperson, said there has been “intensified intelligence gathering and reconnaissance in a given location in the northeast”. All well and good, but about time there is some real result.

Obi Ezekwesili, the leader of Bring Back Our Girls campaign, believes that more needs to go into the search for the girls; “These girls must be found, these girls are somewhere on this planet, they didn’t become vapour and disappear”

We pray for the safe return of the girls and a closure to the incessant abduction of children, women and men by these marauders.

Read More

Cameroonian Journalists Union, CPJ, Others Condemn Arrest of Nigerian-Based Journalist

The President of the Cameroon Journalism Trade Union, Dennis Nkwebo, has condemned the arrest of a Nigerian-based Cameroonian journalist, Simon Ateba, who is being detained by the country’s military authorities on charges of espionage.

The President of the Cameroon Union of Journalists, Charles Ndi Chia, and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, CPJ, have also condemned the journalist’s arrest and demanded that he be immediately released.

Mr. Ateba, a Cameroonian wo has worked as a journalist in Nigeria for over a decade, was arrested on Friday afternoon at the Minawao refugee camp and taken to Makolo in the far north of Cameroon and has been accused of spying for the Boko Haram insurgency group which is waging a Jihadist war in north east Nigeria. He has spent two nights in detention.

Mr. Nkwebo condemned Mr. Ateba’s arrest as high handed, observing that the journalist had not committed any offence by going to report on activities there.

“He is a Cameroonian even if he is working in Nigeria and he has not committed any offence by going to report the refugee situation at the camp. We condemn his arrest as he was arrested in the course of doing his legitimate journalistic work and demand his release,” Mr. Nkwebo stated.

According to the Cameroon journalists’ union president, there is no law in the country which forbids any journalist from reporting the refugee camps.

Mr. Nkwebo added that the military authorities even had no right to arrest anybody for going into the refugee camps since the facility is controlled and run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, and not the government.

“I have gone there to report events there at the camp many times and even taken photographs and nobody stopped me,” he observed.

He lamented that even local journalists suffer repression in the hands of the military authorities, noting that journalists in Cameroon had been dragged to military tribunals before for possessing information that the authorities think they should have shared with the government.

“Freedom of expression is under attack in Cameroon and journalists in this country will continue to resist all attempts to supress the Press,” Mr. Nkwebo asserted.

Mr. Chia is also reported to have condemned Ateba’s arrest and promised to do everything possible to effect his release. According to Bisong Etabohen, a Cameroonian journalist and publisher, who spoke to our reporter on Saturday, Mr. Chia, expressed dismay at the arrest and promised to ensure that he is released as soon as possible.

In its own reaction, the CPJ, in a brief statement issued Saturday by its West African representative, Peter Nkanga, said the journalist’s arrest and continued detention was uncalled for as he was doing legitimate business of reporting an issue of public interest.

“Authorities should release Simon Ateba immediately and allow journalists access to the camp, and the people within, to report those stories of public interest which have remained shrouded in secrecy and underreported for too long,” mr. Nkanga stated.

Mr. Ateba was arrested at the Minawao refugee camp in the far north of the country at about noon on Friday and taken to Mokolo, some twelve kilometres away, where he was detained.

He was in Cameroon to report on the conditions of refugees in the camp when he was arrested and accused of spying for the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency group.

He said he has been told that he would be taken to Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, and handed over to the secret police to be tried for espionage.

Dayo Aiyetan, executive director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, which awarded a grant to Mr. Ateba to conduct the investigation, expressed worry that the journalist’s whereabouts are no longer known as nobody has been able to reach him since Saturday afternoon.

“I was in contact with him even as he was detained but since about 4.00 pm or so I have not been able to reach him,” Mr. Aiyetan stated Saturday evening.

He added that Mr. Ateba complained that he had not been given food or water for over 24 hours and had not been allowed to buy drugs to treat a feverish condition that developed after he was beaten by rain.

When contacted over the matter, the Cameroon minister of information, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said he was not aware of the journalist’s arrest. Although the minister was told that he had not been fed or given access to medication to treat a fever, he said that there was nothing he could do until Monday or Tuesday.

This report was first published by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting ( We have their permission to republish here.

Read More

RFI Correspondent Held Incommunicado in Cameroon Boko Haram Inquiry

RFI has called on Cameroon to allow lawyers to see journalist Ahmed Abba, the correspondent for its Hausa service who has been held in custody for a month without it being made clear what charges he is being held under. For the past two weeks Abba has been denied access to his lawyer.

Abba, who is now held in the capital, Yaoundé, was arrested in Marua in the far north of the country on 30 July.

He is reportedly being questioned in relation to the activities of the armed Islamist movement Boko Haram, which has renamed itself the Islamic State in West Africa, according to his lawyer, Charles Tchoungang.

“In Cameroon, police custody cannot exceed 28 days but we have just been informed that certain measures allow authorities to extend that period,” RFI says in a statement.

The company has asked the Cameroonian authorities to allow Tchoungang to have access to his client and to be informed of the reasons for his detention.

“At the moment he is being held incommunicado and is under investigation by the organisation responsible under the state of war Cameroon is experiencing today,” Tchoungang told RFI. “Let me remind you that Cameroon has been at war [with Boko Haram] for the past few months and this question is very sensitive because of the number of civilians murdered and soldiers killed on the frontline.”

It is understandable that the state adopts the necessary measures to acquire as much information as possible on a question of national security in this situation, Tchoungang says, pointing out that the United States and France have taken similar measures.

“All I am saying is, whatever he is suspected of, it is normal, in a country like Cameroon where the rule of law prevails, to make it possible for us to see him, so that we can be reassured of his wellbeing before he is presented to the legal authorities who will decide on the matter.”

RFI’s statement reminds the Cameroonian authorities of the principle of presumption of innocence and insists that “a very close examination of Ahmed Abba’s interventions in our programmes demonstrates the impartiality in his work”.

Read More

CAMEROoN – FRANCE – RFI correspondent held incommunicado in Cameroon Boko Haram inquiry (RFI (France))

RFI has called on Cameroon to allow lawyers to see journalist Ahmed Abba, the correspondent for its Hausa service who has been held in custody for a month without it being made clear what charges he …

Abba, who is now held in the capital, Yaoundé, was arrested in Marua in the far north of the country on 30 July.

He is reportedly being questioned in relation to the activities of the armed Islamist movement Boko Haram, which has renamed itself the Islamic State in West Africa, according to his lawyer, Charles Tchoungang.

“In Cameroon, police custody cannot exceed 28 days but we have just been informed that certain measures allow authorities to extend that period,” RFI says in a statement.

The company has asked the Cameroonian authorities to allow Tchoungang to have access to his client and to be informed of the reasons for his detention.

“At the moment he is being held incommunicado and is under investigation by the organisation responsible under the state of war Cameroon is experiencing today,” Tchoungang told RFI. “Let me remind you that Cameroon has been at war [with Boko Haram] for the past few months and this question is very sensitive because of the number of civilians murdered and soldiers killed on the frontline.”

It is understandable that the state adopts the necessary measures to acquire as much information as possible on a question of national security in this situation, Tchoungang says, pointing out that the United States and France have taken similar measures.

“All I am saying is, whatever he is suspected of, it is normal, in a country like Cameroon where the rule of law prevails, to make it possible for us to see him, so that we can be reassured of his wellbeing before he is presented to the legal authorities who will decide on the matter.”

RFI’s statement reminds the Cameroonian authorities of the principle of presumption of innocence and insists that “a very close examination of Ahmed Abba’s interventions in our programmes demonstrates the impartiality in his work”.

Read More

Nigeria-based journalist arrested in Cameroon, accused of spying for Boko Haram

A Lagos-based Cameroonian journalist, Simon Ateba, has been arrested by Cameroonian authorities as he investigated the conditions of Nigerian refugees camped in the country’s far north.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba

The journalist, who managed to leave a messages on his Facebook page before he was locked up Friday, said he was arrested for venturing, without permission, into a refugee camp with 50,000 Nigerians.

He later told a colleague that the authorities were threatening to charge him for espionage – saying they suspect he was spying for the extremist Boko Haram sect.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mr. Ateba received a grant from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Abuja, to investigate the ordeals and suffering of Nigerians who fled into Cameroon as their communities came under sustained attacks from the extremist Boko Haram sect.

Dayo Aiyetan, executive director of the centre, confirmed that his organisation is aware of Mr. Ateba’s travels and investigation.

“We are saddened that he is being incarcerated for doing his job, and we demand his immediate release,” Mr. Aiyetan told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ateba on Saturday morning left more messages on his Facebook page detailing his ordeal in the hands of the Cameroonian authorities.

He said, “Was given my phone for five minutes to make some calls. Just spent my first night in Mokolo cell with two Nigerians who fled Boko Haram terrorist attacks between Gwoza and Maiduguri in a town or village called Sigesia. My first night in a cell in Cameroon far north was because I went to a refugee camp with about 50,000 Nigerians to do an independent reporting without they allowing me to do so.

“Having contacted the minister of communication, spoken to the governor, the army spokesman here and having gone to the UNHCR office in Maroua and spoken with officials there, I realised they will never allow me to see Nigerians living there. So I went anyway.

“Entered the camp and saw things for myself at Minawao camp, 12 kilometres in the bush from the main road and about 60 kilometres from Maroua where Boko Haram have struck three times. I spent the night with Abdulahi Amidou who fled and was accused of bringing foodstuff. He denied it.

“Living the best hotel in Maroua to sleep in a stinking cell with mosquitoes everywhere was shocking but Abdulahi and the rest told me their horrific stories. My flight should be 31 from Ndjamena but with me in a cell, that’s difficult to achieve.”

He added, “Still with my phone in my cell. Before I left, I was told I will need to meet the governor of the region who will grant me access to the camp with Nigerians. I met the governor. He said he doesn’t have power. That power rests with the minister of communication.

“I got in touch with the minister and the army spokesman, sent text messages and so on. Here you need to travel to Yaoundé 800 kilometres away to meet the minister when he’s ready to meet you. Then he will send you to meet the governor in person in Maroua 800 kilometres back.

Then the governor will send you to see the mayor. Then the mayor will send you to the gendarmerie. Then the gendarmerie will send people with you to the camp. The minister will choose which Nigerian in the camp you will speak with. And generally the leader who will tell you “We are grateful to the Cameroonian government. We are just very well treated here”. So that’s the procedure.”

Premium Times

Read More

Casses à Yaoundé: La communauté urbaine frappe une fois de plus

Le 24 août dernier, des commerçants du marché Ekounou ont vu leurs commerces et marchandises détruits.

Il est un peu plus de 12 heures lorsque les membres de la police urbaine font irruption au marché d’Ekounou, le 24 août 2015. Dans cette espace marchand de la ville de Yaoundé, les agents de la communauté urbaine de Yaoundé (Cuy) se sont emparés des produits exposés hors des magasins et surtout des marchandises des vendeurs à la sauvette.

Arrivés à l’improviste, les «gros bras» de la Cuy ont tout d’abord marché sur les produits des vendeurs à la sauvette (tomates, piments et bien d’autres), avant de renverser ceux qui se trouvaient dans les brouettes. Cette étape terminée, ils ont embarqué les marchandises exposés à l’extérieur des boutiques, en précisant qu’elles doivent être placées de cinq à six mètres de la route.

Alertés par les cris de la population, certains vendeurs à la sauvette ont eu le temps d’entrer à l’intérieur du marché pour ce cacher et certains gérants de boutiques ont pu faire rentrer leurs produits à l’intérieur.

Question de se mettre en règle avant que les «Awara», comme on les appelle communément, n’arrivent à leur hauteur. Ceux qui ne sont pas pressés ont vu leurs marchandises détruites sous leurs yeux, ou tout simplement emportées dans un camion. Cette embrouille s’est terminée une heure après. Résultat, les vendeurs apeurés ont tout simplement fermé leurs boutiques, en pestant contre cette mesure de la Cuy.

Ils estiment avoir payé des impôts et voient leurs marchandises raflées comme ceux qui n’ont pas payé. « J’ai payé l’occupation temporelle de la chaussé, donc cet impôt est censé me protéger et me permettre d’exposer ma marchandise dehors. Mais, à ma grande surprise, ils sont venus ramasser mes produits et ont même cassé le hangar que j’avais installé dehors. Là je ne comprends plus rien !», s’exclame un vendeur en colère.

Cependant, certains vendeurs en règle félicitent le travail de la communauté : « Je dis bravo à la communauté urbaine ! A ce que je sache, la loi dénonce le fait de vendre en bordure de la route et, ils [agents de la Cuy Ndlr] préviennent souvent avant de venir.

C’est juste que les gens sont trop têtus, voilà les conséquences », jubile un commerçant. D’autres, par contre, compatissent tout de même à la douleur de leurs collègues qui viennent de subir les affres de la «campagne contre l’incivisme» lancée par la Cuy. « Je pense que la mairie fait bien son travail, le problème c’est qu’il faut au moins prévenir avant de venir rafler car, c’est très touchant de voir sa marchandise détruite comme ça », déclare Nicolas Mvondo, employé dans une librairie de la place.

Read More