Bamenda: Released People Are Back Home
North West Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique advised returnees to contribute towards return to normalcy and avoid witch-hunting blame games.
On the strength of President Paul Biya’s decision for the Military Tribunal in Yaounde to discontinue proceedings against some leaders arrested during the Anglophone crisis, Bamenda welcomed some of them back on September 1, 2017.
The clocks stroke 8:45 am when some 38 of them arrived in the North West Governor’s office straight from Yaounde. It was an emotional moment for family members and friends who filed out to receive them as they emerged from the bus with North West Gendarmerie Legion Commander, Colonel. Nkoa Mala Valere ensuring superintendence.
Around to wish them well and a happy reunion with their families, North West Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique advised them to be on the good side of history, unlike the situation that caused their arrest and detention. Some returnees blamed their arrest on with-hunting and the Governor advised against personalizing the problem and stated preparedness to handle any health issues signaled on their arrival. He hailed the Head of State for the fatherly decision and appealed to the returnees to help the situation in the North West region return to normalcy because nation building requires the contribution of all.
Prof. Abangma James Arrey: “A Good Sign Of Government Responsiveness”
Lecturer at UB, President of SWR Higher Education Teachers Syndicate (SYNES)
“I am grateful with the release. It is a good sign that government is becoming responsive to our demands. With that, things may go better. What we expect from government is to see how we get back to the table. You know there were datelines that were given for implementation of resolutions. We need to see how far we have gone and what is left to be done. My own area of discussion concerns Universities. I think government has complied with a few of our demands including this release of detainees. They have established the Departments of French in ENS Bambili.”
Mrs Fontem Neba: “The Release Indicates Many Other Things To Come”
Wife of a released detainee
“I am very happy for my husband’s release and I am grateful to God Almighty to have enabled this release to be a reality today. The first thing we want is for him to reunite with the family. It has been a long time away from the family. The first thing is to enjoy his return and God will tell the rest. For now, I have not been part of the SYNDICATE of Lecturers officially, I have been doing my work supporting my husband. I want to believe that his release is indicative of many other things that are yet to come.”
Kebei Eugene Kah: “Let’s Be Responsible”
“For those remaining in detention, I think the administration is going to act on that. It is for us to be patient. The solutions cannot all come on one day. About 54 of them have been released and we are confident with the decision of the Head of State. We just have to be calm and responsible Cameroonians.”
Endale Valentine Ayah: « I Am Happy Because God Has Done It For Me »
Wife of Ayah Paul Abine
“My feelings are the same feelings your wife will have. If you are away for eight months and come back, how will your wife feel. For eight months we were separated. He was there, no phone nothing. We used to go to him three times a day. Today he is free. I have to thank God.”
Prof. Martin Chia Ateh: “Children Need to Study”
One of those released
“When you discuss issues of sovereignty or issues of international Law, especially problems of the State that were messed up by the Trustee, it cannot be on the streets. The things are handled at a very high level and the idea of ghost towns and schools boycott is unnecessary. I am a Professor because I went to school and children should be given the chance to study”.
Tameh Valentine: “A Step Towards Lasting Solutions”
TAC Teacher Trade Union leader
“It is a step in the right direction that opens avenues for many things to happen. We were together as teachers’ trade union leaders when the decision was released and we took it happily. We pray that things continue to turn positive for lasting solutions. We cannot have it all when dealing with the government and we should not also adopt a rebellious attitude against ourselves when working towards the future.”
Blasius Achiri Taboh: “It Will Release The Tension”
Lecturer UB, member of SYNES
“I think I am excited. This release of detainees will equally release the tension somehow. This people were picked up in the heat of the crisis and they have been released. I think it is a nice way forward. It is a step in the right direction. It will obviously impact the phase of the Anglophone crisis, which means that this may help bring back people to the table of discussion towards resolving the Anglophone problem.”
Atia Tilarius, Journalist: “I Hope That Things Will Return To Normal Now”
“I want to thank all those who stood by us and I hope that things will return to normal now. I am sure that in the days ahead all other persons who are still in detention will be released. Being in detention, it was a difficult moment and we hope that nobody should go under such a scenario.”
Stanley Achieghi: “I Appreciate The Head Of State’s Decision”
Released detainee from Weh, Menchum Division
“The Head of State takes the credit for the fatherly concern that helped to release us. I appreciate his decision. I am back on the eve of schools resumption but I must confess that I do not know where to start with three children to send to school”
Tim Finian: “I am Happy With The Release”
Released Bamenda-based Journalist
“I am happy with the Head of State’s decision to release us though the fate of some of our brothers is still to be decided. I am indeed, happy for the solidarity shown by those who stood by us and there was this erroneous idea that we were instigating those back home to call ghost towns. There were times that we had to telephone to indicate that the ghost town calls were not helping us in detention. The peace of the country is vital and I am for all to work to keep the peace.”
Ndumu Nji Vincent: “Motivation to Progress in Living Together”
Gov’t Delegate Bamenda City Council
“It was a wonderful Presidential decision and we hope it helps to bring things back to order. It should help us move forward with normal activities. It should inspire the population to prosper in economic activities and the population should now remain steadfast and take the President’s measure of appeasement as a sign of our togetherness and motivation to focus on improving on ourselves, taking care of our families and promote the education of our children”.
Matoya Cletus: “Welcome Decision For Return to Normalcy”
Elite, North West Region
“It is a lofty act by the President of the Republic to order the release of fellow compatriots arrested during the Anglophone crisis. The decision is welcome to accompany a return to the normalization of life and activities that had slowed in the North West and South West regions. It is indicative that the Head of State listened to the plea of the population and he acted like a father of the nation who has the peace of his country at heart.”
Lawan Bako: “President Stood By The Law”
Political Leader, Bamenda
“The President’s decision did not surprise me because while in the U.S recently, one of the agitators on the Anglophone crisis told me that the Head of State is the President who receives security reports daily to guide his actions and I think he stood by the law to release the detained Anglophone leaders. The embarrassment now is the fact that some people in the Diaspora are still preaching continuous ghost towns and schools boycott.”
Dr. Nick Ngwanyam: “A Measure For Frank Dialogue To Prosper”
North West elite
“It was a good decision to release the Anglophone leaders detained though, instead of looking at the big picture, some people promote minor or negative issues about the decision. The decision is a measure to help frank dialogue to continue while children resume schools. I think the decision is welcome for the released Anglophone leaders to lead dialogue because it is they who live the reality on the ground and all others speaking for the Anglophone crisis should standby them for frank dialogue”.
HRH Ndofoa Zofoa: “Head of State Has Given Dialogue a Chance”
Secretary General, North West Fons Union
“It was with a lot of happiness that we received the President’s decision. We are glad that the President harkened to the appeal and anybody who sees it otherwise could be considered an enemy of the State. The decision is in no way a sign of weakness nor an attempt to compromise state authority. It is rather the decision of a father who listens to the worries of his people.”