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Remembering Bate Besong, the Obasijom Warrior: The Spear Of Hope For Our Liberation








My dear friend BB, you were the conscience of our common destiny that was betrayed and enslaved from 57 years ago. You were the spear of hope for our liberation. Your were our fig leaf of freedom from the crushes of the demons of colonial rule and economic exploitation. You tamed fear in the minds of our enslaved people and lit the fire of freedom in the hearts of our generation and generations unborn. You deconstructed academic mediocrity and eviscerated circumstantial pecuniary literature that glorified thieves, murderers, dictators and devil-worshipping of supposed political leaders. You demystified the political arrangement that rewarded criminals and built monuments in honour of false gods. You planted the seeds of justice, freedom, equality for all and the pursuit of happiness in the hearts of all. Your traced our footpaths to freedom. A Prophet that you were, you warned about the genocide that is happening today but also cautioned that the said genocide will not derail the train of freedom of a determined freedom seeking people.

You once told me that a dictatorship is most vulnerable when it’s brutal exercise of power is at its apex and during that moment, murderers will be appointed to preside over the destiny of their victims. When a dictator attends holy places masked in saintly piety, there is reasonable cause to ask the question, so he aspires to be human like the rest of us?

BB, the pain I endured on learning about your brutal and tragic death on the Douala/Yaoundé express grave way along our common friend Dr Hillary Ambe, Kwassen Gwang’gwa and Awoh the driver who was transporting you to the USA Embassy on a scheduled visa appointment will never ever go away. The passage of time has not diminished the pain or abated the recurrent reality of a life without you.

We were soul mates not so much due to the several years we lived in very close proximity but by the fact that we espoused a common liberation ideology for the total liberation and freedom of our enslaved people. We baited the restraining forces of operation and conducted our struggle for , liberation, social justice, freedom for our people and human dignity on our terms and not those defined or decreed by our adversary.

I had the opportunity of knowing many of your students, some who are comrades in the liberation struggle for which you lived and died, I am so proud that God in his eternal grace on your death, allowed the seeds of freedom you planted in your students and our people to germinate into a powerful reservoir of freedom and liberation.

Today as I write these thoughtful words, I can state in all humility, that no weapon, no army , no dictator, can defeat a liberation ideology. If that were possible, fifty six years of genocide and other forms of systemic criminality would have dampened the unstoppable quest for freedom of a people empowered by a popular revolution. This is what you prophesied, this what you wished. So be it.

Thank you BB. May your soul rest in peace.
Your friend and ideological colleague,
Chief Charles Achaleke Taku,
Traditional Ruler and Lawyer. ICC The Hague, Netherlands.

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