VIGILANTE IN OUR COMMUNITIES: A BLESSING OR A CURSE? THE TABENKEN EXAMPLE.
With a checkered report by Cameroon government on Ngarbuh situation of February 2020, a wise community should understand that it is difficult to hide the truth all the time. The consequences of anything evil has no barriers: either social, political or economic life is compromised. Anybody thinking of benefitting from evil is only pretending and will pay either directly or indirectly in time and space.
With the activities of armed separatists in our communities, it was but appropriate for the constituted authority to defend their “citizens”. However, the applied method by the powers that be leave much to be desired. Going by the Cameroon Government’s report on Ngarbuh, it goes without saying that claims of extrajudicial killings and incarcirations, looting, extortion, rape etc by the Cameroon forces and other constituted powers is founded. To prevent such ugly eventualities, let us vividly look at the vigilante with those in Tabenken as an example.
During the selection exercise of last February, a clear picture of the enablers of the vigilante was seen. They were ferried from village to village. They did all it takes to make sure their “employers” are satisfied. They could be seen celebrating/jubilating after the results of the selection (in which not up to 25% of the candidates themselves “voted”) were proclaimed. Today the vigilante moves about swearing in the name(s) of its benefactors.
A very big question to be answered is WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE VIGILANTE?? There are claims that they are soldiers. This is a fat lie. A majority of them are X_amba, hardened criminals and x_convicts clearly known to the community. Is there a bigger potential danger here?
QUESTION OF ARMS. They are moving about with highly classed military weapons. The greatest danger here is the fact that arms are in the hands of non_professionals. See guys in shorts and slippers but with sophisticated arms held carelessly, and some even give them to girl friends to hold or allow them on tables around the Tabenken market during drinking.
HARASSMENT, SETTLING OF SCORES, INTIMIDATION. All of these have become the order of the day. When someone is armed, he/she has power. Immorality through seizing of girls friends, forcing teenagers into immorality is on the rise. Threats of taking someone to their camp at the TABENKEN SASH hall for apparent crimes or framed up crimes are common.
SASH HALL=A DETENTION AND TORTURE CAMP. This is very clear. Once someone is taken there, extortion becomes the order of the day. You have to buy your way with a huge sum of money or you go through a horrible ordeal.
SASH HALL IS A COURT. The vigilante is hearing and judging all cases. Fines are levied indiscriminately. Failure to comply one is threatened with a transfer to Nkambe. Many villagers succumb at this point and pay what ever charges or accept what ever ordeal because the case against you to Nkambe will not be anything short of Amba activities and/or separatism.
TABENKEN BECOMING AN ENEMY TO HER NEIGHBOURS. Because of the arrogant negativism of the actions of the vigilante, coupled with an impunity to them, some neighbours to Tabenken are disgruntled. The vigilante has moved around and cries of torture, missing lifestock and other items, extortion etc have been recorded. Some missing items like lifestock are traced to their SASH Hall camp but the owners are threatened as explained above and they forego them. Such persons grudgingly return to their villages, cursing the land. Others completely fear attempting to follow their stolen items by the vigilante to Tabenken.
It is needless to remind us all that some very fatal acts (mistakes??) committed by this group have led to loss of human lives. An old parent who managed to arrive Tabenken with the corpse of the child some three weeks ago was shocked to the marrow when well known members of this group to her blocked the car carrying the coffin, claiming to do control, as if the parent was unknown.
Dear all, Tabenken people are clearly dying in silence. Unless something is done to check these excesses, Tabenken and any other village with the vigilante are either sitting on or building a time bomb.
There is the ugly phenomenon of political brainwashing which is blinding almost the entire community, to the extend that nothing is wrong as long as it comes from, or has the blessings of some quarters. The people are dying in silence. Nobody seems to reason again, or has an opinion of his/her own.
CORONA has come to add. Vigilante, clearly of it’s own accord steps in to “inforce” government measures. Funnily they have no mastery of the prescribed measures, and your guess is as much as mine, when it comes to benefits.
My people, is vigilante a blessing or a curse in our community? Tabenken people BEWARE. Let us NAME AND SHAME this impending doom. NGARBUH is just a miniature EXAMPLE.
Nformi Bony Ngalla