Yaounde,Cameroon-Monday October 2, 2017- 9:00 PM Local Time (Cameroon News Agency) Some English speaking Journalists from Television, Radio, Newspaper and Online, over 40 in number have petitioned the National Communication Council, NCC, over a series of outings by a certain Ernest Obama, Journalist working with VISION 4, a Yaounde based Television channel . In a strongly worded letter to Peter Essoka, President of the Council, the Journalists denounced hate speech against Anglophones propagated by the Journalist in several of his Television appearances.
The Journalists called on Peter Essoka to take such a hate speech with seriousness and hit the nail while it is still hot “The vitriolic vituperation he is pouring (notably through a programme called ‘Tour d’Horizon’) on Anglophones who are only fighting for genuine reforms for a country we all want to see prosper in peace and unity, together with his francophone supremacist narrative, are all things your office cannot sit and remain indifferent to, given the danger they portend for our national welbeing.” Part of the petition letter read.
READ FULL PETITION
Yaounde, October 2, 2017
National Communication Council,
Subject: Complaint on the propagation of vile and hate language on Vision 4 television by one Mr. Ernest Obama against Anglophones
It is with immeasurable bewilderment and shock that we, concerned English-speaking journalists from around the national territory, write to draw your attention to the distasteful and repulsive language being used by a certain Mr. Ernest Obama (supposedly a journalist) on Vision 4 television in Yaounde against aborigines of the North West and South West regions.
It is true, sickening though, sir, that even before what is now termed the Anglophone crisis escalated to this level, many top government officials and other Cameroonians of French-language expression, had at different moments, made provocative and bellicose utterances against Anglophone agitators. But we find it totally reprehensible that language which rather seeks to exacerbate the tempers and frustrations of an aggrieved people should be preached by a journalist who is supposed to be setting an agenda towards a peaceful and rancor-free resolution of the lingering crisis.
Mr. Obama, whose Vision 4 TV colleague (Jean Jacques Zé) also once referred to agitating Anglophones as ‘rats’, should have known better (because he is a journalist) that the media commands humongous power that can bring down even the strongest kingdom on earth.
The vitriolic vituperations he is pouring (notably through a programme called ‘Tour d’Horizon’) on Anglophones who are only fighting for genuine reforms for a country we all want to see prosper in peace and unity, together with his francophone supremacist narrative, are all things your office cannot sit and remain indifferent to, given the danger they portend for our national welbeing.
We recall vividly how during the early stages of the current crisis, you published a communiqué warning media organs (you cited some names) as well as journalists to steer clear of information intended to spread division, hate and bad blood.
We all know the horrendous and despicable consequences that can befall a people when media practitioners who are supposed to help crystalise public opinion for the good, rather tend to poison same as well as the minds of those who can influence public policy.
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 succeeded, albeit unfortunately, because the media (journalists), through a series of hate campaigns, helped to vilify the Tutsis in the eyes of the Hutus. The fallout of such smear campaigns was horrid and sordid. Who doesn’t know the infamous Radio Télévision des Milles Collines (RTLM)which helped fuel the crisis that saw the slaughtering of about one million people in less than 100 days? During this period, local officials and government-sponsored radio stations called on ordinary Rwandan civilians to murder their neighbours. God forbid that we attain that level in Cameroon.
Sir, considering the precarious times we are living in the country as a result of the Anglophone crisis, as well as the grave danger that any further hate sermons and provocative rants mean for our indivisibility on which government gyrates, we kindly urge you to, as a matter of urgency, call not only Mr. Ernest Obama, but all other preachers of hate and profane doctrine, to order.
We also beseech your office to, where and if necessary (we think it is), take every needful disposition within your power with the attendant goal of deterring any further dissemination of such slur language on an entire people.
Thanks sir, and accept kind regards of our highest esteem.
Below is an excerpt from one of Ernest Obama’s many hate pronouncements on Anglophones
“It’s time for government to stop playing with these people (referring to Anglophones). There is no country in the world that jokes with terrorists. Most of them are just making noise on Facebook. (A minority group) in Algeria is also asking for independence. Are people not killed there? They are killed. If it is necessary to restore order and if you are considered a terrorist, you should be killed….It’s time for the government to put in place extremely repressive measures (against Anglophones)…I am also urging the government to decree a state of emergency in the two English-speaking regions of the country…From 7pm, all bars should be closed…there are some Anglophones (in Yaounde) who are happy about what is happing over there (North West and South West)…If a bomb is planted in a school, it will kill the Anglophones themselves…But what is this whole thing about ‘Anglophonie’? All my daughters are in Anglophone schools… We will no longer give room for dialogue with terrorists. Let me address those who want to lead Cameroon. Mr. (Maurice) Kamto, do you want to lead a Cameroon where there is unrest and bloodshed in Bamenda?…It’s no longer a problem of Biya. I have seen all of these placards saying “Biya must go”…If the Anglophone part of the country no longer wants Biya, there are elections coming in 2018…they should vote him out..I hold the opinion that all Anglophones are in support of the explosions in Bamenda. Even here in Yaounde, neighbourhoods which are predominantly Anglophone need to be put under surveillance…If they have already started implanting bombs in Douala, then it’s possible they can do same in Yaounde…”
Also attached (in a USB key) is a video clip of the above transcript
Presidency of the Republic
Prime Minister’s Office
All Diplomatic Representations in Cameroon
Cameroon Union of Journalists
Cameroon Association of English-Speaking Journalists
1) Mimi Mefo -Equinox TV and radio
2) Amindeh Blaise Atabong – (Independent Journalist)
3) Atia Tilarious -The Sun newspaper
4) Bela Samari – Royal FM, Yaounde
5) Louvier Kindo Tombe – Radio Siantou and RTS TV
6) Ayang Macdonald – The Guardian Post newspaper
7) Cham Victor -Eden newspaper
8) Mua Patrick -The Guardian Post newspaper
9) Geofrey Elah – The Sun newspaper
10) Eugene Ndi Ndi – Publisher, newswatch newspaper
11) Mbom Sixtus – (Independent Journalist)
12) Claudia Nsono -The Rambler newspaper
13) Benedict Ndinwa – CAMTEL
15) Nfor Hanson NCHANJI – Equinox TV and radio
16) Roland Mbonteh – (Independent Journalist)
17) Innocent Yuh -Lake Side radio, Kumba
18) Deng Eric -Station manager, Boyo community radio and publisher, Boyo Eye newspaper
19) Mua Paul – Buea council communication unit
20)Tah Javis- CMTV and TNN
21) Metuge Stanley- Buea council communication unit
22) Larry Esong- Publisher, The Scoop newspaper
23) Kum Leonard – Editor in chief, HITV
24) Fonki Ndaley Yanick – The Green Vision newspaper
25) Fah Elvis – (Independent Journalist)
26) Ndzo Claudine – (Independent Journalist)
27) Gilles Mbinglo – Freelance Journalist
28) Andrew Nsoseka -The Post newspaper
29) Basil Mbuye- The Post newspaper
30) Amos Muang Nsah – Magic FM radio
31) Bamjo Herman- The Horizon newspaper
32) Dighana Raymond- Abakwa FM radio, Bamenda
33) Larry Uchenna- Station manager, Santa Meteo radio
34) Nche Jude Mbah- chief of news, revival gospel radio and bureau chief, Times Journal, Buea
35) Anjianjei Constantine-Freelance Journalist
36) Etienne Mainimo- The Post newspaper
37) Colbert Gwain- Freelance Journalist
38) Mua Paul-Buea council communication unit
39) Mbaku Jude- Foundation radio Bamenda
40) Philo Happy- Eden newspaper
41) Ambe MacMillan Awa-Freelance Journalist, Bamenda
42) Eric Tataw – Publisher, National telegraph, USA
43) Elias Daddy Ndong- MBS TV, business tycoon
44) Prince Divine Kwansuh- Editor, The Voice newspaper
45) Ndi Tsembom Elvis- Rush FM radio, Bamenda