Close to a month after the massacre at the Mother Francisca Bilingual International Academy in Kumba, South West region, the institution’s proprietor and some staff members remain behind bars.
Many thought the situation could not get any worse till the school ran into more trouble with government.
This was after brewery company, Les Brasseries du Cameroun donated five computers and a printer to the institution. The Divisional Delegate for Secondary Education later ordered that the items be handed over to administrative authorities, a request the school’s PTA President and the School Coordinator turned down.
When the school authorities resisted handing the donated computers to the administration, the Divisional Delegate for Secondary Education called in the Commissioner of Police who had the the PTA President and social coordinator arrested.
Reports say both school officials were only released upon the payment of the sum of 30,000 FCFA as bail.
The gifts handed to the school, at press time, however, are yet to be handed to the authorities.
Immediately news of the Kumba massacre of 24 October broke out, the proprietress of the school and other staff members were immediately whisked away by security forces.
Still being held today, government has been mute over their arrest and even denied parents’ requests to have them attend the victims’ funeral ceremony.
Keeping them behind bars however not stopped them from speaking up.
A member of staff at the school explained that contrary to reports, teachers were indeed on campus when the massacre happened.
While the class that fell victim had no teacher at the moment, “the other classes had teachers when the act was going on and they asked the students to lie down”
Teachers, the source adds, were having a discussion in the office when tragedy struck.
“It was about 10:56 when we heard the first gun shot was heard. All of us ran into hiding while some other teachers were in class … It was just fortunate that they didn’t move to the office and other classes or it would have been worst,” stated our informant.
Illegal detention in guise of protective custody
“They told us it was for our protection but it’s over three weeks now and to the best of our knowledge nobody is supposed to be kept under police custody for over three days,” comments one of the teachers.
“Is this not imprisonment they call protection? How do we meet up with life after we must have left this? We don’t even know when we will be released,” the teacher laments further.
Even after Minister Atanga Nji reportedly promised to have them set free, nothing has been done and the school authorities remain behind bars.