Days back, many took to social media to call out Cameroon’s higher education minister for alleging that Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor, a teacher in the institution had breached “the university’s code of ethics and conduct.”
New York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the minister’s claim has raised fears that government wants to silence those who dare raise the subject of the Anglophone crisis.
Barrister Nkongho on his part says he believes the minister’s action was due to an exam question he had set on the Anglophone crisis as well as his human rights advocacy activities. “I don’t discuss politics in the classroom,” HRW quotes the lawyer saying.
Highlighting the fact that this is not the first time a teacher is getting into trouble for discussing current events in Cameroon, HRW recalls that “on September 13, 2019, a teacher at the high school in Avebe-Esse, a village in the South region, was arrested after mentioning in class that the government was considering allowing jailed opposition leader Maurice Kamto to participate in a national dialogue. The teacher was released five days later.”
“University students should be encouraged to debate the most pressing issues of the day. The suspension of Agbor-Balla’s courses shows the government wants to stifle that debate,” Human Rights Watch adds.
This is not the first time Barrister Nkongho too is getting into hot water because of the Anglophone crisis. In 2017, he was arrested among other civil society leaders and activists detained for several months at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde.
It has however not stopped him from advocating for the respect of human rights and denouncing abuses in the ongoing war in the North West and South West regions.
Mimi Mefo Info