On July 18th, 2023, Nou Houila Calvin wrote on his Facebook page, “Kemita Ashu, the 3rd Edition of the George Abam Soccer Tournament has been canceled! There will be no tournament again!”
A few hours later, he was shot dead in the night – at Azeri New Church Junction, Bamenda, in the North West Region of Cameroon.
Mr. Calvin’s Identity Card was found on his body. He is a trader and owner of a barbershop in Mankon, Bamenda.
Calvin’s post was one in a series of reactions to the many threats he had been receiving. The most prominent threat was a video shared and reiterated by a certain Kemita (Kemi) Ashu, whose real name is Edith Ogen Blanche, a resident of the United Kingdom.
Ms Ogen had in her post warned against the holding of the 3rd Edition of the annual George Abam Soccer Tournament.
According to her and other Separatists who have been fighting for an independent state in Anglophone Cameroon called ‘Ambazonia,’ a football tournament signaled “the return to normalcy” in the region which has been rocked by war for seven years and counting.
Speaking to Mimi Mefo Info, Ms. Ogen explained the chain of custody of the video and why she felt it was necessary to share.
“I got a video from homeland saying that Calvin was organizing a football tournament during the war and the guy making the commentary was angry that this should not be happening at all especially with all the killings going on,” she told MMI.
Prior to his brutal killing on the night of July 19th, 2023, Calvin had maintained that the football tournament was no longer a priority and that it was not going to happen.
“To this post made by Kemita Ashu,” Calvin wrote referring to the video posted by Ms Ogen, “I have heard your words and I’m informing you and everyone that I have stepped down from organizing this tournament and I am not a part of it. I will not be participating in the running of the tournament anymore and the owners have full control and nothing of it is in my hands,” Calvin stated.
Ms. Ogen responded to Calvin’s post with words of reassurance that all was well.
“Well done comrade. We cannot be having a football tournament during a genocidal conflict where people are butchered every day. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t not know you personally, my attention was drawn to your act by a comrade on Homefront. Thanks for letting commonsense prevail in these difficult circumstances,” she wrote.
She concluded her response by saying, “Take care and let love lead.”
Ms. Ogen has also acknowledged to MMI that she had written the above and that things had ended on a good note and therefore regrets his death.
“We ended amicably and I said “let love lead” To my greatest shock I woke up this morning to see that he was dead. OMG. l know nothing about what happened. It was a big shock to me,” she told MMI.
I saw the video in a WhatsApp group and I shared it on Facebook in the form of a reel. In this reel, I advised him not to organize a football tournament during a war. It was a caution for him not to get involved in politics. A day later Calvin tagged me in a message saying he had heard my message and he had backed off – Ms. Ogen (Kemi Ashu)
But it seems the ‘truce’ came a little late as Calvin was killed barely a few hours later.
As a matter of fact, another Facebook user had pleaded with Ms. Ogen to take down the video as it could put Calvin in danger.
“Kemita Ashu We would highly appreciate it if you take down the video you posted… since a solution has somehow been made. The video stands as a threat and is dangerous to the life of the accused since it is floating online… But next time tell your “comrade on Homefront” to acquire enough adequate information about the tournament before such accusations. This was totally uncalled for… We would highly appreciate it if you take down the video and write up Made about this man. It can put him in danger. Hope you understand this. #letlovelead just as you said,” he wrote.
Ms. Ogen claims to have deleted the video as requested and states that her objective is to keep people out of harm’s way.
“He asked me to delete the video which I did. My primary role is to let people stay out of danger!” she told MMI.
Speaking to MMI, the family of Calvin narrated the condition in which they found him, indicating that he had been tortured before being killed.
“A chain was found in his left leg and a few bullets are found around the area where his corpse was found,” a family member said.
Calvin’s murder, according to them, has left them wondering where he went wrong in trying to organize a football tournament.
“We are really devastated, his life was constantly under threats about the tournament,” the relative lamented.
The Body of Mr Calvin was found in the morning of Thursday, July 20th, 2023. He was discovered lifeless and abandoned with bullet wounds in Azeri, Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon.
His death is not only a loss to the family but also to the entire community as Calvin has been described as an illustrious young man who was a contractor and the owner of a barbing saloon in Mankon.
Calvin’s death is yet another needless loss of life in the ongoing conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.
Many have taken to social media to express their dismay at the number of deaths over the last week.
His death is coming just a few days after at least sixteen people were killed in separate attacks in Abangoh (Nacho) quarter by government forces and armed separatists.
As always, the Biya regime has not reacted.