A Cameroonian-born British citizen has finally regained freedom after he was detained by security forces in Nkongsamba, West Region.
Nkwah Simon was traveling from the North West to the South West region (through the Littoral) when he encountered gendarme officers at a checkpoint.
Simon had been in Bali Nyonga, where he visited his kinsmen. At the Matazem checkpoint in Bamenda, the security forces gave him no trouble, he told MMI.
But at Nkongsamba, when he stepped out of a bus belonging to the Moghamo travel agency to present his identification document like every other passenger, he never got on.
Despite having a visa and a British passport, he was held back for five hours, Simon told MMI.
“They said I have to go to their station for identification… they later put me in the back of a truck and drove to meet the Gendarme post in Nkognsamba where I was presented to another adjoudant who asked me what my mission in Cameroon was,” he explained.
“I told them I was in Bali to bury my aunt and I was returning to the South West to head to Europe in a few days,” he went on.
Simon was not the only one with a similar challenge. At the Gendarmerie, he met an American and a Cameroonian — facing a similar challenge.
His documents were returned later but it was too late, and it was his first time ever stepping foot in Nkongsamba.
“It is unbelievable what I experienced… nobody explained what was happening to me. My passport and ID were just moved from one hand to another,” he narrated, comparing the feeling to “captivity”.
Traveling with a passport – which is an official document – in Cameroon remains challenging. Stories are common of citizens and foreigners alike being stopped and even detained by security forces for bearing the document. In most cases, they are let off after paying exorbitant sums of money.
Mimi Mefo Info