Since the death of Southern Cameroon activist, Molah Njoh Litumbe, tributes have been pouring in from far and near.
The Southern Cameroons leader who passed away at 93 was a witness to the reunification of Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroon. An inspiration to many, Mola throughout his life had always been vocal over what he termed as fake union between the Englishanf French speaking parts of Cameroon – insisting that both sides must part ways.
Journalist and blogger, Solomon Amabo who has interview late Mola on several occasions has summarised his Ode for the late activist as: “Pain of our forefathers”
Read his tribute below👇👇👇
They chained the main gate of Mimbia House, Bokwango… They erected a make shift structure opposite his residence. It was about 1:00 pm Amba time on that October 1, 2011. As soon as I alighted from the taxi and moved towards his gate, I could see their angry faces.
‘Mola,’…..’Mola,’…I called and stretched my neck into the compound through the gate. I did not see or hear from the elderly statesman to confirm he was under house arrest, whether he needed food or a doctor or something.
Before arriving Mimbia house on that day, I had visited the GMI Police Brigade, opposite Buea Regional hospital, where I saw more than 200 Southern Cameroonian activists detained in the garage there. I could identify Patrick Siani Dr Nfor Nfor and others. I had also made a stopover at the Nigerian Consul General for the Southern Zone’s residence where almost 100 other Southern Cameroonian/Ambazonian activists had sought refuge. It was confirmed that Mola who was to lead the peaceful march from Mile 17 to the Independence Square was under house arrest. At his age…
‘Oh Oh Venez ici la. Je parle a ce tin tin avec sa veste fuperie la. (Oh Oh Come here. I am talking to this scarecrow in Okrika suit) shouted one of the police officers, few meters from Mimbia house, Mola’s historic residence. I obeyed and left Mola’s gate and moved towards them.
“Please sir, if you want to address me or draw my attention, you can simply say ‘excuse me’ sir or ‘hello sir’. I am not Oh Oh or tin tin as you have addressed me,” I told the officers as calmly as I could though from the way they had already surrounded me I knew I had to exercise much restrain.
‘Mr taisez-vous. Vous êtes qui ? Donnez-moi votre carte d’identité,’ he said. (Stop noise and hand me your identification documents). I presented my ID and professional cards while trying to identify the names on their uniforms. On the contrary I did not see any rank, no name tags, and no identification on their uniforms.
To my greatest bewilderment, the gendarme officer (they were in fact, a contingent of close to 10 gendarmes and policemen) collected my ID and without even looking at whether I was the person actually on the identification documents, put them in his pocket. I protested bitterly, telling them that I am in the line of duty, a mere reporter. ‘Vous quittez Douala pour venir à Buea soutenir vos gens qui veulent diviser le Cameroun?
Donnez moi votre sac la. (You left Douala for Buea to come and support those who want to divide Cameroon? Give me your bag.) I refused arguing that they had no search or whatever warrant to confiscate my bag. I asked them to hand back my documents and let me take a peaceful leave.
Before I could challenge them further about the illegality of their actions and threatening court action, one of them gave me a sound slap and almost wrestled me to the ground, trying to seize my bag containing my work equipment. My Okrika coat got torn around the elbow. Seeing that the local population was already assembling as the scuffle moved from Mola’s house to Bokwango junction itself, I took off on onboard a waiting taxi to Bongo Square, abandoning my IDs with them.
I rang Mola who told me he was doing fine but for the restriction of his movement. I notified my office, a few colleagues and there after rang the then Governor Koumpa Issa. I asked him I was trying to find out why Mola Njoh Litumbe was under house arrest on his instructions and what they intend to do with the hundreds being detained. I also explained the assault on my person and asked who the officers were and from which police station were they working.
The governor said I did not know the officers. That were sent in by hierarchy. He did not even allow me to ask about my ID card and hang up.
At three PM I reported in a live radio program the torture of Southern Cameroonians in Buea, the house arrest and detention of Mola Njoh Litumbe and others and my inability to leave Buea without my ID Documents. Some other police men later intervened, I don’t know how, and my ID and professional cards were brought back to me at Bongo Square.
This is just one of the several, repeated instances of pain, humiliation, and harassment Southern Cameroonians have been subjected to. Mola Njoh’s case became a routine, every year towards October 1. At his age and who he was; an accomplished accountant, a veteran politician and statesman he never deserved such treatment. They have no respect for our people’s dignity. Mola Njoh lacked nothing, materially speaking, but stood for the freedom of the Southern Cameroonian/Ambazonian people, sacrificing his time and resources. He never drummed his chest that he stopped the Cameroon government from expropriating without compensation, Bakweri land, since 1947. Mola Njoh thought us that humility is a very powerful weapon as with his simple ‘Sanja’ he faced the cops. (See Picture 1)
As peaceful as he was, he may have been taken aback by the sudden escalation of the territorial dispute and identity crisis, into a full blown war on his people. He however maintained that until the marriage between the two Cameroons is consummated it remains a “njomba” or concubine affair, with each party (French Cameroons and Southern Cameroons) having the right to go their separate ways. The marriage, simply put is What God Has Put Asunder. Mola may rest certain, that his people will never give up as he never gave up his beliefs.
If the Southern Cameroonian/Ambazonian people are to honor the memory of the great statesman, for his selfless sacrifices, it would be of importance to use him as the symbol to close ranks, resist the assimilationists, annexationists, imperialists and dictatorial regime. The feeling in every true freedom fighter seeing Mola in the Washington conclave in 2018 with all the Front Line leaders ( Picture 2) is the feeling of hope. Hope that what Mola stood and died for should would never go in vain. Until the People you stood for, reach Buea to erect a monument in your honor you and all ancestors and forefathers can rest assured that the fight against injustice, humiliation and pain would never be abandoned.
Adieu Mola Njoh Litumbe,
Rest You Well “Repeh”
(C) Mimi Mefo Info