Activists Tricked Out Of Hunger Strike

Wouri SDO-Paul Bea Naseri

Wouri SDO-Paul Bea Naseri

The Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Wouri, Paul Bea Naseri, recently tricked some political activists into calling off a hunger strike action which they had embarked on, The Post learnt. 

The SDO allegedly deceived the activists that President Biya had sent a message, requesting them to stop the hunger strike before their grievances would be looked into.   

On July 21, a small group of political activists in Douala set up a camp at ‘Carrefour Agip’ in Douala I, and embarked on an indefinite hunger strike action. The activists included; Serge Espoir Matoumba, Secretary of the PURS Party and  spokesperson of the group, Michel Bouba, Bruno Deffo, Herve Eboule, and Bruno Lombo. 

The activists were protesting against the June 30, 2014 Government decision increasing hydrocarbon prices, and the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement, with the European Union. 

From July 21 to 23, the activities defied the poor weather conditions in Douala and went on with the strike action.

However, the choice of carrying out the strike action in ‘Carrefour Agip, a rather obscure neighbourhood in Douala, has been criticised by some Douala denizens. According to them, Bonanjo, which is the administrative centre of Douala would have given the strike action more visibility than ‘Carrefour Agip. Some even said the nation’s capital Yaoundé, would have been an appropriate place for such a strike action.

However, on July 21 and 22, local administrative and security authorities in Douala were indifferent about the strike action. On July 22, President Biya snubbed the activists, when he validated Cameroon’s commitment to the EPA after MPs were earlier ‘arm twisted’ into adopting the text. 

It was not until July 23, when the Littoral Regional Chief of National Security, Raymond Essogo, accompanied by some of his elements, went to ‘Carrefour Agip and forcefully took the activists away. The activists were interrogated by the police and later transferred to the SDO’s Office, where they were tricked into calling off the strike. 

According to the spokesman of the group, the SDO told them that President Biya had asked them to stop the strike action before their grievances could be looked into. He said they simply suspended their public protest for a few weeks, and that if President Biya does not keep to his alleged promise, they will take to the streets again.   

It would be recalled that a week before the hunger strike, Mboua Massok, a popular political activist in Douala, was arrested for encouraging Cameroonians to protest against the increase in fuel prices. 

Source: The Post