Rev. Mrs. Geraldine Fobang, the president of the Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN ), was arrested today march 14th in Buea. Rev. Fobang was leading a peaceful walk organized by the Cameroon Community Media Network in association with the Cameroon Journalists Trade Union to denounce hostilities in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon.
The President of CCMN speaking few minutes before her arrest, said they came out to march against wanton killings in the North west and South West regions and to advocate for a dialogue that would restore peace to these two regions.
On their way to the Governor’s office to deliver a memo, they were intercepted by the mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge and asked to go back home. In a video that has gone viral on social media, the mayor is heard saying “I don’t want that, this is my town… It is ended. You infringe situations in a town where I’m trying to build peace? I am an authority in this town and this is my village and I will not condone with that”
Rev. Geraldine Fobang stated that prior to the march; they had obtained an authorization from the Divisional Officer for Buea, Mr. Kouam Wokam Paul who was also present at the scene
Reports say Rev. Fobang was later arrested but released shortly after 30minutes. There is no information as to where she was held for this 30minutes. The Christian Broadcasting Service Radio that Rev. Fobang works for also confirmed the arrest on their facebook page.
The Communication Department of the Buea Council has issued a statement describing the arrest information as fake. Here is the full statement.
“Contrary to fake information spreading on Social Media concerning the arrest of Rev. Geraldine Fobang by the Mayor of Buea, the management of the Buea Council is through this medium, calling on all peace loving citizens of the Municipality not to harken to such deceit.
It would appear the Rev. Geraldine Fobang who happens to be the president of the Cameroon Community Media Network Association (CCMN ), violated the limits of their sphere in a peace Journalism Advocacy March as stipulated in the authorisation accorded them.
The said group instead of maintaining the PCC Synod Office to Turborg Junction stretch, actually began their March at the Buea Independence Square. This act of violation met with stiff resistance from the administration, and therefore, both parties had to settle on a genuine dialogue, having in mind that such demonstrations could serve as an avenue for disorder amidst relative peace enjoyed by the denizens in the City of Excellence.
It should be noted no act of violence was committed against the Rev. Geraldine Fobang as well as the journalists that accompanied her.
The Buea Council management is calling on the population to resist false information especially from journalists seeking asylum abroad with the aim of destroying the revived peace and serenity that reigns in the municipality”
Reacting shortly after her release, Rev. Fobang said ‘’We stand for peace, no to killings, no to kidnaps, no to hate speech, no to attack to media, no to intimidation, we stand for peace’’
Rev Geraldine Fobang is also the Station Manager of the Christian Broadcasting Service (CBS) Radio based in Buea and a Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC).