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Biya Orders Probe Into MPs/Bodyguard Fight 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

President Paul Biya has reportedly ordered that investigations be carried on the humiliation which six Members of Parliament, MPs, suffered at the hands of the body guard of the Vice Prime Minister in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER.

Biya, contemplating next actions

The MPs were brutalised while they waited to see the Minister to propose projects for their constituencies. The Minister’s bodyguard, a gendarme, allegedly shoved and yanked them away. Following a strongly worded report from the National Assembly, The Post learnt, President Biya has reacted angrily to the incident. He is said to have ordered government to conduct a full-fledged investigation into the matter.

The MPs, led by one of the Questors of the National Assembly and MP for the Menchum constituency, Hon. Fidelis Nji, equally filed a report, availing the Head of State with the details of what happened to them. In the report they expressed shock that the brutality and the humiliation the gendarme meted out on them were unprovoked.

They also expressed embarrassment that the Secretary General at the Ministry, Jean Claude Akouafane, joined the gendarme to humiliate them. The MPs equally forwarded their report to the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Alain Edgar Mebe Ngo’o and the Delegate General in charge of National Security, Emmanuel Edou.

Following the incident, security officials are said to have interrogated the Secretary General at MINADER. According to sources from the Unity Palace, President Biya has instructed the Prime Minister to gather the full facts of the matter and forward a report to him. The President reportedly handed down the instructions to the Prime Minister at the Nsimalen Airport on Saturday, August 14, while heading for Congo Brazzaville to take part in celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the independence of that country.

In a swift reaction, the Prime Minister has reportedly scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, August 17, at the Star Building with the MPs who were brutalised. The incident has provoked widespread angry reactions because it exposes the disdain with which the representatives of the people are treated in Cameroon. The incident, it should be noted, is not an isolated one.

Last year, the Chief Whip of the CPDM Parliamentary Group, Hon. Jean Benard Ndongo Essomba, crashed flat on his stomach after a gendarme violently pushed him at the entrance into the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms. When questioned during investigations as to why he did that, The Post learnt, the gendarme’s only answer was that the MP afforded to come to the ministry without fixing an appointment with the minister.

Although the gendarme is said to have been sanctioned, it is not clear how severe the punishment meted out on him was. In the build-up to the 2002 twin elections, the NUDP MP for the Mayo Rey constituency in the North Region, Hon. Haman Adama, was beaten to death, purportedly on the orders of the Lamido of Rey Bouba. No sanctions, apparently, were slammed on the killers.

In 2008, security officials made nonsense of the law on parliamentary immunity and handcuffed the SDF MP for the Wouri constituency, Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu after seizing his passport. The authorities never meted out any sanctions on the officials for the act. Not long ago, the President cautioned Ministers to treat MPs with dignity because, like him, they are elected by the people.

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