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Did Dr. Nalova Contribute To Anglophone Crisis? 

By Bouddih Adams

Dr Nalova Lyonga, UB VC

When Dr. Pauline Nalova Lyonga was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea on June 29, 2012, almost everyone echoed: “YES!” Why?

Having been groomed by the “genuine intellectual”, Professor Bernard Fonlon (she is one of the first PhDs Fonlon supervised) and having grown up within the University system, everybody, at least those who mind University education, saw her as tailored for the job of heading the Anglo-Saxon varsity.

As a stickler for good English language, her body language also portrayed a very strict person, thereby above petty things.

Nalova went through the rough and tumble of that university where the National Syndicate of Higher Education Lecturers (SYNES), and the University of Buea Students Union, UBSU, are always claiming their rights.

Shortly, while claiming such rights, the students held her hostage in her car resulting in an unenviable experience when they refused her from going to relieve her bladder.

She rose from the ashes of that bitter experience to demonstrate her steel and sternum.

While the lecturers’ union, SYNES, wriggled themselves through her vice, the students’ Union, UBSU, was squeezed to death.

Students’ representatives, answerable to the administration, were put in place. Calm, however, uneasy prevailed on campus.

Then came the imposition of a penalty of FCFA 10,000 for late registration, and the students rose in protest.

This was on November 28, 2016. While carrying out their peaceful demo in front of the administrative block of the varsity, troops were drafted in.

At their sight, the students, amid their demands, chanted: “We don’t want violence! We don’t want violence!”

But they were barbarically assaulted: beaten, asked to role in mud. Some were reportedly raped. There were also allegations of death as a result of torture.

According to Anglo-Saxon norms, troops don’t enter a university campus.

Accosted for sending troops unto campus, the Governor of the Southwest Region played Pontius Pilate. He said it was Madam VC who requested for the troops.

The students, parents, teachers and civil society organisations complained, but no one was brought to book for the barbaric acts. They waited even for an apology but it never came. The civil society declared their sympathy and support for the students.

The Government security forces rather went on the rampage indiscriminately arresting, torturing and whisking students into detention. Students ran out of the campus and out of town back to their homes and parents. That was the beginning of no school at UB.

Since then and every other day, the university authorities give the impression that things have returned to normal. But, yet another day, they would be calling on students to come to school.

The public had almost forgotten, when at a Southwest Elites Forum, Dr. Nalova took the microphone and on very loud speakers, sang the song of xenophobia, saying that she was being supported by only two of her brothers (Bakweris) to fight the domination of their university by people from elsewhere.

The resolve to hold children back home was further strengthened.

The June 26 decree appointing heads of some State universities brought an end the Nalova’s 4-year minus 3-days stewardship at the “Place To Be.”

Dr. Pauline Nalova Lyonga, has not be sacked, as prophets of doom were partying about it. She is going on due and well deserved retirement – rest.

Will she remember her own ingredient in the porridge of the current unrest, while she assumes her well-deserved rest?