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Governor Blames VC For Rape, Torture Of Students 

By Isidore Abah

Dr Nalova Lyonga, UB VC

Dr Nalova Lyonga, UB VC

The Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has played poorly the Pontius Pilate game by trying to wash his hands off recent atrocities that troops committed on students of the University of Buea, UB.

UB students had on November 28 suffered untold torment, rape and looting in the hands of troops deployed to ‘quell’ a sit-down strike on their campus.

A source told The Post that Okalia instead blamed the disaster on the UB Vice Chancellor, VC, Dr. Nalova Lyonga.

According to the source, the Governor said he was coerced into signing the order to dispatch armed troops to clamp down on the protesting UB students.

The Governor was quoted as saying that as a father he could not remain insensitive to the cry of the UB administration, as such he was forced to dispatch troops to the University campus to quell the students’ protest.

The Governor made the confession in Buea on Monday, December 5, after he was confronted by Social Democratic Front, SDF, Senators, Parliamentarians and Mayors.

The SDF had organised a rally at the parking lot of Molyko Omnisport Stadium to condemn the action of the forces of law and order, the University of Buea authorities and the Southwest administration for unleashing excessive force on the harmless students.

The SDF politicians later met the Governor to find out what happened and to demand the immediate release of students who were subsequently arrested and detained.

During the over 45-minute in-camera meeting, the Governor, according to one of our sources, virtually went down on bended knees to ask for forgiveness.

Our source further said the Governor told the SDF delegation that he was not in the right position to order for the release of the detained students.

According to him, it is only the UB Vice Chancellor who can guarantee their release, since she was the one who ordered for their arrest in the first place.

Okalia therefore, asked the SDF delegation to contact Dr. Nalova for the release of the students.
Meanwhile, in an interview on Mediafrik a week earlier, Nalova said she was liaising with the police to ensure the release of the students.

Some of the students were released last week after pressure from the lawyers and the Human Rights Commission. But as at December 5, some six students were still held in detention.

It would be recalled that on November 28, UB exploded into violence after three years of relative calm.

A contentious press release, harsh penalties, missing presidential grant and the absence of a recognised student union body were some of the grievances that piqued the students to take to the streets.

As the students converged on the Central Administration, demanding dialogue with the VC, instead of the VC to come out and address the students, she instead called anti-riot troops.

In the heated exchanges that ensued between the troops and the students, several students were molested and arrested, others were raped, some wounded and hospitalised, while others were robbed of their valuables by the police.

It was in the wake of this police brutality on innocent students that the SDF National Chair, Ni John Fru Ndi, led his party’s Senators, MPs and Mayors to condemn this inhuman treatment of students and to ask for their release.

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