Journalists trained to uphold historical facts while reporting

Journalists pose for a picture with Prof Julius V. Ngoh 

Journalists of the Cameroon Association of English speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ have been trained to uphold the historical facts while reporting the ongoing socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions.

Meeting at the mountain hotel in Buea on Saturday 11th September 2021, the men and women of the press were drilled on some historical facts that eluded some historians.

History Professor, Julius Victor Ngoh clarified some misgivings being reported in the media

"At the 1972 referendum, they were actually two ballot papers. The white for yes and oui and the black for No or non.

When I hear people say they want to restore the independence of Southern Cameroons, I am marveled because Southern Cameroons only became independent by Joining the Republic of Cameroon " he said. 

While blaming some poor political decisions taken by the politicians of the old, Prof Ngoh blames the current crisis on rampant corruption and mismanagement of the country with deliberate efforts to wipe the identity of English speaking Cameroonians.

A statement largely supported by political scientist, Dr Munja Vitalis;

"Southern Cameroonians were enlightened people who had attended several conferences in and out of the country. It baffles me why President Ahidjo will draft the Foumban constitution and just hands to the Southern Cameroons Delegation to study.

The mission to further split anglophones, the Ahidjo government split former West Cameroon into the North West and South West provinces at the time"

Participants at the workshop 

Prof Ngoh and Dr Munja all agree that the current wave of bloodshed in the two regions is not the way to go.

"We are orphans. No diplomatic service has been able to recognize or table this before the UN security council." Dr Munja said

He further says that if intellectuals like Agbor Balla were in the Bush, just maybe the international community would have risen.

"The people who started this, teachers and lawyers are back at work,  so others should think twice"

The two university dons cautioned the journalists to stop blowing things out of proportion as the international community have turned a deaf ear to the crisis. They both wonder how those who came as liberators are now causing untold havoc to the population. 

The anglophone crisis that started in October 2016 has claimed no fewer than 3000 lives and affected directly or indirectly the lives of more than 5 million Cameroonians according to amnesty international. 

Journalists of English expression have been caught in the web with some abducted while others have received bullets for trying to report stories. 

Amindeh Blaise Atabong, an international freelance Journalist, briefed colleagues on safety and security protocols while reporting in red zones.

The over 40 journalists who answered present saluted the initiative as it will go a long way to edify their reports, Sah Terence of the North West Chapter told the observer.

Jude Viban, National President of CAMASEJ 

CAMASEJ National, the brain behind the organisation says the topic was chosen after several deliberations with men and women of the media and it appeared clear that they didn't master historical facts while reporting. Jude Viban is the national President

"We discovered that the conflict has been going on for almost four years now and it is based on our common history

We as reporters need to know and master the history and the facts because as journalists it is our duty to report the facts

So when we realized that in most of the conversations online, there are a lot of deliberate lies about our common history and so these lies sometimes find some soft landing with journalists who do not know what the real facts are."

CAMASEJ seeks to empower more journalists covering the crisis with apt reporting skills. 

Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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