Bameda University Lecturers Threaten Strike Over Abductions By Separatists

The lecturers are complaining about having to constantly pay ransom after the separatists abduct their colleagues.

The University of Bamenda chapter of the National Union of Teachers of Higher Education has given a notice of strike to protest against the repeated abductions of lecturers of the institution by Anglophone separatists along the road between Bamenda and the university campus in Bambili.

The separatists often demand ransom after abductions to release their victims.

According to a strike notice signed by Michael Kpoghe Lang, the President of the union, the government has been given up to Oct. 29, to initiate action to remedy the situation otherwise the lecturers would go on strike.

“Given the consequent sequel of abduction of lecturers and staff of the University of Bamenda in general and mindful of the determination and resilience we have thus far exhibited for close to five years to adapt our working situation to ramified circumstances of the current but enduring socio-political crisis in the North West and South West Regions,” the notice read. 

“Considering the need to optimize security strategies to minimize some of the risks associated with the incessant kidnappings and payment of incalculable ransoms as a measure to get released from irrational detention in places where lecturers’ lives are in the balance of death and life.”

“The General Assembly of the University of Bamenda Chapter of the National Union of Teachers of Higher Education (SYNES-UBa), reviewed the very disturbing wave of insecurity faced by academic staff especially on their way to and from campus during an Extra-Ordinary Session on Tuesday, 12 October, 2021. The emergency crisis meeting was presaged by the whisking at gunpoint of three of our colleagues by unidentified gunmen along the Bambui-Bambili axis.”

“They were arraigned mano-militaris and later charged for teaching in a so-called proscribed context and territory. These three colleagues are just a negligible percentage of the number of university teaching staff abducted and/or trapped in targeted shootings.”

“We are not indifferent to all the measures that the university hierarchy and the regional administrative authorities by extension have been taking to minimize the daily risks that we have been resiliently managing. We note however that a new risk has been generated by the abandoned Bambili-Bambui road stretch.”

“The potholes now serve as easy traps for informal gunmen to surrender at gunpoint and kidnap university staff. We think that if the road is completed and rendered fluid, it shall greatly reduce the possibility of the gunmen skipping onto the road extemporaneously to intercept cars.”

“We are already envisaging a new abduction zone along the dilapidated feeder road linking the A Road and the CCAST campus of the University that hosts three main faculties.”

“The General Assembly, in light of the foregoing, resolves to issue this notice which serves at the same time as our resolve to share ideas on how to tackle the security concern and also as a notification of intention by the University of Bamenda of the National Union of Teachers of Higher Education, on behalf of teachers serving at the University of Bamenda, to embark on a strike action if solutions are not initiated to minimize the security challenge university lecturers are currently facing on the Bambili-Bambui road stretch.”

“Viewing the emergency of the matter at hand, this strike notification has a lifespan of ten working days beginning from Monday 18th to Friday 29th October 2021.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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