The Videos purporting Honourable Ngala Gerald was Sharing Money to Bribe Youths in Nkambe to Match on February 11, 2024 is Out of Context 

The videos circulating on social media showing Hon. Ngala Gerald sharing money to denizens as bribe to have them participate in the February 11, 2024 Youth Day festivities banned by separatists in the two English speaking regions, have been used out of context to justify the heinous attack of February 11, 2024 Youth Day celebrations in Nkambe.

Contexte

February 11, 2024 celebrated in Cameroon as National Youth Day came with mixed feelings; due to the insecurity reigning in some key parts of the country and most especially the two English speaking regions, faced with the Anglophone conflict. This day with certainty was expected to be plagued by insecurity and violent attacks coming especially from the separatists, who are against any such celebrations in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon. The separatists had earlier sent warning signals banning Youth day celebrations in the English speaking regions of Cameroon through the forceful imposition of a lockdown that was expected to run from February 10, 2024 to February 12, 2024 with the normal Monday ghost towns. To counter this existing status quo, state authorities and some politicians within the regime in Cameroon, multiplied strategies to annul this separatist move. It came to be, there was an attack with the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) that injured close to 80 persons and killed a student from GHS Nyandi at the time of the incident that happened at the Grandstand of Nkambe, Donga-Mantung Division of the North West region of Cameroon. Since the macabre incident, videos have been circulating linking the heinous, barbaric and despicable act to Honourable Ngala Gerald, being blamed for leveraging youths to this; by bribing them with money to participate in the Youth Day festivities banned by separatists. These videos could be seen circulating in diverse social media platforms as is the case in WhatsaPP groups with over a thousand members combined, since February 11, 2024 and Facebook pages like that of Kemita Ashu; a platform reputed to having 47000 followers on Facebook with the video recording 1.9k views. We can also note the platform Amba News Line with  5.4k followers potential and the video having 2.3k views as they wrote “La Republic needed to use an internal enabler to bribe desperate Ambazonians for their propaganda but it backs fire”. One can also note the comments of these posts that are nothing but ones that spur hate and incitement to violence.

The Verification Process

To verify this assertion of bribing youths to match by Hon. Ngala Gerald, we contacted a youth leader for Nkambe Center Mr Ndukong Clement Tantoh who affirmed the videos were authentic but taken out of context because, contrary to what is circulating on social media, Hon. Ngala Gerald was rather in Binka for his usual tour and decided to do a largess to the population by sharing money to the denizens in Binka and Takenben. He added “you can even see for yourself, that place is not found in Nkambe and you can recognise that it was Binka looking at the terrain if you know that village”. To confront this point of view, we equally had to contact the personal assistant of Hon. Ngala Gerald for Donga-Mantung Mr Jude Tamfu who confirmed the videos were taken in Binka and Tabenken villages in Nkambe Center, Donga Mantung Division of the North West region respectively. He added they were taken during Honourable Ngala Gerald’s visit to the road construction sight to see for himself the advancement of the road project in that part of the country, a tour which brought him in contact with the population and he had to do a gesture by sharing money to the denizens, who came to greet him on that February 10, 2024. He added “I don’t know what people intend to gain by spreading such false information, Hon. Ngala Gerald even before becoming a politician has always had this practice of sharing with the needy each time he visits the village, so how come money is being shared in Binka for people to go match in Nkambe when Nkambe has its own grandstand different from that of Binka”. Mr Tamfu Jude went on to add “those videos were taken by me with the use of the phone of Hon. Ngala Gerald and so he has all the videos and the images I took”. Though our efforts to reach out to Hon. Ngala Gerald to get more details on the videos and if possible complementary images was futile, we could however push with the verification by verifying the publications on social media.

To effectively confirm the thesis which says the videos were taken in Binka and Takenken as affirmed by Mr Ndukong Clement and Mr Tamfu Jude having a reasonable mastery of the geographical location of where they are believed to have been taken, we proceeded to effectuate a double cross checking of  the videos on social media and noticed they were first published by Hon. Ngala Gerald on his Facebook page on February 10, 2024 before other pages like that of Kemita Ashu. Moreover, we can equally note a page like Bamenda Culture that published the video of Binka saying “villagers present at the Binka market today did not need to sell anything before having some cash to take back home as Honourable Ngala Gerald was there live to start the Valentines day show with them”. Hon. Ngala Gerald equally buttressed this assertion during an interview granted to Equinox TV on the 6 pm News on February 15, 2024 where he declared the images were taken in Binka and Tabenken and so had nothing to do with Nkambe.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the videos of Hon. Ngala Gerald were used out of context; as they were not taken in Nkambe where the IED incident occurred but rather in Binka and Tabenken. These villages have their respective centres for youth day celebrations, different from that of Nkambe Center. In these centres where money was shared to denizens, no casualties were recorded as a result of the February 11, 2024 celebration. So, those videos were used out of context to spur emotions or for order stakes related to the banned on February 11, 2024 celebrations by separatists in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon. It also brings to light the power struggle and political fracture that has experienced an upsurge and about reaching its apex in the Donga-Mantung Division, North West region of Cameroon since the outbreak of the Anglophone Conflict. 

By Dr Kinang Derick Fai: Conflict Research and Administration Coordinator #defyhatenow

The videos circulating on social media showing Hon. Ngala Gerald sharing money to denizens as bribe to have them participate in the February 11, 2024 Youth Day festivities banned by separatists in the two English speaking region

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