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students had complained through their elected representatives to Students’ Council a series of worries which upon examination the union council deemed justified and summed up into twelve points. - The students had challenged their students’ representatives to help the situation of no classes as a result of the lecturers strike. - The students’ councilors evoked the need to put the excesses and lapses of the President UBSU (University of Buea Students’ Union) to check. - The President UBSU Paul Shipuh did not end there. The announcement of the lecturers strike prompted the students’ union president to move around students’ vicinity asking students to go to class while distributing hand-bills with part of it read “Some misguided students are asking others to join lecturers strike…” Lecturers are intelligent and mature enough to handle their affairs…..” In effect SYNES UB chapter issued another communiqué which read “some students are spreading rumours that lectures are going on. They are sell outs to the administration” This made the Union President to issue out another communiqué calling our lecturers misguided. As a result of the unanimous call from democratically elected Students’ Representatives to Union Council Central bureau requesting the prompt arrest of the aforementioned irregularities and discrepancies, the chairman of Council, on Wednesday 15th April 2009 summoned an urgent extra-ordinary council session to hold on Thursday 16th April 2009. We understand the published agenda -”students’ position in respect to lecturers strike” posed a real threat to university administration; reason why the Vice – Chancellor in a statement to the Council Chairman denied any meeting holding on/off campus on the above agenda. Consequently Students’ Council elected bureau had to revise the agenda to read “The state of affairs of UBSU” so that Council session actually held. In the said session, solid resolutions were reached as follows: - Councilors officially presented and overwhelmingly affirmed collective action towards a firm articulation of the twelve –point’s memorandum. - Council frown at the deliberate misrepresententation of the Students’ Union position vis-à-vis a matter as sensitive as lecturers strike by paul shipu President.. - As regards the earlier misdeeds of the President UBSU ( which had before then earned him a warning letter from Union Council), Councilors generally elected the suspension of the President’s Signature for a week, set up an investigation Committee to probe allegations. - Finally Union Councilors elected leaders into some vacant offices as instructed by the VC to drop areas of electoral irregularities The Vice-Chancellor, once more, had betrayed himself as Shipuh Paul’s protégé. On Monday 20th April, 2009, the Vice Chancellor arbitrarily and unlawfully suspended the Chairman of Students’ Union Representative Council and appointed the
Chief of Judicial Bench as his own chairman. It should be noted, the said appointee was co-signatory to the resolution suspending the signature of the president. We are putting it to the Vice Chancellor that, there is no precedence to this unconstitutional manipulation; that the Vice-Chancellor should not be seen to meddle in the management of Union affairs; that he should never ever be perceived as stepping into the shoes of the all powerful general assembly of the University of Buea Students’ Union. We therefore reiterate that the suspension of the Chairman of the Union Council is a non event. Because Dialogue must prevail before action, On Tuesday 21st April, 2009, SRC bureau and some councilors went to the VC to seek audience and to dialogue as to the suspension of the Chairman SRC and to summit the twelve- point’s memorandum, the V C was categorical that he had no ears to listen to the student leaders. This caused a non-violent strike action, the UBSU President short listed 19 student leaders to the Vice-Chancellor to face disciplinary panel of which one is a graduate of December 2008 batch and some were not even in town Due to the militarization of the students campus, the student leaders in a considerable majority boycotted the said panel. The disciplinary panel went ahead to indefinitely suspend from the University Community Students leaders (14) whose crimes was the genuine representation of the interest of their various constituencies in what has become the twelve-points memorandum. We take it that this is only a diversion from the students out-cry. It should be recalled here that according to the University text, a panel will pass a judgment on students in absentia after it must have held thrice in the student’s absence but it was not the case with the purported suspension of fourteen student leaders. It should be recalled that the lecturers Union ( SYNES) whom some lecturers were part of the panel had written to the University administration to exercise maximum restraint with regards to all proposed disciplinary sanctions against any group of students while setting up an independent panel of academic and non academic staff to probe into the problems and recommend solutions for a lasting peace on campus. On Wednesday 22nd April, 2009, the Union Council deposited the twelve-point memorandum at the security post of the central administrative block for the second time since the Vice-Chancellor had refused to receive the student leaders. The 12 points memorandum includes: 1. The production of draft transcripts, free of charge for students as previously agreed. 2. The ready provision of Students’ answer booklets after exams to ensure clearance of examinations controversies 3. The enforcement of the prefectoral order for the homologation of rents just as it is currently done in other universities beginning with the hostel on campus by the University administration. 4. The address of the so many cases of intimidation and victimization of students and student’s leaders. 5. The timely and defined period for the production of attestations and
certificates. 6. Improvement of security on the university campus most especially in the girls’ hostel. 7.The assistance (financial and material) to students on research work as provided by the BMP system. 8.That the university administration should re-organize the positioning and revisit the closure of businesses and photocopiers on campus. 9.Insufficient restaurant tickets and nonfunctioning of campus toilets. 10.The purported decision by the vice chancellor suspending the students’ council chairman and appointing his own chairman is an intrusion into UBSU management and out of the jurisdiction of the vice chancellor. We therefore call on the VC to drop such decision. The vote holders are councilors, the chairman only signs on behalf of council 11.The disciplinary panel put in place to try student leaders who stood for student’s interest be dropped. 12.The university administration should create an avenue for dialogue for students for total and complete peace to reign on campus. On Friday the 24th of April 2009, the students went to school to continue their peaceful strike action but met with about seven trucks of police officers heavily armed as well as noticed that, they have been suspended indefinitely and banned from the university campus. They were chased off and five of the students were arrested right on campus amongst which one was a student leader, they were beaten, brutalized, masked, handcuffed and whisked away. One of them Otang Felix, was bleeding profusely as a result of the beatings. We presently do not know their well about. Currently, there is a terrible man hunting of the other student leaders. These are a gross violation of Human rights. We call on the University community especially the students whose stewards we are, to dissociate themselves from disciples of the divide- and- rule policy. In this light, we therefore condemned the unfounded utterances of the Vice – Chancellor and his errand boy, Shipuh Paul (UBSU President under investigation) to decease from painting their wrong picture of the yellow party/ red party wrangling. We remind our students that all those leaders stigmatized as ”election losers” all occupied (and still do) high offices of responsibilities within the faculties and council even prior to the executive election (red and yellow party) in February 2009 We call on Cameroonians of good faith and friends of Cameroon to support us as we promise to remain steadfast to the students cause until justice is done. Long live University of Buea students, Long live UBSU Signatories (those suspended indefinitely)
Name Position UB Number Level/Programme Signature Mua Atumked Chief of Bench UB027800 400/EPY Ako Claude Enobi Council Member ED08A243 200/EPY Martin Bessong Tiku UB019453 Graduate/His Nkongho N Nkongho Faculty President UB029183 400/EPY Nkwelmesue Nzounkwelle Chief of Bench SC08A528 200/ENV Agbor Nkeze Karl Council Member UB021952 400/ENV Wabi Frankline Kere Council Member UB024194 300/Geology Humphry Takang Bate Council Member UB025901 400/Accounting Nguve Fred Woka Chairman UBSU Council UB025562 400/ Acounting Ayuk Felix Otang Chief of Bench UB024487 400/Accounting Enow Peter Chief of Bench UB030201 400/Pol. Science Tabi Ebob Council Member UB026697 400/Economics Kenyu Serge Herve Chief of Bench UB026955 400/ Soc n Ant Tata Kwawi Mbinglo Faculty President UB027523 400/ Soc n Ant