Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Cameroon - Marafa Hamidou Yaya: "I Advised Paul Biya Not To Run Again, I Pay The High Price Today"

In an interview given to Jeune Afrique from his cell of the Secretary of State for Defense (SED), and published this Monday, the former Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic explains that he is at the same time the prisoner of Paul Biya and the system he has set up, of which he will one day be the victim if he does not take care of it, "for the system he has set up is obsessed with his own perpetuation".

Jeune Afrique: How are you? Marafa Hamidou Yaya : My physical health is deteriorating. Long before I was arrested, I had asked for permission to go abroad to do treatments and inspections, which had been denied to me. Recently, I had to be hospitalized, my infection could be controlled. I feel much better. Five years ago, you were arrested and incarcerated, your life was rocking. Does this period of deprivation make you mentally stronger? If the object of this politico-judicial machination was to reach me morally, it is a failure.

I am mentally stronger than before. Under what conditions are you detained? Is the SED a prison that respects the rights of prisoners? The SED is first and foremost a military camp. I am secluded in a high security prison inside this camp, in a cell of 3 by 4 meters, without window, and in a small courtyard, without shelter, that I share with my fellow prisoners. I live permanently surrounded by soldiers machine guns fists, wearing heavy helmets and bullet-proof vests. My access rights are extremely limited and jammers have been installed to deprive me of any communication. Some here consider that prison is not in itself a punishment, but a place to punish. As for the other conditions of detention, they are widely known and I shall not go over it again, because I am challenging the very principle of this detention. 

The US State Department has recognized you political prisoner status ... The US State Department is not the only body to have recognized my status as a political prisoner. Other organizations, such as the Socialist International, have also done so. And in April 2016, at its 75th session in New York, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, after several months of adversarial proceedings, and after reviewing the thousands of documents provided by lawyers The State and mine, issued a decision requesting my immediate release and even compensation for my injury. Do you feel that you are the prisoner of the President or the prisoner of the system? Both. And if President Biya himself does not take care, He will one day be the victim, for the system he has set up is obliterated by his own perpetuation. 

Looking back, do you regret not having left the country? I have no regrets, for exile is an inner prison. If I had made this choice, I would have the cowardice on my conscience to have withdrawn myself from the legitimate questions of the magistrates. I did it. The prosecution case turned out to be empty. Everyone now knows that I am in prison for purely political reasons. Initially, I had to be neutralized on the basis of a fabricated record, claiming that I had an army of 6,000 people at the border, without specifying which one, and ready to rush on Yaounde to destabilize the institutions. Then it was the alleged affair of "intellectual complicity" of misappropriation of public funds, on the occasion of the aborted purchase of the presidential plane. 
Cameroon - Marafa Hamidou Yaya: "I Advised Paul Biya Not To Run Again, I Pay The High Price Today"
And since my imprisonment, in spite of numerous investigations conducted all the way, the power found nothing against me. President Paul Biya showed no will to retire. His supporters are asking him to appear in 2018. How do you feel about this? In 2018, it will be 35 years that it reigns. In the matter, it is the dose that makes the poison! In 2011, I advised President Biya not to re-run. Council of which I pay today the high price. Was not I right? Today, Cameroon has become a country that suffers. He picks up on all levels. In the absence of determination, All projects in the economic, social or infrastructure sphere lag, and are often overtaken when they are finally set in motion. This is compounded by the fact that our national unity is now being held hostage because of the government's wrong answers to the English-speaking question. 
The decision to deprive the English-speaking regions of access to the Internet for several months has only increased hatred and irredentism. Therefore, free to represent himself in 2018, and appeal once more to the resilience and courage of the Cameroonians. But the courage of a people is made to serve the determination of its politicians and the strength of their ambition, it is not made to supply it. Your friend Abdoulaye Harissou has not been definitively tried despite several years of incarceration. Do you feel he is paying closeness to you? Before being a childhood friend, MaĆ®tre Abdoulaye Harissou is a notary with a reputation established in the world of Latin notaries, in which he was very active. His imprisonment for almost three years is unjustified: the charges against him collapsed as his trial progressed. I hope that justice will show courage and that it will be released quickly. 

Would you say, like other prisoners, that prison gives the impression of being in a position of infinite weakness? No weakness, no, but disarray, helplessness when one wishes to serve his country. I will not be the first politician, nor the last, alas, to go through the prison cell for political reasons. Believe me it forges the soul, without hardening it. Mandela said with malice: "Never trust a politician who has not been in prison. The prison system often breaks the benchmarks and leads to loss of self-confidence. Do you ever have that kind of feeling? The loss of landmarks and self-confidence, seek them on the side of my opponents, those who by their actions discredit our country. Curiously, prison is also a territory with positive energy. We hope, and pray. But hope is not a strategy and prayer is not a plan of action. So I use this time to work on topics that are familiar to me, The economic development of Cameroon, decentralization, ecological stakes and security. What are your projects ? My projects are limited by my current situation. But they are the same, and my thinking has gained much maturity. Cameroon does not just need a leader. Cameroonians need a project, an idea to walk together.

Source: Cameroon-Info.Net
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