Lapiro De Mbanga: A Casualty of Cameroon’s Free Speech
Lambo Sanjo Pierre Roger is popularly known as Lapiro De Mbanga alias Ndinga Man. The case against Ndinga man is based on hearsay testimonies. Societé des Plantations de Mbanga witnesses say that he sent the youths. The D.O and the mayor were jealous that Lapiro was more powerful than them, and they wanted a level Plainfield to fight. Did Lapiro send anyone? The crowd has occult powers that even the most sober person could be so barbaric when in a crowd, and one may gather them but may not tame them all the time. Just because Martin Luther King Jr has called for a rally does not mean he bears the brunt of all the havoc caused on that day. That is what the Cameroon government should have done. However, because this presented the perfect chink for them to accuse, charge and imprison him, they quickly built up their case on bundles of fabrications.
Lapiro’s imprisonment is an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and every Cameroonian should be concerned. The Nigerian government knows that the death of Ken Saro Wiwa did not stop the Ogoni people from fighting. The voice of the social singer is like that of a hurting cat crying in the middle of the night while the boss tries to sleep. The more you try to ignore it the louder it becomes.
Lapiro’s philosophy has been simple: “mimba we” (remember us).
Indeed the masses should remember him too who asked that they should be remembered. Rather what do we see; a total silence all over the country. Ni Fru Ndi is dragged to court like a sheep to the gallows but like hypnotized beauties the Cameroonian populace watches unconcerned. Thanks to people like Lapiro and Ni Fru Ndi Cameroonians can today even pretend to have a multiparty system. Notwithstanding that each of them has their peccadilloes which every mortal shares a part, they have given Cameroonians a voice they would never have had.
What Lapiro is doing is putting a mirror in front of Cameroonians and Africans to face themselves so they stop deceiving themselves. Somewhat they wallow in existentialism rather than face the very reason of their existence. Like a sow that eats its piglets the government destroys its critics.
SPM was worried that Ndinga Man had spoken several times that SPM should mimba the Mbanga people. The company has exploited the people but Mbanga looks like a shanty town for the homeless. Isn’t it the same thing the South West Province produces the riches of Cameroon yet it lacks even basic roads. What is bad if anyone will say: remember us. The DO and Mayor who have benefited from SPM and Brasseries fear Lapiro’s request for these companies to mimba the Mbanga people is a threat to shorten their ration. And, that threat must be silenced. Perhaps they should learn from the Oguni people: the martyrs like Ken Saro Wiwa may be hung but their voices never die; they live to cry in the sleep of those who murdered them in cold blood. After all, their turn will come.
As a little boy my parents gave us hens and we each gave them a name. My older sister named her own Ma-Takang her name and the name of my grandmother while I named mine Ta-Arrey. The goal was for each of us to use our different hens and raise them up till they produce chickens for us to sell and make money for ourselves. My sister’s had a bad experience because each time there was a black mamba that always came and swallowed either her eggs or her chicks. We had seen it time and again leave the chicken hut, but as little kids were powerless to do anything. One day as it came and was leaving, a hawk descended from the sky, and killed the snake. Let those who kill today know that they will be killed tomorrow and those who imprison today wait for their turn in this world or the world to come.
Until then, Lapiro De Mbanga should be released.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.