Report for the #FactsMatter237 Fellowship
Social media for the week of January 4th to 10th was characterized by attacks on political figures and ethnic groups. Most of the attacks can broadly be categorized under hate speech. As a result of the upcoming February twin elections in Cameroon, the intensity of these attacks have increased both online and offline. This is not a strange occurrence as election time typically comes with some tension. The same applies when there is a national event involving Bamenda where separatist fighters believe that they should be in control of all events happening on Ambazonian soil. Threats have continued to mount from the separatist camp on politicians who still want to run for the elections, hence, destruction of the properties of some.
Disinformation has equally taken centre stage with regards to military deployment when Ambazonian leaders are using propaganda to sway the population to think and believe that the deployment of troops to the Northwest and Southwest is rather to use them for voting in favour of the ruling party and not to protect civilians.
- Hate Speech
- Attack on ethnic group
The preaching for a Northwest and Southwest divide is gradually gaining grounds as a certain Facebook user with 209 followers began attacking Northwesterners calling them derogatory words. The post can be found on the following link: https://web.facebook.com/mwambowotany.njieekema.5
Below are screenshots to some of his divide messages posing an attack on Anglophones:
There is also a front page of the Guardian Post Newspaper where he brings some interpretation to the positioning of pictures which is a glaring move to incite Southwesterners.
He was suspected by colleagues and it turned out to be true when he featured in a post calling people “repentant graffi shit no wipe lass”
It is worth noting that this account has been looked into and it is run by a Southwest Journalist who last year struggled to get the attention of the Minister of territorial administration for his benefits but failed and now laments on Whatsapp groups and tries to create a divide. Below are screenshots from one of the groups he belongs to.
- Attacks on political figures
There has equally been an attack on political figures, for instance, one of the household names in the Ambazonian revolution with 19,962 followers in his Facebook post dated January 10 at 8:16 PM, reads
“DONT YOU MISS LYING Issa Tchiroma? The he-goat was the coolest devil in La Republique Du Cameroun.” The video which was featured was extracted from a program on Equinoxe television where Minister Issa Tchiroma was a guest.
In his January 8 post, he likened the former Prime Minister to a “House Slave” his post reads as can be seen in the image below.
The Facebook user also shared a video on the burning down of part of the house of the Hon Member of Parliament for Tubah-Bafut a constituency in the Northwest Region. In the video, the actors are threatening to bring down the main building should he not withdraw from parliament. The video can be found on the link below:
- Fake news/Propaganda
As February approaches, there have been calls for a lockdown from February 7-12 by Ambazonian leaders. The calls have gone as far as threatening those who want to run for elections and those who are going to be seen out on the day of the election. In responding to the threat to life and property there has been an increase in the deployment of troops which the separatists have interpreted it to sooth their agenda saying Government has deployed the military to the regions to vote in favour of the regime in place.
Here is a Facebook page link for Bareta News which has 47,049 followers and posted the story.
The screenshots of the same can be seen below:
Finally, there have also been some propaganda and threats issued by some Facebook users as it can be seen from the video in the following link;