Writers Demand Release Of Cameroonian Author Patrice Nganang

Writers and activists on Friday appealed for the immediate release of the Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang, arrested after publishing a critical opinion piece about the country’s president.

The group of 17 writers from both Africa and the West launched an online petition calling on authorities to free Nganang, who was taken into custody on Wednesday.

The Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network and Tribunal Article 53, a local human rights organisation, on Friday denounced “the abduction, arrest and arbitrary detention” of the author, calling for his unconditional release.

Nganang, who teaches literature at New York University, on Tuesday published an opinion piece in French on the Jeune Afrique news site that was critical of Cameroonian President Paul Biya’s handling of the anglophone crisis.

He was arrested the following day, after finishing a visit to mainly French-speaking Cameroon, during which he visited the restive anglophone regions that have been hit by an anti-secession government crackdown.

“It will probably take another political regime to make the state understand that the machine gun cannot stem a movement,” wrote Nganang, who lives in the United States.

“Only change at the head of the state can settle the anglophone conflict in Cameroon,” he said.

Calls for greater autonomy in Cameroon’s two English-speaking areas, the Northwest and Southwest Regions, have been rejected by Biya whose government has led a crackdown on the separatist drive.

Anglophones make up about a fifth of the country’s 22 million people, and often say they suffer from economic inequality and discrimination, especially in education and the legal system.


Channels Book Club Features Author Of June 12 Inspired Book

This edition of Channels Book Club features the author of ‘June 12: 1993 Annulment,’ a graphic novel, Abraham Oshoko.

Mr Oshoko who describes himself as a writer and an artist, speaks about his book and its genre, graphic novels, which he says is not common in Africa.

“If you want to get people who don’t like to read to read, you have to give them incentives,” which is why the book is colourful and also has pictures in it, he said.

The edition also features two social entrepreneurs who decided to reawaken the reading culture in Nigeria through their initiative, www.yimucentral.com, a free publishing site.

ICPC Boss To Sanitize Nigeria’s Higher Institutions

The Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has promised to sanitize the Nation’s educational Institutions, and for a start, by bringing to book 67 illegal Universities who have been operating in the Country.

The Chairman of the ICPC, Ekpo Nta made the promise in Calabar while presenting a paper on Corruption and National Security at the 22nd Annual International Conference on African Literature and English Language (ICALEL) at the University of Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.

The Chairman started his presentation full of eulogies for African literature by saying that, African literature had in the past been in the forefront of the fight against colonialism. Today more than ever, it must continue to throw its weight in the war against corruption and help democratic institutions develop.

Addressing students, Academic and non-Academic staff drawn from different universities in the country on Corruption and National Security, the ICPC boss said, Nigerians have continued to live in fear due to the worsening security situation in the country, a situation he blamed on corruption from various sectors of the economy.

He explained that, in shaping the consciousness of Nigerians, the commission is committed more than ever to promote ICATEL, with emphasis on the role literature and writers have played in enriching the fight against corruption.

Corruption, he added is responsible for underdevelopment, unemployment and the security threat which is ravaging some parts of the country, leading to the loss of lives.

The ICPC chairman said the commission has established an Anti –Corruption Monitoring Unit (ACTUS) in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Nigerian Universities to monitor corrupt practices, which might come in form of sexual harassment from lecturers, duplication of results, and unnecessary delay of graduates’ transcript with the support of the National Universities Commission.

The Commission believes that Corruption should be discouraged from primary schools, a step which the Ministry has taken by including this aspect into schools curriculum.

ICPC Prolific writer, Elechi Amadi, whose works were adjudged to have dealt sorely with the issue of corruption in the country, encouraged Nigerian ICATEL Students on the need to generate more ideas focused on dealing with the issues of corruption.

China Achebe’s novel No Longer At Ease (1960), Anthills of the Savannah (1987) and Wale Okediran’s Tenants of the House (2009) among others were the focal points used at this year’s conference which gives an insight into the evolution of corruption in the society.