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Anglophone Problem: Released Jakiri Teachers Receive Heroes’ Welcome 

By Andrew Nsoseka

Some four teachers and an ELECAM official, arrested as part of the crackdown during the current Anglophone civil disobedience action, have been given heroes’ welcome in Jakiri, following their release from detention in Yaounde.

The four teachers, Aloysius Shiyla, Gilbert Tani; alias Great Khali, Hycinth Ayeni and Blaise Tangko, and the ELECAM official, were received into Jakiri escorted by a motorcade of Okada riders. A mass was also celebrated to thank God for their release.

The men were received by family members, accompanied by an anxious crowd who thronged the Christ the King Parish Church premises, to welcome their kinsmen and say mass together with them.

One of the freed men, Aloysius Shiyla, was arrested from the very Church, during a morning mass service. The others were yanked from their families at random in the early hours of February 10, and whisked to detention in Yaounde.

Speaking to the local media, Gilbert Tani, a Discipline Master and teacher in GBHS Jakiri, expressed gratitude to the population for their prayers.

He also asserted that he took their captivity, like a man, by understanding that, once in a man’s life, such things happen. He called on the people to be supportive of each other.

The teachers are alleged to have been arrested after a private conversation between them was leaked by a colleague, who is close to the Jakiri administration. The private discussion was reportedly secretly recorded during the high points of the teachers strike that crippled schools which have remained shut.

Their arrests further worsened tensions and parents in Jakiri took a firmer stance to respect the school boycott. In one of his tours to schools to ensure that schools were on, the DO of Jakiri arrived at a completely disserted GBHS campus, as some of the teachers were on the run for the fear of the unknown.

The bitter resentment that followed their arrests became the uniting cord of the people of Jakiri who, upon getting news of their release, quickly organised a welcome ceremony that was crowned by a thanksgiving mass at the Christ the King Catholic Parish.

After the mass, the freed teachers were escorted by various groups into their various quarters, where the elderly and friends who couldn’t make it to the Church service communed with them, and shared both palm wine and beer.

The release of the teachers is coming at a time when pressure has been mounting on the Government to stop arbitrary arrests and free all the people detained due to the ongoing Anglophone Crisis.

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