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General News of Saturday, 26 April 2014

Source: cameroonpostline.com

SDO Bbans 2 newspapers

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Meme SDO, David Koulbout Aman, has banned two English language newspapers from covering any public event presided at by him for the rest of his mandate in Meme Division, Southwest Region. Koulbout Aman issued the verbal “Prefectural” ban on The Post and The Sun newspapers on Tuesday, April 22 as he presided over the 2013 administrative and management accounts of the Konye Council.

The newspapers apparently attracted the ire of the Prefect after they reported that his First Assistant, Verline Epulewane, fumbled over her speech Thursday, April 17, while chairing a council session in Mbonge, Konye Subdivision. Before the April 22 session began, the Media Attaché to the Prefect, Sylvester Asong, walked up to The Post Reporter and told him that as per the SDO’s instructions, he should leave the hall.

“Yes, I have been looking for you; the SDO said you should leave the hall before he gets inside. He said The Post and The Sun newspapers should never be allowed to cover any public event in Meme Division until he goes on transfer,” Asong told this reporter. As this Reporter struggled to make meaning out of the order, Asong noted that the Gendarmerie Company Commander for Meme, Thomas Mbianji, and the Special Branch police officers have been given firm instructions to keep the journalists and their media houses under surveillance.

The Post also gathered that Councils in Meme Division have equally been instructed not to pay any bills from the two media houses. About three minutes after this Reporter was sent out, the SDO took his seat. Close aides induced Koulbout at the DO’s residence in Konye to ban the media houses as a deterrent to other journalists in the Division, The Post learnt.

An aide to the SDO told The Post that the entire administrative corps was taken aback when the two newspapers published the misunderstanding that happened in Mbonge. The SDO is reported to have faulted the journalists for not considering that Epulewane was newly transferred to the Division. Expressing anger, the supposed speech writer to the SDO, a certain Aghen, described the publication as ‘immature journalism’. Earlier on Monday April 21, the Second Assistant SDO, Nelson Gamsi, met this Reporter and expressed his disappointment over the publication.

Reacting to the ban, Christopher Talla Agha, The Sun Kumba Bureau Chief said he is yet to receive any formal document from the SDO banning him or his media organ from functioning in Meme Division. He wondered how the same administrator, who has always appreciated the media in Meme, could take such a decision. The President of the Cameroon English Newspapers Reporters’ Association (CAMENRA), Eddy Bokuba, said the SDO was too hasty in making such a decision.

He regretted the situation and called on the authorities to give the independent press a place in society. Meanwhile, Jude Njinjuh of the Eden Media group said Aghen (speech writer) requested for a piece of paper to forward the names of the two journalists and their Media organs to the council executive for other sanctions in due course. The SDO refused to comment on the ban.

By Maxcel Fokwen

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