Saturday, 12 March 2016

Operation SparrowHawk - ‘I Don’t Want to Fight My Own Battle, God Will Fight For Me,’ –Former Prime Minister Inoni Ephraim Speaks From Jail

Former Cameroonian Prime Minister - Inoni Ephraim
Marafa Hamidou Yaya and other top state prisoners have echoed the medias both local and abroad since the commencement of the Political Witch Hunting Operation SparrowHawk where they were among the first victims to be arrested, decrying injustice in their procedures, hoping to gain presidential attention, but their cries has produced no fruits.

For the very first time, Silent, calm and peace loving Former Prime Minister Inoni Ephraim, speaks about his innocence to Cameroon Journal, and blames some South West Elites for masterminding his arrest, in an exclusive, first of its kind interview.

According to Cameroon Journal, the Former PM's appartment situated at the VIP Lodge of the Kondengui Central prison  isn'st much of a luxury, with a table and chairs in the guest room that serves as a reception and chieftancy paraphernalia on the walls that speaks his traditional status. 
While his bedroom is furnished with a flat screen tv set, a computer with internet connection and of course his bed and other room facilities, the PM also owns a cellphone, and is in possesion of all newpapers to keep himself abreast of all home and world issues
Cameroon Journal reported that the former PM was hesistant to open up at first, answering questions with a diverted attention and a casual Yes and or No.
Dressed in a tailored African jacket, Inoni was also said to have wore a two rope bathing slippers commonly called 'sans confiance'.
When finally decided to open up, his voice was not audible, but one could hear what he had to say. He said his situation is an entire embarrasment, and that his 20 years jail term had nothing to do with the accusations that brought him to prison.
He said he was being imprison for political reasons, and bitterly spoke how frustrated he is feeling after he appealed to the Supreme Court without feedack till date. "I think their problem is how do we explain in the first place why we brought him in....I think there was a political motive for the arrest". He said in a sad voice.
When asked if he was nursing any political ambition to insinuate his arrest was politically motivated, Inoni replied "You never know what your enemy will talk about you"
About rumors of his failing health, the former PM had this to say; "I have heard people saying all sort of things, and even right now rumors hold it that I am in Limbe ecause I had a stroke and government has decided to quietly take me to my base in Lime so that I should die there quietly, but that's not serious!. Some few years ago there was rumor that I was dead".
On whether if he is given another opportunity to serve the nation he would do things differently following accusations from anglophones that he neglected them while he was at the helm of government, the former PM was political about his answer, adding "They are free have their own opinion about me". 'Prison is actually a school. It's a learning process here" he said. 

Asked if he would accept amnesty extended from the Head of State, given that in his own words to former American Embassy Janet Garvey, the President said he would release him."You grant amnesty to someone who is convinced he’s committed a crime. But somebody who is on appeal is not guilty. You grant him amnesty on what basis?” Inoni questioned. “If the judge gives it, that is fine", He fired up, still insisting on his innocence.
Both the Former PM and former Minister of Territorial Administration Marafa Hamidou Yaya were incarcerated at the the same time. Marafa and the others  took to the media to defend his innocence, but Inoni had been on the calmer side. When asked why he decided to remain mute about his innocence instead of taking to the media like Marafa, Inoni said "When you are in this situation only God can help you. I have left everything in God’s hands.” Pointing to his ears, he says, “God who has planted these ears, does He not hear? God who has planted these eyes, does He not see?"
"Wehe continued with hope, “Will He require that I climb up the hill with drums and beat them to be heard by people? I have never done it and I will not do it. If you take your battles and fight them by yourself, He removes His hands and have you do it and He becomes a spectator. Do you want God to be a spectator?” Inoni asks rhetorically.
The first thing that opened my eyes… I thank God for the breath of life He gives me. I look up to Him, I raise my hands to Him and I raise my voice to Him because I know He hears, He sees and He acts. And He will make sure my enemies are subdued.”
I don’t need to tell the world about my plight. If I tell you the number of journalists who have come here and I just tell them to go, you won’t believe it. Local and international media… I don’t want any press concerning me, my press is God. What Marafa does, let’s see whether it pays up for him,” he said.
Being a Fako Chief, Inoni was asked if he recieved support from the South West Elites Association - SWELA, or the South West Chiefs, the PM said some Chiefs visited him in jail, and that a delegation from the South West Chiefs was always present in court during his hearings.
About the beef he had with some members of SWELA whose names are withheld for confidentiality, Inoni  said: Let me tell you a story. If I have a fever and they go to a soothsayer and the seer tells my relatives or whosoever, that there is a wizard behind my illness, that wizard cannot come from outside. There is a saying in my tradition that only those who share blood relationship can bewitch you. So my wizard can be the people from my place. That’s the way I look at it.”
Inoni  who was sentenced for 20 years in 2013 for his role in the purchase of a Presidential jet that almost killed President Biya and members of his family enroute to Paris, still thinks and believes that his accusation and incaceration are tied to some unexplained political battle, and he still hopes that sooner or later, the Supreme Court will declare him innocent and acquit him of all charges.
View photos of the Prime Ministerial Lodge in Kondengui prison, Inoni's home for the next 17 years if the Supreme Court rejects his appeal:

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