Hon. Joseph Wirba, MP for Jakiri Constituency in the Northwest Region, surprisingly re-surfaced at the National Assembly on Wednesday June 21 and declared that he had come back to continue where he stopped in the struggle against the marginalisation of West Cameroon.
Hon. Wirba, who had been on the run since January following a warrant issued for his arrest, challenged those who issued the warrant to come and arrest him even at the Ngoa-Ekele Glass House.
“Let them come and get me right here and now,” the MP thundered as the House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, tried to hush him down.
Many MPs, who expected to see a compromising Wirba, were shocked to meet the same hardliner who said he would never budge as far as fighting against the maltreatment of Anglophones is concerned.
“I am back for the same purpose; you cannot shut the mouth of the people forever,” he said.
When reporters quizzed him, he said he was not afraid of being arrested.
“The most important thing is that I am back and ready for whatever,” said the MP. He said if arresting him is the price he has to pay for speaking out for his people, then he is ready to be imprisoned at Kondengui.
When asked what really motivated him to come back from his hide-out, Wirba retorted: “After three months of reflection, I came to a simple conclusion that our people of West Cameroon need me and I need to stand for them.”
“So it is now up to the Government to decide the best place for Wirba; Kondengui or an early grave. I have reconciled with both and that is why I am back here.”
Wirba said he did not see any reason why his colleagues in Parliament discuss bills for all this time and nothing positive has happened to the ordinary Cameroonian.
Said he: “I am back and I want us to go back to issues that have to do with West Cameroon. I am asking Parliament to put the issue of West Cameroon on the table and let us talk about it. That is what I have come for.”
The outspoken MP, who did not disclose where he had been hiding, wondered for how long Government would go on humiliating the people of West Cameroon.
Hear him: “The people cry out and they don’t listen. More than a million students are out of school for over six months and the National Assembly cannot talk about it. Businesses have been shut down.”
Wirba wondered aloud what Government is up to by humiliating Bishops and other church leaders by dragging them to Court.
He said he could not recount the number of times Government officials have run down Cardinal Christian Tumi for the simple reason that he spoke the truth on issues of great national import.
“Recently, it was all the Bishops and the Moderator of the PCC. The Moderator wept in public and the tears he shed represent 50 years of pain.
Somebody has to stand up and say no!” Wirba said. He noted that the humiliations and provocations are just too many that he decided to come back home and fight for his people.
The MP stirred commotion when he suddenly appeared at the premises of the National Assembly at about 11:00 am. Security guards who were mesmerised by the MP’s presence, fumbled, not knowing how to behave.
A group of secretariat staff of the SDF Parliamentary Group led Wirba triumphantly into the House, and there was total euphoria when he met his colleagues.
Speaking to The Post, the Parliamentary Group Leader at the National Assembly, Hon. Joseph Banadzem, said they were happy to have their colleague back in their midst, for them to continue the struggle.
He said the Group missed Hon. Wirba so much and this explains why they met the Speaker of the National Assembly many times to present his case.
Hon. Banadzem said the warrant of arrest that was issued for the MP was illegal in many ways. He said a warrant of arrest ought not to have been issued to an MP whose parliamentary immunity is still intact.
To Banadzem, the fact that the warrant of arrest which they later presented to the House Speaker was issued by the Delegate General of National Security is an illegality.
He said only the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals has the competence to issue a warrant of arrest for an MP.
Some observers, who thought Hon. Wirba might have negotiated his way back, became even more confused when the MP fired more virulent statements on the Anglophone issue at the National Assembly.
The Post Newspaper