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Assassination of Martinez Zogo: When Cameroon misses opportunity to win public confidence on ‘Safe cities’ CCTV program
The community of Muteff never lacked its share of evil men and women who could violently inflict pain (including the dead penalty), on any real (or perceived) enemy who stepped on their toes. Such evil men and women would use every sophisticated mystical means to eliminate anyone who stood on their way. This would be done in such a disguised and professional manner that an ordinary eye not schooled in the craft of mysticism wouldn’t ever know the hand behind the atrocious act. At one point in Muteff, such witchcraft practices were virtually raised to the level of fine arts.
Fortunately for the Muteff community, (and to counter such shocking acts), there was the dreaded mystical lodge in the Order of Nantang Yoh, headed by the equally dreaded Grandmaster, Yola Muh, whose mysticism had nothing to admire from the Grandmaster of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, who paid a state visit to Cameroon from July 17 to 19, 2018.
Each Itu’ i two’ or seventh day of the Kom traditional week, the mystical Nantang Yoh owl-like night juju (comparable to the owl of Athena in Greek mythology that was the symbol of knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition), would come out and move in a spirited manner from one quarter to the order and to the specific compounds where such evil men and women lived, to denounce the atrocious acts and issue warning notes.
Members of the dreaded mystical lodge were not only capable of detecting crime in real time but also in preempting such. Its radius or spy lense went beyond Muteff to Abuh, Ngwah and even far-flung communities like Mboh and Aduk. With the overwhelming mystical presence of Natang Yoh in the community, no crime could go undetected and within a period of seven days. Not more, only less. The owl-like Natang Yoh night juju could, in giving the details of a crime committed in Muteff, do so with exactitude, and with the minutest of detail.
Since January 17, 2023 that the renowned Yaounde-based Journalist, Martinez Zogo was kidnapped in broad-day-light, killed and abondoned at Ebogo, outskirts of Yaounde, on January 21, 2023, security operatives in the nation’s capital have been unable to edify the taxpayer on who the criminals behind the atrocious act were. As ‘investigations’ run into the third week, no CCTV camera footage of the criminals have been presented to Cameroonians. While Nantang Yoh would be capable of detecting a crime through its traditional CCTV camera lenses in less than seven days, the modern CCTV cameras planted all over Yaounde as part of Huawei-Camtel-DGSN smart cities’ project, have been unable to quench the thirst of the millions of Cameroonians.
It would appear Nantang Yoh’s facial recognition technology is still far advanced than the modern CCTV camera technology China and the West are marketing to Africa. While those behind the CCTV cameras in Yaounde may be under oath never to release political assassination crime images to the public until asked to do so, those behind the traditional facial recognition technology of Nantang Yoh in Muteff are rather under oath to release images as they come in. In fact, their motto (oath) is: ‘See something, say something’. Which means, if Martinez Zogo was killed in Muteff, the faces behind the atrocious act would have been released the following ‘itu’i two’, the traditional day mystical lodge members warm the lodge.
While monitoring the community and its environs 24/24, 7/7, and 12 months on 12 months; lodge members auto-activate themselves when a crime is committed. They do not have to wait for the village head (or the compound head where the juju is lodged), to give instructions to act, as obtains in Yaounde where it had to take the ‘high instructions’ of the Head of State for investigations to be opened on the killers of Martinez Zogo.
One can therefore conclude without any fear of contradiction, that Yaounde authorities have missed a golden opportunity to convince the public on the workability, efficiency and effectiveness of the much-talked about 1500 facial recognition cameras planted all over the city of Yaounde (the same number China planted in Nairobi-Kenya, as part of their smart/safe African cities’ project). If this crime occurred in Kenya, South Africa, or any other western capital, police services that man such technology, would have been giving its citizens daily updates on the traces of the culprits. In Cameroon, we are crossing into the third week.
As part of fostering his much-talked about policy of ensuring the security of persons and property, President Paul Biya on June 5, 2018, ratified the signing of a loan agreement of 22.95 billion with the bank of China for the funding of the expansion of the intelligence and video surveillance of Cameroon’s urban centres. The safe cities project that was already launched in 2014, envisaged the installation of 1500 cameras and the supply of 2000 portable two-way radios to enable security operatives better monitor the country.
Although the cameras are planted on metallic poles equipped with solar energy and are supposed to function discreetly like those of the dreaded mystical lodge of the Order of Nantang Yoh by capturing images and transmitting them to the central database at the General Delegation for National Security for exploitation, the death of Martinez Zogo have demonstrated in triumphant detail that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Before the unfortunate incident of Zogo, the General Delegation for National Security had prided itself of detecting and dissuading crime in real time.
Colbert Gwain is digital space citizen/native, author, radio host and content creator @TheColbertFactor
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