Cameroon has one of the most liberal press in Africa and the most fearful citizens in the world. When I read reports that the media is "not free or partly free," I weep. It is very free. I may only argue that the cost of production for reporters is high and that the broadcast licenses are exorbitant for the private stations.
But come to think of it. The last time a journalist was ever arrested or molested was this year. And investigate keenly. They had either been under a controversial lawsuit or had played rough with some authorities. And their arrest lasted only hours before the media could talk much about it.
The most critical media in Cameroon have headquartered 30 minutes away from the Presidency and one minute away from the Presidential Guard headquarters. But none of their reporters has ever been arrested for writing any hard article against the gangster regime. They are free to write as the like and publish what they want. In fact, I am a regular columnist for one of Cameroon's most critical and widely read English-speaking Newspapers, The Guardian Post.
You see if you did not pose any security threat to the gangster regime, or investigate sects or whatever thing perceived as "dangerous" for the people in power, you are as free as a freedom. Most often, even elites pardon libelous works or defamatory statements. No prolific media can claim absolute neutrality on that, and the regime knows it.
When people say Tapang are you not afraid, I laugh. Afraid of who? Did I embezzle? Did I steal money like some gangster ministers and put in Western treasuries? Did I ever hold a public office? Did I ever investigate the private lives of people? When has critiquing public management become a crime? In fact, they should be glad that I give them proposed solutions freely without the need for hiring my services.
It is your inalienable right to talk as citizens and exercise your civic and political liberties. Biya is not a fool to allow more than 600 registered political parties and more than 500 newspapers up and running in the country. He is not a fool to allow more than 20 TV stations and 100 radio stations running in the country. And note that among these liberal press, only one private TV station is operating on a license.
Well, I regularly visit Cameroon and my when the police see me, they offer me, one man. All through my life, before July 2015, I was in Cameroon. It is, however, very peaceful and loving. The only problem is poverty that silences people from talking and a gangster regime that deliberately allows angry people to freely express their views and feel satisfied. Sometimes when you have an angry wife, don't exchange words with her. Allow her to express and shout out her views. Then she will calm down. Did I make some sense?