The Buea central prison that has become overcrowded like others around the country also encompasses quite a great number of youths with grim stories of how they got behind bars and haven’t had the opportunity to appear in court to give their own side of what they were accused of. Behind the large group of juveniles, is the Global Forum for the defense of the rights of the less privilege (GFDLP) that paid and official visit to the inmates under the leadership of Mr. Akoh Baudouin Ngah donate food items, toiletries and others materials to the inmates, listen to their stories and look for ways to have legal representatives who will safeguard the interest of the less privilege and guarantee that justice is served to all.
Talking to some inmates at the prison, most of them told me their crimes had to do with theft, marijuana consumption and sale, rape and killings amongst others. Quite terrifying is the fact that most of them are either orphans, kids from broken homes, street children, Househelps “housegirls and boys” and others. Amongst the inmates I talked to, was Anou Vincent, an 18 year-old boy, who is the breadwinner for himself and his lone sister that happen to be among the 23 children of their father living in Fontem and can’t take care of them after their mother’s demise. On what brought him to Buea central prison, he narrated a grim story of toiling and mixing mud at a Muyuka banker’s construction site to sponsor him and the kid sister who couldn’t put up with their four stepmother’s awkward attitude toward them and had to leave home. Unfortunately for Vincent, his father has never paid a visit to him after his 10 months behind bars and he has just a sick grandmother whom he fears might have a heart attack if she discovers that he is behind bars. Although the said Muyuka banker had ordered the village head to release the 18 year old Vincent after a man brought him to the village head, he was only surprised when he was picked up by police and up to date, he tells me he has never been told the of the item he is been accused of stealing. In his words, “I didn’t steal anything. I am not a child who takes what does not belong to him……I work to get what I need and that why I was working at a construction site to pay my fees and that of my sister”. Other juveniles I spoke to accepted to have committed the crimes they were accused of but plead with the executive director of the global forum for the defense of the less privileged (GFDLP) Mr. Akoh Baudouin to facilitate their process of attaining justice in order to make a difference and become better persons in the society.
Speaking to the founder, of the Global forum for the defense of the less privileged, he said after working in Denmark and Sweden fighting for the place of the less privileged in the society, he thought it wise to serve his country Cameroon. He promised on behalf of his organization of to assist those who have been in detention for more than 8 months with a couple of lawyers in the southwest region to help them have justice. On the youths problem he talked about ensuring that a youth programme be by national commission on human rights and freedom to help avoid youths from engaging in crime and other radical activities.