By Boris Esono Nwenfor (Cameroon)
Renowned Human rights lawyer, Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla has been awarded The Guardian Post’s 2019 human rights champion award. The award was presented to him by The staff delegate and copy editor of the said newspaper Mua Patrick, February 22 in Yaounde during a routine meeting with some international stakeholders and diplomatic mission.
After receiving the award, Bar. Balla dedicated it to each and every staff of the Centre for Human rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA. “This is your award and it is recognition of the wonderful job you all have been doing. I know it has been a herculean and daunting task in monitoring, documenting and reporting on the egregious crimes committed in the on-going conflict in the South West and North West Regions”.
“As the leading human rights organization, I wish to assure our numerous supporters, fans and even our detractors that we shall always maintain our neutrality in reporting on the atrocities in the crisis. We shall not relent in calling for an end to impunity and accountability. We shall equally continue to call for an all-inclusive dialogue”.
He ended by thanking the management of The Guardian post for such an award.
His award was given in the presence of some seasoned journalists such as Amindeh Blaise, journalist at Cameroon Tribune, Etienne Mainimo-The Post, Doh James Sonkey-The Green Echoes, and Theodore Mih Ndze-Executive publisher, The Voice Newspaper.
The Human rights lawyer spent some eight months in jail in 2017 for protesting against injustice. Since his liberation, he has been on a peace crusade visiting detention centres across the SW and the Kondengui Maximum prison that used to house him, baring a message of peace and solidarity with the detainees.
This is not the first award that Balla is wining as last year; he won the Nelson Mandela Memorial Award for Peace, organized in honour of the late South African leader.
Receiving that award, he said he holds no grudge and is open to forgiveness like Nelson Mandela who embraced all after spending 27 years in jail for standing up against apartheid. “I want to be remembered like somebody who fought for people, who fought against injustice”.