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After Confession Of Ritual Killings: 

By Isidore Abah

CameroonPostline.com — Inhabitants of Tole, a Buea neighbourhood where, last weekend, suspect cultists confessed their practices, say they were astounded, January 7, when they “heard” a baby crying inside a destroyed building. The vandalised building, they said, belongs one of the cult members, Peter Akenji.

Kouam Wokam, DO of Buea dangling  the ‘crying padlock’ on a stick while addressing Tole youth

According to reports from the youths, the continuous crying of a baby in a house whose occupants have deserted and the doors yanked off aroused curiosity and suspicion among the inhabitants of the area, who flocked to the ruins. The search for the said child, who was reportedly “crying for food”, proved futile.

After repeated attempts by the searchers, it was allegedly discovered that the crying was mysteriously coming from a padlock that had been woven with a black thread and that hung from the ceiling of the building. The youths then took the “crying padlock” to the Chairperson of the Bwiyuku Traditional Council, Chrysanthus Ewinjah, who doubles as the Caretaker Chief of Bwiyuku-Tole, and immediately informed the DO of Buea, Paul Kouam Wokam.

When the DO arrived at the scene, the youths handed over the “crying padlock” to him in the presence of the Caretaker Chief. While the youths wanted the “crying padlock” burnt, the DO insisted that it be handed over to the Buea Central Police as evidence to any legal proceedings concerning the ritual killings in Tole, in future. Upon the insistence of the youths, the black thread was unwoven from the padlock. Human hair, Indian beans, salt, a stone and other mysterious contents were removed and burnt.

Cultist’s Family Complains Of Witch-hunting

The family of Julius Tata, one of the members of the secret cult implicated in the ritual killing confession in Tole recently, has complained of witch-hunting. The family also protested against what it termed as acts of ostracism meted out on them by the Tole populace.

According to the Tatas, after their house and car were destroyed and set ablaze by the irate youths of Tole, they were forced to spend the night in the cold, as nobody in Tole was willing to accommodate them even for the night. According to one of Tata’s children; “The hostile behaviour exhibited by neighbours towards us was surprising, given that we have maintained and enjoyed a cordial relationship with everybody in Tole before the escalation of the ritual killing scandal.”

He added, “After spending the night in the open, we were forced to flee for our dear lives because our safety was no longer guaranteed, even though it is our father who is being accused.” Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Bwiyuku Traditional Council, Ewinjah, commended the youths for their sense of responsibility and for taking their destiny into their hands.

According to him, the Traditional Council has condemned outright such activities like ritual killings or any other sinister practices that threaten the progress of the community or put the lives of its members in peril. He promised the Council’s unconditional support to the youths to ensure that such ungodly practices are completely stamped out in Tole. Nonetheless, Ewinjah also exhorted the youths to desist from destructive tendencies that contravene the law.

Deaths, Promiscuity, Unemployment Surge In Tole

According to Ewinjah, one of the reasons why the Traditional Council has given the youths the green light to dismantle cultism in Tole is to curb the number of deaths in Tole.
Ewinjah said the death rate among the youths is staggering with most of them dying in questionable circumstances. He said between November 15 and December 2013, close to 40 youths died mysteriously in Tole with more than half of them taking their own lives. To Ewinjah, this is not mere coincidence.

Seventy-two-year-old Peter Neba, retired worker of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, and a resident of Tole, said 28 years ago, there was nothing like prostitution or abortion in Tole. “Most young girls were very proud of getting married and bringing forth their own children, so as to start benefiting from family allowances. But today, prostitution and abortion is the order of the day in Tole. It would not be misleading to conclude that our young girls are being manipulated by these demonic cultists to be committing such atrocities,” Neba told The Post.

The youths, meanwhile, were quick to believe the confession made by Joseph Mbomela that their progress and future have been mortgaged by members of the cult. According to a certain Priso, a taxi driver resident in Tole, all the money he has been working for over nine years ends up in one of the beer parlours owned by one of the cultists. He said he is not the only person facing such a problem.

“Young people in Tole who are resident abroad come back home with huge sums of money but cannot carry out any meaningful development, as they end up squandering all what they have toiled for in Europe on drinks,” said Priso. In like manner, youths from Tole graduate from different higher institutes of learning in and out of Cameroon but return to Tole with no jobs. “So, it is not surprising to see the youths in one force, willing and determined to liberate themselves from these blood-sucking vampires,” Priso quipped.

Price Hikes

After the destruction of most provision stores and the chasing away of most businessmen in the area, Tole is presently experiencing price hikes on basic commodities.

According to Emmanuel Ngoumba, a piece of soap that was normally sold at FCFA 250 now sells at FCFA 350 and the price of a bottle of beer has risen from FCFA 500 to FCFA 600.
Gwendoline Ngum said she was surprised when she was asked to pay FCFA 300 for a bulb that is usually sold at FCFA 200. Meantime, the youths have warned that any businessperson who is caught selling above the normal price will have his or her business premises shut down.

First published in The Post print edition no 01495

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