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Am I A Francophone? Why Are They After Me?-Mayor Ekema 

• Troops Should Face Separatists Forces, Stop Threatening The Population

• Mayor Threatens To Ban Bikes In Buea If…

• Hints He May Drive Taxi On Ghost Town Day

.Mayor Ekema Told: People Are Afraid Of Military, Not Amba Boys

By Andrew Nsoseka

The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, on Thursday July 5, organised a meeting and press conference to address the ghost town adherence that has resurfaced.

At the meeting that brought together Buea inhabitants of all walks of life, the Mayor was told that the population is afraid of the military and not the Ambazonia Defence Forces alias Amba Boys. The Mayor was also told that if military are serious, the people can show them the camps of the Amba Boys to confront them, rather than intimidating and threatening the population that if going on with its daily activities.

In his address, Mayor Ekema had hinted that he may ban bikes in the municipality and cancel contracts of shop owners operating in Buea Council structures, if they don’t do as they are told, by operating on Mondays.

The Mayor also intimated that he will bring back the over 20 taxi cabs he purchased for the Council sometime earlier for the sole purpose of fighting ghost towns.

Mayor Ekema was bitter that bike riders in the municipality are respecting ghost towns and that it is their sector that has been infiltrated by Separatist fighters who mostly use bikes in carrying out their activities.

A bike riders’ representative from Sandpit told the Mayor that they cannot begin to run around with their bikes on Mondays, especially when they are no passengers. He equally questioned why the military came and arrested their President on Monday and accused him of orchestrating ghost towns.

“If motorbikes don’t respect guides, we are left with no option than to suspend their activities for the time being… In times of crisis, such hard-line measures must be taken to safeguard people and their property.” Ekema said.

The Mayor also warned and instructed that all businesses operating in Council structures must be operational on Mondays. He regretted that he could not use the same sweeping authority to oblige those operating in private structures to do as he says.

“All Council structures must be open, the Buea Town Market will be operational… I will be there,” he said.

People Are Afraid Of The Military, Not Amba Boys!

On the issue of collaborating with the military and military relations with the population, a certain transporter, who gave his name only as Mr. Steven, residing in Mile 16, Bolifamba, told Ekema that the people in Mile 16 are afraid of the military and not the Separatist fighters.

“People are afraid of the military, not the Amba boys. The boys instead tell people ‘we are not coming for you’. But on the part of the military; they come and target everybody, indiscriminately. The other day, they (military) shot a woman.

The boys came the other day after the military had moved their control point to where people live, and told people that
they cannot shoot or fight the military [at that point] because stray bullets will kill the people selling and living beside the new control point.”

Responding to pronouncements that the people do not face danger from the Separatist fighters, Ekema snapped; “If they say they don’t want you, and they want Ekema, and you want me to get to them… are they more Anglophone than me? Am I a francophone? They say they want to secede from Francophones; Am I a Francophone?” he questioned.

On the issue of security forces causing more chaos than arresting the situation when faced with threats or when they are under attack, Mayor Ekema said he will liaise with the authorities so that the Council Police would work alongside the regular military to identify those who don’t pose a threat, so that they don’t suffer from the collective punishment meted by the military.

One of the participants, a taxi driver, lambasted the military for causing havoc and even accidents in town and often leaving victims with no compensation. He blasted that when there is an attack, the military take to the road on high speed, during which they stop other vehicles and all commercial activities, “just to rush down and park their trucks at Mile 17, and point machine guns on the people who are going about their daily activities, while avoiding the people they are out to fight.”

He went further to say that, if they military is serious, the people can show the camps of the Separatist fighters so that the military can face them, and stop threatening population. The intervention received a long applause which was also saluted with laughter.