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Bendskins May Paralayse Kumba Over Controversial Constitution 

By Maxcel Fokwen

bendskinsUncertainty currently looms in Kumba, Southwest Region, following a deadlock in a meeting between commercial motorcycle riders (bendskins) and the Divisional Officer, DO, for Kumba I, Charles Douala Fomumbod.

The meeting that held on Thursday, August 25, had been organised to kick-start plans towards putting in place a new executive for the riders union in Kumba I.

However, deliberations came to a head following disagreements among the riders over the constitution which the DO had in his hands.

The Post gathered that while the DO was still explaining issues, some riders started abusing him and other security officials.

Some are said to have accused the administration of conniving with political party leaders to polarise the union.

It was reported that a copy of the constitution the DO received from his hierarchy puts the mandate of the riders’ union presidency at two years renewable.

Contrary to that section, a majority of the riders are said to be fuming that their constitution talks of a two-year mandate renewable once.

Reports hold that the DO explained to the riders that in case of any worry, their doubts should be addressed to the cabinet of the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO.

Meanwhile, the SDO reportedly asked the DO to hold the meeting with the riders to prepare ground for elections.

It would be recalled that a few months ago, the SDO, David Koulbout Aman, dissolved all the riders’union in the sub-divisions of Kumba following repeated actions of mistrust and incoherence.
The suspension was pending fresh elections.

In the face of the new developments, there are fears that the bendskins may take to the streets again to protest over the union’s constitution.

The same meetings are expected in the days ahead in Kumba II and III Sub-divisions.

Some riders are already accusing the incumbent presidents of using illegal means to doctor the constitution for life presidency.

In 2016 alone, thousands of bendskins have taken to the streets at least on four occasions.In February, they took protest over a controversial park fee of FCFA 1,500 which Kumba City Council introduced.

They argued and had their way with the backing of the Meme SDO. The administrator had asked the City Council to suspend the tax pending fresh elections and to maintain public peace.

Before the SDO’s intervention, the bendskins had chased gendarmes and dismantled road blocks that revenue collectors of the City Council had erected.

On July 1, the bendskins blocked traffic in Kumba for over five hours. On that occasion, the trouble was that of recovering the motorcycle of one of theirs who had died in a caterpillar accident.

In that process, the bendskisn abandoned a corpse adjacent to the Central Police Station for hours.

Traffic only resumed after 7 pm following an offer of FCFA150,000 from the CPDM Section President for Meme IA, Lawson Tabot.

Reacting to the attitude of the bendksins back then, Tabot had promised to urge the administration on the need to restructure the commercial motorcycle sector in Kumba.

Tabot has asserted that the bendskins had become a threat to public peace.

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