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Bike Riders Clash With Gendarmes Over Reckless Driver 

By Isidore Abah — Traffic came to a standstill for several hours on Monday, June 10, in Buea, following a clash between commercial motor bike riders and gendarmes over a reckless driver. The fracas was orchestrated by collusion between a motor bike rider and a private car around the Gendarmerie Brigade hospital at Great Soppo. The accident led to the hospitalisation of two persons who sustained severe injuries.

According to Julius Ekalle, a bike rider who was injured in the accident, over 200 bike riders had left Ekona, Muamu and Muea to retrieve the corpse of a bike rider who recently died in a car accident around the Ekona-Muea highway, from the Buea Regional Hospital mortuary. Upon arriving at the Gendarmerie Hospital Junction at Great Soppo, he said, a private car from Clerks’ Quarters ran into the convoy as it struggled to negotiate the bend leading to Campaign Street.

This resulted in a face on collusion between his bike and the private car, leaving him (Ekalle) and a passenger in a critical condition. The incident angered other bike riders who threatened to lynch the owner of the private car for what they termed “reckless driving.” As the over 200 commercial bike riders were about to seize the “defaulting” driver, elements of the Gendarmerie Brigade intervened and rescued the man and his car from being set ablaze.

The bike riders and gendarmes clashed in the process, thus halting traffic for several hours.
The enraged bike riders accused the gendarmes of conniving with drivers to ridicule them.
According to the President of the Ekona Motor Bike Riders’ Union, Roger Takie Taku, two of their members perished in an accident on June 5, caused by reckless driving, but the forces of law and order have been mute. However, according to him, if the accident was caused by a bike rider, “most of our bikes would have been confiscated and our members locked up.”

Roger Takie, however, appealed to elements of the forces of law and order to stop harassing bike riders. “The President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, has given us the go ahead to contribute our own quota in the emergence of Cameroon by 2035. So, were are appealing to all the forces of law and order to stop harassing us,” Takie pleaded.

For his part, the President of the Muea Motor Bike Riders’ Union, Ezekiel Sango, pleaded with security forces to extend their hand of protection to the motor bike sector as enjoyed by other sectors in Cameroon. Meanwhile, the two persons who sustained injuries are responding to medical attention at the Buea Regional Hospital.

First published in The Post print edition no 01438

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