Tuesday, September 29, 2020
You are here: Home » Carousel » Mayor Ekema Plunges Buea Into War Bookmark This Page

Mayor Ekema Plunges Buea Into War 

• Allegedly Escapes With Concubine To Nigeria

• Fails To Sell, Drive On Ghost Town Day As Promised

• Deaths Registered On Civilian And Military Sides

By Andrew Nsoseka

The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, after beating war drums and assuring people that they will be safe in respecting his calls and dictates, was nowhere to be found on Monday, as he allegedly slipped out of town and out of the country with a concubine.

In the days leading up to the Monday, July 9 ghost town, Mayor Ekema had made pronouncements and promised that he was going to take over control of his municipality from the ‘handful’ of separatist fighters who are pushing to implant their own rule and influence over the town.

During his meeting with traders, transporters and other stakeholders in Buea, the Mayor had boasted that he will be at the Buea Town Market, in person, where he will sell and later on take to the road where he will be driving one of the over 20 taxi cabs which he purchased on behalf of the Council, to fight the ghost town phenomenon that saw fertile ground of adherence with the business and transport sectors of Buea, like in most towns of Anglophone Cameroon.

“All council structures must be open, the Buea Market will be operational…. If you want to take me, come to Buea Town Market. I will be there,” he had promised.

Though various participants told the Mayor and other officials that their security and that of their properties is at stake, he assured them that the forces of law and order, working alongside Council Police, will ward off any intruders and business will run like on normal days

However, when the time came to lead the fight and beat the ghost town, the Mayor was nowhere to be found, he had broken his promise and failed to lead the fight against the ghost town that crippled his town into a near graveyard.

Council Taxi Cabs Sold?

Meanwhile, none of the over 20 taxi cabs that belong to the Council could be seen plying the roads and picking up commuters who had no means of transport. Some time ago, rumour mills had it that the Mayor sold the cabs after a couple of weeks, when he thought he had successfully won the battle against the ghost town phenomenon. The Mayor reportedly gave out the taxis on a balance-and-take arrangement with the various persons who were employed to drive the cabs.

Bloody Ghost Town In Buea

On Monday, July 9, the ghost town, unlike in previous cases, was characterised by heavy gun battles between pro-independence Amabazonia fighters and Government troops, resulting in the death of at least one civilian recorded in Muea and a handful on the side of the Government forces. Separatist fighters had promised a showdown if their calls were not respected.

Muea residents claim that the boy killed by Government troops, was not one of the ‘Amba fighters’ but a local resident who went out to buy bread. They narrate that the boy was shot in the foot by Government forces and when he fell down and tried to run as he came under fire, he was followed by two BIR officers who drilled a bullet into his head, sending his brains and blood oozing out. He was left in his own pool of blood for the day as the military reportedly idled around, waiting to see who will come for the corpse.

Meantime, from the roadside, military pick-ups could be seen speeding past with injured and killed soldiers. However, no official statement has been made on the Monday incident.

It is also unclear whether a Separatist fighter was killed or wounded. Unlike in previous cases, no pictures of neutralised gunmen were splashed on social media.

At the Mile 17 Motor Park, six buses were burnt down as the fighting raged on. It is unclear who burnt the parked buses. While some people say it was done by Separatist fighters, others point a finger at the military but, so far, none has claimed responsibility.

Bilingual Grammar School, BGS, Molyko that served as GCE marking centre also came under heavy gunfire and examiners took cover under school benches.

Pro-independence fighters had posted several warnings and messages on social media promising hell on those who won’t respect the ghost town. They maintained that they were also out to prove to the Mayor and other Government officials that they, Separatists, control the town and its activities.

Clashes Extend To Tuesday July 10

Clashes resulting from the Monday ghost town spilled over to the next day. Gunshots fired somewhere around Mile 16 and Mile 17 caused commotion in town as, in less than five minutes, the whole town was on a forced lockdown. Business premises in Mile 16, Molyko and Muea, as well as other parts of the town, were completely shut down.

As all these was happening, the Mayor whose declarations and press outing had irked separatist fighters, was already out of town, and reportedly scampering in to secure location in Nigeria with a supposed concubine.

Social media was awash with a picture of the mayor, flanged by two ladies with one carrying a child, while Ekema himself, clad in a suit he had on during the press conference stood by, concentrating on his phone screen.

It has been alleged he is in Abuja trying to secure a safe passage to Norway. Pro-independence activities that had launched anti-Ekema campaigns, flood the Norwegian authorities in Nigeria with calls, pleading that the Mayor should not be allowed to travel to their country.