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Mayor Sprays Belated Cash To Appease Restive CPDM Militants 

By Sarah Nduma Ekema

“I was impressed with the party’s turnout on May 20. It was a colourful march past, but I was made to understand that most of you were not happy as you returned home on that fateful day.

I wish to apologise for the inconveniences because it was not our fault. Like a child who does wrong, the mother does not go about insulting him in public.

I was afraid that, due to the incident, most people would be looking forward to joining the other parties; that is why I am here today.”

The incident in question was the last May 20 march past in Buea. The Mayor, Patrick Ekema Esunge had ferried people in from various villages to swell the CPDM party ranks at the march past as has been the tradition over the years.

But this time around, he snubbed the villagers after they had played their own part of the political bargain. Instead of respecting the well known past tradition of doling out a bottle of beer, a ‘stick soya’ and FCFA 1000 to each person that marched under the CPDM banner, the villagers were reportedly handed a paltry FCFA 250 as taxi fare back home.

They became restive, threatening fire and brimstone. Many were grumbling; others openly complained of how they had not only been treated with scorn, but were also practically reduced to beggars.

When the bolder ones reportedly approached certain authorities of the Buea Council, they were instead insulted and given FCFA 250 each to go back to their houses.

The National Day, which was supposed to be a day of celebrating national unity, was transformed by some CPDM militants into a ‘mourning day’, the marchers who were expecting better treatment than they got blurted out.

Militants who had been ferried that morning from villages like Mapanja, Bonjongo, Likombe, Mbwassa, and Lysoka, could be heard raining insults on the Mayor and his team.

After what was variously termed as snobbery and inhuman treatment, the militants swore to teach the Mayor, Ekema and his close collaborators a lesson.

For apparent fear of what may eventually snowball into an election blackout, the Mayor and his Deputies recently embarked on what was termed a socio-economic tour of the Municipality, taking along with them enough cash as could buy forgiveness from the disenchanted commoners.

Addressing the communities of Wonya-Emongo, Great Soppo and Molyko-Wokoko on May 29, the Mayor said he was aware of the grievances of the militants during the May 20 celebrations, wherein, after the march past, militants went home irritated because they were not motivated financially.

“I would like that, on subsequent occasions, the turnout should be the same and after you’ve collected what was reserved for you, come to the Council and the Council will also give what it has for you,” Ekema added.

At each stop of the Mayor’s tour, Ekema doled out money to the villagers to eat, drink and forget their woes.
For instance, Wonya-Emongo and Great Soppo received FCFA 200,000, while Molyko-Wokoko had FCFA 300,000. The Mayor asked the population to share the money ‘as one person’, their political leanings notwithstanding.

“We are not out for campaigns; we came to know your problems. The Mayor is out for his people, no matter their political party,” Ekema stated.

Mayor Visits 87 Villages In Five Days

Mayor Ekema’s socio-economic tour started on May 25 and ended on May 29, whereby he visited some 87 villages. During the visit, inhabitants of the various villages outlined their problems which included acute water shortage, bad roads, and insufficient classrooms in most primary schools.

The Mayor promised to provide potable water before December this year.
“After feasibility studies have been carried out, exploration would begin immediately. Experts have visited some localities and have dug bore holes in areas like Bokwaongo, the Regional Hospital, Bomaka, and Buea Town. They are presently at Bokwai New Layout; we expect that the 19 bore holes left would be distributed in the areas we have announced. The job is progressive, ”Ekema stated.

In the domain of health, the Mayor assured the people of health centres, while encouraging the population of Great Soppo with the construction of a Government primary school and the reconstruction of a bridge.

On roads, the Mayor stated that the Council will continue to lobby for those who are in charge, to commence work. He mentioned the construction of the Buea Central Market, adding that Buea would serve as a reference community upon its completion.

The spokespersons for Wonya-Emongo and Great Soppo said:
“We are certain that all what the Mayor has promised will be done and the Great Soppo community will vote him in the next elections,” Chief Etina Monono stated, while handing over gifts to the Mayor.