By Maxcel Fokwen
The death has been reported of Chief Johannes Ekebe Niongo of Ngongo Village in Mbonge Subdivision, Southwest Region, after suspected gunmen lured him off a funeral ground in the night of January 12.
Chief Ekebe was coordinating the wake-keeping ceremony of his colleague, late Manfred Tukwa of Kwa Kwa Bakundu, who passed on a month ago.
His colleagues narrated to The Post that a subject from his village came to the funeral ceremony and alerted Ekebe that some people wanted to see him for an urgent matter in the village.
Chief Ekebe is said to have left his car at the funeral and boarded a bike with the subject. His colleagues explained that Ekebe and the subject rode off on the bike supposedly to his palace in Ngongo.
Hours later, a passerby stumbled on the Chief in the pool of his own blood on the road and people and the Chief was rushed to the Kumba District hospital. Chief Ekebe is said to have died about five hours after.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that, before giving up the ghost, the traditional ruler said the gunmen shot him thrice on the stomach before fleeing. Other sources claimed that, the Chief mentioned the name of one of his killers before breathing his last.
Military Officer Wounded
In the evening hours of Saturday, January 13, news broke of an attack on a military officer at the funeral ceremony of the late Chief Tukwa at Kwa Kwa Bakundu.
The Post gleaned that unidentified youths of the village attacked and wounded the officer who came to condole with the family of the late Chief.
It is said the attack was retaliation to military action on the village after the Kombone Town gun attack that left a police officer dead. As at the time of this report, the officer was said to be battling between life and death.
DO Roped Into Assassination
Before the chief gave up the ghost at the hospital, social media postings had gone viral accusing the Divisional Officer, DO, of Mbonge Serge Alain Befolo, of shooting the Chief.
Contrary to the reports, close aides of the administrator told The Post that he was out of Mbonge Subdivision on the day of the incident. Others say detractors of the administrator want to stain his name.
Meantime, reports talk of sporadic gunshots all over Kwa Kwa Village in the night of Saturday, January 13 breaking Sunday, January 14.
Funeral Deserted, Chiefs On The Run
The killing of the Ngongo traditional ruler provoked a scare among Meme Chiefs. The consequence was a massive boycott of the burial of their colleague. The Kwa Kwa funeral ground was void of royal presence. Even a special goat meat pepper soup prepared for the Chiefs was abandoned.
At the moment, scores of Meme Chiefs have fled from their villages. Rumours have emerged that a number of others are still being targeted. An anonymous message is said to have been sent to the mobile phones of the Chiefs of an impending attack on them.
It is presumed that the propagators of the situation are accusing the Chiefs of collaborating with the Government in the face of the socio-political fractures ongoing in the English-speaking Regions.