The mayor of Kumbo has warned the new senior divisional officer for Bui division against disrespecting the law and lambasted the outgoing mayor for arrests, torture and detention of citizens during the on-going crisis in Anglophone regions.
The caution and reprimands were contained in a speech read out July 18 during the installation of Emile Simon Mooh, newly appointed Senior Divisional Officer of Bui Division. Lukong Magaret Beri, First Deputy Mayor of the Kumbo council presented the speech on behalf of Mayor Njong Donatus.
Mayor Beri was categorical when she addressed the new SDO; “You are coming into an ant hill. Please be cautious so that the ants should not bite you. You are taking over a Prefecture where the laws were replaced by Tikar proverbs. Thank God you are not a Tikar notable, therefore use the laws of the state and apply them according to your conscience. The people of Bui are peaceful particularly those of Kumbo. They are very conscious of their rights. They are hospitable and welcoming. Beware of politicians who will be coming to loiter around you for favours. They are the very ones that will pray for your downfall. The peace of this division is in the hands of the population and no one else. If there is peace in this Division, it is thanks to the fact that the people have refused to be provoked.”
“Tactless leadership” ruined Kumbo
In a sarcastic tone, Mayor Beri told Nzeki Theophile, outgoing Senior Divisional Officer, who has bossed over Bui for four years, eight months that it was inconsequential whether his time in the division was well spent or not.
“For your shortcomings we forgive you because we did not expect you to use your left hand at old age. We regret very much the fact that you are leaving behind a fractured society totally disintegrated and almost ruined. The love, happiness and brotherhood that reigned in Kumbo is gone because of the tactless leadership, since the Administration condoned with lawlessness and mediocrity.
The Kumbo Water Crises had to drag on for so long, because the Administration closed its eyes on the law and gave it ears to street talk. Today the people of Kumbo go for months without water. This is the legacy you are leaving behind. The Administration failed in its responsibility to enforce the law and to protect lives and property regarding the water crises.
You are leaving behind a Muslim community scattered with daggers drawn simply because you refused to support the status quo. Every Religion has a tradition which should determine how it functions.
Undeclared state of emergency; arrests, torture
Turning to Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique who chaired the installation of the SDO, she pleaded, “We appeal to the Governor to pray that powers that be to do everything possible to solve the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
In Kumbo and many other areas we are living under an undeclared State of Emergency, characterized by illegal arrests, extortion of money from poor citizens, beatings and breaking of people’s bones, tear gassing at funeral ceremonies, destruction of property particularly motorbikes of poor unemployed youths, breaking into off licenses and destroying valuable items and use of life ammunition on our citizens. Some are being draged to torture centers where they are extorted. Those who fail to pay are sent to Yaounde for detention.
All these misdeeds against our people are perpetuated by the overzealous forces of law and order that pride themselves that they can only take instruction from Yaounde. Let the Head of State take all necessary measures to solve the crises and stop overzealous forces of law of order who take delight in maltreating the citizens.”
She however pledged “total support and collaboration” to the new SDO, promising the whole division will celebrate if he succeeds in mending the wounds of the people.