“500 hundred” “500 hundred” “500 hundred”, the irate population chanted as they headed to the office of the South West Governor
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
5-year-old Enpindiale Tchungia Carolaise was shot by a gendarme officer around the Co-cathedral in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon this Thursday, October 14, 2021, in one of the numerous checkpoints that have been mounted in the town, as she was driven to school.
The class one pupil of CUIB Elementary Academy was killed after the gendarme officer is reported to have shot at the vehicle carrying the child after he had demanded “500 CFA” from the driver (late Enpindiale Tchungia Carolaise’ father) when he stopped the car.
Hearing of this latest atrocity committed by the security forces, the population pounced on the said gendarme officer and is reported to have been killed. His colleagues are also reported to have been apprehended by security forces.
This incident reminded the population of that which was committed in Kumba and they took to the streets, grounded activities as they head to the South West Governor’s Office. From taxi drivers, business persons, and ordinary citizens, none were indifferent as they chanted and called fore an end to the numerous checkpoints in Buea, the frequent harassment by security personnel.
The population was unfazed even as the security personnel tried to mount roadblocks to prevent the population reaching their target. The first roadblock was at few meters from the Baptist High School and in a show of force, the security forces fired more than 10 times in the air to disperse the crowd.
The, however, did not dent the effort of the population which marched and was again stopped at Court junction before going on to meet another at the Governor’s office. More than one hundred inhabitants assembled at the Governor’s office as they presented to him the lifeless body of the 5-year-old.
“At every point the security officers will ask you for money; whether you have your identification card or not, the security officers will still ask you for money. It is just too much,” one irate Buea inhabitant told Pan African Visions.
“To go to Bonaberi (a neighbourhood in Buea) is the same thing. The work of the police officers and gendarmes is to intimidate people,” another inhabitant told Pan African Visions.
“I have stayed in Yaounde and all these things do not happen there and it spears that they have given them the right to act this kind way in the South West. We are trying so that peace should rain but they have bad mind for us; small things that the police officers had to handle amicable will instead lead to problems.”
“We are just tire and for how long will this continue in the Region. There is no where we can run to. We are matching in solidarity with the parents and if they (gendarmes) want to kill us, fine and god,” She added.
“Those who did it will pay” Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai
Speaking to the population, Bernard Okalia Bilai, South West Governor assured the population that those who are responsible for committed the atrocity will pay, “no matter their grade, they will pay.”
“Those who did it, some of them are already under detention. This child was an innocent child going to school. I am fighting for children to go to school and how is it that on her way to school she is killed,” South West Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai told the population.
“We must mourn her in peace. Let us be in peace no matter how painful the situation is; it is an atrocity but let us not give room to people who will like to add to this atrocity. Please let us be calm I am with you.”
At the time of this report, calm is slowly returning to Buea, chief town of the South West region, though activities are still on a standstill with businesses closed.