By Boris Esono Nwenfor
One person has been killed while others seriously injured after Cameroon’s defence and security forces opened fire on them as they were performing the “Nganya” dance, a traditional dance of the Bakweri people.
The sad incident happened in the early hours of this Monday, November 15, 2021, around the Bamboo bar in Bonduma, South West Region of Cameroon.
Monono John, a traditional and freestyle wrestler sadly succumbed to the bullets from the gendarmes, while Emmanuel Ikoke is receiving treatment, a source told Pan African Visions. The deceased was a close friend of Ewume John Eko popularly referred to as chief “Moja Moja”, the latter known for performing the “Nganya” dance.
It is still unclear as to the reason why these men were shot as the traditional secret “cult” (Nganya) always performs its activities at night. A crisis meeting took place shortly after the incident involving the Governor of the South West Region, the Mayor of Buea and other security personnel.
“I heard how the guys were still performing then all of a sudden I heard serious gunshots and total silence followed. They didn’t shoot for long but it was serious. When the gunshot died down, we heard someone crying for help. When they left, we came and saw that two guys were shot…” a witness told reporters on the scene.
At the coronation of a traditional authority or any important event, it is most likely to see the “Nganya” performing. When the mystical Nganya is performed, all bush lamps are turn off or lowered, no noise or fidgeting should come from households and even bedtime stories and people are not allowed to even walk outside.
For several hours, the Clerks Quarters Road was blocked by protesters who demanded that such highhandedness from these security forces should be stopped. The body of the first person who was killed was taken by the security forces but the protesters succeeded in wrestling it away from them.
This killing has been condemned with Ambazonia activist Mark Bareta said in a tweeting: “It is not a mistake Cameroun Forces saw the great Bakweri Clan dance group and fired shots killing one, another is fighting for his life. This was a deliberate act and it falls in line with the larger conflict we are having now.”
It is barely a week after a gendarme opened fire and killing a young schoolgirl in Bamenda and now this in Buea. It is, however, not the first fatal shooting from security officers as in the past two months, a gendarme shot and killed a schoolchild in Buea as she was being taken to school. Over the course of the ongoing crisis, many of such shootings from security forces have been rampant.