By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Reputed for her inclusive approach to politics, Senator Regina Mundi is a member of the political bureau of the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Party, CPDM, a great honour as only some 15 members make up this powerful body of the party.
The astute political juggernaut has been in politics since the 1970s when she first served as the Bafut-Tubah Secretary of the then CNU Party and later sub-section president for Bafut and Section president for the then Grand Mezam from 1986-to 1996.
Soft-spoken and very receptive is how one Cameroonian newspaper publication addressed her. The eminent Economics teacher has been instrumental in the economic development of the North West Region as the vice Regional Chairperson of the Follow-up Committee for the Execution of the National Investment Budget.
Senator Elizabeth Regina Mundi was kidnapped by gunmen along with her driver in the North West, one of the English-speaking regions that have been witnessing the Anglophone crisis – where separatist fighters are looking to create an independent state from the rest of the country called “Ambazonia.”
“Elizabeth Mundi was kidnapped late Saturday morning by terrorists in Bamenda,” a senior official with the North West Region’s Governor told AFP. Members linked to the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) are said to have carried out the kidnapping with one of the groups asking for a ransom and the other for the release of some prisoners (fighters) in government custody.
“The Senator was going from Bamenda to her village for a funeral, the separatist kidnapped her and her driver on the road,” AFP noted from a regional army official.”
Shortly after being kidnapped, a video of the Senator appeared online with her reading what has been described as a force statement with the Ambazonia flag behind her. In the video, Senator Mundi called for the independence of the Ambazonia republic.
It should be recalled that senator Regina Mundi was the list leader for the North West during the senatorial elections that saw the opposition party triumph over the ruling party in the region. She was appointed through a presidential decree as an alternate despite CPDM losing and many saw that as a mark of consideration for the hard work she put in for the party in the troubled region.
At a time that Country is presently witnessing what has become known as the Anglophone crisis in the country’s North West and South West Regions for the past five years now, there have been calls made for both sides to sit at the dialogue table for a meaningful solution to be gotten. According to UN statistics, the crisis in the two English-speaking regions has seen 4,000 plus civilians killed with 700,000 internally displaced and a further 63,800 as refugees in neighbouring Nigeria.
The United Nations has estimated that more than 4.4 million people in Cameroon need assistance, with over 1.5 million people being internally displaced and another 67,000 Cameroonian refugees displaced in Nigeria. The U.S. State Department has moved to issue “Do Not Travel” warnings for six regions: parts of Adamawa, Far North, North-West, the North, South-West, and East, based on the high risk of kidnapping and armed conflict.