By Sah Terence in Mamfe
The September 22, 2017 street protests in the North West and South West regions of the country might have recorded the most stiff and bloodiest resistance in Mamfe as two have been confirmed dead after the protest.
Demonstrations started that Friday morning peacefully with thousands of people marching on the streets bearing messages demanding for their freedom and carrying branches of trees with green leaves as a symbol of peace.
All was relatively calm until another group coming in from Nchang in Mamfe sub division marched from Nchang to Mamfe passing through Besongabang, Banya and then Mamfe where things turned sour.
The police who had earlier on had an edge over the relatively smaller and timid population of Mamfe town who had dared to take to the streets that morning quickly gave up as soon as a crowd of several thousand appeared from almost nowhere to flood the divisional headquarter.
The protesters brought down the flag of the Republic of Cameroon from the court premises and proceeded to the SDO’s office where they met with Oum II Joseph, SDO for Manyu who allegedly ignored a military colonel’s advice for calm and opened fire on the unarmed protesters for storming his office and attempting to bring down the flag of the Republic of Cameroon.
Protesters told this reporter that two shots from Oum II Joseph’s pistol injured two as he was shooting at the population and not in the air as the military officers who were with him were doing.
“After the two shots from the SDO, the military now opened fire shooting in the air with some professionalism unlike the SDO who shot into the crowd of unarmed citizens.” A protester told The Sun.
As tensions heightened, the protesters were sprayed with teargas and water in an attempt to disperse the irate crowd.
The tactic could not contain the determined crowd and the resistance went on for over an hour. The population gradually moved backwards towards a town hall where a meeting to declare school resumptions was holding between teachers and educational stake holders in Manyu.
The hall of the meeting was stormed by the angry protesters and some teachers were thrashed and driven out of the hall.
It was shortly after this act that a boy whose name The SUN got as Egbe Enow, 25, from Nchang was shot on the head killing him on the spot. The shooting escalated the protest to an even more determined state as the boys from Nchang vowed that Oum II Joseph must eat the corpse of their fallen brother, leading to the arrest of many more boys.
Prior to their coming into town, they had been intercepted on both ends of the Satoum Bridge before Mamfe from Nchang and some had jumped into the river for safety.
It was in this river that the second person lost his life in Mamfe that day. Three were injured and taken to hospitals in Mamfe and some were referred to Bamenda for intensive care. It is rumoured that the SDO has fled town and is nowhere to be found. Calm has gradually returned to Mamfe.