By Sah Terence Animbom
It was a drama show between the military and amba fighters, during the 10 days lockdown in Boyo Division, declared by separatists in the entire Anglophone regions of Cameroon in a bid to frustrate the 11th of February Youth day celebrations.
Moving from Mbingo, a day before the beginning of the lockdown, to Baingo and Njinikejem, one observed the fast growing jungles around people’s homes and around the roads that hitherto were always well cleared and paved. Burnt mansions along the way like the residence of the Former PM’s in-laws in Njinikejem, abandoned houses and already turned tojungle towns like the Belo Town that was once considered the economic hub of Boyo division, deserted schools like St. Bede’s College AshingKom thecitadel of Excellence in education that attracted both foreigners and nationals from some of the most reputable families in the Republic of Cameroon, The SUN met with the first road block at Ashing at 7PM. It was at this point that hopes of going right through to Fundong were almost dashed and thoughts of doing the rest of the 50 Kilometers journey on foot crept in.
It was at this point that The SUN’s already determined to trek correspondent noticed the locals of Boyodivision had learned to let life continue undisturbed in the presence of two armed parties. A few calls were made here and there and some fierce looking and hoarse voiced guys crept out of the bushes after an hour’s wait, then followed serious bargaining between the drivers and the fierce looking fellows. They were arguing over a control settlement price of FCFA 10.000 per car for the three stranded cars. Almost completely frustrated, the drivers and passengers put heads together and raised only FCFA 5000 each earning another 30 minutes of price tussle between the boys and drivers.
At this point, a big man in the ranks of the Amba guys was called who handed firm instructions for the cars to be allowed to pass without any further delay and for a reimbursement of all the money collected. The first order was immediately heeded but the second; No! The same guys were taken to open a second road block at Sho village in Belo Sub Division. The ride from there through Kikfuini, Bobong, Njinikom, Nkoini and Boyui in Fundong sub division was smooth but ended half way because it was too late to get into Fundong Town.
Monday 4th onwards saw a strange lockdown drama in Fundong subdivision characterized by flogging and chasing home of women who thought it was wise to use the lockdown days to go to their farms by Amba boys. Women were beaten and chased home at Ngwah, Fujua, Atoini andMeli villages. Back in town, on Tuesday 5th, all was totally locked and all indoors. People around Fujua road were asked by Amba Boys to leave their kitchens and enter their houses even without cooking as they passed by to fire some shots of the hunting guns at the Fundong grandstand.
The heat of the lockdown happened on Friday February 9, 2019 when some three girls whose names could only be gotten as Emmanuela, Thelma and Njang all in their teenage age were “arrested” by Amba boys and taken to their Abuh Camp. The three girls were accused of rampant sexual affairs with the military officers deployed to Fundong. Their arrest sparked an outrage and about an hour later, a young boy in his late 20s by name O’Brien Timti was pulled out reportedly by the military from his house and shot dead on the head at close range at the Fundong grandstand.
O’Brien is said to have been claiming around town that he was an Amba soldier and had been harassing people and collecting money from them. He is reported to have been seen harassing a stranded traveler from Wum claiming he was the one to issue the said traveler a pass to move through the Amba control posts along the road. He is said to have been arrested and flogged by the Amba boys of Fundong twice. Some denizens of Fundong therefore think that O’Brien was well servedin his coins. A military official on anonymity identity we choose to conceal told The Sun many people attested to having been duped by O’Brien after he was shot dead.
It was this move that sent even more fear in the minds of the people, meanwhile Amba boys were present in town but only firing gunshots when the military had either passed their location or were nowhere to be found. This attitude makes Fundong denizens think they are scared of the military but only vent their anger on the helpless population who now fear the Amba Boys with their all. Many attest to have lost their cell phones and other sophisticated gadgets to them and frown at their treatment of the elderly in Fundong. They think the Amba boys have deliberately embarked on a hide and seek game by planting informants in town who give them the exact location of the military at every instance. The military too on its part has informants among the population that give them the location of the Boys at some instances.
These activities greatly hindered Youth Day activities in Boyo as even the Fundong grandstand that was cleaned by some arrested youths on Sunday morning supervised by the military was invaded by the Amba Boys on the D-Day, putting a halt to everything that was to take place there. Attempts to talk with the SDO at his residence failed as he relayed through his maid that he was not ready to receive any body.
The three arrested girls have not been released yet, but their mother has brought some decent dresses to them as they were arrested in very seductive dresses.