- Asks Journalists To Carry Peace March Out Of Bakweri-Land
By Andrew Nsoseka
The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, accompanied by a mixed battalion of troops, March 14, violently interrupted a peace march organised by Peace Journalists under the Cameroon Community Media Network, CMMN, and the Cameroon Journalists Trade Union, CJTU.
The Journalists used the peace march to appeal to the Government to pursue peace and justice as a means of arresting the current socio-political crisis plaguing the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon.
The peace march was authorised by the Divisional Officer, DO, of Buea, Paul Wokam Kouam.
As the group of journalists marched with placards from the PCC Synod Office to the Buea Independence Square, demanding for a ceasefire, justice, peace and respect for human rights, they were intercepted by the Mayor, accompanied by heavily armed military officers and some municipal thugs.
Within minutes, the Mayor’s thugs started assaulting journalists, asking them to return to Bamenda and not march on the streets of Buea.
The Mayor and his aides though looking for a chance to manhandle journalists, rather met with a meek group that remained calm and collected.
While the municipal authority was ranting, his thugs shoved and insulted reporters.
As if that was not enough, Ekema seized the banners carried by journalists, calling the journalists, ‘shitpots’.
“Is this what is happening in your village, let me see this nonsense again. Disperse!” He fumed, as he faced Reverend Geraldine Fobang, who remained silent. The calmness of the journalists and their President further infuriated Ekema.
He flared up again, seized the authorisation letter issued by the DO and continued to rain insults on the journalists whom he said were ‘graffis’ wanting to take over his town, Buea.
He attempted several times to remove his suit and trade fisticuffs with any journalist who was responding to him.
Each time Ekema became violent, the armed military officers who had accompanied him and his thugs will try to hold him back. They will beg, Lord!!! Lord!!! Lord!!! and try to prevent him from using the old-school method of fighting by first undressing.
The Mayor will act as if he has yielded to their plea and will appear calm and recollected, before launching another episode for his lapdogs to swing into the Lord!!! Lord!!! Lord!!! chorus.
Police officers who showed up at the scene, looked at the incident from a distance as they appeared helpless, like the DO whom Ekema hushed down and told him not to interfere in something taking place on his Bakweri soil.
At that moment, Ekema declared that that he was speaking in his capacity as a Bakweri man and not Mayor. “Don’t call me Mayor, I am not Mayor”
At one instance, Ekema and his boys and the officers pounced on one of the Journalist, Gilles Mbinglo, tearing off his cloths. As the journalists tried to leave the area away from the Mayor and his team, they were followed and threatened.
At the sight of one of his former Communication Officers and speech writer, Paul Mua Kum, the Mayor slipped into another frenzy episode, running behind the journalist who quit from his Communication Department at the Council.
He went on ranting and telling Mua to take his NGO which he has created to Bamenda. Council sources told this reporter that when Mayor Ekema saw Mua during the peace march, it infuriated him the more, because the indefatigable Mua resigned from his position under the Mayor.
Mayor Orders Arrest Of PCC Pastor
When the Peace Journalists finally left the scene, the Mayor and his group pursued them to their seminar ground at the PCC Synod Office and ordered for the arrest of the President of the CCMN, Rev. Geraldine Fobang. He took her around and finally detained her at the Buea Council Chambers. Despite the Mayor’s outburst, Rev Geraldine remained composed and level-headed. After the intervention of the PCC Communication Secretary, Rev. Thomas Moko Mbue, Rev. Geraldine was later released. The CMMN seminar continued the next day, with heightened enthusiasm.