HRH Robert Esuka Endeley speaking to journalists after meeting with Mokunda community
By Hope Nda
The Paramount Ruler of Buea, HRH Robert Esuka Endeley, has warned his subjects at Mokunda village, a community at Buea Town, against keeping guns or transacting in drugs.
During a meeting with members of the community attended by military and police officials on Monday, October 31, the Paramount Chief stated that Mokunda Village does not manufacture guns, contrary to viral reports that there was a gun factory in the village, which supplied separatist fighters.
The meeting came two weeks after a military-police operation in the community on October 17 led to the seizure of 52 guns and several packs of tramadol, a strong pain medication that has been commonly misused by young people.
During his meeting with the population of Mokunda, Chief Dr Esuka Endeley said Mokunda people were hunters in the past and the deceased owner of the guns that were seized was a popular gun repairer in the community.
He went on to warn the population against keeping guns and advised them to surrender existing guns to the Divisional Officer to avoid falling victim to the law.
“We are a community of hunters, where every household had a gun that they used in hunting. But I think because of the socio-economic crisis and political situation that we have now, it’s not time to keep those weapons,” said the Paramount Ruler.
He said people still keeping guns should “hand their guns to the administration and when this crisis is over, hopefully you will get your gun back”.
The guns seized by the military were Dane guns. They were taken from a local garage and are said to have been owned by a popular black smith who once lived at Mokunda.
“The garage where most of the guns were found, that garage was owned by my grandfather… He was the only blacksmith in West Cameroon. I think he left a lot of things there that are not considered very safe right now and that’s part of the capture that was made on that day,” said the Paramount Chief.
Several packs of tramadol were among the items uniformed officers seized during the October 17 operations. A suspect was arrested afterwards, but he claimed he was not the one supplying them.
Chief Dr Esuka Endeley said the quantity of drugs he saw coming out of Mokunda troubled him. The Paramount Chief’s palace is located in the same village.
“The quantity of drugs, tramadol, we saw coming from Mokunda was very disturbing. It was not just about the drugs but it insinuated that we sell drugs at Mokunda. That bundle was disturbing. We have not been able to situate the person who brings such drugs here,” he said.
As police continue investigating the source of the drugs, the Paramount Chief told his people: “If you know anyone who supplies these drugs please report this person. It is critical that we keep the image of our city clean… we don’t want the sale of drugs.”
The Cameroon Government has been fighting against the proliferation of arms and light weapons since the outbreak of the armed conflict in the English-speaking Regions.
In April 2018, the Ministry of Territorial Administration banned the sale and transaction of arms in six Regions of the country, including the Northwest and Southwest.
The release signed by Minster Paul Atanga Nji prohibited the “sale of hunting and protection weapons and their ammunition in the Adamaoua, Central, Littoral, West, Northwest and Southwest regions”.
The Ministerial text stated that the number of arms in circulation at that time exceeded the number that had been duly authorised by the government. It also asked holders of unauthorised weapons to surrender them to local authorities and those with legally recognised weapons to register them.