Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, on behalf of President Paul Biya received four out of the seven Buea traditional chiefs who were recently abducted by armed separatist groups in the South West Region.
Some traditional rulers of Buea Subdivision who were freed on July 30, 2018 night have the assurance and comfort of President Paul Biya as the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang received them at the Star Building in Yaounde on August 3, 2018. Four of the freed chiefs were accompanied to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji and the Mayor of Buea Council, Patrick Ekema Esunge.
The four traditional rulers were Njoke Johnson Njombe of Wokaka Village who was in abduction for three weeks; Ikome Philip Mokwa of Wokeka Village who spent two weeks in captivity; Herman Njumbe of Wokwei Village and Elinge Thomas Ndotoh Ekinde of Ewili Village, both spent 16 days in abduction.
The Mayor of Buea Council, Patrick Ekema Esunge who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers said he invested much time and energy for the release of the traditional rulers who were abducted by unidentified gunmen because, “The first role of the mayor is to ensure social peace within his municipality.”
He further said that when the traditional rulers were abducted, “We rallied forces to see how we could bring our traditional rulers out of the torture we hear they were going through.” As the way forward, Mayor Ekema said, “We have to multiply our efforts to ensure that there is sanity, peace and that the phenomenon of abductions is eradicated from the municipality.”
While mobilizing the population, he said, “I keep on telling my population to beat away fear and shun calls for ghost towns that is crippling our local economy”.
Meanwhile, before meeting the Prime Minister, the Chiefs met with the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji who urged the newly released leaders to resume their activities by sensitizing the people. They had been in captivity since July 12, detained by hitherto unidentified armed gangs. One of them has lost his life during this grueling ordeal to which they left last Tuesday, following the ultimatum issued a few days earlier by the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge.
They are the seven traditional leaders of the Southwest region, four of whom were from the delegation received last Friday by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji. As in the two weeks that their captivity lasted, they once again braved the fear to face the the cameras. In the presence of the mayor of Buea and one of the municipal councilors of his Council, also held hostage, Paul Atanga Nji conveyed the comfort of the President of the Republic at the end of this painful ordeal. “The terrorists have done enough harm and it is time for the order to be restored” said the Minister of Territorial Administration during the ceremony which was held at the conference room of his Ministry.