By Augustine Nyuykongi
For the second time in just about 1 month, a school-going kid has been killed by a man in uniform in the restive Anglophone regions. The very latest incident which happened yesterday in Bamenda sent the whole town in turmoil with a sudden spree of violent protests.
It all began when 7-year-old Tataw Brandy was shot by a police bullet as she returned from school. Just as was the case with little Enondiale Carolaise in Buea, the bullet was aimed at a pick-up truck that the alleged policeman was pursuing.
Almost immediately, an irate crowd gathered and took charge of the little girl’s corpse which they paraded the streets with. The policeman meanwhile fled the scene of the incident for his life.
The aftermath of the incident was a wave of protest marches across the town, which eventually turned violent. At least two persons were reported dead as the military tried to repress the protesters.
Scores of roadside businesses were also destroyed by the protesters, and a car was also burnt not far away from the North West Governor’s office.
Amid tensions across the town of Bamenda, Adolph Lele L’Afrique, Governor of the North West Region revealed that an investigation had already been launched to uncover the root of the matter. He also said an autopsy was going to be carried out on the girl, and the findings to be used in dishing out the appropriate sanctions.
The Governor was backed up by a press statement put up later by the Delegate General for National Security Martin Mbarga Nguele. He stated in the press release that “The police officer who committed the act is under custody, following the investigation that was immediately opened by the Regional Division of the Judicial Police for the North West.”
Martin Mbarga Nguele in his statement also revealed that the policeman in question is called Fagha Alain, and the car he chased at the time belonged to the Director-General of a Cooperative Credit Union in Bamenda.
The Ambazonian leadership meanwhile also reacted to the events in Bamenda. The Communication Secretary for the “Federal Republic of Ambazonia” in an 8-minute long speech declared a total school shutdown across the Anglophone Regions. According to Chris, shutting down the schools is the only way to guarantee security for the children. “After Kumba, after Buea, today it is Bamenda… We don’t know where next it is going to be,” he insinuated.
In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, relative calm is said to have returned to the town of Bamenda. We spoke to a denizen of the town who informed us that the late evening drama of yesterday so far seems to have subsided.
“Yesterday it was terrible. I was trapped in a hotel while the protesters raged.” He testified. At night, he said “the town was very quiet. Places were all closed and all police checkpoints were deserted… Today nevertheless is looking normal. Cars and bikes are moving with a handful of provision stores open.”