By Bizel-Bi Mafor
Gunmen suspected to be English speaking separatist fighters kidnapped at least six divisional delegates in the Oil-rich Ndian division in Cameroon’s Southwestern region on Tuesday, June 15, according to an authority.
The Senior Divisional Officer for Ndian, Forwang Lawrence, told journalists those abducted were the divisional delegates of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development – MINEPAT, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development ‘ MINDHU, Ministry of Water and Energy Resources – MINEE, Ministry of of State Property, Land Tenure and Surveys – MINCAF, and the Ministry of Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises Social Economy and Handicraft – MINPMESSA.
The SDO also revealed that the Divisional Chief of Taxes for Ndian division is among those in kidnapped by persons he referred to as “secessionist terrorists”.
News of the kidnap has stirred panic and fear in Ndian division. A division that has enjoyed relative calm amid the five-year-long armed conflict in the North West and South West regions.
Families are waiting anxiously for news of their abducted relatives.
The delegates were reportedly kidnapped during a visit to Misore-Balue to mark out and plant pillars on land meant for the electricity supply company, Energy of Cameroon, ENEO, in Ekondo Titi subdivision.
SDO Forwang said he is in communication with the kidnapped delegates. The delegates have been held in two camps and their kidnappers are demanding a ransom of 28million and 32million FCFA from both camps before victims are released.
Some family members of the abducted have accused the government for failing to protect its workers in the crisis hit zone.
Tuesday’s attack has reportedly been linked to a suspended road construction project on the Kumba-Ekondo Titi road.
The government of Cameroon employed the Tunisian road construction company, SOUROUBAT, to build the road but separatist fighters attacked company workers, bringing the project to a halt.