Over the past few days, a number of people have been killed, property looted and houses set ablaze in Nwa subdivision, Donga Mantung division of Cameroon’s North West region.
Many have termed the incident a massacre in progress, pointing to government’s provocative silence.
With several deaths recorded and property lost, they say government silence is adding salt to injury, coupled with the already brutal Anglophone crisis that has lasted over four years today.
Locals of the land however say the recent violence and oppression from the Fulanis living in the area, was well mapped out and is simply being executed at the moment.
Talking to Mimi Mefo Info, a local authority in the land says at the early stage of the Anglophone crisis, government had used the Fulanis to combat the then rapidly-spreading separatist ideologies and militias.
“The government officials in Nwa with one rich Fulani called Bashiru who is from Rom Village living in Yaounde and is connected to the Presidency of the Republic, decided to use the Fulanis as a shield” he says.
He explains that “… they armed the Fulanis a few years back when the Anglophone crisis erupted, at the same time they were disarming the natives/locals for fear of supporting the separatist fighters”.
The strategy proved effective at first, as the separatist movement and activities in the locality began to witness a considerable decline.
Till date, Donga Mantung division remains one of the most relatively peaceful areas in the conflict-hit zones, in terms of the low numbers of separatist fighters and impact of their activities.
The move however left locals in what is turning out to be a bigger challenge – Fulani extremism.
“More of the Fulanis,” the local authority says, “were imported from Nigeria”.
He says “due to a long-standing farmer-grazier conflict in the Nwa Sub Division, they have maintained full gear atrocities of all kinds like killing armless women, men, and children, and stealing the natives’ cattles”.
“As if that was not enough, they are furthermore destroying farmers’ crops with no impunity as if there was no administration because they share proceeds together. Their aim is that they want to take over cropping land and turning into completely grazing land as they have seized the opportunity from the ongoing conflict and they are supported by government officials in Nwa” he adds.
Government officials in the subdivision have also been caused of supporting the frankenstein monster, given the role they played in its creation as well as the proceeds thy stand to gain from its mess.
“Anything you try to say against them” says the local authority, “will make them accuse you of supporting separatist fighters. That is the kind of life the Nwa people have been living for over three to four years now where many innocent people are being killed on a daily basis”.
“The population in Nwa has been under terror from these Fulanis for long as they move around with guns, Swords, knives, and bows and arrows and nobody stops them”.
Days back, a lady estimated to be in her latest 80s was stabbed to death in her home by a man suspected to be a Fulanis extremist. The assailant also left her daughter wounded before escaping, dropping a bag of harmful objects.
Barely hours later, locals of some communities in the division were chased out their homes and the buildings set ablaze by Fulanis extremists, leaving them in dire need and fear for their lives.
Despite all the terrible happenings, administrative officials in the sub division and Donga Mantung division have maintained sealed lips, leaving locals pondering over why they are like sheep being marched to a slaughter house.
Speaking to reporters after the latest incident, the mayor of the area admitted there were violent attacks, but claimed the details were too blurry.
Awuro Joseph, the Divisional Officer for Nwa on his part said they were still working on gathering information but have since failed to act or at least send in the forces of law and order to restore sanity.
“I’m still trying to verify. You know the communication is very difficult here,” he said, a response which is yet to materialise.
Till date, the DO, the Commissioner of police, the BIR and Brigade commanders and even lawmakers from the division have turned a blind eye to the suffering population as of to say they are condemned.
The response of officials as well as their lukewarm attitudes have left many wondering about their apparent delight in seeing innocent blood spilled. Such attacks though rampant in Nwa it should be noted, are not peculiar to the subdivision.
Several other villages have witnessed similar attacks over the past weeks, to which authorities have often turned a blind eye.
Does government need another Ngarbuh-type massacre to wake up from its pretentious slumber?