After failing to end the bloodshed in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, the country’s president has developed a new appetite – that of sending condolences to families of schoolchildren gunned down by trained security forces.
On October 14, 2021, a gendarme officer on duty killed a little girl, 6, on her way to school. The most 888-year-old President Paul Biya could do was to call the Governor of the South West Region to transmit his condolences to the bereaved family. He would later send his de facto Vice President, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh to remind the family of their pain under the guise of extending condolences. Hon. Joseph Wirba had said the Biya regime sees anglophones as dogs; beat them and throw them a piece of bone.
On November 12, 2021, it was the case of Bamenda. A police officer chasing a FCFA 500 ($1) bribe shot and killed a little girl, 8. Public trust in the state law enforcement authorities is being undermined as they are not succeeding in fighting corruption or creating a secure environment. The police is seen by Cameroonians as the most corrupt institution in the government.
Following the incident, Biya’s henchman, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique, seen as symbols of colonialism, claimed, like did his peer in Buea last month, that the murdered little girl could have been his child.
“A young girl coming back from school was seriously wounded as a result of the gunfire incident. Investigations are going on to confirm the real reason of demise. But I want to reassure you people that the author of the gunshot, the police man has already been remanded in custody,” said Lafrique. “After the investigation, he will be seriously sanctioned if it is confirmed after the autopsy that it is his gunshot that has killed that young girl coming back from school,” he added, contradicting the country’s police chief who said police officer Fagha Alain killed the little girl.
In what maybe a new script send to them from Yaoundé, Governor Lele said: “And it brings me to think of my own daughter. It is as if I have lost today my daughter. And the Head of State himself has called me to express his deep concern after that incident asking me to extend to the bereaved family his word of condolence. He instructed me also to take necessary measures to make sure that schoolchild is given a befitting burial.”
Following the October 14 killing in Buea, Governor Okalia had said: “This child could have been your child or my child. The innocent child was going to school. I am fighting here for children to go to school. So all of us are in shock. I want to assure you that those who did it, some are already under arrest.
“Are you listening to me? Because this child could have been your child, my child, an innocent child. She was going to school. I am fighting here for children to go to school. But how is it that a child on her way to school is killed.
“So, it is a shock. Rest assured that I, the Governor, you know me, you know that I am not a cunning man. Those who did it, no matter their grade, they will pay. They will pay!”
At a time many expected the perpetrators of such acts to pay, they have gone on to kill an innocent child, same way they murdered Baby Martha in her sleep in Muyuka.
The murderous police officer, Alain Fagha must be judged in the eyes of the public if government still counts on getting any iota of credibility on the eyes of the people.
And instead of waiting to shed crocodile tears of send hypocritical condolences to bereaved families, Paul BIya should end the war and at least leave Cameroonians with something positive at the end of his life presidency.