Shocking: Soldier tortures bike rider to death over non-payment of 500frs bribe in Bamenda

On yet another gruesome instance of military excesses in the two Anglophone regions, a bike rider got brutally beaten to death in public on Sunday morning for failing to pay the customary 500frs road settlement which they normally do every Wednesdays and Saturdays at Below-Foncha in Bamenda.

One of the witnesses to the incident revealed that the issue started a day before the incident.

“It all started on a Saturday evening at about 9:35pm when the military had barricaded the road and were collecting their usual 500frs ‘settlement’ as they call it, from the bike riders at Below-Foncha. So they collected and when they got to Yaniko (as he was popularly called by his fellow riders) he did not have the money (500Frs) to give them” he explained.

“So the military officer who was interrogating him demanded for his national Identity card so he could hold on to while he brought the money the following day Sunday” the witnessed revealed

“Unfortunately for the bike man, his bike had some complications so he took it to the garage where it was kept. So he still couldn’t get the 500frs. The next day he came to the checkpoint where his I.D card had been seized and he demanded the military officer who had seized his I.D card to return it to him, promising to pay the money in due time since he was a usual bike rider of the area and was not going to run away because of 500frs” he said.

The witness also revealed that things got heated as he requested for his ID card.

“He was still there requesting for his ID card while the military officer now asked him to give a sum of 5000Frs to get back his card. Suddenly while he was still standing and requesting for his ID card, and could not provide the money demanded by the military official, the military man pounced on him and started beating him up mercilessly. He hit the biker on the head with his gun, causing the victim to fall unconscious. Some frightened onlookers tried to tell him the man was dying but the military man was defiant, telling him he didn’t care if he died or not” he elaborated.

A second witness who equally got caught up by the activities of the military on Sunday morning equally said the same thing about the incident.

He vented out his frustration at the state of affairs in the country.

“When I was returning from church, the man lying dead was the man whom I had bypassed earlier on arguing with the military officer for his ID card to be returned, I was shocked to the core of what had happened” he narrated

“We were all sympathetic to what happened to George Floyd in the U.S but this right here is worse than the George Floyd incident” he lamented.

“We are here talking about reconstruction, is this the reconstruction that the government is campaigning for? Killing innocent citizens for 500frs, the world needs to hear this, this is absolutely shameful from the Cameroon military” he regretted. The second witness was even more frustrated at the appearance of the military official who committed the act..

“He was completely looking like a thug, with tattoos and an earring”

The military excesses in the two Anglophone regions have been frequent but this incident is gross and completely abominable.

When state officials maintain that the military do nothing but protect the citizens in the two Anglophone regions, it becomes tempting to ask if these statements are made based on what they are told or on the reality on the ground.

The head of the reconstruction plan for the NW, SW regions, Paul Tasong speaking on Equinox TV few days ago had stated that “The military has never sought to intimidate the people for them to flee to the bushes. Anyone saying that the military is terrorizing the people of the North West and the South West is simply spreading false propaganda… The Ngarbuh incident was an isolated case of military excesses…”

Observers are now questioning that “Perhaps the Pinyin incident was propaganda, perhaps Kwa-kwa incident was propaganda, perhaps the Bakweri town incident incident was a false propaganda…”

The atrocities committed by the military in the two Anglophone regions are pilling, but all the authorities say is “Our military is professional”.

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