The Fon of Small Babanki, HRH Sheteh Nelson is still in captivity after he was abducted by suspected separatist fighters over the weekend. His whereabouts remain unknown at the moment and no group has claimed responsibility for the act.
This however is not the only challenge the indigenes of Small Babanki are facing. Separatist fighters in the area have now threatened to harm women in the locality, accusing them of cooperating with soldiers.
This is as a result of a series of internal disputes that have gone on for several months today.
Months back, it should be recalled that some separatist fighters were sent away from the village for harming civilians. Amateur videos showed one moving away from the village with a mattress and his weapon, promising to be back.
Prior to the Fon’s abduction, the Chairman of the Village Traditional Council was abducted by separatist fighters.
According to local sources, separatist fighters in Chua, a quarter in Small Babanki, working in collaboration with the group in the neighboring village, asked the Traditional Council Chairman to hand over money collected for community development.
They said there was going to be no development until the war is over, and that the money should be used to finance them in the ongoing war against government forces.
He was abducted for refusing to hand over the money, but was released after villagers and members of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR intervened.
The fighters are said to have escaped after injuring four civilians.
Babanki Women to pay the price for peace
Following the incident, separatist fighters have since threatened to deal with the women of the village.
“If we get hold of you and find the contact of any security agent in your phone, be it the BIR, police, or Gendarme, we will show you no mercy,” a separatist fighter warned in a recording making rounds on social media.
He further threatened women, in particular, stating that they would be targeted for marching against separatist fighters last week.
“When they BIR kills, it is youths they kill not women, so the women have decided that they should kill all youths with the aid of the Babanki traditional council,” he asserted.
The separatist who identified himself as a separatist unit Communication person added that “the women of Small Babanki have all proven to be blacklegs and must be dealt with as such…”
Locals promise to fight back
Locals say they are not backing down and must ensure the particular group of separatist fighters is kicked out of the locality with the help of the military.
“We have decided that they must go. The army has even come from Ndop and joined we villagers to look for them. They heard the military was coming and have escaped towards Balikumbat but we are ready, even if it means will take their families hostage. They will never set foot in this village again” states a resident of Small Babanki.
He adds that “we have other groups in the village but they don’t hurt anyone.”