An atmosphere of despair ripped through Kumba II Sub-division, South West Region early Tuesday, September 18, following rumours about the abduction of Mayor, Martin Forcha Ndobegang.
Information went wild across the city that the municipal authority had been kidnapped around the Matoh Road area of his municipality on the way to the farm.
Yet it turned out to be that, it was rather the Mayor’s son and driver who fell into the dragnet of gunmen. Reports hold that the child of the Mayor and driver whose name The National Times got only as Ephesians went to the farm to fetch fire wood.
Accounts hold that in the course of their activity, gunmen surrounded the duo. They were later reportedly blind folded and taken to an unknown destination. News of the incident sent council workers and a cross section of the municipality hoping against hope for the abductees to be freed.
Around nightfall same Tuesday, Ephesians and the Mayor’s son were released from the den of the gunmen. It is one of the most brief abductions recorded across Meme Division in recent times. It is not known if any secret negotiations came into force for those abducted to be freed form captivity.
Even in the wake of the release of the victims, local radio stations had worsened the feeling across Kumba with shifts of broadcasts announcing that it was the Mayor who fell into the hands of gunmen.
The National Times learnt that the son of the Mayor was wounded. He is said to have been wounded with a machete for reportedly hiding his phone in a car which they took to the farm. Reports which we could not independently verify state that, the phone of the Mayor’s son rang inside the car to the shock of the gunmen.
The Matoh stretch of road hosting hundreds of farms for the population of Kumba II remains a deadly track within the context of the Anglophone Crisis. It is the same road which the Kumba II Council has invested FCF 10 million to make it passable, but gunmen felled trees to hinder movement of vehicles.
Evaluation of the FCFA 10 million investments on the road is yet to be done within the context of the Ppublic Investment Projects for 2018 owing to threats from gunmen.
On Sunday, August 26, Mayor Martin Forcha defied the insecurity which has pushed his peers into hiding. He presided over the end of a FCFA 1.5 million holiday competition for youths in Kumba II. Back then, he told reporters that he was a man of the people and has no reason to be afraid of his municipality.
When gunmen stormed the campus of GBHS Kosala in the heart of Kumba II on April 25 this year and murdered the Senior Discipline Master, Thomas Ashu Nkongho, the first hypothesis which the administrative authority for Meme, Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong, made to the media was that, the gunmen surfaced from Matoh.