In a communiqué dated July 14, 2019, the Senior Administrative Officer informed all commercial bike riders that in accordance with the Kumba Bike Riders Association’s decision to stop ghost town in Kumba, five litres of fuel will be available to any bike rider who circulates on Monday, July 15, 2019.
“…including 3,000 FCFA from the state to assist in the burial of their colleague late Itoe Junior Itoe. The administrative gesture will be available at the SDO’s office as from 9:00am prompt.”
Saturday, July13, 2019, hundreds of bike riders flooded the streets of Kumba and vowed to end months of ghost town that came at the wake of the socio-political crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions. They were received by Verkline Epolewane, Divisional Officer of Kumba III who listened to their worries and promised to channel same to hierarchy.
The DO said the bike riders own the town of Kumba and it is good a thing they have taken their city into their hands. She said the government will take care of the mortuary bills of their deceased colleague as well as facilitate the cost of the burial.
With peace plants in hand and chants of “no more ghost town and yes to school resumption”, the bikers said the pro-independence fighters have meted out so much pain on their colleagues, reason why they will no longer be swayed by the dictates of the armed men. Amba Boys are accused of killing a Kumba-based commercial bike rider, taking away his bike.
Itoe Junior Itoe was shot and killed on the night of Friday at New Layout Fiango, Kumba by gunmen believed to be loyal to the Ambazonia fight for independence. He was killed allegedly because he refused to surrender his bike to the armed men.
“He had suffered four times in the hands of the armed men. First bike taken, second bike taken and ransom paid. Third bike taken through a friend and he paid a ransom and was still beaten severely. Now he decided to resist and they killed him. A small 19-year-old boy, what did he do to the gunmen? His innocent pregnant window is left behind,” a local bemoaned.
Other bike riders preserved the remains of the deceased Itoe Junior Itoe, fuming that their colleague will be buried on Monday, as the beginning of the end of the respect of ghost town calls in Kumba.
“We have been so cooperative and respectful of the laws of the Amba fighters yet they are still inflicting sufferings on us. We have decided to put an end to the traditional phenomenon of ghost town and ensure the effective resumption of schools in the town of Kumba. We are the ones who allowed the boys to grow horns. But today, we say enough is enough,” one of the bike riders quipped.
Another said his sister who is a mother of twins recently lost her husband to the struggle. “We have suffered enough. We want an end to this struggle. We have put an end to ghost town. We want the security forces to know that we are with them and they should be with us,” another bike rider said, urging his peers to always be in possession of their national identity cards.