The Mayor of the Mamfe Council, Ashu Priestley Ojong has died in his native Eshobi village under Mamfe Central Sub-division, Manyu Division, Southwest Region in an unclear circumstance barely two months into office.
News Upfront gathered that the newly elected Mayor was tricked and ambushed on Sunday May 10, 2020, by gunmen who were reportedly laying down their arms and willing to be absorbed into the government controlled Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) centre.
According to the Divisional Officer for Mamfe Central, Mr Ojong had received a telephone call on Sunday morning informing him that some seven (7) separatist fighters have dropped their weapons.
Other sources revealed to News Upfront that the youngest Mayor in Cameroon, 35, was ambuscaded while on humanitarian mission to distribute anti-Covid-19 kits to his populace.
Meanwhile, 3 soldiers of the 6th Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) in Mamfe, who serve as Mayor’s guards survived the attack after sustaining severe injuries during the firing exchanged at Berore quarter, some 8km away from Mamfe town.
A tertiary source suggested the elected official of the ruling CPDM party, was on his way to honour an invitation from the Eshiobi community to accept the honorary traditional title of Seseku from the Ekpe group before being waylaid.
Mayor Ojong’s last official outing was on Saturday May 9, 2020 for the Manyu Economic and Development Conference (MEDWIC). This gathering of the Sons and Daughters of Manyu Division was geared towards donations of kits to fight the Coronavirus in Manyu.
The separatist group responsible for the attack had threatened to kill Mayors and Members of Parliament in the two English-speaking regions, who took part in last Feb 9 twin elections, considering them as “traitors” and “enablers.”
In March, half a dozen councillors from Oku, Bui Division in the North West Region, were ambushed by separatist fighters while another local elected official of th Nwa Council in Ndonga-Mantung Division was also killed.
About a forthright ago, state forces successfully rescued the newly elected Mayor of Mbengwi, Momo Division, who had spent weeks in captivity of the ‘Amba’ boys.
The upsurge of violence in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions follows an announcement by the government to begin a plan to reconstruct these regions ravaged by over three years of fighting
By Macwalter Njapteh