Monday, July 28, 2014

Kolofata Attack by Boko Haram: Unpaid Ransom is Prime Suspect

The recent attack by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northern Region has left Cameroonians wondering whether last Sunday’s incident was not a “matter of unpaid ransom and or failed promises”, writes Oumarou Moktar. The question unpaid balance as agreed with Boko Haram before the release of the Fournier family has become a major debate on the social media as too many unanswered questions continue to loom. Yet allegations abound that the Vice Prime Minister’s wife has been released after the bloody confrontation of yesterday. Notwithstanding, the piece of information has not been confirmed. Tweets on the social media say she was released but others say the information is faulty. Worthy to recall that following the abduction of French citizens by Boko Haram it is alleged that the later did not fulfill his financial engagements.
On Sunday, July 27 at about 4 am, the insurgents targeted the residence of the Vice Prime Minister and that of the Mayor who doubles as the Lamido of the area. It is aired that from the early morning to about 9 am, the city of Kolofata was besieged by insurgents. Yet, the reinforcement from Mora, where there is a military base and that of the Battalion of the Rapid Intervention-BIR was belated.
By the time the reinforcement came, Kolofata was ready counting its deaths. At the Vice Prime Minister’s residence, it is alleged two bodyguards, a driver, cooks, gardeners, nephews, nieces et cetera were shot to death. The insurgents who were conscious that the Vice Prime Mnister was at home to spend the feast of Ramadan became furious shooting almost everyone around.
When the observed that the Vice PM couldn’t be reached, they took for prisoner his wife, her sister and two other family relatives. On the side of the Mayor, the kidnapped the mayor-Lamido (Abba Seini), his wife, four of his children. It is alleged that at the Vice PM’s residence, about 40 people where present but only three of them were untouched. Of these three is the son of Amadou Ali, a student in Europe who travelled back to commune with his family. At the Lamido residence, one of his son and his nephew were not touched. Huge damages are also reported as it is alleged that the residence was set ablaze. Moreso, the insurgents carted away with three luxury cars. Public opinion on the social media is however critical about the issue. A school of thought holds that if the kidnappers of the wife of the Vice Prime Minister came to collect the balance of a previous ransom that was outstanding, then ransom payments to Boko Haram have finally opened a road for Cameroon to hell.
It should be recalled that last May 26, 2014 while addressing militants of the Social Democratic Front-SDF in Ndu and Nkambe, Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi wondered how money paid to Boko Haram in exchange for abducted French national found self in the hands of some government officials. Ni John Fru also revealed that only 10% of the money was paid out by the negotiators. He went further to explain that the “lazered” banknotes were tracked by French satellite inside the Presidency of the Republic. However, Cameroonians have expressed disgust over the recent attack at Kolofata. Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary speaking on state television was categorical on the fact that Cameroon will win the war against Boko Haram insurgents. He urged all Cameroonians who could lay hands on any information in that respect to work in collaboration with the forces of law and order. He said President Biya is determined to protect everyone in Cameroon soil as well as their property. 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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