The question as to who issues authorization for mining projects is on every lip in the North West Region of Cameroon. The story goes that, the Tumasang brothers, whose names we got as Edwin Che and Cletus Akuma have been buried in Santa after a mysterious gold mine collapsed last Thursday July 2. It is alleged that one of the brothers, Edwin Che (a self-proclaimed prophet) said he received a divine revelation to the effect that there was gold in his father’s farm land. He then invited his brother, Cletus Akuma, from Limbe to join him in the mining project.
With the help of some youths, Che and the brother engaged in digging a portion of their father’s farm land at Njonng. When Che imagined that the hired gold diggers were getting close to the core of the gold, he (Che) paid off and chose to continue the digging with his brother. It is aired that when they descended into the supposed goldmine, it collapsed. The Bamenda army rescue unit rushed to the scene to recuperate the corpses but was unable. However, Nguele Nguele Felix, Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam hired a bulldozer to dig to the bottom of the ‘mine’ to retrieve the corpses. Prophet Edwin’s wife, who also goes by the title of Prophetess Tumazang, said her husband had confided in her they were going to build their house with gold extracted from the mine revealed to him in the father’s farm. “Since it was a divine message, I could not disobey by stopping my husband,” she said. The Director of MIDENO, John B. Ndeh, Njong-Santa elite who visited the scene, said landslides are common everywhere and the incident that happened at Njong-Santa was not very different. He observed, however, that; “If these men had succeeded to get the gold, it would have changed the lives of Santa people.”Addressing the press after the incident last Friday, the SDO for Mezam disclosed that Prophet Edwin had actually obtained an exploration authorization from the Mezam Divisional Delegation of Mines, Industries and Technological Development for the experiment. He, however, pointed out that the authorisation given them only allowed them the right to search and not to dig.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)