Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cameroon:Chief whose palace was burnt down abandons village as his life is threatened.

Suspected arsonists not yet arrested  
 By Christopher Ambe  
Nhuan Boniface Nhwuasoh Abia II, Traditional Chief of Babensi 1 (village) in Nguti subdivision of the Southwest Region, whose palace valued at over 30 million Fcfa was burnt to ashes by a gang of villagers, has been living in fear and out of his own village for over eight months now.  
Chief Abia,who himself was almost lynched for trying to dissuade a mob from   lynching  one Esaka Daniel accused of belonging to a cult and  killing a villager ,had since lodged a complaint with the police  with names of the alleged arsonists but up to now none  of them has reportedly been arrested for prosecution. The chief says he continues to receive death threats even as he is impatiently awaiting justice to take its course. 

 Chief Abia who now takes refuge in Buea, told The Recorder on January 11, 2014 that “since the burning of my palace there have been continuous threats on my life. I have not been to the village since then because I don’t feel safe going there”

    As chief, Nhwuasoh Abia is an auxiliary of the Cameroon Administration. But both the SDO of Kupe Muanenguba and the Divisional Officer for Nguti  subdivision have reportedly not officially reacted to  the third class chief’s plight.Similarly,the prosecution of the suspected arsonists and those who almost lynched the chief is yet to start.
    The story goes that during a funeral of one soldier in Babensi 1,on April 22,2013, the soldier’s relative publicly accused one Esaka Daniel of killing him through witchcraft. Shocked by the revelation, a gang of village mourners immediately rushed for Esaka who also attended the funeral and started beating him mercilessly to force him confess.
    For fear that the mob could kill Mr. Esaka,Chief Abia immediately stepped in and  was trying to discourage mob justice.
    But some irate villagers instead fell on him and got him well beaten and accused him of being a killer-occultist. It was thanks to the efforts of some villagers that Chief Abia was rescued from his attackers and taken back to his palace.
   Suspecting  that Chief Abia who already sustained injuries could be further attacked, Chief Eseme of a neighboring village (Kokobuma) came and took Chief Abia to the former’s palace where he was administered First Aid, ahead of a planned medical check elsewhere.
   The Recorder learned that the gang that had beaten Chief Abia later stormed his Babensi 1 palace, apparently believing that he was in so that they could continue their assault on him. But unfortunately  for them Chief Abia was not there.
 Angered by his absence, the gang ordered Chief Abia’s relations who were in the palace to come out from it, or be burnt alive with the palace.  And when the threatened relatives ran out for safety, the gang set ablaze the over 30 million Fcfa palace with all its valuables.
    Meanwhile Mr. Esaka Daniel, who was badly beaten and injured, was only rescued by some military men who had accompanied the corpse of their colleague for the burial.Mr. Esaka was then rushed to Limbe Reference Hospital for serious medical attention.
Chief Abia, who is a retired Senior Inspector of Treasury, is at a loss to understand why such misfortune happened to him, when he has been generous to his subjects and very instrumental in the development of Babensi 1, a village with a population over 1500 inhabitants, along the Kumba-Mamfe road.
     He denied belonging to any occult society and hoped that his complaint to the police would land him and his accusers/attackers in the court of law for justice to take it course.
    Chief Abia, who was enthroned in May 2009, said he had no opposition to his throne. But he suspected that some influential person somewhere must be the mastermind of the assault and arson, for reasons still unknown to him.

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