By Basil K Mbuye
Heavy gunshots vibrated the air at the Malingo neighbourhood in Buea, around 10.00pm on Friday, January 31, resulting in the death of two persons while wounding others.
The gunshots were heard coming from within a few metres behind the Government Primary School Malingo, after Government forces stormed a hideout of some young men alleged to be consuming illegal drugs. Going by those in the neighbourhood, youths usually meet in an uncompleted building where they consume drugs like Marijuana, Tie, Tramadol among others.
They are said to have been chased by the forces of law and order on many occasions, who sometimes apprehend the boys. But inhabitants say they usually get released later on after negotiating with the Police.
However, on January 31, it seems the mission was to kill the drug addicts and not to apprehend them as it has always been in the past. When these men visited the site, heavy gunshots were heard, putting many Buea inhabitants under tension.
Going by reports, the alleged drug addicts were six in number that night when elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR, clamped on them. The BIR elements fired at the six alleged drug addicts, killing one on the spot, while one other had his manhood destroyed and later died on his way to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the others are said to have escaped with bullet wounds.
One of the killed boys, Agogo, is said to have been a resident of the Checkpoint neighbourhood in Molyko.
It was only in the early hours of Saturday that this reporter visited the scene of the incident and saw a corpse lying there. It shows the victim was shot multiple times.
The incident that night reminds the Buea population of what they have witnessed in the past. It has been months without gunshots being heard at the Molyko vicinity and with life returning to normalcy, the incident brought back fear.
Some residents immediately took to social media announcing the gravity of the gunshots with phrases like “Shooting has returned to Buea”, ‘heavy gunshots the whole of Molyko’.
Some people observed that the incident could have caused many to leave the town because of fear, coupled with separatists’ threats to disrupt upcoming Municipal and Legislative elections.
Incidents of government forces attacking locations where youths are said to meet and consume illegal drugs have been recorded on many occasions in Buea. It brings to mind the Bakweri Town killings, the Buea Town killings among others, where youths were killed by Government forces.