The Post Newspaper is reporting that Traditional rulers of Western Bakossi representing over 14 communities in Kupe-Muanenguba Division, Southwest Region, have halted work on the Kumba-Mamfe road under construction by chaining caterpillars and trucks using a traditional means known to their tribe and tradition. The action the Post wrote was staged on September 27, in protest over multiple deaths recorded on bad roads and what they termed increasing Chinese mockery.
The China Communication Construction Company envoy dispatched to negotiate with the Chiefs failed to arrest the impasse. The Chiefs dared anyone who has control over the land to step onto either a caterpillar or truck to advance work on the road. The chiefs maintained that until their roads are repaired; the gods appeased, nothing will be done to reverse their stance- writes the Post.
The Chiefs are complaining that Chinese excavate gravel and other road construction material, invading rural roads thereby causing road accidents. Chief Alphonse Akwelle Ebong said they wrote to the Chinese, administrative officials and other competent stakeholders, reporting the development but there was no feedback as such they decided to take this hard path by halting work..
The Chiefs declared that the tradition can only be removed the day they are ready to negotiate. There is no way they can work with those traditional herbs on them. Most of the Chiefs complain that “They made a dead trap for us to die on that bad road. Three vehicles have fallen there, we went to the administration and the Chinese delegation; no response. We came to declare, ourselves that before they carry on any work, let them give back our roads. We have already held some trucks there “.
The Chiefs continues ” If they work without our permission, there will be something following anybody who enters the truck. The day they will want to start work, let them come and negotiate with us. We have already lost two people and we are not ready to continue losing…”
“Our main worry is the manner the Chinese company working on the Kumba-Mamfe road is carrying out the excavation. The point where the excavation is done is about 150 meters from the Konye Market towards Bakolle Village on the Konye-Nyandong highway.
They have dug the ground very deep, a few meters from the road, thereby, putting in jeopardy the lives of road users.”
Culled from the Post Newspaper.