Christians of Saint Jude Parish Mile 16 in Buea Diocese, Southwest Region were, Sunday October 8, stunned when troops, armed to the teeth, raided the church and arrested over 200 Christians.
The troops stormed the church while the Christians were at the highest point of worship.
Despite the plea of the Parish Priest of the Church, Fr. Tobias Bekong, for the men in uniform to respect the sanctity of the church and move out, the troops were unfazed.
Talking to this reporter after the arrest, the Parish Priest said it took God’s intervention for him to rescue some youths from the hands of the uniform officers.
According to reports, the police began raiding houses in Mile 16 at about 4:00am that Sunday morning, arresting both young and old.
Those who were caught on their way to church for the first Mass were bundled into the police trucks and ferried into detentions.
It was in a bid to arrest some young men who were on their way to keep the Sabbath day holy that led the troops into the church premises.
Since the escalation of the Anglophone Crisis, police raids on Mile 16 have become a frequent phenomenon.
The peaceful demonstrations on September 22 and the twist of eventson October 1 have made matters worse.
After the September 22 peaceful demonstrations in the major towns of the former West Cameroon, most young people have deserted Mile 16 to other neighbourhoods, towns and even Regions.
The few who have mustered the gumption spend the day at home and sleep in their farms for fear of police raids.
Before the Sunday’s “kale-kale” at Saint Jude Parish Mile 16, denizens ofMuea still in Buea Sub Division were forcefully woken from their beds by the forces of law and order.
In the midst of the confusion, hundreds were arrested and taken into custody, while traders who dare to go to the market were beaten and some of their wares confiscated.
The troops said they were acting from a tipoff that the people were mobilising to pay tributes to the hundreds slain on October 1.
Prophet Divine Okafor Manhandled
Meanwhile, reports went viral over the weekend that the troops brutalised Prophet Divine C Okafor, Founder of Transformers Ministries.
According to an eye witness account,one of aides of the man of God was arrested by the troops and the Prophet was called in to bail him out.
Asthe Man of God came in to rescue his aide who was already badly battered by the troops, he was also arrested and beaten mercilessly.
The troops even made a mockery of him by giving a whip to his worker to flog him questioning mockingly that “Man of God c'est quoi”.
Police Extortion Surges In SW
Meanwhile, the troops who were drafted into the Southwest Region to ‘maintain peace and order’in the wake of the upheavals have transformed their peace mission into a money making venture.
Neighbourhoods are raided at dusk, people arrested even on their beds and at dawn theyare asked to pay huge sums of money, ranging from FCFA 250.000 to FCFA 300.000 as bail.
The population of the Southwest Regional capital now leave in dread and the administrators have remained mute to such extortions.
Tongues are already wagging that some top notches in Government are certainly feeding fat from such brutality, while the people continue to wallow not only in penury, but their freedom even that of worship has been seized from them.
Before October 1, a police officer who spoke to The Post said Buea has been heavily militarised to safeguard the population and their property.
Going by him, the troops were not out to hurt the people, but to protect them from fanatics.
But today the population is experiencing the reverse. All detention facilities in the Region are full to the brim and they have resorted to using the hall of a private hotel, while haphazard arrests are carried out on daily basisyet, the men in uniform are breaking into houses and carting away valuables after arresting their owners.