By Njodzeka Danhatu, In Buea
Unlike before in Africa when people used to mourn when calamity befalls someone, today, things have changed.
The death of the Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, has been greeted by some Buea inhabitants with a lot of celebration.
When he was pronounced deceased by unofficial sources, some people in Buea could not believe as they thought it was a staged social media rumour.
He cannot just die like that, bemoaned a trader in Great Soppo, a locality in Buea.
Many were astonished when the state media CRTV actually confirmed that the “mighty” mayor was no more.
Media sources say the CPDM steward, died in Douala. It is said he suffered from cardiac arrest in the hotel where was lodging and was rushed to a nearby clinic where he died thereafter.
No official statement from either the medic or the government has been made to confirm what killed Mayor Ekema.
According to The Post Newspaper, the mayor had been lodging in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, since the Anglophone crisis escalated into an armed confrontation. He was alleged to be a target of separatists fighters.
Around 11 am Sunday, October 27, when it was certain that Ekema had passed on to glory, traders in Muea market leapt into a celebration.
“Many sellers bought beer to rejoice the news. Everyone was happy. So many people were dancing that he has gone” recounted a trader in the market to TWIF NEWS.
The Mayor was noted for his fight against ghost towns in his municipality: sealing and destroying of shops, arresting and intimidating people are things he was known for.
He had once been quoted as saying “I will defend this government even if it means giving my own life.”
The last time he was seen in an official occasion was Friday, October 25, donating ambulances at the Buea Regional Hospital.
He was elected Mayor in 2013 when his predecessor, Mbella Moki Charles, ascended to the status of a Senator for Fako Division.
Then, Ekema was first deputy mayor. He received President Paul Biya in 2014 during reunification festivities barely a year as Mayor.
Despite the fact that some are gloating over the demise of late Mayor Ekema, many other inhabitants are in grief, saying they have lost a true patriot.
Though he is gone, he will be remembered for his audacious fight against the ghost town, some Soppo citizens regretted.
When this reporter talked to a mother who preferred anonymity, she said: “as he died, I am afraid separatist fighters may start disturbing places. Through him, calm was in Buea already.”
“I am scared that children who had started school in Buea successfully may be scared as fighters may surface again,” she furthered.
He used to move in town with a contingent of the military. Some traders had said they were vulnerable in his hands.
His office was sealed shortly after his passing away.