It was a day in which mayor Ekema Patrick, the defiant and firebrand Buea council mayor had invested almost all his political capital as he seemed to have defiled logic and political realities to galvanize supporters and sympathizers for what they termed a “unity march”
The controversial mayor and landlord of Buea municipality is certainly no stranger to controversy and has been on the better half of negative publicity from detractors and separatist’s for almost two years now following his unpopular stance as far as the Anglophone crisis is concerned.
The mayor is not a very popular political figure even in his own town. Abandoned by his fellow elites and suspicious to his own people, the country’s most famous mayor considers public opinion a political deja vus and works tirelessly to advance his own agander.
Recent events of the past has proven that his town despite rich in history and pregnant with political significance is not immune to attack and separatist forces have staged daring and bold attacks lately to remind the inhabitants of the town that its borders is within their reach.
Following the kidnapping of seven Fako-based chiefs by separatist forces, many had taken to social media and other news platform to slam the move including the mayor for kidnappings of custodian of tradition.
The kidnappings has generated a huge political debate and generated unwanted tribal sentiments, spreading fears of xenophobic attacks against indigenes from North West and other regions residents in the South West region especially in Fako
When the video of one of the chiefs who died in custody went viral receiving condemnation all round, the political divide, the political Maradona said he has had enough.
He took the rare and unprecedented step to summoned members of his indigenous Bakweri clan in is imposing council building to rollout his plans.
The man seen as enemy to secessionist condemned the kidnappings, called the people to join him on August 31st for a unity march.
The march pass was itself controversial considering the frail security situation of the town and the imposing threats by secessionists. Many had said it won’t old and called the move a political stunt for his Yaoundé audience
In a communiqué obtained by TeboPost, the mayor said the march pass was to decry the kidnappings of chiefs, call for unity in the country and say no to the planned All Anglophone Conference called by revered Catholic Arch Bishop Emeritus Christian cardinal Tumi and other clerics to solve the two years old Anglophone crisis.
Immediately after the news was released, separatists and activists took to their favorite platform-social media to wage an information war to counter the move, warning of dire consequences for anyone who showed up during the March pass and declaring the day another ghost town.
The massive propaganda and information warfare launched by the separatists and their backers failed substantially, as the undeterred mayor fought back, issued counter announcements of his own in a 24 hour information war which swamp the mobile devises of Anglophones as the stage was set.
Mayor Ekema as expected easily sail through the complex legal requirements and bottlenecks required by organizers of public protests especially these days and obtained a permit from appropriate quarters, dribbled his opponents and changed the itinerary of the march pass from Bongo Square to governor’s office rather than Bongo square to Mile 17 as was previously announced, narrowing the route and most importantly minimizing the risk and potential casualties.
While the march pass did not begin at the time it was announced, the combative mayor was present on time with his black tracksuit as he brave the unfriendly morning weather to wait the other supporters
The march pass started at about two hours late and even though the turnout was not impressive as less than 100 persons showed up, it was indeed a massive win for the man many say is the face of the anti-struggle.