Yaounde-Mbankolo Disaster: Minister Gregoire Owona is to blame 0

The Yaoundé floods disaster which has already killed more than 20 people and rendered hundreds of Cameroonians homeless is clearly being blamed on Gregoire Owona, a government minister in the Biya regime who has a massive illegal fish pond in the neighborhood.

On the fateful night of the accident, heavy rains in Yaoundé breached the holding walls of Mr. Owona’s fish pond, sending very strong water currents down the houses of hundreds of residents who were already asleep.

Entire families have been killed in the accident, with one man losing up to eight children.

Many survivors are holding the minister responsible for their pain and suffering, but government officials are avoiding the discussion, hoping that the country’s ailing and old president, Paul Biya, will order an investigation.

A woman who lost two of her family members was heard saying in a video shot by a resident of the neighborhood that Owona should be held responsible, adding that Mr. Owona who was running an illegal fish farm has been deceiving locals with rice and beer to ensure they never report his illegal fish farming activities to the officials.

We must call a spade a spade. This disaster must not be covered up. The minister is to blame for our pain. We are used to hiding the truth in this country but we are not going to hide the truth surrounding this unfortunate situation. The old man must be held accountable,” the angry Yaoundé resident said.

More videos are emerging and residents of the city (shitty) are speaking up and they are calling on the head of state to order an in-depth investigation.

The survivors are also calling for compensation, especially as the government of Cameroon is not in the habit of compensating victims of any disaster.

The Cameroon Concord News Yaoundé correspondent, Rita Akana, has visited the disaster site and she reports that the residents of the area are bitter and they want justice.

Though many are scared of their security given that the disaster has been caused by a government minister, they are however complaining that the minister’s fish farm was illegal and that he should be interrogated about his illegal business.

Many are calling for severe sanctions, but so far, the government is maintaining a kind of deliberate silence and no investigation has been ordered.

This country has become a living hell for many Cameroonians. This is the only country in the world where senior government officials who are supposed to be our role models get away with their crimes,” a gentleman who lost the sister to the Gregoire Owona-made disaster said.

We have not yet received any assistance from the government though a few cabinet ministers have stopped by to see the disaster site. Atanga Nji, the country’s territorial administration minister, was here but he was more interested in projecting the fact that the president had sent mattresses to the victims, but I have not yet seen a mattress,” he said angrily.

The president’s gift if he actually gifted us those mattresses is unfortunately inappropriate. Most of us are homeless and we are in the middle of a rainy season. If we will ever get the mattresses, where will we use them? We are spending the nights in the open and more rains are in the forecast. The most appropriate thing will be for the government to house all those whose houses have been destroyed. This is however not going to happen because the Cameroon government is not in the business of taking care of its citizens who are facing tough times,” the angry gentleman told Rita Akana.

We are helpless and we are calling on anybody who can reach out to us to do so. We are really desperate. We need help. Gregoire Owona’s fish farm has ruined our lives. We have lost many people while he is still enjoying his life. This greed, which has become our country’s hallmark, must stop,” he added.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai