By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi in Buea
The Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, the Governor of the South West region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, the National President of the Cameroon Athletics Federation, Motombi Mbome Emmanuel, the Mayor of Buea, Bar. David Mafani Namange and other officials have paid a visit to some 20 persons (mostly spectators) who were injured as a result of three Improvised Explosive Devices( IED) which were detonated in the Buea during the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope last Saturday, February 25, 2023.
Offering President Paul Biya’s message of solitude and comfort to the injured persons, Prof Narcisse Mouelle Kombi wished the victims a quick recovery and assured them of government’s full support to see into it that they are well taken care of. He promised to see into it that special attention is given to the more serious cases who were already receiving intensive health care.
The Governor of the South West region, Bernard Okalia Bilai talking to the press commended the inhabitants of Buea for their vigilance. He also applauded the defense and security forces for their professionalism and swift intervention in remedying the situation. “In the course of the race, we registered three explosions which were hidden in the garbage. The explosions nonetheless did not disturb the race. At least 17 spectators were wounded though not heavy injuries. Everything as at now is under control and their conditions are stable. The population of Buea continues to say no to violence and no to disorder”
Talking to the Director of the Buea Regional hospital, Dr. Martin Mokake, he narrated that “We have done the operations on the three very serious cases already. They are stable and are in the intensive care unit. We have received the youngest being 1 year 6 months. There were three children among the injured persons and two athletes”.
The President of the Cameroon Athletics Federation, Emmanuel Motombi Mbome could be heard assuring the victims that they will be strong and kicking in less than no distant time. He assured them of his full support until they recover their health.
The three blasts; one at Bonduma Gate, the other at the Biaka Junction and the third around the Great Soppo market, could be heard at the early hours of Saturday morning as the athletes kicked off for the race of hope. Most of the injured persons were onlookers and others were athletes. Wounds were sustained on the legs, faces and chests.
It is important to note that despite the incident which took place on the said Saturday, the race still went on unperturbed as security was put in place to protect the population and ensure a hitch free celebration of the race and no death cases were recorded.