The collapse of the Mányai Bridge in the early hours of October the 21st 2016 on the Douala-Yaoundé highway and the decision by transport minister, Edgar Alain Mebo Ngo’o requesting the Cameroon Railway Company, Camrail to add 8 more wagons on the Intercity service 152 that eventually caused the crash at Eseka is slowly but surely developing another twist.
After his first auditioning by the commission appointed by the head of state, some pro-Mebo Ngo’o media houses are now insinuating that the Friday, October 21 disaster may have been carried out by an unknown criminal gang operating inside the country. The media houses including our national daily, Cameroon Tribune have called for a criminal investigation of the accident and strict government control of the social media.
In some of the reports published by the pro Minister Mebo Ngo’o media houses, the reporters claimed that prior to the Eseka train incident; Cameroonians shared pictures of a train derailment that had occurred several years ago. These images they noted were reportedly accompanied by comments such as “Breaking News” announcing an accident on the Cameroonian railway.
Painting Minister Edgar Alain Mebo Ngo’o as a dedicated and hard working CPDM member of government, the reports revealed that the controversial minister did the right thing to have debunked via the airwaves of the state radio and television news of any train accident in the country. The Mebo Ngo’o media houses now say the real derailment announced to Cameroonians moments after the denial of the Transport Minister indicates that there was a diabolic harsh ploy behind the train crash.
A state prosecutor from the Mfoundi High Court in Yaoundé has been speaking of a criminal link to the tragedy and was quoted as saying “Social networks announced the train accident in the early morning. And the accident occurred later. We cannot rule out the possibility of a calculated attack.” The ranting ranges from plain fiction to the most absurd as attempts are also being made to invoke a recent Musango Bus accident to the Eseka Good Friday disaster.
It is now abundantly clear that an in-house operation is underway to undermine the Prime Minister Philemon Yang Commission. What the Mebo Ngo’o pressmen are not saying is that it was supposed to have been Camrail to counter news of any train derailment not a minister of transport. This explained why the almighty transport minister fired the first salvo at Camrail immediately after he had confirmation that indeed the Intercity service 152 had crashed. Mebo Ngo’o failed to read from the same script with the management of Camrail because of his bullying attitude. He should go and go now!!
48 hours after the blame game started over the incident, officials of Bolloré said the train was traveling at an “abnormally high speed.” Cameroon Intelligence Report understands the inter city has not resumed service ever since the crash. However, Yang Philemon and his commission should bear in mind that this was not the first instance that Camrail had to manage peak situations and also that the transport ministry is badly in need of a decent man or woman to clear the mess and confused state of identity that the government department now finds itself in. Mebo Ngo’o should go and please go now!!
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai