It has been going on as rumor, but as the government has been reluctant to conduct any prospection in Manyu Division, oil and gas have begun showing up in parts of Mamfe and Besongabang.
Baku, a small river in Banya quarters of Mamfe town, has begun delivering the secrets which have been hiding for centuries in Manyu’s sub-soil.
All over the town, rivers are bearing oily films and the smell of gas is all over the town of Mamfe. Samples of the oil have already been sent to SONARA for testing and if confirmed, then Manyu Division is sitting on one of Africa’s largest oil reserves.
The same signs of a massive oil deposit in Manyu have also shown up in Ossing where the BADI river is mimicking what has just been happening in Baku in Mamfe town. It is suspected that Kembong, the division’s second largest town, might be holding massive oil and gas reserves.
The populations of Banya, Besongabang Ntenako, Nchang and Ossing might have to be displaced for the oil to be drilled and if this were to happen, then the government will end up with a massive job on its hands.
The government of Cameroon has never been transparent with the management of the country’s resources and, Indian Division which accounts for most of the country’s oil deposit, is one of the most underdeveloped areas of the country, with many of the Division’s children not even going to school.
The oil deposits in Manyu Division will have to be managed differently as the fighting in the two English-speaking regions of the country is also based on the government’s poor management of natural resources in the two regions.
Manyu’s sub-soil might just be one of those blessings which might end up as a curse. The fighting that has left the government with a bloodshot eye might intensify in the days ahead if government does not come up with a clear plan on how to engage the Anglophone Diaspora and the Ambazonian fighters who are not in any mood to abandon their objective of obtaining total independence for Southern Cameroons.
The international community has already been informed about the oil deposits in Mamfe and venture capitalists are already packing their bags to find out if the oil and gas are in commercial quantities.
Manyu’s economic and financial destiny is bound to change with the discovery of these oil and gas deposits. Manyu has many oil and gas experts, and their services will be solicited to ensure the people of this region benefit from their blessing.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with correspondent reports