Who says kidnapping is not a lucrative business? The release of Senator Regina Mundi has demonstrated that kidnapping is the business of some of the factions involved in the insurgency in Cameroon.
ADF, Cho Ayaba’s criminal gang, has just been made richer by a desperate Yaoundé government which has been seeking to demonstrate that it has the military muscle and that it is in control of its territory.
Regina Mundi had been kidnapped some three weeks ago and all attempts by the government to free her without losing any of its soldiers fell flat on their faces.
The armed ADF militants had demanded the release of some 80 Southern Cameroonians held in the Yaoundé Maximum Security Prison, but the government was reluctant to engage in such an arrangement.
The government instead delivered CFAF 80 million through an agent, then later went to where the ADF insurgents had told the government agent to meet the weary Mundi and staged a melodrama designed to save the government’s face.
It’s hard to believe that after a serious exchange of fire, the government soldiers did not register any casualty or lost any people.
Ms. Regina Mundi could not have come out of the lion’s den unscathed without the government engaging in a certain qui pro quod.
Money has changed hands and this might encourage other factions in the fighting to review their strategies.
A source close to the ministry of defense has informed Cameroon Intelligence Report that if the government had not paid such a huge amount, the old and frail lady would have still been in captivity.
“Those separatists are not people you joke with. Senator Mundi is happy to be out of the lion’s mouth and she has a message for the government – make peace with the insurgents or there will be no rest in Yaoundé,” the source said.
The source added that the “the senator looked healthy and from her clothing, it could be concluded that she was well-dressed and waiting for the military to come and pick her up.”
“There was no stress on her face and no fear. That clearly says that it was an arrangement between the government and the kidnappers. If the government has become a good customer in the business of kidnapping, then small kidnappers will have to step up their game to earn more,” he said.
“Nobody is free. There is money to be spent. All government officials should be ready now to head to the jungle. The boys are now more aggressive. There is money and who does not want it. The government has money to give away, but it cannot sit and dialogue with the same kidnappers. What an irony,” he concluded.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai