After last Friday’s train derailment incident at the locality of Eseka some 120km from Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde, which led to the death of over eighty Cameroonians and more than a hundred struggling to defeat death, politicians, journalists, lawyers and the entire civil society corp took the issue and admonished transport Minister, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o and the General manager of Camrail, Didier Vandenbon calling on them to resign with immediate effect.

This came in the wake of his persistent refusal that he authorized Camrail officials to increase the capacity of the train after the collapse of a bridge at Matomb that connects Yaounde and Douala on Friday October 20, .

Interview proves Minister Edgar authorized the increase

In an interview with the state broadcaster, Minister Mebe Ngo'o called on authorities of the railway company to do everything possible to increase the train’s capacity so as to be able to accommodate thousands of passengers. Leaders of opposition political parties championed by Ni John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front, SDF and Kah Walla of the Cameroon’s People Party, CPP castigated the government regime saying they care less about the well-being of the people.

AFBA Central Africa vice president speaks out

Former UN legal adviser who doubles as Vice President for Central Africa on the African Bar Association, AFBA, and president of Fako Lawyers Association, Agbor Felix Nkongho in an interview granted to this reporter, called on the Minister of transport to resign with immediate effect as investigations continue.

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His words “… if we were in a civilized country, immediately the incident occurred, the Minister of transport and the GM of Camrail would have resigned…because I followed him in the press when he said he had instructed that measures be put in place to ensure that Camrail be able to transport extra passengers. But he never bothered to check if the train was efficient enough to carry the extra load, and after a tragic incident happens he is refusing to take the blame. So personally I urge him to resign before a commission on inquiry gets on the field.” 

Journalists wade in

To Kum Leonard, Editor in-chief at HITV, Cameroon and South West President of the Cameroon Journalist Trade Union, SNJC, resigning from their functions is an honorable thing to do. While agreeing with Barrister Agbor Balla that the Minister and Camrail General Manager should step down from office, he added that the Minister of Public Works too should quit office. saying, “if the bridge did not collapse, there wouldn't have been all that pressure on the railway transport network.

And all this is because the Public works Minister failed to do his job. Because following an interview granted by the Divisional Delegate of Matomb, he said it was evident that the road was going to collapse and he had earlier informed the ministry about it.” 

With respect to the Minister of Transport who just clocked one year in office Kum Leonard opined that “…it shows that he does not understand nor master the state of the railway sector in Cameroon because if he had a good knowledge on the railway network, he wouldn’t have authorized Camrail to take extra means to satisfy the population…we have evidence which shows him saying he had authorized Camrail to increase its carriage capacity.” he explained.

Putting the blame on the negligence of the trio, kum Leonard called on them to take responsibility for their action. It should be noted that reports both from the traditional and modern media have gone viral, calling on the resignation of authorities who failed to exercise their functions.

it is worth pointing out that journalists of the SNJC trade union have put together a team to investigate the accident using journalistic principles. Another investigation has also been put up by the government  with instructions from the head of states, Paul Biya.