Ndian: Gunmen attack PAMOL Lobe Estate, kill worker, three others.

Gunmen, on Sunday September 17, attacked the Lobe Estate of agro-industrial company, PAMOL Plantations PLC, in Ekondo-Titi Subdivision, Ndian Division of the South West Region, killing one worker and three others.

In a press release dated September 18, 2023, the General Manager of PAMOL Plantations PLC, Mbile Tapea Solomon, said: “In the evening of  Sunday September 17th, 2023, at about 10 pm, a gang of unknown armed men stormed Pamol's Lobe Estate Camps I and VI, shot at and killed four (4) persons, namely; Foin Ernest, a Heavy Duty Mechanic and his son Foin Marcel, Tiah Rita and Sakwe Olga, wives of a Lobe Mill worker and a retired Research employee respectively”. 

“The motive behind this attack and killings remains unknown to PAMOL Management. Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased are being preserved at the Limbe Regional Hospital Mortuary, pending burial arrangements,” Mbile Tapea added.

The General Manager continued that: “PAMOL Management, on behalf of the entire workforce, hereby express their deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of this unfortunate incident”.

“PAMOL Management equally calls on its entire workforce to remain resolute and steadfast during these difficult times while hoping the administration and forces of law and order would take necessary measures to improve on the security situation within the Lobe Estate and its environs,” he noted.

 

Suspected Amba fighters claim responsibility 

Meanwhile, not too long after the attack, a video circulated on social media portraying some men claiming to be Amba fighters under the leadership of self-styled General Focus, saying they were responsible for the attack.

In the video, the said ‘General’ Focus is seen dishing out warnings to PAMOL workers who live and work in the Lobe Estate. The self-styled separatist commander, in the video ordered PAMOL workers to quit the camp because he intends using it as his base.

Going by sources familiar with the incident, the locals were killed for defying the two-week separatist-imposed lockdown and were still going to work.

The death of the locals, amongst them women, coming on the heels of school resumption, and the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, has sparked widespread condemnation across the globe, with many calling for an end to the bloodshed in the North West and South West Regions of the country. 

Ekondo-Titi Subdivision has witnessed renewed violence in recent months, which has sent fear within the population.

It should be recalled that last week Amba fighters stormed the village of Illor, killing at least two people.

The Amba fighters came chasing their repentant peers who had taken a new lifestyle in their village after dropping their weapons. 

The attack, last Tuesday, also saw the burning of ten houses belonging to the parents of the ex-fighters.

The sad incident was condemned by the political class, elite and the population in general. 

 

PAMOL experiencing huge loses due to armed conflict

Meanwhile, it should be noted that PAMOL has been losing huge sums of money due to the armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions. Its operations have been greatly reduced because of insecurity caused by separatist fighters.

The delivery of the company's new oil mill, expected in 2021, to relaunch the activities of PAMOL, has so far not taken place because of the armed conflict. 

By December 31, 2020, the investment, worth 8 billion FCFA, had already benefited from financing of 5.2 billion FCFA, made available by the state, the company's sole shareholder.

Pending delivery of the plant, which, it is hoped will help improve the company's economic and financial situation, PAMOL Plantations is doing its best to recover from the ravages of the Anglophone crisis. 

It will be recalled that as a result of the armed conflict, the company had to cut 1,700 jobs between 2018 and 2020, due to the difficulties of operating plantations in the midst of insecurity.

 

 

 

about author About author : Njingang Godwin

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