Vincent Njie Ndumu, Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, BCC, has dismissed 18 agents attached to the council’s municipal police unit.
Ndumu’s action follows a decision arrived at by BCC grand councillors during a recent session dedicated to the examination and adoption of the administrative and management accounts of the council.
The agents were fired following complaints by some grand councilors that the agents were notorious for extorting money from denizens. The sacked council agents are accused of collecting levies without issuing receipts and colluding with some drivers loading at restricted points in the municipality.
In addition, the dismissed workers were faulted for indulging in nasty deals without identification uniforms while some made it a duty at the Bamenda Food Market to collect food items from ‘buyam-sellam’ women, in exchange for open space. Some of the sacked agents were also taken upon themselves organizing daily financial meetings with ill-gotten money from the poor market women they were reportedly taking advantage of.
“While conventional police men and gendarmes are generally known to collect 500 FCFA and 1000 FCFA from drivers, the city council police agents were used to collecting between 5000 FCFA and 10000 FCFA as bribes from defaulters,” a city dweller, Neba Thompson disclosed.
Against the backdrop of the excesses by the municipal police officers, which could no longer be condoned, some grand councilors of the city council swore to see to it that they were relieved of their functions in order not to continue to sully the image of the Government Delegate and the Council.
Vincent Ndumu, Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, condemned the malpractices in the strongest of terms and said they were a disservice to efforts made by his administration in leveraging the livelihoods of the common people. He said the attitude of a few others was under strict scrutiny.
The Bamenda City Council, we gathered, has launched a fresh campaign for the recruitment of new municipal police officers to replace those sacked.