Tanjong Martin, “Mayor” of Tubah Survives Armed Attack

The Mayor of Tubah, a locality 15 kms from Bamenda in the restive once independent state of Southern Cameroons, Martin Tanjong (referred to as an impostor by the local population because the last election was heavily boycotted to a participation rate of less than 3%) is reported to have survived an assassination attempt by some unidentified gunmen.


According to information gathered from the Mayor's residence, the gunmen were later pushed back, and they retreated without hurting anybody.


About 1 am Central African Time (CAT) Saturday May 23, some heavily armed gunmen surrounded Mr. Tanjong’s residence in Bambili and fired several gunshots, neighbours told Timescape Magazine.


Mr. Tanjong told the press that the gunmen after shooting with no response from the security men within his compound, tried to climb over his fence severally to no avail. Probably because the high walls of the fence were too slippery, they peeped through the gate and saw frightened policemen inside the compound and realizing they had been spotted, the policemen fired back, he recounted.


The exchange of gunfire was heavy from both sides and deafening as well, neighbours said. After a while, the gunmen were forced to retreat and disappeared into the darkness.


When calm returned it was noticed that the gunmen left muddy footprints on the walls. Mr. Tanjong said he suspected they might have come in from the direction of Bambui given that the Council was carrying out roadworks on that stretch of the town.


“The red ground with which they left the marks, must have been gotten from that road”, Mr. Tanjong said, adding that no human life was lost and nobody in the family home was hurt.


Mr. Tanjong has on several occasions been vocal against and provocative to pro-independence fighters in the area, especially when two village notables of Bambili were reportedly shot dead by suspected pro-independence fighters. The duo had been accused severally of conniving with the military to hunt down self-defense volunteers. Soldiers loyal to Cameroon’s dictator, Paul Biya eventually razed down family houses of some suspected self-defense volunteers, burning relatives alive, following supposed tipoff by the deceased old men. 


Before the heavily boycotted February 9, 2020 local elections, there was a heavy military deployment in Tubah which forced the self-defense volunteers to relocate from Bambili and Bambui into the suburbs.


At the February 9 polls, Mr. Tanjong switched parties from the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) to the ruling Cameroon Peoples’ Democratic Movement, was this time "elected" on the Cameroon People Democratic Movement party (CPDM)  following an internal quarrel with the party’s hierarchy. The act was seen by many in the area as betrayal of the trust they put in him.


The matter is made worse because Mr. Tanjong is seen as having taken sides with the Yaounde administration against his own people and is now being guarded by forces loyal to dictator Biya.