This was posted on AfoaKom@yahoogroups
[... edited out ...] in response to the Fon's radio announcement. With Particular reference to the fact that Foin James Yibain was a killer, I can say exactly what happened, because I was an eye witness to the event.
The occasion was the death celebration of my late grand-father, bobe Malawa Mbu-Fien popularly known as Malawa Gwe-abain, of Sowi at Anyajua.It was in the late seventies, and I was about thirteen years old. I can still describe with clarity the exact incident as it happened. Foin Yibain, then Bo abe-anyah was sitting on his chair, on one of my late grandfathers' wives - Na Nyouh's veranda.The whole compound was full to capacity, and with my peers, it was exciting to not go to school that day, snicking in-between people, making sure we saw and experience every bit of what was taking place. There were a multitude of jujus to display there. The one thing that was outstanding during this celebration was the Njong Kom, owing to the fact that my grandfather had been one of the toughest kom wariors during the German times. While alive he had told us multiple stories about kom conquests where he actively participated, bringing home victories.
I will like to state here that I personally saw with my two eyes what happened during the killing incident. It was a most regrettable accident. It was time for the Njong kom to perform. The wariors each with his gun, marched into the arena, in circles, such that from the inner circle out, one could count at least four circles. With this arrangement, there still were left many wariors, who had to take positions on the verandas, and in-between any spaces they could find among the civilian population, whom I was part of. I was a very inquisitive youngman, and would like to not miss an inch of the occasion, so that I could recount it to my peers with exactitude and dexterity, for admiration. I had squizzed myself through to the front, on Na Nain Mbu's veranda, facing Na Nyouh's veranda, where the Late Foin Yibain was sitting. From this vantage position I could see him very clearly, and everything he was doing.
There were orders for things to quiet down. Late Fon Yibain, as Bo abe-anyah, got up, grabbed his "double-barrel" gun which was leaning on the wall next to his seat. He was the most superior authority of the land at that place, so he was the commander-in-chief of the Njong kom. He was to fire the first shot. He made an annoucement urging the warior to direct all shots into the sky. He stressed the fact that the place was jammed to full capacity and everything had to be done with care. I saw him "break" his double-barrel gun to half-broken position, then he loaded cartridges into the gun. Just as he was bringing back the gun barrels to position, the gun went off. It was an usual sound, probably because the barrels had not completely fitted back into their right place.
From about two meters away from where I was standing, in the space in-between Na Nain-Mbu's veranda, and Na Nsom's veranda, came a cry of agony. Two people were touched by the bullets,
or whatever material came out Bo abe-anyah's gun. There was commotion from that direction. I turned around and I saw Kuma, Yindo Wam's son, who had just newly come home from the coast. He had collapsed onto the ground, with a gun besides him. The next person I saw was nini Yia, either from bobe Fulani's compound or Bo fikfe-e's compound. Nini Yia was still on her feet, but had blood on her blouse on the left side. Some energetic young men carried Kuma into the Ndo Chong which was holding in Na Nsom's house. A few instances later, I saw him being carried out in a plank folding chair, and being rushed to the hospital. Kuma, at this point, was talking, one could see and hear him talking. Nini Yia raised her blouse on the side where she was hit, and she had been just lightly wounded.
The Late Foin Yibain was completely diswrought. You could see the total anguish on his face. Many people gathered around him, to comfort him and show their support. The enthousiasme the Njong kom came in with all died down. In fact everything during that day of my late grand-father's death celebration became very low-key.
Kuma was rushed to Mbingo Baptist hospital, then to Bamenda General hospital, where he died a day, or two after. I think if there was the right medical care, that young man wouldn't have died.
The interesting story about Kuma's presence at the death celebration is that, his parents were all there, and unaware that he was there. Reason being that they knew that he was home with a fever. He had just come home form the coast, and for the past few days was down with a fever. That morning his parents left him home with his younger sister, with the understandin that he was not well enough to come to the death celebration. When they left, he convinced his sister, took his father's gun and came to the celebration. And because of the crowd, he squizzed himself in-between the people, with the laoded gun ready to join in what was promising to be a rear spectacle by the Njong kom in Sowi's recent memory.
That, in a nutshell, is exactly, or closest to what took place that day.