It is exactly 18 years ever since the Nsam fire disaster in Yaounde that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Cameroonians. Interestingly, the results of the investigating commission that was appointed by President Biya are still being awaited. Correspondingly, no official ceremony was held on Sunday, February 14, 2016, on the site of the disaster. No word from the 83 year old dictator, no statement from his secretary general at the presidency, nothing came from his so called prime minister and head of government. On Saturday, February 14, 1998, a cargo train that was transporting fuel collided with a tanker loaded with gasoline at the Yaounde 3rd district of Nsam. The two containers each had a capacity of 50 m3, 50 000 liters of gasoline.
Both tanks exploded and as some hungry citizens rushed to recover about 100 000 liters of fuel that had spilled onto the tarmac, a fire erupted from one of the looters who lit a cigarette. It was an unprecedented fracas in our nation's history as a hundreds were declared dead and hundreds burned to ashes. It was termed a national disaster. President Paul Biya, who as usual was out of the country at the time of the tragedy, returned a few days later and created an investigative commission to "shed light on the tragedy." 18 years later, the commission has never made public its findings.
Cameroonians still do not know what was the cause of the disaster. Life had long returned to normal at Nsam and families of the victims were reportedly compensated. Some survivals were supported in several hospitals in the nation's capital. Ever since, no monument has been erected in loving memory of those who died and no official ceremony either. On Sunday, February 14, 2016, no official ceremony took place throughout the national territory and nothing was even mentioned on state radio and television. Biya and his CPDM gang were busy celebrating his 83 years birthday party and Rose Mbole Epie and Co. were enjoying a Valentine's Day party on CRTV's Tam Tam Weekend.