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Ghost towns: an immutable institution of the Southern Cameroons resistance

25 Aug 2020 03:00 | Tambe Ferdinand (Administrator)

By Ntangti Akose John, Reporting from Kumba

Be it in Kumba, Bamenda, Buea, Fundong, Mamfe, Batibo or any other Southern Cameroonian town, the situation remains the same with markets and other business spots closed on Mondays: ghost town day.

No matter how harsh the measures taken by local administrative and municipal authorities are, they have changed nothing from this achievement of the Southern Cameroons resistance against LRC colonisation. At the cost of heavy fines, sealed shops, personal attacks and blackmail by the colonial authorities, Southern Cameroonians continue this legacy of the non-violent resistance days, as if to inform LRC that the fact that civilians are not carrying guns to fight them does no mean they acquiesce to being colonised by LRC on behalf of France.

In Kumba, Meme Division, South West region, the colonial administrators, Victor Nkelle Ngoh (going by the title of city mayor) and Ntou’ou Ndong (titled Meme senior divisional officer) have seen this as an opportunity to enrich themselves by imposing unexplained sanctions on those respecting Monday’s ghost towns. A top official of Union Bank Cameroon (UBC) revealed to our reporters that their offices have been sealed severally by the city mayor who only reopened them after UBC paid over 200.000FCA to the city council, with no receipt issued.

The banker said they brought out a method last Monday August 17, 2020 to evade this extortion. One of these measures include positioning of a private guard at the entrance of the bank on working hours and the guard given the instruction to tell the council workers that they were working in close doors.

Despite these heavy fines that range from 25.000 to about 50.000 most shop keepers in Kumba say they will never dare open their shops on Mondays until the Southern Cameroons are liberated. “We could open our shops even without the mayor or DO or their soldiers trying to make us do it, but that will mean opposing those fighting for our own liberation,” Joseph (a phone repairer in the Fiango neighbourhood whose real names are withheld)  told our reporters. Joseph further explained that even for the few Francophones in the town who have no ideological affinity with the Southern Cameroons, it makes good sense to pay the colonial regime’s fines than to face the wrath of the people.

The story remains the same in Buea, headquarters of the South West region where the colonial mayor, David Mafany Namange, is following the footsteps of his predecessor, Patrick Ekema. Like Ekema,  Namange is seen under heavy military excort on Mondays, threatening to break open traders’ shops, sealing the shops of those he hates, and imposing  heavy fines on them. Ekema is known to have broken open some shops, but with the French sponsored LRC military behind him, shop owners had no way of exacting justice. Similarly, Namange has been reported to use the council police to force open some shops and loot the contents. This event would be evidence that most of the insecurity of persons and properties perpetrated in the Southern Cameroons is the handiwork of LRC and its backers.

For over four years now, ghost towns imposed by the freedom fighters on the ground, have been respected to the latter by the population; which is a clear indication that the Southern Cameroons self-defence groups are remain firmly in control of the Southern Cameroons, despite LRC’s staged measures to give a different impression to the world.

Meanwhile, the resistance of the people of the Southern Cameroons is hailed and no doubt, Monday will remain a holiday in a free Southern Cameroons, to remind future generations of the history of the resistance and to inspire them to be strong in the face of future challenges.


Please, click to read the original article in Think like a SCCOPper Edition 7.pdf

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