The Presidential candidate of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), Paul Biya, Wednesday, October 3, 2018, dribbled the population of the South West Region when it was announced that he will be vising Buea to campaign in the trouble-plagued Region.
In a bid to give the ceremony the grandeur it deserved, CPDM stalwarts in the Region hired CPDM militants from other Regions and ferried to Buea to swell up the number in the deserted Region.
The huge crowd of over 1000 militants ferried in from Douala, Yaounde and Bafoussam to animate the event were later left stranded in the 17, 70 seaters’ buses at the Buea Independence Square, when Biya failed to honour his own invitation.
Preparations to welcome the CPDM Presidential candidates in Buea started on Sunday, September 30, 2018, when renovation works at the ceremonial ground at the Buea Independence Square were accelerated. With all the arrangements put in place, the party bigwigs where afraid that their Presidential candidate might meet an emptied grandstand given that Buea has been deserted since September 18, 2018.
To avoid such embarrassment, CPDM party bigwigs hired militants from other Regions and towns to grace the campaign rally.
The National Times learnt that militants from Douala and Bafoussam were paid FCFA 15,000 each, while militants from Limbe where given FCFA 10,000 each. The French Language frequently used by the militants in their small discussion units indicated that they were from Francophone Regions.
The hired militants did not hesitate to pour out their frustration when they were told at the Independence Square that the CPDM flagbearer will no longer be part of the campaign as earlier said by the organisers.
“We were told before coming to Buea that our party Chairman is already in Buea and I was happy because I wanted to see him. We have just been told that he is not in Buea. I feel disappointed because my main aim for coming was to see him face to face”, a militant who requested for anonymity lamented to The National Times.
Another supporter said he regretted putting himself at risk for such a fruitless journey. “We have heard the awful things happening in Buea, yet I decided to come for the sake of seeing our Presidential candidate only to be told here that he is not coming. I have risked my life for nothing”.
It should be stressed hers that Buea inhabitants have remained indoors since September 30, 2018, following a curfew from the Divisional Officer. The curfew was uplifted on Tuesday, October 2 at 6:00am, but the population still remained indoors. Business premises and circulations of taxis and buses were also grounded.