Sunday’s Presidential election in Cameroon has failed to weaken the ghost town operations inching towards a second-year mark since the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, (CASC) instituted it in the early days of the Anglophone Crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
A day after the election, the streets of major cities and villages across the two trouble- hit Regions slipped into inactivity. The civil disobedience manifested in full gear as thousands stayed in doors for fear of the unknown.
On Sunday, October 7, a few courageous citizens showed up at polling stations in the affected Regions and performed their civic right. Governor Adolf Lele L’Afrique of the North West Region even relaxed a 6:00pm curfew imposed prior to the election to 9:00pm. The Governor’s move was to enhance the voting exercise.
As the curfew expired Yesterday, Bamenda failed to pick steam. Thousands of market stalls, travel agencies and other business hubs remained closed down. A few soldiers were spotted around major junctions in the city combat ready.
In the South West, major cities such as Buea and Kumba remained under the influence of the ‘ghost’. The streets and neighbourhoods were void of any public human activity. The Kumba Main Market gate was opened, but the shops were closed.
Most Government offices remained shut down in the face of the frightening environment in the English-speaking Regions. The trend of things shows that the ghost town operations might last longer than expected even after the Presidential vote.
A separatists’ ban on movement of goods and persons till October 10 is what many say will keep them indoors for the next couple of days.