Ghost Announces Ghost Town, Bamenda Obeys



Bamenda on a Tuesday Morning 


Rumours have been circulating on social media of how leaders of different separatists movements abroad are announcing different a ghost town schedules to Mar 20th May celebrations in Bamenda.

Though no specific day has been announced, several persons are rushing to the market to stock their houses incase things get rough. Some have elected themselves to become public speakers on the issue, spreading it like wild fire as though they enjoy staying at home.

Since January 2017, nothing less than 290 days have been lost in ghost towns and lockdowns in the North West Region. Mondays have since become an additional rest day meanwhile lockdowns are called from time-to-time. Some measuring to above 10 days.

The unfortunate thing with these persistent call for people to stay at home has never stopped planned public events. National and international Days continue to be celebrated unperturbed while businesses are grounded in the name of ghost towns.



A recent rumor which the inhabitants of Bamenda have decided to respect , does not take into consideration the sky rocking prices and low purchasing power of households. It does not take into consideration that families have mouths to feed, rents to pay and Njangi schemes, that seems to be the lifesaver of families to play.

Internally displaced persons have left villages into Bamenda to try and survive. A call for a lockdown or ghost town has refused to take into consideration these categories of people who hawk just to survive.

Children have been forced to be born at home, the sick and elderly miss their routine visits to Doctors just because of ghost towns targeting the government but hurting the civilian population the more.

In one of such lockdowns, farmers around Bamenda cultivating fruits and vegetables watched their farms in awe as everything was getting rotten.

They were unable to either access the farms or access the markets.

 Households with lower purchasing power have to adjust the number of meals children take as a means to cope with their small running budget that has to take them for days.


In the early days of the ghost towns, many residents on the ground called on those residing abroad, using voice notes on the Messaging App, WhatsApp to also stay at home in solidarity and have a pinch of what those on the ground feel. Instead, several photos of them enjoying life in Europe and America, pictures of their children graduating from prestigious schools flooded the social media.

Back home, schools have had an irregular calendar. Running from Tuesday to Saturday instead of the normal Monday to Friday. After a successful start of the 2021/2022 Academic year, students and pupils were forced to stay at home in the build up to October 1. In what pro separatist say is their independence Day. Most probably, the only independence Day celebrated through ghost towns and lockdowns. What a paradox.

Tuesday 17th May 2022, pupils will begin writing the Government common Entrance examination. An examination that gives them a pass to Government run schools across the country. And here, they're met with stiff resistance.

Parents from far away areas like Bafut had since taken refuge in Bamenda ahead of the exams. In the last two years, they had to accompany their children, sit in school all day till the exams are over. This, to ensure their safety and protection. Safety and protection from the same people who have been parading themselves as liberators.

As inhabitants of Bamenda have woken up to a decision to stay indoors, other parts of English-speaking Cameroon are buoyant like Limbe and Buea. Someone somewhere hinted this writer that it is gradually becoming a Bamenda affair.

With civil servants being the best vectors to spread a supposed  lockdown, knowing their salaries will be in their account by May 25th while they take business and leisure trips for a week, the common man is left to bear the brunt.

Lockdowns and ghost towns have added nothing to a sterile struggle that has done no good to the common man than impoverished them, stop children from going school and allow their farm produce to get rot.

It is now incumbent on the population to chose what they want.

By

Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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