Uncertainty Grips B’da As Gov’t and Amba Tussle for Mind Control

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Sonac Street early this morning

Denizens of Bamenda were very reluctant to get out this Monday morning, a “ghost town” day and the first full day of dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the Northwest Administration.

Signed on Sunday by Northwest Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique, the six to six curfew caught many by surprise. Several persons only knew of it through hearsay. The first sign of the curfew was evident at major travel agencies. Travelers were told buses will be departing though out the day and no longer at night as it has been the case before now. The latest departures from Bamenda were set between 4 and 5 pm.

By 5 pm Bamenda was literally shutting down. Bikes, taxis and private vehicles and pedestrians were all hurrying back home to beat the curfew. Provision stores, shops, Off licences, bars and snack bars were also lock down. By 7 pm the street were all emptied of its content and sudden graveyard silence descended on the city.

The situation was further aggravated by happenings the previous night. Suspected secessionists blocked the major road between Bamenda and Santa. They dug a gorge on the road at Mile 8 Akum, immobilized several buses and set ablaze an excavator.

Many are wandering why the Governor extended the already existing curfew time when the October 7 election is approaching, while schools are still to effectively reopen in the region. Some point to the recent attack in Akum. Others say it could be preemptive actions by the governor ahead of October 1, the day pro-independent fighter consider as Independence Day.

The public has been further thrown into a state of quagmire as to who to believe was behind the Akum attack. While the government has used it through well crafted messages on social and mass media to point the blame on Amba fighters, they on their part claim it well staged by the regime.  Messages released by some representative of the separatists sought to distant their fighters from the attack, picking up what they say are loopholes in government narratives of the incident.

Bamenda today, in conflict with curfew and Ghost town

Che Street Ntarikon

 

In a message  tittled “BIYA REGIME PLAYING DESPERADO”  Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert Spokesperson, MoRISC writes that “No one should be fooled as to the perpetrators of the acts of vandalism on the Bamenda-Bafoussam Highway. The criminals are the Biya regime and its agents” His message tries to differentiate what he calls the true Amba fighters and Amba Militias sponsored by the regime.

He described Amba fighters as “truly self-defense liberation forces have a clear chain of military command. They have a clearly identified civilian leadership at the helm of political movements, like Dr. Lucas Cho Ayaba of the AGC and Dr. Ebenezer Akwanga of SCYL. Leaders of Amba Forces in this category do not hide. They have laid their lives on the line”

 

While the militias or Amba Boys are “really militias, formed by the regime (working along the same line as the 14,000-person militia the regime formed in its three northern regions to assist it in assasinating the innocent while claiming to fight Boko Haram). They are under the command of regime zealots like the GCE failure called Ekema Patrick; attention seekers like Njume Franklin, school dropouts turned ministers like Atanga Nji Paul. There are also units within the armed and security forces who go undercover to perpetrate these acts of sabotage on behalf of the regime (as those who burnt down Sacred Heart or equipment at SATOM) and within the police force like those who attacked students in a college in Bafut last Monday”

The message added that the aim of the militias is to “sow disagreement among communities, such as attacking the Mbororo community” The statement goes further to say “Their goal is completely unconnected to the well-known agenda pursued openly by the genuine liberation movements. For instance, pro-independence groups campaign for ghost town Mondays and an act consisting of stopping travel within and across Ambazonia’s borders does not fall in line with campaigns by these groups. Had the cars stopped last night on the Bamenda-Bafoussam Highway happened on a Monday, one could even begin to think that it was an act meant to enforce respect for ghost towns. There are no ghost town Sundays. Besides moving heavy duty, slow moving equipment into the highway and damaging it so badly would have taken hours and hours – time enough for the terrorists working for the colonialists to stop it”

The statement goes at length to examine pro-regime messages it says were posted online after the incident.

Whatever the truth, the situation on the ground is so fluid and unpredictable. The lives of thousands are at stake here even though thousands continue to move out of these regions on a daily basis. There is nothing more urgent now than the dialogue amongst brothers which everybody preaches but none it will appear truly wants it.  It may be running late but it’s never too late. The time could be now.

By Abongwa Fozo

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