Bafut Palace Intact As Military Steps In To Bring Back Life

a partial view of the palace from across the fence

Contrary to information circulated on the social media and on some local media houses claiming the military burn down part of the Bafut Fon palace and molested queens and princesses during a recent operation in the area, Bamenda Online can confirm that the Palace still remains intact and pristine as ever before.

A team of reporters from Bamenda Online recently paid a visit to the palace to ascertain the validity of the information trending on social media and carried by some local media houses.

the Bafut palace museum

Bafut Town today is a mere shawdow of the once bustling town it used to be. As we moved deeper into the Bafut town from Bamenda we noticed several abandoned buildings, burned vehicles with grass already over taking some houses. The were very few or no persons on the streets as we drive through. The few people we met were mostly the elderly who have chosen to stay behind as the youths fled away from the guns and harrasment from armed groups. As we drove passed the Post Office, the Nsem Hospital, PSS and the former police station, the D.O office and the Bafut council it was very evident all has been abandoned to nature. No sign of human present could be noticed here. The over bearing silence and loneliness drove a deep fear inside us. I could sense the present of death all around us. The only other vehicle we met along the road were a group of mourners heading towards Bafut or Wum.

At the entrance to Nsani a few shops were opened and a handful of people could be seen going about with their routine activities. Just a few metres away we arrived at the entrance to the palace which remained locked from the general public. We tried to gain access into the palace but there was no one inside to let us in at least from the look of things.

The main entrance into the palace was locked with no acess possible.
Bafut town is a mere shadow of it former self with very few people but for the military on some streets
Even churches look like grave yards
The generals came to see the extend of the damage but found none

We met a handful of soldiers stationed at the area. They told us there has been nothing like an attack by any one on the palace. They told us some wives and children of the fon had been providing them with water for the pass few days.

As we approached one of the only two shops that remained open I could noticed an uneasy look on the face of a lady who stood by the door. There was also another man, probably in his 60s or older who look at us suspiciously. There was a girl of about 15 or 16 years standing next to them inside the shop. As I came close the lady wispered something to her in the dialect and she immediately disappeared behind the counter.

I asked the lady if they have recorded any incident here recently. She told me nothing she is aware of except of fighting in some part of Bafut between the military and the boys recently. I asked further if this is how Nsani is always. She told me only a few brave the fear to open. The rest of the shops and bar were long closed down or abandoned. She added that those of them still around negotiates their way around to continue life. The man sitting next to the door added his voice.

“We want life to return to how it used to be before this crisis” he said in pidgin English. Concluding it takes more than a man to stay behind.

Moment later we noticed the heavy deployment of troops around the square. It was Generals Nka Valérie and Ekongwese Divine of the 5th Joint Military Region and the 5th Gendarmerie Region. They were on mission to verify if there were any attacks on the palace as reported by the press and on social media. Visibly satisfy that the palace was still intact both men left with a call on the military to do all to protect and ensure the lives and property of civilians.

The ride home was also uneventful but for the fact that we noticed several military men stationed on some strategic part of the town and on some major junction. This time we noticed fewer people on the road and most were ladies.

While the town awaits life to return to it, it could only remind me of one of the abandoned gold minning towns in Australia out back. I was also wandering where all the occupants of these abandoned houses have gone to? Most of the farms remained untilled, grass was already encroaching into the main road. It was abundatly clear Bafut is in die need of its occupants. When will this happened? Was the concern sweeping through my mind. I could only wander in my mind if this is how Bafut has been for the past few years.

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