Calm Finally Returns to Bamenda

Bamenda City

Bamenda City

Bamenda today, Thursday November 24,  woke up timidly but quickly regained some of its usual life pattern with commuters crisscrossing the town to get to their job sides, taximen and commercial bike riders (Benskin) honking as they scramble for passengers, some traders opening their shops, the markets gradually opening up, though the familiar sight of infants, pupils and students tussling for passage, cabs and bike to get to school was evidently lacking, and unusually present were heavily armed police men in riot gear and water cannons waving their automatic weapons and tear gas forebodingly to the passing public att some major junctions and streets.

This could have been a result of the charmed offensive by the Governor of the region who descended down to some popular neighbourhoods in town to commune with the population, sharing a drink and soft words with some residents of Mile II Nkwen, Hospital Round About and Bali Park amongst others. He assured the population that only one person was killed and investigations have been launched to that effect, he called for dialogue, peace and understanding and that government has initiated moves to dialogue with teachers and lawyers.

It could also have been due to the call of some religious and political leaders. The Right Rev. Fonki Samuel, moderator of the PCC and Cornilius Fontem Essua, Arch Bishop of Bamenda appealed to the youths to leave the streets, shun violence, protect Bamenda and engage in dialogue while SDF National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi called for calm and indicted government to listen to the cries of the masses.

Maybe, they heeded to the call of the supposedly protest leader, Mancho Bibisy who called for calm and for the youths to retreat from the streets of Bamenda to avoid further bloodshed while the fight is carried to other parts of Anglophone Cameroon in a message wildly circulated on whatapps.

Or maybe, three days of running battles between the police and the youths had taken its toll on all, food supplies were running low, cash was becoming rare, and there were several injured cases due to the strike.

Whatever the case, it’s a huge sigh of relief to the government and some city dwellers that the stink has been taken away from the strike and life is gradually returning to normal. Many opinion hold that the strike should had remained one of defiance to the Yaoundé regime and not violent as it turn out to be. Still, the Lawyers and teachers continued with their sit down strike while the authorities look for a durable solution to the crisis, yes the Anglophone crisis.

By Abongwa Fozo