A communiqué from the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaoundé says instructions from the Head of State has ordered that all public services workers close work by 2pm on all Match days. Same obtains for schools asked to close at 1pm.
The release notes that the move is aimed at ensuring a collective participation from all Cameroonians in the ongoing AFCON tournament hosted by Cameroon.
This decision from the Head of State of Cameroon is expected to take effect from January 17, 2022 right up to February 04, 2022.
This move announced from the PM’s office is the latest of similar others taken by administrators across the host cities to boost turnout inside stadiums.
These measures were first adopted by the Governor of the West Region Awah Fonka Augustine, following a disappointing turnout at the Kouekong Stadium for the Senegal vs Zimbabwe game, the Governor equally called for work to close in Bafoussam before 12noon so that spectators could attend afternoon games.
The mayor of Bagangté also offered free tickets to spectators and free transportation to the fans to and from the Kouekong Stadium.
In Douala too, the Governor of the Littoral Region Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua has provided free transportation to spectators, meanwhile in the South West Region, supporters have been asked to attend games without game tickets and without needing to fulfill Covid-19 protocols.
Many have however questioned the productivity of the latest decision, citing the complex Covid-19 protocol as the main challenge hindering many from going to games.
Others have questioned how it affects schools. Due to the pandemic, most schools have for months now been operating in two shifts; morning and afternoon.
The decision to have schools close by 1PM, critics warn, would not be in favour of institutions operating this way. Students with afternoon shifts would have to forgo classes altogether till February 4 as the decision stipulates.
In addition to these, others say this would bring some economic activities to a near standstill, worsening the already fragile situation the country is experiencing, faced with billions in debts gotten to prepare for the tournament.