By David Atangana
Authorities of Tiko Council in the South West Region of Cameroon are taking advantage of the Anglophone Crisis, to extort money from traders.
The latest action by the council involves the illegal sealing of shops in Likomba Market for observing ghost towns.
A business owner who has been affected told MMI that they woke up on Tuesday, March 21 2023, to find their shops locked with seals from the Tiko Council.
The action of the council comes after locals and business persons adhered to ghost town operations imposed by armed separatists fighters.
“On Tuesday the 21 /03/2023 our shops were locked because Separatist Fighters declared ghost town,” a shop owner told MMI saying that, “Our shops were all sealed by the Tiko Council while we were at home.”
According to shop owners the council is demanding 50,000frs each before the shops can be unsealed.
“They are demanding that we pay the sum of 50000 frs each before they can reopen our shops,” he said wondering where the money will come from given that some of their businesses can not raise such an amount in a month.
“You can sit in your shop for a month and you will never sell up to that amount. Besides, we have families to feed,” he cried out.
Ghost towns which began in 2017 was a tool used by the Anglophone civil society to mount pressure on the Yaounde regime and the international community to address the series of issues raised by the Cameroon’s English-speaking population.
This Civil disobedience tool is today used by Separatists Fighters against the civilian population — wherein defaulters pay a huge price and sometimes with their lives.
A vivid example is the brutal of CDC plantation workers in February this year by Separatists, for observing ghost town.
The recent action by the Tiko Council has raised serious ethical questions amongst critics, given that it places traders in a ‘Catch-22 Situation’.
Mimi Mefo Info