By Soulemanu Buba
President Paul Biya’s constant material support to vigilante groups in the restive North West and South West regions has sparked reservations in certain quarters.
On Wednesday May 11, 80 brand new motorbikes from Biya were handed to Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs across the North West
Northwest governor Adolph Lake Lafrique handed the bikes with firm instructions to make sure the machines get to the groups that have as mandate to thwart the outings of armed separatist groups.
The decision to equip vigilante groups met with mixed reactions from the population.
Some think civilians on bikes can’t do what soldiers in amored cars and other sophisticated weapons have not been unaable to achieve.
According to Nfor Gildas, a native of Misaje in Donga Mantung Division, the killing of vigilante group leaders is a serious message to government that her strategies are not working.
“A vigilante group leader by name Abdou was killed in Bem, a village in Misaje Yesterday. He is not the first to die in the hands of the boys. Now they are bringing bikes for civilians to do what their heavy machine guns have failed to do. Are they really serious, this is clear indication that all their strategies are failing,” Nfor told MMI.
At the esplanade of the governor’s office where the handing over ceremony took place, many of those who answered present told MMI that this is another strategy that is bound to fail just like the others.
“This is not the first time we are hearing that vigilante groups are benefiting from government support, yet insecurity still continues to reign. People have written their projects and it is now paying off, good for them,” a teacher working at the Northwest Regional Delegation of Secondary Education told MMI.
For some time now, separatist activities have intensified with deadly attacks on government forces reported on a daily basis. Civilians have also suffered in the hands of the armed men as many have been kidnapped for ransom while many others like Senator Regina Mundi are still in captivity.
This has intensified calls for communities to form Vigilante groups to check the activities of armed separatists
It has also not been easy on the side of the armed groups as government forces have been pounding their hideouts killing many of them.
Many are of the opinion that, rather than wasting scarce resources on fruitless initiatives, the authorities should do the right thing and stop the bloodshed.