By Timfuchi Aaron
Since the start and escalation of the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, the government took several measures to ensure the safety of the population.
Ngeng junction, New road junction, Foncha junction, Guinness junction, Mile 4 junction, Apostolic junction, and Tubah council post in the North West Region have now become revenue collection joints.
No receipts are handed out and nothing is transferred into the state treasury.
Students go late to school, miss classes and even exams because taxis have to queue up at rush hours and pay in money to the men in uniform manning these points.
Many have even describe the process as ‘play no pick Njangi’
Bamenda, Mezam division is host to the University of Bamenda. When the crisis erupted, separatist fighters started kidnapping students and lecturers on the highway and even in hostels and student residential areas.
Due to this, the government through its security services mounted several military and security control posts along the Bamenda-Bambili road with the main aim of curbing the phenomenon.
Since then, these security and control posts have been transformed into a huge money-making venture as the military and police officers on duty now specialize in collecting money from drivers and even students.
From the City Chemist roundabout in Bamenda to Bambili, there are a total of six mixed military control posts with drivers paying at least a thousand francs at each of them.
This has become the new normal and even like a law.
No particular attention is paid to the real security checks but the focus is on checking the number plates of drivers, if they have settled their control, checking of ID cards of passengers to extort money from them, and even the checking of facemasks.
The security officers rather spend all their time looking for motives to collect money from the drivers and users of the said roads.
Because of all these, students suffer the consequences. They now pay 7.00FCFA to be transported through the about 15km stretch of road.
The burden is now on UBa students in particular and users of the road in general.
In Cameroon, there’s the National Anti-Corruption Commission, CONAC, a body charged with looking at issues related to bribery and corruption. With students and road users faced with bribery and corruption along this road, the commission is yet to make a statement about it.
They have been quiet as if what is happening doesn’t concern them.
Despite receiving their salaries and other allowances from the government of Cameroon, the security forces are using the students and other road users to make a fortune and enrich themselves.
The silence of CONAC on this issue makes them an accomplice.