Some inter-urban travel agencies in Bamenda resumed operations this morning after grounding their vehicles for two days due to threats from Ambazonia separatist fighters.
The fighters slammed an unexplained ban on seven inter-urban transport agencies last week and circulated messages threatening people who would board these agencies.
This Thursday, some travel agencies, including Nso Boyz, Amour Mezam, Mondial Express, Oasis, and Vatican Express, hit the road again after over 48 hours of no activity.
However, others, like Moghamo, remained grounded when an MMI reporter arrived at the bus stop this morning. At the agencies that reopened, passengers lined up to buy travel tickets to other parts of the country after they were stranded in Bamenda following the separatists’ ban.
However, some travellers are still sceptical about boarding vehicles from the “banned” travel agencies out of Bamenda. They prefer to take minibuses or private vehicles to the West Region, from where they can board vehicles to other towns.
“Since I have no luggage, I prefer to go to the West region and get a bus; I cannot risk my life,” a traveller told MMI on Thursday morning.
In a release that circulated after the separatist ban, representatives of eight travel agencies operating in Bamenda pledged to defy the separatists’ threats and resume operations. They called on the population to support them in defying the ban.
“We are struggling to help the population travel, but they are scared because of the threats. The population too has suffered too much, which is why they are still reluctant to buy tickets,” a travel agency staff member said.
All travel agencies in Bamenda suspended work on September 19, after separatists propagated a message banning seven of them. No reasons were stated for the ban.
In the Tuesday declaration, representatives of eight travel agencies declared that they would resume activities on Wednesday.
They, however, remained grounded throughout Wednesday. So far, only some of the travel agencies resumed today, but hopes are high that activities will resume normally in the days ahead.