By David Atangana
Denizens of Bamenda got up Thursday, July 27, 2023, to a state of uncertainty over a supposed national lockdown called by the Ambazonia separatist movement.
The city is void of economic activities with empty streets in some parts. A citizen of Bamenda who spoke to MMI explained that they were staying in because of uncertainty, rather than because of adherence to any dictates about a lockdown.
“We are not respecting any lockdown. We are just not sure because of how these Amba tend to just seize any opportunity to attack and kill our people. So staying at home today is more a way of keeping safe, than because we believe there is a genuine reason to stay indoors,” explained Anjeh, a Nkwen local.
Mimi Mefo Info (MMI) findings from an earlier report confirmed that many of the separatist leaders are not in support of the lockdown and find it unreasonable.
Reports say the lockdown was called for by the Sako-led faction of the interim government of Ambazonia to frustrate the funeral of Cameroon’s opposition leader Ni John Fru Ndi.
An audio message circulated on social media platforms called for a boycott of the burial which has been accorded the status of a ‘State funeral’ following a presidential decree signed Wednesday, July 26, 2023, by President Paul Biya.
“I come to you to announce the lockdown called for by the Interim government from July 27 through July 29. We hear the government of La Republique du Cameroon has planned to bury Fru Ndi in Baba II as the father of democracy. I declare it a lie. It is a deception to the people of Ambazonia,” said a certain Martin Mungwa spokesman of the self-proclaimed interim government.
The lockdown call according to many Bamenda denizens who spoke to MMI is senseless.
“What is the need calling for a lockdown against somebody who is dead? Does that make any sense? I don’t know what these people are fighting for anymore,” a Bamenda inhabitant who opted not to be named told MMI.
Expressing his disapproval against the lockdown call another city dueller questioned, “How on earth do you gather your energy fighting a corpse? It is not only childish but stupid,”
Others are of the opinion that “it is not part of our culture to hold grudges against the dead.”
Prior to this day, militants of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) in a message passed to the separatist via the media pleaded for their leader to be allowed for decent burial in his home city.
It should be recalled that according to a funeral program published by the family, the late opposition leader who died on June 12, this year will be removed from the Yaounde general hospital mortuary today and transported to Bamenda on Friday, July 28 while burial takes place in his native Baba II village.