Batoufam-Bayangam locals protest that an automatic toll gate is going to lead to a breakdown in social cohesion between the two villages.
Locals of Batoufam, a locality in the West Region of Cameroon, have protested the erection of an automatic toll gate, which, according to them, will bring division with the neighbouring Bayangam locality.
According to these locals, they are not content with the position chosen by the government to erect the automatic toll gate.
Recently, the locals carried placards with writings encrypted on them as they beckoned on the Cameroonian not to proceed with the execution of the construction of the automatic toll gate in their locality.
“No to the automatic toll gate in the middle of Batoufam”, and “We say no to the construction of a toll gate here” could be read on some placards carried by locals of Batoufam during the protest.
“Where the toll gate is to be constructed cuts off completely Batoufam from Bayangam,” a traditional ruler in Batoufam told Equinoxe TV.
An inhabitant from Bayangam lamented, “I’m at Bayangam, a few meters away from the office of the Divisional Officer. So if I have a document to sign, I have to pay at the toll gate in my own subdivision.”
According to the locals of Batoufam, even their children will become stranded and frustrated, considering that at least 3000 students leave Batoufam daily to Bayangam for school.
Aside from the aspect of division, some locals say they possess memories of the site of the toll gate construction and will lose them if work to erect the toll gate continues.
“We want to keep our souvenirs. Here, we have the grave of my great-grandmother, my grandfather, while here, we have that of my great-grandfather,” a local explained.
Batoufam-Bayangam locals protest were sparked by the fact that the locals feel the manual tollgate in their locality is sufficient and effective for them, thereby shunning the hand of development extended by the government towards their locality.
The elites of the land have expressed their determination to take measures to convince the government to put a halt on the works going on at the said place to erect the automatic toll gate.