By Soulemanu Buba
The government has increased the number of soldiers in the Northwest Regional capital, Bamenda, on the eve of Senatorial Elections taking place this Sunday, March 12.
This Saturday morning, Soldiers could be seen standing at road junctions, roundabouts and major streets amid separatist threats to disrupt the elections.
The streets are however nearly almost deserted completely due to a separatist-imposed lockdown aimed to frustrate the election.
Voting begins tomorrow morning at Divisional headquarters across Cameroon, including Bamenda, the Northwest Regional capital, which doubles as headquarter of Mezam Division.
Prior to the elections, residents of Bamenda have complained of increasing raids and harassment by the uniformed officers, especially police and gendarmes.
“The army is better. Some asked for support in such a way that one can’t refuse. They seem to be friendly but the police and gendarmes are always aggressive. They keep harassing persons on a daily basis,” said Atuh, a resident of Bamenda.
He said the officers look for the least chance to extort money from the population.
Bamenda residents, like those in other parts of the crisis-hit English-speaking regions, are holding their breath as the Senatorial Elections approach.
In the past, Separatist fighters have attacked and even killed people who defied their lockdowns to participate in organised events, which they oppose.