The governor of the South West Region of Cameroon, Bernard Okalia Bilai has again reiterated calls for calm in the Lebialem Division.
The administrator was talking on the sidelines of the installation of the new Senior Divisional Officer of Lebialem recently.
Governor Okalia Bilai who sneaked into the division for the exercise unannounced, was later seen in a video online, almost teary.
Addressing the population of Lebialem, he asked them to return from their hideouts in the bush and rebuild their homeland.
He said the streets and quarters of Lebialem had been invaded by forests and rodents owing to residents’ prolonged absence.
“Menji, the headquarters of Lebialem has become a ghost town, all public services are abandoned, vandalised and in the bushes,” he stated.
President Paul Biya, he went on, “created this division to give the platform for development to the people of Lebialem.”
He added: “the elites… should come back to assist the administration because no matter the courage of the SDO and forces of law and order, they can’t do anything without the population.”
The governor’s appeal leaves more to be desired, given that troops he controls continue with episodes of violence, rights violation and bloodshed.
In most cases, locals testify to escaping to the bushes, to survive military attacks on them.
The governor’s appeal comes at the same time government says the war in Lebialem and other parts of the North West and South West regions had ended.
It also gives the impression that locals have returned and are rebuilding their homes destroyed earlier.
Yet, fierce clashes between government forces and separatist fighters continues to characterised multiple divisions including Lebialem.
Recently, dreaded separatist fighter, ‘Field Marshal’ was killed and his corpse paraded as a trophy.
Mimi Mefo Info