By Kate Bih
Nights are growing scarier in Bamenda, as the city grapples with a surge in criminal activities, leaving residents fearful for their safety.
Reports of harassment and robbery by “men of the underworld” have become distressingly frequent, plunging the city into a state of unease.
One resident, Agwe, shared a harrowing experience of being robbed by three assailants on motorbikes at Miss Ngen Junction around 8pm.
Agwe, a parent returning from work, recounted how he was harassed as he by a roadside shop to buy bread: own ordeal: “On my way out I was harassed and monies collected.”
Such incidents of aggression and harassment have become an unsettling reality for many in Bamenda.
The darkness that befalls the city when night falls exacerbates the situation, with the lack of street lights providing cover for criminal activities.
Manka, another victim, explained, “When the robbers came around, they said they were on patrol at Hospital Roundabout. They collected my money, and left on bikes.”
Despite administrative and security officials often portraying the security situation as “improving,” residents argue that the reality paints a different picture.
Instances of people knocking on doors at night, purportedly separatists demanding a so-called “liberation tax” in some neighborhoods, have added to the growing concern.
In response to the escalating security challenges, defense and security forces are intensifying efforts to curb criminal activities.
A recent security meeting in Yaounde, led by the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense, Joseph Beti Assomo, underscored the need for heightened vigilance, particularly during the festive period.
Minister Beti Assomo emphasized that priority focus will be directed toward regions already grappling with existing conflicts, namely the North West, South West, and Far North.
The security forces are gearing up to tackle the rise in harassment and theft, which tends to intensify during festive periods.
As Bamenda faces the ominous approach of the year-end period, residents are urging authorities to address the glaring issue of inadequate street lighting.
Many believe that improved visibility at major roundabouts within the city could act as a deterrent, potentially reducing the rate of harassment and enhancing overall security.