Polls have closed across the country after a full day of voting in Cameroon’s first-ever Regional Election. Below are a couple of highlights of the day:
A chief in Garoua, North region died today after being pulled from his sickbed to vote. Moments before his death, the chief of Troua was seen being carried by two men out of a polling station, hundreds of Kilometers from his palace.
A municipal councilor was shot dead shortly after voting in Momo, North West region. Reports say he and others had voted and we’re returning to Bamenda when they were attacked by separatist fighters.
Fr. Anthony Viban of Akum, still in the North West region, was attacked as armed men opened fire on his car this morning. He was said to have been on his way to mass when it happened. This is not the first attack on the priest.
Fon Sehm Mbinglo of Nso ‘appeared’ in Kumbo to vote, to the surprise of many. The traditional ruler speaking shortly after voting under heavy security said the separatists’ dream is hopeless, and that he was working towards bringing peace back to the land.
Many today questioned why Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute failed to vote in his native Bongongo in Ndian Division. Unlike other traditional rulers who also hold key government positions, Dion Ngute maintained a low profile and was not seen all day.
In another twist of events, some SDF councilors defied party hierarchy by voting in today’s elections. These included those in Douala and Bamenda. The party which called for a boycott is yet to make any declaration following the action.
Three out of four polling stations at Lycee Joss Bonanjo in Douala had no electricity at the time of vote counting. ELECAM workers used lamps to do the counting. Observers say this is a failure on the part of ELECAM.
A man who identified himself as Etoga neither a municipal councilor nor a traditional ruler was at the Joss polling center today to vote. It took policemen on duty time explaining to the militant of the CPDM party that the election was not a general one for all Cameroonians to vote.
Some Cameroonians are ignorant of the political event that has taken place in Cameroon. Being an indirect election, many persons know nothing about the election. Those who have little knowledge say regional councils will not add much to the process of decentralization.
Election observers in Douala frowned at the heavy military presence at the polling center. To some of them, the military presence frightened some councilors and chiefs and can consequently influence their choices in the voting process.
Shooting in Mbveh and other quarters in Kumbo, Bui Division of the North West did not stop the voting process. Sources say some chiefs and councilors were transported to the polling center in military vehicles.
Government says today’s election took place nationwide in a serene, calm and peaceful atmosphere. In a press statement shortly after polls closed, Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Nji among others, lauded ELECAM for effectively implementing Covid-19 barrier measures.
In his five-page declaration, Minister Atanga Nji also noted that what matters henceforth is working together and not party interests. “Today’s winners must always solicit the competence of the losers and the losers must exercise good faith by putting the interest of Cameroon above any personal or partisan interest,” he said.