In different parts of Cameroon examination class students prepare to resume classes for their final term tomorrow. But this is not the case in Ndop, seat of Ngoketunjia Division in the North West region.
While the main concern on the minds of many across the nation is the coronavirus pandemic, all some Ndop residents can do is fear for their lives. Some shops in the town have remained sealed for days now by the Mayor who says its owners sympathised with separatist fighters by heeding to their calls for a lockdown.
Social media videos show many people leaving the town for Bamenda on foot after separatist fighters said they’ll prolong the weeklong lockdown they imposed. The group of people seen leaving Ndop, MMI is informed, is made up of students and others that visited their relatives in the town. With schools set to resume tomorrow in other parts of the country and with the impending lockdown, they have to move back to their original towns at all cost.
A source says “they are on their way to Bamenda trekking since vehicles are not moving. What prompted them to walk is because they were told there’s going to be an extension of the lockdown for one month.”
“They were expecting that the lockdown that had earlier been imposed in Ndop was to end this coming Tuesday but later… they got information that there will be an extension of the lockdown,” the source adds.
This, he says, was spurred by the fact that the Mayor Ntoh refused to unseal the shops. Separatist fighters “are bent that the mayor must unseal the shops of traders he locked without any penalty.”Ndop has had its own fair share of fighting between government forces and separatist fighters.
A transit town between Kumbo and Bamenda, the North West regional capital, the town still records occasional encounters between the warring parties.
Not even the Coronavirus pandemic has been able to put a halt to the fighting that has ensued for over three years today with thousands of lives lost. Rights groups and international bodies say only a free and fair dialogue with a neutral party will be able to put the conflict to rest in the end.
Mimi Mefo Info