The visit of Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr. Dion Ngute to Bamenda has created a tense atmosphere in the area.
The number of security checks has increased with extortion of transportation and other forms of harassment the order of the day.
The Commercial Avenue neighborhood, said to be the commercial heartbeat of the town, has been declared a no-go area for business persons by security forces.
Below is a picture of Bamenda as painted by an eyewitness:
Moving along the streets of Bamenda these days has not been friendly. The tension intensified fews days prior to October 1 celebrations.
I was in the Commercial Avenue neighborhood on Sunday when security forces from nowhere stormed the area at about 5:45pm forcing business persons to close their shops at gunpoint.
The soldiers could be heard shouting at the top of their voices, “Ferm Ferme ” loosely translated as close close.
“Ferme ce magasin ou je te tire dessus,” meaning, close that shop or I shoot you, one spoke in french to a lady as she tried to hurrilly pack her merchandise.
People could be seen running helter scalter for fear of the unknown. Many could not pack all their goods.
At Santa Park the previous day, women were seen crying and begging the Divisional Officer for Bamenda II, Nicholas Nkongho Manchang who was accompanied by armed uniform officers as he was bent on seeing into it that all makeshift shops around that area were cleared off.
At Mile two, I found myself in a gauter with the fish i bought missing after a gun was fired by the gendarmes.
They wanted to shut down Nkwen but it didn’t work even though many retired home earlier.
Monday morning, heavily armed men could be seen almost everywhere in town and. Tuesday October 05,2021 shop owners along Commercial Avenue were sent back by angry looking soldiers.
No shop has been opened around that area, no one is allowed to pass there, no vehicles and bikes have used that stretch.
Only uniform men and their war machines are stationed there ahead of Dion Ngute’s event to take place tomorrow at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue Grand Stand.
Many are afraid to talk anyhow as there are security officials in civilian atires in drinking spots, taxis, in the streets, just to name but this.
To many, the PM’s visit should end fast so that they can regain their lives and stop seeing masked gunmen in vehicles pointing their guns at them.