By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi
Friday September 22, 2017 could be termed a “black Friday” for Anglophone Cameroonians in Buea as angry protesters took to the streets holding peace plants chanting songs of freedom and liberation. The situation took a different dimension when inhabitants from Ekona, Muea, mile 16 all matched pass the streets of Molyko heading to the governor’s office to launch the independence flag.
The more than 3000 protesters who carried on the peaceful protest had banners, posts, the blue and white nylon which represented the color of the ‘Ambazonia’ flag.
Most of them walked bare-bodied decrying the sufferings, arrogance and mischievous deeds of the present regime. Among the protesters were jobless youths suffering from unemployment, angry men and women going through hard times as a result of the problems in the country.
The disgruntled crowd carried banners with messages such as “We want our Freedom”, “Let us be free”, “we are fed up with the sufferings” etc
Talking to one of the protesters who decided to remain anonymous, he said the march was in a bid to jointly hoist the ‘Ambazonia’ flag and declare their independence.
He equally told said that, Anglophone Cameroonians are tired of tyranny, suffering, pain and agony from the present francophone regime and wants to be freed from it. While drops of tears almost rolled down his cheeks, the protester noted that he is a graduate for 9 years now and nothing to show for it.
The protest which started as a peaceful one later turned violent as some gunshots could be heard fired by the security forces, water cannons were used on the angry crowd to disperse their march. It was at this juncture that protests turned violent and protesters began blocking the roads, shooting stones and destroying some structures. The confrontation between the police and the masses became worse as many individuals; innocent and guilty were arrested and detained by the police.
It was also reported on that same day that, about 2 persons lost their lives as a result of gunshot wounds. One died on the spot and the other died while in the hospital.
Also worthy of note is the fact that, on the same black Friday, the president of the Republic of Cameroon, his Excellency Paul Biya was to make a speech at the United Nations general assembly at 2pm Cameroon time.
This added more fuel to the demonstrations from protesters as some of them believed that, the president in his speech was not going to properly handle the Anglophone problem, reason why protesters decided to take the bull by the horn and take to the streets.
It should be noted that, among the problem the Anglophones are fighting for, the release of the remaining Anglophone detainees was also included in the desires. Some moderates who had been vocal about their stance for a federal state completely changed their minds on Friday for full independence, freedom and liberation for the Anglophone Cameroonians after they witnessed the size and scope of the demonstrations.
Getting to streets later in the evening to examine the state of things, one could not help but conclude that the aftermath was as though the street of Buea was a graveyard or a war zone scene. Everywhere was deserted, broken infrastructure littered on the roads, dirt, windscreens from broken vehicles etc.
Till the time of this report, it can still be asserted that the two English speaking regions of the country and Buea in Particular is still in a total stand still as businesses, stores etc are all closed. But it is believed and hoped that, situations would gradually return to normal.