By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
Chris Anu, Ambazonia’s Secretary for Communication & IT has suspended the traditional Monday ghost towns in the North West and South West Regions. In a video that has since gone viral on social media, Anu says they want the population of the restive Anglophone regions to better prepare for end of year festivities.
“The restoration council on ground zero in collaboration with leaders on ground zero have agreed to call-off Monday ghost towns for the month of December,” Anu said in what he described as an important policy announcement.
The secretary for communication of the Ambazonia interim government said the temporal suspension of Monday ghost towns is expected to run into January.
“We want to give our people the opportunity to do what they can do to have a better Christmas. We know you have suffered enough, you have struggled enough. Do what you can do to have a better Christmas… we think there should be a little break,” Anu said.
He was however quick to add that should the need arise; they may decide to invoke the ghost town calls.
“Beginning Monday, December 3, 2018, there will be no Monday ghost towns till the end of December,” Anu emphasized in the viral video.
Ghost town calls were first respected on Monday, January 09, 2017 by members of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium as a way to frustrate school resumption.
Parts of Cameroon have been gripped by unrest since activists stepped up their campaign for independence in October 2016.
The clashes have been in the mainly English-speaking North-West and South West regions. Activists claim the country’s French-speaking majority is marginalising the English-speaking minority.
Common Law Lawyers announced a strike on October 11, 2016 to protest government’s attempts to annihilate the Common Law practice in a constitutionally bilingual and bi-jural Cameroon.
Anglophone teachers in the country joined the strike on November 21, 2016 to uphold Anglo-Saxon values under threat in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions. The teachers’ strike coincided with a popular protest – coffin revolution – led by journalist Mancho Bibixy Tse.
Matters came to a head on Thursday, December 8 when the population of Bamenda took to the streets to denounce the politicisation of a strike action they consider genuine and borne of longstanding grievances.
Days of ghost town have since been observed throughout the South West and North West Regions of the country. The suspension of the Monday ghost towns has been well received by businessmen and the population alike.
But Ayaba Cho Lucas in a social media outing rejects the suspension of the ghost town call. “…It is not an emotional exercise where you get up one day and feel sympathy and pity,” Ayaba thundered.
It remains unclear what the situation will be like with the fight between Anu and Ayaba on whether the ghost town should be suspended or continued unabated.