Bamenda Youth Day march-past: Parade or charade?

NEWS 18 Feb 2019
Bamenda Youth Day march-past: Parade or charade?

By Moma Sandrine
On February 11, 2019, a day celebrated all over the national territory as Youth Day, inhabitants of Bamenda woke up to embrace a lockdown of activities that had been on from Monday February 5.
At about 9:00am, one expected to see students and teachers flooding the Bamenda Commercial Avenue to fulfill their civic responsibility. This was however not the case as only a few youths could brave the odds and make it to the grandstand. Some administrative officials including divisional delegates were spotted at the grandstand. Some attendees could be seen sneaking in with sacks and motors bags containing party regalia which they later wore to take part in the march-past.
The march-past proper that started at about 11:00am did not last 20 minutes. Representing secondary schools in Bamenda was GBHS Bamendakwe that had eight students march-past the Bamenda Commercial Avenue Grandstand. Less than one hundred students marched under the University of Bamenda and dozens of others marched under professional institutions. No name of a professional institution was displayed on the board the students marching pass held.
There were a handful of students marching under CENAJES, a youth and sports training institution, and few others marched under vocational training institutions. A few delegations equally took part in the march-past with a handful of participants. The lone political party that was represented at the march-past exercise was the ruling CPDM Party. No primary school pupil was present at the grandstand.

Administrative and security officials pose shortly after the Youth Day parade in Bamenda

Administrative and security officials pose shortly after the Youth Day parade in Bamenda

Speaking shortly after the march-past, the Governor of the North West Region Adolphe Lele Lafrique called on the youths to make use of the many opportunities given to them and actively participate in nation building. He equally encouraged them to get registered on electoral lists and participate in the upcoming municipal elections. He also asked the youths to be law abiding citizens.
“I want to ask them [the youth] to be law abiding citizens, not to heed to those that are asking them to destroy our beloved country.“
The Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, Vincent Nji Ndumu who was equally present at the ceremonial ground, called on the population to brave the challenges they are facing.
“I use this opportunity to call on the population of Bamenda and in general the North West and South West to take their destinies into their own hands. We cannot continue in this vein. It will not take us to anywhere. This is just a misadventure and inevitably within the days, weeks, months ahead, this thing will come to an end. Let’s take our destinies into our hands.“
The ceremony however ended hitch-free as necessary security measures were taken. Unlike previous years where youths were excited to stroll around after a march-past, the case was different this year. Most youths present hurried to have a change of clothes before being transported back to their various destinations. Business places still remained locked and streets deserted.

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