The Legacy of Monday 9th Ghost Town Operation
For the first time, since the resistance towards the restoration of West Cameroons statehood started CRTV broadcasted the reality. Seems they could not bear the shame of hiding the truth to their audience. How then can one term such an event? Success to say the least, which adds credence to the legacy of the struggle. Following the controversies that surrounded Mr. Biya’s 31st December 2016 speech, the 2016 ultimatum given to the Biya government for the 7th of January 2017 by the Social Democratic Front (SDF) under the chairmanship of Fru Ndi, the 2nd January peaceful walk that recorded a success, boosted the enthusiasm of West Cameroonians to the course.
It should be recalled that in a Press Release issued by members of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium on the 4th of January 2017, a ghost town operation was declared in West Cameroon to commence Monday 9th January 2017. The declaration was arrived at based on government’s sloppy attitude towards pertinent issues raised by West Cameroon Lawyers and Teachers which reflects their existence.
It is obvious the ghost town declaration caused turbulence within the government as they searched for various tactics by which they will make it a total failure. The government responded by sending officials to West Cameroon and yet undermines the people’s plight by persuading stakeholders of the North and South West Regions to influence the start of school without appropriately taking measures to solve the problems. Chiefs, members of the Consortium, and principals of schools all over West Cameroon were targeted by government ministers. As usual, bribes were given to urge these leaders to undermine the struggle. However, their efforts were abortive, most of the meetings ended in a deadlock with a majority standing strong with the people by refusing to sell their consciences and their people for money, food and drinks, which will definitely be in surplus production and supplies when eventually the West Cameroons state is restored.
Furthermore, many West Cameroonians on and off social media had cried and called on the Church to include their voices in the struggle. The Church heeded the call and stand with the people. The Catholic Education Authorities of the Diocese of Buea took the lead by postponing school resumption until further notice, the Presbyterian denomination followed along with other denominations. These developments sent strong signals about the resistance to the entire West Cameroon and the government of La Republique.
In response, the Secretary-General of CATTU Mr. Tassang Wilfred stated: “By Monday we will know if Yaoundé controls Anglophone Cameroon or we control our country..”. In some hours to the start of the ghost town, a weapon (civil disobedience) that is divinely instructed to use against the government was to be demonstrated. Meanwhile, the Consortium called to order the people of West Cameroon, instructing them to stick to the rule of “civil disobedience”. They cautioned citizens to shun any form of violence and emphasized that anyone who dreams of enjoying the citizenship of West Cameroon should stay home. Unarguably, West Cameroonians on the one hand and the government, on the other hand, looked forward to January 9th. Eventually, it became reality… all schools, offices, business centers in West Cameroon were shut down. Towns and villages in the entire West Cameroon became ghost towns.
This is a hundred percent success and it goes down the memory lane, as a legacy in history that West Cameroonians want a complete restoration of their statehood. Aljazeera immediately picked the story, it was broadcasted internationally with images of an effective ghost town operation. Amongst the villages and cities of the South West and North West Regions, Buea, Bamenda and Kumba were completely ghost cities. Ironically, it is confirmed even government officers who initially called for the end of the strike could not open their offices. Sources confirmed all streets were entirely deserted; one could only see military officers ready for a combat but they couldn’t find anyone to target. In Buea, the situation escalated when some policemen invaded homes in mile 16 neighborhood and arrested people.
This event made some people suggest a one-week ghost town operation. However, since the Consortium as of now remains the main body that leads the struggle, the ghost town operation has been halted following a press release dated 9th January 2017. Mark Bareta following the consortium communique stated “since La Republique is not bowing, we would not bow also, the strike continues… no schools, no courts will open…”
Mark Bareta, CEO of BaretaNews on Facebook gave a vote of thanks to all West Cameroonians by applauding the efforts of every patriotic West Cameroonian, the Consortium, and the church. BaretaNews encourages everyone to continue in the same spirit, to be more devoted to the cause than ever before, with the hope of winning. Just like God delivered Israel from the hands of Pharaoh, he will deliver his people from the hands of their oppressors. God being a God of truth, justice and peace will see us through our struggles. God bless West Cameroon.