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Eyong Orlando

Studied B.Sc Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Buea

Website URL: http://www.cameroon-concord.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As the ghost town declared by the Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Consortium enters day two today, rubrics of yesterday’s operation is still pretty fresh in the minds of denizens of the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon who are ready to give up just anything for a brighter future for their children.

While at the time of this report, the ghost town operation is recording a resounding success in the North West and South West and taking place with a lot of calm and serenity, that of yesterday did produce a lot of fireworks in some major towns of the Anglophone region. Not only did it go violent but dozens were arrested and the angry youths took to the streets.



Revisiting Ghost Town Operation Day one

In the North West Region regional capital of Bamenda which has been championing this fight from day one, business activities where all grounded as the ghost town recorded a resounding success. All the markets, banks, fueling stations, commercial centers, travel agencies among others remained closed while the streets completely deserted with very few people and private cars rushing to their various destinations.
In Ndop, angry youths who were aggrieved by the fact that some business premises were opened, decided to match shutting down business premises and government offices but they were later disperse by arm to the teeth riot police officers whose brutality cannot be over emphasized.

The Divisional Officer for Fundong, this reporter gathered was blocked by irate youths from going to work. They questioned if he was not current with the political atmosphere in the country to know that there was a ghost town.

Cruising West of the Mungo to the South West Regions, which until yesterday exercise relatively calm was the epitome of unrest as the ghost town took a different dimension in the sea-side city of Limbe formerly called Victoria.

Even though the consortium had earlier called for no violence during the ghost town, Limbe, which harbors the lone oil refinery in Cameroon took everyone by surprise. Not only were roads within the town barricaded by angry youths, but equally any commercial bike rider or taxi driver caught working had to face the angry youths.
 
Matters reach climax when hundreds of angry Limbe youths stormed French schools in Limbe which had classes going on unperturbed. Hundreds of Francophone students and pupils were forced out of their various school premises by angry youths as police fired tear gas and gun shots in an attempt to disperse the ramping crowd.

While it is reported that over twenty were arrested ,a resident of Limbe who spoke to Cameroon Concord narrated that they had to go out to ensure that the ghost town was respected by all especially those French schools who have since the strike remained indifferent.

Today’s Ghost Town Operation

Today January 17, 2017 is the second and last day of the tow day ghost town operation as declared by the consortium headed by barrister Agbor Felix Balla, who spent a greater part of his career working as a legal adviser to the United Nation.
 
At the time of this report, day two of the ghost town is relatively effective and no violent has been reported as at now. From Buea, Limbe, Mutengene and Kumba in the South West Region to Bamenda, Nkwen, Nitop, Commercial Avenue, Small Mankon et al in the North West, one can conclude that the ghost town operation is 100% effective. Now the question Cameroon Concord could not answer is what happens after the ghost town?

While we all wait on the Consortium leaders on what next, time is fast running out as this academic year risk being declared as null by UNESCO. Affair a suvire…


As the ghost town declared by the Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Consortium enters day two today, rubrics of yesterday’s operation is still pretty fresh in the minds of denizens of the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon who are ready to give up just anything for a brighter future for their children.

While at the time of this report, the ghost town operation is recording a resounding success in the North West and South West and taking place with a lot of calm and serenity, that of yesterday did produce a lot of fireworks in some major towns of the Anglophone region. Not only did it go violent but dozens were arrested and the angry youths took to the streets.



Revisiting Ghost Town Operation Day one

In the North West Region regional capital of Bamenda which has been championing this fight from day one, business activities where all grounded as the ghost town recorded a resounding success. All the markets, banks, fueling stations, commercial centers, travel agencies among others remained closed while the streets completely deserted with very few people and private cars rushing to their various destinations.
In Ndop, angry youths who were aggrieved by the fact that some business premises were opened, decided to match shutting down business premises and government offices but they were later disperse by arm to the teeth riot police officers whose brutality cannot be over emphasized.

The Divisional Officer for Fundong, this reporter gathered was blocked by irate youths from going to work. They questioned if he was not current with the political atmosphere in the country to know that there was a ghost town.

Cruising West of the Mungo to the South West Regions, which until yesterday exercise relatively calm was the epitome of unrest as the ghost town took a different dimension in the sea-side city of Limbe formerly called Victoria.

Even though the consortium had earlier called for no violence during the ghost town, Limbe, which harbors the lone oil refinery in Cameroon took everyone by surprise. Not only were roads within the town barricaded by angry youths, but equally any commercial bike rider or taxi driver caught working had to face the angry youths.
 
Matters reach climax when hundreds of angry Limbe youths stormed French schools in Limbe which had classes going on unperturbed. Hundreds of Francophone students and pupils were forced out of their various school premises by angry youths as police fired tear gas and gun shots in an attempt to disperse the ramping crowd.

While it is reported that over twenty were arrested ,a resident of Limbe who spoke to Cameroon Concord narrated that they had to go out to ensure that the ghost town was respected by all especially those French schools who have since the strike remained indifferent.

Today’s Ghost Town Operation

Today January 17, 2017 is the second and last day of the tow day ghost town operation as declared by the consortium headed by barrister Agbor Felix Balla, who spent a greater part of his career working as a legal adviser to the United Nation.
 
At the time of this report, day two of the ghost town is relatively effective and no violent has been reported as at now. From Buea, Limbe, Mutengene and Kumba in the South West Region to Bamenda, Nkwen, Nitop, Commercial Avenue, Small Mankon et al in the North West, one can conclude that the ghost town operation is 100% effective. Now the question this reporter could not answer is what happens after the ghost town?

While we all wait on the Consortium leaders on what next, time is fast running out as this academic year risk being declared as null by UNESCO. Affair a suvire…

South African based mobile telephone company, MTN, has refuted allegations that it has collided with the government of Cameroon to violate consumers rights in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

This comes after denizens of the two English speaking regions of the country which happens to be the strong hold of MTN took to the social media complaining of the fact that the mobile company has joined the regime of 84years old Paul Biya to sabotage networks and even block some numbers so as to limit the broadcasting and sharing of information concerning the strike action ongoing in former Southern Cameroon.

It should be pointed out that most of the English speaking Cameroonians identify with MTN network and for some time now, a handful of them complain of their numbers either not being able to receive or make calls, being blocked or their internet bundles get extinct in less than no time. Matters came to a climax last weekend as on Saturday after the Ghost town was declared hundreds of subscribers of the network storm the Bamenda and Buea regional head offices asking for answers as to why their numbers were block and their inability to surf the internet. It is equally worth nothing that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications have been circulating messages via mobile networks in Cameroon warning citizens against the effects of spreading false information on the social media.

They back what many have described as “empty threat” by stating that such acts are punishable by the penal code ranging from 5years imprisonment and fines estimated at Millions of FCFA.

Responding to these allegations which has since the incident seen MTN losing most of its customers to rival networks, Philisiwe Sibiya, chief executive officer of MTN in a statement made public states that “over the last couple of days, there has being reports and comments on the social media suggesting that MTN embarked on communication to subscribers intended to curtail customers rights and violate customers privacy.” Adding that “…as a responsible corporate citizen, MTN Cameroon will in no instance engage in activities that go contrary to the corporate values of the MTN Group and our license and concession obligations.” While refuting allegations of tempering with their service, the CEO added that “all our services remain accessible to our customers, we remain fully committed to provide quality service to all our customers and to building the special relationship that we have enjoyed for close to 17 years with the Cameroonian public and communities in general and those of the South West and North West Regions in particular.” A section of the statement dated 14 January and signed by Philisiwe Sibiya read.

Despite all attempts by the service provider to redeem its image, Cameroonians of the North West and South West regions who since November of last year have being on strike continue to criticize the company for siding with the government at the detriment of the population.

After last Monday's  Ghost Town Operation that grounded activities in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon (North West and South West Regions) pundits and political observers have begun questioning the power the government exercises over these two Regions.
This can be attributed to the fact that on Monday January 9, 2017, which was the day for the resumption of the second term for the 2016/2017 academic year, the Anglophone consortium had announced that no school or business activity will be functional in the above mentioned regions.


But in its usual mannerisms, Paul Biya’s 34 year-old government has since the commencement of the Anglophone strike last November 2016, used all means ranging from attempted bribery, intimidation, threats, manipulation and even arbitrary arrests, instead of finding solutions to the concerns raised by the consortium. It has tacitly decided to go the Judas way.


Numerous press releases, radio announcements and reports were done via the state media, CRTV, stating that effective classes will resume as per the academic calendar. In an interview last week before the Ghost Town was observed, Tassang Wilfred, one of the members of the Consortium said “come Monday 9, we will see who controls Bamenda.”


The government, after dispatching a handful of Ministers with bags of money to bribe the teachers and traditional rulers in an attempt coerce their subjects into calling off the strike in both the North West and South West Regions, saw their efforts thrown to the trash as the Ghost Town Operation was a heavy success.


Political pundits have since then applauded the unity and togetherness expressed by Cameroonians of the English speaking expression, who for decades now, complain of gross injustice and marginalization. What was termed the Buea declaration now goes by the name “the Anglophone problem.”


While the academic year throughout Cameroon risks being cancelled by the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization, UNESCO, if the students do not return to school this week so as to complete the required 900 hours of lecture a year, the government is on a hot seat as dialogue stalls.


A local newspaper reported that the strike might have just revealed how less popular the Anglophone Ministers including the Prime Minister who hails from the North West Region, are. After repeated attempts, they could not calm their people down; talk less of persuading them to call off the strike.


This, one can conclude, just goes a long way to show that these appointed Ministers have no influence on their people as not even spending a weekend with them can cause them to change their minds. To be continued…

Guinness Cameroon SA, which used to be the main promoter of the Mount Cameroon race of Hope might not be present this year. The partnership that was signed in 2013 for the multi-national brewery company to sponsor the event from 2014 expired last year 2016 and barely a month to the 22nd edition of the race, the National Athletics Federation is yet to get a main sponsor.  
 
In an interview over a local media outlet recently in Buea, the regional president of the National Athletics Federation, Eteki Njoh pointed out that even though Guinness won’t sponsor the 38km race this year, the federation’s national president, Emmanuel Motombi Mbome will ensure that other profitable partners be brought in.



While expressing delight and optimism that the prize money per category might be increased, the regional president announced that regional test race had already been scheduled while the final test race will hold on the January 28 in Buea.

It is worth nothing that the media publicity rights of the race were awarded to ACMAR media group headed by renowned entrepreneur Tony Danshaco. His company is thus charged with getting sponsors for the event, but with the race barely a month to go, the faith of this year’s race is yet uncertain.
 
It should be recalled that when Guinness Cameroon used to sponsor the race, the first in both male and female category took home a cash prize of 10M FCFA each while the second and third in each category carted away a sum of 5 and 2M FCFA respectively. “

In an interview last year, the president of the national Athletic Federation whose might will be put to test this year said “we are satisfied with the partnership with Guinness and hopes it continues.”

Even though no reasons have so far being advance as to why Guinness did not renew their sponsorship agreement with the federation, pundits are of the opinion that the old days when a winner in a category used to take home one million might just be around the corner except Motombi and his team get to work.

Awa Carlson in Buea

Page 40 of 40

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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