Since the beginning of the civil unrest in the English speaking regions of the country, hardly has a week run out without incidents of violence or buildings being torched reported.
Schools, markets, cars, hotels and the list of buildings which have been razed by flames in the North West and South West regions since the start of the “Anglophone crisis” grows longer each day. The unrest began in November 2016 when Common Law lawyers took to the street and teachers followed taking the strike to a whole new level. In the past weeks and months, news about structures being set on fire has been on many lips and the outcome, millions of francs of investment reduced to ashes. The hoodlums responsible for this uncivil behavior have completely thrown caution to the wind, undermining all what government has been doing to restore order in the Anglophone regions. Forces of law and order have been drawn into a cat and mouse game with the perpetrators of the ungodly acts, leaving many to wonder for how long this phenomenon will last.
When it all started, a police station in Bamenda was reduced to ashes by angry youths. Sometime later, news about the Limbe market being set on fire hit the airwaves. As if a wind of contamination was blowing, other markets like that of Bamenda, Fundong and Bamkika’ai in Kumbo to name but these soon caught the fever. The story then was that shop owners in these markets did not respect the ghost towns imposed by the ghosts themselves. Despite the material losses incurred and the struggle by authorities to put an end to the trend, the fire soon left markets to consume private property like cars, houses and hotels even going to the extent of bringing down classrooms in schools meant for the education of young minds. In this wave, CPDM Party leaders are the target; Ubangoh Helly, Section President of Momo West (Ngie) lost his new Land Cruser Prado to fire likewise the car of the Section President of Mezam I-B (Mankon) Cletus Anye Matoya, and the house and school of the GCE Baord Chair and Section President of Mezam V (Tubah) Abety Peter.
Many have condemned the acts, describing them as a way of retarding if not completely bringing to a standstill development efforts made by the population and the government. Government has not closed its doors to dialogue, which so far has yielded fruits and would still result to a lot more, if only the advocates for violence could put down their burning torches and heed to the voice of reason.