True to type and like he had promised, Ekema Patrick Esunge, Mayor of the Buea Council in Cameroon’s South West Region was out Monday, July 8, 2019 to seal all shops and business establishments that closed their doors in ‘respect’ of ghost town calls from men fighting for the independence of a country they call Ambazonia.
Reports say so many business premises were sealed from the Mile 17 Motor Park through Molyko to Bonduma under the supervision of the municipality’s Chief Executive Officer and security officers.
Like it was the case last April, not even mobile telephony agencies, e-money kiosks, banks, money transfer shops were spared when the mayor’s squad made Monday’s unannounced outing.
In a radio announcement dated April 4, 2019, Ekema had called on the general public and economic operators to desist from respecting ghost town calls emanating from «unknown individuals ».
The mayor’s outing came on the heels of a 10-day lockdown ordered by separatists loyal to Ambazonia – geographically Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions.
Ekema warned that: «…any business premises found going against this municipal order as from April 5, 2019 will be sealed for 30 days».
The Mayor recalls that several meetings have been held to put an end to the so called ghost town phenomenon. At the time, he cited two meetings held with transporters syndicates on December 27 and 28, as well as those held with public and private economic operators of the Buea municipality.
Ekema said at the time that the people of the city of excellence are tired of respecting the dictates of unknown individuals.
His words: «I think the population is fed-up with these unwanted and spontaneous calls by unknown bandits in the forest who will sit and decide on the economic, social, educational and political life of free citizens. The Buea population has demonstrated a mark of responsibility today.
“That they are no longer interested in these unwanted calls…Let these fellows learn to understand that you don’t push a man to the wall. So, the population says no to these unnecessary instructions coming from the forest. »
Ekema went on to thank the population of Buea for being “so supportive”.
Back in April, Ekema had after sealing the businesses signed a communiqué ordering that the shops be unsealed, describing his decision as an olive branch which he was extending to those who have been respecting ghost towns.
It is not known if the mayor will once again grant clemency to those whose businesses were affected by this new war against civil disobedience. Mayor Ekema is however expected to continue with the drive Tuesday, July 9, 2019 should locals respect another ghost town call as the Ambazonia leaders head to court.