Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of Territorial Administration, Friday, March 16, 2018, shocked members of his entourage in Batibo when he distributed dozens of helmets and identification jackets to commercial motor bike riders.
Besides the helmets and identification jackets, Minister Atanga Nji also donated two motorcycles to youths in Bamenda to help them fend for themselves.
This move by the new MINAT boss was surprising to many, given that, it came barely a week after the Minister suspended motor bike activities in some parts of the two English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.
In a March 8 press release signed by the former Minister at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Special Duties, firm instructions were given to Governors, Senior Divisional Officers (SDOs) and Divisional Officers (DOs) to ban the circulation of motor bike riders in certain towns in the North West and South West Regions.
Among the towns that were earmarked for the ban were: Batibo and Widikum in Momo Division and Balikumbat in Ngoketunjia of the North West Region.
In the South West Region, the circulation of motor bikes was prohibited from Meme (I, II and III), the entire Ndian Division and Muyuka in Fako Division.
Going by the Minister, the decision was intended to curb the violent killings of elements of the forces of law and order in the two Regions. He said the assailants were mostly using motor bikes to commit these atrocities on the troops.
Many people said the decision was the highest provocation on the Anglophones, given that the two Regions have been under siege and curfews ranging from Prefectural to Regional Orders before the Ministerial decision banning the motor bike circulation.
48 hours after the decisions, bikers in the aforementioned areas, especially Meme snubbed the Ministerial decision, urging the MINAT boss to come and enforce the ban on them himself.
However, many Cameroonians were stunned when news broke that the Minister will be sojourning to the North West Region barely a week after instating the very unpopular decision.
Things even got more interesting when Minister Atanga Nji opted to visit Batibo, which has been a red zone for administrators, following the kidnapping of the former DO of Batibo, Namata Ditang, and the Northwest Regional Delegate of Social Affairs, Animbom Aaron Yong.
But before Minister Atanga Nji left for Batibo, he had other surprises on his sleeves.
He carried with him helmets and identification jackets to encourage motor bike riders, which he has openly condemned in front of cameras and promised them hell and brimstone.