Security has been beefed-up in the South West Region, especially in Buea as foreign athletes have began arriving the Regional capital ahead of tomorrow’s Mount Cameroon Race of Hope.
Going by statistics provided by the National Athletics Federation, the South West Region of Cameroon will be hosting athletes from 10 foreign countries.
It is in bid to ensure their safety before, during and after the event that the South West administrative authorities have augmented security in the Region, given the present socio-political crisis rocking the two English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.
Major streets in the Regional metropolis are inundated by troops. The forces of law and order are checking everybody going into some prominent neighbourhoods in Buea and those going out to ensure that nothing is left to chance.
As if that is not enough, there are close to six Police Checkpoints between Mile Four Limbe and Buea and at least three between Mutengene and Buea. At each Checkpoint, security operatives stop and control every passenger. Those without their national identity cards and those who cannot adequately indentify themselves are removed from the vehicles.
It would be recalled that during every preparatory meeting in prelude to tomorrow’s event, the Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has repeatedly appealed to the Security Committee of the 2018 Mount Cameroon Race of Hope to ensure that every citizen, irrespective of his or her race is protected.
The insistence on the security alertness of the police is not unconnected to the volatile political atmosphere prevailing in the South West and North West Regions, characterised by the haphazard killing of both civilians and security forces.
However, with the current security disposition taken by the administration, many locals in Buea are upbeat that the event will be a resounding successor, void of any security threat.