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SW population commemorates May 20th under tight security

A timid population of the South West, especially the Regional capital Buea, Sunday, May 2018, joined Cameroonians throughout the National…

A timid population of the South West, especially the Regional capital Buea, Sunday, May 2018, joined Cameroonians throughout the National territory to commemorate the 46th edition of the National Day.

This year’s National Day in the Region was celebrated under tight security as threats of boycott and attack went viral.

Security officers from the Rapid Intervention Battalion, (BIR), the police and gendarmerie were planted around the Buea Independence Square to mitigate any eventuality.

Despite the heavy security presence at the Buea Independence Square, the turnout this year was massively boycotted by the civilians and the fanfare was lacking.

Only one primary school, few secondary schools and higher institutes of learning, march past the Buea ceremonial ground.

Political parties like the Social Democratic Front (SDF) and the Popular Action Party (PAP) boycotted the event, while militants of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) marched past with their hands on their heads.

According to the Coordinator of the party in the South West Region, their action was a sign of mourning.

“Even though were celebrating the National Day, CRM militants were sending out a strong message that all was not well in Cameroon. We were intimidated by some police officers to put down our hands, but we choose to march in solidarity with people, who are being killed, those who are suffering and those whose homes have been burnt down by security  forces,” he said.

However, despite  the frustration expressed by other political parties, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement(CPDM) led by one of the Vice Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, march past the ceremonial ground, chanting patriotic songs and urging their National Chairman, Paul Biya to seek reelection this year.

Speaking after the march past, South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai thanked all those who braved the odds to celebrate the National Day, despite calls for a boycott and threats to their lives.

Their presence at the Independence Square, he said, was a testament to the importance they attach to the unity and indivisibility of the country.

In Limbe, the tight security situation was the same and the massive boycott by civilians was a tell tale that all was not well in the Region.

Only a few Government primary schools and a few lay private schools took part in the civilian march past. There were no mission schools, such Saker Baptist College, Presbyterian Girls Secondary School and St Ann College, who often add colour to the march past  in Limbe.

The Limbe celebrations were sealed by militants of different political parties dominated by the CPDM, UNDP, ANDP and UPC who march past the Manga William’s Avenue.

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