Cameroonians throughout its triangular territory, Sunday, May 20, 2018, converged on various ceremonial grounds to commemorate the country’s 46th National Day, despite the internal crisis rocking the country.
The 46th edition of the National Day in the two English-speaking Regions of the country was marred by massive boycotts of the event by civilians and the abduction of some local officials.
In the Divisional capital of Kupe-Muanenguba, Bangem in the South West Region, the Mayor of the municipality, Ekuh Simon Ojeh and his Second Deputy, Enongene Epie, were kidnapped by the Restoration Forces.
In a video currently making the rounds on social media, the Mayor and his Deputy said they were abducted by the Ambazonia Restoration Forces for mobilising young people in the area to partake in the National celebrations, despite warnings issued by the Forces for the population to boycott the event.
The celebrations in Kupe-Muanenguba which was supposed to commence at 9:00am, effectively began at 2:00pm and lasted less than ten minutes, after a gun battle erupted between Security Forces and the Restoration Forces.
After the march past, the Divisional Officer(DO) of Bangem, Leornard Nyam, condemned in strong terms the attack on security forces. He admitted that they were problems in Cameroon, but said it is inadmissible for people to pick up arms to demand for solutions to their problems. He reiterated that the forces of law and order were in Bangem to protect the people and not to fight with them.
It was equally a bloody National Day in Konye as the Restoration Forces battle with military officers. This reporter learnt that there were some casualties in the gun battle in Konye, but could not immediately ascertain the exact number of deaths recorded.
In Ekona, Fako Division of the South West Region, a Police Commissioner was reportedly killed when some unidentified gunmen attacked a police checkpoint and killed the Police boss alongside two of his aides. Some of the gunmen also lost their lives in the crossfire.
The gun battle between the forces of law and order and the gunmen in Ekona sent the villages fleeing into the bushes. Presently, Ekona is an abandoned twon.
It was also a tense atmosphere in Batibo in Momo Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. Even though reports of repeated gun exchanges between the forces of law and order and the Restoration Forces have emerged, no casualty has however been reported.
Meanwhile, in the North West Regional capital, Bamenda, the security forces used their military might to prevent any violence from escalating, but the massive boycott of the event by the population was tell tale.
It would be recalled that in prelude to the 46th National Day celebration, some Government officials embarked on various crusades, especially in the Anglophone Regions, urging the population to come out in their numbers and celebrate the event as a sign of national unity and living together.