By Ndikum Johnson, May 14, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Buea – Cameroonians west of the Mungo are clasping their hands in prayer and tapping their feet uneasily as a shaky GCE exam is due to begin in less than 48 hours. In churches all over the two regions Sunday, prayers were for God to take control of affairs at this uncertain time.
There are fears and concerns on the part of many parents who are still undecided as to whether or not send their children to school and there are also fears that an unidentified group known as the “Vipers” may just be planning a move that could be catastrophic.
The group which has no official spokesperson and which operates much like a ghost, has taken responsibility of enforcing the struggle for Anglophone Cameroon’s restoration and has vowed to see to it that no school resumes on English-speaking Cameroon soil until Anglophone demands are satisfactorily met. They have reduced the cars of persons whom they see as detractors to ashes, razed down a number of schools and shops and are seemingly now in control of Anglophone Cameroon territory.
As Monday May 15 approaches, parents, teachers and students are in a kind of uncertainty that has not been experienced since the struggle began some Eight months ago.
“At this point I am not sure if I will send my children to sit for an exam that they never prepared for even though the Minister said they can write” a parent who asked for anonymity told the Cameroon Journal.
“Is this not an illegal thing they are doing by allowing children to write an exam that they never registered for? This is something that could earn my kids a jail sentence if the times were not this tricky. I sense something sinister about this regime and am likely not sending my children to be part of promoting falsehood…” he added.
A couple of other parents expressed the same concerns, most of them were preoccupied with the safety of their children as did one Mbeng who said “I understand that the gov’t says they will secure the school campuses, but what will happen to my children on their way home if I send them to write? They might be harmed for something that is in no way their fault…” he echoed.
These were sentiments expressed by activist, Tapang Ivo in a recent post in which he wrote “Yaoundé has deployed anti-riot vehicles to Southern Cameroons ahead of a fierce militarized dispute on Monday 15th.
Observers fear that scores of school children would be trapped in tear gas and gun shots on Monday following repeated calls for a boycott of the 2017 GCE. A group called “Vipers” allegedly vows to target both civilians and their properties if any citizen violates ghost towns and the GCE boycott.”
As tensions continue to mount, most parents have sworn to stay indoors with their children on Monday May 15th. It is worthy of note that the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society (CACSC) which is now jointly coordinating the strike actions that are paralyzing schools and courts in the former British Southern Cameroons, made it clear that every Monday shall be ghost towns day , meaning businesses, shops, schools and every commercial or social activities are grounded.
The Cameroon Journal could not confirm immediately how many soldiers and gendarmes have been deployed to the two Anglophone regions to “secure” them ahead of a contested GCE 2017 session.
CACSC has insisted that while every Monday remains ghost town day, 11th February, 20th May and any event deemed to be from the gov’t of Cameroun is supposed to be boycotted. Meanwhile, authorities in the two regions are making frantic efforts at ensuring that this does not happen under their watch and it has therefore become a tussle of sorts. Who is in charge will only be known after May 15th and 20th.