By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, January 20, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Idenau – Apparently frightened by the ongoing mass protests in the South West and North West Regions, Cameroon Customs have been instructed to step up vigilance at the various entry ports along the coastline with Nigeria in the South West Region.
At Idenau beach, cross-border traders described the hell they went through in new security checks and disappointing and unprecedented.
On Thursday, January 19, a trader who gave his name as Peter said he spent almost two hours undergoing custom security scrutiny; something he said is very unusual. “When we arrived from neighbouring Nigeria, a Customs officer turned up and asked to check the content of my cargo [cartoons of smoked fish]. We had to go cartoon by cartoon and the officer sorted it fish after fish,” the trader disclosed.
Peter told The Cameroon Journal he has never witnessed such a situation ever since he started trading in smoked fish from Nigeria some fifteen years ago.
A senior customs official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they have received firm instructions from Yaoundé to ensure maximum vigilance at the border during this moment. He said they are told to watch out to forestall the entry of small arms and light weapons from Nigeria “during this moment when things are unpredictable.”
We learned the increased security checks were not isolated to Idenau. A similar scenario could be observed at the Bota Wharf, Tiko Beach and other entry ports in the South West Region.
It should be recalled the Anglophone Regions share borders with Nigeria’s troubled South South geopolitical zone which has over the years been witnessing arms struggles.
However, the border remains porous due to endemic corruption and undefined entry routes.