By Tapuka Gerald, January 9, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Kumba – Economic, Social and Administrative activities in most of the major towns of the South West region were totally grounded Monday January 9 as the strike action called by Anglophone Lawyers and Teachers’ Trade Unions took another twist in ghost towns.
Contrary to what public authorities said during the weekend, that schools would effectively reopen this Monday, January 9, no school bothered to open its doors. Worst still, the strike extended to other activities. In Kumba, the economic nerve center of the South West, the main market was partially opened but deserted by shop owners and customers, while other economic operators simply stayed home. Most traders and bike riders confessed to our reporter that they cannot afford to betray the common cause, which is why they are observing the strike.
None of the schools, both private and public opened their doors. In one private school complex the proprietor only asked the teachers to sign the resumption sheet and return home. In a city where the streets are usually filled with school buses on a regular day, no school bus could be spotted on the streets of Kumba.
Even banks did not open their doors. At the Express Union agency in Soba Street, Kumba, it was partially opened but the workers confessed that they were working in deep fear of the unknown.
Ironically, even government authorities who had been calling for an end to the strike action could not open their offices. A civil servant working in one of the offices of the Kumba Administrative headquarter, otherwise known as Kumba Station, said they are also observing the strike.
The streets were flooded with military men and women in combat ready gear but there wasn’t anybody for them to prey upon. The frustration of a closed down city caused one military officer to voice out his worries to his boss, toute est fermé, he exclaimed after trekking for kilometers under the hot scorching Kumba sun.
It was a similar situation in Buea. We spoke to a teacher in Government School Buea Rural who confessed that they were forced to go to school to sign resumption documents, but classes are grounded. The situation is tensed and even transport vehicles are absent from the street, the teacher lamented.
In the seaside resort of Limbe, it was no better as the hundreds of military officers ferried in could not force the angry population to take to their daily occupations or go to school. A similar story is coming from the North West Region where major towns have been deserted and the population is observing the sit-in strike. Earlier on, Presbyterian and Catholic Education Authorities had issued a statement closing down all their educational establishments till further notice.