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Civil Society Organisations Protest Against Insecurity 

By Claudia Ngombet*

Northwest civil society organisations, September 13, staged a protest march to the Mile 7 Police District Station in Mankon, Bamenda, where arms were recently stolen by bandits.
The protestors, led by Simon Nkwenti, carried placards which read, “We Say No To Insecurity,” “We Are Not Safe,” “No Drinking At Working Hours”, “Shame To The Cameroonian Police”.

Before the demonstration, the civil society members gathered at the CATTU (Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union) office where issues of insecurity were discussed and the focus was on the recent shooting to death of the Mezam Presbyterian Secretary of the PCC, Rev. Zephaniah Kenji. 

Besides, another person was reportedly stabbed to death recently in the Small Mankon neighbourhood. These are accompanied by several reports of theft and the harassment of people in the streets. Nkwenti said: “Killing and stealing are evil and we have the moral responsibility to fight evil. We regret that the population has lost faith in our judiciary.”  He cited the recent death of Rev. Kenji, which reports say the guns used against him were gotten from the Mile 7 Mankon Police District Station.

He said the thieves confessed that the policemen at Mile 7 drink a lot and when they want to go on an operation, they send one of them to buy them (police) drinks while they jump into their offices for their guns. “The guns used to protect us are now used against us,” Nkwenti added. To remedy this high level of insecurity in Bamenda, it was agreed that the anti-gang system should be effected, landlords should know their tenants, what they do for a living, and security lights should be installed.

Commercial motorcyclists (bendskin) were warned against working in collaboration with these thieves and to respect their job. Whistles were given to participants and ‘bendskins’riders who marched to the Mile 7 Police Station to remind the Bamenda municipality of their responsibility. 

The civil society members also wondered if the Human Rights Commission is out to protect thieves or citizens. They said this is because, when a thief is detained, in less than two weeks he/she is released. It was agreed that any thief caught, will have the right hand cut off to identify him. Also discussed was the non-admission of students into the University of Bamenda, UNIBA, which was recently created.

The civil society also wants to know what is delaying the appointment of the Rector of UNIBA, because, since August, most parents, and especially students who passed the 2011 GCE Advanced Level aspiring for UNIBA, are in a dilemma. For this reason, they are preparing for a protest march in Bamenda on Tuesday, September 20.

*(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

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