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Ghosts Towns, Tight Security Mar May 20 Celebrations In Bamenda 

By Chris Mbunwe

Deserted streets during May Day celebrations in Bamenda

This year’s May 20 celebration suffered several setbacks; from massive boycotts from the opposition SDF and other parties, the tight security that scared so many who wanted even to go march at various ceremonial grounds and the ghost town.

Apart from full display of defence prowess across Northwest by the military who marched-past the officials seated at the grandstands, the civilian population, students and pupil participations everywhere in the Northwest was a sham, compared to the past.

Among the higher institutions of learning, the Francophones at the University of Bamenda stole the show, given the fact that these Francophone students make up 60 percent of the students in the university. So, the administration can always count on them if it has to do with boycotts or ghost towns.

The heavily armed military personnel ferried Francophone students to ceremonial grounds. Placards displayed had inscriptions “Northwest Says no to Ghost Towns”, “We need Peace” , “No to Burnings” , “Dialogue Is the Key,” and so on.

Political parties that made their presence felt included the ruling CPDM, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP, THE United Democratic Party UDP of Bochong Elhadj Lawan Bako, and the Cameroon National Democratic Party CNDP.

For fear of the unknown, militants dressed in assorted clothes, only to put on party uniforms under military protection behind the Commercial Avenue grandstand and at the Bamenda Congress Hall.

A senior Physics teacher in one of the high schools in Fundong Boyo Division said he saw only 78 pupils march past at grandstand out of several thousands of pupils.

According to him, the administration of Boyo was only consoled by the massive show-up of CPDM militants that were being mobilised by the Mayor of Fundong, Denis Awoh Ndang.

Ghost towns paralysed businesses throughout Northwest up till about 6 pm when drinking spots resumed activities.

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