Reports from the city of Bamenda and its environs say neither cars nor bikes are in circulation today Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 after a weekend roar between separatist and government authorities with security forces present at strategic positions in town.
Markets are open but there are no people inside. A few persons are trekking to their respective destinations and security forces are also on patrol around the town with frequent checks of identification documents.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty because locals here do not know when things will return to normal”. A resident told TeboPost.
The city is battling with restrictions on motorbikes by the City Mayor who banned bikes from moving all across the city of Abakwa. The restrictions by the authorities angered separatist fighters and their leaders who retaliated by banning cars from circulating until further notice.
Government authorities believe armed separatist fighters use motorbikes to commit most of their atrocities in the city and some say the bike riders have refused to adhere to government guidelines regulating the sector.
Government supporters are quick to point to a similar ban in Kumba years back which has helped to keep the city relatively safer ever since.
But critics of the government say authorities are chasing shadows. They point to multiple crimes committed without bikes and say even motorbike riders in Douala and other cities don’t respect the existing Prime Ministerial text regulating the sector.
Many fear the ban will frustrate many youths, most of whom depend on bikes for a living and might push them to pick up arms out of frustration against the state, thereby worsening the political situation.
Bamenda has been the center of a tense standoff between separatist and security forces for the past week following the killing of two security officers in the city.
The fighting led to a late-night raid which killed notorious Amba general ‘Mad Dog’.