By Paul Njie
The Senior Divisional Officer of Meme, Ntou’ou Ndong Chamberlin has imposed a two-day lockdown in his division.
In a recent communique, the division’s chief administrator barred the population from opening their commercial stores, markets, and filling stations on Saturday September 7 and Sunday September 8. The SDO also prohibited commercial bikes, taxis and inter-urban transport operators from working on these two days.
According to Ntou’ou Ndong Chamberlin, the move is as a result of the “prevailing security situation in Meme and Kumba in particular.”
There is actually more to the latest move than meets the eye. The SDO’s restriction on commercial activities comes at the end of the first half of a two-week declared lockdown by separatist fighters. The population were ordered by separatists to use the two days to stock their homes ahead of the next round of the shutdown. The SDO’s lockdown expires on Monday September 9, when the second leg of the separatists’ lockdown is due to kick off.
Many have seen it as a means by the head of Meme Division to show that government is in control of Anglophone Cameroon.
With both government and separatists battling for supremacy over the North West and South West regions, few people expected the SDO to imitate the separatists move by grounding activities.
Earlier in the week, Mr Ntou’ou Ndong patrolled the streets of Kumba to seal shops of business persons who respected lockdown calls by Ambazonian fighters. He demanded that the shop owners open their shops and shun calls to shut down their businesses. A failure to achieve this has led to the recent grounding of activities.
Meanwhile, the President of the Ambazonian Governing Council, Cho Ayaba in a recent audio making rounds on social media, urged the Meme population to defy the SDO’s order, and go about their activities normally on Saturday and Sunday.
He promised that Ambazonian fighters would protect them against any action from the SDO.
It remains unclear whom the population of Meme will obey, but as things stand, they have been left in a crossroads.
The Anglophone community has criticised the lockdowns coming from both separatists and the SDO, saying it is aimed at punishing the people.
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