Business premises and all commercial activities were completely grounded in Bamenda on May Day, as workers in Cameroon joined the international community to celebrate Labour Day.
Those who mustered courage to partake in the celebrations carried their T-shirts and uniforms in handbags, tiptoed to the Commercial Avenue Grandstand, and only wore the uniforms behind the Grandstand and Bamenda Congress Hall.
Others were ferried to the ceremonial ground in service vehicles, council trucks and University buses. Few commercial bikes were on the streets of Bamenda. Doors of off-licenses only flung open after 6:00pm.
Analysts said this year’s edition recorded a decimal participation compared to the previous editions. The private sector was completely absent.
Addressing the few workers who had braved the Ghost Town calls and turned-out at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue Grandstand, Northwest Governor, Adolph Lele L’Afrique, described architects of Ghost Towns as irresponsible, wayward and dangerous elements, who are mostly resident abroad, but keep sending intoxicating Ghost Town messages back home.
“What beats my imagination is that people respect these calls religiously. We have suffered enough from Ghost Towns, Trade unions must stop threatening Government because challenging the Government is not the way of solving the problem. Social dialogue is the only way-out,” Governor Lele L’Afrique, noted.
The Governor said the socio-economic impacts witnessed due to Ghost Towns are enormous, calling on the population to ignore such calls because the very population must survive and ensure that their children do not become vagabonds in future.
He told parents that keeping children at home is the worst crime they were committing because international human rights treaties guarantee all children the right to education.
The President of Trade Unions in the Northwest Region, Lawrence Nforbin Neba, making reference to the Anglophone Problem, said the solution lies in the hands of the Government. According to him, “no two wrongs can make a right.”
He said until Government and all the stakeholders engage in genuine dialogue, the problem cannot be solved. He called for the unconditional release of detainees and urged Government to ensure the safe return of all Cameroonians who fled the country in the wake of the crisis.
The Regional Trade Union boss, admonished employers whose workers have gone for months without salaries, yet they live ostentatious lifestyles at the peril of their employees.
Workers from Bamenda City Council, CAMTEL, Express Union, Senator’s City Hotel and SOFAVINC were decorated with Silver, Gilt and Gold medals during the celebration.
Source:The Post Newspaper