For the past 72 hours, the Northwest and Southwest Regional capitals have been teeming with heavily armed military officers.
The population of Bamenda and Buea, Monday, August 7, woke up and discovered major streets in their Region inundated with uniform officers.
Our military source, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said they were drafted into the Southwest and Northwest Regions after Government, acting from a tip-off and military intelligence reports, learnt that they could be an attack on the two Anglophone Regions.
According to him, it was in bid to pre-empt any attack that hundreds of them were ferried in at the depth of the night with armoured vehicles and weapons and stationed at strategic positions to secure the city and fight back in case of an attempt on Buea or Bamenda.
The heavy presence of military officers in Buea, chief town of the Southwest Region, has also led to a corresponding increase in the number of citizens in police and gendarme custody, as those found at certain period of the day without their national identity cards are ferried into custody.
Tongues are already wagging that the troops may have been drafted in on Sunday breaking Monday when there was an unexplained black out in Buea.
It is even rumoured that the blackout was used to slip in the troops into the Regions.
Many people who spoke to The Post said, the energy company, ENEO, has become a citizenly friendly company in recent months.
According to them, before ceasing electricity, the company often issued media announcements, informing the population that there will be no electricity from a certain period of the day.
“But the August 6 blackout, which lasted for over one day, was unprecedented. This was unlike ENEO, which often informs its clients about any blackout, so I knew that something was amiss,” our one of our respondents said.
Meanwhile, our military source said the troops, which were ferried into Buea and Bamenda and are now residing in camps and ‘not very comfortable with the weather conditions of the two Regions, characterised by heavy rain fall and extreme cold.
In a bid to battle the harsh climatic conditions, constant exercises, punctuated by brief breaks, midnight roll calls have been instituted to keep the troops alert and ready to quell any attack.
Communications between the troops and their family members are have been barred during working hours. Strict military discipline has also been instituted, to prevent the troops from careless drinking in bars, which is considered dangerous to their mission.
Some Soldiers Jailed
Meanwhile, The Post gathered that some military officers who went on a drinking spree, got drunk and began disturbing the tranquillity of Buea were arrested by their superiors and thrown behind bars.
The move, The Post further learnt, is to send a strong message to their colleagues that no extracurricular activity will be tolerated until their mission to the Anglophone Regions has been accomplished.
Gov’t Action Informed by Hostile Diaspora Reception
Meanwhile, The Post further gathered that the re-militarisation of the Anglophone Regions by the Government was informed by the hostile reception its emissaries got from the Cameroonian Diaspora.
Last week, Government dispatched some top notch administrators to some European countries, America and South Africa to tell Government’s own version of the ongoing Anglophone Crisis story.
But their presence in Europe and America instead triggered widespread resentment from the Cameroonian Diaspora.
In Brussels, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso and his bodyguard were humiliated, while in America, Professors Paul Ghogomu and Elvis Ngolle could barely speak.
In South Africa, Minister Dion Ngute’s lips were clipped by restive Southern Cameroonians from speaking, while the Cameroon Embassy premise was almost shattered.
With such hostile reception, Government became suspicious that something ugly was brewing, as such; dispatch its troops to the Northwest and Southwest Regions to secure the two Regions.
The Post Newspaper