Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Struggle Continues - Government Fails Again To Get Students Back To School - Thanks To Ghost Towns

Bamenda was on lockdown Monday as residents again defied calls by the government that “schools must resume.” Gov’t authorities had assured the population that they “put in place all the necessary security measures to ensure the safety of students, pupils, and teachers…” That did not help.

A report by CRTV’s Winston Lebga on the midday news on Monday, January 23rd alleged that three pupils of a primary school in Bamenda went to school but met a vacant campus and that in another school, a handful of teachers went but no student showed up.

By Nga Jefferson
The blackout of schools through ghost towns is being observed all over West Cameroon for grievances which Anglophone teachers brought before government. The gov’t is claiming that all the grievances have been “satisfactorily addressed.”

The teachers say not even one of their grievances have been addressed and have related to the gov’t that the only safeguard to their demands if eventually granted, is a federal system of gov’t in which the Southern Cameroons gets to maintain its Anglo-Saxon heritage.

Going around the town of Bamenda on Monday, The Cameroon Journalobserved that streets, businesses, and schools were completely deserted as the population respected the call for a ghost town declared by the now-outlawed CACSC. It is being concluded that the full respect of the ghost towns has to do with the arbitrary arrest of some of the Consortium’s leaders and the cutting of internet a week ago.

“What kind of government cuts its citizens from internet connection, leaving them in the blank – then turns around and arrest them for spreading false information? What do you expect when you leave people with no information?” an irate Bamenda resident who preferred to remain anonymous told the CJ.

A lecturer at a tertiary education institution in Bamenda when the CJspoke to him, preferred to quote Thomas Jefferson on press freedom,” Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Some residents think that gov’t’s drastic move in cutting the internet is justified, but that it should have been done with exceptions. “I think they didn’t have to totally cut off internet services in the NW and SW. Rather, since they clearly had a problem with social media, they should have blocked WhatsApp and Facebook but allow people access to their emails and websites so that financial transactions will not be hampered,” a lady whose names we got simply as Stella, told us with visible discontent.

Towns in West Cameroon which have gone without internet since January 17 have had to brave long distances to their nearest towns in East Cameroon to be able to access internet services like our reporter who had to travel to Bafoussam to be able to submit this report.
The Struggle Continues - Government Fails Again To Get Students Back To School - Thanks To Ghost Towns
Those in the Southwest have to travel to Douala to be able to use the internet. It remains to be seen what government will do, seeing that it has failed in its brutal and forceful method to persuade parents, teachers, and students in the Northwest and Southwest Regions to resume classes.
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