March 25 was a Sunday like no other in the NW like elsewhere in Cameroon as councilors took to the polls to vote for Cameroon’s Senators.
The voting day started timidly across the region following an avalanche of decisions both public and secret. Before campaigns for the elections could start, social media was inundated with calls for boycott from activist of the creation of an Ambazonia State made up of present day NW and SW regions. These calls were not empty; they were accompanied by threats to councilors who will dare vote in the elections.


To indicate government’s readiness to face any eventually, there was security deployment to all eight polling centers in the region. As if that was not enough, NW Governor Adolph Lele L’Afrique on the eve of elections day signed an order “suspending the circulation of motorbikes within the entire North West Region and restricting movements of persons and property from one Division to another on Sunday the 25th of March 2018 from 6am to 9pm.” 

Though the motorbike riders will respect the suspension timidly, the region became too calm with just a few shops or bars opening as the military helicopter hovers over the region. Many have been quick to link the timid resumption of economic activities in the region to either misinformation as relates the governor’s order, solidarity with the bike riders or the speculated ghost town which seem to characterize every day with a public activity. 

Bamenda
In Bamenda a few bikes could still be seen circulating just like taxis and private cars and a few shops opened as over 250 councilors converged on Government Bilingual High School GBHS Bamendakwe to vote. Though no major incidence was reported, the arrival of councilors seemed to have been very coordinated as they arrived in groups voting and just returning immediately as if they were being controlled by someone. Before it was 2pm, the last Councilor had just voted. 

Mbengwi
The embarrassment of the day seems to have come from Mbengwi at GNS Mbengwi where a video Camera was discovered in the room hosting the polling station. The Camera covered with a card board had a storage device hidden in the ceiling. The issue became a point of attraction coming at the time NW Governor was arriving Mbengwi as he toured the region visiting polling stations. As councilors insisted the Camera and saver be destroyed, security was firm on protecting it with the governor describing it as a small issue which will be handled. No one has claimed ownership of the equipment but fingers are pointing at those who were threatening councilors and calling for a boycott, those who gave money to councilors and wanted to ensure they voted for them and even security though they have not made a declaration on it. Many including SDF National Chairman John Fru Ndi, Supreme State Audit minister Mbah Acha, Outgoing Senator Awanga Zacharia, The SDO and DO for the area immediately showed up at the polling station upon getting information about the unfortunate development.  

Nkambe and Kumbo
Reports from Nkambe talked of a generally calm day with no major incidence. However the stopping of vehicles from circulating was enough to fuel some anger despite the availability of bars and drinking spots. Councilors filed into Government Primary School Group One Nkambe in peace to perform their duty. Similar reports came from Kumbo as Tobin hosted the voting exercise. At Press time all was going well. 

Menchum
The lack of electricity in Menchum was quickly resolved with a standby generator at GBHS Wum to permit the 107 councilors perform their duty. Though bikes and vehicles were not moving a few businesses were open with all going as prayed for by the President of the Polling Station Rev Mary Akwaduh at the start of voting. Military surveillance was at top level with the Divisional Head of ELECAM for Menchum seen ensuring the smooth functioning of the exercise. 

Ndop 
It was a dramatic arrival of Councilors in GBHS Ndop as they where driven in in a bus all at ones to perform their civic duty. Many wondered where they were altogether that they arrived at the same time. Out of the 107 councilors who were elected in 2013 across Ngoketunjia, only 100 could answer present for the voting of Senators in 2018. Six of the councilors could not make it to this day as they were taken away by death while one is in detention. Cameras have captured pictures of the Substantive Senators for the CPDM Dinga Ignatius Bayin and SDF Henry Kemede together in a cordial mode indicative of peace in the area. 

Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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