Streets in Bamenda yesterday bustled with life after over a week of business shutdown.   Businesses widely opened their doors after keeping them closed since Monday April 15. No one can say with exactitude how the people resolved to keep their businesses closed for this long. During this shutdown period, major markets in Bamenda remained opened by the market masters but no shop owner opened their specific. As they opened their shops this Tuesday, many buyers could be seen rushing to pick one or two things. 

Holding a shopping bag in front of the Bamenda main market, Magratte Bih tells me “I am expecting a baby anytime from now and I had to rush here early to do my shopping. No one knows what can happen next here in Bamenda. Some of us in this town just get up and see things happening. I had to call to someone to find out if shops were open. Thank God they are that is why I came.”
“My brother I don’t know where we are going with this thing. Some of us have just become debtors. I came here last Monday and saw some of my colleagues here but the way others were acting and looking at us as if we had committed a crime. I just had to lock up and go home immediately. I happy those who are asking us to open or close have pitied us; hope they will not  ask us to lock again tomorrow.”  A shop owner (identity withheld) tells this reporter.
Sources subject to verification have it that promoters of ghost towns and the ongoing crisis sent out messages threatening everyone to remain indoors for a period of one week leading up to the National Day celebration. The effects grapevine say was to ensure a total boycott of May 20 activities. This however affected only shop owners as taxi drivers and commercial motorcycle riders completely gave a deaf ear to the call.
“I don’t know why the people are targeting only us shop owners. As you could see Taxis, Okada and other forms of public transport were all functional. We shop owners are the unfortunate victims of this crisis. Last time the military promise to come and force open the shops. Thank God they have not done so till now else we would have died. I just pray God this thing ends now. We are suffering my brother in between two elephants.”
The hitherto sleeping city for the past eight days only regained life yesterday though still timid with some on easy calm.
Government authorities have been consistent in the call to an end to Ghost towns but the calls seems to be yielding no fruits with the most recent lasting for eight days being the longest since the start of the crisis in 2016.  
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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