Transport agencies and motor parks in Bamenda have witnessed an unprecedented influx of passengers demanding transportation services to towns out of the North West region. 

 
“In the last two weeks it has not been easy for us. Many people are coming with large luggage asking to travel to Douala and Yaoundé. Most of the luggage is made up of beds, mattresses and food items.” A loader in a transport agency tells us in Bamenda 
 
Luggage and passengers waiting in a bus-less travel agency in Bamenda

“I am here with my two children and we are going to Yaoundé to meet my elder sister. I am from Wum where we have not had electricity for many days and the roads have also been blocked for many days. I had to go round passing through Fundong and then bushes to come to Bamenda. I covered a majority of the distance on foot. I am surprise these children are still this strong after the horrible experience we went through. Don’t ask me about the security of the road my brother.” A tired looking lady with two kids who gave his name as Mirabel said adding that she is a teacher of a school in Wum while waiting for a bus in a travel agency along Sonac Street. 


At an illegal park at finance junction that mostly transports people and goods to the West Region, it is a full business day with vehicles still seen loading at about 2pm despite the fact that ordinarily such a park shuts down at 6am. Njoufack Sylvestre tells me “there is a lot of uncertainty in this town now brother. I hear lots of things may be happening in the days ahead and that is why I want to go and leave my wife and children in the house in Mbouda before coming back. We have a house here and I do a small business so I will go and keep them and come back and be managing alone.” 


With the dawn to dusk curfew placed on the region from last Sunday, transport agencies now have to multiply trips by day from the region instead of the regular day and night journeys. A transport agency manager who will not want to be name explains “it has not been easy since Monday after the curfew was announced. That day we even abandoned lots of people here who had paid for night journeys but were around at 4pm the time we left. Every day now at least ten buses travel with the last leaving at 3pm. Before now only three buses could travel by day and the rest by night. One thing that disturbs us now is the kind of loads that passengers come with; beds, stands, mattresses and so on.” 


Though none of the travellers is prepared to share the reason why they are moving, speculations are rife that many fear for the unknown mindful of social media threats against presidential election campaigns and voting in the region by pro-independence activists.
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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