1st October 2017 will be remembered in the history of the country. The date that marks 56 years of reunification of the former Southern Cameroons and former French Cameroon was commemorated in different places nationwide.
In the French speaking part of the country the day was highlighted by political party rallies and persuasion from civil society actors for Cameroon to remain one and indivisible while in the two English speaking regions, some Cameroonians clamoured for secession despite restrictive measures put in place by administrative authorities.
In Yaoundé, the President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril both led a rally that ended with what is now termed the “Reunification Monument Declaration”.
The declaration called for dialogue and says no to secession and yes to Unity in Cameroon. It was buttressed by a tweet from the President of the Republic, condemning all forms of violence regardless of the sources and their perpetrators.
Conversely, in the North West and South West Regions the atmosphere was tense; most people stayed indoors in respect of the administrative orders prohibiting grouping, circulation from one division to another and a three day suspension of other lucrative activities as well as a closure of national borders.
Security forces deployed at strategic positions to keep watch and enforce order got into confrontation with angry crowds in some areas. Being a day of worship, some Christians went to their places of worship while others simply stayed home for the fear of uncertainty.
In the main towns in these regions, clashes resulted and in some cases they turned violent, resulting to unconfirmed numbers of deaths and injured. The vehicle of the Senior Divisional Officer of Boyo in the North West region was burnt down.
Special live programmes were also organised on CRTV Television and Radio as well as on its internet site and social media platforms, on the historical significance of 1st October 2017.
Elvis Teke (crtv.cm)