Security has been beefed up in all strategic locations of the capital city and other towns in the country as the Constitutional Council proclaims October 7 presidential results that saw incumbent Paul Biya emerge victorious.
The government has remained on permanent security alert ever since the presidential election was conducted in the country. Thus, heightened security measures were taken to prevent any uprising as was announced by some opposition candidates at the just ended poll. In every strategic location in Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam and other towns, security dispositions were put in place.
In Douala, a planned protest march by opposition SDF Littoral Regional President and Member of Parliament for the Wouri Constituency, Hon Michel Nitcheu, was thwarted by administrative and security forces in Douala. In Yaounde, security forces have been patrolling the streets and stationed in most strategic junctions in the central administrative zone combat ready for any eventuality.
The government has not only embarked on preventive measures but also engaged in a rigorous campaign to deter Cameroonians from plunging into post electoral chaos. Radio and Television spots bearing messages of peace and its preservation despite the election outcome. The government also invaded the social media to promote peace and living together before, during and after the presidential poll. Given that over 15 million Cameroonians have access to mobile telephones, the government through mobile telephone operators sent individual Short Messages (SMSs) to subscribers. The message read “Malicious individuals are calling on the population via social media for insurrection on Monday 22, October 2018 at the Central Post Office in Yaounde. Any person or group of persons promoting or taking part in such an unauthorised gathering risk the full arm of the law in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Penal Code on public security and fight against terrorism. Together, let us exercise our civic responsibility and bar the way to enemies of peace.”
It should be noted that soon after the October 7 poll, the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) candidate, Maurice Kamto, took to the media where he declared himself winner and promising to defend “his mandate” to the end. Even before the Election Day, his campaign manager, Paul Eric Kingue had announced street protest in case of defeat. The actions of the CRM party candidate and his team received widespread condemnation from Cameroonians of all walks of life including political, religious and civil society actors. The heightened security measures aimed at protecting Cameroonians and their property as well as preserving national peace and cohesion is therefore justifiable in all ramifications.