Ghost towns were meant to be a form of civil disobedience across English-Speaking Cameroon. It was meant to force the government to stop its systematic attack on the socio-cultural values of Anglophones and treating them as second-class citizens in their own country.
However, as time has passed, ghost towns have become generating human ghosts. Two young men gave up their ghosts after being shot in broad daylight in the South West Regional Capital of Cameroon.
As the images and videos flooded social media, it became apparent, that as with many unresolved crimes being committed on a daily basis within the English-Speaking Regions, the truth of what actually happened, may never be known.
Some accounts state that the military drove by and shot the boys, one of whom has been identified to be a taxi driver. These accounts are however contradicted by some who claim that the boys were shot by renegades who felt that the victims were violating Ghost towns.
Ghost towns simply imply that no business is meant to operate on that day. This implies that people are forced to stay indoors. However, a few people do loiter around to grab some necessities, whenever they can. It will be recalled that the 17-Year-Old nursing mother, who was raped by ‘security’ personnel, also got attacked on a ghost town day.
The difficulty in getting a clear account of what happened typifies the challenges that ghost towns are bringing on the population. As there are few or no persons around, these days have become fertile for illegal activities, both by hoodlums and the military, who happen to be the only ones who can dare walk about freely on such days.
In addition to the security challenges that ghost town days now pose, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what exactly to do on such days. In the same Buea for example, the Mayor has been reported to have gone out on such days to shut down businesses that are obeying the boycott and deflating the tires of taxis which are not operating. On the flip side, should these businesses and taximen choose to obey the mayor, they run the risk of being targeted by the ghost town enforcers.
The people are therefore caught in a difficult situation. It is hoped that with the up-coming elections taking place in Cameroon, there might be a change of leadership, ushering in a new president who will engage with the crisis and find a longlasting solution. Such a hope is, however, very slim, considering Biya’s history of rigging elections.