Cameroon: Frustrated Mayor Abandons Hungry Women as Efforts to Kill Ghost Towns Collapse

Some women at the old town neighborhood in the city of Bamenda, a city in the once independent state of Southern Cameroons turned up Monday, May 11, for subsidized sales of some basic food items at the Bamenda main markets organized by the city council but were stranded.


 Bamenda on May 11, Deserted as is the Case every Monday


The City Mayor, Paul Achobang (seen by many city dwellers as an impostor since the election there was boycotted at 97%, official statistics show) failed to show up for the sales as promised. He offered no explanation to the women and did not as much as send anybody to go give any form of excuses. 


Observers in Bamenda mocked that the women had fallen for a bait, and braved the odds on a ghost town day (a day the people close their shops and other activities in protest against what they see as colonial invasion from French-speaking Cameroon), given the proximity from oldtown to the main market only to be disappointed.


This was not the first time the city mayor was not kept to his words, leaving many of these women stranded. The effort mainly aimed at beating ghost towns and lockdowns was launched on April 20 with a successful sale of a few products that lasted just one hour.


On April 27, the gates were locked, and the Mayor turned up by 1 pm with the excuse that the truck bringing in the supplies from Douala had a breakdown on the way. He promised that all would be ready by the coming Monday. Monday April 27 finally came, and the women felt stranded again and words came in from the Mayor through secondary sources that only 100 bags of rice were ready and will not be enough for the number of persons that were there.


On Monday May 4, the women were again present, and the City Mayor opened the sales and within an hour the limited supply was exhausted. Today, fewer women went to the main market in anticipation to buy the subsidized food stuff and the market gate was shut and nobody showed up and after five hours of a hopeless wait, the women dispersed to their homes. 


Bamenda city today, like previous Mondays was ghosted. The streets were void of bikes and vehicles except two military trucks and a van were busy parading from one main Street to the other. City dwellers were in their homes with shops and offices locked.