Ndop Population in Southern Cameroons Dare “Mayor” to Frustrate Pro-independence Resistance
Cameroon, Bamenda: Mr. Daniel Ntoh, “Mayor” (the people of the municipality boycotted the February 9 local elections about 98% and say they do not currently have a mayor) of Ndop issued a communiqué Friday May 29, threatening that anyone or trader who observes ghost towns (voluntary withdrawal from all business and other public activities for the day) and lockdowns announced by leaders of the once independent state of Southern Cameroons in his municipality, shall be dealt with accordingly.
He stated in the release that Ndop would no more observe any ghost towns or lockdowns and that only shops sealed by him shall remain closed on Mondays. The “Mayor” has not been seen in Ndop for some time and that left many observers wondering where was signing the release from. Each time he entered Ndop, he arrived generally surrounded by layers of security operatives.
Reacting to the release, a business operator (name withheld) mockingly said they were still under lockdown in Ndop and the Bamali Market Day of Sunday will not be on. According to him, Mr. Ntoh’s decision calling on businesspersons to shun ghost towns and lockdowns shall change nothing given that ghost towns and lockdowns had become a way of life in the entire territory of the once independent state of Southern Cameroons.
One Mr. Augustine told Timescape by phone that the people cannot open their shops not because they like it, but because it was a nationwide thing observed across Southern Cameroons: ".....For the ‘Mayor’ to now force people to open their shops and stores in Ndop alone cannot solve the problem....".
Mr. Augustine also revealed that Mr. Ntoh did sometimes live in Ndop, though not at his residence. He has reportedly elected residence in one of the structures within the Council premises where soldiers from the mainly Francophone administration in Yaounde is taking guard.
A Councilor in Ndop (name withheld) confided in Timescape that Mr. Ntoh was solely responsible for that communiqué given that there was no deliberation in session pertaining to his current actions. To this Councilor, it is an administrative act so Mr. Ntoh alone should take responsibility for its outcome.
One Richard Ndong, a designer at the Ndop Market, said Mr. Ntoh cannot threaten people over what is above the government in Yaounde. He insisted that it was better to respect ghost towns and be detained by the Council than to be ostracized by the entire community. To him, Mr. Ntoh who is Section President of the government party, the Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) should tell the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya the truth about what is happening to enable him solve the problem, rather threatening traders.
Mr. Ntoh, who in about serving his first mandate full of controversy, was incarcerated on charges of mismanagement of resources from the sale of communal stamps. He was only released after he paid the entire sum into the treasury of the Republic of Cameroon.