Ahead of Cameroon’s legislative and municipal elections scheduled for February 9, the country’s ruling party held a meeting under a heavy police presence with fear of secessionist attacks.
It was held in Buea, the capital of the English speaking southwest region where separatists recently declared the upcoming elections illegal and announced a six-day “lockdown”.
Parliamentary and local elections have been postponed twice due to the security situation. Derick Ekona, opposition SDF activist told the media of the challenges that exist: “There are always threats, as you know.
We take risks but we take really calculated risks because if all these people stay at home how are they going to feed their families? People have to get out and we have to give people confidence that we’re going to change the system to make people feel safer.
Residents are concerned as the security situation in the Anglophone region continues to deteriorate.
Ebenezer Akonga, a Buea resident is skeptical about the polls taking place: “Everyone’s in the bush, and we don’t know how the election will happen.
“We cleared the land, we did everything we could to get people to come into town, but they are not coming. Now, when we say that there is an election on February 9, we do not know if it will take place,” he added.
In three years, the clashes in the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions have left at least 3,000 dead and more than 700,000 displaced.