A concerned citizen calling from the northwest regional capital of Bamenda has just said that people living abroad might be using boys back home to foster their personal interest.
“There is growing suspicion that the thieves menacing the local population could be working for people living abroad. Many of the boys seem to be operating in small groups and do not seem to be part of the Amba boys,” he said.
“There is rumor that the increasing banditry could be the handiwork of young men operating personal schemes to extract money from ordinary citizens. Their sophisticated weapons speak to the resources they have invested to obtain those weapons. Some of their bosses may just be in neighboring Nigeria,” he said.
The citizens, who is scared for his life, said his friends had advised that things had deteriorated in the northwest because certain individuals were benefiting from the kidnappings and the extortion money that is got from the suffering masses.
He regretted that a good objective was being ruined by a few greedy people who have no regard for human life, adding that
the boys menacing everybody had no firearms training and were permanently under the influence of banned substances.
He said some of the kids involved in the business of extortion wanted to talk, but were scared that if they broke ranks, their families could be targetted by their colleagues in crime.
He regretted that the soldiers had not done a good job when it comes to addressing the fears of the population as they have struck fear in honest citizens.
He added that even the army had so many bad elements, with some even stealing personal effects belonging to people who are law-abiding
He regretted what was transpiring in the two English-speaking regions of the country, adding that if the government had used a soft and diplomatic approach, a lot could have been averted.
He said though many people in Bamenda and Mamfe were for school resumption, they were scared to express their minds in public as they could be attacked at night.
He said thieves had become a huge problem just as the soldiers who are supposed to be keeping the peace.
Meanwhile, the source who just returned from Mamfe said that people were preparing for the new academic year in Mamfe town, adding that there was some level of security in the main town, but was worried that the villages might not see their schools functioning this year as the army could not guarantee anybody’s security in those rural areas.
He further added that many young men in Manyu Division clearly identified themselves as Amba boys just to intimidate the local population which was already tired of the stress generated by the chaos.
He said he hoped the divisions among those living abroad could be addressed to ensure that the focus stayed on the government that had made so many mistakes and not on the divisions which were really distracting.
The former civil servant who retired in Mamfe, but has now decided to move to Tiko because of the chaos said his decision to leave Mamfe was a painful one.
He said from Bamenda he would be heading to Tiko to secure accommodation which would be his next place of domicile.
He also urged the government to change its strategy so that peace could return to the country, adding that playing tough was only helping to fuel distrust among the local population that sees the government as an enemy.
The government must start rebuilding confidence. A lot of blood has been shed. As a nation, we need to take a fresh look at our country, he concluded.
By Dr Arrey Joachim