Following a crisis meeting between the Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua and commercial motorcycle trade union leaders, calm returned to Douala yesterday, September 22, 2016. Activities by motorbike riders resumed and continued normally after the tense standoff between riders and security forces and council staff on September 21, 2016.
Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua spoke the press in Bonanjo, Douala after chairing the crisis meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2016: “The cyclist crisis does not pose any obstacle to government measures. What happened was some kind of misunderstanding that needed mending. I have directed that checks of commercial motorcycles should be suspended until further notice. The measure is to give those who do not have the required documents to do so. I call on all of them to go the Transport Office and councils to secure the documents.”
The crisis erupted following checks of CEMAC number plates and council tax receipts. The Commissioner of the 12thPublic Security Police Station, Douala, was manhandled by the aggrieved riders. According to the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO for Wouri, Naseri Paul Bea, before the crisis exacerbated on Wednesday, a group of commercial riders in Douala V Subdivision had on Tuesday stopped a Douala City Council truck and seized nine of the impounded motorbikes machines it was transporting. He told the meeting that the crisis of Wednesday was a continuation of Tuesday’s protest in the Douala V Subdivision.
The checks, according to the Governor, were in line with recent instructions by the Minister of Transport during meetings with trade unions, taxi drivers and motorcycle riders in Douala. He had directed that the transport sector be made more secure and attractive in view of the upcoming Female African Cup of Nations. Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua said he subsequently issued communiqués calling on inhabitants to ensure hygiene and sanitation. Trade union leaders who were all cheers at the crisis meeting proposed a change of strategy by council staff and security forces.