The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, has promised to get one out of the 20 municipal taxis that were purchased last year and hit the road, if cab drivers in his municipality try to respect calls for ghost town on Monday, July 9, 2018.
Mayor Ekema was speaking at the Buea Council Chambers on Tuesday, July 5, 2018, during a press conference to update the population of Buea on what transpired last Monday, in which the city witnessed the most dreaded ghost town since the escalation of the Anglophone Crisis.
The Mayor used the press conference to also outline the strategy the Council has devised to fight the ghost town phenomenon in the Buea municipality.
The municipal authority said all Council buildings hosting business premises must be opened and the municipal taxis purchased last year to fight the same plague, must ply the streets on ghost town days.
“After visiting the shops and ensure that they are opened, I will take one of the municipal taxis and hit the road,” he stated.
“I will personally visit all Council buildings hosting businesses to make sure they are opened on Mondays and should any business premise be closed, the occupant automatically loses his/her tenancy agreement,” Ekema averred.
On the surging security situation in the municipality, Mayor Ekema asserted that the military is the guarantor of the protection of lives and property of Buea inhabitants not the Council. “The Council can only suggest security measures to the Governor for implementation.”
The Mayor chastised inhabitants of Mile 16, Mile 17, Mile 18 and Muea for refusing to cooperate with the military in certain neighbourhoods where, he said, the Ambazonia Defence Forces have pitched their tents.
According to him, the level of infiltration in to the municipality by ADF is orchestrated by the motor bike sector and that if the bike sector fails to adhere to the restriction given by the Council, then the motor bike sector will be suspended.
On their part, the taxi drivers who attended the press conference asked the Mayor if the Council will be willing to replace their taxis, should they defy ghost town and the initiators come after them. But the Mayor remained mute.
The drivers and the bikers accused the military of always taking out their anger on them, while running away from those who are actually causing disorder in town. “If the military are ready we can go and show them the Amba camps,” one of participants stated.
On their part, representatives of the bikers’ union appealed to the Mayor to cause the police to release some of their members who were arrested by the security forces.