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May 20 celebration in Kolofata signals fading Boko Haram scare

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Inhabitants of Kolofata, Far North region, joined the rest of the country to celebrate this year’s edition of the national day on May 20. It is the first time in three years that the national day was commemorated in the locality by the traditional March Past.

The parade was suspended some three years ago in the wake of Boko Haram insurgency. The Cameroonian army and a Joint Multinational Taskforce made of soldiers from countries in the Lake Chad Basin boast of having humbled the so-called Islamist terror group. It is apparently because of the perceived victory of soldiers that life is returning to normal in the area.

Last Saturday’s event, we gathered, was marked by civilian march past consisting of school children, political parties, Red Cross volunteers and members of vigilante committees. The highpoint of the event as was the case in other regional, divisional and sub divisional headquarters across the country, was the military parade. The parade is a platform for the military to put up a show of strength; demonstrating its numerical might and weapons.

The celebrations however took place under tight security given that the area is yet to be completely free from security threats. The latest Boko Haram attack on Kolofata took place on April 19, a month before the celebration of the national day. A suicide bomber from Nigeria made his way into the locality and blew himself up.

The explosion killed three people including a gendarmerie officer. More recently, on Friday, May 19, a double suicide bombing took place in the town of Mora, about 40 minute drive from Kolofata. Three people lost their lives. Kolofata has been the target of Boko haram attacks in recent years.

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