The effervescence that gripped parents in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon ahead of Monday, January 8, 2018, was total.
Many parents were excited to send their children back to school as prescribed by the Ambazonia Interim Government and finally put an end to the nightmare that has kept pupils and students in the North West and South West Regions at home since October 21, 2016.
Last week, when this reporter visited some schools in Buea and talked to the school officials, most of them said parents have been trooping into the various school campuses to register their children.
However, this euphoria was doused on Sunday, January 7, 2018, when news broke that troops have arrested leaders of the Ambazonia Interim Government.
According to a press release signed by Chris Anu, Secretary of Communications and IT of the ‘Federal Republic of Ambazonia’, the members of the Interim Government led by its President, Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine others were arrested at about 19:30 pm in Nera Hotels, Ekwueme Road, Abuja Nigeria.
Among those arrested were: Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, Dr. Henry Kimeng, Prof. Awasum, Dr. Cornelius Kwanga, Tassang Wilfred, Barrister Eyambe Elias, Dr. Ojong Okongho and Barrister Nalowa Bih.
News of the arrest spread like an inferno and before the twinkling of an eye, the people of Buea, Limbe, Kumba, Bangem and Mundemba were already seething in rage.
In response to the arrest of the leaders of the Ambazonia Interim Government, the Secretary of Communications and IT, announced a three day Ghost Town in the two English-speaking Regions from Monday, January 8 to Wednesday January 10.
Meanwhile, as the school doors flung opened yesterday, January 8, 2018, an atmosphere of confusion and anxiety reigned in the Region.
Parents who had prepared their children to send them to school according to the initial instruction from the Interim Government were forced to backpedal and respect the new order.
Ghost towns continue?
Even though the Ghost Town was not very effective, just a few pupils and students were present in the various schools, heavily guarded by security officers.
At Government Nursery School Buea Station just like Catholic School Buea Station, just a few parents mustered the courage to take their children to school.
Talking to this reporter, the Head Teachers of the two schools said the poor turn not may have been caused by the call for Ghost Towns.
At Bilingual Grammar School (BGS) Molyko, one of the Vice Principals, Bruno Walto, asserted that classes in the institution began on Wednesday, January 3 and that they have witnessed an increase in the number of students that morning.
Walto said most of the staff and students were present, given the importance of second term in the academic calendar.
On his part, the Principal of Government Technical High School(GTHS) Molyko, Ronard Apay, said over 500 students registered last week and hope that the number will continue to increase.
Meanwhile, after visiting schools in Buea on January 8, South West Regional Delegate of Basic Education, Dorothy Motaze, said the signs were encouraging and expressed optimism that things will get better.