Successful elections in NW, SW : Praiseworthy Joint Effort

Four corps devotedly made the voting possible in these two troubled regions at last Sunday’s presidential poll.

Staff of the election management body Elecam burnt the midnight oil before, during and after the elections. The institution figured how to make voting possible even in areas covered in gunfire. Polling stations were merged to become polling centres. Even on the eve of the elections, some centres were moved for security reasons. Armed separatists continue to threaten, the staff of Elecam has since the escalation of the Anglophone crisis. Elecam offices were targeted and burnt, in Belo for example. But it did not stop the Elecam machinery from rolling. Reports say workers recruited to support Elecam staff sneaked to work to elude any attacks from armed separatists.

It was also a tough time for the administration, from Governors Adolph Lele Lafrique of North West and Okalia Bilai of South West to the divisional officers, including others corps of the administration. All hands were on deck. DOs installed a week before the election had a successful election as their first challenge. The coordination job of the administration was herculean but these personalities pulled it off.

Elecam and the administration could move about secured thanks to the police, gendarmerie, BIR and other corps of Cameroon forces of law and order. Gunmen shot at these men in uniform. In Widikum on Sunday 7, 2018, two police officers were shot and wounded, and are in Yaoundé where their wounds are treated. In Bamenda on election day, two armed separatists referred to as amba boys were killed when the group attempted to disrupt elections. Gunmen blew off bridges, gorged roads and blocked roads with tree logs. Cameroon defense forces repaired and cleared off the road blocks. These men of honor airlifted election material to remote or far off areas like Mbiame.

Tight security permitted the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement to carry out door-todoor and mouth-to-ear campaign. From the regional campaign coordination commission chaired by Philemon Yang, also prime minister, down to the local campaign teams, these militants and sympathizers of the CPDM braved the odds to campaign. Most of them were part of the courageous electorate that conquered fear and came out to carry out their civic responsibility on October 7, 2018.