Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Buea on Red Alert against Boko Haram

                    By Arrey Bate Arrey*
       The Divisional Officer (DO) for Buea, Kouam wokam Paul on Monday August 3 chaired  a security meeting in Buea, which came up with certain measures to preempt any deadly attacks by the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram in the subdivision.Boko Haram has already killed tens of Cameroonians in the northern part of the country.
       Earlier,in a communique dated 29th of July 2015 addressed to traditional and religious authorities, media houses and to social and cultural groups, the administrator has restricted the movement of  child-hawkers.
     “Any child who will be found hawking after 6pm will be kept under police custody and the parents will be called to order”.
     The warning came following the observation that children below ten years are often found hawking late into the night, putting themselves at health risks, exposing themselves to sexual exploitation, kidnapping and other crimes.

     The DO cited Article 15 of the African Chatter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child states, which says:  “Every child shall be protected from all forms of economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”.

He also cited the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which says, “The state shall protect the child from all forms of maltreatment by parents or others responsible for the care of the child and establish appropriate social programs for the prevention of abuse and the treatment of victims”.

      Mr. Wokam therefore counts on the understanding and collaboration of parents and guardians to ensure that their children are sound and safe through out the holidays.

      Last August  3, the DO summoned a meeting at his office ,which brought together  local heads of police and  gendarmes, hotel managers, bar owners, religious authorities and  quarter heads and stressed the urgent need for security to be stepped up  in Buea,in the face of threats by Boko Haram.

       The meeting adopted certain security measures for immediate application.

 Churches and religious activities and vigils have been restricted to 6pm.

 It was agreed that any public manifestation must be declared to the appropriate authorities and that churches must notify the administration of any  visiting preacher, his presence, nationality, and the length of time they  will spend in the country.

     Churches have been advised to increase ushers and protocol agents and for churches without, they should recruit them.       Churches are further advised to acquire metal detectors to detect dangerous objects and even surveillance cameras and consider building fences.

       Hotels and bar owners have been told to  improve on lighting in their buildings  so to reduce dark corners that may serve as hideouts for suspects; that  all hotels and bar must be duly registered, failing which they would be  closed down.

The general closing time for al night activities be it nightclubs, bars and parties,It was agreed, is  now  put at 9:00 pm

      The DO advised the public to call security Tel 117, 17 and 1500 in case of emergency and suspected persons around.

     Concluding the meeting, the administrator emphasized that the fight against Boko Haram is the responsibility of all and sundry, adding that it is advisable for everybody to present themselves upon request at any security check points for security screening.
* Arrey Bate Arrey is a University of Buea Journalism Student on Internship

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