Inhabitants of the Northwest Region are adjusting to a recent gubernatorial order, whose substance is the immediate cessation of sales and purchase of firearms throughout the Region for the next six months renewable, in addition to requesting that all owners of hunting guns surrender them to the police.
According to the order, the sale or purchase of ammunitions is with effect from the date of signature for six months renewable, banned. Contraveners are warned that they shall be liable to sanctions as law enforcement officers shall be carrying out regular controls. Another release signed by the Secretary General at the Governor’s Office, Lanyuy Harry on behalf of the Governor also, called on the population to hand over hunting guns to the police.
“Following the recent socio-political crisis and the prevailing insecurity situation coupled with the numerous attacks and threats…the sale and purchase of ammunitions is suspended for a period of six months renewable throughout the Northwest Region. All persons keeping hunting guns are requested to hand them over to the nearest administrative authority who will acknowledge receipt.”
Immediately the order was read on state radio in Bamenda many people began welcoming it with divided minds. According to Peter Tanwie, resident of Nkwen, the Governor simply wants to victimize his people and the tradition of Nkwen. “How can the Governor ask us to go and submit our guns? We use guns at funerals. We fire these guns to awaken the ancestors to welcome one of us each time he or she is journeying to the world beyond. I am not comfortable with this idea at all. We keep guns here as men as a show of manhood. What will the Governor expect us to do when somebody dies now?” Peter retorted.
To Mary Tebi, the Governor should have started by shutting down the gun shop at City Chemist Round About. “The gun shop Belibi is still open now as we speak. Does it mean that assailants can’t buy the guns or only private guns are dangerous? We should lead with examples,” she said.
Joshua Kum, another Bamenda city dweller said the ban on guns is Government’s mapped out strategy to deprive many a hunter from his source of livelihood. “The hunting gun remains the basic tool of a hunter. I think the Governor should have used a better way to control the guns than to completely ban their usage. I see a situation where the Governor and his administration indirectly want to legalize the brutal soldiers breaking into homes in the name of search for guns,” Joshua said.
Meanwhile the greater population of the Northwest Region is still hoping that the Governor would do something about the communiqué.
By Jean Marie Ngong Song