Fako SDO’s Ban on Bags in Public Places Receives Backlash

Some inhabitants of Fako have described the SDO’s injunction placed on the carrying of bags and luggage into public places as vague, impossible and difficult to implement.

They talked to Insight News24 shortly after the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako-SW, Emmanuel Ledoux Engambo, on Wednesday, November 25, signed a released prohibiting people from bringing bags and other forms of luggage into public spheres within the Division.

Release signed by Fako SDO, banning bags and luggage in public places.

Part of the release reads “I have the honour to request you to immediately ensure that all markets and other types of sales points within your competence are strictly controlled while restricting persons from entering into these places with bags and other types of luggage.”

The release stirred backlash especially as it failed to describe the reason for the proclamation and the kind of bags that are not to be taken to these public spheres. Many wonder how effective the order is going to be.

To Hope Nda, a Buea denizen, the SDO’s decision might be challenging to implement, as it also fails to define the types of public places intended in the release.

Hope Ndah

“I think the SDO’s decision will be quite challenging to implement because of the disorganized nature of our markets. There are no strict entry or exits points in our markets and people just enter from any direction. This will make it difficult to check who enters with or without a bag.”

He added that the proclamation is ambiguous as it lacks clarity. “The authorities did not specify what kind of bag is to be restricted from entry into the markets. There are many kinds of bags, from backpacks to ladies handbags. So the decision had kept some of us confused and even scared of taking even sacks and motor bags to the markets and other public areas.”

Equally, Blessing Mekede, another inhabitant of Buea, say the order is not a good idea. “There are better things that the administrator should be thinking of doing rather than banning the use of bags in public places. More to that, we (women) are fond of carrying bags around. It is difficult for me to go somewhere without my bag,” She professed.

Blessing Mekede

Lucy Ngozi also questions where she would put her food items when she goes to the market. “So when we go to market we will hold our items on our hands abi?” she asked.

“Sometimes when our officials come up with releases I laugh. How possible will it be to control people in public places or does the SDO intend to build a wall around Fako” another person remarked.

Some people have equally said that the ban is similar to the Minister of Territorial Administration’s order calling for the licencing of machetes, iron rod, axes before purchase.

The population hopes that the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako would clarify their doubts as regards the type of bag that has been prohibited and how the proclamation would be implemented as well as the consequences that would be meted on defaulters.

Fako is in the South West Region, Republic of Cameroon. It is one of those areas that has been hit by the ongoing crisis in the country.

By Neville Mesumbe

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