16 January 2018

Cameroon: Stampede in South West Schools - Governor Dispels Rumours of Attack

The chief executive of the Region called the press to clarify the situation.

Rumours of attacks on schools in the South West blew across the parts of the Region yesterday morning sending some pupils and students fleeing from school premises in Meme and Fako Divisions. Such areas affected by the stampede included Kumba, Limbe, Muyuka and Buea. In the face of the stampede, the South West Regional Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, issued a communique in the afternoon of yesterday (15 January, 2018) urging parents, pupils, students, teachers, business community and the entire population to stay calm against manipulations by unknown persons. He called on the population to avoid panic caused by intoxication aimed at manipulating public opinion and creating an atmosphere of insecurity around educational establishments.

The Governor further reassured the public that the administration with the collaboration of Defence and Security forces is, like in the past, taking all necessary measures to ensure the protection of pupils, students, teachers and school infrastructures. The Governor expressed his conviction of the positive collaboration of school administrators, parents, teachers and local opinion leaders to stand up as one person to refuse to remain victims of unhealthy manipulation and intoxication.

In the same vein, the killing of a military man even though as passenger aboard a public transport vehicle on the highway at Kwakwa village in Mbonge Sub-Division in Meme Division last Saturday contributed to fuel the rumour of attack on schools. Governor Okalia Bilai accompanied by General Melingui Nouma Donatien who is Commander of 21st Motorised Infantry Brigade based in Buea, spoke to the press yesterday afternoon in his Office to dispel stories of attacks on schools.

The rumour had triggered parents to rush to collect their children from schools. In the case of Buea, schools like Bilingual Grammar School Molyko refused to open their gates to parents who crowded the gate. The school authorities and the administration advised the parents to wait until school closes normally at 3pm.

Security forces formed a ring around the school to prevent intruders from penetrating into the campus with the pretext as parents to create havoc. The school closed normally at 3pm and the students went home without any major incident reported yesterday .

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