By Richmond Endeley – Friday February 22, 2019.
Some athletes have already arrived Buea, capital of Cameroon’s restive South West Region where they are expected to participate in The Mount Cameroon Race of Hope, an annual event organized by the country’s Sports and Physical Education Ministry, National Telegraph has been told.
Organizers of this 24th edition to take place this Saturday, February 23, 2019, have insisted it must hold. This is coming amidst security threats dished out by the Anglophone militias battling regular Cameroonian soldiers to restore what they call the Statehood of Former British Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia.
The assurance was dished out Monday, February 18, 2019, by Cameroon’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi during the last preparatory meeting ahead of the Race.
According to the Minster, security dispositions have been put in place, and everyone present on Saturday will be completely secured. “I can assure everyone that come rain come shine, we shall have the Mountain Race, this Saturday in Buea. We have put in place very robust security measures, such that everyone will be well taken care of,” Minister Narcisse Kombi said.
The Minister who’s currently en route to the South West ahead of the event also disclosed that a total of 500 athletes have been registered so far, though 536 are expected overall, including 26 foreign athletes. Of the 26 foreign athletes, there are; 13 Kenyans, 3 Nigerians, 2 French, 1 Azerbaijan, 1 Niger, 2 CAR, 2 Uganda, and 1 Zimbabwean, National Telegraph learned.
It was also disclosed that of the
The Cash prize includes FCFA ten million (10.000.000) for the first athlete, seven (7) million for the second and three million (3.000.000) for the third. Meanwhile, a participation bonus of ten thousand (10,000) F CFA.
Enter Ambazonia Threats:
It should be noted that forces loyal to the Ambazonia Movement, have disclosed that they shall disrupt any event in Buea. They say,
The forces call on the general population of Buea and environs to observe an emergency lockdown this Saturday, February 23, 2019, so as to paralyze any attempts at organizing an event in Ambazonia, by what they describe as agents of La Republique du Cameroun, referring to government officials.
It is unclear how the atmosphere of Buea will be on this Saturday. However, judging from the threats and enforcement of previous lockdown and ghost towns in the two English-speaking Regions, one may draw conclusions that, the Ambazonia fighters may disrupt the event.