Cameroon: Boko Haram – Motorbike Riders Mobilised to Denounce Suspects

It has become increasingly difficult to dispute the fact that commercial motorbike riders are the most informed set of people in all the nooks and crannies of the national triangle. By transporting people within various neighbourhoods, they claim to know who is who and who does what. It is with this specificity of their profession in mind that commercial motorbike riders in Yaounde have decided to offer their services in the fight against Boko Haram’s new suicide-bombing strategy.

At the Kondengui-Prison junction last Saturday, July 18, 2015, stickers bearing a message urging motorbike riders to denounce suspects, could be seen pasted on motorbikes stationed and waiting for passengers. When Cameroon Tribune’s reporting van cruised by at about 10.00 am, several of the bikers rushed to it afoot and yelling, “We are at War With Boko Haram”. With fingers pointing to the stickers on their bikes, they boasted: “Boko Haram suicide-bombers will have no place to hide. We will take them to the gendarmes.” With vibrant show of patriotism, they claimed to be showing their support to the Head of State.

Undertaken under the banner “Moto-Citoyens”, the campaign consists in sensitising commercial motorbike riders to be responsible. “I am a responsible motorbike rider. Remain vigilant against Boko Haram. For every suspicious act, the Network of Commercial Motorbike Riders’ Syndicates advises you to call numbers 113, 117 or 1500,” reads each sticker. Speaking to Cameroon Tribune, the National President of the “Moto-Citoyens” campaign, Bertin Mathieu Fodjeu, said the campaign will be extended to the ten regions of the country.

According to the President of Commercial Motorbike riders in the Kondengui-Prison zone, Jean Jules Seumou, when a new motorbike rider enters their midst, they seek to find out where he is coming from. “We launched this campaign because the commercial motorbike rider is the most exposed to terrorists. We could transport somebody who will go commit a mischief without us knowing,” said another motorbike rider, Steve Keppi.

As a prelude to the campaign, a press conference held in Yaounde on September 11, 2014. This was followed by a mission in the Far North Region in November 2014 which enabled Bertin Fodjeu and his delegation to sensitise over 700 motorbike riders in a grand rally. “We are preparing another sensitisation mission in the Far North. We pray that authorities will support us to print more of these stickers so that our goal will be achieved,” said Bertin Fodjeu.

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