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Buea Mayor Unlocks Shops, Threatens Instant Closure If… 

By Andrew Nsoseka

The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, February 7, ordered his council police to unseal shops he had earlier sealed for respecting the stay-at-home crusade.

Ekema, however, said that if the owners of the shops respect calls for the ghost town, their contract with the council will be terminated and the shops seized.

The Mayor made the declaration in a meeting he organised at the council premises with owners of buildings whom he says should be able to control their tenants and order them to open their shops on ghost town days.

The Lord Mayor poses in an undated photo at or after some  equally important event(s) in the past

Ekema received less than the praise he had probably estimated after announcing that the shops would be unsealed, for there was little reaction from the people whom he expected to shout out with joy. He asked the rather indifferent businessperson why they did not clap when he said their shops would be unsealed but the crowed just murmured.

The request to unseal the shops was made by one of the landlords who promised that their tenants would keep their shops open.

On the concerns about security risks posed to shops and their owners who disrespect ghost towns, the Mayor gave his personal contact to the landlords to call him if threatened. He promised that he would personally intervene if anyone attacks a building or a market.

Meanwhile, some of the landlords told the Mayor and other council officials that the businesspersons do not want them to instruct them when to open or close their shops.

According to the landlords, their contract with businesspersons has to do with rents and does not extend to telling them when to open or close their businesses.

They said that their tenants do not open their shops because the population would not buy. Some complained that when their tenants open up, few or no people show up to buy, thus there is no reason to open shops when the population will not buy anything from them.

In addition, others said their tenants use internet connection to do their businesses and with the internet shut down, they don’t expect their clients to come and idle when they cannot work.

In response, the Mayor said the issue of internet connection was beyond him so he could not promise anything.


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