By Bouddih Adams
CameroonPostline.com -- As the debate whether Buea is ready for the reception of President Biya for the celebration of (Re) Unification or not, preparations are reaching fever pitch. Government ministers can be seen repeatedly zooming in and out of Buea. Oft times, as many as four are in town at the same time, to examine the various aspects of the preparations for the celebration under their ministerial departments.
To me, to be modest, the Governor and his administrators and other Government officials, members of the CPDM and, maybe, Buea people, are ready, but the projects are not ready. Putting this together, I will assume the mid position of Buea being 50 percent ready. That is; either the cup is half empty or half full, which also depends on your negative or positive view, disapproval or approval of the situation. Time is still needed for the projects to be diligently and fully executed.
If we have waited for two years after the celebration was due, we can wait again one more year. That will even help us realise with time which projects were poorly executed so that those responsible can be held redo them. The haste with which the projects are being carried out is such that they will last only a few months, if not a few weeks.
Merely surface-dressing the Mile 4-Small Soppo road and leaving it with bends and domes, virtually upgraded the death trap that it was, to a deadlier trap, under heavy traffic. In fact, I can say, without fear of contradiction, that the only project that has been completed is the Presidential grandstand. Every other thing is being hastily, therefore shoddily, done. The debate that the ‘Reunification monument’ is being constructed in an inappropriate location is another matter. But the project cannot be completed before or on December 14, which is hinted to be the day the celebration would take place.
The controversial road being built from the Police Roundabout to the Governor’s Office, betrays the fact that someone, somewhere, wanted some fast money and factored that phoney scheme into the list of Reunification projects to get his hands on it. It, too, cannot be ready in two weeks. If, these three projects; the open amphitheatre, the Reunification monument and the “Governors Road” are ever completed before December 14, then they would have been poorly executed, meaning that they would hardly last the test of time.
The so-called open amphitheatre opposite the grandstand cannot be completed in a couple of weeks. Perhaps, President Biya and his speech writers, who always drop in a note of mockery, want to use it to take Cameroonians for another ride. Remember the (in)famous “Me voici donc à Douala” mockery made almost decades ago, which he repeated last month when he came to lay the foundation stone for the second Bonaberi bridge?
This might be intended that, while making his address from his Presidential grandstand, he would point at that structure under construction across the road, as proof of the fact that he said Cameroon will be a huge construction site, “... and that is one of the huge construction sites I talked about,” he will probably say.
For an event of that magnitude, given that militants of CPDM including administrators are mostly sycophants, it would have been expected that the people in all the other Divisions of the Southwest Region, have a feel or fallouts from the event. The roads to Mundemba, Manyu, Lebialem, Kupe Muanenguba, should have also been rehabilitated so that the people can travel to Buea and line the streets and cheer their “illustrious” Head of State.
The aching thing is that, neither our politicians nor elite are saying anything. Presumably, because they mind only their businesses and do not care what happens to their towns and region? Nobody seems to his or her brother’s or sister’s keeper. They seem to be blind and deaf to what the common man and woman sees or says. Their eyes and ears seem to be fixed only on appointments and positions.
In as much as I argue that development of the country or parts of it should not be tagged to a presidential visit, I, humbly but strongly, suggest that Biya’s coming should be delayed and let us have all the benefits that come with it; considering what other towns and regions have benefitted from such visits.
Besides, if we have all the projects and infrastructure set up, facilities and amenities installed to the fullest, the celebration can go on even without the President. After all, since, since he made the announcement two years ago, President Biya has travelled at least a dozen times out of the country and stayed there for so long. And if you know what State resources are guzzled up during each of those his sojourns abroad, you want to ask yourself why it takes him so long to plan to visit a part of the country over which he presides.
That will also give time to get the real people concerned, to discuss and resolve the (Re) Unification issue and why Southern Cameroons feel they were given a raw deal. Most of those going about and purportedly discussing (Re) Unification, are hired jesters, who don’t even know what it was or it is about. They should eat humble pie and let Southern Cameroons opinion leaders on Board the discussion train.
Again, the Golden Jubilee of (Re) Unification offers the golden opportunity for the two sides to the debate on the (Re) Unification, especially those who voted in the Plebiscite and now argue that they were given a raw deal, plus historians, to come and se the records straight, if at all those calling the shots now, the powers-that-be, want a veritable one Cameroon. If not, the movements militating for what they call the restoration of the State of Southern Cameroons, would have, thus, been offered a golden reason to continue with their crusade.
Are We Together?
First published in The Post print edition no 01484