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Issues at Stake: Looming Threat To National Unity 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

The current crisis rocking our beloved Fatherland, Cameroon, has all the ramifications of a hoodoo. Such a blow-out that is a mirage of all socio-economic and political complexions has        the posture of an enigma of sorts. Otherwise, it is a hydra-headed crisis that remains amorphous in form.

That is why our country is being called all sorts of names in the foreign media. It is an albatross that has attracted all kinds of stigmatisations. Thus, it will be an act of sheer lunacy for every actor in the crisis to continue to pull his own side of the blanket, allowing the country to sink down the abyss of a full-blown conflict. In that case, Cameroon, a giant nation, full of milk and honey, will become nothing more than a whimpering dwarf. God forbid!

As a modern nation, we are hunched with the responsibility of braying at the sinners who have stoked the fires of the altercation through acts of commission and omission. We must hurl the indicting salvo at those whose minds have been monochromatically programmed to break rules. They throw the societal normative patterns to the dogs and adopt an indecent decorum to suit their frames. They are now adverse to every rule, but expect things to work well. This is nothing less than an outrage to the country’s moral being. It is a treacherous orchestration whose consequences have put national unity and national integration on the line.

Did anybody think about national interest when using the fulmination for a “no-school” campaign? Did anyone think about national unity in the wanton arrest   and incarceration of citizens west of the Mungo? National interest postulates the supremacy of the nation over any other consideration. This means that the powers that be can even negotiate with the devil, just for peace to reign in our country. That is why the Northwest Fons, the Southwest Chiefs, the men of God, the Northwest Members of Parliament, have appealed to the father of the nation, President Paul Biya, to grant general amnesty to all those who have been arrested in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. Such a move will only be in the spirit of appeasement and national reconciliation that we desperately need now.

In that way, we would ignore our detractors and those who are seeking to put the nation in the murky waters. We will then forge ahead with our development objectives. Such a crisis can only be a distraction from the lofty development goals that President Biya has set for this nation. The distraction will bring more sleepless nights to our President who promised not to sleep until there is food on every table.

It is now common political etiquette for some soapbox hypocrites who pretend to be loyal to President Biya while doing the exact opposite of what he wants to achieve in his legacy. Many of them, who profess national unity and national integration even from tree tops, are incapable of transcending the tribal incubus. They treat many Cameroonians with disdain and scorn in such a way that the patriotism in them wanes.

When you boast that you recommended the disconnection of the internet in some parts of the country, are you working for national unity or against it? For one thing, we did not need to get to this fulmination, if those in charge kept a tap on events, marshaled the peoples’ aspirations and submitted fact-filled reports to the President. The armada of technocrats and intellectuals seems to reason rather with their stomachs. Each time an intellectual is appointed into Government, he shirks his responsibility and does a moral and ideological somersault. Otherwise, our President, the one man who carries the aspirations of the people, will not be basking in such hellish heat.

When the darkening firmament showed its ugly head, I admonished in this column that the Anglophone Problem was a potentially explosive situation. From the look of things, I said it was a mighty storm gathering to sweep away the peace we have been enjoying. Nobody from the establishment seemed to have taken me seriously. So, what lurked behind the mask of the commonplace of the grievances of the Anglophone teachers and lawyers was the macro picture of the Anglophone Problem.  

The consequences of such a situation are momentous because of the tricky mutuality between fact and fiction in the rampaging dichotomy. The effects on the  collateral victims are so devastating. Some of those collateral victims are journalists. They have been warned not to comment on certain issues. Right now, they are in the crossroads of the peoples’ right to know and the authorities’ might to suppress information that is unpleasant to them. This explains why the publisher of the Bamenda-based Life Time Newspaper, Finian Tim Njua, is “savouring” pre-trial detention in Kondengui for allegedly promoting terrorism. BBC’s Randy Joe Sa’ah was lucky to be led off the hook. Tilarius Attia of The Sun Newspaper and Amos Fofung of the Guardian Post received the “Baptism of fire” when the dragnet of the police closed up on them in Buea last week.

I do not have the authority to gainsay the authorities for anything. But they must endeavor to be loyal to God, the Cameroonian people, the Constitution (letter and spirit), and the President of the Republic in their decisions. One way to achieve this is to put every decision on the scale and weigh its consequences in tandem with the general interest of the nation. That is why there is the Nolle Prosequai provision in our law which gives the authorities the power to stop proceedings against any individual or group of persons if it is noticed that their prosecution will bring more harm to the country than good. Presidential pardon is another merciful provision in our constitution.

It is safer for power-wielders to exercise their authority with caution in order not to commit abuses that will be counter-productive sooner or later. In such a situation, one must stay far away from the Machiavellian maxim which holds that power is like an aphrodisiac for more power. People in position of power become stronger when they extend the olive branch to the weak. As peace crusader cum lawyer, Ntumfor Nico Halle, once put it, “violence is the weapon of the weak, while dialogue (peace) is the weapon of the strong.”

One musician once composed a song in which he urged soldiers of a certain war-torn country to engage in rampant love-making so they could easily forget about war. I gain inspiration from him to urge Cameroonians to go haywire in love-making. But let Casanovas give me a break. I am not calling for kinky sex or for serial womanising. I am calling on every Cameroonian to face the present crisis by making love with the fatherland. That will be patriotism at its best, for, love for the fatherland could be a prerequisite for problem-solving at every rung of our national ladder.

If we give in to divide and rule tactics, Cameroon will degenerate to a wailing conglomerate of conflicting tribes, villages and families.

I have spoken

 

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