The Task at Hand

Those who have followed up closely the trend of socio- political events in this our country, Cameroon within the last eleven months must be wondering what must have happened to the fraternal spirit that brought us together 56 years ago. No condition is permanent, we all believe, but changes, if they must be effected are triggered by hope for the better. That is why German Kamerun had to give way to French Cameroun and British Southern and Northern Cameroons. When the winds of decolonisation swept across Africa converting the colonial creations of the 19th century into independent states, the former UN trust territories of Cameroon proved to the rest of Africa and the world at large that the colonial whims of Divide and Rule can be redressed. By saying “No” to integration with giant Nigeria, and “YES” to a reunion with the former French Cameroun that had achieved its independence on January 1st 1960, Cameroonians west of the Mungo proved to their kindred of the east that blood indeed is thicker than water. Despite the 45years of socio/cultural differences inherited from colonialism, a reunion in diversities could keep us, united and our forefathers smiling. The validation of this step taken on 1st October 1961 placed Cameroon in a position that no one could consider the country to have been clothed in borrowed robes when it was being described as the “Laboratory of African unity.” Besides that enviable acknowledgment, Cameroon’s reunification after almost half a century of geopolitical divide has since been considered a feat of rare political maturity on the African continent. Other political, and even socio-economic advantages stemming from our rich natural resources, bilingual status and special links with the United Nations Organisation, if well exploited could make Cameroon a socio/economic haven in Africa. And, if the virtue of intelligence and resourcefulness of Cameroonians were overwhelmingly being put into positive use, we would have no time for the several societal ills that tarnish our image at home and abroad. Regrettably, the worst that has surfaced since our teachers and common law lawyers went on strike ( a democratic right of course) has been the unpatriotic manner in which we have handled our shortcomings despite some good will that has already been demonstrated by government in an effort to weather the storm. That after more than half a century of keeping alive what some observers considered a political experiment that would not last, our political greed, narrow patriotism, irresponsible politicking today threaten our unity is indeed unfortunate. The ongoing crisis is in fact, so disturbing that those aware of how much this temptation has already cost us must be wondering what has suddenly gone wrong with the spirit of fraternal love, tolerance, dialogue and genuine patriotism we need to sustain unity for solidarity and progress. But, what indeed has gone wrong with us that we even undermine the importance of children’s education and rationalize selfish political ambitions? Our failure to stall a crisis which surfaced as a strike action but has triggered an uprising that can result in blood-shed, betrays the love of our country, and its future. Hence we must demonstrate greater love for our homeland by relinquishing retrograde trends that betray our political maturity. The surest means of achieving this is by striving for peace. For, peace is vital to survival at national and international levels. We can sustain the spirit of love that brought us together after a colonial separation by relinquishing political greed and embracing love, unity and loyalty to our institutions. For, what is precious must be jealously protected and preserved.



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