Cameroonians across the nation will on Sunday May 20 demonstrate through action and messages how committed they are to nation-building.
Cultural events, military and civilian march past rehearsals are just some of the activities that have been going on in schools, military barracks and within legalised political parties as well as other non-governmental structures to culminate in celebrations marking the 46th year of the unitary State in Cameroon. The march past in Yaounde will be chaired by the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, President Paul Biya.
At the Regional, Divisional and other administrative headquarters, local officials will preside at activities all geared at making the entire population appreciate the value of belonging to a single nation; one that is strong and united around the same goals of peace, tolerance and harmonious coexistence, irrespective of the differences.
The theme this year; “Cameroonian citizens, let us remain united in diversity and preserve social peace for a stable, indivisible and prosperous Cameroon,” is tailored to reflect the mood of the country and the determination to forge a common destiny.
Apart from insecurity in parts of the Far North Region caused by Boko Haram and incursions by Central African Republic rebels in the East Region, the crisis in the North West and South West Regions brought in another mind-boggling equation that leaves many confused.
But President Paul Biya who continues to steer the ship of State remains positive and confident by urging Cameroonians to view the future with optimism.
By building the theme of the celebration around social peace, unity in diversity, stability and prosperity, the obvious ambition is to tackle issues that have cropped up of late in the country with people overtly hostile to the nation by expressing frustrations in a way that threatens values which are sacrosanct.
The violence, deaths and acts of arson that have been reported in some parts of the North West and South West Regions are a demonstration of intolerance that can only put in jeopardy the desired goals of living together.
The lingering hatred that ought to have disappeared from the national mode of operation given over 50 years of nationhood have unfortunately given rise to awful destruction and open malice to the extent that what has been painstakingly erected throughout the affected regions is today being ignominiously pulled down.
In spite of the sad note, school children, students, members of the defence forces and various legalised political parties in the country have continued with serenity to prepare for the event on Sunday in grand style.
The final march past rehearsal in Yaounde with officials at the highest level of the State and in the various administrative units are going on to reflect the admiration and determination that those who still know what challenges in nation-building connote remain ready to come out massively and identify with the one and indivisible Cameroon that President Paul Biya has always exhorted citizens of the country to put their trust in.
The enthusiasm with which members of the defence forces have been going about the dress rehearsals and the patriotic songs that youth, students and others have all rehearsed, symbolise how committed the population is to social peace, unity, national stability and progress as the sole possibility to guarantee the future.
Several political actors have been criss-crossing the North West and South West Regions to mobilise the citizens who have deviated from the national grid to return to the fold. For the past 46 years that the National Day festivities have been organised in Cameroon, the trend has been to ensure that Cameroonians demonstrate their sense of common belonging and 2018 is certainly not different.