All Hands Needed For Normalcy In NW, SW

The much-cherished dream of a quick return to normalcy in the North West and South West Regions, which regrettably still remains an unrealised dream for over three years running now, is by every means one of the teething challenges of Cameroon and its Head of State. And for the umpteenth time, President Paul Biya has expressed his worry on the situation, praying all and sundry to put constructive hands on deck to jointly bail the country out of the dilemma as soon as possible.  For, it is only in peace and serenity that a nation can pursue a common development goal and hope to attain set growth objects like the ones Cameroon has. 
In his traditional New Year state-of-the-nation address on Tuesday December 31, 2019, the guarantor of Cameroon’s Constitution showed a lot of concern, as usual, to the remorseless disorders in the two English-speaking parts of the country. In fact, in his second phrase after the normal “My dear compatriots” kicker, President Paul Biya went straight to the disquieting situation. “Together, we noted that the security situation in our North-West and South-West Regions was still a cause for concern despite calls for insurgents to lay down their arms. Accordingly, finding a solution had to be given priority,” was his starting point. 
Understandably so as the upheavals have left no peace-loving Cameroonian indifferent! This explains why the Head of State observed that “Without a doubt, this is one of the most urgent problems at the moment.” More so as criminal activities of armed groups continue to disrupt public, economic, and social life in the two regions, various measures taken in recent months to reason with the protesting youths notwithstanding. Without being exhaustive, President Biya and the government have been unwavering on all fronts to meet what seems the expressed legitimate concerns of the people from education, judiciary to pardon for those hitherto caught and caged for various crimes committed during the long-drawn crisis.
The creation of the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Centres in crisis-ridden areas wherein repentant fighters are cleansed and modelled into normal life and the holding of the Major National Dialogue, some of whose recommendations are already being implemented, show the goodwill of the government to make life worth living for all. Those leaving the DDR centres now will no doubt lead better lives than before. It is a national wish that their stories could serve as a double assurance for those still in the bushes to come to terms with the fact that better life awaits them at home. Dropping their arms is thus crucial!
Rejecting almost everything government does, demonstrated through the pockets of resistance still visible in some parts of the North West and South West Regions may turn correctible children into delinquents and enemies of the nation. And this cannot be tolerated in any State of law. President Paul Biya’s warning that, “For those who persist in going down the wrong road and continue to use violence, we will have no other choice than to combat them in order to protect all our fellow citizens,” is telling enough of government’s determination not to throw away the rod and spoil the child. The stick could as well be used where the carrot has failed to produce desired fruits.  The Head of State’s announcement that “Our Defence and Security Forces will, once again, perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness. I wish to reassure them of my full support and high esteem,” is loud and clear enough.
Visibly, people are tired of the atrocities caused by the raging war. Children have been deprived of priceless education; in fact their inalienable right for close to four years now, families have been separated, precious lives lost and public and private edifices vandalised. To say the least, this has been the height of disorder in the country’s history of living together. Like someone once said, violence is the argument of the weak. Cameroon certainly needs stronger forces of arguments to move forward rather than arguments of force that can at best destroy what the country has painstakingly taken years to build, most of which can never be recovered. It is common knowledge that human life is irreplaceable and illiteracy the worse drawback to meaningful socio-economic development. Why then persist on the wrong path when there is an honourable way out of a war as senseless as what Cameroon has known? 
High time therefore to turn a new leaf. All hands are required to restore the desired normalcy. 



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