Respecting State Sovereignty

Over the years, the democratisation process in Cameroon has continued to reveal several lessons for both citizens and the various political actors. One of such disclosures in the year 2019 was the attempt by some Cameroonians both at home and abroad to give the impression that the real foundation of the country’s democratic ethos is abroad. With the help of the social media and hanging on dissatisfaction resulting from the outcome of the 7 October, 2018 presidential poll, those who had issues with the election sought to tarnish the image of Cameroon and hoping to gain some foreign sympathy.     
Of course, such ambitions had to be short-lived as they were not only nipped in the bud, but the expected support from abroad has never come. That was a normal conclusion because the decision as to who governs a country lies in the hands of citizens of that country and not elsewhere. Any person interested in politics obviously need to recall that a country is made up of the people who hold the power to decide in an election over who can rule them, the territory and the institutions that function within the said nation. Cameroon happens to be one such example where State institutions do not only exist, but the people have the ability to take their destiny in their own hands no matter the odds.     
However, the idea of taking issues of national concern to the outside world cannot be ignored by the Head of State who is guarantor of the stability in the country. Thus, in his New Year’s message on 31 December, 2019, President Paul Biya felt compelled to set the records straight about the misunderstandings which some people have tried to create concerning the democratic system in Cameroon. Like in every human endeavour, there are bound to be challenges and Mr Biya underlined them by recalling that; “When the conditions were right and, together, we laid the foundations of democracy in our country, I was aware that the road would be strewn with obstacles. This actually happened, but we have been able to make remarkable progress.” The clear message has consequently been to those who try to conjure a utopic system instead of working to ensure that what exist should be made better, they only struggle to cry wolf because they want to be in power.    
In making certain claims, those involved seem to forget that only the people alone can guarantee State sovereignty and no one else. The strong message that the President had for them in the State-of-the-Nation‘s address was therefore that they do not only constitute a minority, but their actions fall short of  meeting best practices in the game of politics. That is certainly why President Paul Biya noted that; “Needless to recall that the sole arbiter in a democracy is the sovereign people. When the sovereign people make a choice through free and fair elections and the results are proclaimed after review of petitions, such results must be recognized and accepted by all.”    
It is true that the social media has had a tremendous impact throughout the world within the last few years, but virtual reality may never be able to replace the real facts on the ground. In the face of discontent over electoral processes in the country, some political party leaders and their supporters have either taken to illegal activities or the easy road to the social media to seek for sympathy. The Head of State has found in such distractions no serious outcome that could change the normal flow of events to affect the desire for development and progress in Cameroon. It may not matter how bad anyone feels about the trend of events in the country, but once it comes to the quest for political power, the lone and trustworthy approach for viable democratic achievement     will be in the hands of the sovereign people of the country. This comes through the voting exercise. The Head of Sate’s reminder that; “Neither the social media nor news outlets can change the outcome of an election, talk less of illegal protests, violence and personal or hate-filled attacks. Remember, I once said “Let’s talk, let’s not fight”. Such is the behaviour of the citizens of a democratic country” should be able to ring a bell. No one will take side with those who go against the laws of the land and it should be important that citizens seek means to redress whatever situation that they may want to correct in the democratization process in the country. Another opportunity is being given the political class in the country on 9 February, 2020 for the election of municipal councils and Members of the National Assembly. These are grassroots consultations that permit political parties to have a base through which they can exercise power by asking for votes from the sovereign people of Cameroon. 
 

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