The Cameroon Head of State, Paul Biya in his address to the nation last Saturday deplored the negative trends that undermine the country’s unity, and spelt out what citizens must be doing to alter the unpatriotic trends.
The Cameroon nation, he stressed, must remain united and focused on its development. But what does it mean to protect and preserve this precious Pearle that was conceived on 11 February 1961 and effected on 1st October the same year? What meaning can we give to the developments of 20 May 1972? Without going into the details of patriotic commitment to national objectives, the most challenging, which is the consolidation of national unity, let us remind ourselves of the truth that our unity can hardly be genuinely consolidated, and developmental goals accomplished, if we do not give unification the meaning it deserves.
This can only work if we relinquish our tribal and regional biases and settle on what makes us a truly united nation with common goals. For, as President Biya put it, we can only forge ahead to emerge as a nation in 2035 if we relinquish our retrograde attitudes and embrace the ingredients of genuine Patriotism. This demands, duty consciousness in all aspects of life! The soldier must sacrifice in the defence of the nation, the politician must be honest and committed to the service of the nation, the teacher must teach well because he has a concern for his compatriots, and all workers must be duty conscious.
In this light, what we consider precious in the life of our country must be well- protected and preserved. Rights of citizens should be respected as well as those of the state. The country’s unity is precious to all Cameroonians, but how patriotic are we when it comes to stewardship with a concern to build and not scatter, unite and not trigger disintegration, sensitize for peace and development, not manipulation for selfish ends?
The Head of State in his address made it clear that he is prepared to leave no stone unturned in an attempt to weather the storm that resulted in the loss of life and property during the year, 2016. The structure, he has promised to set up and commission to follow up disturbing trends, will soon be in place. But the fruits of all this conception and the tasks ahead can only be reaped if we learn to work as people who love their country.
For, if these structures are set up and assignments dished out but members of the committees pay no attention to deadlines for publication of results, we would have relegated these structures to wishful thinking. This must not happen. For, we are tired of hearing and seeing our intellectual prowess betrayed by some citizens who do not care a mite about the image of the country and how much it costs to see it tarnished.
The societal ill of leaving for tomorrow what can be done today is regrettable and must be relinquished. The Head of State had on several occasions deplored this invisible, but dangerous enemy, inertia which regrettably robs us of resources and peace. But what a pity that in our offices, in our councils, and even none governmental organizations, many of us do not consider this a wet blanket to our developmental efforts!
Sad to recall, but we must not wait for another derailment worse than that of Esseka, before we come out with strategies aimed at preventing the worse that can happen to our roads, or railway infrastructure. We must in respect of our President’s concern for a united and indivisible nation pre-empt through genuine love of the country and concern for its future, by relinquishing the societal ills that today rob us of our enviable image on the African continent.