After declaring to his compatriots on 31st December 2016 that he would create a structure to be charged with seeing that the bicultural and bilingual status of our country is given the catering it deserves, President Biya on Monday 23rd January fulfilled his promise. Reactions gathered from Cameroonians have since proven that the Head of State is aware of the needs of his people, and committed to their welfare.
The creation of the National Commission on Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPBM is a timely step taken at a time Cameroonians face the challenge of consolidating, the kinship ties and love that brought them together after almost half a century of colonial geo-political separation. What next?
That the NCPBM has been placed under the authority of the President himself shows the importance attached to it. But the more crucial, however, is the president’s emphasis that those to work in this commission must not only be competent, but also worthy of moral and intellectual honesty.
Intellectual and moral honesty is important in all domains of service, but impacting for members of a commission that guarantees the rights of a people unified in diversity. In this light, we should note that moral and intellectual honesty can only be rendered more credible when those with these virtues are not derailed by corruption and inertia, the canker worms that have eaten deep into the fabric of our society.
While thanking the Head of State for having taken an important decision at the right time, we should also bear in mind that this prudent, and indeed patriotic step can be relegated to administrative ostentation if we do not cooperate to give this commission the meaning it deserves.
Working with moral and intellectual honesty demands an obligation to tell the truth about issues, suggest in love and criticize to construct and not destroy. We need this spirit as individual citizens with a concern for the future of our country. Besides, as patriotic citizens, we have to be committed to the peace, unity and political stability needed for development.
On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to drown in the lake of inertia, we would keep leaving for tomorrow what should be urgently affected to usher in trends needed to prevent unpleasant surprises and their painful costs.
The President’s fast action after his promise on the eve of the New Year, 2017 is a lesson for us to emulate in order to prevent the worse that we can face through imprudence. After all, the unfortunate events of the day are enough for us to see the costs of imprudence, or inaction in carrying out promptly decisions in the interest of the state.
By fulfilling his promise barely 22 days after his address to compatriots, the Head of state has demonstrated the rationale of acting fast to pre-empt calamities. We should work with such rigour.
After spelling out the qualifications of who should occupy positions in the new commission, the President cannot personally go studying the files of those to be assigned to various tasks. Patriotic citizens face the challenge of demonstrating love for their country by contributing genuinely to the attainment of national objectives, by cooperating in various ways.
Without this spirit, important structures such as the one the President has created, could be neglected to window dressing.
This, we pray, should not happen to the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, (NCPBM). We believe it will not.