Diplomats or other visiting international civil servants who have resided in Cameroon even for very short periods, have always wondered why a country with such huge natural resources and competent human resources, has never been able to obtain the best out of this and make the country a veritable haven of prosperity it is supposed to be. Borrowing a leaf from Chinua Achebe’s small book, “The trouble With Nigeria”, one begins to quickly see where to lay the blame. It is all about corruption and lack of patriotism. Cameroonians seem to be richer than their country, if one were to go by stuffed bank accounts of some public servants or simply by observing the number and quality of buildings coming up like mushrooms in the various new neighbourhoods in Douala and Yaounde. The nation seems to be enveloped into a kind of grab-quickly-before the dawn of a period of rendering account comes. The aberration is that those promoting this state of affairs are the few-chosen or what in biblical terms would be the few to “whom much is given”. In a generalized difficult economic situation, one would have expected these few to show the example either by making sacrifices or, at least showing solidarity with the down-trodden who suffer most, by avoiding the painful corrupt practices we observe today; practices which seem to have thrown any form of patriotism to the dogs. Fortunately, there are still some Cameroonians, even though few, who show acts of patriotism. Take the Indomitable Lions, the national football team. They went to the recent AFCON campaign in Libreville, virtually unnoticed and even with what could have been sufficient government support. They came back with the trophy mostly on account of the sheer determination to win and love of country. Most of them had trained at the expense of their parents and other loved ones and, on this account, bore no obligation to defend the fatherland with such determination. The contrast is easy to contemplate when we put all these civil servants trained at the expense of the Cameroonian tax-payer, who upon graduation and start of duty become veritable rogues in white collars, siphoning the rare resources which could have greatly served in increasing the pace of the march to emergent economic status in the next few years. The fame following the victory is Cameroonian and not individual, as expressed by the overwhelming endorsement of this victory in song and dance across the entire national territory. Then, there is also the overwhelming interest shown in the recent recruitment into the armed forces. The huge number of applicants is sufficiently telling of the interest of the youth to serve their country and defend it whenever it is in peril. And even some losses at the front in the war against the Boko Haram sect has not deterred any youth from the desire to defend the fatherland. This very positive posture of the Cameroonian youth in the midst of multidimensional crises, least of which is not lurking unemployment, led the Head of State in his Youth Day eve message to the Cameroonian youth to state his satisfaction. Hear him: “your enthusiasm to join the defence and security forces at this moment bears eloquent testimony to your attachment to the peace and stability of our country, as well as your burning desire to serve your fatherland… You demonstrate similar commitment in your various activities which contribute to our country’s inexorable march towards emergence.” The wish of many Cameroonians is that youths go beyond the area of sports as they are already doing so as to continue in this vanguard role of promoting patriotism in many other areas of national endeavour.
- 04 juin 2020 10:04
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