Another period for elections in Cameroon is around the corner and several campaign and propaganda messages are to be expected. The latest in such publications is a report of a yet to be known group of investigative journalists making revelations on President Biya’s trips abroad.
The report has been making rounds across the country and beyond with figures on expenses and number of years spent out of the country within the past 35 years of President Biya’s stay in power.
As if to ascertain their credibility, they cited Cameroon Tribune archives as the source of their research. However, the crux of the findings seems to be on what they perceive as the perpetual absence of Cameroon’s President from the country. Such a conclusion clearly sidelines the critical issues that surround the movement of a Head of State be him from Cameroon or another nation.
Cameroonians elected a Head of State for specific purposes with a defined political platform that he is bound to accomplish and moving out of the country to seal diplomatic, political, economic and other ties on behalf of the nation can hardly be evaluated through a reading of newspaper columns alone.
Just by way of a simple illustration, the country under President Paul Biya has played host to the African Union Heads of State, the France-Afrique Summit, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and so on. The victory over the Bakassi peninsula, the rallying of international support to overcome the Boko Haram extremists and many others could not have been work achieved by a bureaucratic President.
Expecting results from any head of State must entail providing such a leader with the means and chances to undertake trips to friendly countries where such events are happening. Curiously, the recent researchers on the Cameroon Head of State hardly saw reason in the motivations behind his travels abroad even when it concerns participation in the United Nations General Assembly debates.
Sweeping all such motives under the carpet can only lead to suspicion. But if such findings are intended to urge Cameroonians to go to the polls and cast their votes when time comes then they are laudable. Yet, those masterminding the publications ought to come out clear. After all, the people who voted their Head of State have the right again to decide on who to vote when elections are announced like will be the case this year. Anyone seeking to challenge the status quo has the right to using more credible means rather than counting on trump-up charges.
Since issues like the age of President Paul Biya, his longevity in power and others occupied prominence in public debate in Cameroon and abroad, the focus seems to generally move from the real concerns of governance.
People seem to want to hide behind such preoccupations to undermine the intrinsic values that Cameroon represents both nationally and internationally. Bringing out weaknesses that could help in building a strong and harmonious nation ought to be the onus of those who want to show concern, stay loyal and patriotic.
Sidelining every aspect that could help to highlight positive achievements in the country over the years only to paint the picture of a dungeon can hardly bring about the much needed peace and progress that most Cameroonians want to see. It is therefore incumbent on anyone eager to seek public attention to build their arguments around palpable projects that make Cameroon worthy and credible. Consequently, acting otherwise can only appear as bigotry.