By Andrew Nsoseka
Young leaders in Cameroon have continually underscored the need for peace, as the bases for any meaningful development, and the wellbeing of people and their properties.
Campaigns led by young people in their various strata in life and their different communities have in most cases, been influenced by the observation that young people are always at the centre, either as vehicles of peace, or vehicles of the disturbances that breed insecurity and destabilise the society, either of their own making, or under the influence of groupings they sympathise or work with.
In one of his outings, aimed at sensitising young people in the University of Buea, on peace and development, Samuel Bochum Bache, the Director Youth Advocates for Peace and Community Empowerment Cameroon, YAPCEC, who also doubles as Commonwealth youth delegate noted that things are getting worst because youths who are at the centre of it all, feel left out from the affairs of the State, and thus find solace in engaging in other activities that may rather undermine the well-being of the country. “The crisis persists because youths are not made part of the decision making process and solution.” He said.
Bochum in his peace crusade is advocating and pushing on the government to respect treaties it signed, which are aimed at actively engaging youths in decision making and in championing peacebuilding and maintenance.
YAPCEC Director, Samuel Bochum noted that the youth come-together, was to discuss on more practical ways through which youths can be engaged in community affairs, as well as in government circles, so as to be part of change and decision making on issues that affect them.
Lecturing his peers on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250, to which Cameroon is a partner and signatory, Bochum noted that the resolution is about making youths the advocates of peace, by engaging them in the process of change and also having them have a say on issues that concern and affect them.
Barrister Poubom Rehbeh, himself a youth and youth advocate, talking to young people stressed that the first step towards a greater change in the society, starts from the person who sets out to make the difference. He told youths that they must take conscious decisions whose effects will spiral out to the greater society. “Youths should be at the centre of change and peace…we must build the Cameroon we want”. He said.
Neola Lyonga, a youth leader and representative of the International Governance Institute, in her message to young people and the university community told her audience that they should seek other alternatives to making a change, especially those that will not lead to confrontations with security officers. She also outlined attributes of good governance, placing more emphasis on accountability.
Ngoh Albert Mukwele, a youth leader, and Executive President of Jatropha Cultivators, Processors, and Marketers Cooperative societies, express regret that unavailability of peace has paralysed their agricultural activities “since we can no longer access our beneficiaries and our partners and collaborators both local and foreign because they are not comfortable participating in our previous projects because of the total lack of peace in the communities.
“Because of this, our production dropped 80 percent, and our programs like the resilient livelihood which had to address; Health Care, Food security and Education in our different communities have been suspended till further notice.” He revealed. Calls for peace are re-echoed from all parts of Cameroon, by leaders and activists, who feel and express their views on the necessity for justice and peace to reign, so that the common man can live and progress in their communities.