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Cameroon and The Making of a Bestial Society

by Atlantic Chronicles

By Isidore Abah

Each time I think about the kind of Cameroon that we will have in the next ten years; I weep profusely for my beloved fatherland.

This is not the country that most of us were born into. This is not the country that our forebears shed their blood and paid the ultimate price for.

This is not the country that was once regarded as an oasis of peace in a turbulent sub-region. This is no longer that Cameroon that was once a sanctuary for all and sundry.

This is now a bestial society, a jungle nurtured by greed, sustained by plunder, tribalism, corruption, savagery, nepotism, inertia, and evil. This is the new Cameroon where thieves and ex-convicts call the shots.

This is the country where a few want to continue basking in opulence, while the rest reel in misery and servitude. Cameroon is now a country where a few want the most expensive champaigns at the detriment of potable water for all.

Yes, this is Cameroon, a country whose foundation was supposed to be built on rigour, moralisation, social justice, and equity, but whose daily functioning is lubricated by human tears and blood. This is the country that is unfolding before our very eyes and we have decided to be silent accomplices to its obliteration.  This is your new Cameroon, the Cameroon of Greater Ambition.

For the past week, I have been sick in my spirit, as I watch helplessly the bravado of the belligerents in the ongoing pogrom in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of our country.

I saw with dismay how one of the future leaders of this country, Louisa Cherish, was gasping for breath, as her life was cruelly harvested from her at her prime.

I saw little children in Nkambe whose limbs had been maimed, eyes pierced, dreams shattered, and most of them rendered invalid for the rest of their lives.

I saw parents harassed by poverty, most in desperate situations, but who must now have to provide for their children, rendered invalid by an improvised explosive device from fanatics. Yes, I saw our grandmothers queued to receive crumbs of 500 to 2000 FCFA, falling from the table of the Grand Master.

As parents and victims were crying tears and blood in Nkambe, I equally saw political parvenus making political capital and gains out of the desperate situation of the people. Yes! That is the Cameroon we have created—a country where human life has been bastardised.

As I was still struggling to restrain the tears from my eyes from the gory pictures from Nkambe that were making the rounds on social media, behold the men of “Honneur et fidélité (“Honour and Fidelity”) zoomed in with their war booty.

They had captured and massacred one of their arch-rivals in the ongoing war in Anglophone Cameroon, Emmanuel Efang aka General Efang.

The euphoria was total as they displayed his lifeless body at the Guzang Market for the population to view, while they made merry of their triumph.  In fact, the Senior Divisional Officer for Momo, Narcisse Fouda, led the presentation of the corpse.

The event in Guzang made me retrospect on similar events in which Cameroonians have lost their lives and their bodies displaced as war trophies for the amusement of many. The cases of  Clement Mbashie, Lekeaka Oliver,  Ayeke, and  Ivo Mbah readily came to mind. I also looked back on how some valiant Cameroonians serving in the armed forces were slaughtered by separatist fighters without remorse.

How has this public display of corpses resolved the ongoing impasse in Cameroon, if not only enriching those controlling funds and reaping from the spilling of blood in the two regions?

Little wonder, a Minister recently boasted in a press conference, enumerating those who have been killed on government orders and asking where they are today. Shouldn’t such people be docked for crimes against humanity?

Parading corpses before little children in jubilation is infusing in their subconscious minds that human life means nothing, that it can be taken at any time in the cruellest of manner. That human corpses can be treated anyhow and that anyone can kill anybody without recourse. That is the message our so-called administrators, ministers, and members of the forces of law and order are consciously or unconsciously instilling in the young people.

This is the Cameroon that our leaders are building for the future, a country of a tooth for tooth, blood for blood, and a head for a head.

How on earth did we get here? Should we continue to sit quietly and allow some people to leave us a bestial society when they inherited a peaceful and stable country from their own fathers and predecessors?

Are we also going to sit quietly and watch until the day our own heads are displayed in public as war trophies for the amusement of others?

As you sit quietly in the comfort of your home today, drinking champaign, eating the best food, and laughing at your neighbour, whose head is dangling at the market square, be reminded that the next head, which will be paraded or placed at the same market square would be yours.

It is either we collectively fix this country we call ours or perish. After all, we are a Continent. Whatever that means!

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