By Isidore Abah (Originally Published by The Post Newspaper, In Cameroon)
Our forebears must be kow-towing in utter disgust at the exponential rate at which the country, which they once shed their blood for, is sinking into the chasm of a bloody war.
Even from the rendition of the chorus of Cameroon’s national anthem, ‘land of promise… land of glory…’ our heroes and heroines knew the kind of country they wanted to bequeath to their off-springs.
This explains why such virtuous words were enshrined in the national ditty that was meant to knit the country together, so that, each time the above-mentioned words are chanted by the sons and daughters of this great nation, the words will always remind them of their collectiveness, their living together as a people, and their national concord, predicated on the love for self and fatherland.
Yes! The founding fathers of this great nation did so with conceit, humanness and self-abnegation; even if it meant paying the ultimate price and becoming sacrificial lambs to make this collective dream a reality. They did so with honour, fidelity and nobility.
The immediate succeeding generation of these illustrious patriots of ours also tried to uphold the fundamental core values on which Cameroon was built on. In spite of the linguistic and the post-colonial challenges that confronted them at the time, our forefathers refused to cave-in and forged ahead with an inclusive country, hoping for better days ahead.
Cameroon during these epochs was christened the Oasis of peace in a turbulent Central African Sub-region, Africa in miniature, a hospitality Eldorado for all and sundry, and an example of a unified people, bonded by their rich political and cultural heritage. In fact, Cameroon was a shining example for many warring countries in the world to emulate.
Our present leaders inherited this peaceful country with a robust economy, a vibrant youthful population and abundant natural resources begging to be exploited to make Cameroon a paradise on earth.
However, these predators, who ascended the sacred supreme magistracy of Cameroon, like wolfs in sheep clothing, soon warmed their ways into the people’s hearts with their deceptive celestial faces. Many a Cameroonian thought that their angelic-looking faces and their sound educational and professional backgrounds was just the beginning of many more good things to come to the country.
As if to consolidate their grip on every facet of national life, good political mantras were propounded, but their implementations for decades have all remained on their shelves. The once economically vibrant Cameroon is today striving regressively.
Corruption, tribalism, favouritism, nepotism, war-mongering and godfatherism have been elevated into virtues in today’s Cameroon. The common man must grapple with such ills which today reign as the new order. Is this the rigour and moralisation we were promised?
Apart from the huge economic plunder, Cameroon may soon be extinct or become an ageing economy because its tomorrow’s future, its valiant youthful population is being sacrificed on the altar of a bloody and absurd war.
Septuagenarians, octogenarians and nonagenarians, who have lead their lives to the full and are now waiting for God’s inevitable call to eternity, are sacrificing the youths to eternalise their stay on earth under the guise of protecting the territorial integrity of Cameroon.
Of what use is a country without a population? To whom are we protecting the territorial integrity; when our young people; be they military or separatist fighters are slaughtered on a daily basis? Did our present leaders inherit a turbulent country from our forefathers? So, why do they want to bequeath to us a country that has been ripped apart by war when they inherited an oasis of peace in a turbulent Central African Sub-region? Is the pogrom on young people premeditated?
From Kembong to Kwa-Kwa, Muyenge to Mutengene, from Bakweri Town to Buea Town, From Pinyin to Libialem, Guzang to Batibo and from Bali, Kumbo and Boyo to Wum and Mukuru… the carnage on the youths for close to four years has been heart-wrecking.
Please, stop the holocaust, stop the pogrom, stop the annihilation, and stop the decimation of young people. Whether they are military officers or Amba fighters, all of them are young Cameroonians with the inalienable right to life.
To our young compatriots, whether security forces or separatist fighters, it is time to drop the barrel. Why are you fighting each other? You have been pitted against each other by people who have led their lives and enjoyed the beauty and serenity of this country. We must not kill ourselves because we are the future of this country. Let us snub the war drums these selfish politicians are playing for us. How many of them have died in the battlefields? How many of their children are among those who have been slaughtered? How many of their relatives are internally displaced or living in the bushes like apes or in Nigeria as refugees?
They are all in the comfort of their ministerial palaces quaffing the most expensive champagnes; their children are studying in the most expensive schools abroad, while their relatives have been evacuated into safe havens out of the shores of this country they have now transformed into a warzone.
Even in Cameroon, they drive in armoured cars and use you like bullet shields. It is time we refused to willingly donate ourselves to be used as sacrificial lambs in the name of protecting a country. There is no country without the people, and the youths are the future of this country. It is time to say NO! to this bloodbath.
The Patriot’s fervent submission