27 December 2012

Cameroon: commentary - caution!


Exit 2012 and welcome 2013. This is the excitement that the next three days will provoke in homes, villages, towns, and countries across the world. The event may, in most cases, lead to new resolutions and promises to do better. Yet, there will be those who think that by just seeing another year, they should feast to exhaustion.

However, the general trend has been that people and structures draw up a balance sheet of the year just gone by in order to better plan for the future. The rate at which families have been criss-crossing the country either moving from towns to villages and vice-versa to join loved ones in the end of year festivities, demonstrates the importance that people rightly attach to the day.

The problem may only come from those who stop at nothing to get what they want - even if it means taking undue risks through doubtful transportation means - to travel. Security operatives as well as their hierarchy have been burning the mid night oil to ensure that the year ends with all citizens on board. Such a laudable initiative can only succeed if the people themselves are conscious of the fact that they need to ensure their own safety.

People are often caught in reckless situations either travelling on board poorly maintained cars or drinking beyond proportion before taking on to the road. Such excesses have often accounted for the ghastly accidents recorded at this period of the year. Incidentally, most of those involved in such excesses act as if the end of one year means the end of life.

Some choose to move on by taking delight in making resolutions, even if they will never keep such resolutions. Making resolutions may be good if it stems from an analysis of the year just gone. Any projections can certainly mean much if they are based on past successes and failures.

At the national level, many development plans have been announced with some already taking off like the major energy projects that President Paul Biya inaugurated in 2012.

They are all intended to meet the set objective of an emerging economy by 2035. In order that such a concern does not only remain a mere political slogan, it may be imperative to stamp out corrupt practices that have until now bedevilled most development initiatives in the country. It is fast becoming a habit that once a development project is announced in Cameroon, those who consider themselves privileged to be near the plum tree take the project and the nation hostage with staggering sums of money just for land and property compensation. Such egoist tendencies and bigotry have, in most cases, taken Cameroon ages behind time.

The dawn of a new year can therefore be the time to take resolutions in the right direction, making sure that we contribute positively in building our families, society, and why not country, so that the year 2013 may not only meet people in a good mind frame, but bring along positive changes.

A vicious cycle that has often caught up with Cameroonians, especially those who depend on monthly salaries, has been the problem of withdrawing all their monthly income to feast in December and suffer a long and drudgery month of January in debts and hunger. It may not sound like a common sermon recalling the well known slogan that; "If you drive, don't drink and if you drink, don't drive. Better be late than be called late."

What this simply means is that any form of feasting within this period must be done with caution and even those who have to make promises by way of New Year resolutions need to go in for promises they can keep. And if we were to talk in terms of having a watch word at this period of the year, the best motto that could better guide all actions should be that everything should be done with moderation. In that way, not only the individual but the entire nation will stand to benefit by seeing everyone move on to the next year and contribute to the wellbeing of their homes and country. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013.

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