15 June 2017

Cameroon: Mutual Responsibility

Inter and intra-urban road transport in the country has for some time now almost been an object of scorn owing to how it is practised. Either out of ignorance or forced by circumstances, citizens have reduced themselves to near objects, moved left and right by sometimes clandestine transporters under horrible conditions and in "moving coffins" in the name of vehicles. Fondly called "Opep", "Go Now Now," "Clandos", the practice is thriving. As government wages an uncompromising war against the growing practice that regrettably sacrifices the lives of users on the altar of money, collective efforts are needed for success. It is true that alternatives may not be readily available but the typically unwelcoming Cameroonian defeatist statement of, "on va faire comment" usually to sell norms to the dogs, must be defeated here. Life doesn't have a duplicate and so must be handled with care. It is unjustifiable for the population to continually risk their lives in the clandestine road transportation system that shylock business people have crafted and that at best benefits only the dealers. For, such vehicles do not or scarcely undergo roadworthiness tests to ascertain their efficiency. Just from observation, the state of the vehicles used leaves much to be desired. Worse still, the behaviour of the transporters, ranging from exaggeratedly overloading the vehicles with people as if they were objects, through their sometimes excessive speed and tactics to evade police and gendarmerie controls are, to say the least, utterly risky. Human live should be valued by fellow man, whatsoever! Someone somewhere may say the clandestine transportation system is what has kept them moving into and out of certain localities in the country, but people who have fallen victim would certainly say the contrary. Most of those rickety vehicles do not have insurance and so victims of accidents therein are sure to be abandoned to themselves. Money is good, but business people should not capitalise on the naivety and or helplessness of those on whom it is harvested to ruin precious and irreplaceable human lives. The activity in itself is anti-development as the dealers do not pay any royalty to the State. Rather, their destinations and prices charged sometimes compete with duly registered transporters who pay taxes and related royalties to oil the State machinery. Anything or anyone that defrauds the State of scarce liquidity should, as a matter of fact, be redressed talk less of an activity that also endangers the lives of citizens like clandestine transportation. There is therefore an absolute need for both transporters and users to be mutually responsible, each respecting the other as well as the laws of the land, for shared gains.


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