Cameroon: Paul Biya, the Unifier!

One of the separatist fighting groups, the Ambazonia Defense Forces, claims to have 1,500 active soldiers spread over more than 20 camps but appear to have few modern assault rifles.

As President Paul Biya braces up to begin another seven-year mandate at the helm of the State, expectations are certainly rife from across the country on what he should do where, when and how to make Cameroon more developed, united and mutually-acceptable. Logical thinking anyway; given that both those who voted for or against him and who have the wellbeing of the country at heart, would love to see the next term of office better than the last.

The direction the Head of State takes to meet the legitimate aspirations of his compatriots may still be very close to his chest. But one thing is certain; consolidating national unity and giving every citizen the feeling of belonging irrespective of his or her political, social and linguistic background, will obviously be the driving force behind all that will be done within the seven-year mandate.

Mr Biya's ten-point election manifesto lends credence to his desire to deliver. Priority in this area will no doubt be striving to normalise life in the restive North West and South West Regions. For without any exaggeration, the socio-political crisis that has rocked the two English-speaking parts of the country for over two years now, has greatly shaken the very foundation of Cameroon and threatens togetherness, the hallmark of the country. From every indication, President Paul Biya is full drawn to surmount the challenge.

A few hours after the Constitutional Council proclaimed him winner of the October 7, 2018 Presidential election, Mr Biya in a tweet while thanking his compatriots also appealed, "Let us join in taking up, together, the challenges that confront us in ensuring a more united, stable and prosperous Cameroon." This is telling of his desire for a more all-encompassing country. The wordings equally tell of a leader who acknowledges the difficulties of the time and believes in teamwork to attain mutually-beneficial goals.

It is common knowledge that unity and stability breed prosperity. Taking up one and forsaking the other can at best lead to disorder. Insisting on togetherness for a more united, stable and prosperous country tells of a Head of State who recognises the indispensability of his compatriots from all walks of life. By pledging to safeguard national unity in diversity and territorial integrity, Paul Biya surely has in mind, to among others, continue to guarantee cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity while respecting national unity.

These diversities constitute immeasurable riches that Cameroonians absolutely need to rally behind their Head of State to uphold so as to advance the course of unity. Obser vably, what unites Cameroon and Cameroonians is, and should be made to be more, than what separates it. Having English and French - universally-spoken languages as her two official languages with over 250 ethnic groups with as many national languages make Cameroon a near haven. From North to South and East to West, Cameroonians are one and should be proud of their being.

Whether mistaken or misled, they should be made to feel part of the indivisible nation and important to contribute in polishing it up. Feelings and acts of superiority are as destabilising as those of inferiority. What the Head of State has said and done over the years and his determination to right perceived wrongs could make for better fraternity.

With the renewed confidence on the Head of State; by virtue of his massive re-election, hopes are that he launches new initiatives susceptible to consolidating achievements and opening up new prospects for better living together as brothers and sisters under one nation - Cameroon and one President Paul Biya. He has proven himself as a unifying factor and needs all hands on deck to break new grounds.

Success in ironing out challenging differences and making tomorrow better than today would be that of an entire nation. A stable and united Cameroon is prosperous for all, now and thereafter, and the reverse is mutually chaotic.

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