Cameroon: Protecting the Fatherland

opinion

It is easy to draw conclusions on what has been done, especially when it comes to criticising and taking the commitment to do better. Those who think that Cameroon ought to be different might have arguments to justify their points, but there are moments in the life of a nation when the common interest must be visible for all to see. The reactions of the Head of State, parliamentarians and the government through the Minister of Communication have come to shed light on the gravity of the concerns that Cameroon as a nation must tackle.

Reading through the different expressions of indignation over the scramble for Cameroon, the underlining theme has been that there are hidden forces both at home and abroad which want to get their own share of what Cameroon can offer. In the process, the various actors seem to forget that the survival of the country has to be pivotal otherwise people might end up placing their own bullet in their legs thinking that they are hurting another person.

To spend time saying that it is them against us will, in the final analysis, look too simplistic an argument to defend because the pain and suffering of one part of Cameroon has over the years proven to have ripple effects across the entire nation. Taking the recent hurdles that Cameroon has had to manage like the influx of refugees from Nigeria and the Central African Republic, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Far North Region and the impact of the upheavals in the North West and South West Regions have left no citizen of this country indifferent.

Such a common concern being demonstrated by sons and daughters of Cameroon are also evident in the spill-over effects of the 7 October 2018 presidential poll that got interwoven into the situation in the North West and South West Regions and has continued to attract national and international attention today. Repeated calls for dialogue, exhortations by different government officials that Cameroon is endowed with functional institutions capable of tackling the internal squabbles faced by the country seem not to attract unanimity.

Yet, the final decision will have to be in the hands of citizens of the same country no matter the differences. Modern communication tools might have come with the advantage of accepting whoever wants to express an opinion, but the art of self restrain and common good call for a critical look at the values that unite and build instead of seeking to destroy what already exist in total disregard of the consequences.

Rather than perceive the unfolding challenges faced by Cameroon as signs of a deluge, whether sitting in the country or abroad, the sensible and objective conclusion could be that the national heritage will be what will remain after all the actors must have agreed to either disagree or to settle their differences. For now, the biggest challenge to defend the fatherland lies in the hands of citizens of this country.

Seating on the fence, as a Cameroonian, to think that the failures and successes recorded in the country will in the final analysis be attributed to others might never be the right attitude especially when it comes to the safeguard of the common good or national heritage. Cameroonians may have to take a second reading of President Paul Biya's post in the social media on Monday 22 April 2019, in which he pointed out that; "We have only one Fatherland. It is our duty to defend it and lead it; all of us together, on the paths of greatness and prosperity for everybody".

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