The twist of events in the North West and South West Regions where legitimate grievances of Common Law Lawyers and English Teachers' Trade Unions long spiralled into violence is, to say the least, mindboggling. That a woman is humiliated on the streets before being brutally massacred, a student struggling to gain knowledge in view of improving his livelihood and family tomorrow is wounded after leaving an exam hall or a teacher killed and dumped in a stream are the horrible happenings Cameroonians have been served with in a space of days.
As despicable as the brutish killings are, perpetrators even take delight in filming the scenes, their victims and spreading such on the social media. Come to think of it, they almost always justify their macabre acts on betrayal, calling the people they kill as 'black legs.' What keeps baffling many is the cruel lawlessness perpetrated by people said to be fighting for 'liberation.' As a matter of fact, the poor population is completely lost in the battle and so is praying and asking where to go in search of refuge amidst the disturbing storm.
With the prevailing situation, many are asking the question; what have women and children done to merit this heartlessness from their own brothers and sisters? A few months back, it was Florence Ayafor, a Wardress of the Bamenda Central Prison who was tortured, raped, killed and dismembered in public. Today, it is Comfort Tumassang, a mother of two taken off her innocent children at a prime age. Why are we this cruel? What have our people done to merit this inhumane treatment from their own? Is the immeasurable hardship imposed on the people by the close to four-year bestial conflict not enough? Women and children by virtue of the precreation and youthfulness constitute a sure future for any family or nation. Even if the 'imaginary republic' were to come true, how would it function without the women and children being targeted and frustrated today? Why institute a jungle-like life in a State of law? Where has human conscience gone to? Why forfeit the love for one another and value for irreplaceable human life for an illusion? This is utterly unacceptable!
The people have suffered and it would have been logical to start thinking of building bridges and mending fences rather than being terrified with macabre killings here and there. This war has transformed people into refugees in their own homeland. Today, they are soberly called 'internally displaced.' Children have been deprived of their inalienable right to education, many have lost vital property and would take decades, if possible, to get back on their feet.
Why not stop the violence and join government and development partners to attempt rebuilding what has been destroyed? From the trend of events, one would have expected people to give reason a chance and turn back from the apparently wrong and deceitful route.
The Head of State has already shown the way out. Setting up the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Centres in the two regions and crafting a Reconstruction Plan are honourable ways out of the regrettably raging but senseless battle. Stories of how ex-fighters who surrendered arms and are now being gainfully and progressively reintegrated in society should convince others still holding unto their 'hearts of stone' to sue for peace and development. Programmed public investment projects have been begging for execution in the regions for years now. In the meantime, the people are going through thick and thin for want of infrastructure that would have been decently provided in an atmosphere of tranquillity. The deplorable Babadjou-Bamenda road is just one among the myriad of sufferings imposed on people by their own brothers; deceitfully causing mayhem in the name of 'liberty struggle.'
President Paul Biya has in successive speeches made it amply clear that it is not forbidden to voice any concerns in the Republic but that nothing great can be achieved by using excesses in defiance of living rules. The killings have been too many and too much for a people simply begging to live and let others live. It's never too late to repent. The earlier the better!