When President Paul Biya mounted the saddle in 1982, he captured Cameroonians with the incantation potency of his “Rigor and Moralisation” slogan.
His tone and tenor bespokeof an articulate mind with the visionary clarity as to where he was coming from and where he was going to.
He clearly articulated his political vision in 1991 when he told Radio Monte Carlo in France that he would want to be remembered as the person who brought democracy to Cameroon. Cameroonians should be wondering if that vision has changed. For, the actions of his Government are an aberration of the most primitive type as far as such a mission is concerned.
Truth be told! If our President were to quit the stage now, he would do so on a very dirty slate. For, he would only be remembered dreadfully as the Hitlerish leader under whose iron sway soldiers carried out a genocide in the two English-speaking Regions of the country. He will be remembered for carrying out the act of supreme violence against citizens who simply asked for a better life and a fair share of the national cake.
Government should not argue that it is fighting secessionists because they are the very ones who created violence by killing demonstrators who were marching with peace plants. The truth of our predicament is the cavalier manner with which the authorities dismissed the grievances of the Anglophones since the birth of the reunification.
Like the US Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Peter Henry Barlerin, mooted like a true friend of our country, leaders who want to be remembered for having brought democracy to their countries are not sit-tight dictators. They quit the stage when there is still standing ovation in order to avoid the anti-climax that is usually associated with longevity.
The cascade of calls on the President to succeed himself at the helm of the State in the October Presidential election is preposterous. An85-year-old leader, who has given his all to his nation in close to half a century, should be happy to relinquish power in all triumphalism.
One thing is obvious, that the calls are not genuine. They are coming from people who are suffering from the double ailment of hypocrisy and greed. They fear the shadow of the post Biya era since they have shamelessly looted the country’s wealth as if it were a war booty. What such people are doing, in essence, is to rob President Biya of his Democratic legacy. They have made it in such a way that history will see President Biya as one of the brutal despotsthat last his term in the nightmare of President-for-life.It is likely that our President will be consigned to the wrong side of history as a leader, who met his country walking tall, but mangled and left it crawling. Many of those who are doing the hypocritical callson the President are morally bankrupt oafs who are into shameless kleptocracy.
They mangle the truth and churn out fictional stories just to please the royal ears in the ruse of deceit.
As Cameroon continues to inch into one of its bleakest period in history, such people have enabled heinous crimes by soldiers to eat up the law. The two crisis-ridden Regions have been made a jungle and the paradise for the survival of the trigger-happy soldiers.
Such a situation has enabled our country to take a prominent position in the community of nations infested by armed conflict.
Is any patriotic Cameroonian happy that the international community has declared that there is a humanitarian crisis in Cameroon triggered by the ongoing genocide in the two Anglophone Regions of Cameroon? Why has Government chosen to commit pogrom on the Anglophones instead of initiating dialogue with them? It is curious that the very people who said there is no Anglophone Problem in Cameroon and started arresting and killing anybody who raised a protest, are now pretending to be looking for a solution to it.
The hypocritical setting is the reason for the very hostile reception that people gave the Musonge Commission in Bamenda last week.
The ears of the commissioners must now be ringing with the grievances of the people of the two Regions. But will they deliver the truth to the President?
Our fear is that even on issues of grave national import that threaten unity, people still decide to tell the President what he would like to hear. Otherwise, why would any right thinking person tell the President that the people of Northwest and Southwest Regions want decentralisation that has been bungled by a Government that is a sweat marriage with a heavily centralised system?
After visiting the two Regions, the Musonge Commission shoulders enormous responsibilities before history. It will make or mar, depending on whether its members tell Biya the truth or not.
If they rig the truth the way some people have been doing with elections, they would have simply demonstrated that they serve self and only self, thereby catapulting the hitherto peaceful nation from boom to doom.
Just because of military brutality those who call the shots in the Anglophone Regions are the hotly radical who want nothing else but the restoration of the former Southern Cameroons. Yet, dialogue could do the trick by giving room to the authority to reason and talk them into a Federation deal.
Can anyone claim any living together when soldiers summarily-execute Anglophones in Menka-Pingin in Santa Sub-division with impunity? Can the Government be genuine about dialogue and living together when soldiers are not only committing genocide but burning down whole villages in Kembong, Kwa-Kave, Batibo, Baingo, Belo, and Tadu among other places? Who is bloodying President Biya’s legacy? Who has taken this sophisticated resolve to wipe out Anglophones and their nationhood?
We at The Post champion that call for peace and dialogue and that peace and dialogue should be predicated on social justice that will give the unequal arrangement. That is why we are among the crop of Cameroonians insisting that only peace can rescue us from thislooming dangerous civil war.