In the early morning of our nation’s building, we were one. A mosaic of tribes and peoples came together by fate and fortune. Their aim being to gather the fruits of the earth with less labor and suffering. Since then, ages have come and gone. Our fortunes have risen and fallen with the tides of history. And yet we stand tall as The Republic of Cameroon, one and indivisible.
Whilst some are calling for a two state federation and in extreme cases, an outright separation from the republic; I firmly believe that the unity of our country is non-negotiable. Being one and indivisible, it is bound in the North, East, West and South by the sacred fire of the sacrifice of her sons and daughters who have fought, through time, to preserve its unity and territorial integrity for the ages.
Of course, I am not blind to the systemic challenges that threaten the stability of a nascent democracy such as ours. They are many indeed. But this in essence is why governments exists; to work within the framework of law and institutions of state to continue the Great Work of creating a more perfect body politic primed to serve the overriding need of its peoples.
Our sacred charge as true citizens and patriots today, more than ever, is to the uphold of the ideal of a united and fully integrated Cameroon, which we received as an inheritance from history and which we are duty bound to transmit intact to posterity. This is indeed a sacred charge . It is today being challenged by the undisciplined fantasies of the so called Southern Cameroon movement. They will not succeed. Not in a thousand years!
Unskilled and unlearned copyists in the art of nation building passing for revolutionaries, they have given credence to the adage: evil ever hunts the good. They must and will not be allowed to see the rays of the morning sun; for such power in their untrue hands will become a plague to the fatherland.
Our ultimate desire and goal as citizens of this great Republic, should be at this critical point in our history to bring together those who share in the dream of the Republic of Cameroon and together breathe new life into the searing flames of our oneness and unity. And as patient masters of an idiotic school, watch the tangled web of the so-called secessionists dissipate with the light of day. Taking with them the washed out remains of their fanciful foray into an untenable political adventure.
Suffice to say we are one nation. We are all comrades in the one great quest: the kinship of mankind and the unity of mind and purpose. Our geography, history and culture were carefully choreographed by the hands of providence to make us one. Let us therefore embrace the heroism of fraternal love, diverse as we are; just as triangles posed on a square, though of varying forms, create a pyramid; majestic all to itself.
Let us stay true to the quest of our ever increasing oneness and be disciplined to continue the Great Work begun by our forefathers for the advancement and the betterment of our kind. Imbued with freedom of mind and spirit, social goodwill and gladness. Let us forge on with courage and hope, knowing that together we will find a better way forward despite the threatening clouds of doom lurking ever so near.
True, the undue centralization of power as manifested in our current republic is not without its limitations. Let us then work and weld the nation into a more coherent unity through the patriotic reforming of ourselves and institutions however best we can. And so, birth a renewed and reinvigorated national ethos, the cement of our oneness and national identity.
Let us put a stop to the adventure of the disgruntled few who, erratic of mind and unstable in temperament, are bewitched by the inordinate lust for praise and power. Today they are ready to betray the sacred trust of the fatherland. Worry not, for they will soon cease to be; relegated to the dustbins of history, where the rubbish of things to be forgotten are disposed.
Let it be known once and for all that you cannot make in name what is lacking in numbers. The so called Southern Cameroon push is a dishonest trite effort of a few, to force their vision upon the unsuspecting peoples of the North West and South West regions of our great nation.
Pride of locality and the distortion of historic memories have led to this sad state of affairs. The geography and history of our great nation have been hijacked by the secessionists to serve their sinister aims. Their goal being the use of social theatrics to create a political schism within the nation based on the concept of bio regionalism with no room for the moderating influence of reason and commonsense.
And so, the need to build a new and reinforced cement of the Cameroonian ethos becomes imperative. An ethos based on the commonalities that defines us besides the auxiliaries of our common humanity such as ethnicity, language, religion and so on.
This nation is historically and relatively speaking a young nation. The powers of state have done what they can to put in place a system of laws and institutional safeguards to guarantee the continuous growth of our young democracy into maturity. Embryonic now, with the cement and glue of time, we will grow into a single fully integrated nation. Such is the charge held close to the breasts of all true patriots of our country.
All nations are a mosaic of peoples woven together by a common sense of civic belonging who have some level of commonality in culture, economics and history in a geographically coherent region. This indeed is the case of our young republic. Let us encourage this; let us highlight our commonalities and work towards its perfect edification. It will take some time. Gradualism should be our watchword.
It is why I strongly think, given the context of the socio-political agitations of a few among us; it will be wise to significantly move towards reform. May be a full enforcement of the 1996 law on decentralization. Such an effort, I believe will lead to the reinforcement of our democratic ideals as a representative democracy. It will bring more autonomy to the regions and help reflect the ethos of these regions within a fully integrated central authority in Yaoundé.
This, I believe will lead to a greater and reinvigorated sense of belonging in the Republic of Cameroon and all its peoples. Unless of course we are ready to face the wrath, justified or not, of our enraged brothers and sisters, harboring the perception that the system is no longer capable of responding to their needs.
Under the spell and seduction of nostalgia, coupled with the reign of patient discontent over the years, they have concluded, albeit falsely, that their plight has been met with the systemic negligence of indifference by the powers that be. And now think, wrongly again, that salvation can be won through the spread of terror across the land instead of peaceful social agitation and political action. I repeat they cannot and will not succeed.
Trying to build, higher than any other, without regards to others and the rule of law, for their own selfish glory, they have opened the door to the poison of indolence, impurity, greed, injustice, aggressiveness towards authority, meanness of spirit and above all jealousy in the hearts of the naïve amongst us.
Any people fraught with sentiments such as these, whose pillars rest on these rotten foundations will certainly with time come crashing down, wounding the innocent in their wreck. Wherefore, we call upon all good men and women, citizens and friends of Cameroon alike, to join us in building anew. In rebuilding, anew, a true home for all its children; founded upon righteousness, justice, piety, character, faith in one God and the love of humanity; not laws and dogma, but better, clear eyed men and women, who worship the purity of the heart and love liberty.
Such a nation will create an atmosphere of mutual recognition, respect and understanding, where we can talk and not fight, discuss and not dispute; each patiently learning the point of view of the other. And once entrenched into our book of laws, these will assuredly usher in a new wave of good will towards each other, social grace and fraternal generosity amongst all, leading to the ultimate and triumphant cooperation among citizens of divergent views. It will heal the haughtiness of the privileged arrogant few and the envy of the miserable poor. It will cement the foundations of our young nation and create a platform for a more enduring renaissance of nationhood.
This is the Cameroon I dream of. It is why I am in this fight. Despotism is the mother of anarchy. I am for a government without tyranny in all its forms. Musing with our faces towards the past will do us little. The present demands the redemptive elixir of the positive visions of our heart for a more perfect republic. And it can be done. Do not yet despair.
I will end with this:
“There is absolutely nothing which will not respond to the incandescent fire of our imagination. We are as goldsmiths, forging through the rough and tumble of daily life destined to create the fine jewel of God that we are. Through the use of our creative juice we can mold, shape and reshape our destinies. Never hold yourself in judgement, guilt, shame, sadness, or despair if you can. Become neutral to the events of your life, become neutral so that you may have the wherewithal to engage into another gear, another picture, vision or creative motion. Thus, freed from the suffocating influences of the past, we can confidently move into the future, propelled by a vision untainted by the missteps of yesterday.” (Hugues Nkamwa -Pathways to Spiritual Awakening, 2006)
Our country is waiting. Let us not let the past and its failings toy with our emotions. The future is here. There is bigger fish to fry. Our work is just beginning.
Long Live The Republic of Cameroon. One and Indivisible. Strong and Prosperous. A Haven of Peace and Social Progress.
On this 27th day of December 2016.
For the Cameroon National Reform Forum.