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Issues At Stake: No Victor, No Vanquished!

By Yerima Kini Nsom

In a feat of my patriotic anger, I use the post-civil war mantra: “No victor, no vanquished,” to remind the belligerents about the futility of the war going on in Anglophone Cameroon. Thus, it is incumbent on those who declared the war on both ends, to humbly realise that they had bitten more than they could chew. Cameroon is living a weird and a wary moment in which armoured cars are blasted and incinerated, soldiers, civilians and separatist fighters are being killed in their numbers.

At a time that the establishment’s spin doctors were claiming that everything was returning to normalcy, the two Regions exploded, unprecedentedly, in an orgy of killing and destruction. From every indication, all the odds are stacked in favour of a ceasefire and a return to peace. For one thing, the war, that had taken a guerrilla character, is not a winnable war for any side of the belligerence. If their consciences were still intact, the warlords would have long bowed their heads in shame and guilt. For, it is because of this war that Cameroon, a nation that was on the cusp of a new era, is being precipitately walked into sunset.  From their sloganeering and modus operandi, the belligerents have proven beyond every doubt that they are fighting a proxy war on behalf of bloated egos. As the absurdities and the obscenities roll in thick and fast, the truth stands: that this war has nothing to do with citizens and the general interest of Cameroon.

Thus, it is an aberration of the most scandalous proportion for our young and valiant soldiers to pay “the soldier’s debt” in such a cheap war. The mimicry “we will hunt them down” is no longer a scaring chant to the separatist fighters whose strategies now predicate on the use of explosives. Chai! The whole situation is getting complicated. This compels every patriotic Cameroonian to go on his or her knees, desperately begging for peace. In my humble opinion, the politbureau sycophants who are calling on the President of the Republic to intensify the war should be dutifully avoided and scorned as enemies of the Republic. Otherwise, we should make sure that such people are examined by psychiatrists at the Centre Jamot Hospital in Yaounde.

For, it is inconceivable and incomprehensible that anybody in his or her right senses, should ignore the futility of the war. The pro-establishment Secretary General of the UPC, who is calling for a full-scale war in the two Regions, cannot successfully pretend that he is more patriotic than other Cameroonians that have been calling for a peaceful and political solution to the Anglophone Crisis. It is odd to call on President Paul Biya who declared that he is a permanent beggar of peace, to sustain and intensify the war option.

It is unfortunate that the warlords, who are in a lamentably minority, seem to be carrying the day. They insist that every game must be played using their blood-and-iron rules as virtue and vice change sides in our predicament. Are you surprised that people who take exception to this useless war are being treated as enemies of the republic?

Do we want to occupy an enviable place in the international public space as “la republique de la guerre”? Otherwise, why would a varsity don be brutally arrested and humiliatingly beaten for refusing to sing the war song? Who wants our beloved President to quit the stage on a dirty slate of this ego-driven war?

It is sad that those who have attempted to give good advice to the President, have been banished into obscurity as people no one should reckon with. That is why the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province were scorned and tacitly declared persona non-grata when they advised the President to engage in dialogue with the Separatists. The dark forces equally declared Cardinal Christian Tumi (of blessed memory) an enemy when he attempted to organise another All-Anglophone Conference as way of soothing nerves and charting the way forward for a return to peace.

It is sheer wickedness and sadism when people who luxuriate in their roomy offices are the ones calling for a full-blown war in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. They reap unduly from the war economy and maintain their cheerful patter as hundreds of thousands of citizens perish in this bloody conflict. They enjoy life to the fullest, including play-dates, holidaying and full-time philandering as the nation sinks deeper into altercation. I shudder to think about the nightmarish end of such people when nemesis strikes. I say this in clear terms, making sure that the meaning of this admonishment is not lost in what may be seen as a thick forest of words, for, there is no soul of goodness in all the evil they are doing. Like the Bible says, there is time for everything. There is certainly time to commit all the atrocities and reap sadistic pleasure at the expense of the suffering masses in all impunity. There is time to put reason on its head in all dictatorial authoritativeness and time to crush every protesting finger with a machine gun.

There is time to turn heat on the civilian population, while kidnaping people for ransom, commit unspeakable atrocities, enforce lockdowns and school boycott. There is time to inflict untold suffering on emasculated masses in name of some fictive constructs called “independence” and “one and indivisible State”. Sooner or later, there will be time to render an account for all our actions. There will be time for us to reap what we have planted over the past years. There will be time for us to reap dividends for all our errors of omission and commission. In the circumstances, one cannot reap what he did not sow. One cannot sow evil and expect to harvest good. Seeds of vice cannot lead to a virtuous harvest. If you sowed violence, you will certainly harvest violence. If we sow peace, we will harvest peace an all its ramifications. Thus, all those who are fully engaged in the titanic war that has nothing to do with the suffering masses, should pause and think deeply what they would reap in future. None of them is going to enjoy impunity forever. A word to a wise .….   

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