By Yerima Kini Nsom
A Nigerian writer once remarked that the difference between politicians and hardened prostitutes is just the difference in the appellations. This means that most of them are people of elastic morals who can spinelessly swing from one end to other barefacedly. They are people who say one thing while they mean the other. Their roaring laughter in front of one is not always a manifestation of joy. It can be an expression of anger and the beginning of a plot to eliminate a rival.
One of the reasons why the Anglophone Crisis has persisted is that politicians on both sides of the divide are not sincere about seeking a peaceful resolution to it. Every politician seems to have two characters.
The subterranean character and the other one which is the whimsical and the make-believe in the gallery play. Small wonder that their “yes” during the day is equal to a “no” in the night. They are people of doublespeak and doubletalk whose political agendas are tailored for the benefit of “Me and I”. It is about serving self and only self.
Who does not know that the belligerents in the ongoing armed conflict in Cameroon have all declared their intention to embrace dialogue that will lead to peace in many respects? Yet, the war drums are sounding deafeningly, thereby drowning the sober calls for peace. That is why no one should mistake the glitter in such declarations for gold. For close to six years, the sadistic resolve to fuel the bedlam in order to preserve the unequal arrangement has been the brutal truth of our predicament. That nobody in the establishment has offered a word of consolation as Senator Regina Mundi keeps gnashing in the captivity of kidnappers, can only be strange to those who underestimate the callousness of our politicians. By the way, did you hear them even say a word of lamentation after the brutal assassination of Senator Kemende? Have you heard them talk about the President of Northwest House of Chiefs who is in captivity since December? Did you hear them talk about the Ndian Divisional Delegates, the former Divisional Officer for Batibo and the Northwest Regional Delegate of Social Affairs and many other victims of the crisis?
They seem not to care much about the catalogue of abridged lives and truncated dreams of our young and valiant soldiers, the mass killing of civilians and the sober whimpers of our stressed economy and the bashing of our country’s corporate image in the international public space. Are these odds not strong enough to be a force majeure against the military option? Such a force majeure would have militated for a political solution to the current armed conflict in our country. But what do we get? Vicious chest-beating on both sides of the divide. Glued to their military option, the Government keeps declaring that the days of the Separatist fighters are numbered, while the latter claim that the former will soon capitulate and kiss the dust before them. This means that the war will continue against all logic. It is sad that the belligerents are blinded by their bloated egos and obsessed by their demonic sadism to see the suffering masses in perpetual agony.
I feel personally pained and devastated by the arrogance of the war mongers on both sides. For, it is morally, spiritually and politically wrong to continue this war. Its negative ramifications are many and varied. Besides, the two main opposing protagonists, there has been the rise of the bullet-and-dagger army of desperate robbers that kill and kidnap for ransom. There are mercenaries on both sides of the conflict who are using this national misfortune to make a quick buck. The triumphant presence of Cameroon in the comity of war-torn countries does not mean anything to these people of sudden wealth and pecuniary parvenus. Moreover, the power wielders seem to wield power only for themselves. In their arrogance and self-aggrandisement, they believe that they are all-knowing and that only their lives matter. Their wish is that the rest of the country should perish so that they can live forever. They are oblivious of the fact that as they continue the war option, Amba fighters are developing into a full-blown army, capable of turning the heat on the regular soldiers.
In their blindness-stricken egos, the belligerents do not see into the future. They commit blunder after blunder but put the blame at the doorsteps of others. Once you propose that Government should initiate a frank and inclusive dialogue with the Separatists, you are dutifully avoided as an Amba supporter. When you take exception to the long lockdowns and school boycott because of their self-destruction potency and counter-productivity, you are cursed as an agent of La Republique du Cameroun whose life should be wasted in a hurry. Worse, every sane-minded citizen should be in a state of profound shock that the belligerents believe that science has been conquered by superstition. That is why soldiers go the whole hog in blowing out traditional doctors, believing that they are the ones empowering Separatist fighters with metaphysical powers to kill them. They seem to be atheists who do not believe in the existence of the Almighty. Thus, they will never believe in pantheism which will enable them to understand that God is everywhere and has a hand in everything good or bad.
Only a frank and inclusive dialogue can end the crisis. The killing of all the Amba fighters and their leaders, including those abroad, cannot end the crisis. Otherwise the arrest of the arrowhead of the Separatist movement, Ayuk Tabe and his état-major, would have ended the crisis. On the other hand, decreeing a permanent lockdown, kidnapping all the people perceived to agents of the Yaounde regime, and killing all the soldiers cannot help. The solution lies in negotiating for a ceasefire, initiating dialogue that would address the grievances and other issues that sparked off this armed conflict in 2016. We will all be pretenders to a peaceful solution to the crisis if we claim to seek for peace without a look at the grievances of the people.
At the eve of the National Day during which the notion of living together should be encouraged, the stakeholders should initiate frank dialogue in other to end the war. Again, people should not pretend to live together without eating together.