Issues at stake

Issues At Stake: The Cameroun Of The Obscenely Mighty

Yerima Kini Nsom

By Yerima kini Nsom

I draw inspiration from Nigeria’s erudite Journalist cum author, Prof. Dan Agbese. In his book, “Nigeria, Their Nigeria”, Prof. Agbese lays bare a governance disaster wherein a few leaders have confiscated the State from the rest of citizens. They behave as if they are the be-all and the end-all of that mighty geographical contraption.

This State of power dementia fits us squarely and it is responsible for the deadly conflicts ailing our beloved country. A few morally bankrupt and conscienceless individuals believe that they are Cameroon and Cameroon is them. They eat, drink, playdate and sleep as if there is no tomorrow. They have pocketed all State institutions; including the State wallet which they use in tandem to their whims and frames. The appointment of such political thugs into the establishment, remains a cruel albatross on the neck of a, hitherto, peaceful country that was once admired for its tolerance and decency. They run counter to the ideals and ideas of the President of the Republic with impunity in their ego-inspired decisions.

The words and actions of some moral lepers and intellectual eunuchs constitute dangerous fits of illogicalities. They have triggered an unprecedented cultivation of power madness and are ready to crush anybody who thinks and sees things differently.

Since they stand every reason on its head, I cry my beloved country, Cameroon. Their modus operandi borders on a dangerous obsession of breaking bones and cracking the skulls of their real and perceived enemies. It is an aberration of the most primitive type that a few people are so determined in bloodying the image of our beloved Cameroon. Such crudity can only stoke the embers of altercation in a country that is struggling to fix its bartered image in the international public space.

It is unfortunate that our country has been grappling with an internal armed conflict which emergency patriots call “terrorism”. This is the worst thing that has happened to this unhappy country since independence. However, while fighting this “terrorism”, we should not commit more human rights bloomers that would further bloody the image of this country.

Some dreaded Separatist fighters have caused so much harm to this country by killing soldiers and some civilians which they refer to as enablers. Nobody will gainsay the State for arresting and trying them. But it becomes really preposterous when some overzealous people arrest those people by proxy through their family members. How can a lady who once dated a Separatist fighter, dumped him and got married to another person, be responsible for crimes committed by her former boyfriend. Are we saying that acts of terrorism are sexually transmissible?

The gory images and tales of political prisoners chained to their sick beds like dogs and the intimidation of defence lawyers are quite shocking in this era of our democratic dispensation and human rights.  

That someone mustered the temerity and threatened to padlock the critical press and chain the watchdog, is the greatest act of betrayal against our lovely President, Paul Biya. Otherwise, why would anyone be attempting to do that in the country of a President who wants to quit the saddle on a bouquet of the loudest applause as the one who brought democracy to Cameroon? How can someone subject the press to this kind of Gestapo-like harassment for reporting what the NGOs are saying about the ongoing crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions? Where is the grouse against Journalists in this whole thing? Or has the massacre of innocent and unarmed civilians become a virtue in our society?

Cameroon is really Cameroon. That is why I am not shocked that Ministers are contradicting each other on issues of grave national import with such gruesome impunity. It is likely that those who are pretending to be more catholic than the Pope will end up being excommunicated from the church when the chips come down. I was not also flabbergasted by the fact that a certain pseudo-intellectual cum alleluia varsity don, has, in a show of lame sophistry, sought to justify this cycle of stupidity against the press. By the way, recommending that one of Cameroon’s foremost intellectuals, Prof. Willibroad Dze-Ngwa, be treated like an enemy of the republic for the simple reason that he analysed sacrosanct historical facts in the ongoing Anglophone Crisis, is a barbaric act of intellectual ignominy.

The bile of my patriotic anger is flowing generously because, for quite some time now, some unscrupulous officials are using State institutions to intimidate organisations and individuals who see things differently. Journalists, opposition politicians and NGOs are threatened with monolithic fanfare. What kind of republic will Cameroon be if our modus operandi is top-down “commandism” that insists that the truth must come from above? What kind of country will Cameroon be if every citizen is transformed into a think-same and act-same robot of the obscenely mighty? A critical press is the bulwark on which a democratic society is founded. So, why do you treat critical journalists as if they were enemies of the republic?

My mind has been a jumble of questions due to the tragic ease with which we embrace aversion to decency and common sense. But one thing consoles me: that the truth is more awesome than the cant and chicanery of the political thugs who stalk the breadth and length of the establishment. Their grouse is that the critical news media organs did not join them to robotically chorus their side of the story. The critical press in every society is like a mirror. Will someone break the mirror just because it showed goose pimples on his or her face? In such a situation, the overzealous brutes are making a futile attempt to fight the truth. The truth is stubborn, tenacious and resilient. Nobody triumphs over it.

Thus, the truth will still prevail even if the arrowheads of the “legitimate violence of the State” kill all the journalists and shut down their media houses. In the current democratic dispensation, no government, no matter how dictatorially cruel it is, can win a war against freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Not even the insufferable charades of rented thugs can help them. Even the Nazi propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, did not vomit threats with such crudity. As our country totters on in this misfortune of asinine variety, the demons of hyper-centralisation, bureaucratisation and bad governance, hold the fort bravely and resolutely; making sure that nothing ruffles the status quo. Igniting a fight with international NGOs and the media, with accusations that remain frugal with the truth, is suicidal at a time that we badly need peace in our country. While listening to the music of the self-glorification and bloated egos, some people in power, should equally listen to sober whimpers of the emasculated masses yearning for peace and better living conditions. Otherwise, the obscenely mighty will continue to stand tall as those who own Cameroon. They will continue to behave as if the people do not exist and as if Cameroon is their private property.

God save Cameroon!

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