By Yerima Kini Nsom
That Senator Henry Kemende was cut down at his prime and bloodied to thy kingdom come, is a gory tale of terror. It is an expensive folly in the drama of our inhumanity and mayhem. Ever since that kind of sleep was murdered last week, the fraternity of the finger-pointing compass is going the whole gamut, turning the full circle round without any substantive elements to pitch its tent of accusations.
Whether the brilliant lawyer’s dramatic exit came from left, right or centre, the truth is that it was made easy by the Anglophone Crisis, wherein barbaric acts of terror have become staple food for the protagonists. If the main actors do not put an end to this crisis, our tear duct will soon be empty. For, real and crocodile tears will continue to meander down our cheeks in the upsurge of brutal assassinations. I have never stopped asking myself about the mystical wedge that is scaring the main actors from coming close to the negotiating table in order to put an end to the crisis. Why is the road to dialogue so less travelled? Why is it taking so much time to triumph over brute force which is the most logical way out of the crisis?
My mind keeps travelling across many questions as the lives of many people are abridged. I am even tempted to ask Papa God what my country did to become something akin to an insufferable embarrassment to the entire world. Some of us may be passive because this barbarism is not affecting us directly. Yet, we will all be docked in the court of posterity because of our silence and inaction of complicity in the upsurge of high-profile assassinations. It is unfathomable that any patriotic citizen should stay quiet when our valiant soldiers, young men and women are being killed. We stand accused of these atrocities. We are guilty by association in the wake of these atrocities because of complicity of silence as evils surges. We have proven to be very tolerant with treachery and evil.
I am particularly pained by the brutal loss of Senator Kemende, a gentleman who advocated for true dialogue as the only way for our country to return to lasting peace. My pain is further compounded by the ignominy of people prodding the belligerents on in their barbarism. Every one of their acts is a brutal affront to humanity. The gory happenings have left many people frustrated and tense with indignation. The assassination of Kemende, a hardworking and critical lawyer, remains a demonic blast on the corporate image of our country because of its timing and magnitude. For one thing, the killers chose to do this at a time that the rest of Africa had converged on Cameroon for the soccer fiesta. What message did the killers want to pass on to the rest of the world? We are grabbing negative headlines for these unimaginable acts of horror. When the news of the Senator’s assassination played into my ears, I slipped into a reverie. In the silence of my solitude, my mind travelled through many areas as I tried to fish out a reason for his killing. As I suffered the oppressive and paralysing incubus of fear and uncertainty, I endured so much mental and psychological anguish. For, like many others that providence blessed Cameroon with, Senator Kemende was an even-minded critic who fought for the general good of the nation. When he raised the issue of cumulative posts at the Senate a few years ago, it was advocacy for the strict respect of the laws of the republic. He was a cynosure of waiting eyes and ears for the simple reason that he was reasonably boisterous on ailing national issues of public discourse
He called issues by their real names and hit the facts on the head, caring very little whose ox was gored in the process. He was a man of integrity who condemned excesses on both sides of the divide. I keep wondering if these are the virtues that made Kemende the target of his killers.
Nothing substantive has been said about who the killers of the Senator could be. Yet, the killers can only celebrate Pyrrhic victory for they have only killed the Senator and not the truth that he stood for. We can delay the truth, mutilate it and attempt to bury it alive, but we cannot kill it. Like Indira Ghandi once said: the truth will always triumph even if its tellers are reduced to a minority of one person. The celebrated English writer, William Shakespeare holds that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. In our current context, this simply means that all those who hold tenaciously the fort of violence, should be prepared for a kind of return match during which victory will change sides. When the chips come down, brute force will give way to dialogue while the most powerful demons of war will be crushed by the advocates of peace. These remarks are no fluke because they are so tenacious in their practical predictability. From this standpoint, it is clear that the killers slammed a self-inflicted curse upon themselves.
Since it is likely that the killers are piety-void and atheism-stricken nanos, they may not foresee the coming of God’s wrath in their spiritual emptiness. God is watching and His decision will be final. His verdict is not subject to any appeal. He is the Supreme Judge in every situation. It is incumbent on all those who fear God to keep praying for the killers to repent so they can spare the lives of many of their potential victims. The prayers should equally be tailored to beg God to reverse our current predicament wherein Cameroon is a nation at war with itself. For, the path which our beautiful country, the hitherto oasis of peace in a desert of conflicts, is that of full-fledged belligerence. He should take us away from this unenviable plight because the crisis is gradually becoming Cameroon’s second name. While we put our faith in God to do his will, we must, in our little corners, contribute our own quota in bringing back peace to this beautiful country. Our minds and hearts should be geared towards fighting for peace and for the common good as our country travels through these trying moments.