Avoiding Negative Clichés

The heartbeat of Cameroon is undoubtedly around the ongoing campaign for presidential election on 7 October, 2018. Evidently, the nine candidates vying for the top job in the country have so far demonstrated their resolve after one week of campaigns and with Election Day around the corner, it is but normal to look at the process so far. While some have focused on telling their potential voters how they intend to make the country better, others have rather preferred to spend time criticising their opponents and even worse, making an unsubtentiated forecast of election results.

Believing in the efforts being put in by each candidate to win the election may be one thing, but ignoring the fact that voter attitude is never a mathematical equation can be dangerous. Thus, those who embark on an electoral process with the idea that they must win at all cost must be mistaken. This is the only occasion that Cameroonians have to exercise their sovereignty and it cannot be a foregone conclusion, no matter how optimistic or convincing any candidate goes about the electoral campaign.

Consequently, those who simply judge their vitality from public gatherings and turnout at political rallies need to remind themselves of Article 2 sub three of the Constitution which says; “The vote shall be equal and secret, and every citizen aged twenty years and above shall be entitled to vote.” The implication is therefore clear that the results of the vote can never be predicted before the official proclamation; talk less of the voting exercise itself.

Candidates who raise unrealistic hopes are perhaps running more than their shadows because no victory can be genuine before the elections are conducted. The only other option left is to ensure that no matter the outcome or strength shown by those vying for the post of President of the Republic, any attempts to derail the process now through unwarranted insinuations about electoral malpractices and any such machinations are uncalled for.

Cameroon goes beyond individual interests and ambitions; winners and losers of electoral processes inclusive. Some candidates in their euphoric campaign effervescences seem to forget that not all those who attend political rallies are voters, let alone certain about who to choose on Election Day. A transparent electoral process requires that all contenders go with equal chances while the voters make the final selection. It is so difficult, if not impossible, to determine beforehand what the election results would be.

Creating an atmosphere of serenity and stability before, during and after the vote remains the cardinal virtue of any democratic society. Cameroon cannot afford to do otherwise, considering some past and present experiences that have resulted in untold suffering for the ordinary man on the street. The preservation of values like peace, stability and progress in the country, need to draw the attention of all well intentioned- citizens who fully understand the challenges of nation- building.

It may not therefore be commonplace to remind both ordinary citizens and political actors, especially those who swear only by certain candidates to know that the future of the country must reign supreme, failing which the purpose for which the election has been organised would cease to have its meaning. There may be nine candidates competing, but only Cameroon that exists which must survive after the electoral processes.

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