Proponents of a change in Cameroon’s State nomenclature, notably those clamouring for change in the form of the State or for complete separation, may have to rethink their posture and hopefully toe the line of frank negotiation for a better “One and Indivisible Cameroon.”
In his end-of-year nation address on Saturday December 31, 2016, President Paul Biya did not mince words on that. No renege on national unity which he noted was hard-earned by the founding fathers of the country! Reacting to recent uprisings in the North West and South West Regions wherein apologists of secession hijacked genuine concerns raised by Teachers Trade Unions and Common Law lawyers to push through their separatist agenda, the Head of State vigorously stressed the need for Cameroon and Cameroonians to live as one.
Diversity in cultures should rather be seen and taken as an asset worth upholding rather than a cause for secession. The time and space the worrying situation took in the President’s nation address translated what he termed the deep physical and emotional concern the State had for the disturbing event in the two English-speaking parts of the country. Emphasizing on the oneness and indivisibility of Cameroon but stressing on the need to foster the much-cherished cultural diversity of the country literally translated President Paul Biya’s desire to see a better united Cameroon.
Given that no human endeavour is ever perfect, not even the more than half a century union in Cameroon, the Head of State however noted that Cameroon enjoys political and trade union freedoms. Guided by the laws of the land, the freedom gives citizens room to “rightfully opine on any aspect of national life including through duly declared peaceful strike action.” But transgressing this constitutional right to indulge in acts that lead to lose of life, destruction of public and private property, talk less of desecrating the most sacred symbols of the nation, is what President Paul Biya found “Unacceptable.”
Stressing severally on words like “One and Indivisible Cameroon,” and “Together” reminds even hardened separatists crusaders that Cameroon is not ready to renege on the “footsteps of our founding fathers, our national heroes, who shed their blood to bequeath to posterity a nation that is united in its diversity.” Loud and clear, President Paul Biya laid to rest the dream of separation and cautioned perpetrators of what could befall them should they rage one. “Cameroon’s unity is therefore a precious legacy with which no one should take liberties. Any claim, no matter how relevant, loses its legitimacy once it jeopardizes even slightly the building of national unity.”
Subscribing to the universal notion that no human endeavour is perfect, not even the more than half a century Cameroon’s unity, President Paul Biya advocated frank dialogue to right noticeable wrongs. Understandably so because, only through dialogue can brothers and sisters of one Cameroon from North to South and East to West seek ways of preserving what they so cherished to foster; the unity in diversity of the country.
Only then can there be harmony without one system swallowing the other and only through open dialogue can Cameroon and Cameroonians embrace balance development badly needed for all citizens to feel important and useful wherever they find themselves in the country. Once all these are achieved, no citizen would feel more or less Cameroonian than the other and the today’s Cameroonians would be sure to bequeath to future generations a country proud of its identity where solidarity and national development are sought for by all.