As Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), fêtes 32 years of existence today March 24, 2017, militants and sympathisers may need to go beyond winning and dinning; usually characteristic of such moments. While merrymaking cannot be entirely subdued; at least it allows for communion between the centre and grassroots militants, special reflection needs to be given to national unity during and even after the festivities.
For, never in the history of Cameroon has the unity of sons and daughters of one nation been disturbed and threatened as is the case now. Never has a feeling of somewhat ‘rejection’ and or ‘marginalisation’ been expressed by a people called upon to live in harmony like now. While extremism is wholly decried, ongoing standoff tells of cracks on the wall of national unity requiring redoubled efforts of all to quickly rebuild. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine!
The CPDM party, by virtue of the fact that it has been the ruling party since inception in 1985, coupled with its implantation in all of the country and representation in Parliament, cannot afford to be indifferent. As a matter of fact, the party has an uphill task to keep the nation intake and to instil a feeling of belonging and usefulness in all Cameroonians – believers in their political ideologies and even detractors. Genuine politics in any nation is that which builds, that which improves on the lives of citizens and that which gives reasons for hope even in despair.
The President of the Republic and National President of the CPDM, Paul Biya, has been unrelenting in crusading for the upholding of values that keep Cameroon and Cameroonians together. His speeches within and even without Cameroon of late and numerous actions lend credence to his unrelenting desire to see Cameroonians shun differences to stay united and prosperous. For instance, in his statement after an audience with Italy’s President on March 20, 2017 in Rome, President Paul Biya said, “Our people hold dear two fundamental principles, namely national unity and diversity. Both principles are enshrined in our Constitution and have an inviolable value.” His party supporters are therefore, more than ever before, expected to carry the presidential endeavours to grassroots and strive to materialise his speeches.
The prevailing socio-political situation in the country should thus spur the CPDM to uphold what has been good, sit up where shortcomings on national unity have been identified and jointly devise ways of enhancing togetherness. And there is no way this can be achieved when some feel more important than others while others feel threatened by the presence of fellow citizens, be it within or without the party. The much-needed harmony that Cameroon needs to forge ahead as one should and must begin with a national party like the CPDM. Success within the party can spread to other segments of society and only then can preachers of hatred and separation be silenced for an indivisible Cameroon to emerge.
The theme of the 32nd CPDM birthday celebration, “All behind President Paul Biya to consolidate unity, national integration and social peace, guarantors of Cameroonians’ togetherness in harmony and sustainable economic performance,” speaks volumes. There cannot be any genuine national integration and unity when some are subjected by others to play secondary roles on issues and places of national interest. When one culture or system is seen to be annihilated in favour of another. What unites Cameroon and Cameroonians surpasses what divides them. Diversity should be seen and harnessed as an asset for togetherness. There is much to gain in unity and so inseparability should be painstakingly sought by all and at all times.
Cameroon belongs to all Cameroonians and the struggle for staying together should as well be all-encompassing. It should constitute a permanent desire and efforts of all and sundry. The CPDM has been leading Cameroon and permanently needs to champion the course of unity.