Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cameroon: A Boiling Cauldron.

More than 40 people have died and wanton property destroyed in the past week though the government is trying to camouflage that only 20 have died. Taxi drivers, “Ben Sikins”, students and chargers have all died in this strike. Soldiers are used to killing indiscriminately and with the pretext of the strike many settle old scores they could not during peaceful times. Many freedom fighters like Mboua Massock and their kids have been arrested. The root of this problem is since the resignation of former president Ahmadou Ahidjo that was coerced by the French. France has always been a loser and will remain just that. I am just appalled that President Paul Biya still thinks he will do something despite not having achieved much in his 26 years. I think that with the president’s recent speech and policies it shows that he has run out of inspiration that never existed in the first place. It is high time he hands over the presidency to another person.

Cameroon is blessed that no Cameroonian has been able to infiltrate the country with weapons if not the story would have been different. Notwithstanding, you can only suppress a people for a time but at a given time they will look for means to brake their shackles than live as eternal slaves.

The government has been using sports as the opium of the people but this time it failed woefully. The raising of gas prices after the Lions won their semi final match against Ghana during the recent African Cup of Nations was a miscalculated opportunism. The people are tired of being ligated to eating insects as food rather than delicacies and source of protein.

Two days before the strike became public I was informed there was going to be a strike but that it would be mere marching. I doubted it straight away because I know the occult power of the crowd. Even the greatest coward is always a hero when surrounded by the crowd. I am just appalled that western media have reported it less than they will when a western celebrity visits Africa. What a shame!

The US and other foreign embassies have publicly expressed their displeasure to the government’s attempt to amend the constitution and give the president another term in office. Apart from the Santa people who think that Biya should amend the constitution and rule the country for eternity even little kids in Cameroon know that it is high time for him to go. I mean go on retirement for his own good and that of the country. Before the 80s, Cameroonians had the lowest percentage of people who left their countries in Africa for foreign countries. But today, even as I am speaking if wishes were horses, all Cameroonians; even unborn babies will leave that country.

Kerosene that was bought for 75 Frs a gallon is now 375 Frs. If the economy has improved one would understand but instead the economy has gone down a downward spiral and yet prices keep going up. The standard of living has fallen lower than even it was in the 60s and the death rate has skyrocketed due to diseases. When I call home I am afraid to ask my friends because each time I ask this one they tell me he has died and I ask the other one they say he just died yesterday. Others have died without me knowing and I wonder if I go home I will find anyone I used to play with as a child.

Why is the government increasing prices and over taxing perishable goods but decreasing and undertaxing nonperishable ones? When the prices of perishable goods are raised they directly affect the common man who faces the situation of daily survival. No wonder every business baron in Cameroon is now in the CPDM to benefit from Tax breaks. You can bring as many cars as you like and all the gadgets as you want if the people do not have money to eat and money to buy petrol to put into their cars your imports will be a waste.

However, I am against the destruction of public property like schools, and post offices because they directly hamper the welfare of the common man. Perhaps the population should target the perfunctory national assembly, the police and gendarmes stations and the custom duty offices. Cameroonians should only burn down a hospital that refuses to treat the poor for the rich and money only and the French shops that are exploiting the people. Those are the things to burn. Most of these shops have brought on high cost and low standard of living. Foreigners should not be hurt when strikes are going on because they could be the objective eye to narrate the story world wide. Though the French goverment has very bad policies in Africa and Cameroon it does not mean all French citizens do agree with their government. So they should not be made to bear the brunt of the stupid policies. To the freedom fighters of Cameroon I say this: do not relent for a little bit of sacrifice and you will obtain your freedom.

Until then, may God console those who have lost loved ones.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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