Dr Elonge starts by ascertaining the factors contributing to the peace in Cameroon. Perhaps I should add that Cameroon is relatively peaceful because of its linguistic and ethnological complexity. Unlike cases of Rwanda, Congo or Ivory Coast where you can have two major tribes, Cameroon boasts of 286 languages and about 262 ethnic groups. It is difficult to convince three tribes to form a coalition. Even with the linguistic divide between Anglophones and Francophones, it is still very difficult as those terms have been neutralized and made now an open and close terms in that there are people who were born from the Northwest and Southwest who did Francophone education and do not even know how to speak English and same with some people whose parents are Francophones, but they did Anglophones education.
Another reason for the relative stability is the presence of God amongst Cameroonians. Cameroon has found favor before God that he shows his prophets what was going to happened to Cameroon and the people intercede to drive the evil away.
Another reason why there has been peace in Cameroon is because the French and Americans have enabled the tyrant, despot and autocrat of Paul Biya that the opposition has been reduced to waterboys who jubilate if they could share a moment with him as they visit or attempt to visit the president at midnight for the goodies that drip from his corrupt and bloody fountain.
If one has to really cross-examine the definition of the term democracy, it will be difficult to apply it to the system of government in Cameroon. Cameroon has a mixture of democracy and monarchy. It should thus be called demo-monarchy in the sense that the concept of democracy has been demonstrated in Cameroon, but monarchy is what is practiced form the villages to the presidency. The elections are a farce and charade.
In his second phase, the author exposes on the concept of democracy and how it is applied faithfully in Cameroon by Paul Biya. In every democracy, the constitution is the backbone that guarantees law and order to the highest extreme, yet this constitution has been a tool in the hands of president Paul Biya. He has manipulated and bought his way for it to be amended to make him the monarch of Cameroon as he is going to rule the country for 36 years if he completes the next seven years. How on earth would that happened in a genuine democracy? In a pure democracy, the branches of government- judiciary, executive and legislature are independent. Without a doubt, everyone knows that is not the case with Cameroon.
A clear example just happened recently. The government had to disburse money to other opposition leaders to challenge him in the elections. To those like Muna or Ayah he knew a good campaign could torpedo him, he did not give them money. Furthermore, the embassies are directly under the president and support his candidacy rather than serve all Cameroonians. Little kids born in Cameroon know that the courts; from the supreme court judges to the magistrates in the little towns are directly answerable to the president as he can appoint or sack them directly by himself or through his minister of justice who serves as his lapdog. Actually all the ministers act as cheerleaders to the president and the prime minister serves as the captain of the cheerleading squad. Would anyone call that a democracy? From the imprisonment of Lapiro de Mbanga to that of Bibi Ngota (may his soul rest in peace), it is clear that free speech is not guaranteed. In a true democracy, an accused is innocent until proven guilty, yet Bibi Ngota died in jail under the watchful eyes of this president Paul Biya for no crime. He was beaten and his precious life robbed away from his family and friends, and the journalistic world. Isn’t free speech an aspect of a genuine democracy? Can we still say that people can speak their minds in Cameroon?
The writer claims that there is representation. It is a pseudo representation as it is has been shown that the CPDM is the majority and not because it won elections but because it stole the elections and imposed itself as the majority party. A seed does not germinate when it is planted. While we all agree that democracy must evolve to a point of maturity, that of Cameroon after dwarfing itself for 29 years is now shrinking to autocracy and totalitarianism. Cameroon is not different from North Korea with the exception of the facade called elections it organizes periodically. Could what just happened be called elections? The president did not announce the election date until about 2 months ago.Thus having prepared itself behind, it was ready to take her opponents by surprise. Is that still democracy? In a democracy, the law is no respecter of persons. In the Diaspora, the CPDM voted an distributed the votes to other parties to make it look like an election took place. No other party diehard went to that embassy to vote, but votes we cast in their favor. So the CPDM just apportioned the votes by their own imagination.
It is wrong for Elonge to parody Ali Mazrui’s assertion that Africans can establish a self taught democracy. If they have learned other lessons and subjects in school, then they can learn the concept of democracy too well. Furthermore, Ali Mazrui’s declaration has been misrepresented because what he meant was that Africans are able to utilize the democracy applying their local color. In other words; democracy cannot function in Africa if Africans destroy their culture and traditions. If democracy must function, the culture should still be the bedrock on which it sleeps. For example, while Africans may believe in voting for a leader, it will be wrong for them simply because a young man is challenging his father or someone older than him, to call him names. Gerontocracy should be cocktailed with democratic concepts to form the African democracy. Except in dysfunction villages, the villagers knew that once your term to rule came to an end, you left peacefully. That is African culture that should be blended with the concept of democracy. In that sense, Paul Biya should have gone years ago because he has outlived his usefulness to Cameroonians.
Consequently, it is purely praise singing to think that the form of democracy befitting for Africa is the one practiced in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, and other places where one person steals the elections to clutch onto power for more than half a century. Rather, Africans can look at Jerry Rawlins of Ghana, Rupiah Banda of Zambia, Pedro Pires of Cape Verte, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia as democrats who are establishing true democratic societies that apply the principles and theory of Ali Mazrui.
Since president Paul Biya’s ascension unto that high magistracy, he has not created any employment. Instead, Cameroon lost all the parastatals he met; the private sector was totally depleted and destroyed so much so that the government became like heaven from whence cometh manna. Unfortunately, this manna was scarce and hard to even fall daily.
Subsequently, he promised 25, 000 jobs into the public service before announcing his intention to run, but he did not hire a single person. During the recent elections, he announced he will hire 70, 000 people. How will a man offer you a mansion if he does not even have a hurt to sleep? If a child does not have leg how will he walk our people ask?
When he came in 1982, he had a slogan “Rigor and Moralization.” Unfortunately, Cameroon became twice the most corrupt country in the world within ten years. Corruption germinates and grows in Cameroon like green grass grows on a football field; it is engrained in every fiber and sector of the people like dust is scattered on the Mamfe-Ekok road. To appease investors and lenders, he came up with Operation Sparrow Hawk where he would arrest corrupt officials. Regrettably, he used it to cement his position as an autocrat by arresting his possible challengers with the pretext of corruption.
Would anyone tell me Titus Edzoa is more corrupt than Ephraim Inoni? Would anyone tell me that Atangana Mebara is more corrupt than Jospeh Owona? He used the pretext of Operation Sparrow Hawk to dismantle the inner circle he knew could challenge him. Is that the democracy we are talking about? Is that the New Deal Ideology? This actually is the Old Deal that has bedeviled Africa and Cameroon before he came to power.
Actually, he perfected the Old Deal because in those days, embezzlers and corrupt officials invested in the country making the economy buoyant and robust. Today, the wealth of Cameroon has been siphoned by his wife and their relatives to oversea banks. If that is what the writer calls New Deal Ideology then we can say yes, indeed, Biya has implemented the New Deal Ideology to the fullest! The chameleon is not a good dancer but when it comes to changing colors it has no comparison. Paul Biya is a chameleon!
People say what happened in Maghreb cannot happen south of the Sahara because they are different. But we have never known freedom to have limitations. When democracy and freedom began sounding their trump, Gandhi and his people walked around the Indian Oceans, the people of Alabama heard and followed Martin Luther King Jr, and the hills and valleys of Africa echoed and reechoed as independence became a unison singsong in every household. People of Cameroon, freedom does not know boundaries; it hears ands follows the voices of the oppressed wherever they are.
With the principle of Satyagraha , the people of India made the Salt March telling the British in unequivocal terms that enough with that exploitation and that freedom was better than bondage. Up in the prairies of North America, the colored people screeched to be freed from the manacles of slavery and racism. Years later down the veld of South Africa, the depleted but intrepid voices of freedom through Mandela reechoed those same cries to be free from the shackled of Apartheid.
Even when martyrs die, their blood always cries from the ground to heaven. It is certain you can hear the blood of the young people who died in 1990. What about those who died in 1992? Can anyone imagine what they would have become today? Would they have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, carpenters, football and athletic stars? Would they have truly brought us the New Deal? Everyone remembers those in 2002 whose blood was sprayed in the street by Biya’s repressive machine. They were shot at the back of the head by the Biya regime in Yaoundé I, and those in Buea drowned in their own blood that was later licked by the dogs of the stret. Biya’s tanks and armors vehicles roared on others and what we found were mere shadows pasted on the unpaved roads. A blood spring meandered and dried down the gutters that reminded us of the cost of freedom as mothers cried for their children with no one to comfort them. Because those kids died for freedom, their only redemption will be when freedom is given to their brothers and sisters who are left behind. This is the time to make them proud. Paul Biya should not be left to steal another seven years for the youths of Cameroon. No mås!
Until then, long live the freedom fighters!
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).