Monday, February 13, 2012

11 February: A wasteful Youth Day!


Every 11th February, youths from all over their different places with their different associations assemble in their sub divisional, divisional or provincial capitals to celebrate what is popularly known as Youth Day. It was a day to commemorate for the integration of youths into nation building for the great part they played during the 1961 Plebiscite. Thenceforth and hitherto, the youths of Cameroon have been marginalized and made to celebrate a perfunctory feast. Can anyone tell the world why Cameroonian youths still celebrate the Youth Day? The youths cannot set up businesses of their own because of corruption, and the government cannot provide jobs for them. I will make a case why the Youths should no more celebrate the Youth Day, and why it should be called Senior Day Instead because the Youths have been escheated of what was and is theirs.
How is 11 February in Cameroon a Youth Day when young people who graduate from college and want to even start a business must bribe to have permits, and tax enforcers harass them day and night? If they report the harassment to the police, the latter will team up and extort more money from them until they go out of business. Some people say the reason why there is still corruption is because there is no formal complaint. To whom should the Youths complain? To Paul Biya who has rigged every election since he came to power?
Many youths who are university graduates and dropouts will die without ever knowing the color of a job and will die in paucity. The youths cannot create jobs for themselves because Biya has destroyed the private sector and made them state beggars. They must rely on the government for survival.
Biya announced the creation of 25,000 jobs and more than 5 million youths applied.
Just the application fee alone was enough to sustain those hired. Unfortunately, there is no record of even 10, 000 hired and most of those hired were from his South Province. That is not the worst part of it. Many of these youths had to bribe to compile their dossiers, but they were not even recruited. Icahbod! So, can you tell them why they should be celebrating any Youth Day?
How many young people are in parliament? How many are in government? Most appointments are for their grandparents. So why are they really celebrating the Youth Day? Cameroonian youths should no more celebrate the Youth Day for God’s sake!
If they are sick and go to the hospital, they have to bribe the nurse and then the doctor too before they are being treated. Many have died for lack of treatment; meanwhile, their deaths are avoidable ones.
Those who go to school do not even have benches, toilets, a roof, and worst still teachers. If you complete primary school and even if you pass the Common Entrance List A, you must bribe to go into a secondary school. If you graduate from secondary school and want to go to high school, you must bribe the principals. When you graduate from high school and are in the university, you must bribe the professors. When you see an opportunity broad and want your transcripts sent there, you must bribe the dean and admission office. Is this how you protect the future of the youths? Are they then in charge?
Young people pay bribe to travel in the country, and they get extorted by the judiciary if they attempt to live right. Can a youth just make a passport without knowing anyone or paying bribe to a government official?
The youths of Cameroon should not be drifters, derelicts and eternal jobless when Cameroon is blessed with coffee, cocoa, cassava, petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, bananas and aluminum. Most of the tax revenues and foreign aid that would have brought solace to the youths end up in private pockets of government officials who go with impunity.
Look, Biya is 79, but he is still trying to rule the country. He has no notion about passing the baton to youths else, he will be appointing young people in position of leadership. Why are the grandparents and parents still working while their grandkids and kids are joblessly roaming the streets as carriers of soukougou? Why should they be celebrating Youth days? Shouldn't they stay at home and mourn with sackcloth and ashes their sacrificed opportunities?

Until then, Cameroon Youths Should no more celebrate the Youth Day.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“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).

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