By Barrister Atoh Walter M. Tchemi*
Outrageous, yet, this writer perceives row on both sides, with no resolution in sight to ending said crisis notwithstanding enormous disruption of economic activities, series of abductions, and targeted killings orchestrated by the belligerents. ‘Never again’, was a collective slogan, jointly and severally proclaimed, followed the Rwandan genocide, infuriating to note, yet, similar acts are ongoing in Southern Cameroons. Said acts have debunked wholly the ‘Never again’ policy, the international community proclaimed in or after 1995.
How soonest has ‘Never again’ smeared by the very community that preached or proclaimed it.
We are of the considered opinion that, until our politicians renounce their wealth and fortune just like Heraclitus, then could they have had plenty of time to reflect and appreciate the fundamental precept of the concept of change, to the effect that, change is the only thing that is inevitable in life. Everything changes and the history of Cameroon and Southern Cameroons, specifically has changed dozen times since Heraclitus time.
On November 30, 2017, upon return from the African-European Union Summit, president Paul Biya escalated his rhetoric further by announcing that, Cameroon is under attack from terrorists, and vowed to ‘ eradicate these criminals’ to bring back peace and security. Hitherto, life has never been the same again in the South and North West Regions of Cameroon: targeted killings, abductions, lootings, houses razed by flames, (you name the rest), on regular frequency. The security situation has worsened significantly between government security forces and Anglophone separatists; yet, President Paul Biya has refused to engage in dialogue, and mostly relies on military operations to suppress dissidents.
The past two years or so have exposed and exacerbated governance challenges in Cameroun, a country that prides itself as being democratic, ‘one and indivisible’, yet, with actions in many ways, arguably, continue to set the worse for the future generation. Countries like Cameroon, must focus on good governance, respecting the indicators of same and learning how to grapple with political changes rather than, spending that much into, buying of cars, sending state officials to foreign lands with undefined objectives and or creating Commission(s) whose jurisdictions and or competences are seemingly limited and predicated on or upon advisory opinions. Genuine dialogue would have appeared more judicious, practical and cost effective, vis-à-vis Cameroon’s G.D.P.
Arguably or unarguably, Cameroun is relatively well-placed to respond to these new political complexities or challenges (new and emerging challenges) of today. Good governance could play a catalytic role in generating an enabling working environment where the vision of supportable and or sustainable human development can be reached. Whereas, poor governance could corrode, and or erode individual competences and or abilities to meet even basic needs of sustenance for susceptible/defenseless and or weak sections of the population. More so, it is no news that, substantial evidences suggest that, the state of governance and that of the level of human development are relatively and or fairly correlated in the sense that, countries having a better functioning of governance system are also the countries with comparatively high levels of human development.
Good governance could be ignited by accepting the culture and tradition of a people. Southern Cameroonians are a people, a given group of people, with distinct cultures and traditions (laws) which have been practiced/ observed for a very long period of time and developed through a system of precedent which implies a particular process of reasoning from case to case. God bless Cameroon, God bless Cameroonians.
*Barrister ATOH WALTER M. TCHEMI
MEMBER: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF THE CAMEROON BAR ASSOCIATION
LEGAL CRITIC, RESEARCHER AND AUTHOR
FOUNDER AND HEAD of THE TIME LAW FIRM, KUMBA
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
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