Biya’s fervent hope

EDITORIAL 17 Nov 2020
Biya’s fervent hope

In his condolence message at the funeral service of the victims of the Kumba massacre, the head of state expressed the hope that these atrocities will come to an end. This is a possibility no one should deny, but it depends on how deep down his mind the president feels saddened by the recent killings.
On Thursday, November 5, 2020, an ecumenical funeral service was held in Kumba to mourn and bid farewell to seven school children brutally murdered at the Mother Francisca Bilingual Academy, on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Obviously no form of death is pleasant, especially to beloved ones who have been unfortunate to suffer the loss. Something like an ecumenical funeral service was therefore justifiable and necessary. For there are very few, who can harden their hearts in the face of such tragic incidents.
We can understand why it is reported that the Prime Minister, Dion Ngute, wept. The Prime Minister was a special representative of the head of state, Paul Biya, who also carried his message to the families of the departed ones. There is no doubt therefore that the Kumba massacre of innocent school children was a grieving form of death, too gruesome to be forgotten so easily.
It is indeed a form of death by which no amount of gold and silver and precious stones offered as condolences, are capable of wiping all tears from the eyes of those who now remain to mourn their dead. All the same, the families of the victims could not have been abandoned to themselves at such a moment that beckons for sympathy and concern from well wishers.
However, good judgment keeps reminding each and every one of us who are concerned with the state of affairs in this country today that, we went too far to have allowed ourselves to land on the marshy ground that is now only slowing down our movement forward. For four years, we ought to have discovered that the way out of the blood bath that we are experiencing today, such as the incident in Kumba and dozens of many other similar incidents of bloodshed, could have been avoided, and may-be, put far behind us by now.
It is unfortunate that we take deride in burying the dead and shedding crocodile tears when within us we have the means to turn these tears into tears of joy, to celebrate that a conflict of four years duration has ended. On the contrary we are seen sometimes expressing our concerns when we bury victims of gruesome deaths such as the ones we have just buried in Kumba, in the same spirit as if we were mourning and burying victims of a land slide, for example, which is a natural disaster. The difference here is that the former, brutal killing is the work of man. We continue to kill our children out of sheer injustice and prejudice.
Having said all this, we can draw one concrete conclusion that the Kumba ecumenical funeral service has once more re-echoed what has always been proposed to the government in place, that dialogue remains the ultimate solution to the current crisis. At the funeral, the various men of God, including the Imam of Kumba, echoed the need for dialogue.
It is pertinent to note that throughout the duration of this crisis, there is only one man who, with just one word any day, the crisis will come to an abrupt end. He has the knife and the yam in his hands. It therefore remains for the head of state to go back to his condolence message carried by the Prime Minister, in which he is said to have been saddened by what happened in Kumba, and that he hopes that all these atrocities will come to an end. But to use the word “HOPE” is a little worrying, especially when he is known unquestionably that he has the powers to put an end to the crisis.
There is nothing more or, nothing less that, Cameroonians and the world at large expects than the hopes which the head of state has pronounced. We want to hope in return, that his pronouncement of hope in ending the on-going atrocities is accompanied by a deep and sincere feeling for the lives of many who have gone the way of the Kumba children. We equally hope that this time around, the option of dialogue will find a proper place in his mind.

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