For three years now and counting, life in the English parts of Cameroon in particular and the rest of the country in general has been hellish. Recently, thousands of Diaspora Cameroonians have been taking to foreign streets. They have been washing the country’s repugnant dross in public. Structures of Cameroon’s diplomatic missions in European capitals have been vandalized. They would eventually cost starveling taxpayers, billions to repair or replace.
Back in the country, the cabal of ‘greener pasture’ politicians and so called patriots are undaunted, unwilling to cede a genuine inch to suffering protesters. Routine Epicurean-type feasting, even as tens of thousands of compatriots live, procreate, and die in the bushes continues and is still beamed live on television channels. Every single protest is shot down with AK-47s.They are hailing the tired benevolent, nay, stubborn cow, almost milking it to death, artificially watering the pastures, hoping to maintain the status quo from which they have been greedilyreaping over the years.
The greedy tick sucking its host to death is most likely to die with the cow. Pundits are piqued by the hustling for power, wealth and fame.Weeks back, the mayor of Buea engaged thugs to hack open the doors of business premises whose owners were suspected of respecting separatists’ calls for ‘ghost town.’ It was daylight official banditry by any other name, carried out with the protection of heavily armed government troops. A few days afterwards, an electronics shop was burnt to ashes apparently by separatist militias. Its proprietor might have breached “ghost town injunctions.”
Elsewhere in Bamenda, capital of the Northwest Region, adherents of the ruling party who appeared on the ceremonial grounds for the May 20 feast couldn’t show their faces. They either feared subsequent reprisals from separatist thugs or they were starvelings, targeting the pittances that would eventually be doled out to those who dared the “terrorists” to at least, constitute a motley crowd of celebrants. Shameful!
But come to think of it. Cameroon is at war with its citizens today because of entangling alliances of ‘greener pasture’overlords that are lined up against what is largely seen as the bigger interest.In other words, it is the “chopping” few versus the protesting masses. Be that as it may, this is a problem that could have been treated as a mere spat. But the war option was gleefully chosen. War, like any other government project and maybe more so, is an expensive project that can easily go wrong. In our own case, it has gone thoroughly wrong, no matter how much anyone tries to hurriedly bury the staggering casualties to hide the gruesome realities.The ongoing war in the Northwest and Southwest Regions has, to say the very least degenerated. It is dirty and wasteful in every sense of the word. It becomes even more foolhardy when leaders are seen to be rather casually enthusiastic about engaging it or eager for a fight, even if they pride themselves on winning, when they do get into that fight.
In Cameroon, very simple, straightforward things are mostly achieved by way of cajoling, bullying, organizing political pressure and eventually engaging external lobbies at dizzying costs to the taxpayer. Those at the helm of affairs hardly pause to think of the cost effectiveness and benefits of their acts. Money, bullying and brute force are simply thrown in and policed.
Two men stand out in the epitomizing of this tomfoolery. They are Paul Atanga Nji and Ekema Patrick. The duo seems to have agreed that people get governmentally recognized and compensated when they make lots of bloody noise and so, have joined the fray. They understand what from every indication, is a simple game of political winners and silent or cheated political losers. Sustainable or better still business decisions for the likes of Ekema and Atanga Nji are just after thoughts. The master’s will, must be done.
But we have seen how such ‘horsewhip-like’ governance has destroyed the economy and created embarrassing misery, especially in the English speaking Regions of the country.We have seen how it has felled towering giants like the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC and PAMOL Plantations. We have seen how it has decimated hundreds of villages and townships. We can see clearly that it has yielded more cost than benefits; more hatred for the regime and dissidents alike; more lives destroyed than saved with wasteful new institutions and procedures created with proliferating executive signatures.
Honestly, the most mavericks like Ekema and Atanga Nji can achieve from their quixotic acts of bravado would be political appointments for the political scavenging they are carrying out. The electorate, aka political customers aren’t going to stick with the Ekemas except by way of outright rigging or crass dictatorship. Under normal circumstances, Ekema’s ruling party members are expected to vote with their feet in droves because he has harmed them emotionally and economically. In any case, dead businessmen and customers aren’t going to recommend the likes of Atanga Nji, Ekema and the collectivity of Diaspora warmongers to their voting friends because their assigns raped and killed them and their businesses.
Ignoring the demands being made by teeming masses of Cameroonians and instead reeling out one decree after the other in the blind hope that government can change the laws of physics or change the laws of economics is tantamount to arguing with the faithful mirror that throws back the warts on your face at you. It has become fashionable for ‘greener pasture’ politicians and other Man Fridays to quote, praise and hail Mr. Biya, even at children’s birthday parties.It may sound warm and fuzzy and positive because free chop and “mimbo” are lavishly served, with rented women programmed toululate at every twist.
Yet, providing occasional chop, choice wines and freebies at lavish parties don’t last. What lasts is more businesslike approach to running the government while listening to the general public instead of the noise from rented motley crowds as supplied by ‘greener pasture’ politicians. The best form of populism is its orientation against fawning, parasitic elites and in favour of the overwhelming majority of the population, even as specific policies come and go.
Last but not least, the current spate of protests by Cameroonians in European capitals, plus the ongoing mass protests in Sudan even after a Methuselah dictator’s butt has been rudely kicked should serve as a pointer to his ilk that the power of fools, especially when they are in multitudes should never be undermined.