By Charlie Ndi Chia
“School is a good thing, learning is a good thing. I come to school to learn…” Every Anglophone kid that has as much as passed through Kindergarten can chant this well known rhyme. The mentally deranged boko haram sect members in their opium dream of taking this country back to the pristine era are aware of this fact. At least, when they do experience some tantrums of sanity, these social dregs accept and actually employ the end product of schooling in perpetrating their primitive, wicked Empire. One is talking here of the firearms, vehicular technology and Improvised Explosive Devises, IEDs, which these lunatics have been employing in dastardly assaults in the north of Cameroon.
The boko haram idiocy could be traced to and blamed on monotonous or outright failed governance. This would also hold true for social media poachers and information traffickers. I understand that boko haram rattle-heads also rely so much on social media facilities in perpetrating their evil empire. One sees the late Chinua Achebe’s clairvoyance in what is playing out in today’s Cameroon. He had written, inter alia, in one of his epic novels: “…he who brings home ant infested faggots, should not complain when lizards start paying him visits.”
Cameroon’s oligarchic leadership has been rather presumptuous and complacent for far too long. By the simple law of reciprocity, the lid had to go off at one point or the other. The bubble was bound to burst.
And those organizing ‘ghost towns’ and schools boycott have, unwittingly, gone beyond demanding for just democratic constitutionality, equity and fairness. They want out! They have fought the oligarchic leadership to a standstill; asserting their rights to what they say should be an independent statehood alternative. Truth be told; the head of state’s approach to addressing the earth-shaking agitations and placating the agitators, or why not, the people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions one way or the other, has been indolent. He has opted for both denial and palliatives. And none is working, so far. Most of the age-long structural imbalances are yet to be earnestly addressed, especially the geo-political imbalance.
Hence, the resort to rather deviant methods, including ‘ghost towns’, arson, school boycott and other forms of civil disobedience. The resounding noises from the exercise are however, discordant. One is hard put to understand how puppeteers got to the point in which they are today and how they are able to employ ‘ghost marionettes and call the shots from God knows where, without as much as firing a single shot.
Particularly touchy is the option, the tactic if you will, of stopping kids from going to school and torching private and public property. But this is where the banality of evil has been courted over the years, by an inept governance system, until it festered.
To this extent, both the Government and those that oppose it easily give ridiculous reasons for committing gaffe after gaffe; for taking the generality of the masses for granted. Both hirelings of the regime and common folk are only too quick to rationalize, to justify contemptible actions. They commit the most evil, horrendous things if, and when they believe or are persuaded by a higher authority that their acts are either justified or part of their duty. Consequently, security goons shoot and kill, loot and rape with relish, while frustrated, faceless protesters, acting on instructions from “leaders” burn and organize boycotts.
Note the useless [“explaining”] Safari trips by Government Man Fridays and “Chop Dies” to Europe and the US and the burning of schools and business premises by rented hoodlums! Actions such as these diminish our consciousness or understanding of the ominous issues they mask.
Yet, when the chips are down, common sense dictates that you cannot be together without negotiating the terms of your existence. It goes for husband and wife, employer and employee, friend and friend, landlord and tenant, Anglophone and Francophone, governors and governed, player and coach, and I dare say owner and thief, Saddam Hussein and George Bush. They must negotiate!
Whatever, the line between anger and hate, between affection and disaffection is what accounts for tension in the land today.
Tough talk from the president, I can assure you, is tantamount to the puny fart a dog breaks to put out a fire. Biya, the head servant of Cameroon needs to eat humble pie and save this country from wolves in every camp. The twaddle from Tchiroma and other regime slaves and jesters; the language of hatred from renegade generals in retreat; the childlike hope in the United Nations and other Western contraptions will never solve the problems of Cameroonians. Only genuine dialogue will. And Biya holds the key to it.
One more word…
I can only trust that Biya is aware of the fact that one man’s hate is another man’s love. History is beckoning on him to save human life! School is definitely good. Yes! But failure in politicking and economic husbandry is bad… worse, if you don’t mind!