Prayer, appeal for return of peace in Cameroon

I come reverently before God and before all men and women of Cameroon on this day by means of this prayer and appeal for the return of peace in our cherished nation – prototype of heaven on earth.
I come on bended knees before the Most High God, with my heart and mind submitted to the Blessed Father of the Cameroonian family who is also the God of peace who did not originate the current tumult and confusion we see in the Northwest, Southwest and Northern Regions – for only men could have done this.
I come appealing to the entire Cameroonian family who are made in the image of this merciful and peace-loving God, to all the brave fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of all walks of life, and to all stakeholders, to our leaders in their different capacities, especially the Head of State, his Excellency President Paul Biya and his entire Government, all of whom I commit to the guidance of the Most High God.
Like all Cameroonians, I observe with consternation that 20 months have gone by since the outbreak of the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions which we have called the Anglophone crisis; a crisis which has left me, like all sensitive Cameroonians, in shock, deep pain, grief, heaviness, and restlessness in my spirit. A crisis which has caused civilian and military casualties and destroyed property. We cannot afford to continue to lose loved ones in a senseless fratricide. I am equally gravely concerned by the unending war in the Northern Regions of our country, fought against the nebulous Boko Haram which has stolen the lives of many Cameroonians.
As we observe the situation on the ground in the Northwest and Southwest, we all seem to be helpless and overwhelmed by the crisis which continues to escalate and become even more complicated and complex than when it first started back in October 2016.
In the face of this worrying situation, I appeal to all Cameroonians, friends and allies at home and abroad to pray fervently, more than ever before, to our heavenly Father, for a return to normalcy, being confident that God has promised faithfully in His Holy Word that He will never abandon nor forsake us.
As a peace crusader, I am deeply disturbed by the level of killings, violence and destruction. Every time I hear that a civilian, a soldier, a gendarme, or police has been shot down, I weep very bitterly and fast for the loss of a Cameroonian brother or sister, knowing that they have died in vain because of a crisis that was avoidable.
As one who is constantly on the ground, paying keen attention to the development of the crisis and seeking a return to the way of peace, I have observed that this crisis is national – because when one member of the body suffers, all members suffer with it. The crisis should therefore be of national concern and its peaceful resolution of top national priority.
Moreover, I have observed that this crisis is not just national; it is also institutional and constitutional. Although efforts made so far are laudable, they have yielded little or no results at all. On the contrary, recent events have left all of us shattered and broken-hearted. I am therefore one of those who say that it is high time we utilize the
obvious humane means of dialogue to return to normalcy, for this is the wish of all well-meaning Cameroonians.
I am, therefore, obliged once more, to go on my knees and sound the clarion call to the entire nation in general and to state powers in particular, especially to the Head of State, to urgently address his fellow Cameroonians with tenderness and love and by so doing to utilize his constitutional prerogatives in this period of major crisis that has paralyzed two Regions of our nation, to move for a grant of amnesty to all Cameroonians involved in one way or the other in the ongoing crisis, whether on the run, abroad or detained.
It is evident that such measures will tone down the heightening tension in the Northwest and Southwest Regions and create an enabling environment for an inclusive, objective and frank dialogue for the return of peace in our nation.
It is regrettable to note that some ruthless people among us have viciously recuperated this crisis for financial and political gains. Be that as it may, the majority of Cameroonians are reputed to be peace-loving, law-abiding and God-fearing and are able to resolve this crisis all by themselves. But for Cameroonians to be able to resolve this crisis on their own, it is desirable that the Head of State should use his constitutional prerogatives to create a suitable platform to resolve the crisis. This may entail, as I have recommended from the inception of this crisis and have reiterated several times since, the creation of an inclusive, credible, legitimate and independent Justice, Truth and Reconciliation Commission to steer the most needed dialogue that will usher the nation out of this horrifying crisis.
The setting up of the above Commission is an urgent measure and the Commission should put on the table and discuss all options for the good of our beautiful nation which does not deserve to be shredded by a senseless war.
I want to take this opportunity to appeal to the consciences of Cameroonians and implore all and sundry to shun hypocrisy, falsehood, lies-telling, manipulation, gimmicks, cover-up, bad governance, marginalization, backstabbing, witch-hunting and all other malignant vices which have created and exacerbated this crisis.
Though I have made peace my watchword, I want to say that peace does not exist in a vacuum. Peace emanates from core moral values namely: love, truth, justice, equity, respect for the rule of law, patriotism, accountability, transparency, respect for human rights, integrity, nobility, credibility and honour. Our living together hangs on these core moral values.
As one who has been peace-crusading for close to three decades, I once again pledge my allegiance to peace and exhort all Cameroonians to continue to be committed and devoted to truth and to a peaceful resolution of this crisis, as we all diligently work at different levels for the return of peace in Cameroon. There is hope and I am optimistic that a solution shall be found to resolve this crisis – provided there is the requisite good faith and corresponding political will.
I want to close this special appeal to the Cameroonian people and to state authorities by invoking the Holy Scriptures which affirm that, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14). Amen!
By Barrister Nico Halle

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