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Biya is not a good Man- The Nation is Stagnant



Before we finish digesting the first part of my reaction to our Free thinker’s appraisal of the Prince (BIYA), it is important that we lay in mind that Facebook should not only be a place for merry-makings and a place to seek cheap fame. This is because we have a lot to give and take. This second part of my reaction will be on the security issues which Tapang raised as mild stones to praise our dearest, Prince. It is exactly 34 good years, day by day that our Prince has been running and running the affairs of our nation.

Biologists will tell you that at 34 a human should be looking at maturity in many ways and counting 6 more years to reach 40 which many deem as a turning year in the life of any individual. Yet at this stage, if we look at what is happening in our country we can say that the dream of 2035 set aside by our leaders is far higher than the 6 to clock a turning point. That aside allow me to delve on the issue of the day which is security.

Tapang in his write up gave us good reasons why we need to celebrate peace in Cameroon and praise our Prince for that peace. Continuously he described all our neighbours as failed states and called Chad a “trigger hungry nation’’. If we go by this sole analysis to conceptualize a failed state and hail our peace then we are not doing humanity any justice lets alone to ourselves. In an attempt to clarify this concept, Jonathan Di John of the school of Oriental and African studies in 2008 claimed that the problem in many less developed countries has not been only poor economic performance but a breakdown in the legitimacy and political viability of states. Accordingly, he argued that state failure is not the presence of war in the country but also the ineffectiveness of the institutions that make up that state. Going by this can we claimed to be a succeeding nation because we are not fighting any war? (After all, we are at war with BH). I will beg to disagree with Tapang here.

This is so because a close look at the institutions of our country point to the fact that we are not succeeding. If our Roads are not repaired on time when they break down, our sisters, wives and mothers still die at the doorsteps of hospitals just because they want to give birth, our children drown in waters because they attempted crossing a hanging bridge to reach school then we embody the characteristics of failure. Remember James Flick argued that success in the state should not be measured by the riches of some or even the majority but the welfare of all.

One of the works that our free thinker used in his analysis was the End of History and the Last Man (1992) by Francis Fukuyama which was an expansion of his 1989 thesis. This extension came as a result of the end of the Cold War which according to Fukuyama signaled the end of history. Not that Mankind will stop living but that the Cold War had been the longest and sometimes most dangerous ideological war that could have wiped out mankind from the surface of the earth.One thing Ivo did not explain are the differences that existed between Fukuyama’s views and Karl Marx. Marx had argued that as time goes on Communism will replace Capitalism and the end results will be Socialism. To Marx, communism was just a roadway to Socialism that will end up engulfing the entire universe.

Cameroon at the time of the release of this book was just graduating from a 24 year long but positive dictatorship that place the country on the African scene as one of the most powerful and progressing nations of the continent. The aviation was one of the best, our diplomacy was strong under the previous regime, and the economy was vibrant and enticing to investors. Therefore Ivo should tell us if Fukuyama’s End of history was actually a rough or a smooth path to our country that we need to celebrate today. A closer look at what is happening with our institutions today is just a shadow of what the former president left behind. It is even said that on the period of his resignation, the present president, and others went to beg him not to resign but the humble Nordist told them that state service should have a start and an end. Today where is our end? Are we at the end of History or the beginning of history? One thing Ivo did not see in Fukuyama’s argument is that he was so poignant with the fact that history has ended and no other civilization will crash again or dominate capitalism and democracy. Yet today we see an android civilization that is almost transcending and dominating both democracy, capitalism, and even Communism. For Ivo himself in many instances has told us that the new war and most used platform in political discourse is the internet or better still the cyber war space. So who is fooling who? Only God knows.

For the Freethinker to turn around and say that he does not care if Biya remains in power until his death is a blow and a camouflage to many things that he has been writing on Facebook the whole year. Reading from comments in this particular praise and halleluiah write up many castigated him for preparing his trip to Cameroon since he is afraid of an arrest. Others think that he has been bribed and there was another clamouring that Cameroonians of good faith should cut off links with Ivo. I am really not interested in Facebook fights since this is a particular intellectual debate that will enlighten our views as a nation and showcase our brains as people of diverse views. For one thing Ivo like many of us remains a budding scholar that the country will need in the future for the advancement of the state.

It is also important that Cameroonians start believing that for any nation to move forward, there is a need for divergent views. James Banks in his Book, Diversity and Citizenship describes a succeeding nation as one that is able to harness the differences of its citizens to place them on the table of a single interest. This has been supported by Flicks, a political science professor and consultant on media political discourses as the genuine way to move ahead. Just as the nation will need Ivo in the future to balance our debates and views about our country, it may also need many who are reading this interesting debate. For one thing is clear that there is no nation without its people.And who are the people? I guess we are the people, intelligent or not, fast or slow, good or bad we are moving into a multi-cultural society where our judgments would not be based on who we are but on what we have to offer. Cameroon is our country and we must build it together.

Atanga Belmondo
Political Historian

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