Delinquents of Genocide
Power has mounted the head of Paul Biya and it needs episodic nutriment in blood. They sat down – Biya, Esso, Sadi, Fame, Tchiroma, Assomo, Belinga, Meka, Bokam, L’Afrique, Okalia – and cooked up the witches’ soup of genocide with which they judiciously worked it out and effectively have poisoned not us but the reputation of their whole country. Their goof has just been one metaphor for a country in pandemonium. And verily they can’t help their own self-inflicted chaos – this embarrassingly duplicator recalcitrance.
Miserably, 1st October we witnessed the Real Presence of Satan in our land in the ‘Beasts of no Nation’ called LRC militia. Today, a few weeks after, that Devil is still around; apparently it has left land and has caught us nearly everywhere, even in the Diaspora, in our hearts, in our minds, in our wills. What is this Satan I am talking about? It is the temptation to fear in areas that never troubled us before, protracted spells of discouragement, bouts of reservations that seem to eat us up, enticing appeals to wicked compromise, hostility toward other comrades, longings to give up on the liberation struggle, the lure to turn away from the means of God’s grace, apologies made for lack of progress, and dangerous remarks about other activists.
When we face these evil spirits, these demons, these trials, with courage, with the determination of true soldiers of the God of history, Satan the father of lies, the father of thieves will fly away; and therefore: ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.’ (Ephesians 6:14-17).
The gory happening in our land has unlocked a new vista of examination and investigation into the dynamics responsible for the near-total extinction of an internationally recognized people, the Southern Cameroons. The recent Southern Cameroons massacre underscores the calamity writ large on a government that has traded human rights to the swamp of political bestiality and momentary economic trappings. It has advertised the intoxicating dangers staring the two Cameroons for exchanging basic human values for political gains and injudicious consolidation of power. It illustrates a frightening portrait of the alarming dangers that we face for the simple reason that we have downgraded the importance of human life in preference for money, pomp and power. It is as scary as it is intimidating and the pogrom visited on Southern Cameroonians recently, pictures a disgusting harvest we stand to gain from the families of the victims from this state of anomie.
History never forgets, it only delays and when their time of reckoning comes, these criminals of mass massacre would be tried by global law for crimes against humanity. In the best of times, catastrophe is unavoidable for any regime on the verge of a high cliff of self-infliction. But under Paul Biya, the devastating conflict started since 1984. It began around those times of the failed coup d’état, that coup d’état where Tchiroma obtained a banchelor’s degree in state terrorism, and the consequent warning that a kleptocracy had sold the nation and changed the name overnight to the so-called La republique that stands stupidly tall as metaphor for the wretchedness and misery of my people. It has been worsened by Biya’s inflexible narrow-mindedness and, deplorably, compounded by old age. A thoughtless gerontocrat who doesn’t know the difference between the apple phone and an apple fruit decides to make a thieving promise of Chinese computers to famished youth, a pipe-promise that would take millennia to come.
What is more, the rise of brutality and mayhem among Paul Biya’s political surrogates is connected to another disease: that of impunity. By impunity I mean the failure of national and international bodies to prosecute powerful individuals guilty of crimes against humanity. Here I am talking not only about the Tchiromas or the Bilais. This involves those SDOs and Commissioners of police and army colonels who engage in vicious political and military action – beatings, kidnappings, lynchings – in the name of the State, and go scot-free. It is our job to counter the narrative of the Tchiromas who think they have a divine right to mess up our lives.
Father Gerald Jumbam
Kumbo Diocesan Priest