Mme Edith KAH WALLA, Président of the CPP, Founder/Proprietor of Cameroon OBOSSO and Coordinator of STAND-UP-CAMEROON; deeply STRUCK by the on going wahala in both the North and South West Regions, writes:
ARE WE “MORE” UNITED NOW?
Yesterday, I was voiceless before the brutality and Barbary of our government with regard to its citizens. I read a lot of comments by Cameroonians. This note received from a sister in the South West, touched me the most. I want to share it with you.
Are We ‘MORE’ United Now?
For all those who asked that maximum force be used against protestors because Cameroon is One and Indivisible (as spelt out in the Constitution) it was used. I ask you, Are we MORE united NOW?
To those who RIGHTFULLY said the flag was desecrated and this was unpardonable, the punishment has been inflicted. So, are we MORE United NOW?
To those who so loved our children that they pledged (RIGHTFULLY SO) WHILE OTHERS used force to send them to school, but did not love them enough to say STOP as they were being killed, I ask you, Are we MORE united NOW?
To those who said the Anglophones should be quiet, because all of us as Cameroonians have the same problems, yesterday the gun quieted the Anglophones, Are we MORE united NOW?
To those who labeled us terrorists, rats, dogs and cockroaches, well, we have been treated as such, chased, smashed, brutalized and some exterminated. I hope we are MORE united NOW.
We have been so ruled by decree, that we have come to believe in it ourselves. So as we moved towards danger and people saw it approaching closer and closer to themselves, Cameroonians themselves starting issuing the decrees.
They shouted over Facebook: Cameroon shall never be divided. Forgetting they RATHER have to take Steps towards making it genuinely United.
They tweeted: I am Franglophone. Never having set foot in another region and most certainly incapable of speaking the other language.
They screamed over media: Who are they? What do they take themselves for? Forgetting that if you do not know who they are and do not understand what they want, then the idea of preaching more unity with them is absurd.
I too do not believe in the separation of Cameroon.
However, there is no question in my mind that many Cameroonians want to leave the union, not because they did not believe in it or did not love it, but because of the way this union has been governed.
No amount of shouting at them, will resolve this. The great writer Stephen Covey says “You cannot talk yourself out of problems you behaved yourself into”.
Unity is based on shared principles and values. To convince anyone that you are United with them, you must behave in a way that defends these principles and values.
I hear the voice of an Anglophone over the last year. That voice is saying:
If what unites us is “all persons shall have equal rights and obligations”, then in the name of unity you must support me when I am not treated equally.
If what unites us is “the State shall ensure the protection of minorities”, when I am discriminated against you must stand with me in the name of unity.
If what unites us is “no person may be prosecuted, arrested or detained except in the cases and according to the manner determined by law” you must shout with all your might when I am arrested arbitrarily and illegally, then held for months on end unjustly.
If what unites us is “every person has a right to life, to physical and moral integrity and to humane treatment in all circumstances”, you must stand up and defend me vigorously when I am humiliated, tortured and killed.
If you have protested for my rights, then you may fly the flag, the day I say I want to leave the union.
If you have marched for my safety and my freedom, you may remind me we are one and indivisible the day I want to divide.
However, if you have stood by, silent and arms folded while the very foundation of unity was trampled upon;
If you were dormant when I was beaten, arrested, raped, killed. If you watched as those who defile the very word unity abused me in every way;
If you have been deaf, blind and dumb as injustice was meted out, then you have sided with my oppressor.
As you have sided with my oppressor, I am afraid my friend that when you shout one and indivisible today, I may not hear. When you fly the flag, I may not see. When you pronounce words of caution, I may ignore.
Because force and violence is on your side, by not heeding you, I may die. And when it is my dead body lying there. Whether you shed a tear or you gloat. One thing is certain, you will hear my voice whispering in the wind…. “Are we MORE united NOW?”
The voice of this Anglophone is haunting me. What does it say to you?
(Quotes above are from the Constitution of Cameroon)