Does a day suffice? a week, a month or a year? Please remind me, what are we mourning? The unjust union of the two Cameroons in 1961? The demolition of federalism in 1972? The rise of Biya to power 1982? The unpopular opposition boycott of 1996 that marked the genesis of a crumbling and divided opposition as against the one we saw in 1992? The constitutional amendment of 2008 that placed us under the curse of a lifetime leadership of tyranny and autocracy? Are we mourning the victims of a government crackdown? Like that of the failed coup of 1983? Or the 1992 ghost town? Or the 2008 fuel price strike? Oh, sorry maybe we mourning a natural disaster. Like the lake Nyos of 1986, or the mount Cameroon eruption, or the Banga Pongo plane crash of 2006 or the victims of the train derailment at Eseka last Friday 21st October 2016.
Yes! That must be it, 158 dead and still counting, over 600 seriously injured and scores in a critical condition (dreaming of a presidential order to evacuate them for treatment in Europe may be) That’s right, everything is happening in Europe, well-equipped ultra-modern hospitals, near to excellent transport network with great roads, effective rail lines and VIP full functioning airlines and ports.
Before I forget, they have flamboyant hotels too like the Intercontinental hotel in Geneva which sometimes serve as the presidency for some leaders of “great ambitions” from highly indebted and impoverished nations which surprisingly have enormous natural resources. But above all Europe has leaders who care about their people and that’s why they can afford to seem like a “heaven”.
Behold thy tears and blood and sweat thy soil did water… They’ve been plenty warnings and signs, the most recent from a “man of God” about an explosion and many dying, we laughed and mocked and disbelieved and believed. Well whether you should or shouldn’t believe in such “prophets” is strictly your choice to make (I pray you are wise in it). Let your spirit sort that out with your deity. Our regular cries went on, the common law crises, the rotten state of the Bamenda-Baffussam road etc then the wum bridge collapsed and then the Douala –Yaounde bridge (after the order of the mungo bridge perhaps). Of course, we can argue that one was attended to more urgently because in terms of traffic and economic activity it’s way more relevant to the nation. But then another could just say one has to do with second class citizens, make your pick.
Back to our day of mourning… What are we mourning? It’s true that blame is a lame game, and it won’t bring our brothers and sisters back, but sometimes seeing justice take its due course is the greatest consolation a grieved heart can experience. We heard of the careless overloading at CAMRAIL and may be the over speeding, or may be Boko Haram (I laughed in tears when I heard this flimsy excuse). But who has taken responsibility? No one, in fact, God is now under radical attack from Christians and non-Christians alike. To the extent someone admonishes the nation to pray and fast for her wellbeing and it is received by a wall of bitterness, anger and frustration oriented disregard. Mind you God is still God, the I AM that I AM.
See I believe that these trend of accidents and car explosions which we are consistently going through is just a pointer and indices to a big storm that needs to be cleared. I know that storm is bad governance and unless we take it off its going nowhere. If there’s ever a time for Cameroonians to unite for a course, it is now. If there’s ever a need for a solidarity match it is today. Do not misdirect your grief, the one sure thing that will really bring peace is CHANGE. This regime has outlived its usefulness and these evil occurrences are a sign of sickness, I know this because these events are very very controllable and avoidable if the entire people were not so neglected by the authorities that be.
So why am I mourning? I am mourning that today again I got up under the same 34-year-old regime which started as a sweet dream and has become more than a nightmare. It has become the single element that has wasted more lives than Malaria, HIV or Ebola because it has reduced a rich naturally endowed African miniature to poor filth.