Elements of Growth

After signing a decree on Wednesday 30 December 2020 harmonizing the retirement age for civil servants, the Head of State, Paul Biya in his New Year address to fellow Cameroonians, Thursday 31st December 2020 came out frankly with some of the challenges his administration has faced during the year 2020 and how government handled them to survive where many fail. 
Beginning with Boko Haram whose atrocities in Cameroon, Nigeria and the rest of Central Africa have been deadly and economically devastating, the Head of State delved deeply into the ongoing coronavirus that is in fact, one of the calamitous pandemics mankind has suffered in recent centuries, if not decades. While it is generally believed that Covid-19 has spread Africa, Cameroon stands out tall as one of those African countries that practically proved to the rest of the world that what matters in this life of unpleasant surprises is not worrying over problems, but facing squarely what must be done to weather the storms. In this effort to fight out the enemy, government used not only the country’s medical personnel to serve their compatriots with commitment, but also mobilised the media to educate, inform and sensitised citizens about the need to prevent the disease. 
Religious organisations and non-governmental organisations contributed their quotas in various ways. The outcome of this was rewarding. Cameroon did not count in thousands the loss of lives as a result of this deadly pandemic. These efforts earned for the Biya administration an appreciation from the international community. While the efforts to fight out the Covid-19 pandemic continued in various forms, the Biya administration did not minimize the other socio-political problem that has robbed the country of its peace since 2016. The political crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon has been really very disturbing not only to our political elite, but also to patriotic Cameroonians and their friends. By organising regional elections towards the decentralisation of governance, President Paul Biya once again demonstrated that after doing something on the socio-linguistic incompatibilities that triggered the Common Law Lawyers in 2016, he was bent on doing the best to redress the disturbing issues that create gaps between the people.  
By holding the Major National Dialogue and delving into some of the issues that provoked the separatists scenario, President Biya portrayed the will to think and act in the people’s interest. This is important because if the President sustains his vision to be remembered in Cameroon as the man who brought democracy to people, he must listen to the people and act in their interest. Cameroon needs this element of peace without which we cannot talk of unity and development, political stability and fruitful cooperation. 
Cameroonians themselves should understand that success in leadership demands patriotism from citizens. Such patriotism demands hard work to give the country the image that attracts attention, cooperation and investment.
Without this spirit, we would not be proud to welcome other countries to Cameroon to come see for themselves, how much we can invest in the sports discipline that has made Cameroon known the world over. The portrayal of that enviable image cannot be left solely in the hands of our soccer stars like Roger Milla and Samuel Eto’o, musicians like Manu Dibango, and Anne Marie Nzie,  François Mbango or intellectuals like Dr Bernard Fonlon, to mention these few. 
The challenge goes to leaders and the led who should be constantly reminded that we love our country better than our elective positions or duty posts. 
The President in his address to the nation made clear what he expects from Cameroonians who long for pleasant surprises and not the unpleasant during the years as the come and go. 
If we love our country, and its leaders, and are truly committed to its development, we have to work with those elected or appointed to serve the country in various domains. 
The challenge is ours as the New Year 2021 take off. 



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