Going Beyond Bounds

Public discussions in Cameroon and even abroad have of late been rife about the limit to which citizens in this country must go to express grievances. It all filtered like rumours, then became a reality that some citizens living abroad were planning a demonstration in Geneva to disrupt the private stay of the Head of State and wife, Mrs Chantal Biya. That has become a near recurrent practice in recent years and the announcement on Monday 12 July, 2021 that the Presidential Couple were off to Europe a day earlier for a brief private stay gave room for those who have relished such demonstrations to get back at their game again.

Unfortunately, such disgraceful conducts are likely going to always play to the disadvantage of those who mastermind them for obvious reasons. As citizens of a country who claim to have issues to iron out with the system in place, the simple ability to understand the mechanisms through which people can pass on their message to their leader matters enormously in the level of success that such frustrations can be accepted. Messages being paraded in the social media and even the traditional news outlets which people count on to present the negative side of Cameroon have also helped to indicate that the art of nationbuilding is an ongoing process. Cries of greater democratisation in Cameroon like even in some of the most developed countries continue to be topical. Scenes of highhandedness in some countries that served as role models to those declaring self-righteousness about their ability to purify Cameroon have even come from unsuspecting quarters. It is not always true therefore for some people to think that they have a ma- gical solution to the issues that our society is facing today or that if they were to be given the opportunity they will necessarily do better.

In fact, there are persons who in the early stages of their endeavour to make the country better, as they claimed, ended up showing so early that they were just good for the dustbins. No one has the monopoly to make triumphalist declarations about the many hurdles that the Cameroonian society is saddled with within the current decade. Be it the extremist Boko Haram insurgencies, the influx of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria and the Central African Republic or the ongoing security crisis in the South West and North West Regions, the bottom-line is that the nation as a whole has been facing the hurdles courageously. In every turn and twist of the running events, the Head of State has not faltered in proffering solutions which some see as satisfactory while others think they have not gone far enough. But that is what should happen in a dynamic State where diversity exists in public opinion.

In addition to this, there are institutional frameworks in the country that have either been addressing the concerns of citizens or have been redesigned to meet the growing nature of any of the challenges. Even more consoling has been the official discourse which has always centred on mo- deration and the...



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