Cameroon ‘Our Continent’!

Cameroon is aptly described as “Africa in miniature.” A reference to the country having most, if not all, that exists across the African continent. Take the example of the last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification match the country played in Garoua against Burundi on 12 September, 2023. In a post-match press conference, the coach for Burundi pleaded with Cameroonian reporters to stop shouting and booing at their colleague who asked a question which they felt was uncalled for. A rebuff coming from a foreigner who felt embarrassed that people could be so intolerant towards their colleague and fellow mate, speaks volumes about the image Cameroonians give about themselves. Some do not even look at the consequences or negative impact of actions that they pose.    
Reacting in such a strange manner in front of the Burundian coach meant little to the reporters, but the guy felt shocked and could not hold back. He was obliged to politely pleaded for such erratic behaviour to stop since the questions were meant for him and he had a response irrespective of the feelings of those who found the question stupid! Taking the reflection back home to most of the incongruities that exist in the public space, examples could be interminable. Ironically, some went for the crucial match against Burundi, praying that key players of the Indomitable Lions would be absent for the team to be eliminated from the AFCON. They failed in such eerie wishes and may have to wait for a long time. However, such attitude betrays the short-sighted belief, that failure in the country belongs to others while there are those who have no role to play in whatever happens.     
The way people play Pontus Pilatus by washing their hands off most situations is curious. They tend to think that problems in several sectors in the country are caused by others and they, in no way, feel responsible. This can at times be intriguing! For instance, leaving together has been such a challenging concept of late in the country. Those who continue to offer lip-service to the need for peace and harmony to exist among citizens, yet carry out policies in public places that stink of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and other vices, hardly think they are guilty of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, national cohesion and harmonious coexistence require a sense of justice and inclusion such that Cameroonians in need of attention should not have to seek crooked means to get served. True enough, jobs are getting scarce and the demographic growth is such that most youth are still to come to terms with the option of self-employment in the face of a difficult business environment. Even when a few try to create their own enterprises or get into business ventures, unscrupulous individuals ruin them with taxes, most of which go into private pockets. They forget to know that robbing the State directly or indirectly deprives the country of the means to develop infrastructure and other social amenities that could improve the living conditions of the population. What of inflating bills of public contracts, creating fake payments, diverting public utilities to serve individual interests, stealing drugs from patients in hospitals, emptying pockets of victims of road accidents and blaming such attitudes on lack of employment or accusing the State for lack of jobs, etc. The list of incongruities is definitely long.   If problems of that nature appear to concern only those in offices and other public places, what of those who litter the streets? By avoiding the dustbin, where it exists, to throw garbage on the roadside or simply putting such waste on the main road, not bothering who it would render uncomfortable, people hardly see themselves in such circumstances as public nuisance. They even fail to see how such garbage will decay and constitute a health danger to them. They choose not to think that a clean environment will be of benefit to everyone. But, when it comes to complaining how public officials have held back the nation’s progress, such persons come first. Afterall, they only threw dirt on the street and so what? Those who construct mansions and bungalows connecting all the sewage to the main road in front of their houses in...



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