Richard Kwang Kometa
Another anniversary moment for the New Deal government of
President Paul Biya has arrived with November 6 manifestations marking
a transition to the second Republic in Cameroon in 1982.
As usual, stock-taking on the evolution of national life is in
vogue. Unique in this year's activities is the fact that a generation
of Cameroonians who are 27-years-old know only the New Deal era. Such
youths in the same way as Cameroon under Paul Biya, have long gone into
the age of maturity and can validly count their blessings, trials,
tribulations and make a reasonable projection into the future.
Talking to most Cameroonians aged 27 this year, their cry is that
they would want to have jobs and lead decent lives. That could rightly
be one of the major points of reflection that the many manifestations
across the country to commemorate this anniversary would be looking
into. President Paul Biya has himself stated that "democracy is indeed
a socio political regime in which the relations between men are
regulated as per the respect of their freedom and their equality; in
this way, it remains the only form of government which truly and
genuinely strives to base social order on the imperative of human
dignity". This vision of governance carries the seed of Mr Biya's
political stewardship in Cameroon over the years.
No matter the age group, Cameroonians have been living witnesses of
the evolution of the country, especially under the Biya era, in its
quest for the creation of nationhood and modernisation. Democratisation
moved from the rungs of the party to a multiparty set up that has been
viewed variously depending on where people belong. That is perhaps
normal in a country where people have the right to self expression.
Consequently, without committing a political testament, Cameroon
Tribune's analyses of the 27th Anniversary of the New Deal delves into
the diplomatic, agricultural, sporting and socio-economic evolution of
the country within the past years.
Coming ahead of an upcoming presidential election in the country,
the life of the nation has, within the past months, witnessed
unprecedented effervescence given the intensification of the fight
against corruption codenamed operation "Sparrow hawk" which has seen
the incarceration of some top-notch of the regime on charges of
misappropriation of State funds. Some have been quick to conjure the
spectre of victimisation in an attempt to derail public attention.
No matter the arguments, the management of State funds has been a
major undoing for some who have often taken refuge behind political
party activism to siphon state resources for personal gains despite
incessant calls by President Paul Biya for probity in handling public
When President Biya said therefore in Monatele, near the national
capital, Yaounde prior to the last Presidential election that things
would never be the same again, sceptics still committed the error of
thinking that it was a mere political slogan. But the facelift that
Yaounde and Douala have been undergoing and the inauguration of some
infrastructure have testified to the President's determination to endow
Cameroon with a significant legacy.
The challenge may not be a day's job given that there is still a
fraction of Cameroonians who behave like passers-by, always looking the
other way when things go wrong in the areas over which they have the
authority to turn things around. Such a situation has often been
compounded by the multiplicity of ethnic and sociological groups in the
country. They have rendered more challenging the task of guaranteeing
peace and stability in Cameroon. Thus, it is understandable that the
country readily prides itself of being an oasis of peace within a
desert of a turbulent sub-region and President Paul Biya as the main
architect even if the real quest for a forward looking nation must be
the concern of all.