On behalf of Camdiac (cameroon diaspora for Change in Cameroon), I am honored to
welcome you to this historic convention, that has brought together political
party leaders, leaders of civil society, religious leaders, experts from varions
walks of life and entrepreneurs from Cameroon and around the world, to discute,
among other things, the vision of freeding and building a better Cameroon with
better and gratter possibilités for all her résidents, irrespective of region,
origin, race, sex, and religion or political affiliation.
Your decision to be here today is a great sacrifice of your precious time and
you certainly abandoned your other activities or engagements. I understand and I
thank you all for your patriotism, courage, wisdom and compassion to participate
in building, today, a better Cameroon…an answer to the socio-cultural, economic
and political needs of the good people of Cameroon for which they yearned so
By chossing to be here today, you have chosen to be a witness why we as a nation
have failed and will still fail, if we do not change our mentality or how our
decision today could drown Cameroon more or deliver Cameroon from the plight
that has plagued it for decades.
We have great leaders and on board today, with first-hand information about
Cameroon from the events or from their experiences, each of them has a unique
story to tell. I also have a unique story to tell. I call on you all not to be
prejudiced, open your minds and let the stories of today be your guide.
It is not about me, it is not about Camdiac and not about you either, but
mostly, it is about Cameroon and the millions of Cameroonians that have lost
hope and trust in an inept and corrupt government for so long. This beautifull
country, Cameroon, now has a population of approximitely 19 million inhabitants,
and is plagued with several problems such as poverty, with approximately 51 % of
its total population leaving with less than $2 a day, high umemployement rates
estimated at 30 %, an increasing maternal mortality, increase adult Hiv and Aids
rates (5,1 % Uniaids 2007), 131/1000 children die before the age of 5 (Unicef,
2008), and approximately 59 % to last primary grade (Unicef, 2008). These
figures are alarming and should raise concern.
The political system of the country has failed and held back the country from
all aspects of development more than 2 decades. I am talking about a
non-representative government that has no known criteria for both national and
regional appropriate, a government that keeps recycling the same people in
various post of responsibility.
The term democracy has been misplaced and misused. Democracy does not mean
absolute majority, but a situation whereby the members of the party in power
occupy the highest positions in the Country and have the absolute majority in
parliament. They have the privilege of controling all instruments of public
propaganda, while the opposition parties are totally excluded from this.
Do not look at me, but listen and understand the stories I am to tell,
understand why I am telling the stories, and understand where I want these
stories to lead us to.
If you look at me, I look good, and well nourished, but I am the sickest person
you could imagine. My head aches, my heart hurts, and I am really sick and
tired…sick and tired of seeing my country Cameroon, the people of Cameroon and
the resources ot Cameroon being held hostage, for so many years, by the Cpdm
regime (Cameroon people’s democratic movement).
I am tired of seeing young Cameroonians drop out of schools or graduate and not
knowing what to do with themselves. The present educational system does not meet
the challenges of modern times, does not lead to the ingenuity the country
needs, but leads to continuous dépendance in accordance with neo-colonial
politiques. There are many schools with less infrastructure, less or badly
trained and poorly equiped teachers. Most teachers even with effective
professional training cannot work without the appropriate materials and as such,
school children and students graduate with substandard education. Corruption
massively enshrouds the admission processes into our professional training
schools. It is no place for the poor.
I am sick and tired of seeing children, innocent women and able-bodied young
Cameroonians die every day, due to negligence and lack of concernby the Cpdm
regime. I am disillusionned in a government that could not consistently provide
the basic medical needs of the people. Health and death in Cameroon look alike,
sound and mean the same. We all remember the slogan by this regime in the early
90s « Health for all by the year 2000 ». Little did we know it indirectly meant
death for all by the year 2010 ? Access to quality and affordable heath care is
supposed to be the right of all Cameroonians and not a privilege.
While our hospitals remain un-equipped, our overcroweded heath centres are
without qualified or sufficient medical personnel. The majority of the patients
are not able to get to these hospital either because of bad roads or lack of
funds. Members of this regime fly themselves and their relatives abroad for
better medical care. Cameroon is, probably, the only country where someone with
a broken leg is expected to walk or run to the hospital. There are no emergency
response systems. Where they are available, they are neither efficient nor
Cameroon can still not boast of a dual carriage way for any of its highways.
Cameroonians die daily in ghastly accident due to bad roads or poor maintenance,
and the government, instead of fixing these roads and taking care of the
injured, all it does is to come out and dispute the death toll, which usually is
never considered significant. There are no good access where it comes from and
how it gets to the table.
I am sick and tired of seeing innocent citizens being abused, imprisoned or even
killed daily nation. The forces of law and order consistenly enforce lawlessness
and disorders, instead of protecting the citizens, they attack and rob them,
using weapons that are either acquired with tax Payers money or acquired by
indebting the country.
There is no enforcement of the rule of law. The military and the police molest
citizens indiscriminately…citizens who simply demand for a fair treatment or try
to express their rigottes or make their marginalized problems known. The
president of the republic autorises the use of forces to disperse such
marginalized people and not listen to their plights. The story of Cameroon,
today, is a story of woe and utter negligence.
These feelings that I am expressing are shared by every single Cameroonian in
his or her right mind. Even those on the side of the present regime do not have
it better. They have just been manipulated and deceived too long that they now
think that is the way it is supposed to be.
Thomas paine in his pamphlet, « Common sense » (1776) stated that « For as in
absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be
king and there ought to be no other ». According to Antonio Maria Costa – United
nations office on drugs and Crime (Unodc) executive director on the 14th of
April 2008 declared that « where the rule of law is weak or absent, crime and
corruption hold back development and democracy ». This clearly states that the
rule of law is essentiel for economic development. The violation of the rule of
law by military, or arm forces or government officials infringes on the rights
and liberty of Cameroonian citizens, and has tactfully worsened unemployment
through stagnation and stifling of initiatives as well as the unequal
opportunities rendered to citizens. This in turn has only given birth to more
The country has held the first position of being the most corrupt country in the
world. Citizens and non-citizens have to bribe to get any document from the
administration, bribe to get a contract, bribe to clear goods from customs,
bribe to get taxes lowered and even bribe to pay the said taxes. The corrupt
nature of the government of Cameroon has been on the increase, despite
tne « operation sparrow hawk » which has been put in place to reduce such
Reports state that the nature of corruption in the country has grown worse. For
exemple, tlangou, we love bensikin and we love ndengui.he Global Fund and World
Bank have allocated more than $133m (£68m) to stem the tide of Hiv/Aids. But
with corruption endemic, this fund is not being effectively used. Hiv and Aids
patient who are to have access to free anti-retroviral drugs are asked to pay
after one treatment (Serge tchapdar, Bbc news december 22nd 2006).
When people try to fight such corrupt nature, their lives and those of their
families are threatened. They are constantly blackmailed. They are even set up
as being the ones most corrupt. Without any effective mechanism to curb this
process which is experienced at all levels and even in schools which are
supposed to be the area of high morals, the situation will not change. It is
left to us to « become the change we want to see (M. Gandhi).
The new amendment of the article 53 (3) modified april 10th 2008 states that
« Acts committed by the president of the republic in pursuance of article 5, 8,
9, and 10 (of the constitution) shall be covered by immunity and he shall not be
accountable for them after the exercice of his functions ». This implies that
the president of the republic is free to commit any act against the laws and
constitutions and will not be prosecuted for it. The president has exercised no
hesitation in ordering the military to shoot down and kill innocent unarmed
If you do not stop the music, you can not stop the dance. We Cameroonians, we
love makossa, we love bikutsi, we love mbachlum, we love Kalangou, we love
bensikin and we love ndengui. Since independence, we have been dancing to a kind
of music we do not play ourse lves. We all known who is playing this music. It
is a remix and un-Cameroonian. It does not sound right, not anymore, it does not
sound fair, it has never been, and it does not sound human or responsible,
because it holds our country, our people, our resources and especially the
future of our youth hostage. This is a clarion call for us a people to use one
bold voice to nib the bud, the whims and caprices of makers of this bad music…a
bad music that has played too long, and unconstitutionally. It is only when this
is achieved that we can, effectively, stop this bad dance.
We understand, there are special forces waiting to crush down any peaceful
initiatives by the people to regain their freedom to live in a country that is
free from regular harassments. But we will keep asking for what is ours ; we
feel ourselves shut out. This regime has done it the way they want, but they can
no longer do it as long as they want.
Your excellences, leaders of political parties, distinguished guests, fellow
Cameroonians, and the list is inexhaustible ! Where do we go from her ?
The statistices do not only reveal that people are suffering, everything does
not look bad, much progress has been made since independence. The big question
is…who are those benefiting from these ? Are they not the elites of a particular
group of people, people from a particular participatory demovravy gone to ?
What sort of society are we building where rural poverty is on the rise and
populations depending on subsistent agriculture are abandoned to themselves ?
Though the economy of Cameroon is based basically on agriculture (70%), not
enough investment is being done in research and development so that products may
meet up with the World trade organization standards and compete regionally and
Our stakes are set high. Camdiac calls on all the leaders present here to
reflect deeply on the misery our fellow Cameroonians are exposed to, without
hope of improvement. There is an element of insanity in doing the same thing and
expecting a different result. It has been too long and individual struggles have
not yielded much fruits. Why can we try it this time together ? It is time we
became selfless, it is time we left our egos behind and looked in the same
direction…in the direction of conscience, responsibility and hope.
Words may lie, but actions do not lie. I am deeply disapointed that some of our
invited leaders are not here today. I will like to remind all of us that no one
is indispensible, evn myself. Cameroonians should watch out for those feaders
that stand in their way pretentaine they are standing for them and should know
any leader that genuinely represent them will take advantage of any initiative
geared towards helping them.
With over 200 political parties in Cameroon, the opposition cannot benefit from
a joined majority. It is therefore imperative for these opposition parties to
put their differences aside and come together as one in order to fight such a
dictatorial regime…a regime that parades itself in deceitfull camouflage of
democracy. In order to restore a sense of dignity and decency to all
Cameroonians citizens, this movement is essential. Now is the time.
We all know the reality – it is time to make Cameroonians believe in their
country ; believe in their judiciairy, believe in the state police, believe in
their educational system and believe in a better future for themselves, for
their children and children’s children. It is time for Cameroonians to be proud
of their nationality – nationally and internationally.
We have lost faith in our political system, but not in the belief that we can
get a political leader who has the welfare of his people at heart and will work
for the growth and prestige of our beloved country. We believe that we can act
as one and if a few people are weak it does not mean everyone is. It is time to
do right and let go of the wrongs. It is time for all Cameroonians to feel
valued and have the opportunity to participate fully in the life of our society
irrespective of their ethnicity, religion and language, and even irrespective of
how their political pièces together.
Thank you all once more for honoring our invitation.
I thank this great nation of America for giving us the opportunity to taste
freedom, justice, unity and democracy, and these are the values we want our
fellow Cameroonians to enjoy in Cameroon. It is a right and not a privilege.
God blees you all, and God bless Cameroon.
lemessager | Monday 30 août 2010 | Le Messager
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