The republic of Cameroon will celebrate the 49th edition of the National Youth Day tomorrow Wednesday, February 11, 2015. There seems to be an absence of the excitement that usually comes with this day throughout the national territory. The CPDM think tank has chosen as theme "Youth and preserving peace for an emerging Cameroon". For the first time ever since the Ahmadou Ahidjo government concocted and implemented this so called National Youth Day celebration, the Far North region will not be a part. Reason: nearly 170 schools closed, 150,000 Cameroonian citizens internally displaced, over 300,000 Nigerian refugees now face starvation. The one time beautiful Far North region of Cameroon that occupied more than half of the cabinet positions in the Biya government is under the threat of a humanitarian crisis.
The traditional parade of the Youth Day will not take place in Logone and Chari, Mayo-Sava, Mayo-Tsanaga, Mayo-Danay--to be sure, in 4 of the 6 divisions of the Far North region. In a country where the ruling party spends hundreds of millions every day all in a bid to stifle the opposition, there are now new signs that the real opposition to the Biya hegemony will come from soldiers returning from Nigeria and the Far North region of the country. Worsening urban violence is placing increasing demands on the Cameroon police force. The Cameroon army, the Gendarmerie including the police force are typically woefully underresourced, inadequately trained, unaccountable and distrusted by the local communities, leaving them ineffective in addressing the security challenges posed regularly by Boko Haram. This is what we of Cameroon Concord see as we cover the war on terror.
The special blood donation campaign announced by the Movement for the Revival of Cameroon on March 2015 to help save, wherever possible, persons injured in the war on terror in the Far North seems to suggest that Etoudi can no longer handle things alone. John Fru Ndi has criticized the marginalization suffered by the people of the Far North region. However, President Paul Biya will address the Cameroonian people tonight. With age telling on him, a young family and his entire cabinet under a privileged form of “house arrest” due to many interrogations by the Special Criminal Court in Yaoundé, President Biya is expected to focus his speech on the Fotokol massacre. This also will be too little too late as the youth are not happy that nearly a week after the attack by Boko Haram on Fotokol, Biya is yet to issue a statement despite calls from the political class of the country.
Truth is like surgery, it may hurt, but it cures while a lie is like a pain killer, it gives temporal relief but has side effects later. We of Cameroon Concord think President Biya should announce his successor to the Cameroonian people soonest. The ruling CPDM party is no longer in need of grease but a new engine. To be accurate, the leadership of the party now functions like a teenager who has been given a new car and he keeps driving all over the place without having any destination in mind. For the first time in our nation’s history, thousands of our service men and women have come under enemy fire. Once they start returning from the war, they will longer be afraid of bullets!! This ageing regime should be making way for the new generation. A stitch in time saves nine