Cameroon's Prime Minister Philemon Yang has just signed the condolence book in the Yaoundé Embassy of France, Cameroon's former Colonial Master. Mr. Yang was representing head of state Paul Biya who earlier today sent a condolence letter to the French President Francoise Hollande.
In the letter, Paul Biya condemned in strongest terms terrorism and promised to always be on the side of France to fight its enemies. In the message published on the website of the presidency, he equally extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved.
This is not the first time the head of state is reacting to spates of suicide attacks in France and other countries. Few weeks back it was to the president of Turkey that Cameroon's ruler extended his condolences when the airport was hit. In as much as we of Cameroon Concord agree that Diplomatic ties warrants the head of state to do so, we equally note with dissatisfaction the fact that the head of state has always reacted promptly and even gone far to show his sympathy with foreign countries when many have been dying in the far North of Cameroon but have never seen the presence of Chief of Armed forces.
Times without numbers Boko Haram has hit the Far North, hardly will the president address the nation, hardly will he attend funeral ceremonies of Soldiers organized in Yaoundé, hardly will he declare day of national mourning. Cameroonians were surprised when the head of state declared day of national mourning to victims who died in Mecca last pilgrimage, but what about those in the far north?
In 2015, Cameroonian authorities paid tribute to 38 soldiers recently killed while fighting against terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria and against other militants in the Central African Republic with no word or attendence of the ceremony by Mr Biya, instead, three days later, an article was posted on the presidential website showing the president bowing before a soldier’s coffin in a fake photoshop image.At the time of the ceremony,Mr Biya was enjoying his rampant private trips to Europe and showed little concern .
As head of state and chief of the arm forces Cameroonians expect Paul Biya to be that president who will react immediately an incident occurs, just like what Ghanaian President did when dozens died when a truck caught fire, react like Kenyan president when terrorists attacked a school, react like Francoise Hollande who visited the site of Thursdays incident, react like Malian president who cut short his visit to Chad when rebels held visitors hostage in a Malian hotel. But NO! Instead Cameroonians are being fed with releases from the presidency signed by either Secretary General or Director of Civil cabinet, expressing condolences of Paul Biya, or better still the routine Press Conferences organized by Spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary.
Looking at the numerous scenarios, one is tempted to ask whether Cameroonian lives matter. What could cause a president to practically abandon his people at the time they need his moral support most. What Cameroonians need is not releases, what Cameroonians need especially those in the far North region is that soft touch from their darling president, they need the president to address them, comfort them, visit victims in hospital.
Chadian president Idriss Deby Itnu did that in Cameroon when he visited Soldiers in Yaoundé hospitals, at the back yard of his counterpart, confirming the adage that Closer to Church, far from God.
Cameroon Concord News desk can vividly remember how President Biya declared days of national mourning in 1998 when the 14 February Nsam disaster occurred ,another Day of National Mourning was declared on May 18 2007 when the Mbanga Mpongo incident took place, the plane crash which left many dead.
We think that the president can still revive such good memories when Cameroonians felt they have a leader who feels their pain and agony.
Yes Mr President You can still do it.