Cameroon: A ticking time bomb! 0

Not many in the international community are paying attention, but Cameroon, a once prosperous nation, is inching closer to an implosion. A storm of epic proportion is gathering in Cameroon.

With the country’s long-serving and narcissistic president, Paul Biya, quietly being elbowed out of power by members of his inner circle who are misusing power and misappropriating the country’s resources, it is becoming clear that the country’s 30-million population is being manipulated by a bunch of people with a secret agenda.

Paul Biya is over ninety years and he has been in power for forty-two years and there is very little to show for such a long stay in power.  His incompetence is legendary and during his time in power, he has used intimidation and trickery to keep the people in utter silence.

The country is bereft of all forms of infrastructure. Thousands of Cameroonians die each year on what passes off as roads in Cameroon. The railway network, which once brought goods and people to the country’s towns and cities, is today a shadow of its former self.

The country’s lone air career, Camerco, has just one airliner and most of the career’s staff are hardly sure of the next paycheck. Mismanagement and corruption had earlier put Cameroon Airlines, Camerco’s predecessor, out of business due to the government’s mismanagement and poor policies and Camerco is very likely to face the same fate. Old habits die hard and the architects of Cameroon Airlines’ demise are still in power, displaying the same mindset which killed Cameroon Airlines.

The country’s economy is on life support. Almost every sector has been hit hard by the corruption which has become the government’s hallmark. The economy is in the throes of a painful economic crisis which has emasculated the population.

It is easier to find a dog’s tears than to find a job in Cameroon. Unemployment has hit its apex, leaving many young Cameroonians desperate. Many have found solace in alcohol and drugs, and the breweries are making a fortune out of desperate and alcohol-loving Cameroonians.

The government understands the importance of alcohol in Cameroon. It knows that with alcohol, it can control Cameroonians and it is using these liquids to keep them subservient. A typical Cameroonian is permanently under influence, thereby robbing him of the power to think properly and out of the box. In Cameroon, the price of beer and other bottled concoctions are determined by decrees issued by the head(ache) of state whose cardinal objective even at 92 is to die in power.

Most of the country’s youths are looking outwards for solutions to their humbling problems and misfortunes, hoping that someday, they will find a way out of their country. Many hold that their government has disappointed them, but the government’s autocratic implementation of laws and tough crackdowns on dissenting voices are deterring any young men who might think of taking their grievances to the public square.

The country’s police and military have been tribalized. Once ordered to operate in other regions of the country, the military goes crazy, killing and maiming anything with flesh and blood. Most senior officials of the country’s military are from the president’s region, making it hard for any coup d’état to be planned.

Cameroonians have been zombified. Theirs is the kingdom of alcohol and prayers. A brand new economic sector has popped up – churches. Unfortunately, this sector is not driving funds to government coffers because the conmen running this scams are also in need of money. They hold that their need for money is greater than the government’s.

The so-called men of God are desperate for money and are not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to pressuring their followers into paying tithes. The sick and unemployed are flocking to those churches in the hope that a miracle could occur, enabling them to witness a different lifestyle.

But prayers alone are not helping them. Their desperation is growing by the day but they must pay their tithes or take their prayers and problems to somewhere else.

According to these dishonest men of God, it costs money to get in touch with God and it is even costlier to tell God to solve a problem, a great departure from what traditional churches used to preach.

Stress has triggered huge health problems in Cameroon. Heart and kidney problems are commonplace today. The poor and sick do not have the right resources to go to government hospitals which are more of consultation clinics.

The doctors are underpaid and many, if not all of them, take on second jobs  in private clinics just to make ends meet. Cameroonians are dying like flies or mosquitoes on which repellent has been sprayed. Hunger and diseases are driving young Cameroonians to an early grave, but the government is simply indifferent to their plight.

Young girls have been reduced to prostitutes by hunger and poverty. Nothing disarms a person morally like poverty and this can clearly been seen in Cameroon where young able-bodied men and women have been caged in silence due to degrading poverty.

But the real bomb will go off once Mr. Biya dies. His collaborators are already fighting. Factions have developed within the government and the fight between the FECAFOOT President, Samuel Eto’o, and the country’s Sports Minister, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, is just a foretaste of what will play out once Mr. Biya exits.

For now, nobody is seeking to defuse the bomb. Though almost brain dead, Mr. Biya is still in charge and he is the only person authorized by the country’s poorly designed constitution to make policies and decisions for the country.

The time bomb is still ticking and many Cameroonians are still drinking themselves into a stupor, oblivious of the disaster that is staring them in the face.

By Staffman Alain Agbor Ebot in Douala