CABLE TO MY BELOVED FATHERLAND
By Emmanuel Konde
The current crisis brewing in my native land was initiated by some disgruntled members of the Cameroon Diaspora in the United States and Europe. It sprung to the forefront of national politics in the aftermath of the collapse of dialogue on the demands for reforms made to the government by English-speaking jurists and educators. The Anglophone lawyers’ and teachers’ associations sought to have legal and educational systems in the South West and North West regions separate from the eight other French-speaking regions of the country. No sooner had the deliberations collapsed than the secessionists who call themselves variously as Southern Cameroonians and Ambazonians entered the fray. Many of the original Diaspora initiators of this crisis have since recoiled from it publicly, gone quiet, but are probably stoking the flames of acrimony clandestinely.
This crisis is so serious that it has driven a wedge of discord among Cameroonians so much that few are willing to openly discuss—let alone offer constructive suggestions on how to resolve—the crisis. In light of this gaping void, l decided to examine the immediate sources of this crisis, describe their development, identify and explain the social origins of the foot-soldiers at the center--the ethos propelling their actions, and offer some constructive suggestions that might help assuage the current state of affairs by way of proposing educational and economic programs that will not only keep the restless busy but also inspire hope where frustration and hopelessness had settled for a very long time.
My argument is premised on empirically observable facts of life; the proposal l offer is pragmatic and feasible.
The narration style is provocative, even vexing, and might inflame some raw passions. My intention, however, is to compel the reader to pause and think about what is happening in the native land and, I hope, consider what can be done to restore normalcy.
Significantly, military force is necessary to contain the violence unleashed by the militant group of secessionists; but force alone cannot contain the ideology that precipitated this crisis.
As such, the belief system that under girds the secessionist tendency must be countered with historical facts to set the record straight and redirect the energies of the restive young ideologues to productive tasks that will contribute to economic development nationwide.
That is why in explaining what is happening in some areas of the South West and North West regions l found recourse to opening with a discussion about idleness born of frustrated hope, now spewing forth uncontrollable and destructive anger expressed in violent acts against the state.
An idle mind is the devil's workshop, which can become actively busy fomenting evil packaged as salvation when frustration sets in. Idleness and frustrated hope make for a combustible admixture, especially when the subjects are convinced that martyrdom is a sure guarantor of salvation in a concocted Paradise that once existed and could be recreated again.
Thus, politics cast in religious garbs motivates adherents to commit acts irrationally apocalyptic, acts unimaginable, in accordance with Millenarian beliefs.
Given that the hopelessly-idle have nothing to lose but their frustration, what could be more powerful than belief in that the presently nonexistent is attainable in some distant future epoch?
Yes, the promise of a Glorious Republic of Ambazonia, a mirage at best to men and women of reason, is real and palpable to the hopelessly-idle superstitious minds. Give them something to occupy their minds, jobs to occupy their time and exhaust their pent up energy, and hope to countermand their frustrations, and salvation is made an achievable reality here, now, in the Republic of Cameroon and not in some phantasmal republic in the distant future. But how can frustration be transformed into hope and belief to reason? It is to the task of mapping such a program of reconciliation that l set myself to in "Cable to My Beloved Native Land."
This is the “Prologue” to Emmanuel Konde’s forthcoming
Cable to My Beloved Fatherland: Resolution to Potential Political Quagmire (2018)