Yaoundé (National Times)-In an internal note circulated by the Minister of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo, President Paul Biya has unveiled the theme for this year’s National Day celebration slated for May 20.
The theme is characteristically a repetition of 2018 theme.
According to the theme from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, 20th May 2019 celebrations shall be celebrated under the theme, “Unity in Diversity, a major asset of the Cameroonian people in their determined move towards emergence.”
However, the theme for the 2018 celebrations was, “Cameroonian citizens, let us remain united in diversity and preserve social peace, for a stable, indivisible and prosperous Cameroon.”
A strict comparison between the two shows that the words “unity, diversity” are being used with the end goal being a transformed Cameroon.
Both themes preach unity, diversity, peace and development even though the President has merely played with words to give a semblance of difference.
The themes come out in the context of a war which is threatening the very foundation of the shaky unity in diversity in Cameroon. 20 May 2019 would be the third “unity” celebrations since the emergence of the conflict in Anglophone Cameroon and not even a single slogan, theme has succeeded in abating the violence or making Anglophones who bear the burden of the conflict to see themselves as part of the country called Cameroon.
Rather, as the “unity” themes are being published every year from the comfort of the Etoudi Palace, the situation keeps deteriorating on the ground with thousands killed already.
It is clear evidence that unity is lived and not imposed on the people and the war ongoing can only be solved through negotiations and not decrees, themes and slogans which are not in tandem with the reality on the ground.
It is almost a certainty that even though Yaoundé may be decorated and embellished with pump and fanfare on May 20, most parts of Anglophone Cameroon would be embedded in gunfire as has been the case in recent past.
During similar celebrations on February 11, only rare towns like Buea, Nkambe, Limbe succeeded in having a semblance of a celebration.
In places like Bamenda and Kumba, march pass which used to last for about three hours was reduced to a couple of minutes. Can Cameroonians lead this unity her leaders are professing?