Vibrant Homage

Another historic aspect of the 49th Youth Day celebration in Cameroon yesterday 11 February 2015 was the Head of State’s message on the eve.

Among other key issues cited by President Paul Biya was the role that young have been playing in the safeguard of national integrity. For months now, the country has been facing what the Head of State rightly qualified in his address to the youth as “barbaric enemies.” In fact, the situation along the Cameroon borders, especially with Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR), has been so appalling with violence, carnage, and mayhem spreading into the country as a result of ethnic conflict in CAR and the sadist Boko Haram sect in Nigeria.

In the wake of such insecurity, several young Cameroonians have either lost their lives on the front line or remain vigilant day and night to ensure that no morsel of our sovereign territory is left in the hands of intruders in search of safe haven or seeking to sow seeds of meaningless ideology. The phenomenon began over a year ago with hostage-takings in the Far-North of the country and it has gradually grown into an outright war, forcing the Head of State to declare on the eve of the Paris Summit of 17 May 2014 that Cameroon cannot allow any obscurantist group to overpower the nation.

President Biya’s declaration was immediately followed by the deployment of troops to the Far North Region, the reorganisation of the defence services in the entire national territory and the enhancment of defence mechanisms to cope with the security challenges. Yet, the extent of the threat being posed by the extremist sect has since gone beyond a single country and is engulfing the entire sub-region. In spite of the macabre actions of the sect, young Cameroonian soldiers on the front have remained steadfast and resolute. Some have even paid the ultimate price, losing their lives in the process.

However, the combative spirit of the defence forces has been so valiant that President Paul Biya could not stay indifferent. Thus, in his address to the youth on their feast day yesterday 11 February 2015, he said, “Take the example of our young soldiers who are ensuring our security along our borders. Their bravery, their sense of duty and sacrifice show us what utmost love for fatherland can be. The war they are waging on our behalf, at the risk of their lives, involves the entire Nation.”

Such a statement from the Commander-in-chief of the Defence Forces, at such a crucial moment, can only serve as a galvanising call, given the ramifications that the war could take. The abusive use of the Information and Communication Technologies, especially by the youth today, has been behind some of the views being forwarded to those who are naive enough to accept messages of doubtful tenets.

In addition to the homage by President Biya to those on the frontline, the reassuring tone of his message could mean much to both the young soldiers and others who have on various occasions expressed their readiness to join in the defence of their fatherland. Because the Head of State knows that Cameroon will win the war against Boko Haram, or that the war must be won, he took time in his speech to point out the conditions of that victory. Notably, that the youth must not only keep away from barren indoctrination, but they should also remain united behind the actions he is taking alongside the soldiers on the field.

Given that the President has always had confidence in his youth and knows that he can count on them, the successes already being recorded by the young soldiers on the field can be a clear indicator of that bond of confidence. Repeated onslaughts by the brutal enemy have resulted in unwavering determination by young military men and women to fight back. The outcome has been the posture of satisfaction by all decision-makers in the country concerning the future of the war.

Names of localities like Fotokol, Armchide and so on, might sadly appear famous at the national and international levels today because of the external war being imposed on Cameroon, but the valiant forces of Cameroon have been up to the task. The ongoing international mobilisation to reinforce the defence mechanisms put in place by the various countries being affected and the tribute by the Head of State, should among other measures convince those at the war front that their determination against a common enemy is being taken seriously by those who matter.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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