President Paul Biya’s address to the nation was indeed a critical, and constructive appraisal of striking events of the year in Cameroon and elsewhere in the world.
Without mincing his words, the Head of state acknowledged that during the year, Cameroon like other countries on our planet continued to face shocks.
He did not mention all the unpleasant surprises that constituted the shocks that continued to threaten lives, but did not leave out covid 19, an uninvited guest who seems to have found a comfortable seat in the world despite efforts to fight and unseat the deadly pandemic. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he regretted, affects the lives and economies of these two countries as well as other nations of the World. Yet, this is a conflict which like others, that could be solved through dialogue.
In the face of these shocks which continue to rob us of peace, political stability, and cooperation for progress, mankind needs to strive at national and international levels to stall the worst that can happen. In the case of Covid 19, efforts to fight out the shock cannot be left solely in hands of personnel of the ministries of Health and specialized organisations. Individual face the challenge of contributing quotas aimed at effective protection of themselves, families and communities.
This principle also concerns contributions, which stem from the challenge to construct and maintain good roads, airports, seaports and other infrastructure needed for development. In his message the Head of State mentioned governments plans to rehabilitate the Tiko, Bertoua and Kribi airports. There are also plans to rehabilitate the Tiko sea port which in the past contributed greatly to socio-economic activities in Cameroon west of the Moungu. These plans can materialize through commitment to duties, and patriotic endeavour to give more meaning to what is planned for development.
End – of – year – speeches by the Head of State, reap dividends when citizens after listening to what has been planned, work hard at all levels to see that plans are not relegated to wishful thinking.
Much for example, has been said about the Babadjou – Bamenda road, the Kumba Ekondo – Titi road, the Mora – Dabanga – Kousouri besides many projects which have apparently been abandoned by contractors, or simply delayed by other shortcomings. But the situation can change if after the President’s announcement, these tasks are accomplished as planned. Should this happen and the dates for inaugurations announced, who should doubt that at the end of the year, the Head of state would be talking about other road projects and not the aforementioned? There would be no need to apportion blames for failures instead of celebrating the new year in consideration of the year’s achievements.
The craving for smiles and not sighs at the end of year’s address to the nation includes the excitement in cooperation to accomplish new developmental plans. In his speech, the President announced that the exploitation of the Bipindi – Grand Zambi iron ore, like other projects concerning mining would be given due attention. Should this take off effectively, Cameroonians in response to the appeal for collective efforts to attain national goals would not relent their commitment to the attainment of Objectives.
This should stem from the fact that our leaders after harping on the importance of the Green Revolution, the Green Belt Operation and the creation of companies to boost the production of rice, cotton, palm, bananas, and other crops, there is need to focus on the ingredients of the industrial Revolution. For, who doubts, the importance of energy, iron, ore, steel, tin, bauxite and other minerals, direly need to boost our economic development?
To prevent more shocks in this new year, we must take note of other shocks that can emerge from failure to respect the norms of security, and prudence as regards, building sites, accountability, transparency and assiduity, in our stewardship of the nation.