What is behind the disaffection of some members of the African diaspora towards their homeland: the
February 28, 2015 the Great Patriotic March was a popular and media success as tens of thousands of Cameroonians met at the Esplanade of May 20th to tell their attachment to their homeland, however, thousands of protesters and a few million supporters are not the absolute majority of Cameroon, as there is a significant segment of Cameroonians, both local and diaspora, still very allergic to all matters relating to their motherland, why so much disdain?
To better understand this lack of love, it’s important to delve into the exogenous and endogenous causes. If Cameroon remains one of the most diverse countries in the world with as many as 280 ethnic groups and languages, it would be unfair to say that the real factor dividing opinions, and of often tenacious, even hateful antagonism is related to ethnicity, even though it is a very sensitive chord on which policies like to weave their webs to lure the mob.
The colonists in their time had done it very well, with wonder. The maxim, divide and conquer, as never been successful as in Africa. If before the tribal wars were purveyors of slaves in their time, today internal political influences wars are providers of resources to the same forces of darkness. Before continuing to expand on this paradigm of the disenchantment of some towards their country of origin it is important to underline it.
The main exogenous cause of disaffection of some Africans for their country, is the pressure of underdevelopment in the digital age and the real-time information, many realize that their country is lagging, and they are blaming this drag to the ruling class, with a justifiable and biased reason as well to the bottom. Paternalism inherited from colonialism led a lot of the African diaspora and the land, to believe that their rulers were their fathers, and that they should provide consistently to all their real and imaginary needs. If at the time the colon erected itself as a little God for indigenous people, today African leaders have assumed that role. They believe to be gods that should be prayed. People must sing praises in hope to gain favors, while those who do not fit into this logic are being damned, banished from paradise. A paradise which in the case of Cameroon take the term of manger. But in this logic of exogenous causes things would be easier if the African condition, depended only on African leaders, who in reality are not all monsters like the western mainstream media seem to depict them, media that do not always serve the interest of the freedom of judgment of the people.
While the world is facing a war of control of consciences, it is important to emphasize that the art of disinformation has reached the summits of the shame, and never seems to tire spawning nonsense, as it is true that in the code of ethics of the journalists of the fib, it is important to say again and again the same lie, to turn it into a truth accepted by all. Also underdevelopment is by no means liable to the sole mismanagement of African leaders who in facts are often Regents of the Western order. How can one blame only those who do not define default policy for socio-economic development of their country, while forgetting the instigators?
Since gaining truncated independence the exercise of the elements of sovereignty of African states is the prerogative of foreign powers with organizations such as the IMF or the World Bank, and at worst countries in the CFA franc zone as Cameroon have no power on an essential element of sovereignty such as currency. How a government can define a development policy without having any control over the cash flows of its own country? All in a climate of continued deterioration of terms of trade with treaty like the Economic Partnership Agreement which is nothing more than a copy of unequal treaties, such as the Nanjing treaty in 1842 between China and Great Britain.
History doesn;t necessarily repeat itself, but forces lurking in the shadow have always used the same process often.
The other elements of sovereignty such as defense and justice, since, are groaning under the blows, of interferences as the missions of foreign armed forces in the continent, and the International Criminal Court, while the unhealthy lobbying NGOs is there to participate to the Western policy of assimilation of a continent by all possible means.
Far from making an apology for the situation on the continent by absolving leaders who are guilty of perpetuating a system that does not serve the interests of their people, it is important to abound to the endogenous transitive equation, by clearing the vagueness prevailing in management of public affairs in Africa, including attributes such as nepotism and sectarianism, that have become vectors of hatred among citizens. When there is so little, competition becomes tough, to be on the side of those who have. And of course those who feel excluded from the system can have a rancor that drives them to look elsewhere, what they could not have in their own country. Societal bipolarity, the outcome of underdevelopment and inequality of opportunity between citizens can only cause lasting social antagonisms. In a country where the only chance of access to steady employment, remains recruitment in a body more or less linked to the government, it is normal in a configuration where those who rule are the embodiment of the state apparatus, that many finish to understand that it is impossible in practice to serve their country, make a living, while they do not agree with the ruling class that does not always exercise its powers in the interest of citizens. This is a reality that many pretend to ignore, refusing to admit that, in their country if you want to have a career you should tune the violins of your anger with those who hold the purse strings. In view of this, it is misleading to say that freedom of conscience, the base of a liberal society exist in a country where morality surveys on various candidates to social progress through a government job, focuses exclusively on activism to the ideal of the ruling power.
From immemorial time, humans have always tried to be better, also those who become unwillingly rebus of the system, because of short luck or some of their past indiscretions, year after year try to find another way to social achievement, and often the solution that seems to them more able to meet this aim, is the exile towards foreign countries, which unfortunately were often colonizing powers, at the basis of their socio-economic doldrums. A reality that they never think in-deep, when they take the path of exile. For the lucky ones who arrive in these countries in the northern hemisphere after many wanderings, they generally face another derogatory reality of exclusion, which is expressed by racism and xenophobia. And this second pain they experience in their lives, they often attribute it to their country of origin, saying that if they had not known setbacks in their home country they would not have ventured abroad. The falling out of love for their country of origin takes on a dimension that becomes even greater when they realize that the caste of the "well-born" who already had in their country of origin, favorable situations, trumps them even abroad. Yet it is only logical that those who leave their country in the best conditions necessarily have the best chance of success in these countries, despite admitting the fact that, sectarian networks, support children of the empire everywhere. Nepotism does not die with the distance, this must reminded to the dreamers who believe naively in equal opportunities in other lands.
Moreover successful or not, the exiles of yesterday kept in the depths of their souls a feeling of revenge against the established order that once excluded them from everything. Also it is difficult to ask those who suffer or have suffered all sorts of misfortunes, to love a country that represents for them evil, misery, suffering, and contempt. Torn between the love they have for their cultural identity, and the country that is the allegory of the caste that never gave them any chance of social advancement, the choice is often simple. Rejection of all everything that deals close to far with their country of origin. more over their often hurted relation with consular autority of their country od origin during their exile make things even worse. They become per se despite all indirect elements in the pay of destabilizer agents of their country of origin voluntarily or involuntarily. Those who blame them to further the agenda of the forces that threaten the integrity of their country, should be asking the question of what they would have done in their place? if they had suffered all these frustrations. Why should they care about the wellbeing of a community that made them outright outcasts? and that seems to harass and taunt them even abroad.
Ultimately it is important to emphasize that there will never be social peace in Cameroon as there is no social justice, to deny this truth is to expand in the ostrich policy. The Boko Haram phenomenon that seems to have gathered the majority of Cameroonians towards a common goal, could become a reconciling item, to the only condition, it doesn’t turn out to be another opportunity for the ruling caste will use to blur the mob once again and continue ad infinitum the scandalous management of public affairs. A mismanagement which has already made so many unhappy souls. It must stated once for good, that the hordes of corrupt profiteers are not necessarily from one ethnic group or another as some want peoples to believe, but from a bourgeois class, because for over 50 years the management of public affairs in Cameroon has been the prerogative of all major ethnic groups whose members have served in the state apparatus while using it for consequential social advancement, except perhaps the pygmies who have always remained marginal.
Far from expanding in positive negativism, it is important for the new generation of Cameroonians to get out of this morbid gear, by educating themselves, even if the best bookish education remains the preserve of the wealthy, and create a strong civil society which can generate jobs, and bread not stamped the initials of the government.
By Hubert Marlin Elingui Jr.