In the last two years, even more so than ever, we have seen our government infringe upon our basic rights as citizens, refuse to create a consensual and predictable political calendar, manipulate political institutions for the sole purpose of maintaining itself in power, in a nutshell, refuse to go down the path of democratic and economic growth which Cameroonians aspire to. In this erratic, desperate and extremely dangerous situation for our country, we are once again faced with a political rendez-vous.
As usual, when faced with an election organized by the Biya regime, Cameroonians are confronted with an immense choice. To go or not to go? To go is to accompany this regime in its persistent manipulation of the democratic process as a whole and the electoral system in particular. Not to go is to do nothing. Doing nothing produces the inevitable result that nothing changes. As we are faced with the ever deteriorating situation of lack of electricity, lack of water, lack of jobs, lack of democracy and lack of hope in our everyday lives, doing nothing is also not an option. This is the Cameroonian Dilemma.
As we face municipal and legislative elections convened in the non-consensual, unpatriotic and anti-democratic manner that is characteristic of this regime, we are faced with a single obligation: TO ACT! We can no longer stand and observe this situation, we can no longer remain silent in the face of injustice and insult which is most profound and personal in nature, we can no longer sit as observers while our futures and those of our children are being destroyed.
Fellow Cameroonians, action is our only option.
Now we are faced with another choice: to act outside the electoral space or to act within the electoral space. The consequences of acting outside the electoral space are violence from the state which is supposed to protect us and suppression of our most basic rights. While we believe that Cameroonians must eventually be ready for this and that it is our duty to prepare them for this, on more than one occasion, Cameroonians have demonstrated that that time has not yet come.
The Cameroon People’s Party believes that we, as a people, can take this electoral space, a space which is rightfully ours, which belongs to us, the Cameroonian people, we can take this space, embrace it, make it our own, organize political action and make our voices heard. This is a golden opportunity to take a step towards the goal of putting an end to thirty years of disastrous, dictatorial governance and establish a system of governance where the people are truly sovereign. A governance system that would allow us to implement the vision of a “Cameroon that is Leading the Way". We can enter this space, which is rightfully ours and deal a terrible blow to this regime that has been oppressing us for over 30 years. How?
1) Let Us Make Our Voices Heard
The electoral period is a time of political expression. It is important that we use every opportunity during this electoral period to speak up loudly and clearly, with the strength of our collective voice, to say: “It is enough! We are tired and we want a change in the system which governs us as a people”. Silence in this period is complicity with this regime. Biya has opened a space for us to express ourselves, let us use it and say in no uncertain terms that enough is enough. Let us speak for ourselves, let us speak for our ancestors, let us speak for our children!
2) Let Us Demonstrate Our Strength
It is often said that the largest political party in Cameroon is that of Cameroonians who want change, but who do not participate in elections or in political action. This party may be the largest, but it is totally ineffective if it does not get into motion. During this election, whether you are registered or not registered, mobilize, join the rallies, join the groups to secure the vote, get into motion! It is time to show that the vast majority in our country wants change. To show this we must act: in a manner which is organized, non-violent and massive. We must act.
3) Let Us Change Governance
In every municipality and electoral district where the true opposition is present, it is necessary to vote, protect and secure the vote, then obtain victory. Who is the true opposition? You have all the elements to determine the difference between those who make deals and partnerships with this regime and those who have been consistent in fighting for systemic change. It is small victories that lead to big victories, 10, 50, 100, 300 municipalities 10, 50, 100, 180 parliamentarians. Every step counts. The longest journey starts with a single step. Let us take a step in the journey to bring change to Cameroon today.
4) Let Us Remain Focused and Organized on the Ultimate Goal
We are seeking change in the system of governance of Cameroon. That is the ultimate goal. Winning a council or parliamentary seat is a step in that direction, not the goal in itself. Whatever the outcome of these elections we must remain organized, focused and determined with regard to that ultimate goal.
We must invoke the strength and obligation to generations past. What shall we say to Ernest Ouandie, MartheMoumie, OssendeAfana, Gertrud Omog and the others when they ask us what we did with the country they died for and left us? We must act in the strength and obligation to the generations of the future. What shall we tell our daughters and sons, our grandchildren when they ask us what we did while the nation was being destroyed?
We are the people, we have the power and the time is now. Let us Act.