On a Monday morning like this, one starts to think of how the week is going to be runned. Also, one reflects on how the years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes have been managed. In one of these reflections, I’ve made a comparative analysis of what has changed in Cameroon since the ‘New Deal‘ regime of President Paul Biya was enthroned. The most envied changes are seen in the domains of freedoms and liberties(even though most of them are faint). On the other hand, it’s corruption, embezzlement, dictatorship, elite class rule, ethnocentric selections, divide and rule, rich politicians and poor scholars, poor execution of projects, poverty, negligence and many other ills that will in the long term be difficult to be reversed.
Nowadays, it’s very easy for a teenager to know if he’ll grow up to be rich and influential or not. It was not the case in the years before Biya became President of Cameroon. Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary once acknowledged that late President Ahidjo’s Ministers and top aids left little or nothing to show for. Today, Ministers, General Directors of State Corporations, Senators, Members of Parliament, and political business men are very rich; they’re at least ten times richer than Vice Chancellors, Deans of Faculties, Heads of Departments and other scholars talk less of the business class that has been reduced to buyam sellam with five digits capital such as then thousand FCFA.
It Was Not Like This, therefore comes in to affirm that there’s a great disparity between what is observed today and that of the days of President Ahidjo. Obtaining grants and scholarships to study abroad is very reserved. How do you feel when 70% of your teachers come to the lecture hall and brag that they studied in the UK, USA, Germany, Switzerland, and yet have nothing to show for because the political class has hijacked the wealth of the nation? In Nkambe for example, retired teachers own many houses while most teachers in active service are still renting and cannot pay their bills regularly. The problem here is the negative effects of change and time. This sometimes make people to think that teachers are “strong hand people.” Teachers are not well paid, what can a father of three kids do with one hundred and fifty thousand FCFA in thirty days? With the nature of Cameroon families where we have one rich man and nine poor people, this amount of money is insufficient. It’s insufficient because you have to pay your brother’s and sister’s children’s fees and buy them Christmas wears and buy 50 kg of rice for your in-laws.
Today is different because at the age of five, a rich politicians child knows that he’ll go to ENAM, IRIC, ENS etc if he wants while a poor man’s child is not sure of ENIEG. You cannot compare a child who treks every working day from Mbijah to Mbikong with a child who goes to school in a Prado car. There are families in Cameroon that cannot afford salt for 50 FCFA after every two weeks. Palm oil is still a luxury in the 21st century??? Give it a thought!!!