Dear President Paul Biya,
I do not write this letter from a place of malice or disrespect but as a concerned citizen of the Republic of Cameroon. I try in my own way to represent our country positively but truth be told, the situation in Cameroon is really embarrassing. Sometimes, I wish I was not a part of this country but again, that thing in me will not let me dissociate from my country despite how disgraceful it is. I guess blood is thicker than water after all.
As a father is expected to keep his house in order before embarking on a journey, I wish you do same for our nation, Cameroon. I have some issues lingering on my mind. If at all you share in the concerns of your children “Pa Paul”, you will join me, not just in thinking about the following points, but in doing something about them too. I think it’s never late to begin.
Pa Paul, I worry, I really worry .Whether or not you want to remain President after your current mandate is actually not my focus at the moment. That notwithstanding, I am sure we agree that you will one day leave the Unity Palace. However, whenever that will happen is not my place to determine. What I worry about is if you have taken up time to think about what will become of the nation and your children when you leave power. I worry about the state of the country at the moment and the fact that it gets bad by the day, with even stronger evidence that it will get worse when the façade of stability and peace we have now, no longer exists.
Pa Paul, I worry, I really worry. Cameroon’s public debt is rising. The country’s public debt rose from 3.9% in 2011 to 7.6% in 2013, not even up to a decade after our debts were cancelled. According to the World Facts book (2013), the country has a literacy rate of 71.3%, a GDP of $51.61 billion (2012 est.) on PPP, with an unemployment rate of 30% (2001 est.). The amount of people living below poverty line is at 48% (2000 est.).Youths are settling for crumbs abroad due to no jobs at home, despite their relatively good intellectual capacity. Even a necessity like potable water is scarce while MPs are rather reducing beer prices. There is also the obvious serious division between the French and the English speaking Cameroonians. Then the power tussles between ministers to fill their “personal treasuries” rather than the national treasury doesn’t help matters. Having grown up in Cameroon, I think these figures are a little far from the reality. In my opinion, the situation on ground is worse than what is depicted in these statistics.
Pa Paul, I worry, I really worry. Is this the Cameroon you will leave us with? Is this the kind of legacy you will want to have attached to your name? With this state of affairs, the country may worsen due to the lack of an appropriate replacement since potential candidates are busy fighting each other for either more money or titles. Pa Paul, please put the house in order before you leave. We have suffered enough. Don’t make it worse by leaving it as it is, and leading us into a dark path. It will definitely result to chaos. Please, restructure the public sector to prioritize efficiency and equality. See into our indebtedness. Allow potential replacements to feel free to air their aspirations so that we can know in what direction our country could be heading. As clueless as we are now, we can only say this will definitely have a direct bearing on the chaos we will find ourselves in, if that time comes when we are still not ready. The cyclical interdependent poverty we experience in Cameroon may become even severe if we continue like this. Pa Paul fix it, fix it, please fix it.
God Bless Cameroon,