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THE IDEA OF A NEW CITIZENRY

 

The idea of a new citizenry is intended to educate the people of Cameroon about not just their rights, but also about their responsibilities to their country. We as a people must be fully committed to the cause of our country if we were to bring about the changes that we seek. We must seek and summon the good spirit of a new generation of Cameroonians with uncompromised integrity and full dedication to our common aspirations. A call to the solemn duty of service to the nation at a time when most needed. We must begin to lay down the foundations of a new dawn, --a proverbial new Republic-- and prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

 

 

“Ask not what your country can do for you -- Ask what can you do for your country” --President John Kennedy, 01/20/1961--.

 

Perhaps this quote illustrates the most powerful idea of citizenry ever recorded in American history.

We, the people of Cameroon must create a new sense of belonging to a collectivity, a sense of an idea, a creed that transcends tribes, ethnic and lingual origins. We must instill into the collective psyche of the nation that, we are first and foremost Cameroonians, and that we are not a loose collection of tribes and ethnic groups --bundled at the whim of the colonial power in a triangular shaped piece of land called Cameroon-- but that we are a group of people bound at the core by our common aspiration, our love for Country, the respect for human dignity and freedom, the rule of law and fidelity to a constitution or the Law of the Land.

The things that divide us --tribes, languages, etc-- must pale in comparison to the things that unite us --common aspiration, service to the Nation, love for country..--. The idea of a new citizenry is more than an abstract, it’s that feeling that we get when Etoo Fils has just scored a goal in that World Cup, that excitement we express when we just won yet another African Cup of Nations, that sense of collective fulfillment we all experience when the indomitable Lions have just come out victorious and triumphant one more time. --Not surprisingly, I can’t find many examples out of soccer to illustrate the idea a new citizenry, because there are not too many, but I am sure you get the idea.--

The idea of citizenry is reflected in pledges of allegiance, in the flag,--Green Red and Yellow--, in the National Anthem and monuments, and reverence to a constitution. When someone is given a position of responsibility like a ministry or Governorship, we must have a process in place where the individual must say a powerful pledge to our Country. A pledge that commits the individual to the expectations of his responsibilities to the country. A pledge to which the individual shall be held responsible and accountable to society and to the nation. A pledge that demonstrates unquestionable commitment and uncompromised integrity to the country. A pledge that summons the good spirit of the Cameroonian people to the service of their nation.

Hypothetically, imaging someone, just before becoming a minister, must say a pledge such as: “As minister of Information, I pledge to always say the truth to the nation to the best of my knowledge, and to never mislead the people of Cameroon. I shall uphold the constitution of Cameroon and will be held responsible and accountable when I fail to do so”. Think about having your leaders saying these words publicly and be reminded of their pledge every so often. This is in part, what I mean by an idea of a new citizenry.

Think about carrying the flag of Cameroon when expressing your dissatisfaction of any kind. Think about gathering at a proverbial “Liberation Square” like in Douala or Bamenda, raising the flag and singing the National Anthem. Think about erecting monuments and effigies of those who came before us in public places. ---Douala Manga Bell, Um Nyobe, Amadou Ahidjo and others---Think about creating a national service where people from one province will go to another province to help their fellow citizens in their farms and parks for a week. Think of something that we can call “The Citizens' Pledge” that reads something like : “I pledge my full allegiance to my Country Cameroon. I commit to treat all my fellow citizens with respect and dignity. When in any position of power or leadership, I shall not discriminate based on tribe, ethnicity or lingual origins. I shall not accept any form of bribery or corruption. I shall be held responsible and accountable when I fail to keep the promise of this pledge”. Think of a police officer having to say this pledge three or four times a year on TV or in a public hearing.

While you might think these are just words. Well, do not underestimate the power of words. Words are spirits. They carry in them the dissuading power that dictates good behavior. The power of the spoken word has the capacity to create synergy unto the Cosmic realm. Having a thief to recite the phrase “I shall not steal” 2 times a day can stop him from stealing, because words have the power to transform human beings from within. That’s why and how the prayers we say to God work, because words have the miraculous power to transform the human spirit from within and from without. Words are truly spirits, and when spoken under the right circumstance, the words we speak are bound to the psyche and consciousness of man. In that lies the mystic of the transformational power of the spoken word. The true word that bears witness to the spirit of man. That’s how God metaphorically wilt creation in 6 days, with the power of words, as captured in the book of creation. --Genesis--.

 

“Ask not what your country can do for you -- Ask what can you do for your country” --President John Kennedy—

 

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." –Benjamin Franklyn.—

 

"There is always a better way to do anything. It's your responsibility to find out how" --The ANST--

 

 

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