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Published On: Fri, Apr 14th, 2017

Cameroon and the Dilemma of Righteous Indignation

Talking to a therapist about Cameroon and Africa.

Righteous indignation!! This is the state of mind that in my humble opinion characterizes, and should characterize, every right-thinking Cameroonian’s appreciation of the socio-economic and political situation in our country. Righteous indignation is the appropriate median between vengeful anger and fatalistic complacency. The one excites violence and will undoubtable degenerate into chaos and mayhem. The other adopts the kind of tranquilizing docility that condemns a people and a country to a slow, painful and inevitable death – as a people, a culture and a civilization.

Righteous indignation is both a civic responsibility and a moral obligation. To think, act and behave in another fashion will be nothing but a blatant and aberrant tacit connivance with all the forces that have drained into the poisonous pool that is drowning out the soul, spirit and body of the Cameroonian nation.

Righteous indignation warrants every citizen to recite with calm reasonableness all the ills, illegalities, violations and criminal actions that have been initiated, perpetuated, maintained and sustained on the Cameroonian people and nation for a burdensome long period of two generations, and beyond, in both directions, and counting. Righteous indignation, then warrants every citizen, person or corporate, as well as every stake holder, national or international, to expose their load of grievances, sufferance, malfeasance, actions (criminal and civil) in various organized fora, to shine the necessary light that will in turn generate the necessary tension to arouse the kind of collective action that is necessary for grassroots organization and mobilization.

Righteous indignation warrants, actions, in deed and in word, to validate the kind of collective complaint that is necessary to prosecute the individual, communal, collective and national case that summons the collective will and militates the national character to foment, galvanize, lead and sustain the struggle for total emancipation, liberation and freedom from the diabolical cord of history, the nefarious inhumanity of leadership (past and present) and the shameful complicity of the citizenry – you and me.

Righteous indignation, expressed loudly and clearly, puts the collective will and desires of the people in public, for critics to appreciate and acknowledge and for sympathizers to channel into the defense of the collective course, thereby serving both as a cost and remuneration, as the case maybe.

Righteous indignation must be nurtured from the experience of every individual mind and then expressed in our individual private and professional dispensations before rallying them in quantified and qualified media so that our various structures and super structures should indulge the kind of self-mortification and cleansing that is necessary and foundational for a new beginning.

Teachers must not only teach their students. Teachers must advocate for their students, in and out of the classroom. Teachers must teach, stand up and advocate for their students because it not only begins the culture of advocacy but institutionalizes the spirit of defending the young and vulnerable who are endowed with the talent, promise and aspirations of our collective future.

Doctors must internalize, practicalize and personalize their Hippocratic Oath – the one that implores them to do no harm but protect life in all its sanctity and not view their vocation as a profession for epicurean pecuniarity only. This will establish a fundamental baseline for healthcare that will not only heal but nourish and sustain the nation – physically and spiritually.

Lawyers must lead the treacherous rope of rights, obligations and due process. Lawyers must cultivate the same advocates and judges that will stabilize the democracy that we want to institutionalize.  Business people must account for and be responsible for their business transactions. This creates the bedrock faith and trust in our transactions – private and public, physical and emotional, commercial and collective, short term and long term.

Teachers, doctors, lawyers, business persons and everyone in the society must be righteously indignant. The time is now and the place in here – in our country, Cameroon.

Image result for paul biya lying down

By the way, this can be said about almost all countries in sub-Saharan Africa. There are degrees of variance but the differences are so minute that there seem to not even exist – so that at one moment this Columnist is tempted to believe that South Africa, through Madiba’s ANC, has turned the corner of government accountability and popular human rights, only to be shocked by facts of blatant executive corruption, impunity and incompetence as well as inhumane images of mass lynching and xenophobia, of blacks against blacks – of South Africans against Africans, the same Africans from countries that formed the Frontline States (FLS) during Apartheid. These frontline states were the asylum shelters and safe havens of the leadership of the African National Congress, when the same was outlawed by the Apartheid regimes and termed ‘terrorists’ and ‘guerrillas’ by the international community. This situation calls for righteous indignation.

Nigeria, the most populous African country, south of the Sahara, dares and succeeds to ‘pay off’ her international debts but then turns around and slides right down the deep cliff of famine and generalized poverty because of outdated and out of touch leadership. This also calls for righteous indignation.

Image result for paul biya asleep

When John Garang leads a whole people through decades of civil war and ends up securing independence, at the expense of his own very life, while his own very Lieutenants (Salva Kiir and Riek Machar) push egoism and tribalistic nepotism at the expense of South Sudanese national unity and prosperity, there is enough to go around for all nationalists and people of good faith, to be righteously indignant. How about Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Zimbabwe? Righteous indignation is rife in the African air!! The question to this Columnist therefore is how can we all channel this INDIGNATION?

And this is how I see it!!!


Tambu Ngang is an author, and seasoned columnist  on TAO.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of African Opinion.

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