We Are Back:From A Punitive Sabbatical

Oct 21, 2023

The repercussions came with the frantic fury of a thunderstorm, hitting us devastatingly on three fronts. Thus, even the mea culpa that followed the contextual bloomer did not sire the expected mitigating effects that would have cushioned the rage and weight of the hammer. And so it fell unsparingly.
Traducers say it could not have been otherwise, given that the movers and shakers are generously gifted in the tit-for-tat art but evidently vacuous in the pious art of penance.
Most often, forgiveness is seen as the mirror image of weakness while the insistence on getting one’s pound of flesh is projected as the way of the powerful. Those who stoked the fires and played the catalyst with shouts of “crucify them” had a field day in bliss. Unbeknownst to us, they rhapsodised as we were all stricken by a sense of impending doom. Besides the “soap-boxers” who wanted their pound of flesh from the rip of the crack team, were those who rumbled in the warm glow of sadism. They were saddened that the hammer fell only once.
The self-appointed public opinion and social media prosecutors sexed up the indicting narrative that was replete with exaggerations that did not ring true. And God alone knows how many ‘Iagos’ went to work in order to further provoke establishmentarian wrath. It turned out that the dividend for that professional slip came with a moral and humanitarian vacuum. For, family heads wallowed in limbo for 720 hours. And so did their families gnash in penury, want and deprivation.
Even before the regulator could speak, doomsayers had inflated the misdemeanour with cant and chicanery in a tacit appeal to the guillotine. It was nothing but the exhibition of a vicious frugality with the truth of the matter. For, the possibility of us challenging the establishment by fanning the embers of any cataclysmic mutation on the saddle, has never been in our cards. We have never gone to the level of a mental fatigue as far as articulating the issues that border on our editorial line as “The Independent newspaper at the Service of the People” are concerned.
Within the spirit of democracy in Lincolnian terms, we believe that our bosses are the Cameroonian people for whom we embark on the journalistic moiling and toiling in order to inform, educate and entertain. We believe in a democracy that is anchored on the respect of human rights, the sovereignty of civil polity, free, fair elections and freedom of speech tempered by the rule of law. Thus, it is absolutely preposterous and inadmissible that we were stigmatised as people who are advocating a chaotic and disorderly way to the saddle. God forbid! For, that can never be our portion.
In normal circumstances, no reasonable person or group of persons should be fronting the campaign for the barrel of the gun change that is more often than not, chaotic. Besides, it disregards the institutions of the state and the rule of law. It disrupts the social order of the state and births in a Darwinian situation of the survival of the most brutal. The unpleasant factors of violence associated with such disorderly shooting to the saddle, should be a scary thing for every Cameroonian. So, it was so infuriatingly out of place that some people were trying to adulterate our corporate image with a hurly-burly idea that is so sardonic to our ideology and editorial policy.
We stand for democracy and democratic change that drives smoothly on the carriageways of free, fair, inclusive and transparent elections. We stand for democracy even when it is argued that it is not a perfect form of government. That is why we agree, in-toto, with the former British Premier, Winston Churchill, who said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.
From this premise, it is not for nothing that President Paul Biya said he wants to be remembered as the leader who brought democracy to Cameroon. From when he made this declaration to Radio Monte Carlo in the 90s, it was incumbent on all the officials and all patriotic Cameroonians to help him realise this dream. Sometimes, it is disheartening that some of the officials allow their greed to overwhelm their responsibilities in helping him to achieve this lofty dream.
We pick holes with wrongdoing in the establishment that is likely to rob him of his greatest wish. We still believe that it is not late for government officials to do the right things so as to help the President emerge as a father figure of democracy, freedoms and the rule of law. For, even though Mandela joined his ancestors a few years ago, he remains a parable and phenomenon of democracy in Africa and the world. He was the personification of the aspirations of the people and the embodiment of virtuous and selfless leadership.
It is nothing else but patriotism that fires us into hitting the facts on the head and calling issues by their real names. As a watchdog, it is our duty to bark when we see anything that is strange to our normative pattern. It will no longer be journalism business if we don’t bray at those who stand reason on its head in the areas of governance, health, amenities and the rule of law. Paradoxically, these are those who have been trusted with the responsibility of ensuring that things are done aright. Indeed, no one should be treated like an enemy of the Republic for advocating that our country be made a home and haven for all citizens. We come in peace as warriors of peace in this beautiful country that is unfortunately bedevilled by multifaceted crises.
From every indication, there was a beacon of light in the darkening firmament. We discovered true friends, readers, advertisers and partners who stood by us during these trying moments of our corporate life. We thank them immensely. We promise to continue to stand tall in order to serve the public diligently in our republican mission to contribute our own quota to nation-building.