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Selfless Electioneering

The love of one’s country and concern for its future is best demonstrated through what citizens do to contribute positively to the various ingredients of peace, unity and stability.

Individual interests aside, this virtue of nationalism demands the will, and above all, commitment to objectives that make for effective pursuance of undertakings aimed at ensuring success in the political, economic and administrative obligations of a system. In Cameroon, especially at this time of multi-party democratic practice, freedom of associations, and that of the press, no citizen, conscious of his role in the society with challenges of progress, is expected to operate as if he were an outsider in the task of nation-building. No association, profession, religious organization, compatriot elected or appointed, should serve, as if the task of service to the nation is for the privileged.

Despite this universally accepted norm of genuine stewardship and commitment to goals of common interest, some citizens, most of them regrettably from the so-called Third World Countries, do not seem to see the persistent causes of their apparently permanent position in that global classification, (the poor and underdeveloped).

With the reinstatement of multi-partyism after a retrograde experiment with the single-party type, some nationals delight in harping more on what is wrong with other political parties than what they stand for as far as their political associations are concerned. They spend more funds on the media to decry the socio-economic and political sins of other parties especially those in power instead of using the press to sell their wonderful options and thus, fetch more votes from the electorate.

Fortunately, for such political parties, they have some media organs in dire need of funds to function, and a public that seems more interested in what is sensational no matter the effects on the audiences. Human interest stories, we are aware, attract a wider readership, but responsible journalism and the pride it yields cannot be sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism and narrow patriotism.

In the face of what is today going on in some countries whose leaders have fallen in love with autocratic rule to such an extent that genuine democratic governance is a nightmare, we ought to, and should indeed pre-empt the ongoing turmoil in these countries by appreciating what peace loving countries are doing to ensure, unity and stability in their struggle for progress and happiness.

This struggle in Cameroon, like other African peace-loving countries, is being effected through sustained efforts to ensure free and fair elections. We cannot deny that there has been remarkable progress since 1990.

Internal and external observers, secular and religious, are allowed into the country in their numbers to work independently; political parties, campaign freely and the media cover the electoral campaigns, and polling.

In all these, citizens have to demonstrate a spirit of responsibility without which it would be difficult to pre-empt the violence that stems from unpatriotic electioneering.

The patriotic spirit our electronic and print media houses have demonstrated in the processing of electoral material for the legislative and municipal elections is expected of all citizens during the campaign period by political actors, media professionals, and the electorate at the polls on 30 September 2013.

We need this scenario to continue to forge ahead as a country with citizens aware of their intellectual capacities, peace-loving endowments and the need to preserve all that which is enviable.


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