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Surmounting Hurdles

Trying insecurity moments created a psyche, but Cameroonians are gradually turning the page behind. 

The spectre of violence unleashed by the obnoxious extremists, Boko Haram group in 2014 that spilt over into 2015, created fear and anxiety among most Cameroonians. People feared that the gory destruction could spread nationwide. Theories and philosophical projections about the veracity of the sect, its origin, affiliation and source of strength, kept animating discussions across segments of the population.                                                              

As successive ceremonies organised at the Yaounde Military Headquarters Brigade in honour of fallen soldiers at the war front in the Far-North Region were projected in the media, people watched as helpless family members from across the country mourned their loved ones who were brutally killed.  This however, enabled them to understand the gravity of the situation. News of gruesome killings of innocent and often hapless people by members of the sect and the cruel use of children to detonate bombs in unsuspecting gatherings, heightened disgust and fostered public resolve against the militants.

The public outcry led to the rallying call for mobilisation around the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, President Paul Biya and the Defence Forces. This has visibly been playing the trick and the year 2015 is ending with reports of lesser suicide attacks and visible weariness in the enemy camp.  

Analysts think that it will require continuous vigilance in 2016, given that the common foe in the Far-North has virtually made Cameroonians to shelve cleavages which hitherto created a sense of resentment. Thus, even the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the leading opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, party took place with strong messages in memory of victims of the sect and members of nearly all viable political parties in the country took turns to visit scenes of destruction in the affected region.                                                    

A remarkable shift of public attention from the macabre acts of the sect was evident with the cabinet reshuffle on 2 October 2015 when President Paul Biya made modification to the Philemon Yang Government for the third time. Before travelling to France for the UNESCO General Assembly and later for the United Nations Conference of Parties, COP’21, the Head of State had time to host French President, François Hollande for a 24-hour State visit and his Nigerian counterpart, President Muhammadu Buhari for a 48-hour friendly and working visit.  

Another positive note for the year was certainly a resilient economy, with Cameroon maintaining a 5.58 per cent growth rate within a Central African Sub-region that has witnessed a decline to 2.4 per cent in projected progress due to a drop in oil revenue and security threats compared to 4.4 per cent in 2014. Meanwhile, increased investment in power and transport infrastructure is expected to boost economic growth.

Such economic progress is being reflected in the steady improvement in health care facilities with the inauguration of the Sangmelima Referral Hospital and the Douala Gynaecological and Obstetrical Hospital as well as the Yaounde Emergency Centre.                                                             

While the health sector is undergoing positive transformation, many artistes are hopeful that constant infighting that has kept their sector in turmoil would give way to healthy competition for their royalties to be paid regularly. The same air of hope is blowing across the media sector with the recent appointment of veteran journalists, Peter Essoka and Joseph Janvier Mvoto as President and Vice President of the National Communication Council. Of course, the institution has the arduous task to restore the pride and envy that the profession deserves.

May be that same sense of worth could return to football with the Indomitable Lions having been a total disappointment in 2015; although the prolonged normalisation period finally gave way to an elected executive to handle the national football governing body, FECAFOOT. However, the Lionesses made the country proud at the Female FIFA Football World Cup in Canada.
Cameroon Tribune has endeavoured to encapsulate all the high moments of 2015 in retrospect and invited informed Cameroonians to throw light on the events as well as a prospective look into the year 2016.

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