Our Most Basic Right Is to Be Human

Here is what I don’t get: The Cameroonian government sends soldiers — those supposed to be protecting the territory — to shoot at armless civilians who just want their voices heard. The police brutalize, rape, arrest students, civilians, and professionals — the very people they should be protecting. The government locks up children, arrest some and does not give an account for their whereabouts. Now they talk about the basic human right to education, asking children to go back to school.

Here is the multibillion-dollar question: What do they do about the fundamental human right to be human? Have they forgotten that there is no right if the universal right to be human gets violated? How can they rob people of their humanity and pretend to educate them? How do you expect people you treat like animals to go to school?

What about the government officials, the pseudo professionals with their lies and rogueries go back to school and learn what it means to be human? Every trade union has the right to call for strikes. What people don’t seem to understand is that the strike wasn’t started by school children. It was a teacher’s thing. If the government had resolved the issues with teachers, we wouldn’t have gone down this dirty road. We just asked to be treated humanely, with justice and respect, and they come down slapping us like we were animals good enough for the slaughter house.

But it isn’t about teachers. It’s about us. It’s about me, too. It’s about you. It’s about a future we might not live long enough to see. We are keen about leaving a legacy. The men in government are keen about what they get for themselves. That makes a whole difference.

The government refuses us the right to have a home. They refuse us the security we need as citizens. No wonder every talent in Cameroon is going out, going somewhere else. No. We love home. We want to be home. We want a place where our children will grow in respect and security.

The education they pretend to give us doesn’t answer the crucial questions that trouble the mind of the conscientious Cameroonian. Let Paul Buya get her daughter Eyanga Brenda Biya to study in one of the Universities in Cameroon, for example. I would want my daughter to attend the same school with her. The Cameroonian government is the worst conundrum of today’s history, a living contradiction in itself.

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