Since its institution in 1972, the Cameroon National Day celebration re-awakens that sense of oneness in many who admire the country’s unity in diversity.
The National Day Parade, a major highlight of the celebration confirms this claim.
Each year, celebrations begin in earnest, one week earlier.
Cameroonians of all ages and social strata are treated to a series of educational talks organised in administrative headquarters within the ten regions.
Civic education dispensed during this period tickles the inner pride of belonging to a country that has more than two hundred national languages, two official languages and is subdivided into four main ethnic groups.
But, arguably the most challenging National Day celebration comes up on 20th May 2018.
In the past nineteen months, Cameroonians have been subjected to sporadic violence from a discontent fraction that questions the essence of this unity.
These Cameroonians, drawn especially from the two english speaking regions, express dissatisfaction with a unity which ironically, is celebrated by others.
In what is presently referred to as “the anglophone crisis”, violence has cost many lives and loss of property.
Who pays the price? All twenty-four million or so Cameroonians who have never been subjected to such unprecedented violence since independence.
The 2018 celebration is therefore occasion for us to question our individual role as nation builders.
What does it take to think as one, act as one nation and look forward to having a politically strong Cameroon with equal opportunities?
Afterall, history tells us that, on 20th May 1972 there was a national referendum during which Cameroonians voted to live in one country.
The former French Cameroon and British Southern Cameroon that got autonomy on 1st January 1960 and 1st October 1961 respectively, agreed to be one under a federal system of government.