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« Bamenda: Timid Preparation For School Resumption | Main | The Hurdles And The Efforts »

Tuesday, 30 August 2005


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Dr A A Agbormbai

Azore Opio,

Thanks for your excellent account of the Cameroonian intellectual scene. From this account one can see the extensive damage to intellectual life that the political domination of Cameroonian society by the CPDM party has caused.

It is this lack of intellectual freedom that caused some people like myself to stay abroad, where the facilities and environment are more supportive of intellectual development. Without such development I could hardly have been contributing anything useful or different on this forum.

From your account I can easily conclude that there is no intellectual life in the country - only a political life. The foundation stone of intellectualism is objectivity, open mindedness, and freedom of thought. If one is constrained to be partisan by having to support a political party then one can hardly call oneself an intellectual.

The lack of a true intellectual life in Cameroon is contributing greatly to its downfall. Cameroonian society cannot distinguish between government, political parties, and intellectual institutions. Yet such a distinction is crucial to successful societies.

In Cameroon there is just the CPDM, which rules and dominates all other concerns including the educational system. This is not how it should be.

For instance, in the West, educational institutions are centres of independent thinking, creativity, objectivity, and freedom of thought (even though open-mindedness is not necessarily present).

Their fundamental role (apart from educating the nation) is to advise government through the national academies (made up of the best intellectuals of the country). These academies advise government not the ruling political party, which comes and goes.

There is therefore a clear separation between government and the ruling political party, and between these and intellectual institutions. Party politics is not practised in these institutions, in such a way that the ruling party can dominate the intellect of these institutions.

This is where the CPDM is creating problems for itself. Instead of seeking advice from these intellectuals and creating the necessary environment to foster correct and objective decision making by them, the CPDM is controlling their minds and filling them with stupidity.

It is using the power of the pocket to force these intellectuals into partisan thinking that simply ensures that they give the President what he wants to hear (i.e. lies) rather than the truth. These lies are in turn creating faulty decisions that lead the government into hot soup.

Ruling without proper advice is like walking on fire with the bare feet, and it is therefore not surprising that the government can hardly get a decision right.

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