Artless, the Head of State was sincere, open-minded and fair in his “conversation” with the youth.
In the opening statement he painted a clear picture of the country he is heading. “The last few years have not been easy for our country; which has had to take up simultaneously several major challenges,” he said referring to Boko Haram insurgency, refugees, unrest in Anglophone Cameroon and falling oil prices. He read these tough times and saluted the “resilience” of Cameroonians. If Boko Haram has been pushed back, the youth played a key role. “Allow me, once again, to underscore the heroism of our defence and security forces-mostly young people – whose sense of duty and responsibility has been beyond praise”.
However, the young people would have new challenges and the Head of State as an avant-gardist cautioned them. “In the decades ahead you will be our country’s leaders, hence the need for you to be up to task, acquiring the necessary skills and experience”, as the world is tougher and a less- open world, and very difficult one for the developing countries. Youths fault the government for not offering them a better life but evasively and erroneously forget their side of the unofficial bargain. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” the Head of State humbly borrowed these words to advise his “children”. An advice, if taken by youths, they would not take an uncalculated risk to seek for greener pastures in countries of doubtful hospitality to black Africans. Meanwhile in Cameroon, the government is budgeting 15% of the country’s revenue for the education of its youth. While offering Computers to higher education students to up their access to knowledge and resources.
Increasingly the youths are asking for a fair share of appointments into posts of responsibility and nominations for elected offices. A cry President Biya is aware of. “From my position as Head of State, I perceive signs of young growing interest in public affairs”, he said. Youth claim elected officials are not their choice. No doubt, the Head of State says “by voting, you will be performing an act of responsible citizenship and, thus, participating in forging your destiny”. But, the youth must love and put Cameroon first. “Patriotic internet users (youths) working for Cameroon’s development and influence, and not passive followers or naïve relays for staunch critics of the Republic”, Presiden t Paul Biya urged.