It echoed loud when we chanted the song “in unity we find strength, in unity we find our purpose” when in the primary school. From that song, we could already picture a future of boom and blossomy.
Yes, we were taught that the true beauty and dignity of a great nation lies in its oneness and the willingness to adhere to and protect the integrity of its emblems – it is in unity that we subdue the enemy and make them bow while on their knees.
How do we now explain that under the banner of unity, he who championed the talks for oneness has become the oppressor of the people and now take this people who are supposedly united with him as his enemies? Was he using the unity as a blindfold to show this people who he truly is? An oppressor, a dictator and marginalization champion?
Our children now have a different understanding of unity than we had when we were their age. Unity to us meant hope, freedom, dignity, strength, and a future of possibilities. But because of what you now show them through misconstrued and ailing policies, they see unity as a tool of oppression, marginalization, and control. They take unity to mean, where we do not identify and harness strength from our diversity but where we use that same diversity to identify the weakness of the other parties and subdue them to hardship, unemployment, and denial of basic rights and amenities, and why not kill them where necessary?!
The “unity” I experience isn’t that which I was told about. I seem to blossom when I do any and everything alone than when I bring you on the table in the name of unity. It is thankful to you that I now take cognizance of my last and only strength lying in our disunity – and which I’m championing, so that my sons and daughters won’t make the same mistakes I made.
When you first talked about ‘our unity’ as strength, I visualized the Yoke Dam project and smiled for it’d be expanded upon – I thought. I visualized the Menchum Falls being exploited to provide accurate power and employment to our people. I thought of a deep seaport in Limbe, a booming K-Town city with industries utilizing cocoa and timber as raw materials. I visualized a nation that’d be sensible enough to normalize inclusion at every level of governance and the civil society. If I tell you that I didn’t visualize the resources in my territory being properly managed to give my people a fair share of the national cake, then I lie.
However, what I see, and experience today is the exploitation, mismanagement, seizure, and closure of all I had – things I earlier believed would be expanded upon for the goodness and advancement of a united nation. And what happened to my sons and daughter who I only wished for a future of hope for them when I first heard you talk of ‘unity’? You kill them to implement your rule of tyranny and aristocracy.
After taking the little bread I singlehandedly provided them, you see them worthy of nothing, reason you find pleasure in taking their lives.
6 days ago, I visited my grandfather. When I arrived his grave, I laughed. Why would I laugh? What kind of laughter would that even be? You sure are asking yourself.
It was a laughter of pains and frustration – because his spirit (my grandfather’s) had hinted me, but I was so clueless that all I thought of were possibilities of a supposed unity. After the laughter came the tears – like none I’ve ever shed before.
On his grave I laid my body and soul, asking for forgiveness and foresight on the stakes of the future of my people. Then I heard a voice echo in my spirit, asking me unimaginable questions which led to further tears.
“Didn’t you see how promising you were when you were pushing alone?”
“Couldn’t you tell from the smiles and signs on the faces of your sons and daughters that you had a future of possibilities ahead of you – if you stuck on alone?”
“Now, what would you tell the next generation of your children that they did wrong to be born in such misery and a system of mediocrity?”
“The shadow of unity now makes you weak – the weakest version I never would have imagined of you. Don’t you see that?!”
I could tell that my grandfather’s spirit was furious for I hadn’t listened to the hints he’d given me from the jump.
Then, there was one more thing he said before I could feel his spirit no more.
“You owe a future of HOPE and POSSINILITIES to your sons and daughters – if not the ones in this generation, the one to come.”
Then he continued,
“I stand with you; I stand with my greatgrandchildren. I shall be with you till you’re made whole again. Don’t be discouraged!”
And when the spirit of my grandfather left the scene, I could tell for certainty that MY STRENGTH and a future of HOPE and POSSIBILITIES for my people lies not in our unity but our disunity!
Guest Article by Nelson.