The Colbert Factor : Why CAF Had to Apply Art. 8.2 on Cameroon

This reflection is inspired by the famously infamous leading opposition SDF’s disciplinary Article 8.2 whereby the party insist on letting anyone who wants to know, that the party never dismisses a militant.

It only makes a “constat” (findings), that the said militant has indulged his or herself in anti party activities, and for that reason, auto-excludes self from party.

It is the more informed by a famously famous song in the Catholic Hymnal entitled ‘God of Mercy and Compassion’, whose song in one it’s verses affirms that ‘By my sins I have abandoned my right and claim to Heaven Above’.

Like the SDF’s Article 8.2, the Catholic song affirms categorically that it is not God that condemns one for his or her sins. God only makes a ‘constat’ that by one’s sins, one has abandoned his right and claim to Heaven above.

The reflection is also inspired by the fact that when President Paul Biya invited CAF President to Unity Palace sometime within the year, and after Ahmad Ahmad’s declaration that it was Cameroon to decide whether to host the African Nations Cup not him, many concluded that he has confirmed Cameroon’s hosting of 2019 AFCON.

Like the Social Democratic Front, SDF’s National Executive Committee meeting would do when a militant is found wanting, meeting in Accra, Ghana last November 30, 2018, African Football Confederation, CAF merely made a ‘constat’ to the effect that Cameroon was not ready, six months to D-Day to host AFCON 2019. This was after atleast three successive CAF inspection visits to Cameroon with the last one being just last month.

Southern Cameroonian’s would recall with a lot of pain in their hearts a certain September 22,2017, when while activists were being massively arrested, maimed and killed following mass protests on the streets of Buea and Bamenda, President Biya was lousily enjoying and robbing shoulders with female Indomitable Lionesses at Unity Palace and arrogantly declaring that Cameroon would be ready to host the African Nations Cup on D-Day.

Without regretting the reckless killing of Anglophone youths on that fateful day for merely daring to speak out, Biya and the female footballers spent time taking selfies as the streets in Bamenda and Buea were being painted with blood and pain, thanks to the ‘professionalism’ of Cameroon military.

Without walking the talk, government ministers followed suit and would not miss an opportunity to remind any Cameroonian that wanted to listen that “comme Le President a dit, Le Cameroun sera pret le jour-Dit”.

Beyond the declarations, nothing much was done. Work was only progressing in the minds of concerned ministers and in the eyes of CRTV cameras.

I can put my finger on why Cameroon’s hosting rights were withdrawn:

Late last year, the all powerful Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ had written a strongly worded complain to both FIFA and CAF urging them to withdraw Cameroons hosting rights, for AFCON 2019 on grounds Cameroon had committed gross violations against human rights especially as concerns the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists in their line of duty.

CPJ urged both FIFA and CAF to henceforth factor the respect of human rights into a country’s hosting of any international football competition where international journalists would be involved.

CPJ recalled at the time that the number of journalists detained across Cameroon was not good news for the over 5000 international journalists that would be accredited to cover AFCON 2019.

CPJ casts aspersions as to the safety of foreign journalists who would travel in to cover AFCON 2019. They feared foreign journalists could be arrested in Cameroon and concluded that CAF would be doing a disservice to foreign reporters if CAF insisted on Cameroon hosting the African bonanza.

Before CPJ’s appeal to CAF and FIFA, a Nigerian football sport analyst had commissioned an article where he narrated the ordeals of Nigerian journalists who once decided to travel to Cameroon by road to cover a Nigerian /Cameroon qualifier match.

According to the reporter, they decided to come by road because sport journalists are also tourists and love to enjoy the countryside. To their greatest dismay they went through hell in the hands of Cameroon security forces who would stop and harass them at every checkpoint.

He regretted the fact that the checkpoints were found at every 10km distance. A thing a foreign visitor, especially a journalist on assignment, would not love to go through.

Back to the basics: I make bold to conclude that by Cameroon’s sins, it has abandoned its right and claim to AFCON 2019. I hasten also to add that the way things are going, Cameroon would still not be ready by 2021.

The Muteff Boy’s Take.

MMI Editorial.

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