Monday, October 13, 2014
World Echoes Newspaper Invite all Cameroonians to Join the World to Mourn and Grieve the Faith and Situation of Old People on the 25th of October 2014 Global Action Day by(lighting a symbolic candle or cause people to write on card boards “ARTICLE 25”) a weapon to Enhance world lobby for elderly rights, health and improved standards.
Cameroon Lacks a Sound Social Protection Policy Why Old People are a Problem to themselves in Cameroon 21st Century Cameroon, Government Reluctance & Ageing Problems 21st Century Cameroon with President Paul Biya as her lone leader for well over 34 years, has much to ride home Politically, Economically, Agriculturally, Socially and talking less of the domain of the Elderly and old people’s welfare in Cameroon irrespective of all the pressure, influence and appeals for social protection, not to talk of senior citizenship benefits . The absence of a genuine national insurance and assurance policy which should be very active and reliable to retired senior citizens when needed, are bearings to justify that the Cameroonian government does not care at all about her working population after public service (they are good at using and dump). Reasons why 70% of that working population after service to the Nation are mentally sick or prefer the grave to the torture given to them by the regime with an over centralized system that does not have as priority action plans to quickly effect the consistent payment of old people’s retirement benefits after judicious service to the Nation. A fact to over criticize, is that even the recently created Ministry to handle the affairs of senior citizens in the country is not functional and has redress no problem affecting old people nor has she taken upon herself to boast recreational facilities for the old, their clubs, extra judicial allowances, free health provision etc. This is because the regime in place has as priority plan to maintain grip over power by cooking up political strategies at all cost campaigning day and night to cajole the voting masses, who are considered the active population, who has much to offer. This state of mind and its side effects has often pushed on, shaving aside priority issues linked to the old or the Elderly. Today in the Cameroonian economy you can hear of government programs to alleviate poverty amongst youths like PIAASI, PAJEU “U” Civic right participation program, Cameroon youth council where billions are pumped to subsidize youth activities and nothing is made mention of the old. The youths, with special attention and focus because they are power holders, considered useful materials and leaders of tomorrow to the old generation that has outlived their value. Who have played their part and are no longer of any use. This notion has caused the relegation and the neglect in the deliberation on most pertinent issues relating to old people’s welfare and development in the legislature or Senate. The embarrassing truth is that these abuses pertaining to old people’s interest are ignored by the very old leaders in government. The President of the Republic Paul Biya is almost 90, the Prime Minister Yang Philemon is in his early 70s, the President of the Senate Nyah Njifenji is 86 years old, Vice President of the Senate Rt. Hon Simon Achidi Achu in his late 80s, President of the National Assembly Cavaye Yegue Gibriel in his 70s are the few sited cases amongst other Ministers, Parliamentarians and Delegates who are all old persons in government. Bizarre this should really be, because what they really much care for is their seating allowances, micro grants from Parliament and strategies on how to maintain their Political grip and influence over Cameroon in the face of stoning attacks from the opposition (the SDF) who are not also very much reliable as they very much have the same mentality within their Party circles. Misplaced priorities and goals are the driving motive and the functional force governing Cameroon that is why, the cry to government for improved social welfare services for the old, a sound insurance policy, improved free medical health care and the protection of Elderly rights which are grossly violated on daily bases, are always falling on deaf ears (betters still, all actions and appeals are like throwing water on a duck’s back). Cameroonians are just from celebrating, World health Day which talked about preventing the old from vector born diseases, yet millions are pumped for free Malaria treatment for the youths and nothing for the old. Elderly rights day was also celebrated last 15th June 2014 yet the National Human rights commission is only there for the regime and doing nothing for the old. In a week time, by the first of October, we shall be celebrating another world Elderly peoples’ day under the theme “Leave no one behind: promoting a society for all”. The big question is and from what is feasible, will Cameroonian leaders and policy makers after all the campaigns and appeals with the unchanging mindsets be able to leave no one behind in the repartition of the National cake and promote a society of equal opportunity for all? Cameroon still has a long way to go regarding the prejudice meted by fellow Cameroonian old persons in government onto other old persons who have outlived their value or function. Thus the problem to ageing issues in Cameroon is another old man, the lack of a sound, genuine social protection policy often ignored by policy makers on their deliberation tables either deliberately or not, if not why should old policy makers forget handling pertinent issues concerning their welfare or fellow age mates? This is just because, they themselves are not ready to be part of the solution to the problem, but are perpetrators and magnifiers of the problem. Hence, old people in Cameroon are a problem to the solution of the problem and not a solution to the problem.