By Arrey Echi Agbor-Ndakaw
Any nation that its youth population leave either the classroom or working place and go straight into a bar can never prosper. This is the attitude encouraged by the New Deal government for the last 31 years- that of the Cameroonian youth frequenting bars and other drinking places instead of trying to figure out a future.
The political leadership supported by a corrupt class of elites so to speak has deliberately or accidentally created a lazy and uncreative atmosphere in the country where the younger generation prefers an easy life through which everything could be handed to them on a silver platter while they hide behind beer as a means to escape boredom.
Some have opined that the reason many younger people frequent such alcohol consumption places instead of reflecting on the way forward was largely due to the absence of recreational facilities and other social amenities to challenge their intellect while daring them to be different.
There is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol and hard stuff dulls the mental prowess and the ability to reason things well and when people frequent bars from as early as 6 am, one wonders when exactly the government think tanks get to work? And when they actually find themselves at work place be it at the Ministry of the Economy and Finance or the presidency of the republic, the tank they think from becomes very shallow. To be sure alcohol consumption adds a certain flare in the overall ‘joie de vivre’ and in the case of Cameroon encourages low productivity both in the government and private sectors. However, when it is done excessively usually with little or no control it becomes a social nuisance.
Alcohol consumption has become a normal everyday occurrence that longtime friends reuniting after a spell usually have to rebaptise their friendship over a few beers without which the reunion doesn’t seem to have much appeal. Furthermore, it has become so ingrained into the everyday lives of the majority of citizens that nothing meets a protest more than the increased price of beer in which the powers that be are always quick to redress and appease the masses.
Cameroonians drink because they have unlimited access to beer. There is no longer any difference between on and off license bars. No government policy encouraging Cameroonians to drink responsibly. Families have broken up and the health and education of kids tampered with because some parents could rather deal with their beer addiction than take care of their off springs. Don’t our leaders think providing social amenities and distractions will help to curb the excessive drinking prevalent in Cameroon today! Even with the poor transport network in the yesteryears, the Ahidjo regime had vacation camps!! A stitch in time saves nine