Just within this month of May alone President Paul Biya has tweeted at a rate that can only be compared to that of Donald Trump of the USA. What is of concern to this writer is not the unprecedented frequency at which he tweets, but the content of the tweets, and to whom the messages are being addressed to.
It is known for the most fact that Mr. Biya has phobia for the media. Testimony lays in the fact that he addresses issues most of the time through presidential decrees. Written and signed, and forwarded for implementation. So why has he, all of a sudden developed an unquenchable appetite for the social media – Twitter? Is it because he once described the present Cameroon generation as ” android generation” and as such he too has to go “android”? It is also known that Mr. Biya is a no nonsense ruler who commands like a military general who is always right. So why then has he gone so sober on Twitter? And again speaking against what his regime has been practicing for decades now. Has he suddenly realized that some people are hurt in this country and there is need for forgiveness? Has he suddenly realized that Cameroon is disunited and there is an urgent need for unity? Or has he suddenly realized the need for dialogue at this moment? Here him tweet:
“The essential thing today is to forgive and forget, to work towards a common goal. We cannot at one and the same time, look towards the future and live in the past. Mutual forgiveness is the path to lasting peace”, ” Be the determined architects of national integration. Be the models of tolerance and loyalty. Be the shields of our institutions and our democracy. Together let us build a Cameroon that is one and indivisible”, “Let us not pit Cameroonians against one another. Let us not set English-Speaking Cameroonians against French-Speaking Cameroonians. Cameroon is and remains a bilingual and multi-cultural country”, Make good use of freedom. People can freely express themselves without taking to the street. Without causing destruction and looting”…
In his tweets he talks about unity, tolerance, freedom and even democracy. Cameroonians, most especially the Anglophones know what unity, tolerance, freedom and democracy truly means under the Biya’s regime. Given that his sober and promising tweets can no longer deceive Cameroonians apart from those who benefit from his system, which audience is his tweets addressing?
Of recent the international community has held the Biya’s government responsible for the worsening situation in the former Southern Cameroons in particular and the poor human right situation in Cameroon in general. His government has always given the impression to outsiders that the situation is under control and blamed it on what they termed “a handful of people” who wants to destabilize the country. But facing the reality that his deception has been caught by the international community especially the U.S.A, it is no longer time for Mr. Biya to seat in his room, issue orders to his “nchindas” and receive briefings which more often than not are cooked up.
The internal propaganda networks which he put in place to water down the storm have not yielded the required fruits for three years and still counting. From CRTV fake news, creation of fictitious associations to speak for the people in favor of the government, paid saboteurs, press conferences and communiques stuffed with lies and outright denial to creation of commissions, yet no success. And the international community is inching closer to taking action. Mr. President has to go to work himself. So he took to Twitter to propagate messages that may seduce the international community by convincing them to give him more time to “neutralize” the situation and then dialogue with “people of good will”.
If you ever thought Biya’s recent tweets on forgiveness, reconciliation, democracy and surprisingly freedom and tolerance were meant for Cameroonians. Then you are not living in Cameroon.