Paul Biya Mbi Mvondo has been the President of the United Republic and the Republic of Cameroon for 37 years. He is the second President Cameroon has ever had. He was never elected before ascending into power, he was a constitutional successor after former President, Ahmadou Ahidjo resigned. The man who came with the rigor, integrity, and moralization has seen his doctrine thrown to the dogs by mostly men from his clan who have raped the country’s economy and taken hostage the political chest game.
The New Deal Regime is 37 years old today. Paul Biya officially took over from former President, Ahmadou Ahidjo on November 6, 1982. Some 37 years on.
The euphoria which characterized Paul Biya’s ascension to power and the warm welcome Cameroonians gave him when he wrote his book, is the opposite of what they are witnessing today.
To say that the Biya regime is witnessing its political menopause is an understatement. The regime has faded in the minds of most Cameroonians and what they live on now is past glories. the social climate is disastrous with xenophobic attacks on people from different tribes. The Beti, Bulu tribes, from where Mr. Biya comes from, claim to be the supremacists. There is mutual suspicion, envy, animosity in the society with attacks on non-indigenes right at the backyard of the President in Sangmelima, South region. This has reached a point where the powerless and less privileged like the Anglophones, decided to pick up arms to fight a highhanded regime.
The economy is bad, and getting to worse, maybe worst; the war in the far north, in the southwest and northwest and east region has crippled the economy. The recent fire at the lone oil refining company SONARA only added more salt to the injuries. The truth is Cameroon’s economy is dwindling, recession in the making-but America too will not solve the issue-they only aggravated it when President Trump said he was considering evicting Cameroon from the AGOA trade act. Dozens of Paul Biya’s village brothers who held a position of responsibilities have helped to bring the economy on its knees. The moralization and integrity preached by Paul Biya, seem to have passed through an opened ear with no brains to retain, it flew out from the other ear to the dustbin.
Politically, on paper, there are several political parties but in practice, only one, the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM enjoys the full privilege of a political party. For example, they can hold their political rallies anytime, anywhere and can even influence the ban on other parties. Paul Biya has carried out the massive arrest of his former collaborators, some politically motivated. This only goes to show that the political playground in Cameroon is still sloppy and dangerous for the opposition.
By and large, Mr. Biya despite his age and longevity in power, seems 37 years is just a starting point. Afterall in 2004, he gave 20 more years, to those who wished him dead. Meaning by 2024, he expects to still be around, strong and kicking.
So Cameroon will remain his, forever, isn’t it?