PRESS RELEASE OF THE COALITION FOLLOWING THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF 2019 AFCON IN CAMEROON
Following the missions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) regularly mandated to Cameroon during the last 18 months, via its executive committee, Africa’s highest Football organization has stripped Cameroon from the organization of the Male 2019 AFCON on November 30th. Cameroonians have once again been struck deep inside them by the faults and incompetence of a man, the outgoing President, Paul BIYA, the force of experience in inexperience, and inefficiency.
A spark of clarity should bring even the most fervent supporters of the regime in place in our country to agree that this withdrawal from the organization of one of the biggest football festivities on the planet, besides being a humiliation to the face of the world, is the heralded failure of a leadership which has become a serious liability on the future of Cameroon.
Throughout the campaign of the presidential election last October, we had already drawn attention to the chronic incapacity of the outgoing President to lead Cameroon, through its manifold failures that has led to the stagnation of the country economically, socially and culturally. The withdrawal of the 2019 AFCON is the most glaring expression of the incapacity of this leadership to provide appropriate responses to the problems of its compatriots.
Several previous events had already appeared as premonitory signs such as the disruption of the health system and the education sector, the disastrous state of infrastructure and the Anglophone crisis. The last two let-downs, pointed out by the CAF Executive Committee, are not new. Any wise leader would have understood the dissuasive nature of the Anglophone crisis for the organization of the AFCON in terms of security, and would have made its resolution a top priority in the implementation of the conditions of the country’s eligibility to organise this continental event. Cameroonians can measure today the incantation nature of the engagement of the outgoing President caulked at the palace at Etoudi. Another lightly handled commitment like so many others! Had he a deep love for his country and his compatriots,following the CAF’s decision, he would have handed over the power he illegitimately holds since October 7 election.
Grasping the scope of our message and in order to get out of this situation which has become a national impediment on the improvement of their living conditions, peace and security of the country, Cameroonian voters largely made their choice on President Maurice KAMTO, as the leader most likely to provide answers to their problems. That’s why they elected him president outside of all electoral fraud.
Defeated, the outgoing President clings to power, only to make nothing out of it but to intensify the social, economic, cultural and political decay of the country and add to the humiliation of the electoral fraud that of the incompetence as noted by the highest institution of continental football. There is one person responsible for this situation and the only one is Mr. BIYA, an outdated monarch dethroned by the vote and overwhelmed by the load of duty. Neither his ministers concerned nor his mysterious “entourage” can share the weight of such responsibility. Bypublicly declaring, with regard to the organization of the 2019 AFCON, despite all indications showing that our country could not fulfill its commitments within the given deadlines: “We will be ready on the D-day, I commit myself personally”, it blew up all fuses and directly engaged his responsibility in the forefront.Now he must fully endorse it; as he so well does by taking the full credit of any slightest victory.
Endorsing this responsibility is to recognize that he is no longer able to rule a country of nearly 30 million people, which he has led into a deadlock and which must now recover,with legitimate leaders and the support of all Cameroonians of goodwill and of all origins.
The painful withdrawal of the organization of the festival of African Football comes to remind us about the urgency of the national resistance against a usurper now President by burglary, in order to restore the truth of the ballot box on the evening of October 7, 2018. It is now time for mobilization and not for illusions, because the outgoing President is irremediably overwhelmed and his incompetence can no longer be hidden or ignored. By unduly clinging to power, Paul BIYA appears day by day like a millstone whose illegitimate presence at the top of our executive is a real obstacle to the development and peace of the country.
Coming back to the urgent call for the restoration of the truth of the polls for a competent and legitimate leadership is the necessary condition to get out of the deadlock in which the perpetuation of Paul Biya’s presence in Etoudi now engages the country. It is also the only way out of the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions, through the effective implementation of the solutions advocated by Maurice KAMTO, and not, once again, the fruitless effects of the propaganda announcements, contained in a recent presidential decree that borrows from the latter the idea of setting up a DDR process, but as usual out of the context in which it should be considered and justified. Indeed, how can the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration measures of persons engaged in armed conflict be implemented without first negotiating a ceasefire? Yet another cunning gesture that only aims to deceive the people and not to really solve a problem. Henceforth, Mr. BIYA remains on his belligerent posture, demanding no less than an unconditional surrender of the insurgents.
The concern pointed out by CAF that the insecurity situation prevailing in our country is likely to compromise the peaceful performance of the 2019 AFCON is full of consequences.As a matter of fact, this creates an environment of mistrust in Cameroon, as a country at high risk of economic, financial and security governance, resulting from its inability to meet its commitments. As you have experienced for decades, the poor quality of the country’s leadership affects us collectively and individually. The failure of the AFCON strikes like a blow. Such a fact will not be without consequence on the aggravation of the country-risk’s perception by foreigners and on Cameroon as a business destination. By the same token, it will affect the cost of our transactions abroad by the perception of an increased risk premium. There was no need at this very moment for more bad news, especially for trade, tourism and investment.
After expressing in a suppressed angry our anguish about what promised to be a moment of collective pride and that is now a national disgrace, we must come back to our spirits and face our future as a nation. All the light must be shed on the management of this case, not in an attempt to clear the only person whose responsibility is clearly engaged as said above, by exclusively implicating a few second rank officials, such as ministers and other senior officials, but by carrying out an exhaustive assessment of its management and draw the required lessons so that it should never happen again. It would be too easy to turn the page by all sorts of deceitful tricks that this regime is soused to get our country out of this decline, it is time to stand up and put an end to the buffoonery of a falsely monarchical, lazy, contemptuous governance. Otherwise, Cameroon would be condemned to vegetate for a long time in the abyss of mediocrity, regression and decay. A majority of Cameroonians understood this and expressed their democratic choice accordingly on October 7, 2018. Those who until now have plugged their ears and closed their eyes must now open them, so that together we put an end to the unacceptable. This is not the matter of an individual or an ethnic group; it is about our collective destiny: the system set up for more than half a century and whose power is the paroxysmal symbol of degradation and must be replaced for Cameroon to advance!
(e) The Communication of the Coalition
Yaounde, 4th November 2018