Cameroon’s President Paul Biya exhibited a lot of confidence in the build-up to the October 7, 2018, Presidential elections. He did not engage in any campaigning until a week to the elections when he made a single appearance in the Northern Region of the Country. This confidence could be as a result of the fact that Biya has been president for over 36 years and has been within the corridors of power for over 50 years.
However, as results from the elections began to filter through, indicating a victory for Maurice Kamto, the presidential candidate for the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), Biya’s Communication Minister and Minister for Territorial Administration, quickly warned against anyone causing problems by declaring victory.
This warning was not heeded by Maurice Kamto, who braved all odds and declared himself winner during a press conference that took place in Yaounde. This unprecedented declaration has been reported to be creating a lot of tension within Cameroon.
Within the presidency, information reaching us is that Mr. Biya has been in shock over the turn of events and this has worsened following Kamto’s declaration. This is not surprising given that a few weeks ago, Biya was in Geneva Switzerland receiving medical attention. Also taking into consideration that Biya is 85 years old, such news would have been bad for his ailing health.
A source from within Biya’s ruling CPDM party has highlighted that the President has not been able to leave the country for medical attention as this would be considered a concession of defeat and an attempt to abscond. However, it is reported that medical staff from the Geneva University Hospital, who have been taking care of Biya, have been flown into Yaounde, to be on standby as his health is expected to deteriorate. The Geneva University Hospital is renowned its Stem Cells Collection and Cord Blood Banking, among other specialisations.
There is tension within the corridors of power in Yaounde as Biya is said to be highly disappointed with how his henchmen, Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary and Minister for Territorial Administration, Atanga Nji Paul, have handled the situation.
Speaking to some political analysts, we learned that Biya’s decision to declare war on the English-speaking regions and his refusal to resolve the Anglophone crisis, was a tactical one, as he was well aware of the challenges he would face in securing votes in these regions. Hence, by making sure that over 200.000 persons were either internally displaced on in Nigeria as refugees, and ensuring a high military presence, Biya guaranteed that there will be minimal or no voting within those Regions.
It, therefore, has come as a nasty surprise to him and his team, that without the participation of the two English-speaking Regions, the rest of the country was already tired of his 36 years of baren rule. Should Biya overcome this shock and regain his health, it is expected that he will fire Atanga and Tchiroma in his next cabinet reshuffle, for the failures. That is, if he succeeds if getting ELECAM and the Constitutional Council to rig the elections and declare him the winner, instead of Kamto the obvious choice of the people.