#Cameroon’s Paul #Biya Goes into Shock as Kamto Declares Victory

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.

Activism Beyond Borders, Defying The Biya Intimidation Tactic

Dictator Biya of Cameroon has only one remedy to every problem – silence. This silence operates in two ways, the first is that he is silent over anything that matters in the country, such as the current civil war which he declared. The second is that Biya silences anyone who tries to oppose his remarkable ineptitude in the area of governance and statecraft.

From the start of the current crisis in the Anglophone Regions, Biya has not in any way directly addressed the issues. It has been dealt with only by his surrogates, who paradoxically have no power to implement any outcome to resolve the problem. Biya has addressed ‘The Nation’ many times throughout the crisis but has said nothing concrete relating to the actual situation. In fact, the one time that Biya has directly dealt with the Anglophone crisis, was at the airport when he declared war on those fighting for freedom. When Patricia Scotland QC visited Cameroon, it would have been thought that Biya will engage with the situation. During a lavish dinner which he threw in honour of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Biya rather reiterated his threats of dealing with anyone who dared challenge his bad governance.

In the area of silencing opposition, Biya has used lengthy prison sentences, having civilians tried in military courts and sending many to jail without trial. In a shocking twist of events, Biya’s tactics extended to Nigeria in January 2018, when colluding with some Nigerian authorities, activists were abducted from Nera Hotel and taken to Cameroon in violation of their convention rights as political refugees.

If Biya expected that the abduction of Sisiku and others will frighten other activists across the world, he was grossly mistaken. Like a hydra, as he cuts one head, two others spring up in its place. As such, despite trying to intimidate activists by holding Sisiku and Co incommunicado and branding them terrorists, many more voices have sprung up in the diaspora, speaking ever so loudly against the carnage that has been unleashed on Anglophones. In a desperate move, the charlatan he appointed as his Minister of Territorial Administration has been making baseless threats about activists in the USA.

First of all, Biya and his sycophant, Atanga Nji Paul, ought to know by now, that Nera Atanga Nji PaulHotel was a one-off unfortunate blip in the radar of the Anglophone quest for freedom. It only happened because those involved had trusted that meeting with Cameroon authorities in good faith could lead to a resolution of the crisis. As it has been proven that Biya and his regime always operate in bad faith, there is no activist who will again agree to meet with a representative of Biya’s government without the necessary guarantees of their freedom.

Secondly, the Nigerian incident was only possible because Nigeria is currently ruled by a man whose only knowledge of governance is in the 80s. Hence, I will not be surprised if Muhammadou Buhari was unaware of what happened in his own country, or was oblivious that accepting Biya’s request to abduct and take refugees out of Nigeria was a gross violation of international law. Either way, the myopia that pervaded the Nigerian saga is one which no sane government will want to replicate.

Donald Trump and his regime may appear to be clueless about a number of things and harsh when it comes to immigration, but they are certainly not stupid enough to realise that conspiring with Biya to deprive the freedom of any activist within their shores, will be political suicide.

Instead of wasting precious time and oxygen on the rants of Atanga Nji, all Cameroonian activists, anywhere in the diaspora should realise that they have one thing that Biya’s regime does not have – the ability to speak out when it matters. This is the time for every activist to speak out the loudest. Whether French-speaking or English-Speaking, there is enough to say these days, and no room for mediocrity or fear. With war raging in the Anglophone regions and many families living in forests, there is no shortage of things to scream about. With a useless election organised in the Francophone regions, while young people stand at the sidelines and watch helplessly as Biya attempts to hold the country hostage for another 7 years, no activist can afford to be silent.

Lurther King

If there is one thing we can promise Biya, it is the fact that activism is something to goes beyond borders and his tactic of silencing those who challenge him, is unfortunately stale. His regime is running out of time and ideas, and before long, their intimidation tactics will be as useless as any words spoken by Atanga Nji Paul.

Cameroon: Anglophone Elites Raise Funds to Prop Up Biya

In the heart of the worst massacre of English-Speaking Cameroonians by the Biya regime; in a period which will go down in history as the bloodiest and saddest moments for all Anglophone Cameroonians, one would expect that their elites would stand up to the regime and ask some questions.

Unfortunately, this is not to be. Starting with Atanga Nji Paul, an ex-convict who believes that everything he does or says must have been inspired by Paul Biya, to Philemon Yang,  a Prime Minister whose role is a good as that of a statue in an unpopular museum, the Anglophone elites have completely let their people down.

As war rages across the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, as Biyas soldiers kill, rape, maim civilians and burn their villages, and restoration forces, under the banner of self-defense carry out counter-attacks both on the military and anyone whom they class as a ‘traitor’ or ‘blackleg’, the ordinary person is left at the mercy of the warring factions. The collapse of government and failure of the security apparatus spells doom for the country once known as ‘Africa in Miniature‘.

As if operating in a vacuum, Biya has gone ahead to announce presidential elections for which he is a candidate, seeking another 7 years in addition to the wasted 36 years during which the country has known nothing but misery.

As young Cameroonian activists from across the Francophone and Anglophone spectrum denounce either the holding of elections or Biya’s candidature during this time of chaos, the elites have again decided to add salt to the already festering wound.

As one of them was being taken out of a Church and killed on Sunday 12 August, others, particularly from the North West Region were gathering in Yaounde to fundraise for Biya’s campaign. Led by Philemon Yang, the North West Permanent delegate for the CPDM central committee, is purported to have raised a total of FCFA 154.589.000 million. Baba Danpullo, who is renowned for stating, at the start of the crisis that there was no way the regime will heed to the demands of civil society (which at the time, were very basic) came out on top as the highest donor, giving FCFA 30 million.

Praising the success of the fundraiser, Yang is quoted to have said that the North West elite are extraordinary people who are known for doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

Philemon Yang - Cameroon Prime Minister

Philemon Yang – Cameroon Prime Minister

Unbeknownst to Yang, he was spot on. Only extraordinary people will be silent while their people are being killed daily. Only extraordinary people will be supporting an 86 year old man to be president when available evidence indicates that he has neither the political will nor ability to govern. Only an extraordinary people, will continue to support a regime that has done nothing to ensure that kids go back to school despite being out for two years.

Such extraordinary persons, such as the Anglophone elites, will do ordinary things such as the need for standing up for their people, in an extraordinary way – supporting the very machinery that is oppressing their people.

As they go ahead to plan for their campaigns, the question worth asking is whether these elections are going to take place only within the Eight Regions of Cameroon where there is no conflict. It is worth asking whether should elections actually take place, anyone with a conscience will be able to acknowledge that Biya has the mandate of the Anglophones living in the forests, afraid for their lives, or those living as refugees in Nigeria, begging for crumbs to survive.

When the dust settles on this era of Cameroon’s history, some names will not be worth writing on sand. The names of the current Anglophone elites will be best forgotten. These will be the names that will be used as curse words, in remembrance of a time, when people, meant to look out for their own, decided to support a dictator, whose only quest, is the extermination of those people.