Cameroon’s monarch, Paul Biya, will be in Maroua on Saturday, September 29, 2018, to help give his sluggish presidential election campaign a shot in the arm. Mr. Biya, who has ruled the country for 36 years, is running for reelection against a backdrop of a declining economy and total dissatisfaction with his performance across the country.
The Far North region remains one of the poorest regions of the country, with huge numbers of illiterates and highest disease load. The entire northern region lacks good hospitals and maternal and child deaths are among the highest in the country. The region is bereft of infrastructure and many people in the region are simply scraping a living.
Mr. Biya dismal economic performance is working against him and the abuses of his soldiers in that part of country when it comes to counter-terrorism are things that might likely put off the people of Maroua. It should be recalled that numerous videos have emerged of Cameroon soldiers killing women and children or even killing all able-bodied young men in certain villages in the Far north region.
From Maroua, the Monarch will be heading to Buea where he will be facing some of the toughest challenges. The Southern Cameroons crisis that is into its second year has radicalized almost all Southern Cameroonians and Mr. Biya’s snobbish attitude has put off all the people in the two English speaking regions.
The Southern Cameroons crisis which is into its second year has intensified with government troops stationed all over the two English-speaking regions. Buea, the Southwest regional capital, is awash with soldiers and gendarmes who have been deployed to scare any Southern Cameroonian fighters who may want to disrupt preparations for the arrival of the country’s president, Paul Biya, who is also known as the monarch presiding over a criminal syndicate that has ruled the country for more than three decades.
Yesterday, two young men returning from work in Buea were gunned down by army soldiers who have unfortunately become trigger-happy. The two young were responding to calls by the region’s governor for people to go about their businesses without fear.
Similarly, a popular taxi driver in Buea was also gunned down by a soldier. It has become systematic for soldiers to kill able-bodied young men in order to intimidate the local population. Other killings have also been reported in Kumba, Bali and Bafut and this is becoming a daily affair. Most of these killings are committed by army soldiers following instructions by the Defense Minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, and Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji.
Mr. Biya, who has not visited the region in years, will be heading to Buea before Election Day on October 7, 2018. The visit will be within the framework of presidential campaigns that are underway in the country. While other candidates are busy canvassing for support, Mr. Biya has been hiding at the country’s presidential palace in Yaoundé, encouraging his surrogates to act on his behalf as his performance over the last three decades is dismal.
Since 1992, Mr. Biya and his party have never won any election and it is rumored that results of the upcoming election are already known. The country’s election body and the Constitutional Council that releases the results are dominated by Mr. Biya’s loyalists.
By Kingsley Betek and Asu Vera Eyere