Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, also known as the monarch, is finally back to the nation’s capital, Yaoundé, after a stop-over in Switzerland for a quick health fix. Mr. Biya had travelled to China some two weeks ago for the Africa-China Summit where he was supposed to persuade Chinese businesses and investors to come and invest in his war-ravaged country. Mr. Biya has also been sucking up to the Chinese government, hoping that it will grant it some loans and grants. But the Chinese are not ready to pour their money into a dry hole.
The Biya government is noted for its recklessness and even the Chinese hold that it would be foolhardy to give huge amounts of money to a government that has constantly proven that it is incapable of managing its own affairs. While in China, Mr Biya and his entourage toured a plane manufacturing company and even signed an agreement for the purchase of a presidential jet.
But this jet will not be delivered anytime soon. Cameroon has not got the resources to make a huge down payment as requested by the Chinese. Cameroon is cash-strapped and with its economy bleeding money on a daily basis, it will be hard for the government to find the resources to meet its commitments vis-a-vis the Chinese.
The country’s traditional business partners are hastily pulling out of the country due to a brutal civil war in the two English-speaking regions which account for more than 60% of the country’s wealth. Mr. Biya and his government have been running the country like a private farm and he has been using the national treasury like his personal piggy bank. The conflict in his country has taken a turn for the worse, with many citizens fleeing the war zone.
Over the last week, residents of the two English-speaking regions have been leaving the place following threats by Southern Cameroonian fighters to implement a strict movement of goods and persons within the region from September 16, 2018 to October 7, 2018 as presidential elections approach.
Campaigns for presidential elections scheduled for October 7, are currently underway and Southern Cameroonian fighters have vowed to disrupt an election they consider as foreign. While other candidates are on the ground canvassing for votes, the incumbent, Paul Biya,has not been seen anywhere close to the voters.
It is generally held that Mr. Biya, considered by the ruling crime syndicate as its natural candidate, will not campaign but will emerge as the winner in an election that has already been rigged. Mr. Biya’s heart and prostate have been an issue to the 86-year-old who still wants to rule the country for the next seven years.
For 36 years, Mr. Biya had not built any world-class hospitals in his country, no good roads, and the country’s railway system has simply collapsed. For more than three decades, the narcissistic monarch has been using his country’s treasury as his personal ATM. When travelling abroad, Mr. Biya always has more than 50 persons in his entourage and all of these people are lodged in five-star hotels.
Besides, members of his entourage, the monarch also uses expensive escort services when he is abroad. His love for young girls is costing the country an arm and a leg. He has a Ghanaian doctor in Geneva who screens all the young ladies he uses to satisfy his carnal desires.
It is alleged that he dislikes preservatives that is why the ladies are thoroughly screened for HIV and other communicable diseases. Noted for his incompetence and manipulation, the monarch has plunged his country into a deep economic crisis and a long civil war that has already resulted in the killing of some 4,000 Cameroonians, including young army soldiers.
The Southern Cameroons crisis that started as a demonstration by teachers and lawyers has taken a turn for the worse. The adverse impact of the conflict is now spilling over into East Cameroon and this is a nightmare to government officials who are scared of a general revolt in East Cameroon.
Food and housing prices have gone up and many cities that are receiving these displaced persons do not have the proper infrastructure to deal with such a situation. According to a Douala City Hall official, the migration of Southern Cameroonians to the city of Douala is not only costly; it is also a major risk. He pointed out that among the displaced could be the fierce fighters who may use the situation to wreak havoc on innocent citizens in the city.
He regretted that the government was letting this situation to spiral out of control, adding that if immediate action was not taken, the entire country could become a war zone. According to a source close to the Unity palace, Mr. Biya is very disappointed with the Chinese. “The president looks a little rested. It appears he got the right care in Switzerland. However, he is not very happy with the Chinese,” he said. “He was expecting a huge chunk of money from the Chinese which could have helped to finance his campaign,” he added.”
He pointed out that “with Western nations very reluctant to put any money into the hands of this regime, it will be hard for the government to carry out any meaningful projects.” “I think we are not yet out of the woods. Even if Mr. Biya is considered a winner in the upcoming election, this country will still face serious issues,” he stressed.
“With the conflict spiraling out of control, it is clear that Mr. Biya cannot handle the disaster that is playing out in the North West and South West regions. The situation is too big for him. He cannot handle it,” he said. “We have the worst roads in Africa and the unemployment rate is unacceptable. I am scared for our country. We are in for tough and rough times,” he said.
“We may not even have the money to comply the infrastructure we are developing for the upcoming AFCON. I am confused and so too are millions of Cameroonians. Which roads will national team supporters be using to support their teams which will be moving from town to town?”he quipped.
The source that elected anonymity questioned the president’s silence over the disaster playing out in the two English-speaking regions of the country, adding that the worst was yet to happen. “Many people have been killed and more than a thousand soldiers have died. At what point will the president step in to roll back this disaster?” he asked.
“Though the president is back home, I know he will soon be returning to Switzerland which more like home to him. His health is failing and we are all concerned. He will not be campaigning, but he will win. The election has already been rigged in his favor,” he said.
While the monarch is back, nobody is sure that something positive will happen. Mr. Biya knows he is on his way out, but he wants to take the country down with him. The world has to intervene if it does not want Cameroon to be another “Rwanda”. Biya has failed Cameroon and if he stays on for seven more years, the country will surely hit the bottom of the abyss.
By Kingsley Betek in Yaounde
A Cameroon Concord News Group Production