Saturday July 17 is now among the President Biya’s darkest days. Not since the April 6 coup in 1984 has the Cameroonian presidency been laid so low.
While Cameroonians did the right thing on that April 6 1984 by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their president, the same Biya on Saturday July 17 2021 was hiding inside the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva now seen as Cameroon’s eleventh region in his desperate attempt to cling to an office Cameroonians have denied him several times.
Some pro Biya militants had dubiously chanted praises to the man who has misruled Cameroon for 38 years in front of the same Geneva hotel. But the Swiss police took interest in the massive demo organized by the BAS majority following that stormed past armed police officers and into the InterContinental Hotel, where the 88-year-old dictator was preparing to drive to Cannes in France with his wife Chantal Biya to enjoy the Cannes Film Festival.
The fault lies entirely with Biya and his criminal gang. Their rhetoric on state radio and television has been very inciteful against Southern Cameroonians and the Bamilekes of French Cameroun and each day they are marketing false narratives that Cameroonians clamouring for reforms simply want political power. Now, the nation is exploding.
Biya’s performance in Geneva was befitting his presidency, which has been crude, undisciplined and self-serving. Biya has always placed his own interest and that of his tribe’s men ahead of the nation’s.
In the days of the late President Ahmadou Ahidjo, it would have been impossible to imagine a Cameroon governor, an SDO let alone the head of state traveling abroad and making a hotel his home away from home.
Why go back to the same hotel in Geneva?
What is so special in the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva? Only the 88-year-old Biya, Cameroon’s crudest and least dignified president can tell.
Biya has devoted his presidency to denigrating Cameroonian institutions and citizens who refused to play along with his irrational denial of reality. Of course, you can do whatever you want as head of state if you keep the people frightened enough.
The Francophone leader has bullied everyone deep within his ruling CPDM crime syndicate and even beyond but he is now very surprise at seeing young French Cameroonians in the diaspora getting on his way as patriotism is in very short supply at Etoudi.
In 1982, Biya swore to uphold the Constitution but has spent more than three decades encouraging his loyalists to ignore the document and do whatever it takes to illegally keep him in power.
The late Ahmadou Ahidjo and his top aides gave Biya a rare and treasured honour — the privilege of serving the United Republic of Cameroon as president and entrusting Biya with the care of this precious homeland. Biya has abused that trust over and over.
The time has come for Biya to do the right thing by stepping aside. He and his gang must recognize the danger of continuing to hold on to power at 88 in a nation that is already disintegrating.
Dion Ngute, Maigari Bello Bouba, Laurent Esso and Philemon Yang must break into the youthful tribal clique around Biya and make him see the escalation of the chaos and violence his hanging on to power is creating in Southern Cameroons, the Far North and also in the East.
It will be a very serious matter if the military should send him packing out of the so-called Unity Palace. The Biya generation should organize a peaceful transition of power to a new administration and Biya and his kinsmen in Yaoundé have an obligation to ensure that the transfer is indeed peaceful.
Biya and his men must stop agitating their supporters, stop the war in Southern Cameroons, condemn police and army violence, free all Southern Cameroons detainees; free all political opponents, accept that mistakes have been made and give up this hopeless and dangerous Beti Ewondo crusade to hold on to power.
A stitch in time saves nine
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai