There is total panic at the Unity Palace as Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, also known as the monarch, sinks into a long disturbing coma following a delicate brain surgery in a Geneva clinic.
A source close to the government has hinted Cameroon Concord News that Mr. Biya, 88, was diagnosed with a blood clot in the brain a few weeks ago, but could not have emergency surgery in Cameroon where he was on a long lockdown because for the 40 years he has been in power, he has not built a single world-class medical facility that can handle such a complicated surgical operation.
Given his age, the doctors attending to the 88-year-old dictator are concerned that he might not emerge from his long coma, and this is really bad news for his family and political supporters who view him as the only person who can rule the country.
Mr. Biya’s situation is all the more disturbing because of other conditions he has been living with. The ailing Biya is reported to have high blood pressure, a heart condition, and diabetes which are all threatening to cut short his life anytime soon.
Over the years, he has become a colony of diseases due to political stress and despicable lifestyle choices. In recent weeks, the Cameroonian strong man and one of the longest serving presidents on the continent has been losing weight uncontrollably and this is a huge concern to his doctors.
Though still in power, the senile president’s collaborators have been fighting for prominence as many think they can replace him in case he passes away.
But none of those fighting has openly demonstrated his ambitions. They all know the consequences. Many before them are languishing in jail and many have died just because they dreamt that they could be the country’s next president.
The Lion Man, as he is known by many Cameroonians, does not forgive anybody who thinks of replacing him while he is still alive. The penalty for such misplaced ambition is a long torturing jail term that usually results in death in one of the country’s terrible maximum security jails.
Meanwhile, while the dying president was being wheeled into an operating room, his young and vibrant wife, Chantal Biya, was spotted in France attending the Cannes Film Festival.
Spotting her signature flaming red hair and a red dress to match, Cameroon’s first lady seemed relax and calm as if her husband’s declining health was of no concern to her.
She seemed to have accepted that the man, who conquered her heart a quarter of a century ago, could join his ancestors anytime soon.
Cameroonians are all monitoring things from a distance. They know Mr. Biya’s death will trigger a deadly fratricidal war in the country as various political and ethnic groups seek to take control of power in Cameroon.
More will be yours as we get the information.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai