There is panic in Yaounde as the disturbing news of the country’s president, Paul Biya, gradually makes its way to the public.
Mr. Biya also known as the “monarch” has been a colony of diseases for many years now. He has been suffering from a failing heart, a failed prostrate and loss of memory which makes it hard for him to carry out his duties as a head of state and this bad news is hitting his collaborators like a ton of bricks.
Recently, the country’s Secretary-General at the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, was given total powers to sign all documents on Mr. Biya’s behalf, an action which serves as further proof that the 87-year-old monarch, who has been in diapers over the last seven years, is incapable of performing his duties.
Over the last two months, Mr. Biya’s health has been a huge concern to his closest collaborators, but his behavior during the May 20 celebration was a clear indication that things were really falling apart. The monarch is suffering and power seems to slipping through his fingers.
The monarch, known for his epicurean taste and love of nice wines, is gradually losing his mind. For many months now, it is his wife, Chantal Biya, who is also suffering from an aggressive leukemia, who has been pulling the strings behind the scenes. Mr. Biya seems to have drunk himself into Alzheimer’s disease.
On May 20, Mr. Biya’s failing memory was put on display for all to see. He could not even wave at the crowd his ruling CPDM had hastily mobilized for the occasion. It was Mrs. Biya, noted for her flaming red hair, who had to raise his hands for him to wave to the crowd. This was a huge embarrassment to his collaborators who have been scrambling to hide the man’s numerous diseases.
Mr. Biya, the once popular president of the most corrupt nation in the world, is now having a tough fight with Alzheimer’s disease and other life threatening ailments and as his situation deteriorates, his collaborators who, are already fighting against each other, are becoming more desperate.
To them, the end of their era is in the offing. The signs are very clear. Biya is gradually exiting the world and his greatest frustration is that his fellow citizens now see him as the most corrupt and most incompetent leader Africa has ever produced.
Last month, he was hastily repatriated from Switzerland as the Brigade Anti Sardinard (BAS), a Diaspora opposition movement, put into action its plan to give the monarch a very bad name.
Demonstrations in front of the Hotel Intercontinental, the hotel Mr. Biya has literally transformed into his home, obliged the Swiss government to declare Mr. Biya persona non grata in Switzerland. This is a real bloodshot eye for a regime that is struggling to clean up its bad image abroad.
Since his repatriation to Cameroon, his family and his collaborators have been struggling to find a new country that will accept him as an inconveniencing visitor. Luxemburg appears to be his new destination and this is hurting the BAS.
However, the BAS is already at work. The opposition group has already dispatched its undercover agents to Luxemburg to find out if the beleaguered president is hiding in the little European Kingdom.
“We are going to fish him out. We are prepared to make life hard for Mr. Biya who has transformed Cameroon into a living hell. For 37 years in office, he has not been able to build a state-of-the-art hospital in Cameroon to cater to the needs of cancer patients. Under his watch, Cameroon’s health facilities have declined and most of them have been reduced to consultation clinics or mortuaries. Why must he be enjoying better health care out of the country while our parents are dying of preventable diseases back home?,” the BAS agent quipped.
Yesterday, a source at the Presidency of the Republic reliably informed the Cameroon Concord News Group that the monarch was struggling again. According to the source which elected anonymity, Mr. Biya was having serious breathing problems and that his health was failing.
The source added that a medical plane from Luxemburg had landed in Yaoundé to secretly airlift Mr. Biya to the small European kingdom of Luxemburg where it is believed he will have quality care comparable to what he has been receiving in Switzerland.
The air ambulance was secretly brought into the country by the Presidency of the Republic. Sources at the presidency have hinted that the monarch may be very seriously sick as his collaborators have decided not to say anything about his health.
“Everybody who is close to the ailing dictator has suddenly become tight-lipped. But from their appearances, it is easy to figure out that something is amiss. Biya is on his way out and this is bad news to his people who are already fighting. The knife is actually turning inwards and if care is not taken Cameroon will be plunged into chaos once Mr. Biya kicks the bucket,” our source said.
“Many of Mr. Biya’s ministers are not even aware that the monarch is out of the country. Everything is under wraps. Many government officials depend on newspapers to get information about the man they serve. The entire system is being manipulated by a few people and Mrs. Biya is actually the person pulling the strings,” he said.
He added that “she has become a puppet master and anybody who does not comply with or play by her rules gets elbowed out of the corridors of power. Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, a former cabinet minister, has been the latest victim and his arrest is generating a lot of division within the government.”
“Cameroon is in for serious trouble. There are many scenes that will only play out when Mr. Biya will bow to the inevitable. His days are numbered, but before he leaves, he will dump the country into a pretty mess. There is no control these days. Ministers are just conducting business as they wish, especially those of Beti extraction. Something needs to be done to save this country,” our source stressed.
While Mr. Biya is battling for his life, using the country’s vast resources, the ordinary citizens are continuing to die like animals as the quality of care in the country is questionable. Mr. Biya and his family have transformed the country’s treasury into their ATM and they are doing a great job at emptying the machine as fast as they can. For them, time is running out and the anger on the streets tells them that if the population could have its way, it would address the issue in a manner that will be far from being pleasant.
By Kingsley Betek in Yaounde, Bamba Gaossou in Limbe and Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai at the Cameroon Concord News Group’s global headquarters in the UK