Every young person in West and Central Africa knows that there are only two seasons in a year – the dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season is just wrapping up while most people expect the dry season to kick in. But in Cameroon, another season will succeed the rainy season and the dry season might only come later.
Cameroon is a land of wonders and there is always something new and negative emerging from there. This year, the dry season might have to wait a little longer. A new season – evacuation – has started in earnest and it might take longer than expected.
Cameroon’s government of the old is finally falling apart. The sick and elderly leaders are grudgingly yielding to the dictates of time. The number of evacuations is on the rise and the old and tired are gradually falling apart. First it was the country’s minister of finance, Louis-Paul Motaze, who was rushed to Switzerland where he is currently fighting for his dear life after a massive attack by COVID-19.
Though relatively younger than most of his peers, the finance minister has almost all of the known lifestyle diseases. Rumor burst out yesterday, indicating that the man who still has some sense of decorum had died. But a source close to the Motaze family has informed the Cameroon Concord News Group that he is still alive but in very bad shape.
The virus has pinned him down and is delivering some of the deadliest punches to a man who has never been athletic. His family members are currently biting their finger nails given that they know that Motaze is immuno-compromised and does not stand a chance.
Many Cameroonians thought Motaze’s case was just a one-off, but it has simply turned out to be the beginning of a long and disturbing season. The floodgates have been opened. While the government was hoping that other cases would not emerge, the 87-year-old Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji, has relapsed. He had been patched up in France a few months ago, but things are really falling apart for a man who is simply a bundle of diseases.
Besides the lifestyle diseases, Niat is hosting other ailments that will not let him have a good night’s sleep. He is permanently feeling like peeing and since his caregivers cannot keep up, he has been placed in a diaper which gets too wet every thirty minutes.
Other people have joined the evacuation club and this time around, it is the 84-year-old Sultan of Foumban, Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya. The Sultan’s body has been ravaged by diabetes and a heart problem, and COVID-19 has shown up just to serve as a finisher. COVID-19 is not a respecter of persons and the Sultan’s family is fully aware of that. His family members are down on their knees knocking their heads to the ground in prayer in the fervent hope that the virus will grant the Sultan clemency for all the sins and crimes he has committed.
While new members are joining the club, old ones are still out there in France enjoying some reprieve. Inoni Ephraim, the country’s one-time Prime Minister, is still in France trying to have his damaged health repaired. The country’s bad politics and years in solitary confinement have reduced the former prime minister to a shadow of his former self.
As the Cameroon Concord News Group writes this article, a source at the Presidency of the Republic has just called to advise that another bad case is already getting worse. The country’s president, Paul Biya, will likely be evacuated to Switzerland again as his health is still a concern. Mr. Biya, who has been a host of multiple diseases, is having a tough time eating and sleeping, the source said, adding that for the moment, his is the Kingdom of sleeping pills which he happily eats like peanuts.
The Swiss did a good job to put him back together, but like everything artificial, the decorations are already falling apart and the 88-year-old Biya is losing weight and muscles at a very fast rate. He has lost appetite and the fear of death has plunged him into delirium which is an acute mental disturbance characterized by confused thinking and disrupted attention usually accompanied by disordered speech and hallucinations.
The evacuations are costing the Cameroonian taxpayer a pretty penny. President Biya and his collaborators thought they would be young forever. They disregarded the health sector and never thought there will be a day when they themselves would be scrambling for solutions to their health issues. A modern state-of-the-art health facility in Yaoundé could have reduced the number of evacuations and health spending if the greed that has become the hallmark of the government had been cast off.
The time has come, and aging is a process nobody can reverse. Old age is a disease, and it must be taken seriously like any of the age-related diseases. Having a modern and well-equipped hospital will allay everybody’s fears, including that of those who erroneously think they are eternal.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai