President Paul Biya’s regular reaction to rising discontent over his failed economic policies and political leadership has been shocking, even by his very low standards. It has always been about dismissing and appointing members of his ruling consortium of crime syndicates to head state-owned companies and ministerial departments.
His 11th of February 2016 message to the youth population calling on them to make a dramatic u turn to agriculture was in effect saying that the new generation should leave the country if they were not happy about the dire situation at home. The demand for action against high level corruption and mismanagement of the economy has met with a stone wall erupted by Mr Biya and his acolytes. Some of the highly placed CPDM officials wanted by the Special Criminal Court in Yaounde and targeted by the national anti-corruption body linked to several financial scandals are still being appointed into senior positions of responsibility.
Biya has not taken any action against top CPDM barons named in corruption cases such as Minister Atanga Paul Nji, Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna, Government Delegate to the Yaounde Urban Council, former Minister of Finance and Agriculture, Essimi Menye, Vincent Ndumu, Government Delegate to the Bamenda Urban Council, former general managers of BICEC Bank, the former Rector of the University of Douala, Bruno Bekolo Egbe, the former GM of Camwater, William Sollo, former minister of Public Works, Bernard Massengue Avom and the former Minister of Transport, Robert Nkilli.
Today, any critic of the CPDM government is falsely labelled an agent of Boko Haram Camerounaise or a Southern Cameroons National Council activist to delegitimise his well-intentioned crusade to bring the corrupt authorities to account. Attack dogs are constantly unleashed to tarnish the image of the leader of the Movement for Real Change (MRC), Maurice Kamto for daring to criticise the ruling CPDM and its natural chairman.
Biya has a poor track record and is not known for accepting constructive criticism. This explains why he has till date never held any discourse with Cardinal Christian Tumi as he often responds with brute force against those that oppose his government or raise dissenting voices. Too many Cameroonians are disappearing in the Far North region, tortured or killed for standing up to the ruinous government and its operation managers, the Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali and House Speaker, Cavaye Yegue Djibril. The whereabouts of the young men arrested in Wum, Menchum Division immediately after the anti-military demos are still unknown.
Biya’s inflammatory speeches are often celebrated by CPDM youth and a sister association known as President Biya Youth. The youths marched unhindered by police, contrary to what other militants of the Social Democratic Front have to go through during similar protests. There was an announcement recently that President Paul Biya had promised computer laptops to all students of the universities of Cameroon in a brazen attempt to buy their loyalty and reward them for guaranteeing his continued stay in power.
However, by borrowing the money from China and buying the computers from China, President Biya demonstrated once again why he is the major source of Cameroonian problems. To be sure, Biya is a political disaster and he has become the most prominent liability to a country that is desperately trying to resurrect from the grave after 34 years of misrule. Cameroon’s biggest undoing today is the complete absence of a decent leadership which has a far-reaching impact on the state of the economy. You appoint a man as general manager of Camair-Co and the same decree appoints a financial administrator who does not listen to the man!! So, even if you change the name from Cameroon Airlines to Camair-Co or to Camair-Mvomeka, the results will still be a successful failure.
Biya is not the only one to carry the blame-the members of his think tank too! The tank from which they think from is too shallow and so they spend their time demonstrating beyond doubt that the rights accorded to CPDM members are not accorded to other Cameroonians. That no Roman Catholic Bishop except Cardinal Tumi, that no Imam nor any protestant church leader has come out to condemn the 84-year-old leader for encouraging and condoning corruption and for presiding over the monumental collapse of the state of Cameroon and human rights violations is indeed telling. It needs no rocket science to know why Cardinal Tumi statements always find resonance with many Cameroonians.
At 83, General Pierre Semengue, one of the regime’s main enforcers recently revealed that he still enjoys all the benefits of a Cameroonian military official. The tide is slowly but surely changing and day-by-day; Cameroonians be they Anglophones or Francophones are now in agreement that Biya is the source of their problems, not Boko Haram or regime change agents like Maurice Kamto.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai