The news from Geneva and Southern Cameroons is not good! The Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in Geneva has succeeded to obtain pictures of the ailing Cameroon president, Paul Biya, in his sick bed and the news is unsettling to his family and supporters. For purposes of decency, the Cameroon Concord News Group editorial team has decided not to release the pictures out of respect for the president’s family.
The man who declared a war against his own people and triggered an orgy of killing in the two English-speaking regions of the country is now fighting for his own life. The gods are calling him, but he is still hanging on. His life now hangs by a thread. Age and co-morbidities have reduced him into a bag of bones and even his family is now gradually coming to terms with the fact that he could exit anytime time soon.
According to a source in Geneva, the Swiss health experts attending to Mr. Biya are really concerned. His brief stay in Europe is turning out to be one long boring stay for members of his entourage who are already homesick. Many have been heard grumbling, but they are making sure their frustration and unhappiness do not fall into the ears of the first lady who is also very busy with her shopping. She seems to be on tourism in Europe even when her “sugar husband” is slipping in and out of a disturbing coma. After the Cannes Film festival, she has been spotted in a few other places where she is visibly enjoying herself while her husband slowly fades away.
The Biya family seems to have accepted that the time for Mr. Biya to join his ancestors has come. The brain surgery coupled with his diabetes and heart problems are robbing his family of its happiness. Though it will be a source of joy if the Yaoundé strongman is patched up and sent home sooner rather than later, some family members are already yielding to the fact that the man who has brought them huge financial gains and enormous political embarrassment may not go back home sitting in front of the private jet that is costing the country a fortune.
A source close to the ruling party, which elected anonymity, has expressed grave concerns about the president’s health, citing sources in Geneva that have seen the ailing president in an awful state.
“We are hoping for the best, but we are also preparing for the worst. At almost 90 years, nobody can be in the pink of health. Mr. Biya is really fighting for his dear life. The burden of responsibility and political stress have really combined to take a toll on his fragile health. Mr. Biya’s life is really hanging by a thread. People within the ruling party and the corridors of power are really scared of the worst. Biya is in a very bad state and we are really concerned. The brief visit to Europe is turning out to be an endless visit. Mr. Biya might end up applying for residency out there because of his failing health,” the source said.
“We cannot keep on pretending. Nobody has seen Mr. Biya in any tourist attraction in Europe. He has not visited any mall or any major attractive landmark out there. He has not been received by any European leader and nobody has seen him in public. This does not look like a normal holiday or visit. From his Intercontinental Hotel room, he was hauled straight into a clinic in Geneva where he has been pinned down by multiple health problems,” the source added.
“The latest information someone at the Presidency received was that the old man has lost his appetite, not only for food, but also for life. We don’t know if it’s about the type of food they have out there or if it’s just his organs that are failing him. At his age, if he is not eating, then this is really bad news for his biological and political family. A lot is going to fall apart if Mr. Biya makes up his mind to cross over. There are many people who are already ready to leave the country. They have supported the regime blindly for too long and many do not know how they will live with Cameroonians when things really fall apart, and they may fall apart sooner rather than later,” the source stressed.
“It is over a month since Mr. Biya’s brief visit started and it is already morphing into a long torturing visit and there is unfortunately no official statement about him and his health. The country is now like a rudderless ship and the internal conflicts within the government are clearly causing the boat to sink. Members of the president’s inner circle are taking advantage of the vacuum created by Mr. Biya’s absence to do things however they want. This long absence is, indeed, a true test of our institutions. We do not know who is leading the country now. From time to time, we see a short press release from the presidency of the republic, but there are clear signs that there is a leadership issue that needs to be addressed forthwith. I fear the shit is finally flying all over the place and there is nobody to take charge. The Senate president is really struggling with his own never-ending health issues while the Speaker of the National Assembly is scared of the inevitable as his breathing problems get worse by the day. This is really a country on life support,” the source regretted.
“Mr. Biya’s health is indeed the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. His own ministers are just too scared to mention it. The Secretary General at the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, who receives orders from Chantal Biya is too scared to even make mention of the president’s failing health. To him, that is a topic that is not up for discussion and anybody who dares to ask him questions about the issue is immediately reminded that the issue cannot be discussed by anybody in Cameroon,” the source stressed.
But it is not only the battle for his life that Mr. Biya is losing. He is already staring down the barrel of defeat in Southern Cameroons where the tides have turned strongly against government forces which are either too scared or too demoralized to engage the “boyses in the bushes” in any real combat.
The war Mr. Biya hastily declared against his own citizens some four years ago is very bad news for him and his government now. Before he left for his short private visit to Switzerland, his army soldiers were already dropping dead like flies and this has only gotten worse ever since he sank into a deep and disturbing coma.
Over the last month, the military has lost lots of soldiers and equipment, especially as the brave Ambazonian fighters have changed their tactics and have acquired more deadly weapons which have given them strong confidence and a deep sense of invincibility.
In many parts of Southern Cameroons, army soldiers are being driven away by the fighters who have no mercy towards any soldiers they capture. Many graphic pictures of dying and maimed soldiers have emerged on social media, underscoring that there will be no military victory in the war that has pitted the government against its English-speaking minority, even if the soldiers take all their sophisticated equipment to the two English-speaking regions.
In towns like Ossing, soldiers were chased from the timber camp they had been guarding, an incident that resulted in the death of a soldier and the torching of the massive timber camp and all the timber trucks that were in the camp. Many witnesses say the camp was attacked because soldiers had destroyed a lady’s business in Ossing after it had been alleged that the killers of a soldier in Akwen, a village in Manyu Division, had been seen drinking in that off-license.
In many localities in the North West region, many soldiers have been brought down in very humiliating circumstances. Many within the government are already calling for the government to sue for peace, especially as the situation is getting out of control. In Yaounde, many soldiers are scared of going to Southern Cameroons, as the two English-speaking regions now represent a death sentence to many of them.
Pressure is mounting on the government, as many families in East Cameroon have been personally affected by a conflict they know nothing about. Many families in the Center and South regions which have been solidly behind the reckless and irresponsible government have been burying their loved ones killed in battle and this has made them to understand that the war they thought would crush the separatists for good is also hurting them in a very big and bad way. Many of them are no longer supporting government war efforts and are openly questioning the rationale behind the war that could have been avoided.
Biya might have won many battles which might have given him the false belief that he can beat any odds. He has succeeded to stay in power by crook and this has hurt many people who hold that he is not up to the task. But 2021 might be different for Mr. Biya. He cannot always get his way. Nature can sometimes intervene to alter decisions. His current situation is not good. It is a major concern to his entourage. It will be a miracle if he emerges from this challenging situation. He is, indeed, losing it. He is also losing in Southern Cameroons in a war he hastily declared. These two battles are certainly too much for him to handle. He is clearly losing them.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with correspondent reports from Geneva and Yaoundé