Macron’s visit: Why the hype?
French President, Emmanuel Macron, is currently in Cameroon on an official visit which will determine many things in the country. He was received at the airport by the country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, who was representing the country’s old and ailing president, Paul Biya. This event is very likely to be Mr. Ngute’s last official event as a cabinet reshuffle will follow once Mr. Macron leaves the country. Unity Palace insiders have hinted Cameroon Concord News that the Southwest native will be replaced by another South-westerner in the next cabinet.
Mr. Ngute is no longer in the good books of the Biya hawks as he has failed to disconnect the Southwest from the Northwest as many of them had expected. The government is now focusing on a South-westerner who has leverage on separatists, especially those in the United States.
The government is looking at a prime minister who can easily convince Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe to flip sides and embrace federalism which is what the French are proposing. Two South-westerners have already been identified and one has been talking to some separatists, something the government believes can deliver good results.
It is also believed that the Candidate working on the continent has a good relationship with Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and is connected to people like Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor and Dr. Fontem Neba.
During the French President’s visit, messieurs Biya and Macron will discuss a wide range of issues confronting the country, including corporation ties between Cameroon and France as well as succession planning.
The French are already scared of the future as the Biya era has caused a lot of pain and suffering in Cameroon. Most Cameroonians hold that France is responsible for most of the problems which have plagued the country over the last 40 years.
Mr. Biya’s incompetence has transformed him into a polarizing figure. He has ruled the country for 40 years and his strategy has been to divide Cameroonians so that he can stay in power forever. And this is a real threat to French interest in the country.
Today, the country is more divided than it has ever been. The country’s English-speaking minority is determined to walk away from the lopsided union with the Francophone majority which has caused English-speaking Cameroonians more pain.
The Country’s English-speaking minority has taken up arms and the message is clear. Southern Cameroonians want to disconnect from France and its French-speaking population in Cameroon.
The French are not very happy about this unfortunate situation, and they are surprised that for more than five years, the Cameroon military, which has received massive support from the French government, has not been able to roll back the rebellion. This is indeed bad news for the French which have been benefiting from the misrule in Cameroon.
France is already losing out on some major contracts in Cameroon and this is not good news to Macron who is very unpopular at home. Cameroon’s only oil refinery which went up in smoke some three years ago is being revamped by Russians. The French thought they would be handed the contract, but the bidding process did not favour them.
But things are only getting worse for the French in Cameroon. Northerners are also prepared to take up arms and they have made their intention known. They are just waiting for the day Biya gets recalled by the Lord. Cameroon is falling apart, and the French are worried. The seeds of destruction they had sown many years ago are today bearing fruits and they are among the victims of the ticking time bomb they had planted in Cameroon. They stand to lose if chaos ensues after Mr. Biya’s death.
Some ill-intentioned Cameroonians are promoting the idea that Franck Biya should be the country’s next president, but this is not going down well with many French politicians who hold that getting Franck Biya into the Unity Palace might only cause the country to implode.
If Anglophones are on their way out and Northerners have already hoisted their colors, then Cameroon is just a ticking time bomb that might go off anytime soon if Mr. Paul Biya’s succession is not well planned.
Northerners hold that they also deserve to rule the country after 40 years of marginalization. Anglophones, for their part, hold that after 60 years of marginalization, they must be given a chance to rule, if not, they will walk away and the guns which have caused the Biya regime to lose sleep over the last five years will continue to deliver the results. Mr. Biya’s succession is one major item that might make or break Franco-Cameroon relations in the days ahead.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with contributions from Rita Akana