Cameroon’s long-serving president, Paul Biya, was air-lifted yesterday in an air ambulance to an undisclosed European country on health grounds, though the government’s press release issued before the “monarch” left the country said he was going on a short private visit.
But no Cameroonian can be fooled by the government’s press release. It is just one of them, full of lies and cover-ups.
The 90-year-old Biya is gradually breaking down like 50-year-old Lada vehicle which has been driven on an untarred road for five decades.
At 90, nobody expects Mr. Biya to be in the pink of health. Years of unnecessary stress, the burden and responsibility of power, alcohol and his exaggerated epicurean sensibilities have taken a toll on the president’s health.
Sources close to the Unity Palace have disclosed that Mr. Biya’s health had deteriorted very rapidly and that was why a medicalized aircraft was brought in to haul him to Europe.
Though no specific European country was mentioned in the government’s press release, it was clear that Mr. Biya was heading to his usual destination – Switzerland – where he has a crowd of medical doctors who attend to him at very short notice.
Switzerland is his ideal location because he has investments there and there are few Brigade Anti-Sardinard elements there. Switzerland is also noted for its security and secrecy and Mr. Biya needs a lot of that to mask his lies.
However, given Mr. Biya’s failing health and age, will he be back in the country for the May 20, 2022 celebrations?
Many analysts hold that it will be a miracle for him to return in time for the May 20 events.
According to a source at the Presidency, many people are scared that he might not return as many of his supporters would wish.
The source, which elected anonymity, said that the president had been in excruciating pain for weeks, adding that he returned to Yaoundé from his native Mvomeka’a on an helicopter because of his failing health and the speed with which a foreign doctor was brought in to stabilize him spoke volumes to the president’s desperation.
“He was in pain and even those pictures at the airport before his trip gave away his desperation. Take a look at some of those pictures and you will see his own desperation on his face. It was like he was scared that he might not return alive,” the source said.
“Over the last few weeks, people at the Unity Palace have been very concerned. The president is more withdrawn and it appears he does not like to see anybody,” the source added.
“It is like he is also losing his mind at a very fast rate. What you saw during the 2021 AfCON final was just the tip of the iceberg. The situation is alarming and many people working at the Unity Palace hold that the end is near,” the source revealed.
“There is not much his entourage can hide. At 90, very few people are always in good health. Trying to deceive the people of Cameroon that Biya is the picture of health at that age is like telling the world that a dead lion can be brought back to life after having been killed by the bullets of a poacher. Biya is gone. His men must come to terms with that,” he underscored.
“Of course, regarding the upcoming celebrations, Cameroonians should be ready for annoying stories. The CPDM and its notorious spin doctors will come up with some irritating stories. The event might be canceled and a message will be read over the radio and TV for us. I am sure the message has already been taped,” he said.
“What should be of concern now to Cameroonians should be what will happen to the country once the bad news comes. Are our institutions solid enough? Will the constitution be respected? I see a lot of infighting taking place and multiple camps are springing up, with all of them thinking that they deserve the presidency after Paul Biya. I am really scared of the post-Biya era in Cameroon,” he concluded.
According to our source, his fear is based on the many issues created by the Biya regime. He pointed to tribalism, nepotism, corruption, youth unemployment, poor health and road infrastructure, as well as the conflict in the two English-speaking regions of the country.
He stressed that it would take a lot of sacrifices and a mindset change for a new Cameroon to be re-engineered, adding that ordinary Cameroonians must accept that they too have to help the new government in its efforts to point the country in the right direction.
Cameroon is in a pretty mess and it will take the patriotism of all Cameroonians to turn things around. The new leaders have to be hardworking and determined if they must make significant changes in the country, he said.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai