Experts have often repeated that psychopaths are chameleons who rarely stand out in a crowd. This attribute makes them inconspicuous and, therefore, difficult to identify and capture. A relaxed, charming, and unemotional demeanour, combined with a keen intellect, make the psychopath a very effective predator. Such is the case of Cameroon, wherein a rare interview conducted over a decade ago by the country’s President, Paul Biya, has surfaced. In the video attached to this write up, the charismatic 88-year-old despot labels his people as mature. Why did Mr Biya choose those words to describe his people?
Paul Biya is the oldest head of state in Africa. He came to power peacefully in 1982 after former President, Ahidjo chose him as his successor. Biya was educated in France and portrayed himself as a public servant upon returning to his country. He cycled to work even after he was appointed prime minister in 1975.After presenting himself as a gentleman and hard-worker, in 1979, a law was passed in Cameroon assigning the prime minister as the President’s constitutional successor. Many historians have labeled this as a significant move from Biya towards the country’s top job.
Ahidjo’s decision to resign from the presidency in 1982 meant Biya became President at forty-nine. Biya has, however, amended his country’s constitution designating the President of the Senate as his successor. As it stands, that position is currently occupied by Niat Njifenji- a long-time collaborator. Niat Njifenji is 87, incontinent and senile. This begs the question: Why would an 88-year-old president designate an 87-year-old as his successor? Does this point to Biya being a cold, calculating, mindless, devious, and self-serving psychopath?
The answer is simple. Biya is supreme evidence that children can be wholly dissimilar to their parents. Biya’s father was a Roman Catholic Catechist and wanted him to follow in his footsteps, but the young seminarian was dismissed from a Catholic school at sixteen. Had background checks been done when he joined the civil service in the 60s, his true character may have been revealed, and millions of lives might have been saved. Many in his country say he has represented the worst of humanity with his brutal and oppressive rule. Biya’s consolidation of power before and after the failed coup in 1984 was ferocious and definite. He eliminated without remorse over a thousand members of Cameroon elite force accused of plotting to oust him.
The butcher of Yaoundé was forced to implement multiparty politics in the 1990s. Correspondingly, he has reportedly won all counterfeit elections organized by his ruling party and he has amended the country’s constitution on many occasions to extend his failed political experience.
In “Tyrants, the World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators”, the author states, “Every few years, Biya stages an election to justify his continuing reign, but these elections have no credibility. In fact, Biya is credited with a creative innovation in the world of phoney elections”.
Many political commentators believe that Biya has taken full advantage of the docile nature of Cameroonians. Like thousands of psychopaths before him, he has been effective at killing his prey slowly. Thanks to first-rate tribalism and ruthless henchmen, he has been methodical in ruining a nation rich in human and natural resources.
There is no single noteworthy achievement attributed to Mr. Paul Biya, except one considers the production of millions of alcoholics an achievement. Under Biya, Cameroon has excelled as a nation of drinkers and alcohol abusers. According to experts, the number of people suffering from depression in the country is in the tens of millions. He has dashed the hopes and aspirations of his people and plans to be a candidate at the country’s next presidential election when he is ninety-two. Thousands have died because of his misrule and criminality and it is a sad indictment that generations unborn will pay for his actions and inactions.
In the last forty years, the standard of education in Cameroon has fallen woefully. Education was never his thing, and the evidence is in his family unit, where none of his children has managed to earn a university degree. His acute laziness and lack of vision have been significant obstacles to the country’s economic growth and political maturity. Moreover, he is a totalitarian who does not believe in the delegation of responsibility except the tasks of executing political adversaries and rigging elections.
Amongst Cameroonian academics and political scientists in the diaspora, the debate is rich and intense whether he has managed to cause as much harm as Hitler. Separated by time, tactics, and place, many believe that Biya has caused as much damage and premature death as the psychopath who ruled Germany from 1933-1945. While Hitler’s damage was done in 12 years and numbered 6 million human bodies, like slow poison, Paul Biya’s damage has spanned four decades, three generations, and the actual human toll is impossible to compute. But the significant damage is there.
Paul Biya, a charming psychopath, has led a criminal enterprise that has mismanaged his country for nearly forty years. Whether he likes it or not, he will be exiting the stage soon. He inherited a vibrant country with economic promise but will leave multiple war zones, mountains of public debt, dilapidated public infrastructure, battered educational system, a country with more beer-parlours than people and libraries combined. Due to hard work, Biya has transformed Cameroon into an open prison. His pathetic record points in one direction: He is a coldblooded Psychopath or better still, a monstrous liability of a president and a political disaster.
London Bureau Chief,
Cameroon Concord News Group