French Cameroun dictator, who also moonlights as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, will not be present at today’s ceremony of the 38th class of officer cadets of the Joint Military School (Emia), codenamed “Peace and Unity”.
With age telling on him and pressure mounting including an undisclosed illness, the absence of Biya in today’s historic occasion is only due to “health reasons”, Cameroon Intelligence Report has gathered from a well placed source in the Etoudi Palace.
For the first time ever since he took office in 1982, President Biya will not preside over the ceremony of an Emia graduation.
The Defense Ministry says Biya’s absence is due to Covid-19 restrictions but people in the know are saying that there is more to it than the coronavirus.
Biya has authorized Joseph Beti Assomo, the Minister of State- Delegate at the presidency in charge of Defense to represent him at the ceremony.
As a reminder, the 38th class is made up of officer cadets from six countries, Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea (Conakry) and the Central African Republic.
Biya’s absence is causing a lot of under-the-table talk with many of his supporters now saying that the 88-year-old French Cameroonian head of state is exhausted after more than 38 years in power.
By Rita Akana in Yaounde