Recurrent power cuts at the Yaounde conference centre on Monday February 13 ruffled personalities invited to an event by some Cameroonian youths to celebrate President Biya’s 84th birthday. Despite the blackouts, state media, the CRTV showed footages of the over 1,000 young people—mostly students from Universities and Higher Institutions of Learning and members of the Cameroon National Youth Council singing birthday songs as they celebrated the aging president.
Through different representatives, the youths praised the Head of State‘s drive of ensuring Cameroon becomes an emerging nation by the year 2035. “Celebrating the Head of State’s birthday is one of the many ways in which the youths today signify their attachment to national symbols and national institutions,” the National President of the Cameroon National Youth Council, Jean Marc Afesi Mbafor said.
Some of the celebrants were dressed in CPDM party fabric and waving flags at the ceremony that witnessed repeated power cuts. President Paul Biya was represented at the anniversary ceremony by the Minister, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh.
“His Excellency President Paul Biya has asked me to reiterate his message to you on the occasion of the National Youth Day. In that message he reminded you that each of you is a star for you are the ones who light up Cameroon,” the president’s representative told the youths.
Besides the president’s personal representative, about a dozen government ministers also took part in the event. President Biya who was born February 13, 1933 in Mvomeka’a, South Region of the country has always his birthday at the Unity Palace with the presidential family and a hand full of invited guests. His 84th birthday comes amid crisis rocking the English speaking regions of the country with calls for federation and even secession by some activists.