Yaoundé tense as post Biya succession void looms
With the Southern Cameroons crisis showing no signs of ending, the burning question now for many Cameroon political commentators is: Who will succeed Biya? Biya, 87, has ruled the oil-exporting nation for 38 years, making him among Africa’s longest rulers.
There are a lot of under-the-table talks about the issue of succession in Yaoundé. This is another major threat to stability in the already divided nation.
Stability in the two Cameroons matters to the wider region. Its $22 billion-a-year economy is by far the largest in CEMAC region. Reuters reported that aside from Cameroon’s oil sector, the country hosts miners such as Canada-listed Geovic GMC.TO and Australia’s Sundance Resources (SDL.AX) and the port in Douala is vital to traffic in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.
Over the years, Biya has achieved “stability” while astutely outmaneuvering opposition both within his ruling CPDM crime syndicate and outside it. With Mr.Paul Biya all-powerful, there is no clear successor or plan to manage a post-Biya era.
Consequently, several close relatives of President Biya are vying for the leadership of the ruling CPDM crime syndicate and some of the party barons have already been silenced, Cameroon Intelligence Report has gathered from a reliable source in Yaoundé.
The war raging within the Francophone dominated political structure is to succeed the 87 year old President Paul Biya as head of state.
We understand that some of the Biya acolytes have been very careful not to display their ambitions for fear of suffering a similar fate like the former Secretary General at the Presidency Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara and the former Finance Minister Polycarp Abah Abah. Out of the woods before the 2011 presidential election, both men were immediately targeted by the anti-corruption Operation Sparrow hawk.
Among the contenders to take over from Mr. Paul Biya is the current Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze who is a Bulu from Dja-et-Lobo Division. To be accurate, Motaze is from President Paul Biya’s home constituency and he is also a nephew to late Jeanne-Irène Biya, Cameroon’s former First Lady. Minister Louis Paul Motaze presently moonlights as the CPDM’s regional coordinator for the South Region.
Motaze is being challenged by Justice Minister Laurent Esso, the all-powerful Sawa political boss from the Littoral fiefdom and also by the current Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh.
The political heat generated by the infighting within the ruling CPDM party is making the job of the Secretary General of the CPDM Central Committee Jean Nkuété very difficult. Jean Nkuété is President Paul Biya’s long-time friend and the Beti Ewondo gang considers him a lesser evil in the struggle for power.
By Isong Asu