Cabinet Reshuffle: The Rise and Rise of Chantal Biya 0

Ever since the formation of the last two governments, (March 02, 2017 and January 4, 2019), Cameroonian public opinion including that of the independent press have attributed a vast majority of those appointed to first lady Chantal Biya.

Some senior editorialists have even observed that Chantal Biya named the Philemon Yang and now Dion Ngute governments which have several relatives of the Cameroonian lady holding key positions in the cabinet and heading lucrative state-owned companies. These Chantal Biya family members are very influential and feared by other members serving in the Biya regime.

Many in Yaounde, the nation’s capital have opined that Chantal Biya is slowly but surely positioning her kinsmen and women in leading position in the administration. Among them, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister Secretary-General of the presidency of the republic, the most powerful member of the Chantal Biya galaxy who was made minister of state on the 4th of January.

There is also Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt Minister of Sports, (his wife Habissou Bidoung Mkpatt is in the circle of the closest to the first lady) and Oswald Baboke, (originally from the East and not Nanga-Eboko as the wife of the Cameroonian president). Oswald Baboke is the deputy director of the civil cabinet, responsible for the private affairs of the first lady. Baboke is currently one of Cameroon’s most influential leaders.

Cat calls greeted the Dion Ngute government and subsequently generated some controversies over the weekend when a large number of Cameroon government ministers appointed on the 4th of January 2019 traveled to Nanga-Eboko, Chantal Biya’s hometown and stronghold of Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh for a meeting of thanks to the head of state for appointing them into the government.

By Sama Ernest with files