Cameroon: Why the panic in Etoudi? 0

Cameroon’s Unity Palace, the palace that hosts the country’s president, is in total confusion. The country’s president, Paul Biya, is having serious issues with his health and this is a huge concern to the president’s collaborators as they are compelled to keep everything under wraps.

Ever since Mr. Biya was repatriated from Switzerland a month ago because of the activities of the Brigade Anti Sardinard (BAS), things have not been well with the man who has presided over the country’s destiny for close to four decades.

His health is a constant concern to his closest collaborators. His failing heart and swollen prostrate are headed in the wrong direction and it is becoming hard for Mr. Biya to seek better health care abroad.

As a result of this unfortunate situation, the Yaoundé dictator on June 20, 2019, dispatched his Secretary-General at the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, to France for him to negotiate with the French on whether the government would provide maximum security and guarantees that he would be protected during his time in France where he is expected to have quality health care.

The Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in Paris has gathered that the French are not very happy with the situation and they understand that Biya is bad business for them. They are not prepared to risk the lives of their police officers and their economy just because of an ineffective dictator whose hallmark is corruption.

They understand that there will be huge demonstrations to be organized by the African Diaspora in France that has developed the bad habit of chasing African dictators from Europe.

Mr. Biya, also known as the “monarch”, is not very happy with the manner in which the Swiss handled his case and this anger is complicating his health situation. He has become a very bitter person and most of his guests have said that he is mad at Switzerland for the humiliation he was subjected to.

In a moment of utter frustration, Mr. Biya burst out, telling a well-wisher that he never expected that the Swiss government would turn against him after all he had done for Switzerland.

He said he had more than USD 700 million in Swiss banks and the Swiss are now making it hard for him to have access to that money.

Even his wife, Chantal Biya, noted for her flaming red hair, is now displaying signs of frustration and stress. Normally friendly and smiley, Mrs. Biya who has come under enormous criticism for her flamboyant lifestyle, has now become erratic and is suffering from mood swings.

Speaking to the Cameroon Concord News Group’s Chairman, Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai, a collaborator of the first lady said that “Rudeness and discourteousness now constitute her new attitude ever since she and her husband were thrown out of Switzerland.” The pressure is on and it is real.

The pressure on Mr. Biya to go is mounting and this has been complicated by the country’s economy that has taken a nosedive. The Southern Cameroons crisis that started as a demonstration has now developed into a full blown war, with more than 5,000 Cameroonians sent to an early grave.

The country’s economy has taken a blow to the liver, as Southern Cameroonian fighters have succeeded to cripple the country’s struggling economy.  Major corporations in Southern Cameroons have all gone under. CDC and PAMOL are out of business because of the political crisis that is tearing the country apart.

SONARA, the country’s lone refinery, for its part, went up in flames and this has robbed the government of a significant source of revenue. The struggling government has since been going all over the world looking for resources to rebuild the bedeviled refinery.

But noted for its corruption and inefficiency, the Biya government is being toasted from pillar to post by investors and donors. Investors and donors do not want to put their money in a black hole.  

Cameroon is noted for defaulting on its debts and has recently been ranked fourth on the list of the most corrupt countries in Africa and this is no good news for the beleaguered government.

As Mr. Biya’s health keeps sliding down the slope, his ministers are taking advantage of the situation to feather their personal nests. In three decades, Mr. Biya and his collaborators have reduced their resource-rich nation to a heavily indebted poor country under stress (HIPCUS).

It will take almost a century for Cameroon to be pulled out of the economic doldrums, that is, when the monarch would have been dead and gone.  

Cameroonians must understand that the end is near. Mr. Biya’s days are numbered. They must understand that theirs will be the kingdom of hard work and sacrifice if they really want to rebuild their country and economy.

Biya has ruined everything and the only thing that is of interest to him now is his own physical survival. He knows he is not eternal and the fear of death has enveloped his mind. When the death of Retired General Tataw James Tabe-Orock was announced to him a few days ago, he burst into tears.

But many observers said he was not really mourning the death of a man he trusted, but was simply scared that his time would be coming sooner rather than later.

By Kingsley Betek in Yaounde