Chantal Biya at the Vatican: Any message for our violated women? 1

Without Paul Biya in her life, Chantal Biya like many ordinary women in the society would have been an adorable person in her own right.  Her background is an attribute of resilience, admirable courage, and commendable ability to make the best out of an ordinary citizen’s daily lifestyle.  That is the lifestyle which a majority of ordinary men and women live and survive with joy and satisfaction.

She knows the toil and tribulations of a hard life and the exceedingly harsh reality of the sacrifices endured by poor parents, some of them single mothers, in raising their children with hope and faith in God as their most valued treasure. She knows that the poor in our societies are held together by the value systems that place humans and humans alone at the center of society’s preoccupation. Indeed she is aware that among these values are the deep commitment of society, at large, in particular, the poor and down trodden to protect the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life.

She knows that the greatest miracle of human life in our poor societies is the ability of poor parents to toil and sacrifice their lives to provide their children with the education and better lives they did not have. She knows that this miracle includes the fact that many times poor people’s kids compete in their educational pursuits with the children of the rich and powerful and prevail.

Ordinarily, she will be doing grave injustice to herself, were she to forget this world from which she rose to become a Presidential wife.  Has she, has she not? The answer may perforce not be discerned from the plethora of opportunistic sycophants and hypocritical stooges who have elevated praising her and her husband Paul Biya to a life sustaining credo. To this category of nitwits Chantal and Paul Biya are the very oxygen of their lives. But wait a minutes!  Has a woman from very humble but admirable beginnings become the goddess she is often portrayed by these demented jesters?

From when she became the wife of President Paul Biya, Chantal Biya took upon herself another life; a life of opulence, avarice, power and political philanthropy. She transformed Jeanne Irene Biya Foundation to Chantal Biya Foundation and thus an Alibaba empire of graft and sesame to unbridled wealth was established by her and for her glory. It may not matter that she her last paying job was when she was a priceless ordinary hardworking young lady in search of a livelihood under stultifying circumstances. That was when hard earned income elevated the spirit and blessed the dignity of visionary hard working children of ordinary mortals like you and me. That was when human values, the sanctity and dignity of the human person kept her closer to spiritual values of collective pain and joy that hold our societies together and gives societal cohesion its relevance.

But since fate and destiny brought Chantal Biya to the centre of power, she seems to be comfortable not just with the trappings of power but with the web of criminality that sustains absolute power by hook or by crook.  Until the genocide and crimes against humanity against the Southern Cameroons in which rape as a weapon of systemic criminality has been unleashed on Southern Cameroons girls and women were escalated by Paul Biya, it was hard to conclusively state the position Chantal holds within the crime syndicate  overseeing these and other crimes.

It can now be conclusively stated without any fear of contradiction, that Chantal Biya not only condones these crimes, she encourages them. As a woman and mother she has not raised her voice to condemn the systemic widespread rapes of girls in the University of Buea and parts of the Southern Cameroons.  It is unknown if in her youth she was ever a victim of rape, but she surely knows from her humble background, the pain, humiliation, shame and enduring violated spirit of rape victims. She knows for sure that the use of rape as a weapon of war, crimes against humanity and genocide which her husband is practicing against Southern Cameroons women is a violation of the very essence and substance of humanity. So therefore, how does she feel living with man who is perpetrating these crimes against not just the victims but all women worldwide?

On the supposed International Women’s day celebration, she sat in one of her many moments of glory surrounded by other spiritually and morally depraved women and sycophants. It never crossed her mind that on that occasion and on that very day, millions of women in the Southern Cameroons were at home protesting the systemic rapes and indignities that her husband had ordered. As she sat there with her own daughter basking in the glory of absolute power and prurient arrogance, it did not occur to her that the conditions she left to become the public face of a crime syndicate could well come back to confront her.

The visit of Paul Biya and Chantal Biya to the Vatican was a rare moment when she seemed to take her life into her own hands and presented an image of a frail human being; at least for one.  Although expiation and the salvific predisposition of each person is individual and belongs to that person and his or her God, it was discernible that Chantal Biya’s conduct and actions on meeting the Pope gave an insightful view of some one suffering from spiritual imprisonment requiring deliverance. In this regard, she seemed a victim as much as a participant in crimes of the unfolding genocide and other crimes targeting Southern Cameroonians; in particular Southern Cameroonian girls.

Considering this observation to be true, it is unclear if she took advantage of her presence and prayerful moment during and after her visit in the Vatican to take a strong stand against the crimes perpetrated by her husband in the Southern Cameroons. It must be brought home to her that violating the humanity of a single woman is a violation of the very temple of human existence. She must condemn it and cause her husband Paul Biya to reverse the cause of criminality in the Southern Cameroons in which he is committed. Not doing so, will consign the theatrics of her Vatican visit to the pantheons of Nollywood movie industry where it should belong.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai in Rome