Inside the Presidency:  Biya’s fragmented family and the fall and fall of Brenda 0

It was supposed to be a very good week for Cameroon’s first family as the 88-year-old President Paul Biya celebrated his 39 years in office on November 6. Biya, who has been Cameroon’s president since 1982, is rarely seen in public these days. However, it has turned out to be a terrible week for the Cameroonian president. Brenda Biya, the first daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Biya is at war with her parents, presidential aides and has reportedly disowned her parents in a video she posted on social media.

By some strange happenstance, both the Biya family and the communications department at the presidency of the republic are not denying any of the details made public by Brenda Biya and they are also not saying whether the president and Brenda’s mum Chantal Biya are now directly threatened.

The president’s daughter has in the past made disturbing revelations about her parents but this time around she invoked some nasty aspects of her upbringing by parents who are only interested in political power and how to enhance their political image and concluded her story with the crisis in Southern Cameroons blaming all the atrocities on her dad.

Ordinarily, this was supposed to be a family affair but it is now connected to president Biya under whom the ruling CPDM crime syndicate keeping him in power is also in disarray. In her recent outing, Brenda Biya presented herself to the public as a young Cameroonian woman more sinned against than sinning. But her involvement in drugs and alcohol has now escaped the boundaries of personal or family affair to the public domain.

There is no way the Brenda Biya factor would not be used as evidence against President Biya as someone who has always had problems managing every other spaces of leadership. Frankly speaking, the Brenda Biya tragedy demonstrates how Biya’s leadership is leading to the breaking-up of the country. The party level is worse and Biya is the chairman. Today, they tell you the ruling party wants his eldest son Franck Biya to succeed the father and by morning of the following day, they same party tells you the CPDM is appealing for a national consensus for Biya to seek a new term in 2025.

The Francophone Beti Ewondo patriarch is now contending with disarray at both the domestic and international fronts. We of the Cameroon Concord News Group feel sorry for Mr. Paul Biya and we are aware that even the most sympathetic Biya followers know that this is no ordinary crisis.

It is shocking and difficult to understand how all these might be happening to the president’s daughter until she is now being moved to a psychiatric home and the president is totally unable to address the situation.

Very early in the life of the Biya regime, the late First Lady Jeanne Irene Biya made pronouncements that struck the chord with the Cameroonian people. The idea of her husband hijacked by a vicious cabal has since become the staple of the public sphere in Cameroon. Ever since her untimely death, nothing has been done to demonstrate anything to the contrary. The Biya family is crumbling at catastrophic rapidity at a time of grave, generalized insecurity across the Cameroonian nation.

For a leader who spends all his time abroad precisely at the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva to end up like this, is indeed shameful, disgusting and disgraceful. This begs the question:  what is that other thing that takes the little time President Biya has left for governance that disable him from keeping these sorts of creases from spilling over beyond his control to the public square?

To answer this question, you must first of all get an understanding of the mindset of the man on top. Biya enjoys conflict particularly those escalating to the proportion they do under him.

However, mindful of the fact that president Biya has nearly unlimited resources for managing fissures at whatever level, this whole Brenda Biya saga paints a picture of a man who has led himself down. Maybe he thinks history is too distant for him to worry about.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai