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Cameroon’s Biya Turns 86; Critics Say It’s Time for Change

YAOUNDE VOA | Cameroon’s President Paul Biya Wednesday celebrated his 86th birthday with supporters organizing lavish parties and opponents calling on him to resign.

Biya is the oldest president in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the longest-serving, but critics say his long rule has put the country in a bad position.

Supporters of Biya wished him a happy birthday Wednesday at a party attended by thousands in the capital, Yaounde.

Fadimatou Iyawa Ousmanou, president of Cameroon’s National Youth Council, said they bussed in Biya’s young supporters from all over the country to show respect and gratitude.

“You can see more than two thousand and five hundred Cameroonian young people that came to celebrate that birthday, and we came here to tell the head of state we are willing to work with him. We are encouraging him for what he is doing for the Cameroonian young people and also to promote our patriotic and civil behavior so that we can help in the building of a peaceful Cameroon,” Ousmanou said.

While supporters wished Biya divine guidance and a long life, he did not attend the celebration at the Yaounde Conference Center. He organized a private, and reportedly lavish, party at his home village of Mvomeka in southern Cameroon.

While Biya’s supporters celebrated, the opposition Renaissance Movement Party held a protest march in Yaounde calling on Biya to resign and for their leader, Maurice Kamto, to be freed.

Kamto, who claims Biya stole the October 7 presidential election, is under arrest and facing charges including rebellion for protesting the election results.

Thirsty for change

Kamto supporter Clement Metuge said he has known only one leader – Biya – since he was born. He condemned the large birthday celebrations for the president.

“We have constraints economically in Cameroon to deal with Boko Haram, our resources are not even enough for us to manage. All of us are sensitive about the fact that it is not just about his willingness to be in power, it is also about the performance, his age and everything. There is need for change and Cameroonians are thirsty for that change,” Metuge said.

In 2008, Biya revised the constitution to remove presidential term limits. Critics called the move authoritarian and have long accused his government of rigging elections — allegations that officials deny.

University of Yaounde political analyst Christophe Tiennteu said Biya has ruled with an iron fist for too long. Cameroon, he said, is plunging into an indescribable chaos with incoherent governance and democratic practice. Faced with these challenges, he said, and while craving for change and an end to domination by one man, people are distancing themselves from moves by Biya and his followers that go against Cameroon’s interests.

If something were to happen to the 86-year-old president, said Tiennteu, Cameroon could face a very difficult transition.

While the constitution stipulates new elections if the office of president becomes vacant, Biya is not known to have prepared a successor.

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6 comments

  1. this is a tactical approach to divert us from the main issue which is that we are still struggling with a system crafted by aryans 500 years ago to make us slaves definitively.the truth is that most leaders in the world not africa do not have the financial and economic leverage to confront such a system that does not hesitate to exterminate those who oppose it.right now in venezuela america is trying to overthrow the rightful leader to impose guaido and use him to privatise the countries oild sector.transforming it to a land of no hope like it was befor hugo came to power.what does change have to do with this?
    democracy was a strategy calculated to hold and push us into submission.no prosperity is possible in a system thaught by inslavers like aryan christians.

  2. SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

    GOD DOES NOT LOVE LRC

    PROOF

    God has, by design or omission “forgotten” to send Dictator Biya to the hottest place in hell.
    Etoudi Marie Antoinette ( EMA ) has therefore seized this golden opportunity to position herself as a potential successor to her diaper-wearing 86-year-old husband.
    EMA is at present the de facto president of LRC. Her Nanga Eboko relations occupy strategic posts in the country and are considered as untouchable.

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      If history is any guide, the palace of Dictator Biya in Mvomeka will end up like those of Dictator Mobutu and Dictator Bokassa.

      The haunting images of the crumbling palaces where Mobutu and Bokassa once lived like emperors should serve as a wake up call to Dictator Biya.

      Like Biya, Mobutu and Bokassa also celebrated their birthdays with pomp and pageantry in their respective palaces.
      If history is ánything to go by, the political obituary of Biya will also be similar to that of Mobutu and Bokassa. The telling signs are clear that politically things are falling apart around Biya who has become a liability to the country.
      The extravagant Mvomeka palace of Biya will one day also be abandoned and will crumble into the ground like those of Mobutu and Bokassa.

      ALL IS VANITY.

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      Jeune Afrique has also confirmed that Etoudi Marie Antoinette (EMA) is at present the de facto president of LRC.

      “Jeune Afrique présente Chantal Biya comme «Madame la présidente».

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      “….elle est devenue un véritable pôle de pouvoir dont l’influence est incontestablement croissant. Il y a deux postes importants à la présidence de la République. Il y a le Directeur du cabinet civil et il y a le Secrétaire général de la présidence de la République.
      Samuel Mvongo Ayolo, est un proche de la première dame. L’autre poste, Secrétaire général de la présidence, pratiquement celui de vice-président au Cameroun, est occupé par Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh. La CAN 2019, ça été un échec incontestablement, mais Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, tout comme le ministre des sports, Bidoung Kpwatt, qui est également un proche de la première dame, s’en sont très bien sortis au dernier remaniement ministériel. Ils n’ont pas été sanctionnés. Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh a même été élevé au rang de ministre d’Etat »

  3. The Western media did not allow President Mugabe to rest for being the oldest President. Those same media are silent as concerns dictator Paul Biya. What is wrong? Double standard!!

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