Paul Biya, Cameroon’s 88-Year-Old President, Marks 39 Years in Power

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON — VOA | Supporters of Africa’s second-longest serving leader, Cameroon’s 88-year-old President Paul Biya, are celebrating his 39 years in office November 6. Biya, who has been Cameroon’s president since 1982, is rarely seen in public these days. Meanwhile Biya’s opponents are saying renewed calls for the octogenarian to run for president in 2025 cannot be taken seriously.

Supporters of Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, sang that Biya can still rule the central African state for another seven-year term, starting in 2025.

Biya was declared the winner of the country’s 2018 election garnering over 80% of the votes.

The song was sung in towns and villages across Cameroon during celebrations of Biya’s 39 years in office.

One event was held in Monatele, capital of Lekie, a department near Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Cameroon’s state property, survey and land tenure minister, and Biya’s close ally led the CPDM party delegation to Lekie and delivered what he called a special message for Biya supporters.

Ayissi said the CPDM is appealing for a national consensus for Biya to seek a new term in 2025. He said the Lekie Division is making an appeal to Biya to accept the call to run for president in 2025 and continue the good works he is doing for Cameroon.

Ayissi said Biya has maintained unity despite Boko Haram terrorism on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria and the separatist crisis that has killed at least 3,000 people in the English-speaking western regions.

Ayissi said several million Cameroonian children have access to education because Biya has built schools and universities in many towns and villages of the central African state.

The call for Biya to run for president again when his current seven-year term ends in 2025 was echoed in several towns and villages, sparking criticism from Biya’s opponents.

Christopher Ndong, secretary general of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement — a party that claims its candidate, Maurice Kamto, won the 2018 election and that Biya stole his victory — Ndong says an invitation for Biya to be a candidate in 2025 means the CPDM wants the octogenarian to die in office.

“It is a slap in the face of Cameroonians and democracy in this country. Given his age, what will he do with power? Right now, he is not active. Honestly, this is a provocation of the first order. Look at the chaos all over the place. The country is in debts. In fact, it shows you that there is nobody at the head. That 2025 call should not be taken seriously because we know the state and health of the head of state cannot permit him to rule this country in 2025,” Ndong said.

Ngole Ngole Elvis, head of the CPDM party academy and Biya’s close aide, says calls for Biya to run are democratic. He says instead of complaining that Biya has been in power for long, the opposition should prepare to democratically vote for who they think should be their president in 2025.

“Wait for the next election and make sure that you prepare for it in such a way that with your freedom, you should have put in place the right campaign strategies, the right campaign messages, the right manifestos, the right candidates,” Elvis said.

Biya served as prime minister for seven years before becoming president. In 2008, he removed term limits from the constitution, allowing him to serve indefinitely.

He is now the second-longest serving leader in sub-Saharan Africa after his neighbor, Thedoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, who has been in power since 1979.

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14 comments

  1. This kind of manipulation is crafted to divert us from discussing pressing issues concerning our IMMIDIATE and long term interest.for example the author of this article did not say that experience has proved in the last five hundred years that no people producing raw materials exclusively for export can industrialisé.real economic growth is only possible through manufacturing. It is the manufacturing industry that creates growth through skilled high paying jobs that improve living standards.a shoes manufacturing company pays designers ten times the wages of an agriculture worker harvesting cocoa and coffee for export.the IMF structural adjustment program was crafted to stop us from moving to manufacturing economies.no matter who is president, if the economy remains the same, forget.

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  2. democracy is a well thought strategy to hold us down. If democracy was good, why did Britain and France not apply it when they were occupying Africa and Asia? Did they give us the possibility to vote like they are forcing in our throat today? If not why? by the way each people has its civilization logic. It’s own values, costoms, traditions, etc. It is from here that an administrative system is crafted in line with thier cultural evolution. The long term planning approach so rooted in our traditions is in contradiction with aryan short-termism of votes every five years. In such a situation there is no possibility to craft and implement an industrialization project spanning at least fifty years devided in four years.

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    • @BAH:- CPDM agent nr 1..
      the best eater of bread , sardine and wine drinker is looking for ways to defend the despot?
      you are not an honest man at all..
      I will expect you to comment on the 39 years of your father and not write your normalbla bla bla after eating and dining with the non creative killers in Yaounde…

      @BAH: you should know the following:
      Leaders of the world and of any country particular plays most important role to achieve genuine happiness of its people. Good and capable leader leads its people and country to a peace and prosperity, while the cruel and incapable leader bring people to the world of sufferings and ultimately ruin country- like Paul BIYA….

      With your screwed CPDM brain, I know you will say the opposite.

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      • BIKO,,,,that is not a calm carefully thought response,but an emotional reaction.if not why are aryans forcing us to follow them blindly?dont we have a civilization and values system?

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        • The cruel reality for us is that no matter who Is in power under the current structure nothing will change because we are waiting for a savoir leader that will never come.in oder to have a patriotic leader capable of imposing a top down system of industrialization.a country must win militarily confrontation with predators and Mark thier territory. Once this does not happen the only solution is using the bottom up approach of first concentrating on economic transformation starting with useful agriculture, mechanized then industry and modernization.it demands huge human SACREFISE in terms of time invested in working to kick start real growth from where revenue will be generated to build infrastructure, investing in technical and scientific training without which sustained growth is impossibl

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  3. 1,000,000,000,000 +++ MORE YEARS TO THE DESPOT OF LRC!! In death we all reach neutrality – no titles, diplomas, wealth, no breathe. You only leave on earth a legacy by which you are measured and judged. What will be said of you?

  4. This Old man is Evil..
    This man is the beginning of troubles in Cameroon..
    This man as head of state is the laziest president in the continent..
    This man came in to continue the colonial system imposed to Cameroon by France..
    What have we noticed after 39 years of this lazy man:
    – tribalism
    – War
    -Division
    -Suffering of the people..
    – No accountability..
    – marginalization of southern cameroonians..
    – Lack of ambition and vision. …
    – has but a know-it-all attitude.
    He thought Francophones to eat bread , sardine, drink beer and sleep and the rest will come from france..He made cameroonians feel like they cant do anything, the white man is our solution and BIYA is the state..
    Proud to be a southern cameroonians and proud to say we the people of southern cameroons are up-RIGHT people .

    • I gave you a thumb up but I do not support your Ambazonic movement. I was born in Cameroon but am no longer a citizen of Cameroon. The truth is that Biya has marginalized many parts of Cameroon. It is not just the South West or/and North West Cameroon. Ahidjo did the same thing. When I was a student at the Lycee Technique de Douala, Littoral Province, we had classmates from Northern Cameroon who were enrolled without passing or even taking the entrance examination. They had a special status. Furthermore, all had full scholarship from the government — taxpayers’ money. I traveled to Cameroon early this year for a funeral and was heartbroken when I drove by my old old. It was more attractive 35, 40 years ago than it is today. Douala has no roads! Please stop fooling the world!

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      • The man Biya, is a mess. 39 years, and the roads, hospitals, schools etc are
        a disgrace. Youths, are leaving the country in droves.
        Even if he bought the country from someone or he took it on pledge, it can
        not be like this. And to add insult to injury, there is a war and a call for
        separation. Now, he even thinks his son should take over. A sign of madness.

      • Maxime, agreed.
        The infrastructure situation in Cameroon generally is beyond human description. However, living under second class citizenship your entire life is intolerable!
        That’s the simple and straight forward truth.

  5. **** PROMINENT LEGACIES OF DICTATOR BIYA’S ****

    1. He destroyed the VIVRE-ENSEMBLE beyond repairs
    2. He transformed a rich country into a HIGHLY INDEBTED POOR COUNTRY (HIPC )

    CONCLUSION

    Dictator Biya is a CURSE rather than a BLESSING to his people and country.
    History will judge the BULU Dictator extremely harsely.

    • Do you think Mr. Biya meets the presidential office by:
      * amending the constitution at his pleasure ,
      * single-hahdedly changing the name of the country,
      * distorting the history of the country,
      * massacring more than 150 young Cameroonians in 2008 during the so-called hunger riots ,
      * deciding everything without answering anything ,
      * refusing to declare his assets and those of his family under the Constitution he himself promulgated
      * by checking 4 billion fCFA to sects out of public funds, while its people have no drinking water , no electricity , no housing, essential drugs , etc. . ,
      * conducting selective arrests in connection with the so-called operation Sparrowhawk ,
      * chairing the Ministerial Council by one year ,

    • * throwing in the Moroccan and Algerian desert thousands of young Cameroonians fleeing poverty and wanting to reach Europe ,
      * by militarizing the regime,
      * not attending most international summits ,
      * staying seven months of 12 at the Intercontinental Geneva with a bloated suite and at taxpayer expense ,
      * leaving n ‘ anyone steal people ( Customs inspectors , tax , treasury, police, gendarmerie, procurement managers , etc.). ,
      * rigging elections in caporalisant media ,
      * using public resources and staff to beat his campaign ?
      This will stop and Biya’s regime carries within it the seeds of its own destruction.

  6. 45 years of tyrant dictatorship with no legacy apart from a genocide war, brutality, jungle laws, bribery, corruption, embezzellement. The french cameroonian puppet’s dictator’s country after over 45 years as a politician is a living dirty, deprived shilthole. A typical example of unpatriotism,where citizens have no basic human necessities.Shame the French did not stay on,as their colonial masters to develop East Cameroon to a little bit civilised to their standards and the British did not stay in East Cameroon to develop it aswell because if you compare what the British developed,left behind 60years ago, it is all erased by french cameroon assimilation,decimation,what good British developed has is completely buried into cave age militarised barracks to oppress indigenous English people.