Background of Ruin XVI:The Brouhaha of the Ahidjo – Biya Change, 32 Years After
November 4, 1982–November 4, 2014, marks exactly 32 years since El Hadj Ahmadou Ahidjo resigned and passed on the command baton to his constitutional heir, President Paul Biya Bi Mvondo, whose leadership for the past 32 years has left us with nothing to be proud of in this country.
Since Ahidjo passed on the destiny of this country, we have been enduring the unendurable. The denial of opportunity shows itself in many ways: too many unemployed youths are still looking for the fulfillment of past promises; very little work is being done to clear up the excessive bad roads; people still live in caves here and there; many go without food; meat and dairy products are rarely tasted; Government hospitals offer us very little help. Indeed, a vast number of men are beaten by life and forced to face only diminishing opportunities.
In spite of the oppression, neglect and servitude inflicted on us, first, by Ahidjo, and now Biya, Biya’s men will not let us control our destinies.
Biya took over from Ahidjo promising us better days in this land of promise, but promises made a long time ago have not come into being; the New Deal is still in potency, deprived of any specified dimension. For 50 years, we have been experiencing an undemocratic verdict, especially in this time of Paul Biya. Allegations of rigged elections are common and there has also been a constant betrayal of popular aspirations. Every time, the ruling men contradict themselves at every sound democracy and with clocklike regularity, the ruling gentry have expanded dictatorship.
Ahidjo was deluded in shortlisting Biya for President as he hoped that he would ably assist this country to walk through a road that is slippery. The signs of the moment present Biya’s Government as a corrupt entity, consisting of fraudulent public servants who, like their mentor, are guilty of administrative laxity and chaos. If Biya has achieved anything at all, it cannot be seen as a substantial accomplishment. He has achieved an eminent personality beyond the wildest dreams of a god and in his days, servility, sycophancy and exploitation have been seemingly approved.
Just like Biya and Ahidjo began like good friends and ended up as enemies, Cameroonians, like dogs hating a cat, developed phobia for their leader a few years after his ascendency was confirmed as he betrayed his own compatriots and set up a colonial style relationship between French and English-speaking Cameroonians.
Wherever Ahidjo is today, he should know that his successor and one time friend, Biya, has continued watering the seeds of inner conflict that he, Ahidjo, planted earlier in 1961. He has denied Cameroonians their full role in the decision making process and the people continue to suffocate under the yoke of economic gaps and Biya’s absurd travesty of the truth. Much has been said about the need to build and work for a Cameroonian future - but we build sadly with men who have refused to link our country’s past with the present and look strongly on a future of authenticity.
Biya took us into the valley of recession and has, so far, plunged the whole system into limbo and again, we have hitherto been unable to walk the high roads of recovery and growth.
As I wish Paul Biya well at this time when he celebrates 32 years of a governance willed by God for very good reasons, it is worthwhile to end this epistemological write-up with a reminder to President Biya, that; in a family, when only one member eats all the food and the other children go with empty stomachs, they are justified for demanding their share, at a time when it has become clear that within the leading circle of our country, there are many who are thus in it but not of it, who are there, not to serve it, but to prey upon it, to use and grab its rights into opportunities of wrong.
By Solomon LyongaIkundi