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Political Dinosaur Biya Refutes Electoral Cheating 

 Says His Elections Are Sovereign Decisions Of Cameroonians

 Eyes Another Mandate In 2018

By Isidore Abah

Cameroon’s Head of State, Paul Biya, today, stands tall in the global political auditorium, not only as one of the longest-serving African Presidents, but has been referred to by political observers as a political dinosaur in the world.

Despite what many a Biya supporter has described as his political ingenuity for almost three and the half decades as President, the political colossus’ 33 years’ presidential and administrative balance sheet came under media vetting on July 3, during a joint press conference he and his guest, French President, Franҫois Hollande, granted at the Unity Palace in Yaounde.

Hollande was on a State visit to Cameroon on the invitation of his Cameroonian peer.
Accompanying the French President to Cameroon were his close Ministers, Members of Parliament, 25 business magnates and a barrage of foreign reporters.

Local reporters, especially those of the private media organs who covered the Presidential visit, seized the opportunity to ask some daring questions to Biya, who has, hitherto, snubbed interviews from local private media organs.

Against the barrage of verbal missiles, Biya and his French counterpart Hollande were rather terse in their responses.
Responding to a question on his almost lifetime Presidency in Cameroon, Biya said he was not using any autocratic or unorthodox means to win Presidential elections in Cameroon, rather, he said, his victories at elections are the sovereign decisions of Cameroonians to have him as President.

On whether he will be vying for the 2018 Presidential Election, given that he is one of the longest serving Presidents on earth, Biya said he was still enjoying the last mandate given to him by Cameroonians, adding that the 2018 Presidential polls are certain, but still far off. According to Biya, he will have to reflect on the 2018 election, whether to put in his candidature or not.

To the 82-year-old, election is not for people who think they can do, but for those who do it.

On why there are too many political prisoners in Cameroon, Biya said he only acts when the Constitution permits him to do so. According to the octogenarian, the Judicial System in Cameroon is independent and void of any interference.

To Biya, those languishing in jail have been fairly tried by a competent court and found wanting for mismanagement of public funds.
“That is why we have made the fight against corruption our priority,” he boasted.

The Head of State thanked France for the cordial and fruitful bilateral corporation that exists between Yaounde and Paris and lauded the support of France in the war against Boko Haram.
On his part, French President, Francois Hollande, said he was more determined more than ever before to organise a new summit for nations that are fighting to contain the Islamic insurgency.

“Nigeria and Cameroon need to have the best relations … to work together. This corresponds well with the spirit we had at our last summit in Paris to take important decisions about Boko Haram, whose threat is getting stronger,” Hollande said.

“I am ready to gather anew, as soon as the Presidents give me a date, this conference so that we can better act together,” he added.
It would be recalled that the barbaric activities of Boko Haram in border towns with Nigeria forced Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad to create a regional group of nations to stem the activities of the miscreants.

Hollande’s visit to Cameroon comes barely three months after the French Foreign Minister; Laurent Fabius, visited Cameroon in an attempt to quell anti-French sentiments in Cameroon.

Fabius arrived Yaounde on February 21, after media reports had gone viral that France was sponsoring Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon.
During one of the question and answer sessions at the National Assembly, the MP for Cameroon Renaisance Movement, Lazare Soub, openly accused France of stirring insecurity in order to destabilise the Biya regime.

Soub’s claim was buttressed by the fact that Boko Haram terrorists were always caught with French-made arms and ammunitions.
In the midst of these disparaging comments about the French, the Franco-phobia in Cameroon surged.

In one of the public rallies in Yaounde, organised against Boko Haram, some irate Cameroonian youths booed at the French Ambassador to Cameroon, HE Christine Robichion.

Fabius had stated during his visit: “I was surprised when the Ambassador told me that some people here are saying France is not against Boko Haram. If there is one country that is against Boko Haram, it is France.”

The Franco-phobia was not only felt by French Diplomats accredited to Yaounde, the close to 200 French companies and 100 subsidiaries were not spared.

During the anti-French sentiments, it appeared as if there was a deliberate boycott of French goods. The new found economic romance between Cameroon and China was not helping matters, as intransigent consumers of French products switched over to Chinese products.

The French saw their almost a century economic dominance in Cameroon in tartars and there was need to revive it before they are finally chased out of what appeared to be their conquered economic fief.

It was within this backdrop that Hollande decided to ditch his rather scornful attitude towards the Biya regime and head to Yaounde, 14 years after a French President visited Cameroon, to revive his country’s economic interest.

The 200 French companies in Cameroon and their subsidiaries were already suffering, financially.

France, Cameroon Sign Four Economic Accords

The French exploited Hollande’s State visit to further consolidate their economic grip on Cameroon through the signing of four economic accords.

These accords, according to the political song birds of the Biya regime, will go a long way to improve on the living standards of Cameroonians.

One of such accords is an FCFA 42 billion project to develop the Regional Headquarters of Bafoussam, Bertoua and Garoua. This economic accord falls under the French C2D project.

The second economic accord is an FCFA 37 billion projects to assist in the construction of a second bridge over river Wouri and the opening up of access roads in Douala to decongest the economic capital.

Another FCFA 3 billion accord to assist small and medium seize enterprises in Cameroon was signed and an FCFA 600 million to assist Cameroonians in the diaspora who want to return to Cameroon and set up enterprises was equally clinched.

However, these accords only highlighted what France is giving to Cameroon and failed to mention what the French will be benefiting from Cameroon.

Political commentators fear that this may be another way to mortgage the future of Cameroonians, given that the French will certainly benefit more from such economic accords than Cameroonians.

Besides, the French would have to deplete Cameroon’s forest through timber exploitation, her crude oil through mining and the importation of cash crops at relatively low prices.

Again, the financing of certain projects such as the construction of the second bridge over River Wouri and development of Regional Headquarters will have little or no effect on the standard of living of Cameroonians, since these projects are executed by French companies and expatriates in Cameroon and the resources are paid back to France. At the end of the day, Cameroonians will be left with just the skeletal bridge and buildings which will add nothing to the economy.

Also, the various FCFA millions that accompany the various accords might just be loans which generations of Cameroonians will have pay to the French in future. Such loans over the years have plunged Cameroon into the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries pool.

Whatever the case, it is hoped that Hollande’s visit to Cameroon will open up a new page in the political, socio-economic, cultural and bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

    One Response to Political Dinosaur Biya Refutes Electoral Cheating

    1. Mofor Emmanuel

      All the accords signed amounts to the sum of money pilfered by 2 ministers who are in Kondengue.

       

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