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ROUGHSHOD: Lost But Found President! 

By Bouddih Adams

All heads of state and their ministers, who attended the Anniversary celebrations marking the Liberation of France, returned to their various countries to grapple with the very arduous task of statecraft.

The head of state of Chad, Idriss Derby, returned the same day, July 14. His counterpart of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, went back to his country the next day, July 15. Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, was to return that July 14, immediately after the ceremony, but had flight problems. He flew back the following day to attend to state matters. But our own president was no where around.

It is worth noting that when the late President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, travelled just twice, apparently for health matters, in his first year in office, Nigerians named him "The Travelling President." He did not have to travel every other month to earn such a name.

Nigerians wanted him to stay in Nigeria and steer the ship of state, hands-on. There were serious affairs of state to be tackled, as serious as security matters, to be handled in this our Godforsaken country. When two of the three pillars of state power; security and economic power, are at stake, presidents have equal nightmares as they would with political issues.

It is with this knowledge that Al Qaeda planned hitting the US Pentagon, the Wall Trade Center and the Presidency which would have brought America to its knees. Our National Security headquarters and the foundation of the economy, the Ministry of Finance, were reportedly assailed. Is it only political stake that is important? There were even press reports of a coup d’etat.

We were going to put an announcement to Radio France International, RFI that our head of state was missing; that he is always dressed in double breasted French-tailored suits and known to move around with a large crowd of guards like a drug lord from Latin America; that any one who finds him should call.

But we learnt that he had moved, and abandoned his attendants (ministers) in France. The French, who had described the guests from Africa at the anniversary celebrations, as dictators and murderers coming to taint the celebration of their liberation, found enough reason to humiliate them.

The boss, himself, had to relocate to a different part of the world, while his bloated entourage were relocated to a cheaper hotel, instead of returning home, as if this geo-polity called the Cameroons stinks too much for their noses and convenience. We thought, may be we should send the announcement but to the BBC and CNN, and were searching for a picture when he was last seen? 

The last time he was out for more than a month, I waited for those top brass military men to take over the management of the state and do as Rawlings did in Ghana. Today, Ghana is a great country to merit the visit of the President of the almighty US of A. I was, however, disappointed to find that our military men were women.

I then felt that there must be something on that throne that, if some one else sits on it, he may die. That must be why people are afraid. The Professor from the Muanenguba mountains holds that "the ‘Man’ is the only one who can rule this country … God exists in this country through the Man" and other blasphemies.

I then started fantasying how, if every one else was afraid, I could go to Etoudi and sit on the throne. If I would die on such a high pedestal, that would be no problem. Even Dr. Linus T. Asong would not title my death; "No Way To Die," because that must have been a great way to die.

I must have been dreaming. But I started asking my Njangi houses to contribute money for me to go and sit on the Etoudi throne. If I died, I could be given an official – if not a state – burial, for sitting on that throne, even just for one minute. You know, this country is like a big machine with little clogged parts and sub-machines that have all ground to a stop. But I thought that it could be like a clock that is bad but correct twice in a day.

My Njangi house, nonetheless, took as short a time in availing the money as it takes removing a container from the Douala seaport. Truly, if it had taken as much time as claiming a container from a seaport in Ghana, which hardly takes two hours, I would have gone to Etoudi. By the time they gathered just my fare to Yaounde, the radio announced that the Head of State had returned, after a short stay abroad. ‘My brother, fufu tight for my hand,’ as we say in the village.

With this last stay, which was likely to be as long as the last one, my hopes were rising again. Or, was I dreaming again? May be I should give it a try again, next time.
Are We Together?

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