Africa & Science – Afrika & Wissenschaft – Afrique & Science

Nr. 00265- 9th Jan. 2024 – Weekly Newspaper devoted to Science & Technology in Africa ** Pour la promotion de l'esprit scientifique en Afrique

Cameroon: Presidential Election – Call for a general mobilization to prompt Paul Biya to retire and start getting out of the crises

photo camerounThe Southwest and Northwest crisis that has intensified since 2016, the crisis with Boko Haram in the North and the economic and social crisis in the entire country show that OCTOBER 07,2018 IS THE TIME that Cameroonians must seize for an UNPRECEDENTED GENERAL MOBILIZATION to start the way out of these crises that destabilize this beautiful country. CAMEROONIANS OF THE COUNTRY AND DIASPORA must seize this election to MAKE PRESSUREthat will push the candidate President Mr. Paul Biya to retirement and to CARRY LEGALLY THE OPPOSITION TO THE POWER,

Many politicians and opinion leaders continue to share the message that elections are not welcome at this time and that priority should be given to the end of the crises and mainly the most devastating Southwest and Northwestcrisis. This is a misjudgment for some reasons:

Postponement of the elections

The postponement of the presidential elections would have lengthened the duration of the presidential term for reasons which do not guarantee that after the transition period these problems are solved. Although the date of the legislative electionswas postponed, it is desirable to remain in the presidential term so as not to end up in the vicious circle of infinite extension of mandates as it has been seen elsewhere. In DRC, Ivory Coast, Togo and other countries presidential electionshave been postponed without helping to solve the pre-electoral problems. On the contrary, it has instead created a resurgence of violence or amplification of the crisis. In most known cases, the postponement is more a calculation of politicians and not a real willingness to handle the existing crisis during the transition period. Although it is true that in the case of Cameroon, maintainingthe date was also a calculation of the present government, however it is in accordance with the texts.

Southwest and Northwest crisis

John Fitzgerald Kennedy said « those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable« . The Southwest and Northwest crisis has grown in recent years to the point that some have gone so far as to declare the separation of English-speaking Cameroon. This shows that the crisis that has existed since Cameroon moved from the Federal Republic to the United Republic in 1972 has taken an unprecedented level that requires a deep reflection on the coexistence between the two systems English and French. The power in place has responded with violence, which has exacerbated divisions and tensions between English-speaking Cameroonians from these regions internally but also and especially between English-speaking Cameroonians from these regionsand other Cameroonians. If this problem has existed for several decades, but has grown without the current regime being able to find adequate solutions, is it not a sign of total decline of this regime which requires a new dynamic that offers alternative solutions for living together in Cameroon?

 All Cameroonians including those claiming to be Ambazonians must recognize that this crisis is primarily a problem of governance, mismanagement of the country, and the failure to take into account certain political demands. As a result, the current solution lies in unprecedented mobilization to push the opposition party (the candidate) that has a better approach of resolving the conflict in power.

Kwame Nkruma in his time challenged the African consciousness on the importance of African unity « Africa must unite or perish« ; I think like him that CAMEROON MUST UNITE OR PERISH. The solution to the crisis is in the unity of the country and a good management of our living together, of our natural, cultural and intellectual wealth so that everyone is proud of this country. The division of the country cannot make us strong because it is in the union that there is strength. Catalonia in Spain, Basques in France and Spain, Quebec in Canada, Flanders in Belgium and many other countries with separatist movements such as Cameroon did not split. Considering that it is admitted to those claiming to beAmbazonian, what will they do to other residents in the same space who do not want the division? Will they go on war to drive them out of this space or impose on them? Martin Luther King Jr. said « we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools« . Separation does not guarantee that new leaders bring better management and prosperity to the region. On the other hand, an alternation carried by the people with this problem at heart will put on the table the deep questions of the crisis, the debate on federalism and many other related issues.

 Economic and Social Crises

The economic crisis has reached a level that the only national garbage collection company HYSACAM no longer manages to do so in the whole country, which has made Cameroon in recent years a country where the prevalence rate of cholera has reached unimaginablerecord. How can abanal activity as garbage collection in a country cannot be managed for years and the regime in power still seeks anotherterm from its people? This is a strong demonstration of management incapacity. CAMEROON DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE AN OPEN-SKY GARBAGE DEPOSITORYand it is necessary to sanction the Biya regime for that during the elections of 7 October 2018. There are multitudes solutions which are used in much smaller countries and far poorer than Cameroon without even imagining that garbage collection can be a source of problem for inhabitants.

 Paul Biya – Candidate of the ruling party

Paul Biya is our dad, our grandfather or great grandfather and we must respect him as a Cameroonian for his age and service to the nation. Many families do not even have the chance to have people of his current age thatshould be 86 years old and for those lucky enough to have them, they know that their dad, grandfather, great grandfather, is physically, mentally, intellectually impaired and is more often ill, which requires regular medical monitoring to keep him alive. Our parents at this age tell stories to their offspring as we have an oral tradition or write their memory for those having written traditionto build the capacity of his family, the youth of his country and of the world throughhis achievements and challenges.

How can we explain to our friends around the world that in Cameroon, the president is seeking another term at more than 86 years old? It is inconceivable that CPDM could not invest another candidate. By investing again Paul Biya, is it to lead Cameroon to emergence as it is said within this party or to abyss, engulfment and chaos? CAMEROON HAS ALREADY MADE HISTORY AS THE COUNTRY WITH THE MOST PEOPLE OVER 70 YEARS OF AGE who are in strategic positions. This is totally contrary to the demands of modernity and growth and cannot in any way help the country getting out of its multifarious crises. We have seen what happened to Ivory Coast because President Felix Houphouet-Boigny did not listen to his people and died in power. We have seen the crises that followed and the disaster that these crises have led to this country. Faced with the physical and mental situation of the CPDM candidate, it becomes a duty for all CPDM PROGRESSISTS TO SANCTION THEIR PARTY by voting the best candidate that will bring in the opposition. Likewise, Cameroonians from all sides including those claiming separation, opinion leaders, politicians, businessmen and church leaders must make a mobilization that goes beyond that of 1992 to help our father, grandfather , great-grandfatherto retire and allow the entire country to return to its normal course.

 Strategic coalition of opposition parties

Politics is a balance of power and the parties currently in the presidential election of October 2018 must demonstrate their ability to mobilize the people. It is imperative that there should be two to three national polls before the elections that show the strength of the candidates on the ground so that coalition can be made around the candidate who has the greatest popular support so that he can carry the voice of the opposition. Coalitions without a popular base have shown their failure in the past and we must avoid this for this presidential election. Thus, ORGANIZATIONS HAVING EXPERTISE IN THE ELECTORAL SURVEY should help by providing Cameroonians and political parties with accurate and reliable information to give strategic directions as we move towards the deadline. The financing of these polls should come from the campaign funds of the different parties for example. Thus, opposition parties engaged in the race have the duty and the responsibility to come together to SELECT, ACCREDIT AND FINANCE SOME SURVEY FIRMS TO COVER THESE ELECTIONS. This strategic coalition will bring Cameroonians to bear this election and also push those who have traditionally voted for CPDM to realize that there is a real force in front and so make the last-minute mind-changeand give their voice to the opposition knowing that it must carryCameroon towards CHANGE AS EXPECTED BY CAMEROONIANS.


Adrien Djomo
Queen’s University,

Comments are currently closed.