Did Mugabe’s disgraceful ouster trigger Biya’s hasty return?

President Paul Biya’s penchant for prolonged absences from the country, particularly, after fulfilling diplomatic obligations abroad has weighed in with his sudden return to the country after the recent EU/AU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, instigating in its wake, a pristine debate relating to the accurate manner to assess such unusualness.

In this light, some observers have applauded the president, for breaking his own record by unusually returning to the country immediately after an international forum. They have, also, commended him for not sojourning in Abidjan for as long as he had done recently, in Switzerland after the 74th UN General Assembly.

Fault finders have, however, posited that the President’s swift return to the country which he visits from time to time only to fulfill constitutional righteousness has been occasioned one of two factors. The first could be the fact that he was out in an African as opposed to a European country where he is apparent greater luxury. The second could be fear that a Harare-type incident, which culminated in the disgraceful exit of sit-tight Mugabe from power may be restaged in Yaoundé. In their defense, they have opined that it explains why the President thundered against “acts of terrorism propagated by adherents of a divided Cameroon” as soon as he touched feet on Cameroonian soil on Thursday, November 30 2017.

As if to explain why he failed to lengthen his stay as was expected, Mr. Biya, took to the stage upon arrival at the Nsimalen International Airport in Yaounde to condemn the purported recent killing of four soldiers in Agborkim Waterfall in the Southwest Region. Extending condolences to the bereaved families, the President regretted that his country is facing recurrent terrorist attacks which he claimed, are sponsored by secessionists.

Trying to reassure the citizenry that the culprits will be brought to book, the President announced that measures are underway to intensify peace and security within the national territory.

Pundits threw up at his threats, warning that he is singlehandedly worsening an already bad situation. They warned that intimidation and threats have failed woefully to reinstate normalcy in the country since the Anglophone crisis broke out over a year ago. They cautioned Cameroon’s second President who has ruled the country for the last 35 years to tread softly.

The 84 year old had gone to defend what he calls the rights of young people in the future of Africa even though his Government is anything but youthful.

People are asking whether military life is more important than those of other Cameroonians, or if those lives that the military has been mowing down in the recent past; those very people who elected him are lesser mortals.

Meantime, the boisterous Communications Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, had in a press briefing, besought the international community to take note of the goings-on in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

“This escalation of indiscriminate violence and murder, specifically targeting those to whom the republic has entrusted the responsibility to defend the territorial integrity and the security of people, calls more than ever, on the international community to take full account of the current situation in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon. We will continue to protect every Cameroonian living in these two Regions against the situation of hostility and captivity. The Government will take its responsibility to free its citizens from the state of captivity, terror and trauma resulting from the anti-republican conveyed by the secessionists.”

Ironically, this responsibility of the Communication Minister’s imagination has largely been taken by way of killing the very people like flies and chasing others into foreign exile.

As if to put the President’s words into action, the Senior Divisional for Manyu, Oum II Joseph, on Friday, December 1, signed a communiqué strongly advising inhabitants of Akwaya, Mamfe and Eyumojock Sub Divisions to “relocate to safer neighbourhoods of their choices in the hours that follow.” He warned that failure to do so would be treated as accomplices and perpetrators of supposed ongoing criminal occurrences registered against security and defense forces. At whose expense and where they are expected to relocate is a puzzle.

By Claudia Nsono

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