POLITICAL CHANGE IN CAMEROON
By Geraldo Amara, US Africa News. Updated 2015-08-22
Some political leaders believe, wrongly, that the major powers will be exerting some influence in the selection of Paul Biya’s successor.
The year 2018 will mark a decisive turning point in the political history of Cameroon. It will be the year that marks the end of what Paul Biya, President of the Republic, baptised "great achievements". The public will be called to the polls to choose the new president. If the fact of choosing a new president in young democracies like Cameroon does not constitute a special event, it will consist in whether or not the election includes candidacy of the current president.
Paul Biya, in power since November 6, 1982, date of his first inauguration, will be in his 35th year at the helm of the country. For Western powers, another Paul Biya candidacy will not be welcome. This became evident via the question addressed to him by a French journalist during French President Francois Hollande’s five hour stay in Cameroon. The reporter of a French television channel interviewed the president about the likelihood of his candidacy in the 2018 presidential election. Biya's response was definitive: "[He] does not last in power who wants to, but who can ..." For some political leaders, the response of the President of the Republic was proof that he is not counting on leaving power any time soon.
This is where some leaders justify the support they seek from certain Western countries to try to persuade, or failing that, to compel Biya not to run in the 2018 election. But in one of his always edifying speeches, Biya claimed that Cameroon is not anyone’s personal preserve. The Cameroonian people gained independence on January 1, 1960 at the price of human sacrifice of worthy people like Martin Paul Samba, Douala Manga Bell and many others who sacrificed their lives so that Cameroon would be not only independent, but remains one and indivisible. The changes which take place at the head of our country will be the manifestation of the will of the Cameroonian people, and not that of the imperialist powers, who refuse to accept that the time when they could poke their noses in Cameroon’s affairs has come and gone.
The people are now emancipated and know perfectly what is good for them. They have no need for assistance to effect strategic choice for their future. For the moment, 2018 remains distant and Cameroon must deal with two major problems, the struggle against insecurity, with the attacks of the Islamist sect Boko Haram, and development to guarantee sustainable peace. To those who continue to think that France or the United States, let alone China, can disturb the order of things in Cameroon are bitterly wrong. The support sought from these powers by these leaders and certain government members who aspire to the highest office will be in vain. Cameroon is, as always, Cameroon.