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Analysis: Biya And ENAM, EMIA Products (Pampering The Agents Of Impunity) 

By Peterkins Manyong

"When a toad is seen jumping in the day, it means something is after it or it is after something". This hackneyed saying could also apply to the lion. The king of the forest can only leave its den when it is being hunted, smoked out or when it is hungry. Paul Biya, the Lion-man, to whom official ceremonies are substitutes for sleeping pills, had very tangible reasons for quitting the comfort and security of the Etoudi Palace to preside at two graduation ceremonies.

L’Homme Courage who  never ventures out without surrounding himself with thick layers of security, found enough courage to tell pupil magistrates, civil administrators, tax and customs officials on  Tuesday, December 1, that they are vectors of corruption, by admonishing them to shun the vice. Within the same week, December 4, Biya presided at the graduation ceremony of the National Military Academy, EMIA. There, he announced that the celebration of the Cameroon army’s 50th anniversary will take place in Bamenda, next year.

Since no country can deem itself independent without an effective defence mechanism, it goes without saying that Cameroon will celebrate its Golden Jubilee of independence next year. It is left to addicts of anniversary celebrations to wonder why he thinks a golden jubilee is worth celebrating while the silver and ruby were not. It is essential to question why Biya considers ENAM and EMIA the only institutions worthy of his presidential presence and not other professional schools with the same status, or any of the six State universities.

The answer is obvious to every Cameroonian: each of these two establishments is a nursery, churning out agents of electoral fraud and impunity. Biya knows that the magistrates and administrators are fulfilling his heart’s desire, for, if they shunned "the sacrament of corruption" he would have quit the helm of power in 1992. Why, for instance, would the President of a nation’s Supreme Court, who is due retirement, be ordered to stay put when there are other senior magistrates competent enough to replace him? Alexis Depanda Mouelle was due retirement this year, but the President wants him to do so in 2010.

This decision gives speculators the justification they need to conclude that the Presidential Election, which should  take place in 2011, according to the electoral calendar, will hold a year earlier. It happened in 1992. There is no reason why it can’t happen again given that in Cameroon a thing is legal because President Biya has said so. This Loius XIV type-dictatorship is the fountainhead of that impunity common among top administrators, judicial and tax officials.

Two months ago, a Senior Divisional Officer in the Northwest told this analyst that he was also due retirement, but President Biya ordered him to stay put. "If the President wants me to remain, who am I to say no?" This is a country that vomits thousands of university graduates every year into the already saturated job market. The mainstay of these weather beaten graduates of ENAM is, of course, their tested and proven capacity for election fixing. It is natural for Biya, the great Messiah of Gerontocracy, to feel more at ease with the octogenarian devils he already knows than with the young and mentally alert ones he is still pampering.

Nothing better brings to mind the Orwellian principle of doublethink than this public rhapsody against good governance from a man who condones in private what he publicly denounces. Prostitutes always have the word "akwara" in their mouths, just as armed robbers and pick pockets are the first to call others "bandit" or "cut purser". It is, therefore, not surprising to hear dictators, whose bane is unaccountability, shouting democracy and good governance from tree tops.

Biya has even greater reasons to pamper the military. Cameroon is effectively a diarchy, a system of governance whereby civilians share power with the military. In fact, so greatly favoured are soldiers that it still has in decision making places Generals like Pierre Semengue and James Tataw whom this analyst heard and read about in primary school in the early 70s. Youth are, indeed, the leaders of tomorrow and so should be patient! But, whereas patience is a virtue and the patient dog eats the fattest bone, they can only do so after the impatient ones have eaten all the meat, as the ingenious RODCOD GOBATA tells us.

Why Bamenda For Golden Jubilee?

The decision was received with different degrees of emotion. SDF National Chairman, John Fru Ndi, says Biya has simply created another opportunity to spoil the army with money and flex his muscles ahead of Presidential elections. It should, however, be said, in fairness to Biya, that hyperbolical accounts of SCNC invincibility and the raw courage of the Bamenda man makes him view  extra caution an absolute necessity. He is also not underestimating the badly bruised members of the G11.

Be that as it may, Biya should understand one thing: Bamenda people are more progressive minded today than in 1990. They see Biya bringing along a horn full of good news: the tarring of the famous ring road, which Biya promised to "personally supervise" in 1991, the creation of a State university and a referral hospital. The town will also get an unprecedented face lift and, above all, cash will flow. The spectacle of military jets hovering in the air and the public display of military hardware will be great deal of novelty.

While it is natural for him to ensure personal safety, Biya should not forget that the best assurance of security is a genuine democratic culture and the building up of confidence in his government. Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was still assassinated, not by a soldier, but by a 24-year-old Law student despite the great sophistication of the Israeli security service.
As for the people f Bamenda, he should have no misgivings. He will meet no political or religious fundamentalists there. So welcome to Bamenda, Your Excellency.

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