Friday, May 29, 2020
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Cameroon Taken Hostage By Biya 

The town of Buea has been taken hostage by the wait for President Biya’s coming for the celebration of the (Re)Unification of the Cameroons.

Except for the contracts or projects tied to the presidential visit, every other thing is on hold. Businesspersons who have carried out other government contracts are in trouble with their creditors; banks, credit unions, ‘njangi’ groups and even relatives and friends from whom they borrowed money to execute the contracts as they are being told; “until the big man comes and goes.” It is worse when such money was borrowed from njangis or people keeping njangi money – as the money has to be ‘shared’ before Xmas.
So, if Xmas were also dependent on the presidential visit, it would have been postponed. We have proved that if international celebrations were dependent on us, like the World Aids Day, International Day of the Teacher, World Press Freedom Day, International Labour Day and so on were dependent on Cameroon, there is no doubt that all of the days will not be celebrated on their designated dates.
But come and see Cameroonians celebrate public holidays. They will eat and drink and get up the next day with a hangover, and then go to take ‘clearance’ and drink and get drunk again. The day after, if they go to work, they are so dazed that effective work is not done. So, at least three days of work are lost – just like that. Thus, you can imagine the hole that is created in the State treasury, fiscally speaking.
The President has refused even to reveal when he is coming to Buea; whether this year or next year; nobody knows. He has kept the people spellbound. And he might suddenly announce that he is coming the next day like he did when he was going to Douala to lay the foundation stone or the second Bonaberi Bridge. Imagine the economic hold-up for people who were to move out of Buea for business or those who were to come in, given the way the town itself will be further taken hostage. The armed forces will prowl the town like wounded warewolves and restrict movement and impose curfews before and during the visit as is always the case. 
Some people, especially those living along the main road in Buea, will be constrained to urinate into bottles and defecate in buckets, for as long he will be in town.
But why all this military manoeuvres by a civilian President who claimed to have been voted at the last election by 80 percent of the population? 
Does this not defeat that claim and, of course, confirm the assertion that one can determine how much a ruler has wronged the people by the volume of the protection – the thousands of bodyguards – he moves around with. 
That goes for the rest of Cameroon and every other aspect of national life. For instance, it was announced only Friday that the Football Cup Finals would hold yesterday, Sunday.
The finalists; Young Sports Academy of Bamenda and Canon of Yaounde were held hostage in camping, not knowing the day the final would take place. The date was known only by President Biya, or he decided about it according to his whims and caprices. There is no football calendar. I think this is another area where FIFA should step in and impose a calendar. Don’t they say that they don’t want governments to meddle in football?
The political life of the Cameroons has always been in Biys’s armpit. There is no electoral calendar, or, rather, the political calendar is known only by him or decided by him alone.
History is also being held hostage. Cameroon history belongs to President Biya and to him alone. Every aspect and every perspective of the preparations that are going on for the celebration of Reunification in the Cameroons are hinged on Biya. The effigy that would be carried in the civilian march past of more than 10,000 people would be Biya’s, according to the plan. Ahidjo, J.N. Foncha and E.M.L. Endeley who were the architects of Reunification will only feature at a photo exhibition. 
That makes President Biya the all-and-all in the celebration. Why would someone in power arrogate to himself so much?  
Under normal circumstances, a 21st Century person would not deify himself like that. As far back as more than three-quarters of a century ago, when Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, who fought for the independence of India, was referred to as ‘Mahatma’ (title given to someone deeply revered for his wisdom and virtue), Gandhi turned down the name. You and I know that Gandhi cut the picture.
The economy and development have also been taken hostage. Cameroonians know that if there is the will, and corruption and embezzled are veritably fought and eradicated, Cameroon can emerge by 2020. But the President, Biya, has decided to hold it till 2035.
If the air we breathe were trappable, it would be held hostage. If the air we breathe were controllable, this his regime would have installed metres in our nostrils and compelled us to pay taxes on that air.
Are We Together?