By Azore Opio

"Obliviousness to the growing disaffection of constituents, primacy in self-aggrandisement, the illusion of invulnerable status, are persistent aspects of folly." (Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly).

More votes, not development, has always been the Manyu elites’ calling card. They are not bothered by the inferior quality of Manyu Division where they hail from. They are stuck to the penchant for more and more votes for the Sacred Bull, becoming enamoured of large-scale rigging.

Astute observers have been questioning the rationale behind winning big at elections, cashing in on the gullibility of the wretched Manyuians (if we may address them so) progressing remorselessly, but surprising they don’t display any appetite for undertaking more fundamental projects beneficial to the motherland.

The Manyu elites are obsessed with the seductive power of rigged votes and the desire for them, at all costs, has taken them captive and separated them from the Manyu motherland. Many of these elites have been living in unprecedented prosperity and yet they want more. Just a little more.

Manyu elites know only one song, the same old song, and they sing it badly. For years now, the "musicians", who vary from soloists to group performers, have spent precious hours attempting to sing "Biya Must Win" on their accordions. They are not breaking any laws, but some observers are beginning to think that the noise nuisance should end.

Few would take exception to the conclusion that once upon a not-so-ancient time, Manyu was the place to be, but now it is not sufficiently cherished. Since the 80s (I may be wrong) and for the foreseeable future, there won’t be such a thing as development in the Division, except, of course, the frenzy nourished by a few individuals of seeing the CPDM win overwhelmingly at the next election.

No one speaks more eloquently of the Sacred Bull than the black gold baron that after God, it’s Biya. Now they have pledged to amass FCFA 75 million towards next year’s presidential election, which should see Biya back in the driving seat for another seven years. And may be after that, they will vote him again for another seven-year mandate. By then, he might be at the end of the rope.

And the elites would have harvested where they sowed. Manyu is faring a little better than Ndian in terms of roads. Manyuians have all but given up. Their Division is a wilderness teaming with timber. And other valuable flora. There are thousands of apes, antelopes, deer, "gron beef", reptiles and birds.

And many other animal species. But Manyu is recognised for its wondrous scenic beauty set aside only as a natural preserve to harvest votes for the CPDM. What we have here is a history of disastrously deceptive elites. The picture is grim. Madness is afoot. The Manyu vote factory run, as it were, by a clique of self-appointed elites, is now being rigged to churn out votes in the tens of thousands for the Sacred Bull.

That rigging, praise-singing; the hallmarks of our own species of elites, should come with little surprise if we recall that Manyu has often, if not always, won awesomely in favour of the CPDM. These victories are all the more astonishing when we remember that the Division remains probably the least developed after Ndian, which, according to one Minister, doesn’t really need roads even though oil has been mined there since the 70s. We salute all that.

Many Manyu elites have never delivered the goods to their kith and kin in the wilderness, and this fact is no longer a secret. They have milked their "celebrity" for all its worth. Yet, physical evidence of poverty and misery has not been kind to the apostles of the Sacred Bull Synagogue. Here, the old Communist saw "Man must exist for the sake of the State" prevails. There is a startling paradox here. Manyuians are all, like it or not, participants in the reverse motion of their motherland. They are like bloated mammoth elephants laden with treasures, limping along with insipid slogans trumpeting out of their trunks.

Our advice is that they need to undertake a radical surgery and invest their enormous wealth of knowledge, skills and treasurers in Manyu, rather than in an ephemeral association of adventure. For, this luck can’t go on forever. He/she who comes after Biya might not be tickled by the lofty idea of deceiving and cheating their citizens, and so it seems as if Manyu elites’ much-cherished cookie might crumble after all. Apres le chef.

Again, if this does not seem to be enough advice, anything loved and trusted more than God is certain to fail, so says Arthur Simon in his "How Much Is Enough?" [Baker Books, USA] (Manyu elites may not believe in God, and they are not committing a sin). Manyuians, to say the least, will still be victimised even in this new era of ELECAM and voter apathy. Times are changing. Ideologues and zealots aren’t!