Paul Biya: The Nightmare Of Cameroonians
July 22, 2012 § 4 Comments
When Daniel Ebale Angounou, a former spy of the Biya regime, published a book titled “Paul Biya le Couchemar de Ma Vie” translated “Paul Biya theNightmare of My Life”, only a few Cameroonians took him serious.
Since Friday, April 4, when the Constitution amendment bill was tabled at the National Assembly, the majority of Cameroonians have not had a wink of sleep due to the frightening presence of combat-ready troops, stationed all over the country.
The most absurd aspect of the whole drama is that the greatest concentration of troops was around the same National Assembly where more than 80 percent of membership belongs to the ruling party. Even after huge sums of money had been doled out to both CPDM and opposition MPS, they were still subjected to such intimidation.
The troop deployment did not end at the premises of the National Assembly. Yaounde and the rest of the country was militarised as though a terrorist attack were imminent. People travelling from the provinces to Yaounde are subjected to serious checks. This is particularly the case of people sojourning from the Northwest and West Provinces. The same kind of harassment has been going on in Bamenda.
Why all this show of force? One of the policemen confided in this commentator that they had been informed of an imminent strike action. In reality, there have been persistent rumours of a strike action, which was supposed to begin last Monday.
Many opinion leaders think a strike action, especially now, would be exposing many people to unnecessary risks, especially as stories abound that the soldiers would not use teargas in the event of a strike action. That they have all been furnished with live bullets and told to consider all those who might stage street protests as terrorists rather than peaceful demonstrators.
SDF Planning A Strike
The SDF is planning a strike to support the determination of the youth to take their destiny into their hands. No details were given about the date and duration of the strike action, The SDF had intended to hold its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting last weekend, but postponed it to a later date, obviously for fear that it might be misconstrued for a forum to plan street protests. The SDF is seen by government as the only force that can mobilise a majority of Cameroonians for a strike action and so is “keeping an eye on the sparrow”.
One major principle of democracy is the right to peaceful protest by citizens who are not satisfied with government policy or an unpopular decision. Biya himself has admitted that people have a right to demonstrate when dialogue fails. An insider of the regime told this analyst that Biya, despite this declaration, dreads a repeat of last February’s strike action.
One aspect of last February’s strike, which few persons are aware of, is the claim of a certain Rev. X. Kisob, leader of a group called the MATIS whose avowed goal is the liberation of the youth. He told The Post in Bamenda that his movement was responsible for the success of the February strike, boasting that his followers mounted roadblocks close to gendarme posts and even at the entrance to the Presidency.
The “Liberator” claims that Biya was referring not to Fru Ndi and Mboua Massock, but to him when the President said the February strike was the handiwork of “apprentice sorcerers”
His boast has been dismissed by a school of thought, which maintains that the Biya regime masterminded the strike action in order to arrest and jail opponents of the Constitution revision.
But whether the Biya regime masterminded the strike action or not, one thing is clear; last February’s strike action enabled Cameroonians to realise that they were indeed a force to reckon with. The fact that the whole of the country’s military was employed to combat it demonstrates just how formidable people power is.
It should, however, be noted that if Biya cancelled a trip to Geneva last Saturday for fear of another strike action, then there is no gainsaying that far from being the fearless fang, which he wanted the world to see him as, he is indeed a white livered politician and a fugitive in power.
Injecting Section 53(3) of the recently passed Constitution amendment bill in which he is trying to secure immunity for himself, emphasises that Biya is anything but confident of himself. It should be recalled that the former Chilean dictator, Augustu Pinochet, made a similar provision to secure him from future reckoning, but was still tried after he fell from power.