Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cameroon:Paul Biya in the Southwest

Ayah Paul Abine(Hon)
By Ayah Paul Abine

 It is now an open secret that Mr. Biya will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his rule/reign in the Southwest Region. What apparently remains a secret is the exact venue. But the devastating and brutal demolition of shacks from Tiko through Mutengene to Buea betrays Buea as the “secret venue”. 

This is all the more apparent with HYSACAM embarking on the cleaning of erstwhile bushy borders of the main street in Buea for the first time ever. No reasonable man can be misled by the lame diversionary argument that the cleaning of the road is no pointer because Mr. Biya would normally come by air. The lesson of paralysing traffic in Yaounde streets whenever Mr. Biya is flying to Nsimalen Airport is too notorious to lend any credence to that argument. 

 Besides, Mr. Biya’s Secretariat General has recently sent messengers to the University of Buea to write down the names of students for the payment by the Presidency of their registration fees. This certainly is a ploy to calm the recent hostilities in that institution, if only during Mr. Biya’s imperial visit. Cameroonian youth being what they are, their coming out to swell the crowds will thus be guaranteed even as in the past the very youth received nothing of the money promised for marching in support of Mr. Biya. 

 Not any less supportive is the exceptionally belated commencement on November 12 of the all-important budgetary session of the National Assembly. The session commenced last year on November 1. And one has no memory that it has ever commenced later than November 8 for the past ten years. It follows that some important event is in the offing. Clearly, the indispensable speaker, Hon Cavaye, cannot be in Buea on the commencement of the parliamentary session. One may argue that Mr.Speaker could well be elsewhere out of Yaounde than in Buea. But only Buea is cleaning up intensively and extensively. 

 Nor should one underrate the deferred trial of Chief Inoni Ephraim. Putting him on trial prior to Mr. Biya’s visit could result in a dwindling turn-out. And if Mr. Biya does not make it to Buea now so that his being represented at the so-called 50th Anniversary of Reunification would be palliated by the fact that Mr. Biya had just been to Buea, the appearance of Chief Inoni before the special criminal tribunal which is now functional would complicate the equation. 

 The most pointing indicator yet is the meticulous checking these days of travelers’ identity by the usually complacent police and gendarmes. Only this very month were several persons arrested, detained and charged to court for wanting to travel to Buea on the mere suspicion that they wanted to celebrate the independence anniversary of West Cameroon. Embarking on similar exercises again strongly suggest some event is about happening in Buea. Of course, yes: the new un-enacted offence covers traveling to Buea only. If not, where else?

 But what is intriguing is that Mr. Biya is going to the region at the time Kumba has gone for three months without water. Buea has been in a blackout 80% of the last 48 hours. And water rationing in Buea has been accentuated. As for Mamfe, water and electricity are Siamese twins that need evacuation to Saudi Arabia for surgery. Mr. Biya may not have heard that my tribesmen, the Olitis, in 1963, built an airstrip at Akwaya in five days, and the first plane landed on the 6th day.

 Mr. Biya may have to hire them to rehabilitate the airports at Tiko and Mamfe in one day; and have others built at Mundemba, Menji and Bangem in two days for the airlifting of Mr. President’s blind supporters. Who is lying that the Southwest roads are horrible or even impassable? Nonsense! 

Tori sweet soteeeeeeeeeh tifman laf for banda!

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