The whole country vibrated when President Paul Biya declared his candidacy for the upcoming election in his twitter account, featuring among few world leaders who have done so in recent times. A greater majority of Cameroonians including more than 20 opposition political parties have pledged their support to “the lion man,” as he is also known.
The dial has been cast for the October 7 Presidential Election in Cameroon with 28 candidates vying for the country’s top job. Incumbent President Paul Biya in response to the multiple calls from Cameroonians, accepted via twitter to stand for another term of office as the people desires. President Biya’s candidacy has whipped of national sentiments because he headed to the “people’s call,” to continue serving his beloved national with devotion, loyalty and sagacity. Even opposition political parties have not been indifferent to President Biya’s bid for another seven-year mandate. That some opposition political parties dubbed G20, representing some 20 political parties in the country have pledged their support to the CPDM candidate is telling of the pertinence of Paul Biya’s candidacy for the preservation of national integrity and sovereignty threatened in some Regions of the country. Apart from the G20 group of oppositions, other political parties such as Bello Bouba’s NUDP, ANDP of Aladji Moustpha, Issa Tchiroma’s FSNC, UDP of Lawan Bako amongst others have also voiced their support for Paul Biya.
These encompassing support for Paul Biya from political parties across the political chessboard of the country is not because they do not want to take power but because the present socio-political and economic situation of the country simply warrants continuation. The act by these politicians could be qualified as patriotic especially judging from the fact that the country’s unity, oneness and sovereignty is threatened by some internal and external forces. As Bapooh Lipot, Secretary General of the UPC party has put it, Paul Biya for now remains the best risk as he ensures continuity for the defence of the country’s integrity and sovereignty.
Barrister Jean De Dieu Momo of PADDEC says Paul Biya’s acceptance is a gift to the country. Cameroonians in their vast majority have chosen him and the choice of the people is the choice of God. Cameroon, needs peace and stability and it is only Paul Biya who can guarantee that especially at this crucial moment in the life of the country when armed secessionist groups are wreaking havoc in the North West and South West Regions and Boko Haram in the Far North Region still carrying out sporadic attacks.
On the economic life of the country, Paul Biya successfully caused the IMF to wade in with an Extended Credit Facility agreement worth over FCFA 390 billion to rescue Cameroon from the economic meltdown occasioned by fall in raw material and crude oil prices. The agreement is just one year on and the reforms initiated to that effect needs to be closely followed up. Again, President Biya’s three-year emergency plan to accelerate growth is being finalised thus his presence will ensure a smooth conclusion of these projects aimed at improving the wellbeing of Cameroonians and boosting economic growth. Same argument can be advanced for his Three-Year Special Youth Plan that is also on course with the objective to empower young Cameroonians economically.
Ongoing giant projects especially those linked to the organisation of the 2019 African Cup of Nations notably the Paul Biya Stadium in Olembe Yaounde and the Japome stadium in Douala are to be completed for a smooth AFCON on Cameroonian soil. Other structural projects like the Yaounde-Douala Express raod, Kribi-Lolabe express road amongst others are also taking shape thus Paul Biya needs another mandate to accomplish his dreams of an emergent Cameroon.