Paul Biya born on 13 February 1933 has been the President of Cameroon since 6 November 1982. He was a bureaucrat under President Ahmadou Ahidjo in the 1960s, serving as Secretary-General of the Presidency from 1968 to 1975 and then as Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1975 to 1982. He succeeded Ahidjo as President upon the latter’s surprise resignation in 1982 and consolidated power in a 1983–1984 power struggle with his predecessor. Biya has maintained Cameroon’s close relationship with France, Cameroon’s former colonial ruler. Since then he has become to be known as the dictator of Cameroon with total control of all institutions. The opposition is apparently weak because of the system in place.
Biya who regularly visit in Switzerland at the Hotel InterContinental Geneva has become his second home and extended office where he works without being disturbed. These extended stays sometimes as short as two weeks – are sometimes as long as three months and are almost always referred to as “short stays” in the state-owned press and other media. In 2009, his holiday in France allegedly cost $40,000 a day spent on 43 hotel rooms.
Cameroons opposition, especially the SDF has tried, to no avail to unseat the CPDM government led by Paul Biya. The Cameroons people majority of whom are tired of this regime. Biya has been the face of Cameroons leadership since he was a youth and many thinks it is enough. The major problem has been how to unseat this present regime. With a divided opposition and somewhat less political active population, it becomes really difficult to unseat Biya.
However, Mr. Timah Rene, a political analyst has said only the SDF can unseat Biya in the Cameroons. He reported that Ndam Njoya , Bello Baba and even Fru Ndi and all opposition figures in the Cameroons are confused. Hear him:
” The majority of Cameroonians no longer trust these guys. Mark my words even if a united opposition removes Biya ,a bigger problem worst than Biya in the name of power sharing awaits the united opposition in the future. The opposition has been infiltrated with black”. However, this can be remedy albeit difficult.
Mr. Timah believes that without Fru Ndi as the flag bearer, the SDF can remove Biya single-handedly .This can happen if the SDF starts its reorganization immediately. The rules are :
1. Fru Ndi should give way for another individual to run for the parties ticket e.g Joshua Osih.
2. SDF should call for reconciliation among its big wigs who have resign but are yet to cross the carpet.
3. The SDF should collaborate with Trade unionist and try to revitalize the National labour Union by speaking about the issues that matters. A major opposition party needs to fit itself into labour.
4. The SDF should push for electoral reforms by calling for a second round voting system. This is the best shot to push out those mushroom parties who are working with the government since they would be unable as usual to capture even 9% of votes.
5. The party should follow the traditional way of campaigning by encouraging voters to register owing to the fact that u can’t win without voting.This mode of encouragement should take the form of door to door campaigning.
6. The SDF needs power in the international arena. Politics is power and power is politics. If France is the ultimate shield for Biya a strategic opponent will also look for a shield among the superpowers. You may think it is neo-colonialism but it is vital to protect your party and its vision against the instruments of power held by the incumbent.
7. The party should revive its political manifesto. Biya must go is an old song. They have to spell out reforms by telling the people where we were in 1982 and our current situation in all the respective domains and possible solutions to fix the problem. The party should formulate Public policy solutions.
BaretaNews is optimistic Biya can still be kicked out with a well strategize SDF. The question is why the SDF? This is because they are still the leading opposition party and politics is based on numbers. Mr.Rene,therefore, agrees with Ndam Njoya that a United opposition cannot defeat Biya.
God is still saying something.