Cameroon’s President, Going on 90 – Time To Step Down?

Paul Biya, President of Cameroon

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya is seriously considering a re-election bid despite having served 36 years in the job and despite approaching 90 years of age.

The President-for-Life syndrome is sadly alive and well.

An editorial in the Liberian paper Daily Observer expressed its frustration in dramatic fashion.

“Why, Africa, why?  Why must your leaders treat you and your people so badly? Why must all too many of our leaders turn out to be so narcissistic—another word for egotistic or self-loving?”

“What is the purpose of Cameroon’s great colleges and universities?  Is President Biya telling us that these institutions are training absolutely no leaders or people capable of running the country?

“In Liberia, President William V.S. Tubman, to his credit, transformed Liberia College (1862) into the University of Liberia (1951).  Yet he, too, never tolerated any of the great men and women who graduated from UL even dreaming of the presidency. He remained in power for 27 years and died in office at 75.  By the time he was 75, he had already been reelected to a seventh term.

“And where did Tubman, after 27 years as President, leave Liberia?   In 1960 when he entered his fourth term of office, Liberia, South Korea and Singapore were on the same economic plane, but Liberia had a far faster growth rate than the other two.  When he died in 1971, Liberia was still impoverished, illiterate, sick and starving—importing most of its food, including the staple, rice, meat, etc.; while both South Korea and Singapore were on their way to agricultural self-sufficiency, 100% literacy and industrialization.

“And what are we doing with our most important natural resource—our people?  We are not even giving them a decent education.  Last week the West African Examinations Council announced another dismal failure among our students. Of 600 senior high schools that sat the examination, there was a 65% failure!  And in the junior high category, there were 63.42%  failures.”

“We pray that President Paul Biya of Cameroon will look seriously at the leadership landscape in his country and open the space for some of his talented compatriots to participate meaningfully and successfully in politics. Let him remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  The country is being seriously threatened with civil war.  Is this the time to hold fast to power?”

Source via Global Information Network

Leave a Comment