Biya’s 37-Year-Rule: Did Ahidjo Make A Fatal Mistake That Fateful November 4, 1982

The joy and celebration that characterized Cameroon on November 4, 1982 after President Amadou Ahidjo in a radio except, announced he was was handing over the command baton of Cameroon to his Prime Minister and Constitutional successor, Paul Biya continues to be interpreted in many ways.

Barrister Alice Kom, the first ever French- speaking female lawyer to be admitted into the Cameroon Bar Council says only the fact that human beings love change, pushed Cameroonians to celebrate.

“Initially, many people were like, what will be the next step… What will happen later… But when the thing came out to be real, many people were so happy. We were happy because we were prepared by President Amadou Ahidjo to support his constitutional successor”. Barrister Alice Kom said.

The legal mind denied the narrative that Cameroonians were celebrating “freedom” from some sort of bondage or dictatorship.

“I personally loved and preferred President Amadou Ahidjo because under him, Cameroon was well respected abroad. We could travel to Germany, France or any other foreign countries as we wanted,” Alice Kom said.

Speaking on events during and after Ahidjo, Barrister Alice Kom said Cameroonians embraced and supported Paul Biya because Ahidjo asked them to do so.

37 years after President Amadou Ahidjo, Alice Kom thinks Cameroon under President Ahidjo had stronger institutions and a good reputation. On the 4th of November 2019, she regrets that Cameroon for 37 years under President Paul Biya, has just one arm of government, the executive which according to her is lording over the legislative and the judiciary.

The 37-year reign of Biya has witnessed the worst security moments in the history of Cameroon, notably the Boko Haram activities in the far North region of Cameroon with ten’s of thousands of internally displaced persons. The infiltration of central African Republic rebels in the East region of Cameroon. The Anglophone Crisis with over 3,000 deaths and over 600,0000 internally displaced and over 50,000 living as refugees in Nigeria and other neighboring countries.

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