The first Anglophone Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon, Achidi Achu has died at 87.
The politician who originates from Santa in the country’s North West region died today in the US, reports say, after an illness.
Among his many political, social and judicial exploits, he is most remembered for serving Cameroon as Prime Minister from 1992 to 1996, after being Minister of Justice from 1972 to 1975.
The sweet-mouthed and down to earth ‘Pa’ Achidi is often considered one of the primary reasons why President Paul Biya remains in power today, as he waged the war against then much-feared Social Democratic Front, SDF party in the October 1992 election.
The deceased during his time as PM, it should be recalled, remained open to all classes in society, as well as people of all kinds.
He is also credited for not using his power to crush the opposition SDF party, but instead convincing and using all possible measures to get them to cross over the carpet.
Ahead of the election, he called on Cameroonians to vote for the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM as the only means to avert potential violence and instability.
He would later remain PM after the election till he was replaced by Peter Mafany Musonge in 1996.
The Biya regime , however, didn’t lose sight of his contribution, as he was later made Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Investment Corporation in 2003. In 2013, he was appointed to the Senate in what is still seen as another reward from the Biya regime to his friend, ‘the old fox’.
Despite his politics of ‘scratch my back I scratch your own’, the late Achidi was arguably loved by many in his prime.
In his last days, however, he was seen by many as part of a group of old ‘tired but not retired’ friends of Biya running the country to the ground.
This was demonstrated in his inability to calm tensions, or proffer solution to the four-year-long crisis in the North West and South West regions.
To make matters worse, his demise closely follows those of many other top and aged government officials to die in recent weeks.
Though still seen as one of Cameroon’s best and most down to earth Prime Ministers ever, many would obviously have wanted more from the late Achidi including calling power to order, and laying the facts bare before the Biya regime regarding the crisis – a wish he has taken to the grave with him.