A plan is being concluded in Yaounde to have Emmanuel Frank Biya, the eldest son of 88-year-old President Paul Biya succeed his father as Cameroon’s Head of State.
Mimi Mefo Info understands that Frank Biya, whose political history and achievements are unknown to Cameroonians, has created his own political party ahead of imminent political consultations.
Many are now wondering if Cameroon is on the verge of becoming a monarchy.
Following visible signs of President Biya’s failing health, there has been a new wave of the gossip that President Paul Biya is secretly grooming his son, Frank Biya, to replace him in the event of his inability to discharge his functions or in the event of death.
Faure Gnassingbé and Ali Bongo quickly succeeded their fathers in Togo and in Gabon respectively. With such precedence already set in the continent, Biya may well be preparing the red carpet for a Frank Biya presidency.
Perhaps, like the late Gabonese and Togolese presidents before him, Biya figures, Mimi Mefo Info opines, that Frank Biya maybe the leader of the Cameroonian dream.
But hauling in Frank Biya into the political arena at this hour may be too late. The late Gnassingbe Eyadema and late Omar Bongo skillfully played over their citizens would be fraught with difficulties and very likely to backfire.
The Togo and Gabon scenario is already playing out in Equatorial Guinea where Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is vice president and set to replace his father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Before succeeding his father as President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba was appointed to juicy positions in the government. He held the strategic Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the course of his father’s reign.
As Foreign Affairs Minister, Ali Bongo Ondimba had the opportunity to travel the world and mingle with other world leaders, making smooth the transition.
And as his country’s Defence Minister, he knew the secrets of those responsible for his father’s long stay in power. Even his brisk swagger into Cameroon’s Unity Palace soon after becoming his country’s president was evident of a man in charge.
Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, on the other hand, had been schooled from birth in the practice of raw power politics. And like his late father, he goes into any political fight against his opponents with the instincts for the jugular veins.
In fact, soon after the sudden death of his father, he was thirsty for blood when he attempted to seize power from his country’s parliamentary speaker (Togo’s constitution demands so), and backed down only when then Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo threatened to invade his tiny country with the full force of the Nigerian military. He then temporarily gave up his bid for the presidency but returned – unscathed – to power in an election, described by observers, as fraudulent.
Maybe, Togo would have been exceptionally fortunate in the event that Faure Gnassingbé was born prior to its battle for autonomy; he likely would have stood in as its show guerrilla warrior!
In Cameroon, Frank Biya is a little-known political quantity. He is not known to have held political office at any time in his life. Compared to Faure Gnassingbé and Ali Bongo, Frank Biya’s leadership CV is feather-weighted. In fact, he does not stand the chance to lead a nation as tumultuous as Cameroon.
We at Mimi Mefo info are unable to reconcile Frank Biya’s activities – past and present – given that Cameroon is now in search of a mesianioc leader who can undo the damage caused by President Ahidjo and President Biya to the country’s economic and political growth.
The little known of Frank Biya is that he holds exclusive licence to sell Cameroon’s timber. His timber business has destroyed the countries virgin forests in a way never-seen on earth. In fact, if the way Frank Biya manages the country’s forest is anything to go by, then his leadership will be a catastrophe.
Frank Biya has not been exposed to Cameroonians, neither has he been exposed to the international community. Unlike Faure Gnassingbé and Ali Bongo, Frank Biya is yet to represent his father on any political assignment on the international scene. Leaders like Biya prepare their children for succession by giving them exposure on the scene of international politics.
Indeed inside Cameroon, there have been rotting border debates between towns and communities including the Anglophone crisis – on the off chance that he was truly considering himself for any top leadership role – ought to be dispatched by his father to these regions to act as his specialist of peace.
It is indeed dicey whether those senior military officers, most of them in their seventies, who maintained his father’s long stay in power, will be around to guarantee Frank Biya’s “move”- on the off chance that it were to happen – into the presidency.
And of course, there’s the Anglophone Crisis, a hot potato in Paul Biya’s throat since 2016. Has frank Biya the guts to resolve the anglophone crisis and guarantee a return to peace? Has he the wherewithal to crush the Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North Region? Has he the might to unite the country’s warring power groupings?
But Cameroonian leaders continuously have the penchant to do exceptionally peculiar things, and quitting the national political platform nimbly is one of them.
Who would not remember that fateful November 4, 1982 when powerful leader, Amadou Ahidjo hurriedly turned in his resignation from the office of President.
The streets emitted in celebration. It was the beginning of a fresh era, Cameroonians were told, as their new President, Paul Biya, peacefully took over the reins of power.
Over thirty-eight years afterward – and with all the hardships that Cameroonians have been through beneath Biya’s authority – we cannot even imagine that these talks of Frank Biya succeeding his father could become a reality.
Should Cameroon be transformed into a kingdom and Frank Biya becomes President after Paul Biya, then hell will break loose. Given that an anti-Frank Biya armed group is already preparing to shedblood in favour of northerners, the armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions and the war agianst Boko Haram will push the country to erupt.
After all, imposible is not Cameroonian. Let’s wait and see!