As Cameroon’s Head of State, Paul Biya delivers a televised address to the nation this Tuesday, pundits are divided over the subject of his outing.
But Mimi Mefo info, mindful of Biya’s unpredictability makes prognostics ahead of the speech that may well be the most-awaited ever.
At a time when a bloody conflict is crippling the North West and South West Regions with untold sufferings, Biya may use Tuesday’s speech to redeem himself in the hearts of Anglophones.
English speaking Cameroonians seeking through smoking guns the independence of a state they call Ambazonia, profited from Biya’s inability to handle genuine grievances voiced by Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers. Cries of marginalisation from the English-speaking minority has questioned the very foundation on which the present Cameroon republic was founded.
Today, many say a return to the 1961 status quo will help heal broken hearts – two state federalism with anglophones and francophones as equals.
It is not know if Biya will announce a return to federalism or will rather insist on deepening decentralisation that has remained a wish since 1996.
Biya is expected to announce a broad-based inclusive dialogue between Anglophones and his government, which dialogue will find lasting solutions to the anglophone crisis.
The release of political prisoners is also expected to top Biya’s agenda.
The Biya regime has also recorded one of the worst results in promoting press freedom on the continent. Several journalists are languishing in jail and independent journalists who dare criticise his policies are forced to drop their pens amid threats from forces of law and order. No wonder a political observer and media personality once said ” there are many journalists in mental than physical jails”.
While many are those who dream that Biya may resign today, others hold that he may announce the creation of the post of vice president and the desire to have a rotational presidency between Anglophones and Francophones – francophones have managed the nation’s destiny since 1961.
As the speculations intensify, Journalist Yerima Kini Nsom remembers that in 1990 when CPDM party conservatives were still dancing “dimabola” and condemning multiparty politics as unacceptable imported political model, Biya simply asked them to prepare for competition. He would later legalise party pluralism to the chagrin of party lackeys.
Impossible is not Paul Biya, the unpredictable political maradona.
Mimi Mefo Info Editorial
Mimi Mefo Info will closely follow up developments in Cameroon today, before, during and after President Biya’s speech.