Paul Barthelemy Biya Bi Mvondo celebrates his 88th birthday this Saturday, February 13th, 2021. He was born on the 13th of February 1933 in Mvomeka’a village, Meyomesala subdivision, Dja et Lobo Division in the South Region of Cameroon.
The son of Etienne Mvondo Assam and Anastasie Eyenga Elle attended primary school in the locality before moving to the city and subsequently to France for further studies.
Paul Biya as a young graduate in public law joined Cameroon’s public service in 1962 as Chief of Missions at the presidency of the Republic of Cameroon. From there, Paul Biya held several ministerial positions and as Prime Minister from 1975 to 1982.
On November 6th, 1982, Paul Biya was sworn in as the second president of Cameroon at the age of 49 following the resignation of the first president Amadou Ahidjou.
88-year president Paul Biya, some Cameroonians say, has outlived not only his youthfulness but equally leadership skills and therefore has to give way for the younger generation.
Addressing youth on February 10th, 2021 to mark the 55th edition of National Youth Day, president Paul Biya said “…all democratic institutions have been put in place to guarantee a generational transfer of leadership “.
His words according to Fabrice Lena, secretary-general of Cameroon People’s Party “… Suggest an unconstitutional power hand over. We Cameroonians should mobilize and stop that”.
President Paul Biya has systematically been absent in public events that warrant his presence. For instance, during the opening and closing ceremonies of the African Football Championship in Cameroon, he was represented by the 4th highest personality in Cameroon, the Prime Minister. Cameroonians say his age does not really permit him to carry out his functions as president.
Militants of his Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) have always argued that president Biya is a “youth”, despite his frailties.