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« Cameroon's US Ambassador meets with Traditional Body Guards | Main | The Paul Biyas’ of Saker Baptist, CPC Bali, Sasse, Sacred Heart… »

March 23, 2011


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Alphonse Kamga

You are perfectly right. What needs to be done is to go on the ground and sensitize people about the need for a change as you point out. Some people perceive Biya as a Fon and a god who is the alpha and the omega. No Biya No Cameroon!They say this without winking an eye. They forget that they were the same people who said the same about Ahidjo who later resigned.

Evarate Nkain

There is enough truth in your assessment of African leadership and Cameroon bro. I remember an incident in 1988 in Babongo where my step brothers and myself were verse with buying so call "bangah" during one of suchtimes a pig got in to a bucket of garri letf by the market and ate it not only all alone but suddenly died alone. the most selfish thing comes with a bage call the most sudden death. African leaders will one after each knock out themselves. Garri becomes poison when u eat more than needed amount. it is truely a blessing when you share it not only comes back to you but it blesses humanity.

Dave Ewusi

Didn't someone say "après moi la déluge". He is unfortunately not around to tell us whether the "déluge" happened.

Aken Aten

The issue could never be who might succed to Biya!
The simple name Cameroon (or to be more "in": The Cameroons) carries teh dream of the western world taking over!
My 50 cents take on this issue is that one NEEDS to look forward to African leaving together in a (one -1-)land.
When we set that very goal Biya and Cameroon become irrelevant! Our focus therefore is channeled towards understanding our past in order to define the main features of our future.
It is clear that to REALISE such an objective one need to live in harbour of peace around the world!
Stockley Carmichael lived in Ghana, Nkrumah lived in Guinea, Aristide in South Africa and you in Illinois!
Wherever we are, what is essential is how to arrive rapidely to create a nation with what we are endowned with.


Kelvin Ross

You are totally right Mr. Chia, but is any of these curse out there in the name of leaders listening? By punishing their kind of the black race and making them look low in the eyes of the world is a big disgrace to them as well. All over the white world black people including the kids and relatives of these tyrants are psychologically tortured by the white refusal to treat them as equals. In some societies they are not even considered as human beings because of the carnage and brutality that is happening on the African continent. They see us as invaders and exploiters of their free society.How would anyone explain the fact that a continent like Africa that is the richest in abundance and diversity of resources is the poorest economically. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. But time will tell.

Paul Ngalame


BEST article you've ever written. Hands down. Brilliant summation and conclusion of the prevalent mentality that contributes to the division among generations in Cameroon. There isnt much to add to your wonderful article. Just brilliant! In spite of the apparently insurmountable task of appealing to the wisdom and foresight of "our fathers," we will, as change is in fact the only constant. And yes there will be struggle and resistance,but change will come. It must. Thats our only guarantee of surviving. Just keep doing what you do. Focus on perfecting and becoming an expert at what you do. And collectively, we will rise - we MUST.

Paul Ngalame

J. Dinga

Good reminder, Daniel Ewusi. And Bravo to you InnocentChia and all those others who continue to remind us of our history. His Excellency Hosni Mubarak of Egypt uttered similar words just before being chased out of his fief recently. Incredible how ordinary mortals fall for these delusional antics proffered by those whose main concern is bread and butter issues. Why deify an ordinary human being and in the process hurt the majority of humans?

Ahidjo, Mubarak and currently Biya have assumed this superhuamn proportion, this larger-than-life persona, this providential posture and in so doing, reduced their underlings to such helplessness that they cannot imagine life without the providential leader. Not once do those prodding them on ever step back and ask why God would create so many million other citizens if the job has to be done by this one providential ruler. How sad!

Emmanuel Tabot Njok Ayuk

This is the best you have done,Innocent.Keep this up brother. Biya is the fon of Cameroon.


Innocent Chia, your article fails to consider an even more worrisome scenario: a power vacuum.

The assumption that, "After that coalition bombs the hell out of Gaddafi`s Libya ... a leader will emerge", is presumptious. Has a viable leader emerged in Afghanistan? or Iraq? and how often have "liberators" liberated Africans from other "liberators" (Sankara to Blaise Campaore; Lumumba to Mobutu to Kabila...). Did Ghadafi not "liberate" the Libyans from a monarchy? I don`t think the issue is with the replacement, but the manner of leaving.

We should not let our obssession with Biya`s demise blind us from the complexities of the Libyan crisis. Africans should not loose sight of our developmental context. For once we should be allowed to stay the course (no matter how slow) of our journey towards development. So far the real winners of these leadership disputes, have not been us (Africans): it is those who sell the arms. Those who will be called in to rebuild. Those who will lend us the money for reconstruction.

Che Sunday

Mr. Chia,
Long before the Greeks invented representative government and Christianed it Democracy, nation states existed. Some well governed or managed, others not so well governed. A democracy is not a panacea or cure all for Africa's failing leadership. Hitler is cited in several sources as an effective leader, yet, no dictator is yet to rival his brutality. His removal from office saw the Germans rose up to become one of the most powerful industrial nations on the face of the earth. Did he not have mass support from his people?
What Africa needs is a few Thomas Sankaras and Nelson Mandelas and Patrice Lumumbas. When you have the likes of Biya for leaders, and heading a nation of alchoholics like Cameroon, what exactly do you expect? Try starting a conversation back home on any political issue and see how far you will go.Supporters of political aspirants such as Fru Ndi are radical converts who do not see anything wrong with him. You expect such characters to listen to you criticize their God when he becomes head of state? African leaders become what they are largely because of our own inability to see anything wrong with them or their policies. After all is said and done, the changing of the guards in any African country most be left in the hands of Africans alone. If they fail in their first endeavour, they most go back and try again. People whom have enslaved, colonized, partitioned, and turned the continent into a dumping ground for weapons, endebted it for eternity, can never have your best interest at heart.
We can all clamor for joy when we hear that France or some other Country has indicted some African leader for embezzlment, ask yourself why the money is not in an African Bank but a European? What makes a Swiss a better banker than an African? Its because he has vowed to secrecy and will never divulge any information about your ill gotten wealth to anyone, including future governments of your own country. Yet, Switzerland has never been accused of promoting money laundering. I don't want to sound anti Europe or afro-centric, but what I have witnessed in the short span of my existence give me reason to believe that everyone must learn to fend for themselves. What little help you get always comes with a price. Stay away from it.

richard nkem

When slaves were finally freed in America as history tells us, most of them refused to go away from their master. They had been slaves for so long that they found it very difficult to be something else. It is just the same with Africans wanting to stick to their dictators because they don’t know anything else. They see freedom in other countries as a luxury which can only be enjoyed by others.
We have so many nelson Mandela and Thomas sankaras most of whom have been killed…but the have to be given the chance to be what they are... plus some luck too, not to be noticed and killed by the dictators before the grow.
I must also say that your write up is brilliant. I just wanted to read a few lines but I finally ended up reading it even twice.

Jonathan Ngwa

I think Obama has opened up a can of worms. For the first time I have read from an African leader (Museveni) expressing opinions seemingly from his heart about a current event. From what Mr Museveni has written one can at least dictate some emotional attachment to his leadership objectives. Of course that can easily be connected to what has been happening in Uganda before and after he became president. Uganda has been undergoing some transformation since these periods.
Cameroon has not changed whatsoever except for the inevitable and natural wear and tear of infrastructure, human development, - a combination which has reduced Cameroon to a status lower than the preindependence period. We Cameroonians have become poorer,less educated academically and professionally, ignorant about our humanity, completely unaware of our civic responsibilities, less sure of the future and instead even apprehensive of it. How can a leader afford to come up with such devastating policies resulting to a nation with such negative human attributes and expect to lead the people to prosperity?
Well maybe we will read or hear more from some of these long serving dictators about what they actually think about their leaderships in their various countries and how it affects other African countries. But I wonder if people like Mr Biya can even be moved to say anything in public about his innermost feelings and his political philosophy. Nothing so far on the ground has given the slightest himt to anybody about his hopes and dreams for Cameroon. Among many things a leader might accomplish for his country, physical and otherwise, one might stand out as representative of the personality of the leadership. With Mr Biya, no way. No single edifice, roadway, political ideology, moral direction, has any definition enough to identify with the leadership. But luckily for him deterioration is just a natural phenomena, else Cameroon would have been a country frozen in time and space. Deterioration has been the only dynamic element in Cameroon since he took over. We have heard him address Cameroonians over the years in the same characteristic dull and emotionless manner, with messages always void of content, let alone specifics. Every speech by Mr.Biya could be switched and will just fit any occassion. What he said on May 20th 1986 can still be read in May 20th 2012 and the only thing to alter there would be the dates.
Also I am really thankful that this action against Ghaddaffi has saved the life of Cameroonians in advance even though I know many will still be shot anyway.
I am particularly happy that Obama did not flinch to assist in trying to oust dictators like Ghadaffi. Many Cameroonians were killed during the food riots two years back and the world remained silent. Nothing has changed since then in Cameroon. If anything the situation has even gone worse. There is potential for protests in the country in the days or months ahead before or after the next so called presidential elections. With Ghadaffi's promise to get into Benghazi and and without any mercy flush out the "rebels" through house by house searches, I started to wonder what would happen to Cameroonians if this man would do what he promised. Infact when I heard that he was already attacking Benghazi and the people were running out of town, I was worried, ironically not about the Libyans but instead of Cameroonians in the coming months. If president Biya could get away with killing more than 200 hundred unarmed protesters, would such a blatant mass murder licensed by the inaction of the international community not also be another license for Biya to exterminate more Cameroonians in the coming months? Even though Cameroon might not be on the priority list in Western economic interests, at least putting a check on one dictator might have an effect on another.
So thank you Obama for holding Ghaddaffi back.


Hillary Clinton was right when he said this Obama man is immature in so far as US foreign policy is concern.
Now we can all see it

Gan Charles

I have said it before that tyrants have no soul. Anyone who would render his country destitute is evil. The only way a head of state can sleep soundly with such devastation and misery around him is if this person does not believe in eternal life. He believes he will not have to answer to a higher being. Mr. Biya is making a mockery of his catholic faith.
The way he governs Cameroon reminds me of one Peace Corp volunteer's observation of the life in Cameroon: He was amazed at how a teacher , neatly dressed for school, would carefully step over muddy puddles and potholes on his way to school. Mr. Biya quite easily steps over the difficulty Cameroonians face each day.

Akonji Ambo

Mr Chia,

You articulate my thoughts on this subject to perfection. It is safe to conclude that we have all been blindly led to believe in the dogma of 'biyaism' propagated by Biya's ageing prophets. We have forgotten or have never been educated on the meaning of citizenship. We thank Biya for what is ours by birth and citizenship. Started by Ahidjo and glorified by Biya, personality cults have overtaken the system. So we are now a nation where personalities are greater than the institutions they head. A clear case of leadership failure that has clearly benefited Emperor Biya at the detriment of Cameroon and its people.

E. Elangwe

African autocratic regimes have an exceptional gene which enables them to survive even their creators. Of course the will be a successor to President Biya (probably after a lil' CPDM in house civil war), a leader will emerge and if he masters the rein of the "big Man" apparatus, We all will be in for Biya 2.0 !!!!!

True 'nuf, when ever Biya should fade away (that's a certainty), a substantial portion of the CPDM party will fade with him. This is not going to be due to external factors but vehemently due to internal debacles preceeding Biya's departure. Despite this very easily predictable short term future drama, the CPDM will still retain it's uncontested hold on the very fabric of the Cameroonian polity. How long this will last, or how this is going to play out, is all a matter of academic "toumbou toumbou".

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