Cameroon’s Biya marks 35 years in Power

6 November 1982 was the day President Paul Biya came to power in Cameroon, today  6 November 2017 makes him exactly 35 years in power. He rose from the position of the Prime Minister of Cameroon, a position he occupied since 30 June 1975 to occupying Cameroon’s top job.

Ahmadou Ahidjo

He came to power after Cameroon’s former president Ahidjo’s made an unexpected announcement of his resignation on 4 November 1982, two days later, Biya succeeded him, after an appointment according to the constitution.

Every Cameroonian aged 35 and below has been under one head of state who has won every single election as declared by the electoral board since his 99.98% victory as sole candidate in 1984.

Biya, who has ruled Cameroon since November 1982, is the third longest-serving African president after Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea’s President Theodore Obiang Nguema. Biya revised the 1996 constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing him to run for the 2011 election which he went on to win.

6 November in Cameroon is usually celebrated by members of Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM); the day brings together members of all the different wings of this party. Some Cameroonian’s have frowned at this years celebration being extended to Bamenda, with Cameroon’s Prime Minister Philemon Yang leading a delegation to commemorate Biya’s coming to power amid the unrest in the North West Region.

Each Cameroonian citizen has something to say about this day whether they are commemorating Biya’s coming to power or not. Some praise him for a peaceful reign and others criticize him for clinging too long to power which has grevious effects on the country. Most of the criticisms come up as a result of the Anglophone crisis which critics say he hasn’t handled well.

Amid all of these, one wonders if he should leave power or not, how he would leave power and when he would leave power?


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