President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal Biya, left Cameroon on Sunday, August 12 for a private visit to Europe, according to a press release signed by the Director of Civil Cabinet at the Presidency, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo.
The press release which did not specify the destination of the Presidential couple said they are going to Europe for a “short private visit.” Going by social media reports, the President is going for routine ‘medical checkup’ prior to Presidential campaign.
According to State media, Paul and Chantal Biya left the Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport aboard a chatted flight at about midday after going through the regular protocol of shaking hands and briefly chatting with some top dignitaries including Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifendji, House Speaker, Cavaye Yegui Djibril, Prime Minister Philemon Yang, the SG Central Committee of the CPDM and many others.
The last time Paul Biya travelled abroad was in March when he paid an official visit to China still in the company of his wife.
There have been several criticisms over the couple’s long sojourn abroad with some politicians and media calling Paul Biya “an absentee President.” Between 2008 and 2017, it is estimated that Paul Biya spent a total of 536 days abroad, a little less than two years causing a colossal fortune to the Cameroonian tax payer.
Geneva is the couple’s choicest destination and it may still be the destination for this latest visit.
Paul Biya is travelling when the nation is facing its greatest challenge since independence and reunification; on the one hand, the Anglophone Conflict, on the other the upcoming Presidential elections and other burning issues like the Boko Haram conflict and the situation in the East fuelled by the war in the Central African Republic.