Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, begins his new mandate as Head of State this November 6, decreeing a public holiday throughout the national territory to enable his supporters savour his inauguration.
The President signed a decree in the evening hours of Monday November 5, making public Tuesday, November 6 a public holiday. The day coincides with his 36th anniversary as Head of State.
Observers have queried such a move as being uncalled for given the economic stress the nation has been going through for over two years.
The country has known security challenges in the Far North and the deteriorating Anglophone Crisis in the North West and South West Regions.
Thus observers have given the decree an economic connotation saying, such multiple holidays known to Cameroonians slow the economy and causes the nation to incur losses estimated in FCFA billions.
Yet, some say even if Biya did not sign the decree, his entire cabinet would still have not showed up at work. Government Ministers are known to be active partakers in such national ceremonies.
In the North West and South West, civil servants will be benefiting from another free day after respecting a separatists’-imposed ghost town on Monday.
Despite the criticisms levelled against the President for making the first day of his mandate a public holiday, his supporters say the importance of today’s occasion warrants such a decision. Biya’s songbirds say the decision will give the entire nation the opportunity to imbibe the President’s inaugural speech that will shape the future of the nation for the next seven years.
Before now, the Government Delegate of the nation’s capital city, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna, had issued a release on November 2. In that note, he appealed for heads of different enterprises to allow workers the opportunity to come out and celebrate the President’s inauguration today.