Yaoundé (National-Times)-President Paul Biya has accused the social media for the political crisis Cameroon is facing in recent times.
During his traditional message to the youths on the occasion of the 53rd National Youth Day, Biya frowned at social media activism and said it often “violates democratic principles.”
Even though he refrained from mentioning any situation of conflict caused by the social media, he called on the youths to be engaged in politics as a means of effecting changes. He defined politics as – “the management of the society.”
According to Biya, the only way to manage the society is by participating in organised elections locally and nationally which is “more responsible and more commendable.” While naming the different levels of participation, Paul Biya made known to the youths that only a selected number of political offices are open for contest including the council, regional and legislative assemblies while carefully keeping aside the Presidential seat which he has jealously kept for 36 years. “Voting, standing as a candidate in an election, being elected a Municipal or Regional councillor, a member of the National Assembly or a Senator is engaging in politics in the noble sense of the word,” he said.
In recent times, the social media has become one of the major channels of anti-Biya and anti-governmental communication. The much talked-about conflict in the Anglophone regions has largely been fuelled by the social media. Last year, the government invited two senior Facebook officials to help fight what it called “fake news.” Despite recent restrictions imposed on some Cameroonian activists by Facebook, the situation has largely remained unchanged and the government remains helpless in the face of such moves.