Yaounde(National Times)-Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has piped down on tweeter with messages of “peace,” “unity,” patriotism and “oneness” of the country. His last tweet was on May 19th, 2019.
However, the job has been ‘relinquished’ to Communication Minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi. The Minister is on a tweeter offensive praising the military’s war efforts in Anglophone Cameroon as well as government’s version of “peace.”
Four days after Paul Biya stopped posting such messages, Sadi took over and has been frequenting the tweeter platform trying to convince the public and especially the international community of Cameroon government’s bonafide intentions towards its people.
In the first of such messages posted by Sadi on May 23rd, he said, “our republican forces, whose vocation is placed under the sign of honor and loyalty, cannot, at the same time, come to the rescue of the population and be their executioners.”
Some of the messages are directly geared at addressing the international community’s criticisms over government’s poor handling of the war in Anglophone Cameroon – “Cameroon is a country open to friendship and international cooperation.” On June 7, Sadi also informed the world that “the situation in the North-West and the South-West regions is gradually getting under control.”
Some of the messages are also aimed at defending the image of the Cameroon military which has been tainted in recent times. “The Cameroonian Defence and Security Forces carry out their mission with a high sense of responsibility, professionalism, discernment, bravery and dedication,” Sadi said.
Just like the messages posted by Paul Biya, those of Sadi are also carefully written in both English and French and carries the image of the Minister from an address podium.
Despite Sadi’s enormous tweets, many cases of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings allegedly orchestrated by defence and security forces are still being reported especially from the North West and South West regions.
These latest happenings have eclipsed the power of Sadi’s tweets. Moreover, the international community has not abated in its criticisms of government’s poor handling of the conflict. In the meantime, the situation on the ground remains disturbing. The bomb attack last weekend which killed four police officers and injured six in Otu village, Manyu division, South West region is one of the latest happenings linked to the crisis.
After one month of effective tweeting trying to convince the national and international community of the regime’s goodwill gestures, Paul Biya’s tweets recorded criticisms and praises. He was nicknamed “the Tweetologist.” In the same transition, those of Sadi have also not changed or influence the statusquo on the ground indicating that nations can be destroyed with the help of the social media but cannot be reconstructed through the same route.